Starter Plants for a Witchy Garden

Starting a witchy garden? Or maybe you’re just trying to add more magic to your cooking with fresh herbs? It can be so hard to know which plants to start with and which herbs to keep on hand.

Starter Plants for a Witchy Garden by This Crooked Crown


This “must haves” for your practice is going to vary wildly. It’s even going to vary on what purpose you might have for those plants. Are you keeping them around for their herbal benefit or magical?

Many people try out green or kitchen witchery only to run away from it or struggle with it. This largely comes from difficulties in knowing complimenting flavors and tastes (remember to taste your food when cooking folks!) and accidentally killing your plants.

I get you. I really do. I have a light green thumb – I can keep things alive but sometimes they just kick the bucket. My best plant right now is my aloe which I leave alone and it’s happy.  When it comes to kitchen witchery, rest assured, I’ve made plenty of stupid mistakes there too. I’ve heard the song of the fire alarm plenty of times.

Knowing what to start with and what to try is super difficult, especially when you’re just starting out. Here’s some tips for you new witchlings (and maybe a gentle reminder for us old-timers)


Kiki avidly watches birds and squirrels.

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Start small

Those big beautiful gardens you see on Pinterest? Yeah, they’re not created in a single season or even a single year. Same thing with indoor gardens. Pick a plant or two tend to them. If they’re still alive and kicking a few months later, add on another plant. Plan for what you want. This also allows you to save up money for garden because it is not a cheap hobby.

If you have such a black thumb that you can kill off a plastic plant, rest assured that you’re not without option. You can use fresh spices. A farmer’s market is your best friend. Some farmer’s markets operate all year around and others are only seasonally. Check out your local ones and see what they offer.

Protip: Take a day and visit both your farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Sometimes farmer’s markets actually partially stock from farmers that also sell to your grocery stores. Or you’ll find that you don’t like that specific potato sold at that farm or discover that while the grocery store is cheaper then farmer’s market tastes better. Figure out where’s the best places to get certain things and you’ll save yourself the heartache of “aw, the radishes are so much better at this farmer’s market!”.


Growing versus buying

If you’ve been to online communities you may have run across the idea that plants you grow are more useful than buying herbs. This is only kind of true. (If you’re making a face, keep reading.)

My experience is this: If you’re a spirit worker, the plants you grow develop bonds and relationships with you because you’ll probably talk to that spirit. That plant will be infinitely more powerful – but probably only for certain things. You might discover that the plant you grow is really only good for protection spells. It’s not really going to help you with a luck spell.

But the same fresh or dried herbs you get from the market or store? Those babies can be used for anything they’re associated with rather than being shoehorned into whatever the plant wants to be used for. So they’re infinitely more useful even if you can’t control their quality.

That’s the other main argument: you can’t control the growing conditions, ethical conditions, and quality if you buy. This it true so I highly suggest to look into farmer’s markets to circumvent these things. You can also quickly google on your phone farms the food comes from to see how controversial or unlikable they are. You might be the weirdo standing there for five minutes staring at a head of cabbage but isn’t that better than working with something you don’t agree with?

Growing is, of course, cheaper except for the initial investment. But growing also requires a lot of…



I feel like a broke record but research your stuff! This is especially true if you’re growing things. Just some simple research in how certain plants grows (or even that specific breed of plant) can entirely change how I care for a plant.

Research can also change how and why you grow a plant. I don’t use a lot of lavender in my practice but I do for my herbal medicine. So I’d rather grow it outside and harvest it than keep it inside. I use citrus in my craft for cleansing and for my herbalism. I grow mini trees in pots. Same thing with peppers. I grow them in pots so I can have fresh peppers for protection spells and curses.

Research can also tell you on whether or not you actually need a bunch of that plant. If you never use mint in spells but for rare occasions and never cook with it… then why are you growing it? Why waste that time? So what if everyone recommends it or uses it in their spells? YOU don’t and that matters. Develop your own list and needs for what you use in your practice. look through your spells and decide for yourself.


Brought some new plant friends home yesterday. Best part? None of these plants were over $5.

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Those are some super basics. Ready for my go to list of plants for basic witchcraft?


Sex or sexual attention,  soothing fights between couples or family, dieting or fasting, health and healing, the home, sympathy, harmony, increasing money, good luck, to curse others, fire element, fertility, weddings, romance or romantic love, for attractiveness, exorcism or banishing.

Lemon Balm

For improving memory, easing depression or grief, lifting one’s spirits, for romantic love or romance, for clairvoyant dreams, health and healing, and youthfulness.


To see ghosts or spirits, to attract men (especially sexually), for women’s strength or sexual attractiveness, to calm, to calm nerves or anxiety, against unwanted sexual attention, fertility or childbirth, for sleep, healing and health in general, air element, divination, purification or cleansing, for sex or sexual attention, easing depression or grief, relaxation, and for romantic love or romance.


For increasing money, prosperity, wealth, trade or increasing business, dieting or fasting, cleansing or purification, clairvoyant dreams, divination, relaxation, easing anxiety or nerves, health or healing in general, for improving memory, air element, for sex or sexual attention, romance or romantic love, and creating change or a catalyst.


Protection, peace, harmony, romance or romantic love, sex or sexual attention, soothing fights between couples or families, for newlyweds, for weddings, for women’s sexual attractiveness or strength, for sleep, healing or health in general, attuning or aiding psychic powers, for clairvoyant dreams, divination, clairvoyance or second sight, and against or wards off negativity, bad luck, spells, curses, or malevolent spirits.


Cleverness or mental clarity, focus, for confidence, against thieves or trespassing, for courage or against fear, purification or cleansing, improving memory, against nightmares, for rejuvenation or power / energy, youthfulness, women’s strength or sexual attractiveness, for beauty, for physical strength or endurance, romance or romantic love, to attract friends, healing or health in general, exorcism or banishing, protection, protection at sea, to invoke the sea, against unwanted sexual attention, boosting the five senses, clairvoyance or second sight, and against or wards off negativity, bad luck, spells, curses, or malevolent spirits.


Wards off fatigue while traveling, victory, to win a battle or overcome an enemy, ease depression or grief, for courage or bravery, wards off fear, wards off nightmares, healing or health in general, for sex or sexual attention, to see faeries, funerary rites or to send off the dead, purification or cleansing, hex / curse breaking or spell breaking, for rejuvenation or power / energy, clairvoyance or the second sight, and against or wards off negativity, bad luck, spells, curses, or malevolent spirits.


Youthfulness, prosperity, wealth, trade or increasing business, health or healing, for improving memory, easing depression or grief, and earth element


Youthfulness, to know or enter the underworld or land of the dead, for romance or romantic love, for sex or sexual attention, water element, relaxation, for happiness or joy, for success, for gardening success, for rejuvenation or power / energy, health or healing, to use in place of a poppet or for image magic, and wood can be used to create magical tools.

Mugwort and/or Wormwood

Divination, scrying, to strengthen divination tools, for magic mirrors, for clairvoyant dreams, clairvoyance or second sight, to see ghosts or spirits, to contact or manifest spirits, air element, health or healing, for protection while traveling, wards off wild animals, wards off fatigue while traveling, and purification or cleansing.


Divination, clairvoyance or second sight, attuning or aiding psychic powers, romance or romantic love, for weddings, health or healing in general, sexual prowess or fertility, water element, for fair weather, for courage or bravery, wards off fear, for wisdom, purification or cleansing, for rejuvenation or power / energy, exorcism or banishing, and against or wards off negativity, bad luck, spells, curses, or malevolent spirits.

Peppers in general

Protection, against envy or jealousy (both directed at you and your own), exorcism or banishing, for curses or hexes, and fire element.


My grapes are ripening nicely.

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What did you notice about that list? Most of the list can be bought in stores or probably grows locally to you. All of it can be eaten (but please check your allergies and health warnings first!) It’s an excellent start and it covers a lot of things you might be trying to do.

(Side note, my list is from various numerous sources. Too many to list in a blog post. If you want to know where I got a piece of lore from, drop me a line and I’ll give you the source.)

Also, every single one of those plants can be grown in pots at least for a few years. Yes, even apples. There’s some intrepid farmers that make dwarf apple trees but you’ll probably do much better just planting it in the ground. Cayenne peppers, lavender, and roses will need fairly large pots in order to thrive (and do yourself a favor and put them on little rolling plant trays). Most of the rest can be kept in your standard windowsill.

Again, what you grow or keep around entirely depends on your personal practice and needs. Good luck with your gardening!


Money Powders

Money powders are an often under utilized magical tool that is so easy to create and use. I use money powders quite often in my money spells and in general day-to-day money handling.

For All Sorts of Money Powder by This Crooked Crown

First, let’s cover what a money powder is. Simply put: it is ground magical ingredients enchanted to bring money or financial boons to where-ever it’s placed. So if you sprinkle money powder on a spell candle, that spell will be affected. If you sprinkle money powder on the floor or in your laundry, then your home and laundry will be affected. Simple, right?

Money powders have endless combinations and composition. Pretty much any ingredient under the sun can be used in money related spells in some way or another. Deciding what to put in a money powder and how many ingredients to put into it will entirely come down to preference.

Want to know my secret for money powders? Here it is: You need to believe it. Not necessarily that the magic will work or the spell is working. Or even in the powder itself. Here, belief is more about knowledge. You have to “know” the ingredients are good for money magic.


Shh. This is a fledgling money spell in a teeny tiny cauldron. Let's let it work its magic.

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For example, roses aren’t super well-known for money magic but I do sometimes use roses in a money spell, especially when I want to increase money for an art-related thing or for personal beauty. But I wouldn’t use it in a money related spell for gambling. I’d probably pick cinquefoil and clover.

There’s also a difference what kind of money you need. If you start looking at herbal folklore texts, people didn’t always use the same ingredients for personal wealth versus business wealth. This may come down to how that piece of folklore is written down and shared but in a comparison of seventeen herbs pulled from three different sources only mint and cinquefoil was on both lists. Also, spells to find employment only share ingredients about half the time, I’ve found.

By the way, those seventeen herbs are as follows: For increasing money Scott Cunningham in Magical Herbalism suggests almond, basil, hyssop, mint, bryony, ciquefoil, High John the Conqueror, honeysuckle but for business pursuits he recommends mint, peony, cinnamon, benzoin, and cinquefoil. suggests sage for increasing business and Miranda Seymour in her delightful little book A Brief History of Thyme and Other Herbs also suggest sage but adds valerian and dill to the business increasing list.


Common Money Spell Ingredients by This Crooked Crown


That being said, sometimes you might just need money from any source and you don’t care where that money comes from. For situations like that, an all-purpose money powder is your go-to. For our purposes, a business related spell or money powder is directly you selling goods or services for money. it may cause your job to get a big new client or for you to get a raise. Personal wealth spells may cause any of those business related things to happen but it’s also likely to have you find twenty bucks in a forgotten pocket or have someone pay you back for lunch from five years ago out of the blue.

My favorite way to use money powders is to sprinkle them across the threshold of my work-space or even on my desk overnight. In the morning, I simply sweep them up and toss them in the compost. I keep a jar of all purpose money powder at the ready for candle spells and throw a pinch of non-dying powder in my laundry for events.


For All Sorts of Money Powder by This Crooked Crown


Ready for a recipe? Straight from my own recipe book, here’s two. All you need to do is to ground the ingredients together in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Or take the smart route and buy the ingredients pre-powdered such as ginger powder or almond flour.


For All Sorts of Money (All-Purpose Money Powder)

  • Basil
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Sugar
  • Mint
  • Clover
  • Cinquefoil


For Personal Wealth (Non-Business Money Powder)

  • Basil
  • Sugar
  • Mint
  • Cinquefoil
  • Cinnamon
  • Almond flour
  • Ginger


For Increasing Business (Non-Personal Wealth)

  • Basil
  • Salt
  • Mint
  • Cinquefoil
  • Cinnamon
  • Sage
  • Coffee


For All Sorts of Money Powder by This Crooked Crown


Of course, if you’re not into the mixing and grinding, you can always pop over to my shop and buy an ounce for yourself.

Remember that the recipes above are just a place to start. You get to have fun and personalize your recipe according to your own preferences and practice. Experiment with what you can create and see what kind of magic can happen!

Enchanting Objects for Second Sight

If you’ve hung around fairy tales long enough, you’ve run into the concept of using objects to achieve second sight.

Second sight is the ability to see things that are beyond normal perception such as spirits or energy. Some people are naturally gifted at this and others train themselves to use it. It sits firmly on the line between psychic ability and intuition.

Enchanting Objects for Second Sight by This Crooked Crown

Let’s be clear on one thing – just because someone has the second sight does not mean that they’re seeing spirits all the time. It doesn’t mean that they’re able to see all spirits. It doesn’t mean that they are always seeing spirits with their physical eyes. Spiritual beings aren’t always able to be perceive with physical eyes. It’s far more minute than “can you see that ghost?” even if it doesn’t seem like it.

There’s lots of folk information on how to achieve this. Looking through a hagstone or enchanting object are just one of the ways. You can use sandalwood, wisteria, wild thyme, and a number of other herbs to see what’s beyond normal vision. Trance inducers like flying ointments also work in this manner.

Look through a hagstone or doorway is another way to see these things. It’s about threshold crossing which is known to allow one to step between the worlds. (Hence the word “hedge-crossing”). Using this method, you’ll look through a hagstone (a stone with a natural hole in the center but shells with holes in the center work well too) and see what there is to see. Threshold crossing can be any kind of threshold. Stepping between two poles could be a threshold. Crossing between a wall and a hedge could be a threshold. There’s tons of ways to cross like that.

Weirdly, enchanting objects to allow you to see things is common in folk stories and fairy tales but not a common technique shared in modern day. I have no idea why this is.

In order to enchant an object to see what’s beyond normal sight, you’ll first need to pick an object that can be held up to your eye. Eyeglasses and sunglasses are absolutely the easiest and more available for this. A camera could also be used. You may want to pick a necklace you can hold up to your eye. This will be a constant spell so it’ll always be working.

That could actually be a problem. Anyone who has the second sight can tell you that it can be really distracting to see stuff that isn’t there. I’ve braked suddenly while driving thinking I was going to run over a dog that wasn’t there. I nearly jumped out a chair just last night because I thought something ran across the wall directly next to me – but nothing was there. If you’re not use to seeing these beings, you can absolutely end up looking a bit weird. It’s not a consistent thing but at least once a week I end up being startle by some spirit shenanigans that I wasn’t expecting and no one else can see.

You could also pick an object that you wear in order to give you second sight. This gives you more control over the ability. A pair of earrings is a good choice but a necklace or even an article of clothing can be a good choice too.

Mushroom, mushroom

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The technique is very simple but gathering the ingredients can be very complex. It can take up two or three months to set this up if you don’t have any of the materials on hand. For best results, it could take years because you should collect the water and plants on the first of May and then cast the enchantment then as well – which could be difficult if the moon’s not working with you. You could, alternatively also or exchange May Day for October 31st or some other spirit important holiday. I don’t bother because that’s a lot of hurry up and wait for me but to each their own.

First gather water from an old water source – an old river, well, the ocean, etc. I specifically mention old as a pond newly made in a golf course isn’t going to have the same kind of results we want.

Gather the first morning dew for about seven days. You can do this by placing a jar outside overnight and picking it up as the sun rises the next morning. It probably won’t amount to much but that’s OK.

Create full moon water and new moon water by placing jars of water in window sills under the moonlight (or lack of moonlight).

Pour water from each of these sources into a bowl and place any of the following into it: calendula petals, wisteria leaves, powdered sandalwood, mugwort, ash leaves, violets, wild thyme, lavender, or woodworm. Pick as many or as few as you’d like. Let this sit under the full moon for a full night but remove it from sight before the sun rises. You can strain this water now, if you want.

Cleanse the object you intend to enchant. Wash the object with each water source. Make sure that you concentrate on the surfaces of the object. For a pair of glasses, you’ll trace the water along the eyeglass frame then wash the lenses on both sides. Repeat once more with the herb infused water.

Sleep with the object at your side on the night that you wash it. Then it’s ready to use. To use it, concentrate on what’s before you with your mind to see if there’s anything there for you to see. This should allow you to see spirits and energy far more frequently than before. As stated above, you may not physically see things with your eyes all the time but you should be able to sense things and see glimpses more easily.

Autumn evening walks

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In addition to the problem mentioned above with reacting to things as if they’re physically in front of you, there’s another thing to be aware of. When spirits begin to notice that you’re able to see them, then they start paying attention to you. This can be fun for some people and terrifying for others. It depends on the beings you end up meeting and how you interact with them. If you’re not thinking about spirit work, then you might want to consider against this entirely. In the end, that’s a choice you’ll have to make.

It can be difficult to see spirits. Sometimes they simply don’t want to be seen or the circumstances aren’t right. Or maybe they don’t even have a physical form for you to see. You may need to just roll with whatever they give you. Good luck!

Knot Your Garter

A while ago I was researching love divination superstitions when I came across an interestingly little charm from the 1696.

To know whom one shall marry. You must lie in another county, and knit the left garter about the right legged stocking.. and as you rehearse these following verses, at each comma, knot a knot.

‘This knot I knit,

To know the thing,

I know not yet,

That I may see,

The man (woman) that shall my husband (wife) be,

How he goes, and what he wears,

And what he does, all days, and years’

Accordingly in your dream you will see him: if a musician, with a lute or other instrument; if a scholar, with a book or papers.(1)

Now this is particular charm evolves so the more common usage of it is as written in 1899 “To induce favourable dreams, nine knots are tied on a garter.” (2) There are other regional variations of this as well that are interesting to look at but we’re going to deal primarily with these two variations.

Now, I am a folklorist at heart. I majored in it at college so I love to watch superstitions evolve in this manner (and then dissect why they evolved in this manner).


Wrist Bells


More importantly, this is interesting from a witchcraft perspective. Here, the practitioner is sleeping somewhere different away from home. While there, they knit their left garter around their right stocking and say the verses. In their dreams, they’ll get a vision of their future spouse. (Remember that around this time, garters more unisex than they are now.)

There’s a couple ways to break down this superstition into an actual practice and it would widely depend on how the garter was constructed and the usage of the word “knit”. I don’t knit personally (I’m a crochet girl) but theoretically, you’d have to pull stitches out in order to restitch the stitches for this charm or you’d end up adding length to the garter and defeating the purpose of the garter entirely. Or, you’d add length to the garter ties, making them longer than used (garters were tied at this time, not elastic as now).

But garters are still a close, personal thing. They’re kept close to the skin and were incredibly individual yet ubiquitous items. There’s also a level of propriety to be addressed with garters. Garter kept your clothing where you wanted it to be, it kept you properly dressed. Typically speaking, you were rarely improperly dressed except around wardrobe-related servants or your spouse. So there’s something of a “revealing the self” aspect to this charm, subconscious though it made me.

As pre-made clothing became more popular, people made less and less of their own garters. Garters eventually became less used as clothing designs changed. The origins of the charm became older and less known. It simplified, due to clothing changes and time itself. It became more of a “knot nine times to reveal your future spouse in a dream” sort of deal.


Working on the sorely needed tarot bag for the Crow's Magick tarot.

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Either (and any) variation of this charm has legs to stand on so the actual change isn’t the problem we face when looking to use this spell. Instead, what we need to address in how to adapt this spell to modern times.

Few people regularly wear garters. Many people end up with garters for their wedding clothing and that’s about it. It’s a special occasion thing, usually, so not a lot of people would consider this specifically important. Of course, some people still regularly use garters for costuming, tall socks, or they wear them for work-related clothing.

We need to look at what’s important here. Is the garter itself important? Or is what the garter represented more important? If the garter itself was important, then you would have to use a garter to cast this spell. If the garter isn’t important, then what could be used in place of a garter? Would making nine tiny knots with a piece of sting in the hem of your underwear work in lieu of a garter? Shoelaces? Hair? Hair ribbon? Suit tie? What could be used when it comes to modern clothing?

At it’s heart, this superstition is a knot spell to induce dreams of love. That’s what it’s suppose to do. So… would any knot do? Could you make something and then knot it?

Could you make a garter specifically for this purpose and use the charm for it? Either by knitting, sewing, or even braiding some thread together and tying it to your leg. The steps would probably be creating the garter to your left leg measurements, then tie it to your right leg, saying the charm, then go to bed.


I scored this book during my road trip last month. Just getting around to reading it now. ♡

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If you wanted to adapt this to modern usage you’d have to answer these critical questions:

What’s the purpose of the garter? What does it stand for? Does that meaning still stand today for me? Is there an equivalent I can use instead?

How can I knot the garter or garter substitute? Will sewing stitches be representative? Or does it have to be knitted?

In the end, any of these variations would work. I don’t have a “here’s exactly how you adapt this” because there’s so many ways you could go with this. Personally, I’d crochet a garter (because knitting seems to escape me) with my left leg measurements and say the charm as I made each stitch. I’d make it long enough to tie on and knot the tying portion nine times. Then I’d tie it to my right leg nine times, repeating the verses, before heading to bed.

But, that’s me. How would you adapt this classic superstition? Does it sound similar to an old superstition you’ve heard of before?

  1. Oxford Dictionary of Superstitions, editors Iona Opie and Moira Tatem. 2005 Edition, Oxford Press. Page 221-222
  2. Ibid.

Chocolate Rose Tea Love Philter

A philter is a magical potion geared towards inducing love. This Love Philter is a tasty treat that you can share with your partner or drink yourself to encourage self-love. It can be served hot or cold and adjusted to your taste.

I actually do a ton of baking but I don’t tend to share recipes. Something about sharing something that you’ll consume makes me cautious, even if the food is perfectly normal. Kinda weird, right?

Anyway, make sure you read the recipe through entirely and the notes before giving it a try. Remember: ask for consent before giving a loved one this drink!





  • 2 level teaspoons black tea of choice
  • Small handful of organic rose petals
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-5 strawberries
  • 2 level tablespoons cocoa powder or powdered hot chocolate
  • Sugar or sweetener of choice  to taste
  • Strainer

Mix two teaspoons of your favorite black tea and rose petals and steep it in a cup of water for at least five minutes, 10 minutes is optional for this philter. Strain and keep the liquid. While you do this, whisper to yourself what kind of foundation for love you want to have. Maybe you want the evening to be sexy and fun or you want to love your body more.

Wash and cut the tops off your strawberries. Puree them in a blender with the liquid tea until smooth. While you do this, imagine treating each other to something special with your lover or treating yourself kindly.




Add in cocoa powder or hot chocolate powder. Blend well. Add in sugar/sweetener to taste and blend well. Envision having fun and enjoying yourself or yourselves. You should be getting what you want in this imaginary scenario.

Strain drink into wine glasses (chilled) or teacups (hot) and serve. As you create this, make your final requests such as “we will have a great night”, “I love you”, or “I love me”.

If you want to get super fancy, top with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Serve with chocolate covered strawberries or a delicate dessert.





  • This can be served hot or cold.
  • You can use any black tea you want. I tend to go with Ceylon but Lady Gray’s a good choice too. If you have a Valentine’s or love themed tea, give that a try.
  • I tend to use honey for a sweetener but you can use whatever you have on hand, even granulated sugar. If using granulated sugar, remember to mix very well or the drink may be grainy.
  • Remember to tightly secure the blender cover before turning on the blender. This is a “well, duh” kind of thought but seriously, remember to do this. You don’t want to have to clean up the mess.
  • “Level tea/table spoons” is specified here. When something calls for a teaspoon or tablespoon of whatever, it almost always means a level teaspoon or tablespoon. A level spoon means that it’s not a heaping spoonful but the same level that soup broth would be at if it filled the spoon.


Cozy night in.

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Drink up!

Decks featured:

  • [Instagram photo] Scrying Ink Lenormand Oracle by Siolo Thompson © Bay & Willow

How to Find the Perfect Tarot Deck for You

Reading tarot cards is often considered a stable of magical practitioners. Lots of people read tarot cards though (and many magical practitioners do not) so there’s about eleventy-billion ways to learn how to read tarot and even more reasons to read tarot.

First, let’s get that troubling superstition about buying your own deck out of the way. It might work as a superstition for you, but it’s fairly new in the realm of superstitions and likely doesn’t apply now. You can buy your own deck. The deck will read perfectly well and will not carry negative energy because you bought it.

More importantly, the criteria for your tarot deck is one that needs to be considered carefully. Each person will want different things out of a deck. Ask yourself these questions to help narrow the field.




Do I like the art?

This is, by far, one of the most important criteria. It’s really hard to connect to a deck which has an art style you don’t like. I have all sorts of decks in all sorts of art styles and I can read with many of them but there’s a few I don’t use as often because I’m not super fond of the art style. I keep them often due to sentimental reasons or because they work well for a particular thing but otherwise, I could live without them.

Look at the art. Glance through google images for more pictures and check reviews. There’s some decks that have a fantastic cover or a handful of cards I love but I couldn’t stand the rest of the deck. Sometimes it’s the colors or something else. It’s a personal choice and don’t discredit that when it comes to a selection. You’re doing the reading so your aesthetic should matter.



Do important cards resonate with me?

Many  readers have particular cards that resonate with them. They might always look at the High Priestess or the Fool to determine if they like the deck. I usually check the Tower, Magician, and Hermit myself because those are the cards I like the most. If those cards don’t work for you, how does that diminish the deck’s quality or importance? I know there’s a deck that has a nice if kind of weird Tower card that I’m unsure about. Something’s not right with it for me so I end up not using that deck quite as often as I might otherwise.

Don’t forget to check the court cards too. The whole Arcana is important, not just the Major. Check the leaders of the Minor Arcana too. I know what happens with the Kings and Queens can make or break how I feel about a deck.




Is the content up to par for me?

This is both a personal decision and an aesthetics  decision. I have a deck that covers all sorts of places in the world at all sorts of eras. But it largely settles in the medieval and Renaissance eras. But Chariot and World, with a handful of other cards, are thoroughly modern images with cars, computers, and so on. Every time I see one of these cards, it throws me because there’s so few of them compared to the rest. It made me change how I use the deck because of this.

You’ll want to consider the tone and content. Are a few cards really graphic? Do they show a lot of nudity? Are their children everywhere? What doesn’t work for you?

As said, some of this comes down to artistic choice with the creator. Some decks just aren’t designed well or use the creator’s own understanding of the cards rather than the traditional meanings people generally expect.


Fairy Lights Tarot is so pretty. Look at that deck back in the middle! by Lucia Mattioli and #loscarabeo

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What do I want to do with the deck?

Are you focusing on love readings? Personal questions? Spiritual questions? Do you want a deck you can connect with or one that just the job done without a lot of fuss? I find that decks have an energy to them almost (or exactly) like a spirit. My Heart of the Faerie Oracle is so sassy and always wants attention whereas my Claude Bludel’s Classic Tarot is Grumpy the Grandpa Grumpasaurus. I’ve used my Heart of the Faerie Oracle for most everything but it doesn’t like financial questions. My Classic Tarot likes business questions but not business questions that relate to the heart or passions. It’s strictly business.

Reviews will help you determine a general deck usage typically but also check out the creator’s own words. The Heart of the Faerie Oracle was designed for relationships of all kinds and that purpose is abundantly obvious.


Did a Tower spread (pull the Tower card then shuffle). That's not promising.

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Will this deck be hard to learn?

Some decks are not beginner friendly. They might have small or intricate images or only have subtle hints at what they’re suppose to be rather than spelling it out on the card. My Deviant Moon Tarot, for example, doesn’t display the words “Cups” or “Swords” so you either have to pay attention or know the deck. I have numerous decks that just give numbers for the Major Arcana, which may not even work since some decks swap out the numerical placement of the Fool, World, and a handful of other cards.

Many decks expect you to know stuff. For example, the Sherlock Holmes Tarot is wonderfully but if you’re not overly familiar with a great deal of the Sherlock Holmes writing, you’ll have a challenging time with it. The Ghosts and Spirits Tarot takes from stories all over the world relying on you to either know the stories from the images or memorize the stories associated with the cards. Fairy Lights seems to have a hidden story or knowledge expectation, perhaps just merely being familiar with fairy tales as a whole helps or maybe there’s a specific real life fairy court life being referenced. This tends to only happen in themed decks but it’s something to be aware of.

Others might take the creator’s personal knowledge of the subject, skewing traditional meanings which makes it difficult to remember if you’re just learning stuff.

Originality versus RWS traditional meanings also may come into play here as well so keep that in mind.


Playing with my new deck Deviant Moon Tarot Borderless Edition by Patrick Valenza.

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Is it a RWS clone? Based off of RWS? Original? Does that matter?

Many of the decks you’re probably going to run into are Rider-Waite-Smith based decks (RWS) referring to the acknowledged creators of the tarot deck popularized today. This deck is also known as the Rider-Waite deck but Smith was the artist and her contributions shouldn’t be forgotten either so there’s been considerable movement to include her in the name/titles.

The RWS decks are the standard when it comes to tarot cards. Some decks are flat-out clones where even the position of the characters are exactly the same. A good example is the Tarot of the Magical Forest. It’s certainly pretty to look at and different with the animal characters but if you compare it to a RWS deck, you’ll see it’s a clone.

Many decks just take the RWS traditional meanings and put their own spin on it. You get some great themed decks out of this as well as some fantastic classics too. But, you’re at the mercy of the creators’ understanding of the cards and how they learned the cards. The Devil is a good example here: some people will immediately draw it as a classic devil and debauchery kind of scene and others go for a wholly different approach.

Original decks may have some inspiration from RWS or they might take inspiration from older tarot cards (tarot was a playing card game before it was a divination tool) or they could invent some new stuff. This is far rarer and often swings into the realm of oracle cards rather than tarot cards.

Oracle cards are different in that the meanings are entirely dependent on the creators. These decks are typically extremely original with their content and often are themed. The Mermaids and Dolphins Oracle comes to mind as does the Sacred Creators Oracle. Since there’s no standard in meanings, you’ll either have to use the book or intuition to read the cards.

There’s also Lenormand cards which are a whole different system of card reading. They have even stricter meanings than tarot cards, have a few hundred years less history, and have designated spreads. They’ve seen an upswing in popularity of late and many people use them now as oracle cards in addition to Lenormand cards.

I have all these styles of decks and I use them all fairly often. I’m an intuitive reader so it doesn’t matter to me which system I use in the end. I just pick the best tool for the specific question at hand. If you’re not an intuitive reader, a Lenormand or RWS deck might be a better choice. If you have trouble with memory, are an intuitive reader, or you dislike classic occultism, an oracle deck might be a better choice for you.

I honestly suggest one of each if you’re going to do a lot of divination reading. Don’t break the bank but a RWS, Lenormand, and oracle will each have different approaches to the same problem and can reveal different aspects of the same question. Or pick your favorite. It’s up to you.


Yay! My new Scrying Ink Lenormand oracle by @bayandwillow came in. Ahh! So excited!

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Do I like the size and feel of the cards?

Not all tarot decks are created equally when it comes to materials. Card thickness, sheen, card material, shape, and the mere size can all change. For example, all of the Blue Angel Publishing decks I own are huge – I have trouble shuffling them at time with my tiny hands. My Enchanted Lenormand? Fits in a pair of women’s jeans pockets (a claim that has either confused you or highly impressed you, I’d wager) and is about the height of a tube of lip balm.

Each reader will have a preference. For example, I like small to medium sized cards, slight to matte sheen, and a bit thicker than a playing card but not so thick you can’t easily shuffle them. I have a friend who loves large cards and another that adore shiny ones. It definitely comes down to personal preference but it’s something to be aware of. Look for these details in reviews.



My favorites! The Queen of Swords, Page of Swords, the Hermit, and the Tower from the Dreaming Way Tarot


Do I want a companion book? What does it come with?

Most tarot decks comes with a tuck box which is exactly like a playing card box and a little white book with maybe a sentence to explain each card (also known as the LWB). Some tuck boxes and LWB are awesome and others are completely useless. Deviant Moon’s tuck box caused me so many issues when I got it that I spent the next day crocheting a bag for the deck just so I didn’t have to use the tuck box. Why? It was too tight and made closing the box and fitting all the cards difficult, risking even damaging the cards just to close the box.

Some decks have heavier cardboard boxes which are intended to house the deck permanently. And some others go completely overkill with their boxes and completely waste space. (I’m looking at you Heart of the Faerie Oracle and Enchanted Lenormand.) Often these decks include a companion book of some kind which makes up for the box size, usually.

I’ve also gotten decks in bags before which, like the heavier boxes, are intended for permanent storage but might not wholly protect the cards if dropped.

Companion books are a thing now and they’re pretty awesome. I’m not really a super fan of selling a companion book separately from a deck unless the deck comes with a LWB too but that’s just my opinion. Companion books are more complete LWBs, going into details about each card, usually a page or so, and often include a spread or two and some sort of introduction or forward from the creator(s). Some books are better written than others and they might be hard or soft covered. It varies from deck to deck.



Is the deck worth the price it’s being sold at to me?

This is more aimed at collectors than anyone else. I keep a list of decks I want and I periodically go through and examine the items on there, deciding if I want them for the reasons above or if the cost is worth what the deck offers. A RWS copy isn’t going to mean as much to mean as an oracle for example as I prefer original decks for the most part.

I see a lot of readers buy decks that they later sell off because they didn’t meet their needs. Sometimes, they wholly regret the purchase. Decks can be bought for the $25 price or under but many decks hover in the $35-45 range which, combined with shipping, can be a bit pricey if you don’t budget it. Many are more than even that and out of print or limited edition decks can go for hundreds of dollars.

Remember to take a second to think before purchasing. Many sellers don’t allow returns in this field so be aware before you buy what your options are if you don’t like the deck.



Does it have a companion app?

Some decks have their own companion apps. The mobile apps are sold separately but if you really love a deck, you can get the companion app and use the deck digitally on the road. Companion apps often also help you learn the cards.

Another good thing about companion apps is they’re often cheaper than the decks themselves so you can view all the cards without paying full price for the deck. Plus their ultra portable which can be a huge bonus if you’re a big traveler or aren’t public with your practice.




What do others say about this deck?

Check reviews. Google up some reviews, ask around on social media, haunt the review section of retailer’s websites. is a great place to start for this. Asking favorite bloggers is a good idea too. If you get a tarot reading from other readers, you can ask them how they feel about the decks used. There’s a good chance they’ll be happy to answer the question.


This week's FTTTR is up on Twitter with a great message. Be light. Be brave. Be kind. Be true.

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Those are good questions to ask if you’re looking for a deck. There’s a lot of choices out there so it can be tricky to find the right deck for you. Good luck and happy divining.


Decks featured (in order of appearance):

  • Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls by Matthew Lowes & Josephe Vandel ©
  • Heart of the Faerie Oracle by Brian Froud and Wendy Froud with Robert Gould © Harry N. Abrams
  • Fairy Lights Tarot by Lucia Mattioli © Lo Scarabeo
  • Classic Tarot by Claude Burdel © US Games Systems
  • Deviant Moon Tarot Borderless Edition by Patrick Valenza © US Games Systems
  • Scrying Ink Lenormand Oracle by Siolo Thompson © Bay & Willow
  • Dreaming Way Tarot by Rome Choi and Kwon Shina © US Games Systems
  • Tarot of the Magical Forest by Hsu Chi Chun, Leo Tang, Pietro Alligo, Giovanni Pelosini © Lo Scarabeo
  • Linestrider Tarot: Kickstarter Edition by Siolo Thompson ©
  • Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco © Blue Angel Publishing
  • Sacred Rebels by Alana Fairchild and Autumn Skye Morrison © Blue Angel Publishing
  • Sacred Creators Oracle by Chris-Anne ©

Strengthening Love (Spell Saturday #42)

A spell for strengthening love between two consenting partners. Ideally, both parties are already in a committed relationship together.

It’s a simple knot spell that can be done simply or can be done in an incredibly complicated and research intensive way. Up to you. Be sure to read the spell entirely before starting.

I mean to share this spell with a specific person who emailed me but their emails disappeared from my inbox. I hope they see this!



What you’ll need:

  • Red or pink dye
  • White rope or fabric


First, find yourself white cotton rope or fabric. It must be capable of absorbing dye and should be about two feet long and at least a finger’s width in diameter. The thicker your rope is, the longer it should be. White fabric such as silk or wool can be used instead of cotton.

Pick something that either fits your bedroom decor or can be hidden on/under/above/around the bed. Pillow cases for decorative pillows are a great choice but even a scrap of cloth can work. A piece of rope could easily be twisted into a decorative shape or macrame object. A white blanket would be incredibly ideal for this spell but could be very difficult to dye. If trying a large item such as a blanket, you’ll need to either spread the dye by hand, risk the bathtub (not recommended), or buy a huge plastic tub and dye your material in that.



Next, select a dye. A standard fabric dye can be purchased at a craft store and is by far the easiest way to go. Make sure to read the instructions included with the dye and ready whatever you need to set the dye like a heated iron.

If you want to complicate things for yourself, try a plant based dyes. Raspberries, cherries, beets, strawberries, avocado seeds & skins, madder, chochineal, radishes, coreopsis, hibiscus, or pomegranates give some good results in the color range we’re shooting for. There are other materials you can use (hydrangea gives a pretty light pink color) but remember to combine your materials with plant symbolism.

Mordants will be needed to set a natural plant dye. You can skip a mordant but the color will fade quickly and you’ll have to re-cast and re-dye the spell again, risking the spell fading. Different mordants can affect the colors differently so be sure to do your research.

You’ll also need to work out how long the fabric or rope needs to sit in the dye. Overnight is probably a good bet but if you’re aiming for a specific shade, you’ll have to play with the times and watch it closely.

Test your dye choices with a scrap of the same rope or fabric. You’ll want to know that these are the right color choices and that the color is what you want it to be after it sets.


Pretty pink roses!

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Once you’ve worked out the logistics of what you’re dying and how you’re dying it, you can start the spell. Cleanse your material. Cleansing water is a good choice but may mess with your dye. Letting the fabric sit in the sunlight or moonlight is another good choice but the cleansing method is entirely up to you.

Dye your fabric or rope. Let it dry completely. You can add a chant or intention in while you’re dying the material if you like. It’s wholly up to you.

Once completely dry, you and your partner should stand together in your bedroom and make vows and promises to each other while knotting the materials or rope. It’s ideal that you set the mood for this stage. Make it a romantic night of it. If you’re using something like a blanket, dye thread along with the blanket and stitch something small together. Running the thread through the blanket, making a knot, then running it through the blanket again is also good. Be sure that both of you touch the material while working this spell.


Soaking thread in a rosewater gem elixir charging under the new moon.

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Re-dye the material if it fades. You may need to do this periodically, depending on your dye choice. Make sure to do this if it does fade as it risks the spell fading as well.

If you want to end the spell, either un-knot the material. Re-dye the material to white before dying it another color. (Even if you’re selecting a color like black, re-dye it back to white first).

Remember to wash the dyed rope or whatever you’re using in cold water by itself. You’ll entirely regret washing it in warm water with other things unless you want to ruin your laundry.


Drying thread that soaked under the new moon's light.

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  • You can do this without your partner’s assistance but it should be done with their informed consent. Ideally, you both should have a hand in this spell.
  • If you’re not crafty, then aim for the store-bought dye. It’s far easier to use without messing with the plants.
  • The stitching for large items like a blanket can be on the inside, underside, or along a seam, hiding the stitching from the naked eye.
  • Picking flowers or the plants together to create the dye is another good step to empower this spell with love.
  • You can rehearse what you want to say to one another or you can wing it. It’s up to you.

Happy casting!


How to Make a Poppet House

Pissed at your neighbors? Do the residents of the upstairs apartment hold band sessions at three in the morning? Or do you simply want to enchant a house, filling it with protective energies? Use a poppet house!


A poppet house works just like a human-shaped poppet. It’s sympathetic magic with the purpose of working as a surrogate for your house. What happens to the poppet happens to the target.

Here’s some ways to build a poppet house.

  • A diorama or dollhouse
  • Sketch out a blueprint or layout
  • A photo collage
  • Computer programs for home designers or video games like the Sims, Minecraft, or even Skyrim or Fallout 4
  • Shadow box or a box in the shape of a house (example blow)


Once you have your poppet house established, you’ll need to connect your poppet house to your actual house.

This will vary depending on what you’re using as a poppet house. Generally speaking I recommend making a little charm bag full of the following and placing it next to or attached to the poppet house. For virtual proxies, stick the charm bag under or near the monitor or device.

When casting spells on the poppet house, hold the charm bag in your hands, stare at your image, and cast your spell.

Diorama’s or dollhouse have an advantage here as you can literally replicate whatever you use to connect your house to your poppet house.

Your charm bag could contain the following:

  • Nails from the house
  • Dirt from the house or yard
  • Dust from the house
  • Broken stone or wood from the house
  • A picture of the house
  • Bottle of water from the faucet
  • Ashes from the hearth, fireplace, or fire pit.
  • A realtor’s list of the house (# of rooms, types of rooms, general description)


Behind the scenes! The other side of my workspace.

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See that house shaped shadow box on the wall above ^? Perfect for casting multiple little spells!


So what can you do with a poppet house? Anything! The list of what you can do is really endless.

  • Draw sigils onto the walls to protect it
  • Sprinkle healing water or oils to keep the residents healthy.
  • Dust the house with cursing powder to hex neighbors
  • Use symbols to encourage the residents to move
  • Coat the home in basil to keep up a happy home and wealth
  • Scatter magnetic sand on the model house of your dreams to bring it to you
  • Pepper the house with lucky powder to increase your family luck


This is a great way of practicing low-key magic. Instead of cleansing your house physically, you can do it with the model house. It’s also a fantastic way of keeping up the spells of your home while you’re away or to cast spells for friends, family, or enemies far away.

Originally posted over on my tumblr.

How to Shovel Snow & Other Snow-Related Tips

Winter kind of sucks, doesn’t it?

A lot of my witchy friends are currently deeply depressed and worried about the heavy snowfall heading their way, especially since many of them don’t get heavy snowfall.

I mainly post about witchcraft, magic, and other spiritual pursuits of that nature. But sometimes, practical advice should be offered in addition to the magical advice. So a year ago or so I wrote a post over on tumblr about dealing with it.

I’ve decided to republish it here and add a few more tips as well as some witchy ones. Keep in mind, this advice is probably only good for people in the RI/MA/CT area so YMMV on this.


Magic tips for winter

  • Enchant your winter gear for warm.
  • Enchant your shoes for grip and dryness.
  • Gather up some snow in a jar for winter-related spells later on.
  • Weather spells might be useful to nudge storms off course from you but you may end up messing with another town in the process. Plan your weather spells carefully.
  • Leaving an offering to winter spirits to ease your winter worries.
  • Listen for the sound of chiming or laughter when you’re outside. You may be joined by winter spirits playing. Keep in mind, sound travels very far in the stillness after snowfall so you might be hearing neighbors two streets over.
  • Use de-icer and road salt as protection salt.
  • Enchant any post-shoveling drinks or food as a health boost to keep the body from suffering in the extreme temperature changes.
  • Enchanting a wind chime to chime when you need to go out and shovel can be tricky but worthwhile if you get a lot of snow often.
  • Create a snow altar to put offerings on.
  • Your snow creations can be fantastic for offerings and can be enchanted for literally anything. Snowman guardians, snow balls as a curse, snow angels to bring clarity.


See that ridge past the trees? Beyond that is the plowed street. Ah, Rhode Island.

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Shovel early and often.

If it snows on and off for 12 hours, I’ve probably been outside to shovel at least 3-4 times, it now more. Generally, my rule is every four hours. If it’s really heavily coming down, I’ll go out more often.

Even if there’s only an inch or two on the ground, I’ll go out and shovel if we’re expecting more snow. This is because the earlier you shovel, the more snow is out of your way.

Even if you don’t intend to go out, shovel. Eventually you’ll need to go out to get something and you’ll have to dig through crusted, frozen snow and that’s an awful experience.

Do not shovel more than you are able to.

Take your health into consideration. Wear supportive measures if you have to and take breaks often. Hire out if possible. Don’t hurt yourself.

Shovel in shifts.

Shoveling might go faster if two people do it, but then two people are exhausted. It’s sometimes easier to have one person shovel for round one and round two goes to a second person. This works especially well if said two people work different schedules.

Shoveling is hard work

People always underestimate how hard it is to shovel snow. It’s slick, heavy and everywhere.

Your back will ache. Your wrists will hurt. Your thighs might not like you anymore. Your fingers will be frozen. Your cheeks, ears, and nose will be wind-beaten. Your eyes will sting from snow. Your shoulders and arms will be boneless.

And then you got to go out and do it again.

If you shovel early and often, you’ll reduce the amount of strain on your body so consider that.

The neighbor's house with their three foot fence buried in the snow.

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You have to shovel a pathway to your mailbox if you want mail delivered.

The USPS will NOT deliver your mail if they can’t get to your mailbox without climbing through snow. They want a shoveled path. Steps should be de-iced.

Push when you can, lift/toss when you have to, perfect the turn.

Ideally, you should be able to push the snow across a space like a lawn mover across a lawn. At the end of your space, lift or toss the snow into a pile, and do it again. Go back and get any snow you missed.

“The turn” is great for when you have a lot of snow and it’s too heavy to lift. Ideally, the turn is a slight scoop and turning the shovel to slide the snow onto a pile without actually lifting.

When you form a pile of snow, it should be at least a foot or two from the end of your driveway. This is because if you put a snow pile right at the end of your driveway it can obstruct vision when driving and can even block you from getting out. Plows can make the piles even higher and piles are very hard to move later on.

Clearly define your space.

Ideally, you should shovel the entire length and at least a person-sized width for walkways and about seven to eight feet width for each car. The space for cars to drive on should be clear, always.

If you have a two car driveway, make sure that you shovel at least two feet at the end of it. This is to clearly mark to plow truck drivers that that’s the edges of your space and they shouldn’t plow you in. Pay special attention to this if your driveway is on a corner.

Markers can help but I find they tend to get buried in the snow anyway. We once hung up stakes with LED lanterns at the end of the drive and that helped.

Shovel with the wind

You will quickly learn to shovel with the wind. There’s nothing worse than tossing a pile of snow against the wind towards a pile you started to discover that it’s flying back in your face.


Yes, you will feel like you’ve accomplished nothing

Often times, I’ll finish shoveling only to discover that it looks like I did nothing back where I started. When this happens, I quickly run the shovel back over the main areas, especially the walkway, and go back inside.

There’s different kinds of snow

Fluffy, powder snow is the easiest move and can make the job very easy. It’s fun to walk through and great for photos. However, it makes rubbish snowballs, snowmen, and snow forts. This snow typically shows up well below freezing.

Wet snow is snow that comes down that is slightly wet. This is the kind that will pelt you. It’s heavier than the powder but still snow and should be fairly easy to move. This is the perfect snow for making things out of like snowballs, snowmen, and snow forts.It’s usually about 10-20 degrees below freezing temperature for this snow but is can show up at average freezing temperatures.

Slush is the worst. It is heavy. It’s rain mixed with snow and will make you miserable. It is very heavy and yes, it still needs to be shoveled. Watch for ice. It’s useless for anything unless you want to make deadly ice and snowballs that can smash windows and hurt people. It’s usually above or right around freezing temperature for this snow.

Day after snow is snow that’s “rested”. It’s compacted and is greatly useful for making things like snowballs and snow forts but is heavy, often comes up in chunks, and is a hassle to snow.

Temperatures are a guess. There’s a lot more meteorology to consider to guess the kind of snow properly.

For those of you in warmer climates, here's a quick video of the fat, wet snowflakes this morning.

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Look at your lease/renter’s agreement to see if you’re suppose to shovel.

Some places will require you to shovel and others will hire someone to do it. Make sure you know your rights and what you’re suppose to shovel.

Check your city’s website for cancellations. Listen to the radio. AAA road services usually has the best up-to-date information in my area. Twitter, however, is extremely useful, especially if you follow local twitter accounts.

De-ice your pathways. 

De-icer is expensive but it can save you from breaking a bone from falling. Road salt is the less chemical version of it.

If you choose not to de-ice, try sand, kitty litter, or pebbles to help against ice and slick pathways.

You can skip de-icing the whole driveway and instead stick to where people get in/out and the path from the driveway to the house. However, you risk the cars not having enough grip to get out.

A combination of kitty litter on the car spaces and de-icer on the people spaces is a good, safe bet, although it can be expensive.

Make sure to check if your de-icer will damage anything. For example, road salt isn’t good for brick walkways or steps. We have brick for both our porches and have to use a particular chemical de-icer to keep from destroying the brick. It’s more expensive but it also melts the snow faster. When I get to the cement of the walkways and asphalt of the driveway, I switch to salt to melt the ice and cat litter for grip.

De-icer can freeze.

Weirdly enough, de-icer can freeze. Or, rather, it can freeze into a slushy block of horror when sufficently wet then cold then wet then cold.

We keep our deicer outside to avoid damaging the wood floors and to keep the animals out of it.

Brush off your car.

You should at least brush off your front and rear windshields, your mirrors, headlights and taillights, the grills/exhaust, door handles, and license plates. Legally, in RI, you have to have your license plates shown (and lit during the night) so you have to do this. I know people who have been stopped and given tickets for not brushing off their license plates.

Brush off the doors, roof, and area near the doors before opening the door or you’ll wind up with a wet seat.

Flip up your windshield wipers.

Windshield wipers can lift up, straight towards the sky, to allow replacement of the wipers or arms.

This keeps the windshield wipers from freezing to your windshield and allows for easier brushing off of the car. This can be a lifesaver when leaving work in rubbish weather.

However, avoid this is the wind is really, really bad as it might break the wiper arm.

Start you car

If it’s especially cold, you may wish to start your car, run it for a little bit, and turn it off every times you go out to shovel.

I usually skip this because it’s rarely that cold in my area but when it does get that cold, I do that.


Buy/own at least two or more pairs of gloves

No matter how careful you are, your gloves WILL get wet. Have a dry pair to switch to for additional shoveling or going out.

Skip using soft cashmere or similar gloves. Your hands will look like a lint brush after a few moments of being wet.

Snow boots are useful

However, they might not be necessary. Wear old, comfortable shoes to shovel with good treads. For example, I wear a pair of thick 2″ heeled casual boots. For me, my feet are comfortable in this position and the treads are good. Having the boots and heels elevated keeps you from getting stuck in deep snowdrifts.

Avoid sneakers if possible. Your feet will be unhappy, cold, and wet. You’ll also want to skip your fashion winter boots. They’re not meant to survive extremely wet conditions and the salt will destroy them. Trust me.

But wear whatever shoes are comfortable and have good grip.

Don’t shovel in clothes you want to wear. Wash shoveling clothes often.

Snow is solidified water, often saturated with road salt. This means your shoveling gear will be saturated with this weird white shit. When the snow dries, it will leave the material stiff and crinkly. Having clothing to switch to is awesome.

I tend to shovel in boots of some kind, warm Lycra leggings, and at least two shirts plus a heavy winter jacket with hood, scarf, gloves, and hat. I sometimes even take my glasses off because after a while you can’t see shit anyway. Save for the jacket and hat which dry easily, I rotate to a different set of clothes for another shoveling session.

Stay by the door

Going in and out from heated houses and cars to cold snow and back can be hell on your body. Stay by the door and allow your body to acclimate to the warm/cold weather before moving further. This is true for both coming inside from shoveling and going out to shovel.

Keep tissues by the door

Like the above tip, coming in and out from hot/cold weather does weird things to the body. One of those things is making your nose run like a river. Keeping tissues nearby can avoid gross stuff on everything you love.

Treat yourself!

I tend to make up a pot of something warm like coffee, hot chocolate, or soup before I go out so I can have it as a treat for a job well done.


A flashlight and candles with a working lighter left on a counter or table can make power outages much easier.

If an outage occurs, do not panic. Keep the fridge and freezer closed as much as possible, fill bowls and containers of tap water, and pick one room to center yourself in. That center room should be the one you want to remain in mostly for the length of the outage. Bring all the blankets in the house to that room and stay warm. There’s lots of tips for making a mini heater from candles available online if you care to search.

Stock up early and well. The few days before a storm is suspected, the stores will be PACKED. Everyone will buy milk, bread, and toilet paper. Followed by de-icer, gloves, shovels, and booze. These are the most hunted for items. Buy them early or you’ll miss out. ATMs and banks are extremely busy too.

If you have to go out, plan according. I generally use at least 30 minutes to an hour for travel time to get to some place by a particular time. Do not go out unless you have to, especially if the roads are being worked on or cautioned against. Be careful when driving, slow early, and leave room for plows.

Keep gloves, a scarf, hat, a snow car brush, and a small shovel in your car to shovel when you need to leave work or whatever.

It snowed the other night! ☃

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Parking ban

This means you cannot park there for the length of the ban. Typically this appears as an on-street parking bans during plow hours. An example would be that you cannot park on the street between 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The city may tow your car or fine your for parking during that time. You’ll definitely be plowed in and risk the plows damaging your car. Find a place for your car to be.

If you become stranded

Stay inside. Even if your car is stranded, stay inside of it. Cars can’t see you in the dark and you’ll be far warmer inside the car than outside of it.

Know your shovels.

Take a good, long look at what you need to shovel when choosing shovels. Deep, crescent shovels are great for pushing snow, like when clearing a driveway. Shallow shovels are better for lifting snow. Metal shovels are heavier but useful in breaking up ice and snow chunks. Plastic shovels will break but are lighter meaning good for fluffy snow.

Multiple shovels FTW

We have three shovels in my house. We keep one (metal, shallow) at the top of the stairs to keep the back steps clear and to break up ice. A second crescent shovel is kept at the bottom of the back stairs for walkways and the driveway. We keep a third crescent shovel by the front door to keep the front walkway clear without having to haul a shovel through the house or walk around the snow outside.

Walking in snow is hard work.

Lift your legs up as if you’re climbing stairs for deep piles.

Lean very slightly back when there’s ice, especially if you have breasts or a lot of weight in front of you, to give yourself counterbalance.

Assume there is black ice (ice that is hard to see) under where you’re walking because there probably is and that it is your mortal enemy which would like nothing more to watch you fall.

If you fall, protect your face but try not to land on your hands

Hands and wrists are some of the easiest bones to break. They often break when we try to catch ourselves from falling and to protect the face. If possible, turn to the side, land on your forearms, and tuck in your head.

Shovel when people are plowing. 

Snow plows operate usually during quiet times. So if I go out to shovel at 4 a.m., I’m going to be out there the same time as plows on my street. Often times, they’ll help by plowing the front part of my driveway for me for free. Sometimes they’ll ignore me. But either way, they DON’T plow me in which they WILL do if I’m not out there.

Pay for a plow or shovelers.

In my area, a plow to is about $25-35 per visit. Hiring someone to shovel can be some $15-35, to do a driveway and walkway. Our current plow guy won’t come unless there’s a few inches on the ground and costs $45 but he plows the driveways and shovels all the walkways. Make sure you know what you’re getting before you pay. Prepare to tip for jobs well done (although this won’t likely be required if you’re paying a contractual service).

Inform your city or local plower if you work in emergency services or may need emergency services as they should plow your driveway for you.

If you’re in emergency services, such as a doctor or you may need emergency care, inform your city. In my city, they’re suppose to ensure that you can get out and that disabled people can be reached.

That being said, uh, they don’t. We hired someone or I shovel. But your town might be different!

If you own a plow, do not plow the street.

Plow trucks can be hired by private parties but, in RI at least, you have to be licensed to plow the street. This is to avoid damage to the street. I’m certain rural areas are far more lenient with this sort of thing but check your city ordinances. You don’t want to be fined for trying to help people.

By the way, the streets WILL be shit afterwards because people ignore the law and the people hired by your city probably don’t care after day 5 of 3 a.m. shifts. Expect chunks of asphalt and cement; expect potholes. Advanced tip: Look to see if your car insurer covers replacement tires and double check your tire spares.

Vintage sled ❤

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No one really enjoys shoveling but hopefully these tips can make things easier for everyone!

Originally posted over on my tumblr’s satellite blog here. Different URL but it’s mine.

Enchanting Your Weight Loss

I think the number one New Year’s resolution is weight loss. But it’s hard to get on the yoga mat or hit the gym everyday. We lead busy lives and sometimes we don’t feel like exercising. Or, you’re recovering from injury or illness and it’s hard to get motivated. Add in body self-consciousness and there’s a whole host of reasons why you might not make your fitness goal.

And that’s OK. Keep trying. It might take longer than you want it to and it’s probably harder than you imagined but it can be done. You have to try. That’s all you have to do. Try and keep trying. And that’s so much harder than it sounds.

There’s a lot of witchy ideas for helping yourself remember to exercise (and a few non-witchy ones worth trying). Here’s a few.




Infuse energy into your exercise equipment and clothes

Sit down with or on your exercise equipment. This could be a yoga mat, hand weights, or even you exercise clothing and shoes.

Push energy into the items. Think of your goals and health. Say or speak what you want to happen. Be as specific or vague as you’d like. For example, I try to do yoga or stretching everyday as it helps reduce injury connected to my chronic illness. I made sure to add those kind of thoughts and expectations to my energy. Add your reasons in there too. Are you doing this to lose weight? To be more flexible? For your health? To meet your fitness goals? Are you trying to shift your body into a particular shape?

I also threw in lots of “notice me” energy. Make the exercise equipment or clothing extremely noticeable to you psychically. You know how some things just are more easily noticed than others, even when buried in a bunch of stuff? You’re making that happen with your stuff. (By the way, doing these spells on your vitamins or medications are a huge help)

You might also want to add diminutive or scheduling qualities to your enchanting. Energy to reduce the desire to snack between meals or to use the equipment regularly will also help.

Try to be perfectly clear in your wording. Flowery language has it’s place but be clear cut here. It’s not necessary for the spell to be pretty. I think the bluntness adds to the power of the enchantment for something like this.



Things you can enchant: your clothes, shoes, shoe laces, gym bag, water bottle, towels, earbuds, phone case, exercise equipment, cleaning solution for exercise equipment, the building you exercise in, and your gym pass.


Such a great message!

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Color symbolism

Which colors reminds you of exercise? Buy clothing or equipment in those colors. If that’s not possible, tie fabric in those colors around a stability bar or some out of way place. And do it with everything. Put in colored shoes lace, buy hair ties, water bottles, or ear buds. If you use it for exercise, try an add that color in there somewhere.

You can even do a spell to link a specific color or color palette to exercising for you. If you want to do this, make sure that you always envision exercising with this color or color palette in mind. It reinforces the enchantment that way.

This has an added bonus of tying everything together in an aesthetically appealing way and that means you can probably store your stuff in a less out-of-the-way place. If you see it regularly, you might actually use it regularly.

Don’t make this difficult on yourself. Pick two or three colors and allow some leeway in color shade difference. There’s a lot of teals out there in the world so trying to match everything to a specific teal can get expensive and frustrating. This is to make your life easier, not harder.

If you go about this the right way, then you can lay out your gym clothes the night before and hit the gym early before your brain fully wakes up and realizes that magic has influenced it.

Super bonus: Every time you see this color outside of the home, do something exercise-y when you get a chance. Maybe touch your toes in the guise of tying your shoes or do a squat when trying to get something on a bottom shelf.


I love this fortune! ❤

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Use sigils

Create a magical symbol or sigil in whatever system or method you like best. Create the sigil so you will want to consistently exercise. Draw that on your exercise equipment. I used sharpies in the same color as the equipment but you can do it with water, chalk, or whatever else.

You can also use the sigils to help reduce injury from a piece of equipment. Sigils are also a great way to add a little magic to your gym routine. It’s hard to enchant public equipment but quickly tracing a sigil onto the machine to give you a good workout as your program it can be a lifesaver.


Magnets and Water

Soak a magnet in some water. Use that water to wash the exercise equipment. Some magnets absorb water and become somewhat toxic so it might be best to pour the water on a napkin , rub it over a bit of the equipment you don’t touch.

You can also skip the magnet and just wash everything in enchanted water. I especially recommend this if you have trouble remaining hydrated or want to increase your water intake.

You can also make a tisane of herbs and wash your equipment with that. Be careful and aware of allergic reactions and make sure to do your research before using them, even topically like this.

Energy boosting herbal combinations might be citrus, paprika, cayenne pepper, ginseng, ginger, cinnamon, oatstraw, and nettle. If you’re looking to relax or relieve stress or anxiety, try oatstraw, chamomile, catnip, lemon balm, or valerian root. Want to add in some healing? Herbs like calendula, plaintain, rosemary, or sage might be a good option.


Cherry blossoms are coming in. They always look breath-taking against the sky.

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Sun Power

Soak your equipment in the sun. The sun is a great for energy boosting and this is probably one of the easier methods for stuff. Just lay your equipment out in the direct sun for a few minutes.

Remember that some fabrics, colors, and dyes don’t do well in the sun so don’t let these items sit out for very long. Enough to get the energy but not enough to ruin them.


Pay Yourself

Set up a jar with a slot in the lid in an obvious place near your equipment or by the door and pay yourself every time you exercise. Every time you meet a goal, be that losing five pounds or doing a hundred push ups, go and spend that earned money on something.

I generally put pocket change in these kind of jars but I know some folks put a dollar in each time. Treating yourself to something nice can be a huge motivator for some people so if motivation or accountability is a problem for you, this might be an answer.


Payments & gifts for services rendered. 💗 Save for the red bell bracelet which I made, of course.

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Schedule and keep track

Remember to write in your planner or schedule with a Calendar app your exercise times. Look into exercise management apps and maybe keep an exercise journal.

Get a  friend involved and have that accountability there – the friend doesn’t have to be a gym buddy. Tweet or update tumblr every time you go to the gym to track your progress and ask friends to send motivation if you miss a day. Sometimes you just get busy and forget to do your thing and other times you just aren’t feeling up to it. A friend’s encouragement can really help.

You might also want to look into classes, joining groups, or making friends at the gym. A rock climbing group might help you get more into the sport and make more positive connections. Taking a class will give you a teacher to help you with form. Friends can help encourage you and give you a reason to go to the gym, beyond even exercising.

Another tip is to go to the gym even if you don’t want to exercise.Sometimes, just making it part of your daily routine will help you keep with your goals. This is also super useful for people who have weird schedules and need to add structure to their lives.


Soul on fire

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And, hey, don’t get super mad at yourself for missing a day. It happens. Just make sure you do it the next day. I don’t recommend trying to make up for the lost exercise. Too much exercise can lead to all sorts of problems. Go slow and focus on doing exercises properly, rather than quickly. Time yourself so you don’t overdo it, keep hydrated, and set mini goals. Reward yourself for your mini goals just like major goals.

Please remember that everyone starts somewhere. Be kind to beginners. Be kind to people who are working out next to you. Not everyone exercises for the same reasons or even feel the need to exercise so don’t be an ass and shame people because they don’t fit your criteria. We’re doing this for ourselves. Let’s encourage each other to reach our goals.


Adapted from “Enchanting your yoga mat (or exercise equipment) to increase usage”over on tumblr here.