3 Reasons Why Spirit Guides Fade Away

Ever have a spirit friend that you just kind of forgot about? Or that seems to just… go away?

There are many reasons why a relationship with a spirit or spirit guide isn’t as strong as it was beforehand. Here are a few common ones.

The first is you didn’t put in any effort to maintain that relationship. Like any relationship, you actually need to touch base with them regularly to keep up the relationship. We all get busy, but you do need to stop by and say hi to them fairly often for them to be loyal or friendly to you.

The second is you don’t need them anymore. This is usually true for guides, but it can be true for any spirits that you’re friendly with. Sometimes those friendships from work don’t actually carry over outside of work or after you quit a job. It’s the same idea. If you don’t need their support anymore – or don’t seem to need it – then they probably have better things to do with their energy and time.

The third reason is that the spirit is naturally fading away. Spirits often fade away naturally. They get weaker and weaker until they no longer exist in the form that you know them to be in. This is especially common in ghosts or spirits without ties or very old ties. It’s also true for spirits that have no one to call on them. Even if you do call on them, sometimes those spirits are simply tired and cannot go on.

This third reason is also why magical servitors (ie spirits bound or created to serve you, often not very intelligent) fade away. If you create an energy lifeform like that and forget them – which absolutely is easy to do – then they will fade away from your life, sometimes even ceasing to exist.

Spirits are easy to forget about because they’re not tangible. You don’t see them and without a really serious memory to tie them to you, you’ll forget about them. Even if you have a serious memory, they can still slip from your mind. This is why it’s ideal to always have a physical object that you mentally (or even spiritually or magically) attach to the spirit. This gives them weight in your memory and makes them less likely to fade.

There are other reasons why a spirit might be gone from your life – your contract with them is complete, they were destroyed by another spirit, banished, exorcised / cleansed, etc. but the three outlined are the most common for the fading feeling when a spirit returns to you more distant and weaker each time you see them.


Advertisements

Elemental Combinations

I don’t really use elements in your traditional ritual set up. I do sometimes use them but it’s often in a more alchemical way than an earth-air-fire-water way.

One of my favorite ways to use elements is to combine them.

A good example of elemental combinations is an air plant. An air plant largely lives on air (with the occasional misting of water) but it’s still a plant so it’s an earth element. That’s three associations (air-water-earth) to deal with for one tiny little plant!

But elemental combinations are actually a really smart way to help set up an altar or a spell on the go. You can just roll with it. Instead of packing a ton of ritual items, you can just pack one or two herbs and that can suffice. It helps if you travel a lot, do a lot of on-the-go rituals, or need to be low-key.

It can also lend a lot of strength to ritual magic. By adding extra fire in a ritual, you’re creation more power so speed things along and adding passion or anger.

Elemental combinations also have the benefit of being dual purpose so you can bring two different energies into a spell at the same time. Need both fire and water? A dried water plan may be the best way to go – just burn it with a candle.

One thing to consider when doing elemental combinations is how they affect one another. Fire and water obviously don’t mix unless you want to destroy the fire or evaporate the water. Similarly, air and earth don’t always get along either. They can change one another though. Air (and water and fire) can all move earth by force. Wind can blow soil, erosion can destroy shorelines, and fire burns through the ground when it can. However, earth can strength air by tunneling it through canyons and caves, water seeps into the ground so it can spread everywhere, and fire lives on wood and natural gases for decades. Similarly, air can strength fire to an uncontrollable level or it can blow a flame out.

In general, all the elements can strengthen and weaken one another, when used in the right balance. You just have to stop and think about how an element functions and what kind of action you want it to perform.

When you combine multiple elements, make sure you’re keeping them in the balance you want. If you only want a little earth, then pick something with a less strong earth element. In my air plant example above, earth is the weakest of the elements because while an air plant is a plant, it isn’t planted in the soil. Water actually is actually stronger with an air plant because you do need to water air plants as needed. Air, obviously, is the strongest of all for an air plant.

Of course, the thing with element associations is that they are NOT universal. Asian occult systems have a lovely elemental system that includes the very combination I’m expressing here in a different way – but they use five elements: earth, air, water, fire, metal. Every practitioner will need to rely on their cultural or traditional folklore in addition to their own personal associations.

Want a quick way to look up correspondences? Check out my online sourced correspondences list.

Does this post look familiar? That’s because some of it appeared in this post from 2017. I’ve expanded upon it here to get further into details on how elemental combinations work.


Advertisements

How to Identify a Glamour

A glamour is a type of illusion spell, meant to manipulate, disguise, or otherwise mask something or someone.

That being said, just because they’re manipulation doesn’t mean they’re harmful, negative, or baneful magic.

There are many reasons why someone might use a glamour. They can be used to keep someone safe, to be identified the right way, to boost their self-esteem or confidence, or even to be seen as harmless or helpful to others.

There are a few ways to help determine when a glamour is in use.

1) Aura reading / Energy reading

Most often, energy manipulation is used to create glamours. If you’re skilled at reading aura or energy, then you’ll be able to pick up on an altered aura or energy around the person. This is especially true if you already know what that person’s energy or aura is like. The change in aura or energy might feel bright, expanded, stretched, or wrapped around the subject. You may even be able to detect what kind of glamour is being cast depending on how “loud” it is.

2) Herbal assistance

Oak leaves, eyebright, ash leaves, sandalwood, cinnamon, rose, wormwood, yarrow, mugwort, nutmeg, and rowan can all be used to help see through glamours. Oak leaves are especially traditional for this purpose.

Carry any of these herbs with you to help see beyond what’s presented to you.

3) Hag stone

A traditional hag stone (a stone with a natural hole through the center of it) can often see past glamours. I’ve used seashells with natural holes in them for the same purpose, although sometimes the energy gets “wishy”.

4) Counterspell

You can cast a spell on yourself to see past glamours. I find this is sometimes hit or miss. I think it depends on the type of glamour, who’s casting the glamour, and the power and intention behind each.

5) Declaration

Sometimes, if you know a glamour has been cast, you can simply ignore the glamour. It’s like in any form of media where a character repeats that something isn’t real to beat an illusion or trauma. Same thing. Denying the glamour doesn’t erase the glamour, but it doesn’t work as well if know it’s there. Essentially, by denying it, you’re confirming it’s active.


Advertisements

Pocket Crystal Glamour Spell

This glamour spell can be for any intention but it’s set into a crystal that you store in your purse or pocket. This allows you to simply recharge the crystal to get the spell going rather than reset the spell every time you want to use it.

It’s very easy to do and can make a difference in your day to day life.

What you’ll need:

  • A crystal or gemstone of some kind

Select a crystal or gemstone to use. This could be a stone that helps your confidence like aventurine or a stone that enhances beauty like rose quartz . You could also use quartz crystal or a stone that feels uplifting to get your spell across. If you’re trying to avoid being seen or noticed, a clear stone like quartz crystal or even a simple garden stone may do the trick. Put a little thought into what stone would be best for you and your glamour.

If you have a piece of jewelry with a stone you’d like to do, you can absolutely cast the glamour on that jewelry instead.

Sit with your chosen stone in your hand and think or speak what you want the glamour to do. Focus until the image in your head is as clear as possible or you’ve described the scenario you want to happen. Take your time.

Push that idea into the stone, letting your energy flow over and into the stone. Awaken the wanted characteristics of the stone you want that match what you’re trying to achieve with the glamour.

This may take a while or it may take just a few seconds. Feel free to come back and set the intention with the stone again if you need a break.

Once you’re satisfied with the stone’s glamour intention, you’re done. Carry it with you and the stone will passively emit the glamour. If you feel like the stone isn’t working as well or you need an extra boost of the glamour, touch the stone and pass a little extra energy onto the stone. You can even repeat your glamour’s purpose to remind the stone what it’s suppose to be doing.

Notes:

  • Recharging the stone monthly with a full moon (or new moon, if the stone is intended to camoflague you) can keep the stone’s glamour running for a long time.
  • If you’re using a camoflague intended glamour, make sure you add a second spell to the stone so you both remember the stone’s existence (so you can recharge it) and so that you can find the stone when you want to.


Advertisements

What is a Glamour Spell?

A glamour spell is a type of illusion, usually one to help boost some aspect of yourself, like your confidence or beauty. It’s also often used to camouflage or hide something, like an object or even yourself so you aren’t as noticeable. Essentially, they’re either spotlight or invisibility spells. 

I like glamour spells and I use them often. I find them great practice for more subtle spells and can be used in any everyday situation. They are often utilitarian. They can be cast at the drop of a hat without any tools. And they are great for when you want to cast a spell but you don’t know what to cast.

How it’s done is simple.

1) Decide what kind of illusion magic you want to cast. Be specific. Do you want to enhance the shine of your hair or the color of your lips? Do you want people to gender you properly? Do you want extra confidence? Do you want people to not notice you or see you as harmless?

2) Do you want to attach it to an object? If you want your lips to look a particular shade of pink and you achieve that look with lipstick or something similar, you can place a glamour on the lipstick itself to enhance that color and perhaps ignore any imperfections in today’s makeup or ignore a part of yourself that you don’t want to draw attention to. Putting a “I’m harmless and you don’t see me” glamour on a hoodie before going for a run is a great idea against muggings and other violence.

3) To cast the glamour, whether on an object or yourself is requires a clear picture of what you want to happen. You must be absolutely unwavering with the goal. You can be scared, angry, or any other emotion at the time, but you must be solid in what you want to happen.

I find that a specific repeatable phrase helps. “I am beautiful”. “I am seen as harmless to others”. “You do not see me.” “I am not worth your attention.” “You respect me for my confidence and skills.” Affirmation phrases work wonderfully for this, but even a simple phrase can help really hone what the goal is of the glamour. If it’s a simple phrase, then you can repeat it over and over again. You can also repeat it to re-enchant an object with a glamour placed on it.

Once you’ve got your idea down, gather your energy around you. If you’re into aura manipulation or energy manipulation, this is the exact same thing. If energy manipulation isn’t your thing, clear your thoughts and concentrate on making your willpower behind the phrase nice and strong.

If you’re enchanting an object, push the energy into it. Have the energy and your willpower weave into the threads, along the facets of the crystal, along the curve or straight lines of the glass.

If you’re casting it on yourself, pull the energy or your intent around you, like you’re pulling a blanket around your chest and shoulders.

4) To dismiss the glamour, you can let it fade naturally or simply cleanse yourself or the object.

I do find that certain glamours work better with certain techniques, so practice with different kinds and methods of spellcasting to see what works best for you.


Advertisements

Increasing Your Intuition

Increasing and honing your intuition isn’t a simple or quick task. It requires dedication and consistent practice. However, there are steps you can take to make things a bit easier to practice that intuition of yours.

Children tend to have very good intuitions but as they grow older, it tends to wane. The same is true for people who take a step back from practicing their intuition. It can stagnate and grow weak. It’s just like the physical body. As a child, you might not have thought anything about sprinting down the street or being particularly flexible. As an adult, it’s less likely that you’ll be able to do what you so easily could as a child without continuous practice.

Write your dreams down

Writing your dreams down can help boost intuition. Many times, premonitions or psychic impressions come to us via dreams. Dreams also provide insight into subconscious thinking and the self.

Try to also record your first thoughts when waking up. This is a difficult habit to get into for some and for others, it’s great to do alongside journaling.

Write down your predictions

Simply writing down things you think (or intuit) might happen is a great way of tracking how often you’re right on these things. It’s similar to testing your psychic awareness with ESP cards. This another journaling technique, but you can also just do it every-so-often and leave that document in a notebook to be discovered later. It’s definitely a long-term test, but it’s one I use often with great results.

Stretching the senses

Sit quietly and extend your senses, trying to hear and sense what’s going on in other rooms and beyond the confines of your home. This is remote viewing, when it’s practiced at a decent range, but mostly it’s just practicing extending your energy and psychic awareness. Think “spider sense”, if that reference is meaningful to you.

A test to see how accurate your sense is needs a second person or camera to record the direction you’re sensing in, so you can validate what happened.

Third-eye Opening Meditation

Meditation is often used for many things and there’s a lot you can get out of it. A third eye opening guided meditation or one that focuses on your intuition is a great and relatively easy way of practicing with a bit of guidance. Repeat your chosen meditation every day or at least consistently to get good results.

Herbal or Crystal Support

There are herbs, incense, scents, and crystals to support intuition. The following is a wide variety of ingredients and tools that can be used to assist, attune, or increase your psychic awareness or intuition. This is not a completed list, especially the crystals section.

Some of these ingredients can be used as a tool, just held or kept nearby, while others might be used topically or even consumed. Everyone will tolerate these ingredients and tools differently, so be sure to check to see which ones are helpful to you.

NOTE! I’ve marked some of the more dangerous or potentially illegal ones with an asterisk *. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE USING!!!

Plants: Acacia, acorn, anise, ash tree, bay laurel, belladonna*, borage, calendula, camphor, chicory root, cinnamon, cinquefoil, clove, clover, diviner’s sage*, elecampane, eyebright, flax, fly agaric*, ground ivy, hazel, heliotrope, hemp, henbane*, honeysuckle, juniper, lemon grass, lilac, lovage, magnolia, maidenhair, marijuana*, mastic, nettle, nutmeg, orange, patchouli, peppermint, poppy*, rowan, rose, rosemary, rue, saffron, sandalwood, thyme, tuberose, wormwood, yarrow

Other: clear crystals, quartz crystal, aventurine, goldstone, amethyst, agate, silver, water, the moon

Spirit Connections

For some people, they can see or sense spirits easily but not other forms of energy – or vice versa. Someone might be particularly skilled at working with faeries but struggles to read the energy in an item. Or they might have no difficulties what-so-ever in reading the future, but they’re blind to spirits.

If you’re able to work with some sort of spirit, deity, or being, you may be able to ask for guidance in sensing other forms of energy. This will largely depend on your relationship, but it’s something to explore.

Familiars and Constructs

A Familiar, as I defined them, is a being who makes some sort of agreement or contract to work alongside or serve you. This is a spiritual bond and may feel destined.

A Construct, as I defined it, is a being whom you create to serve you. If handled poorly, Constructs may go rouge and become malicious spirits. Older Constructs may developed self-awareness and become spirits or familiars.

Now that the terminology is out of the way, these beings may be able to lend extra boost in power or assist in seeing or sensing what you cannot. They also can warn you, like your intuition would. By using their perceptions alongside your own intuition, you can verify what your intuition is saying. Assuming this sort of verification is meaningful to you.

Divination

Divination is a way of tapping into your intuition. By practicing your chosen divination techniques routinely, you’ll increase your intuition.

This is especially true for divination techniques like scrying, where your intuition and second sight is what’s showing you the future or what you want to see.

There’s a lot of different way to increase your intuition, but the most useful method is consistency and practice. Few people can master a new musical instrument or get a super-fit body in a single day and the same is true with intuition.

Witchcraft 101 – How Much Stuff Do You Really Need?

If you’ve picked up a beginner’s witchcraft book, especially an older book, you’ll often find these long lists of items for you to acquire as you start your magical or pagan practice. But how much of it all do you really need?

First, let’s cover the basics –

  • You can absolutely use stuff you already have for magic, just make sure you’re not mixing the bowl you eat your cereal in with the bowl you worked non-edible herbs in, for safety’s sake.
  • You don’t need the super expensive or specialty stuff right away. Yes, they’re pretty, support artisans, and may be made a certain way that helps increase your practice, but you don’t need them to start. Wait a bit and see if you’re even going to use that item at all. Instead, swap in with a more common items for now – like a $10 hardware store broom rather than the $300 hand-made besom. You can always upgrade later.
  • Used goods store and discount dollar stores can be extremely useful. Cups, glasses, jars, candles, incense, craft supplies, paper, bowls, and more can be purchased cheaply here and that allows you a bit more freedom to play with items that you think you might need but aren’t sure of.

Still, the lists are often useful because they’re a combination of commonly used items and items the authors probably use themselves. It’s a good thing to look at them because you can see how different people use different things to reach similar results.

When you get lists like this (or you’ve written down lists of stuff you’d like), break down those lists of things you want into five categories: necessities, ritual items, spell items, aesthetics, and miscellaneous.

Necessities are things like lighters, a fire proof bowl, a jar, a candle holder… You get it. It’s stuff that, for most people, you’ll just need. If you don’t work with fire, you won’t need that fire-related stuff, but by and large, 95% of us  use the same kind of necessities.

Ritual items are objects used for rituals or worship. This could be an idol statue of your goddess or it could be a veil to use during ritual ceremonies. You may have nothing in this category, depending on your practice, or you may have a lot of stuff. Try and keep this list short when you’re starting out. Sure, you’d love to have a beautiful altar for your deity, but do you really need that expensive hand-carved ritual bowl right now? Probably not.

Spell items are objects used for spell casting. This could be rosemary and bay leaves. It might be a mortar and pestle or herb grinder. It could be materials for a poppet. It could be a box of candles. It depends on your spell casting style.

Aesthetics are just that  – things you have because they are beautiful. Typically these are items that are expensive or something that’s just pretty.  This isn’t to say they don’t have a use! You may have some beautiful objects that are just pretty but are also useful in your practice. I like to think of this as a “if I never had this, would I miss it?”

Miscellaneous is a category for things that don’t fit anywhere else. Your miscellaneous category might not match anyone else’s. Maybe you want a besom for cleansing, but that’s not a spell or ritual task for you. It’s not a necessity – you could do without it – but you want it. It takes some thinking. It may also be things that aren’t “necessary”, but are just plain useful.

My practice consists of a lot of things so my personal list of things is going to be wildly different from other people’s. This is my list below and a little later in this post I’ll give a recommended list.

Necessities – Lighter or matches, stoneware bowl, bells, paper and ink, knife, water, thread and ribbon (all colors), sea salt

Ritual items – Incense, idols, nature offerings, baked offerings, fresh offerings, offering bowl, cleansing supplies, brass, candles, cleaning supplies

Spell items – bones or hair, blood, sharp scissors, jars, candles (all colors), iron or metal, herbs and similar, sewing needles and fabric, honey

Aesthetics – Most besoms, scarf or veil, cauldron, baskets, ritual clothing

Miscellaneous – Most crystals, beeswax, sand, brooms (not besom), wands, stirring spoons, mortar and pestle, divination tools including tarot decks

My items are a bit odd for some. For example, I heavily use bells in my daily magical practices. I use a specific set of scissors for my practice and a few different kind of knives. A regular stoneware cereal bowl often doubles as a candle holder during spells – I rarely use traditional candle holders in spell work because of this.

You’ll see the usual accompaniments of a besom and cauldron are in the aesthetics category. I don’t use them much. My cauldron is actually really handy when I need a fireproof bowl or a bonfire, but I also have a firepit and metal trashcan. I’d never miss it, if I didn’t have it. I use a veil for divination purposes, but I don’t need it. Same thing with most rocks and crystals. They are in my life and I love them, but I don’t use them as others do. Divination tools aren’t spells for me but they aren’t rituals either. They exist in some weird third space for me.

Whereas my ritual category is pretty basic, but I including cleaning supplies in addition to cleansing supplies. I keep a tiny broom, dusting clothes, sacred waters, and dustpan for cleaning the shrine areas exclusively. Usually it’s just for dust and incense ash, but I like the feeling of even ordinary actions like sweeping can be made sacred this way. It’s all about honoring those there, even the mundane cleaning bits. But, that’s just me and it’s part of my private spiritual beliefs.

Of course, I can define my practice’s items easily because I’ve been at it for over quarter a century. And it does fluctuate over some years as I get into certain hobbies or try new ways of using old tools. If you’re new to practicing, it may be difficult to define these categories or know exactly what you’ll use. It’s still a handy technique, especially if your budget is a concern or you’re trying to keep your materialism to a minimum.

And, since this question you probably want to know, this is my recommended list for beginners of most practices:

  • Stoneware bowls or baking dishes
  • Tealight candles and matches or a lighter or LED candles
  • Glass jars or bottles with lids (or cork that fits the jars / bottles)
  • Embroidery thread, twine, or ribbon
  • Quartz crystals

Most of these items can be purchased at a used goods store or discount dollar stores. The rest should, ideally, be acquired from independent small businesses. Check your kitchen cabinets for herbs or spices and neighborhood sidewalks for rouge flowers. Books can often be borrowed from the library, some even accessible online through your your library.

Take your time gathering things. It’s part of the journey to your witchcraft practice.


Advertisements

Should You Adapt Spells or Use Spells Word-For-Word?

So you found a spell you like, but it’s not perfect. Maybe it uses an ingredient that’s rare or expensive in your neck of the woods. Maybe it asks you to go out and stand in the moonlight and there’s been nothing but snow and rain for weeks. Or, maybe, it’s just not fully clicking for you.

There’s lots of reasons why a person might adapt a spell or ritual. It’s usually for ingredient based reasons, but just as often it could be due to timing or personal practice choices.

But adapting a spell is a fine line. If you adapt something too much, it’s not the same spell. If you swap out an ingredient, you may change the way the spell works. Analyzing spells is something you figure out how to do as you gain experience and knowledge with spell casting. It’s hard to adapt a spell when you might not have the basic knowledge to do that. An experienced witch probably will make changes on the fly, using what’s in their cupboards and their knowledge from research and experience. Others might have to pause to double check something or they might even skip a few ingredients by double up the purpose of an ingredient.

In short, adapting spells can be really easy – but it can be a challenge too. It’s okay if it’s a challenging or daunting task for you! It really is. Because spell casting is a lot like cooking and baking.

If you think of a spell like a recipe, then it may take some of the pressure away from having to “get it right”. Cooking and baking is relatively subjective – things need to turn out a certain way to be properly edible and taste good, but not everything is going to taste great to the same people. Spells are a lot like that. You may learn that you just don’t click with herb based spells or anything that asks you to start a fire is a no-go. And that’s okay! Know your strengths and boundaries. It’s a good idea to push those boundaries and strengths sometimes, but you don’t need to do it all the time.

It’s okay to hold back from adapting a spell or even doing a spell, because you’re not sure of the changes that need to be made. I’m in the camp that says try your adaptations anyway. Take notes on what you changed.

Of course, there’s always some folks out there that say a spell should be used exactly as written. There’s certainly a reason for that. Spells are written with specific intentions in mind and omitting an ingredient or altering a process may change the entire intention of the original spell – even if the person adapting it doesn’t know that. The more complicated the spell – or the more often it deals with spirits – the more likely it is that the process and ingredients are very intentionally chosen. Adaptations and substitutions may cause the spell to fail or not work as intended.

I’ve written spells that have very clear instructions to them because the process, while simple on the surface, was written very intentionally as part of the ritual. The steps aren’t there for the end goal, they are part of the end goal. It’s like a recipe – you need to prep the vegetables properly to really get the flavor you want out of the dish in the end.

I’m still, by far, in the camp of adapting your spells. If a verse in a spell doesn’t seem natural or comfortable, I’ll change it. If I’m doing a complicated ritual, I’ll either take it apart to see exactly how it works or I’ll try it as written and make adaptations for future usages.

It depends on how much experimentation you do with your magic. If you’re looking for a simple grab-and-go spell (and absolutely no judgements here, if that’s your jam), then use what’s written or adapt on the fly. It’s your magic, your practice, and your results. Do what works best for you.


Advertisements

Uncrossing Yourself


Rootandrock’s musing post got me thinking. I have several clients that come to me in need of an unhexing, counter-curse, or exorcism. I almost always recommend a cleansing because that helps open oneself up and clears out the muck. Sometimes though that isn’t enough and an uncrossing is needed.

What is an uncrossing?

Rootandrock said it best but essentially sometimes we are so use to living with the bad stuff that even when it’s going we don’t know how to live without that bad stuff so we keep repeating the same patterns and behaviors we were doing before – and essentially creating our own bad stuff all over again. This cycle must break. This is what an uncrossing does.

I tend to like to combine unblocking spells and techniques as well, as many of my clients want to be able to reconnect with the spiritual. Unblocking is just like it sounds – breaking the blockages are typically caused by too much negative crap in your life weighing you down and making you feel fuzzy. Sometimes they’re caused by curses or spirits. Realistically, unblocking spells are a subcategory of uncrossing techniques but that’s not really the point here.

So how do you do the thing?

Mundane measures:

Cleaning.

I always recommend a deep cleaning of the house and your living and working spaces (including your car!) during deep cleansings. The same goes for uncrossings. This isn’t just sweeping and mopping the floor. Change the atmosphere of your living and working arrangements as best you can to help yourself.

This doesn’t have to be an expensive process.  Just burning a scented candle, baking a delicious dessert, opening up the curtains and letting in a lot of natural light would help. Rearrange rugs, art on the walls, and/or furniture. Clean out your cupboards and get rid of anything you don’t routinely use (especially if it’s unhealthy) if you can. Focus on areas that you first see when you walk into a room – counter tops, tables, chairs, the floor.  Sort though your closet and donate what you don’t need (or refashion it).

For those of you who want a more permanent solution or can purchase things, add mirrors opposite of windows to extend and expand the natural light of the room and increase the size of the room. Have a different set of curtains, blankets, rugs, and even pictures to rotate in and out seasonally.

Why do this? It shakes up the energy of the room. Many magical practitioners don’t do this often if they can help it because it messes with the energy of a room. I did it just the other day – rearranged every corner of my house – and my servitors and spirits grumped about it for half of the next day. It also breaks up routine and adds something new to your life without having to do something.

I’m stuck! Having trouble doing this? Is your house too cluttered? Afraid that it would take too long or is a hopeless cause? Are you simply not able to get up the energy to do this? Check out Unfuck Your Habitat (especially if you don’t have the energy or your home is too cluttered) and HabitRPG (for you gaming type).

How do you do it? I use to be a huge mess until I was seriously shamed by an aunt as a kid. It made me want to show her I could be better than she expected. Since then I’ve been pretty neat. I burn incense and candles to change the smells of the room. In the summer I put away my rugs and comforters and leave the windows open to let air in. In the winter, I put down lots of area rugs, double up on curtains to keep the warmth in (and let the act of pushing those curtains aside to let in precious light feel all the more important), and lay on blankets in both size, warmth, and texture to give the room a better feel. I also find getting things off the ground helps with cleaning. Another huge thing I do is Do-It-Yourself projects. I’m a big DIYer and I love repurposing things. I find creating and making things for yourself lets me learn new skills, build a solid connection with whatever I’m making, and learn to love it (and myself) more. Every time I get a compliment on something I’ve made, I feel awesome.

Take a vacation

I don’t just mean book a cruise to Bermuda. Even taking a Sunday afternoon to sit or walk through a large park and breath in the fresh air is enough. Leave your cellphone on silent and maybe bring a sketchbook or a book to read. Combined with a spa day (even at home spa treatments) and a luxurious breakfast, fresh and crisp lunch, and satisfying dinner this can replenish you. The most important bit is to break your cycle.

If you’re a super busy officer worker and you live your life by a strict schedule, don’t schedule a thing during your vacation – go with the flow. If you’re the opposite, keep a strict schedule and have some sort of reason to keep to that schedule. Breaking your cycle of bad behavior is key. It will not be easy. You’ve formed habits and connections with these bad behaviors. You’ll have to actively work to change them.

Why do this? Routine is easy to follow. When the routine is broken, we begin to look at the whys, hows, and whats of things. This is important. If you continually have no energy and change your diet accordingly, but never do anything with the potential new energy, you’ll feel restless and caged. Similarly, if you do the same workout routine three days a week, you’ll never work out or strengthen other parts of your body. Change things up and inspire yourself. Decompress and stretch your body and spirit.

I’m stuck! Set up a reward/punishment system. For example, I use HabitRPG for a reward/punishment system to keep myself on track. If I’ve done something really good, I’ll make a special dessert for myself or buy myself something. If I’ve done something bad, I do something I don’t like such as weeding the garden, an hour at the gym, etc. (Although, this means I cement the idea that those activities are “bad” – so there’s inherent flaws in the system.) If the reward/punishment system doesn’t work for you, or you can’t think of a good enough threat, rope in a friend or set up alarms on your computer/cell phone to pester you to break the routine.

How do you do it? I take a roadtrip. This happen every couple of years, but a roadtrip gives me hours of just me by myself and lets me decompress. If that doesn’t work or isn’t available, I go to the ocean. It’s an instant fix. I don’t live by a schedule or routine so forcing myself to adhere to one, even if only for a few weeks, is a huge change.

Stop buying things/start buying things

This obviously will only apply to some of you.

I know when I’m broke, I spent absolutely zero money on anything. That keeps me home and stressed due to lack of money. To break this cycle I save even as little as 50 cents a week and buy myself something – a new shirt, a coffee, whatever. It brings a little bit of pleasure and makes everything that much more special.

When you’re a materialistic person and buy a lot of stuff – stop. There will always be sales and you’ll probably be able to find whatever you want to buy on Amazon or eBay at a later date. Stop trying to fill the hole in yourself with stuff. If you go out a lot, stay in and try a new recipe or bake a frozen pizza or something. Change up your life.

Why do this? We live in a very instant, very demanding, very materialistic world. Switching off your impulse to buy things (or to hoard what little money you have and have the lack of ability to buy and keep up with the impulse buys) creates a new change in behavior at what is now a fundamental level of society – money and how we spend it. As mentioned above, it creates the break in behavior and allows you to evaluate how, what, what, and when you’re doing something.

How do you do it? I hoard money. When I have it, I spend it. I’m not a saver. However, because I am my own source of income, I hoard my money now and dislike spending it unless I have a cushion to fall back on – which is rare in this economy. So every couple of months I buy something new. New fabric or yarn for a piece of clothing I want to make, a new pair of shoes, pick up a new hobby, or join a club or event.

Change you.

This one’s a bit harder and would be if you seriously need some uncrossing. Changing you is the hardest part. There will always be bits of you that will never change. However, it can be a superficial change. Get a new haircut, buy, make, or restyle a new wardrobe, toss clutter that has sentimental value but things you wouldn’t miss (let’s be honest, there’s stuff most of us keep that might remind us of an event or thing but isn’t the only thing we have from great grandma – that’s what I’m talking about). If you can’t toss it, box it up and stick it in a closet. If you don’t miss it or think of it by the time you rediscover the box again, get rid of it. I pretty much only keep awards, yearbooks, etc or things I can use again (theatre programs I’ve designed as a part my resume). Change your style, if possible, or the way you walk, talk, or act in public. Again, this will not be easy and will be a difficult choice to make.

Why do this? If you’re so caught up in muck that you can’t break free, shed your skin and start anew. It sounds as harsh as it’s meant to be. This potentially is the most difficult advice I could offer because it requires you to discover a new you. It’s more than a breaking of the cycle – it’s breaking the old your and birthing a new one.

How do you do it? I’ve only done this a few times and each time it was making a truly difficult choice to modify my behavior. One time it gained me friends and a whole new lifestyle. Another time was to break the toxicity that lifestyle contained. I regret neither but it was hard at the time to deal with the overwhelming new situation – breaking through my shyness and expressing my opinions to strangers and then to break away from fair-weather friends and toxic situations. (And no, I know not everyone can remove themselves from toxic people or situations but it you can do so.)

Magical and spiritual measures:

Petition an entity, join a new religion, or become a follower of a new deity.

Sometimes we need help. Petitioning  a deity or joining a new religion is a great way of getting a helping hand. It’s not just deities but also spirits, saints, and other beings. This is a very common practice but if you aren’t doing it or haven’t in a  while, it may be time to give it a try.

Working with these beings can be as simple as asking for a blessing or sign and then receiving it. Ask for guidance or a path to follow, the power and strength to succeed on that path and finally the physical, mental, and spiritual health and will to do so.

Any deity or spirit can be a source of help but the following are especially known as potential sources of unblocking and uncrossing assistance or to see a better way of dealing with the problem (just be wary of cultural appropriation):

  • Papa Legba (source 1)
  • Ganesha (source 1)
  • Hecate (source 1)
  • Ogun (source 1)
  • Yemaya (source 1)
  • Anubis (source 2)
  • Dosojin (source 2)
  • Akasagarbha or Kokuzo (source 2)
  • Lubana (source 2)
  • Sarutahiko (source 2)
  • Amaterasu
  • Uzume
  • Amatsumara

Why do this? As mentioned, sometimes help is needed. Perhaps you need someone to throw you a floating device when you’re drowning. It’s not weakness to ask for help.

I’m stuck! If you’re not getting answers when petitioning a specific deity, send out a general, universal distress call but be VERY sure to read all the fine print before agreeing to anything. Please also remember that a deity can be communication with you without you directly hearing their voices or receiving a obvious sign. Deities can live within the everyday – you just have to find something that strikes you as meaningful.

What do you do? I’ve worked with a malevolent spirit before as well as two Norse deities indirectly and pop culture entities. The deities and pop culture entities were gentle guidance in an off-hand manner – I found solace in their stories than them as beings. The spirit and I came to an agreement of sorts but that’s not really a story I want to tell. I don’t tend to turn to deities when I’m in trouble. I’m independent, however I’ve taken a lot of inspiration and guidance from the aforementioned. I literally could not say where I would be without the pop culture entities. I never worked with them as spirits or deities but their stories helped create the person I am today.

Divination.

Typically divination is used to diagnose a problem but it can also be used for insight to figure out way around a problem. Meditating with the meaning of a card or using the card’s deep meaning to help you understand a way out of or through your problem. Some cards can be used to progress through the problem (the Tower for example is a personal favorite). Some people even use cards in spells. If you do you can literally choose cards from your current status moving in realistic steps towards your uncrossed goal.

Why do this? Primarily, it helps identify and offers solutions to the problem. As a secondary measure it can be used directly to affect change on yourself as a spell.

I’m stuck! Get a reader to do a reading for you. In fact, ask a few different readers for advice, if you can. There are plenty of people that will give a free reading.  Try it yourself, if you’re able. Find people use use different techniques if you’re only selecting tarot cards.

What do you do? I’m a seer so I do divination daily. However, I’ve used the aforementioned spread to work through a problem and help write a spell for change. (I personally don’t like using my cards in spells as it adds energy the cards don’t need.)

Chakras and Reiki

I’m not trained in Reiki (although I know the basic principles, premises, and techniques) and there’s a lot of information out there. I recommend seeking out a certified practitioner. I can name a few very good ones for you. Otherwise, Google is your friend. Reiki is a defined practice with a specific education, rankings, and certified teachers and practitioners. The theory of of Reiki is more widespread but actual Reiki is pretty defined.

You can also cleanse your chakras and enable you to move forward. There’s a variety of ways to do that and, again, I recommend a certified Reiki practitioner or taking a Reiki class.

Why do this? Cleansing the body and chakras is a good way of resetting and refreshing the body. Reiki can also heal you which would be ideal for those with bodily afflictions.

I’m stuck! Please seek a certified Reiki master.

What do you do? As mentioned I’m familiar with Reiki as a practice so I usually do a session for myself. If I really needed a cleansing or assistance, I would contact one of the Reiki masters I know and have them assist.

Astral Uncrossing and/or Spiritual Uncrossing or Meditation or Shadow Work

This is especially useful it you’re being afflicted by a spirit or entity. You must first cross into the astral/fade/spirit realms, find the source of the negative muckery, and destroy it. Sometimes this will involve diving deep into the afflicted person’s psyche and spirit to rid them of the affliction. If you’re doing this on yourself, you’ll have to either lucid dream or meditation to achieve a deep enough state to rend yourself apart, rid yourself of the negativity, and patch yourself up. This is similar to Reiki’s techniques and . It’s not unlike Reiki in a cleansing but instead of energy, it’s more forceful and takes place either in your mind or in the astral. it can be very harsh and cautious must be made of clearing out too much negativity too soon as you’ll need to recover.

For meditation and shadow work, you’ll need to dive into yourself in a deep meditation state an discover the parts of you that are “bad” or “negative” and either come to terms with them or change them in ways to better yourself.

Why do this? This is, as mentioned, useful for when this is a state afflicted on you or it has set deep inside of you. This is excellent for people who are powerful spirit workers or are more powerful in their mind or in the astral than elsewhere.

I’m stuck! Some practitioners may assist you in this. Guided meditation may also be useful.

What do you do? Depending on the circumstances I either tear into the issue in the spirit realms or use my Mind Room (read: Mind Palace) to clear out the junk and fix myself.

Select Spells and Techniques

These are spells and techniques used specifically for uncrossing and unblocking. If you haven’t already tried a  cleansing spell or technique, try that first.

Uncrossing Oil (source 1, page 1056-1057)

  • Essential oil of hyssop
  • Essential oil of angelica
  • Essential oil of frankincense
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Sprig of rue
  • Sliver of fresh garlic
  • Section of broken chain
  • Castor oil and jojoba oil base

Add ingredients. The chain and angelica are the most important elements. Angelica has photosensitive properties so be careful of the sun if you use it on the body.

[Crown’s Notes: You can absolutely mix this spell up. I use different oil bases and herbs in my recipe.]

Crown’s Too Heavy a Cross Spell

Make a cross with two sticks and some twine. If you’re really burdened, add more sticks. Really pour your problems into the sticks as you make it. Douse is in Uncrossing Oil (recipe above). If there’s a specific area being affected, brush the over the area. Envision your negative energy and experiences as you set it on fire and watch it burn.

Scents and materials to use:

  • Benzoin (burn as needed to remove blockages)
  • Citrus (as described in the cleansing post, but all the citrus scented or flavored things! watch for the sun and photosensitivity)
  • Vetiver (boil, steep, let cool, add to bathwater for nine consecutive days)
  • Devil’s Shoestring (boil, strain, let cool, pour over yourself, air dry, for seven days)
  • Larch (burn to unblock yourself)
  • Peridot (charge and carry)
  • Sardonyx (charge and carry)
  • Quartz crystal (charge and carry)
  • Frankincense (burn as needed)
  • Rosemary (charge and carry or burn as needed or add steeped liquid to bath water)
  • Wahoo bark (infusion)

OK! I’ve done an uncrossing. Now what?

How do you feel? Better? No different? Either can be true and if you feel don’t feel different that doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Your next steps could be any of the following:

  • Healing spells
  • Protection and warding spells (for you and your home)
  • Luck spells
  • Financial assistance spells
  • Binding and banish spells (if a person or entity is involved)

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells.  Judika Illes.
  2. The Encyclopedia of Spirits. Judika Illes.

Originally posted: August 21st, 2014


Advertisements
Advertisements

Do You Need A Cauldron?

When new witchlings come around, I almost always get asked this. And it’s a super fair question. Do you need a cauldron? What purpose does a modern cauldron serve? It is just aesthetic or is it actually useful?

I’m not going to dig into the actual history of the cauldron like I normally would. There’s been numerous books written on the subject, easily found via your local internet search engine, online marketplace, bookstore, or library. Plus, the Great Wise Man Google can always lend a helping hand with your research.

I’m going to tackle the actual everyday usage of such an item.

A cauldron is a cooking pot, often with a half moon handle. Sometimes it has a lid and feet on the bottom. It was often set directly on the fire or on a hook suspended over a fire to cook in. Styles vary depending on age, region, and manufacturers. It’s essentially a cooking pot or stock pot, the same kind you use to make soup in.

There’s a similar looking cooking vessel known as a Dutch oven that’s primarily used to bake in these days. It’s used as a casserole dish. Historically, it was used to do everything a cauldron can do. The shape is very similar and you could easily confuse the two in some designs. Other similar cooking pots are potjie (which looks very similar to a cauldron), a testunabe, a chugunok, a sač, and the variety of Korean sots, to name a few. 

I own several traditional cast iron cauldrons. Some very small and fit in my palm. Others larger, about the size of a medium soup pot, I suppose. I’ve been on the look out for one of those really big ones, but they’re hard to come by. The one time I found one, it was quite expensive and I was traveling. The expensive wasn’t as big of deal as the travel was. I wasn’t going to haul a seventy pound cauldron half the size of me through Boston, onto a train for the hour commute home, then into my car for the half an hour drive home. I just didn’t have that in me that day and, honestly, I don’t regret not buying it. 

Anyway, cast iron is great – if you can properly take care of it. Every few months I have to go in and mess with my cauldron’s cast iron coating because many of them are antiques and thus neglected. I have one cauldron I’ve been trying to remove rust on for over ten years. I do, actually, know how to properly care for cast iron. I use cast iron in my everyday cooking and it’s like having a pet. You have to take care of it properly to keep the seasoning in pristine shape, making the cast iron itself easy to use.

But cast iron is great because it retains heat very well, making it lovely for burning things like incense, herbs, and candles. Because of the typically porous nature of a cast iron’s coating, some modern witches use it to grind herbs in. (Unless, of course, your cast iron seasoning is so good it’s smooth) It’s also heavy which means it’s not likely to get knocked over easily. And it looks so witchy and great.

It’s also heavy, hard to clean, and often difficult to store due to the weight and sometimes greasy coating it may have due to being poorly maintained. Smaller cast iron cauldrons are much easier to store and are actually pretty great to keep around. Plus, they are not subtle if that’s something you’re aiming for. Acids, such as fruit and citrus, can also immediately ruin a cast iron’s seasoning, even returning it to the base metal.

Of course, not all cauldrons these days are cast iron. Many are aluminum or metal alloy. That isn’t to say these are necessarily bad, just that they’re different. You’re not working with cast iron, so clean up and heat conductivity may be different. Also, it’s not iron, so magically it is different. Be aware of this when choosing cauldrons.

I like dutch ovens and stock pots for actual witchy related cooking in the house. I usually aim for steel, glass, ceramic, or enamel coating cooking vessels when I’m doing witchy stuff and even then it depends on what I’m doing. I choose a more modern equivalent of a cauldron, even though I have direct access to open flame cooking (fire pit, grill, stovetop) to use my traditional cauldron, because they’re often easier to clean and save time. Plus they usually fit on the stovetop better.

So, if you’re going to use a cauldron for actual cooking, I’d recommend going with a more modern option for ease of use. Don’t make your life harder than it needs to be. You can also use a rice cooker, or slow cooker instead of a dutch oven.

I’d like to throw in here that there are definitely ritual and religious reasons to have a cauldron for some people. I’m definitely not knocking that or saying that you should sub out your religious item for a more modern version. I’m talking about the more secular usages and everyday functionality in this post.

If you are using a cauldron for ritual or religious purposes, then you need to weigh your decisions on whether to actually get a cauldron on a personal level. Is it symbolic? Is it a vessel of a deity? Is it what is being asked for? Is it described specifically in texts? Does it need to be functional? Is there a better or more historical option that the cauldron itself has been substituted for by modern practitioners because it’s something they probably already have? Make sure you break down your usage and figure out if you need a cauldron specifically or if any type of bowl will do.

If you’re using it to burn incense or candles and so on. It’s actually a really good choice. As said, it retains heat well, making it not great if you’re in a rush to put stuff away quickly, but otherwise it’ll keep incense going for a decently long time. That being said, you can same the same thing about a thick ceramic bowl or glass casserole dish. 

But the real question is this: do you NEED a cauldron?

I say no. Unless you’re using it for specific religious reasons, there are plenty of other vessels out there that will do the job just fine. A mortar and pestle or herb grinder can grind herbs better than a cauldron (I bring this up because I see a lot of people grind herbs in their mini cauldrons) . Any number of cooking vessels are more functional in a modern kitchen than a traditional cauldron, especially for actual food and drink prep. If you already use what you got, you might not need to store yet another item, which is good if you’re short on space.

Of course, if you want one, get one! I have a habit of always picking up cauldrons when I see them, but I really don’t think modern magical practitioners NEED one, unless it’s specifically called for in a religious sense. Use what you got and see what happens.

If you’re a newbie starting out, I’d say hold off on the cast iron cauldron unless you find one at the flea market and instead head on over to your local secondhand store and pick up a pretty casserole dish or cooking pot. You can always upgrade later. Unless, of course, you’re using it for specific religious purposes. Then it’s up to you to determine how necessary a cauldron it for your religion.