March Round Up

We made it to the other side of March. Yay! This month has been truly insanely busy for me between medical appointments (everyone’s OK, no worries!), caring for sick people, chasing after paperwork, birthdays, funerals, and a small snowstorm. I signed up for a bunch of stuff that I’m now scrambling to complete because I can see the end of March and those deadlines are looming.

When it comes to the blog, I unintentionally took the first week of March off. I needed the rest but I truly dislike leaving everyone without content to enjoy. I’ll try not to let that happen again. The posts that did make it were more on the spiritual side of things.

 

Secular Witchcraft Defined by This Crooked Crown

 

Tumblr followers know I identify as a secular witch and this month tackled how I define and work within my paradigm to some degree. Secular Witchcraft Defined proved to be an interesting read and one I hope will help out new witchlings in understanding this newer form of witchcraft. To counter this, I talked about my current focus of Getting Back to My Roots on a spiritual level. I even offered an Awakening Spring Ritual for some ideas on how my witchcraft and spirituality are separated. For those thinking about working with spirits, which is a bridge between my witchcraft and my spirituality for me, How to Know What Spirit You’re Talking To might offer some insight for you. If you’re looking to see those beings, check out Enchanting Objects for Second Sight for a helping hand.

Spring is here in the Northern Hemisphere although the snow storm and cold snap recently sure doesn’t feel like spring here in Rhode Island. If you’re trying to counter the final winter push, try the spell Burn Away the Winter Blues.  If you need a push to get over that winter lethargy, give the Forged in Fire spell a look. It’s mean to kick procrastination in the ass and celebrated fifty Spell Saturdays. (There, uh, should be more but let’s celebrate our victories and not failures, OK?)

We also saw the Curse and Blessing of the Sun which is a spell that can be a curse or a blessing, depending on your intent. My brother the Necromancer has really been into the Sun as a being of worship recently so I’ve been inspired to create a shrine for him and some spells. By the way, the Curse and Blessing of the Sun has been updated. I originally said that you should create two boxes if you want a curse and a blessing at the same time but I don’t know what I was thinking. Clever wording can create both in one box so check out that spell for new tips.

 

The Curse and Blessing of the Sun Spell

 

I don’t really work healing spells too much so I rarely post them but the Sand Healing Spell is specifically designed for those with chronic illnesses that spend a lot of time in one place. It’s a jar spell and one that’s very low key. It’s not designed to heal you but rather focus on alleviating pain and symptoms. I hope it helps!

On a more practical and mundane front, I wrote a guide on Where to Buy A Tarot Deck which is a question often asked to me and others on social media. We also saw two reviews this month, one on the beautiful Scrying Ink Lenormand deck by Siolo Thompson, the creator of the Linestrider Tarot. There was also the book view for The Soul Searcher’s Handbook by Emma Mildon which scored a 4.5 out of 5. I love both of these things so I’m really happy to recommend them to you all. Speaking of things I loved I started a new mini series I’ve nicknamed “Obsession” which dives into what I’m currently working on or obsessed with right now. I hope this gives a fun insight into the everyday workings around here.

 

Heart

Heart from Scrying Ink by Siolo Thompson and Nourish the Sacred Feminine from Sacred Creators by Chris-Anne Donnelly | thiscrookedcrown.com

 

Other quick news for This Crooked Crown:

  • I recently changed up my newsletter to come out twice a month – once at the full moon and again at the new moon.The newsletters are smaller but contain mini divination readings for the current moon phase which is always fun.
  • Flying Salves arrived in the shop at the end of February and quickly sold out. I hope to have them in again by the end of May, if not sooner.
  • We reached out first goal over on Patreon. I’m always, always floored by the support I receive from everyone and cannot thank you all enough.
  • I received the absolutely amazing  Idiosyncradeck Tarot and the Amethyst Oracle from Jessica Bott who is probably better known as Cracked Amethyst. I’m absolutely in love with them both and can’t wait to do more readings with them.

 

Getting Back to Your Spiritual Roots by This Crooked Crown

 

So that’s what was up this month at This Crooked Crown. It was super busy in a way I wasn’t expecting but I’m thinking I’ve made the most of it. What were your favorite posts? What do you want to see more of? Planning on trying any of the spells? See you in April!

 

How to Tell What Kind of Spirit You’re Talking To

Spirits are hard. How can you tell who you’re talking to? Are they really who they say they are? Can you really trust them?

The short answer is no. No you can’t trust them and no they should not expect you to automatically trust them any more than you should automatically trust a stranger.

The long version is no as well but it’s kind of a complicated no.

 

How to Tell What Kind of Spirit You're Talking To by This Crooked Crown

 

Spirits sometimes cannot or will not tell you who they are. They could be doing that for several reasons. They could be worried about being bound by their names. They could be working for someone who doesn’t want to be known. They might not even have a name.

This is also somewhat true for what kind of spirit they are. After all, how often do you just blurt out your genealogy to random folks off the street? Can you even sight your ancestry? Do you know who owns the company you’re working for? Can you name the mayor of your town? Would you tell a random person that you’ve just met all of that information?

Yeah, I thought not. If you can’t or won’t do it, then you can’t expect a spirit to want to do it either.

I’ll be honest, I don’t usually bother figuring out what kind of spirit I might be talking to. They are themselves and I’ll treat them according to how they act. That being said, it’s still important to be able to figure out who or what you might be talking about. Here’s how

 

Observe them

What do they love? What do they hate? How do they speak? How do they interact with others? You can figure out a lot by channeling your inner Sherlock.

For example, if a spirit loves cucumbers then you might guess that maybe they’re a Kappa. Or they could be related to cucumbers in some way. Or they’re the spirit of a farmer. Or maybe they just really love cucumbers.

Observing them will tell you what that individual likes. Observing that spirit in a group of similar spirits can tell you what that kind of spirit is like as a whole.

 

How do others treat them?

Do others balk and run away from them? Are they treated in a lordly manner? A polite manner? Do people give them the stink-eye?

This gives you some idea on whether or not this spirit is considered important or is tied to someone important. Depending on the context, you might be able to figure out that they’re a servant to a faerie court or that they’re very wise and thus respected.

If they’re getting dirty looks then maybe they don’t have the kind of stellar reputation they’ve been gloating about. They could be an information broker, murderer, or just a known liar. They could even be a contract breaker (which is bad because that means they will definitely break their word and probably stab you in the back).

 

Ask them for a small favor

See what happens when you ask them for a small favor which you will pay in kind. This could be something like “hey, want to try my ice cream and I’ll try yours” kind of deal or it could be something like “can you go over to this faerie court and pass along this message and I’ll go over to this spirit marketplace and buy that thing for you”.

This should be an inconsequential favor. Don’t ask them to do something for you that’s actually important.

How they treat this request and how they complete it (if they even agree to it) can tell you a lot about their operating methods which often allows you to figure out spirit type.

 

Keep notes

If there’s a specific spirit you’re trying to figure out, keep notes. Write down the things they like, dislike, and do. Write down their appearance to you, even if they change appearances all the time. Every so often, google those attributes and see what comes up.

 

Autumn evening walks

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That’s all you can do. Since most of the time you’re not going to be dealing with many of the same spirits, you’re always going to be battling the question “is this how all of them act or just this individual spirit?”

A good way to deal with spirits is to remember these rules:

  • All spirits can hurt you
  • All spirits have the potential to be benevolent or malicious
  • Spirits are not there for your benefit. They live their own lives and you’re just a person in it.
  • Spirits have their own culture, beliefs, and needs. They don’t need to make sense to you.

 

Make no mistake, knowing your mythology and folklore can definitely help you figure out who you might be talking to but it’s not the be all that ends all. You could be talking to an anthropomorphize spirit of freedom or a minor spirit of winter. How might those spirits be summarized? Can you even summarize them neatly?

Spirits aren’t animals or plants that can be so easily categorized. They’re people. It might be prudent to ask yourself if you even need to know what kind of spirit they are. If you’re worried for your safety, then act according to that potential danger. Otherwise, you might fall into the trap of expecting someone to betray you because their species is a known trickster and that’s not really fair to them – or you.

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!

Wish Bringer, Bring Me A Wish [Spell Saturday #47]

This is a bit of an arts and crafts sort of spell but extremely low-key.

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • A bit of your hair, fingernail, skin, etc.
  • A coin

 

wish-bringer-grant-me-a-wish-by-this-crooked-crown

 

First, fold your piece of paper so it’s a pocket or an envelope. You can do this in any style you want – even go wild and make some origami. Here’s a super easy tutorial.  It doesn’t matter what it looks like so long as it creates some edges so nothing slides out. Avoid methods that involve tape or glue.

Write down the wish you want to come true in the center interior of the envelope. Be as descriptive or as vague as you’d like. It’s far easier to make your envelope, unfold it, and write in the interior center your wish. But if you’re good at guessing or you’ve made envelopes before, you can write the message beforehand. You don’t want the message on a folding angle if you can help it.

Fold your envelope up, put in your coin and hair, and bring it to a crossroad or beside a river and bury it shallowly.

Winter harvest

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Notes:

  • Use your fingernail or another hard surface to make the edges as tight as possible. It’ll keep the paper more crisp and keep the envelope from falling apart.
  • You can write your wish on a separate piece of paper if you want but it’s easier and less wasteful to just write on the envelope.
  • The reason we don’t use pre-made envelopes, tape, or glue is to keep the spell as environmentally friendly as possible. If you don’t care, then you can use any old envelope.
  • Any coin denominations is fine.
  • This spell doesn’t designate who should answer the spell’s request. It could be any kind of spirit or being. You can add in wh you would like to respond to the wish but there’s no guarantee that the wish will be fulfilled or that the requested being will even answer.

Happy casting!

 

Spirit Destinations: Spirits Who Can Help

Even if you’re familiar with astral travel and spirit realms, it’s difficult to find spirits that are both trustworthy and helpful. Sometimes you’re looking for a specific kind of spirit and that’s even harder.

Why someone might look for a particular kind of spirit varies. Sometimes you’re serving as courier. Sometimes you need to heal a spiritual wound. Other times you want help casting a spell or information. And sometimes you don’t know why you’re doing something, you were just told to do it. (Let’s be honest here, this one’s probably the most common reason).

The following spirits are very busy but they are willing to have their pseudonyms shared with my followers so they can help. I can personally vouch for each of these spirits and many are personal friends of mine. The region itself, especially the valley of the spirit ruler, is extremely safe for dreamers and residents alike.

A hearth in the forest.

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Laeta – A healer spirit of renown. Laeta takes patients from all over and usually does so without payment. They can heal spiritual and physical wounds, speed up recovery and ease symptoms of sickness and mental illness. Laeta can also perform spiritual surgery. Pretty much a spirit physician. Remember to give yourself time to heal in the physical world as well.

Laeta can be found in the infirmary, a lower yet airy level of the castle. Ask for directions from anyone within the castle.

Heleinra – She’s a catalyst spirit. She can incite things to occur such as inspiration and motivation but she can also encourage healing, ease bouts of depression, and so on. She will require a trade or purchase of services.

She’s a bit harder to locate (although, she’s close to Laeta) so ask around the castle grounds for her and take a peek into Laeta’s infirmary to see if she’s hanging out there.

 

The Maidens – A cluster of spirits who focus on love, relationships, sex, passion, and beauty. They’re matchmakers. There’s at least five of them, possibly more. Gaining their attention may be difficult as they remain close to the ruler but they can definitely help point you in the right direction in regards to love. Be aware that they shift bodies easily and are members of the proverbial fashion police. They may ask for equal trades for their services so the price they request may be very high for you. Make sure you verbally agree to whatever you’re buying. Sometimes they get carried away.

 

Candle Smoke

 

In order to find the Maidens specifically, you’ll have to gain entry to the ruler’s hall (which is mostly just walking in and being polite to staff) and try to catch their eye; they tend to wander the hall so it could be relatively easy to gain their attention. A quiet word with one of the guards will also work. You can also join the queue to talk to the king and when called upon, ask for the Maidens’ assistance (although if you do this you should offer the king a small gift as thanks for their attention.)

Moba – A spirit that serves under another spirit within the ruler’s court. Think of his position more like an assistant. The spirit he serves under is directly in service to the ruler so you won’t meet with Moba’s boss. That being said, Moba is great for pointing you towards a direction to increase your wealth or find opportunities. He won’t, specifically, help you get that wealth but he can point you in the right direction. Typically he appears as a young teenage boy and will probably be darting about the castle or the ruler’s hall. Speak clearly and quickly with him; he’s very busy and won’t have long to talk. He may or may not collect payment, depending on the favor.

The spirit ruler of this area is may be helpful as well. They can be asked for advice, information, guidance, or tips. They may even be asked for aid in combat, magic, or political situations. Just make sure that you’re willing to tithe them appropriately and pay whatever they’re going to charge. They’ll expect clear cut agreements though so don’t worry about being tricked into an agreement. This is doubled if you explain you’re a dreamer/spirit walker.

If you want to speak with them, you’ll need to ask one of the attendants in the hall for an audience. You may need to wait for an audience and that wait may take too long so you might need to make several trips with the hope that you can get an audience while you’re still lucid and within the astral plane.


 

How to pay for a spirit’s service:

You may need to “pay” for a spirit’s services. They may ask for currency, worship, trade, barter, or even just information. There’s a lot of ways to pay for such things so ask in advance what they want in payment before agreeing to anything.

My travel scrying quartz crystals. They've been through a lot. ❤

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How to find one of these spirits:

First, go here. All these spirits are found in the service of the same spirit ruler. Typically, this area’s pretty safe and the people friendly so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting through the forest, up to the castle, and asking one of the guards or staff for the spirit you’re looking for.

It’s also a good idea to make an offering to them within your own home. They may not show up in your home but you never know. Do NOT summon them. They will not help you if summoned. It is a condition of this information being shared. Good luck and happy adventures!

 

Jack Frost nipping at your nose

Or, more properly in my case, causing snow as soon as I step outside.

As blog followers know, I don’t really worship things. Not my cup of tea. But Jack Frost and snow spirits hold a special place in my heart and thus they get a little more attention than your average spirit. Namely, I try.

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

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When the snow began to last week overnight, it was a soft dusting that didn’t survive the dawn. But I knew it had snowed so I brought out the snow related items and went about my day. When I stepped outside to fetch some groceries, a light sprinkling of snowflakes began to fall. Not enough to even be called snowing. It was the middle of the day and was too warm, scientifically speaking, for snow to be falling yet here it was, just for a few minutes, the snow was falling. And Jack Frost was there, waiting anxiously for acknowledgement. So I did what I always do when I spot a spirit: I say hi. He was delighted and danced off to spread his snowy glory elsewhere and I went about hauling in baking supplies.

Jack Frost appears to me as an ageless youth. Often accompanied by a snow maiden or maybe a few smaller snow spirits, he’s usually a fun spirit. Cruelty comes to him quickly though at times and one should be wary of that. I find that children spirits (and his demeanor is often child-like) act this way pretty often and mostly they want attention and affection. Give them both and they’ll add a light-hearted air to your relationship. These spirits, and snow spirits in general, don’t tend to work as some others do. I find they’re not interested in trading tit for tat but instead want the attention because you want to give it to them which is a good match for me.

It snowed the other night! ☃

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Because I don’t have a working shrine space (and I don’t want one) when I decide to show a little love to spirits, it takes the place at random and casually; a homemade candle on the table, pressed incense on the counter, a garland along the wall, an offering dish next to the coffee pot. Little bits of witchcraft and spirituality scattered throughout my life.

It’s just something I like to do for our winter wandering spirits. They’re just as important as the spirits of spring so honoring them with a bit of food and drink is something I enjoy doing.

One of the Best Sacred Offerings: Charity

One of the best offerings to make to, well, anyone is charity. Donating to charity in your deity’s names is wonderful. Not only is it a perfectly acceptable offering for a great very many beings but you’re also helping out as well.

Autumn evening walks

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Think outside of the box when it comes to your donations and charity! You can donate to a beekeeping association to honor a deity of agriculture. Volunteer at a women’s shelter for an offering to a goddess. Those beings associated with health and healing probably will enjoy an offering of volunteer work with the homeless or LBGTQIA groups. Helping out the elderly could work beautifully as an ancestral offering. Worship animals or nature? Donate to a shelter or organize that support them!

 

A hearth in the forest.

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You can do other things too. Business owner? You can donate some of your proceeds or products to charity. I offer up healing salves and tarot card readings where the proceeds directly go to a local charity. Do you knit or sew for charity? You can enchant that too for safety and warmth. I also routinely help clean the beach and parks because those places tend to get forgotten in the winter time. And that, too, is an offering.

There’s lots of things you can do to help others and use that act as a sacred act for your own deities. People say this is the season of giving, so why not give an offering or magic?

 

How to Adapt Your Sacred Offerings for Every Season

Despite autumn starting weeks ago, it’s really just starting to feel like autumn around here. New England never really knows what it’s doing weather-wise so that’s not a surprise.. But, it does get me thinking about the practicality of offerings.

I don’t know about you but I don’t really want to do much of anything when there’s a ton of snow on the ground and it’s so cold I need thirty pounds of winter gear to check the mail. Just, no. I like you Jack Frost. Just not that bloody much. (I do all of the shoveling during the winter so that might play a part in this too.)

htaysofes

There are a lot of things to consider when you’re creating an offering. You probably have to think of the appropriateness of the offering and perhaps the historical relevance of the offering. But here’s some other things to think about, in general:

 

  • Price – Can you afford this offering all year around or will it be more expensive during certain months? Will you need to save up for this thing?
  • Availability – Are fresh offerings available all year round? Are those offerings of quality? Is it just plain hard to find?
  • Temperature – Will it freeze? Will it melt or change texture in the heat? Is rot a concern?
  • Is it appropriate? – Sometimes, there are better and more appropriate offerings for deities or spirits based on what’s available right now – and what you want to achieve with that offering. A goddess of agriculture probably isn’t going to want an Oreo.

 

One thing people think of when they decorate their altars is switching out the tools and imagery according to the seasons. Like decorating your house for the holidays, many people dress their altars and sacred spaces as well.

Your offerings can also change for the season. It’s easy to throw a tiny pumpkin in the offering dish in addition to the usual but how about swapping out the usual? Switching out your usual offerings for something more seasonal can not only help your wallet but add a new dimension to your practice. Suddenly, you’re operating with the seasons which can make a significant difference, especially if your practicing is feeling static.

Stopped by Johnson's Roadside Farm Market today. Hands down my favorite farmer's market.

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Want to know the secret to make easy swaps for every season? You need to think of the spirit or deity’s sphere of influence and associations. A sphere of influence is what a spirit or deity is associated with. What they can do and affected. The association are what they are associated with. Example: Freyja is a goddess of war, beauty, and magic certainly. But she drives a chariots pulled by cats and has a battle boar Hildisvíni. Those aspects of her (and many others) also play into who she is and can help you make good offerings no matter what the season is.

If I was to make an offering to Freyja in the spring, I might offer gold coins (or those chocolates in the shape of coins covered in gold foil), strawberries, spring water, and crocuses. In the summer, I’d do bouquets of fresh flowers, light wines, and bowls of ripe fruit. In autumn, as the leaves die, I’d offer the most beautiful fallen leaves I could find, bones from a homemade stew (she’s a goddess associated with death after all), perhaps some pretty stones, and homemade pastries. In winter, apples, melted snow, mulled cider, and slices of ham would grace her offering table.

Other things to think of is the quality of the offerings. Strawberries are great offerings but I find winter-born strawberries aren’t nearly as sweet as the ones found in in late spring or early summer. To me, it’s not as good of an offering because the quintessential element (sweetness) isn’t there. Additionally, here in the north, fresh out of season fruit can be very expensive when you consider what you’re actually getting (not sweet strawberries). And, since strawberries can freeze, they’re really not appropriate for outdoor offerings.

A little breath of spring on this super cold day.

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Adapting your offerings takes some initial thinking and research but it can turn your offerings into something special and fantastic each and every time you make it.

I like adjusting my offerings to what’s available. It makes me feel like I’m sharing my life and my world with those from the spirit realms. And, I’m always up for the practicality factor. And if you need inspiration for altars and offerings, check out my pinterest board dedicated just to that!

Spirit Summoning Spell (Spell Saturday #30)

There’s lots and lots of ways to summon spirits. This one is for communication rather than working with a spirit in spells.

sss

You’ll need:

  • Frankincense incense
  • Myrrh incense
  • Sandalwood incense
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Lavender
  • Rose petals
  • Wine or clear alcohol
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Salt or sea salt
  • Holy water, sacred water, or purified water
  • 2 Charcoal tablets
  • 3 Fire-safe dishes or bowls for burning incense
  • Divination tools or communication methods
  • Chocolate (optional)
  • Tobacco (optional)

Before you begin, boil sage, rosemary, salt, thyme, and salt in some of the water for 15 or so minutes. You don’t need much but enough to cleanse the space afterwards. Leave some of the herbs and water for the ritual.

An hour or so before midnight, set the ritual space. Make sure that you have somewhere comfortable to see and work. Don’t cramp your space if possible. Prepare yourself with whatever ritual methods you use – cleansing, purification, creating a magical circle, ritual robes, entheogens, whatever. Make sure to prepare both incense bowls with herbs before you start. One should have basil, parsley, lavender, and rose petals. The other should have sage, rosemary, and thyme in it. Pour the holy water in a fire-safe bowl and keep within reach.

Lay out your offerings. You can add other offerings if you’re summoning someone specifically but you’ll want to start with what’s listened. Place your basil, parsley, lavender, and rose petals in an offering dish or dishes. Add in the tobacco and chocolate if you have it. Pour out the wine or clear alcohol and put it in the offering area.

Light your incense and say the following,

 

“Spirits, I offer you sustenance in exchange for communion until the midnight hour.

If you bring me and mine no ill will,

Come to me and speak

And I will listen.”

 

You can use a meditation or a trance to listen for the spirits to speak. Or you can use technology. Or you can use your divination tool. You can use automatic writing, scrying, pendulum, or tarot. Anything, really.

After midnight, thank the spirits that appeared and dunk any remaining incense in the prepared holy water to smother it. Light the second bowl of incense and cleanse the room with the herb infused holy water. When the second incense bowl is burned up (or you’re sick of standing around), dump that in with the rest of the incense and throw it all away or bury it in your yard.

Dispose of the offerings by burying them if possible. If not, leave out until morning and throw away in the garbage.

Smoking dragon. I love this incense holder. Shout out to Demon's Souls in the background.

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Notes:

  • Put the cleansing and spirit banishing water in a spray bottle. The misting will cleanse the room without leaving water everywhere.
  • While tobacco is a traditional offering, chocolate isn’t in many places. Chocolate might not be appropriate for your summoning and I’d only use tobacco for spirits from a certain era or people I know who smoked.
  • You can buy incense to summon spirits or cleanse rooms in exchange for the herbs here.
  • You could also sprinkle the herbs in white candles and burn those instead of creating incense. Pick unscented candles or candles of frankincense, myrrh, or sandalwood. It can be mixed scented like vanilla-sandalwood.

Happy casting!

 

Dealing with Spirit-Induced Trauma and Injuries

This is one of those posts I bring back once a year or so to remind people that it’s definitely a thing that needs to be discussed!

My friend duskenpath got an ask on tumblr about links for dealing with spirit-induced trauma and I remember kicking myself as I read it because I actually have a fair amount of experience with this and I haven’t posted on it. Which I feel guilty for.

First, let’s talk about spirit induced traumas and injuries. You can absolutely be abused, harassed, raped, assaulted, and tortured by spirits. You can absolutely bare physical injuries caused by spirits. This can absolutely happen and anyone who says otherwise… well, they haven’t talked to enough people then.

From our friend's dock while visiting yesterday.

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I have a finger that was broken by spirits. My finger grew crooked afterwards, the nail growth stunted, and now fifteen years later it causes me pain enough to wear a finger brace and have to pop it back in place daily. I have a knee that was damaged in a fight with a monstrously sized hill toll. I played a decoy for my companions and for my effort I was snapped up into the air, whipped back and forth like a child’s toy with my knee being the bending point. I couldn’t walk for days afterwards and now, almost two years later, my knee still gives me trouble as if I had physically injured it. I’ve seen scratches pop up before my eyes after a spirit encounter where I’ve only been sitting in the middle of a couch with no way for such marks to appear otherwise. I’ve been possessed and nearly thrown off cliffs before. Sure, maybe it is psychosomatic but the point is you can be injured by spirits. But I have and always will attest this: just because your mind is producing the phenomena doesn’t mean that it isn’t also real. It may simply be that spirits use our minds to hurt us.

Experiences in the astral can be extremely traumatic. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been trapped and tortured where in a single night days worth of trauma was inflicted. Time doesn’t work the same way in the spirit realms. So much can happen in a short period of time. Seeing someone murdered – or murdering someone yourself – can still affect you. Although it’s rarely spoken of, we have a tendency to view spirits as “others” and thus murdering or harming them doesn’t count. You can wake up and it’s over, not matter how much you’ve hurt a spirit. This isn’t universally true, of course. Some people treat spirits as equals and others will have to deal with the consequences of their actions long after the event occurs. It depends on the situation and the individuals involved. You can be hurt by them and they can be hurt by you.

Trauma caused by spirits isn’t just spiritual in nature however. You can be affected even outside of the astral. You can be abused, manipulated, and gaslighted. The abuser could be anyone from a ghost, to a nature spirit, or even a deity. Just because these individuals might be nice and beneficial to someone else doesn’t mean they won’t hurt you. Never think that. These beings are far more complicated and complex than many practitioners realize. There’s no reason to think that a deity could be a savior or role model for one practitioner wouldn’t also be a spiteful, cruel abuser to another practitioner.

The storm clouds tonight are lovely.

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The ways to deal with the situations as they arise can be easy. Say no. Defend yourself, violently if needed. Distance yourself. Protect yourself. And let others know of your experience so you can help help.

These steps get trickier when the being is non-corporeal. Binding, banishing, and cleansing can do wonders. Surround yourself in protections and wards designed to keep them specifically out. And keep saying no.

But just because they’re gone doesn’t mean the situation’s over. Spirit wounds take longer to heal and the trauma you’ve experienced isn’t suddenly gone. It’s a long road to recovery. Spirit wounds linger and should be treated with both healing spells and magic and physical healing techniques like physical therapy and appropriate medicines. Improper care can lead to long-term damage and some wounds won’t heal (like my knee which did receive proper care but was shattered horrifically in the astral.)

Trauma should be handled similarly. Look up treatments and ways to handle similarly experienced trauma like PTSD. And take it slow. What’s good to keep in mind is that just because you experienced the trauma from a spirit doesn’t invalidate it. Try to find an open-minded or pagan-friendly therapist. You may also want to find a clergy member, community elder, or mentor that can help you work through the trauma and be someone to talk to. While licensed therapists are better, they’re not always the best solution for all problems so choose carefully. There’s also support groups that meet to discuss and support one another through the recovery process.

The sky is amazingly blue today. Didn't even need filters for this.

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Victims of trauma suffer a wide variety of symptoms and trauma can occur from a wide variety of sources such as breaking up a significant relationship (which many spiritual relationship can also fall into), abuse, car accidents, humiliating or disappointing experience, physical assaults, surgery, death of someone significant, sustaining an injury… It’s actually very common. The thing to remember is that your reactions are normal for an abnormal situation – whether that trauma’s from a sport injury or a spirit injury.

Symptoms can wary widely but the most common is to be in shock and deny it ever happened. Anger, irritability, and mood swings are also common. Guilt, shame, and self-blame are extremely common, especially when one’s in a situation where they felt helpless or hopeless. Continuing sadness, hopelessness, and feeling disconnected or numb also occurs. Suffers may also feel confusion, have difficulty concentrating and withdrawn from others. Fear and anxiety, sometimes coupled with depression can linger long after the event occurs. Physically, nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, agitation, and inability to focus can happen. The opposite might also be true. You may have blank spaces in your memory and sleep excessively while plagued with fatigue and apathy. The body also responds with aches, pains, muscle tension, and paranoia which can lead to being easily startled.

Each person responds differently to trauma. My brother, for example, was hit by a car and permanently damaged for life when he was 13 while riding his bike. His dream of opening a dojo could never be realized with his injuries and he was bedridden for two years. He’s never ridden a bike since. He hates driving for any length of time and driving for longer than ten minutes will result in chain smoking and extreme agitation for him. He will always prefer someone else driving him someone to the point where he’ll schedule appointments around other people’s schedules. That’s trauma. He also experienced spiritual trauma. A few years before his accident we lived in a severely haunted condo complex. The kind of haunted where we didn’t go into certain rooms and visitors reported seeing a child ghost. Every single visitor, including the ones from out of state and never met described the child the exact same way. My brother and I have always been sensitive to spirits and always had them attracted to us. By this point I had buckled down my personal protections so spirits’ attentions shifted to my brother. Nightmares every night and physically seeing the faces of the dead. Therapy did nothing and everything I did to help didn’t help. Eventually he got sick of it and started to destroy them and banish the spirits. It led him down the path of necromancy and dealing with the dead because if they wouldn’t leave him alone he’d make them leave him alone. That’s also trauma.

Pretty pink roses!

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Knowing your triggers are key. I know that being held against my will, even for a few seconds, will result in me lashing out with extreme violence. I’ve literally thrown a six foot 260lbs man across the room and drew out a knife because he wouldn’t let me go when I said so. I know this and so when someone grabs me even while playing around I warn them in a no bullshit voice that if they don’t let me go I will hurt them. I let that boundary be known. Communication is important to making sure that boundaries aren’t crossed and triggers aren’t hit. That’s not always easy or doable for everyone though.

Isolation from the situation is common. You may pull back from astral travel and all spiritual contact. You may even pull back from talking to friends about spiritual pursuits and stop your practice all together. Stop your practice as needed but don’t isolate yourself. Talk to others in the community. An elder, mentor, or clergy member may be able to help you and there are support groups that can help. Talk to people, even if it’s not about the problem at hand. It might take a lot of motivation to do it but try for just fifteen minutes. If you still don’t want to after fifteen minutes, then don’t.

Grounding yourself and staying grounded is really important. Grounding techniques vary but my favorites are eating high carb foods like bread, pushing the excess energy into an object like a ball or necklace, or sitting/laying down and letting the energy bleed away from you. This isn’t just good for excessive energy. If you’re feeling confused, disoriented, anxious, or lost, sit down and take slow, even breaths. Rocking may help keep your breathing even but it depends on the person- it might make you more anxious. You may even want to concentrate on keeping the body tight and pick out objects in the room to concentrate on – like all the green objects. Feel the ground around you. Touching solid things may also help steady you.

Close up ♡

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Allow yourself to feel what your feeling. I hate that I lose my compassion when I’m triggered. I’m angry, violent, wild. I hate it. But I let myself feel it. I get it out and forgive myself later. It’s not always easy though. It may take days of self-care and losing myself in books or video games to reconcile it with myself. Doing normal things and keeping to my daily schedule also helps. Doing dishes, going for a walk, petting the cat. All these normal things helps. I’m a big, big fan of breaking up big tasks into smaller ones in any circumstances but it’s especially nice to even write them down when I’m feeling triggered. It helps ground me that these are things I can do. Accomplishing those things helps even more, even if it’s something like folding laundry. Keeping up your practice, even if you aren’t reaching out to anything spiritual, can help cement things for you. There’s many elements to many spiritual practices that don’t requires spiritual involvement.

Be kind to yourself. Self-care isn’t just about mental care but also physical care. Eat balanced meals regularly. The easiest way to do this is to make a huge bowl of salad and cut up hard boiled eggs, meats, cheese, and other additives and keep them separate. Mix and match at will. It keeps you from being bored and still having regular, balanced meals. Avoid drinks and foods with lots of sugar or caffeine in excessive. Chocolate may help calm you down but six ounces of chocolate and ten coffees isn’t healthy. Avoiding alcohol and drugs is also recommended as they might make symptoms worse or could give you an escape route from the trauma that can lead to addiction. Exercise, even just stretching, can give you an excellent venue to use excess energy or work out aggression or anxiety. It can also keep you grounded and feel more in control. Sleeping regularly the recommended amount is ideal. Not too much or too little. 7-9 hours is recommended by physicians at the moment.

Meditation and yoga can be useful. I’ve written on meditation before so pick the kind of meditation you prefer from the more “I’m going to sit here and ponder this” to the more new agey “breath in and out and go on a spiritual journey”. It might be more useful for you to do neither and just spend time sitting and listening to soothing sounds. I recommend the noise generators over at mynoise.net. Deep breathing, swimming, or activities you enjoy will also work. I like napping outside in the sun. It’s grounding, relaxing, and provides a favorite hobby: falling asleep while reading.

Many times we can treat our own trauma with time, patience, and self-care. This isn’t always the case. If you find yourself unable to engage in relationships or the trauma is affecting your life long-term such as affecting job performance, sleep months later, or trouble functioning in day to day life. Escaping into addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, video games, or sleep is also a sign. Depression and enhanced anxiety or fear are also signs. If this happens to you seek out a professional therapist. If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek help.

 

You may need to revisit the event in order to move past it. Coming to terms with what happened often is part of the healing process. This might not happen for years later but it probably will happen. For some people, it never will. For spirit related traumas, I usually recommend joining in on a group ritual where someone else is in charge and someone is aware of your history. That last bit is exceptionally important. They watch to see if you’re overwhelmed and extra protection can be laid on you as needed. You may even want to watch a ritual instead of participating to help soothe your anxiety. One-on-one sessions with another practitioner who has a solid hand on the spirits they work with is also a good idea.

This isn’t always possible however so lead meditations or contacting healing spirits may be something you’ll want to look into. Go slowly and take your time. If you ever feel unsafe, disengage slowly and ground yourself. Reach out and contact people to help solidify that you’re here and safe. It’s a good idea to keep some protection and cleansing implements at the ready to boost your space’s safety and to reduce any anxiety.

When dealing with spirits afterwards, it may be a good idea to come up with a set of rules on how to treat each other. Penalties of the rules should also be listed. For example, my home has a “no assault” rule. No one is to be touched. So when an aggressive spirit chased a friend this past winter to his car, my brother and I didn’t just chase the ghost away but purged the entire crossroads my house sits at. I later invited back those spirits who had been banished but had done no harm. The rule stands however and no one has harassed us since. Spirits should agree to the rules but watch the way they agree to them. They might try to find loopholes just because they can. (Fae are especially known for this.)

Smoking dragon. I love this incense holder. Shout out to Demon's Souls in the background.

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What’s really important to keep in mind is that healing will take time but your experiences and feelings do matter and are important. Just because the person or situation responsible for your trauma is spiritual doesn’t make it less valid. You’ve been hurt and the wound sits deep in you. It will take time, patience, and work to heal. Each person is different and your healing process may vary wildly from someone else’s. Just know that you’re not alone.