Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. We’ve all used them for cooking, but did you know you can use them for magick as well?
Welcome to Making Magick with Culinary Herbs! This fun, hands-on class will provide you with information on 9 culinary herbs, their magickal properties, uses, as well as a bit of history and lore. We will then go on to create one of three (your choice) charm/spell bags using these wonderful herbs.
Class will be held on:
June 12, 2022, 1 pm
June 16, 2022, 6:30 pm
at the Triune Moon studio – 51636 Huntington Rd Ste 2, La Pine, Oregon
Price is $20 per person and includes a detailed handout and all herbs, etc. for the hands-on portion.
Mabon is on the 22nd this year and I am looking forward to yet another solitary Sabbat. I have been wracking my brain trying to decide what I would like to do. Trust me. This solitary life hasn’t been easy when it comes to creating ritual. I have so many ideas but all of them seem to include multiple people. So, I sat down with those ideas and pared them down to just me doing all the things. Still, I couldn’t decide on just one thing so I have come up with 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon.
Below are 3 ways as a solitary (or expand this for a group) to celebrate the second harvest. All are very simple and shouldn’t take but a few minutes. Modify these ideas to fit your personal practice and expand on them if you like.
Celebrate Mabon with an Actual Harvest
If you are an avid gardener, this may be an easy one for you. If not, this will take a bit of research or some travel. Find out, for your particular area, what fruits and vegetables are harvested during the month of September. Here in Central Oregon we are harvesting apples, several types of berries, cabbage and carrots, among others. Once you know what to look for – go out and “harvest” it, either in your yard, at the local farmer’s market, or ask a local grower to pick your own.
Once you’ve collected your harvest, set up your altar in your usual fashion. Place a green or gold candle on the altar and place your bounty around it. Light the candle and say:
“On this day of Mabon, I reap the bounty of the second harvest. May all my days be as plentiful as they are at this moment in time. May me and mine never hunger, may we want for nothing. May our pantries and bellies be full. May our hearts and beings be filled with joy, love, and peace.”
Sit for a while. Focus on the many things you have at this moment and all the bounty that will come your way. When you feel you are ready, snuff the candle and partake of your harvest.
Create a “Harvest” Journal
For this ritual you will need a notebook of some type (or you can add this to a journal that you are already keeping). Or, if you are like me, and have terrible handwriting, you can create a folder in your laptop or computer labeled “Harvest”. This ritual can be done in front of your altar. Alternately, if the weather is good, take your notebook outside.
Begin by thanking any deity(ies) that you work with (or the Universe, the One, Lord and Lady, etc.) for the many things that you have “harvested” this year. These things can be something tangible such as a new home, new job, a marriage, and so forth. Also count the intangible harvests. These are actions or deeds that have helped you “harvest” new ideas, attitudes, etc. For example, I have recently been working on ideas for a new book. While that book hasn’t come to be yet, I have harvested many ideas for that book.
Now write all of this down – yes, all of it. Even if you feel it is too small to note, mark it down. Don’t think to much about any of it, just write. When done, read it out loud to yourself. Did you write down a good deal more “harvests” than you were thankful for originally?
Keep this journal (or a printed copy of your file) on your altar. Take a look at it every day until Samhain and see how many other wonderful things you have “harvested” this year.
Make Some Apple Magick!
Of the 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon, I find this the most simple, yet most profound. No, really. For this experience you will need an apple (or two), a sharp knife, a candle, your altar (If you don’t have an altar, any flat surface (even a fireplace mantel) will work just fine.) Lastly, you will bring an open heart and mind.
Place the apple(s) on your altar. If you wish, add other fall decorations as well. In the center of the altar place a candle-green or gold is appropriate but a white candle will work just as well. Place the knife next to the candle.
Light your candle and say “I welcome the magick of the season into my life. May the blessings of Mabon be shown to me.”
Cut the apple horizontally with the sharp knife. A pentagram will appear in the center of the apple. Sit in contemplation of this magickal gift and think of the many gifts that you possess as well. Close your eyes and meditate on these gifts. When you are ready, open them again and look around you. Do you see the 5 points of the pentagram being repeated elsewhere? How about the magick of your 5 fingers? Your toes? The five elements (earth, air, fire, water and spirit or wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.) Think of how miraculous the number 5 can be and the how the magick of the pentagram relates in your life.
Now take a big bite out of the apple. As you do so you are taking in the magick of the harvest, the magick of the pentagram, and the magick and goodness of the apple into your being. Leave the remainder of the apple on your altar as an offering and snuff out your candle.
As you can see, a solitary Mabon ritual be reverent and rewarding, simple yet fulfilling. May these 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon, bring you as much joy as it has me.
Long before I met my first Craft mentor I had no idea where to start when it came to spell work. My first teachers were the books I could purchase by nearly clandestine practices from my local book store (I was WAY in the closet at that time). I tried candle magicks, small spells, and then I found, what for me, was an article – I don’t recall who wrote it, on how to use spell powders. It was quite the eye opener and it changed everything.
Spell powders are created by grinding dried herbs, resins, and stones/crystals into as fine a powder as possible. The completed powder is then charged with your intentions and used in a manner that is most beneficial to your outcome. These seemingly simple ingredients combined with your intentions create a powerfully concentrated magickal experience that will enhance any spell or working you choose.
How to Use Your Spell Powder
Spell powders are very easy to use. You can sprinkle them on doorsteps, windowsills, or pathways (this works fabulous for powders for protection, money drawing or to move a nasty neighbor on their way.) Add your powder to your wallet or inside a coin purse to attract money. Dress a candle with oil and roll in or sprinkle the candle with the powder to charge up your candle magick. Use the powder to create your ritual circle. Place the powder in mojo or spell bags to carry with you. Ring your candles or other spell items with your powder. You can even add the powders to a potion or brew.
Don’t limit yourself to these suggestions. Your Craft is your own and the many uses of spell powders is only limited by your need and imagination.
Note: Remember that powders are never, ever to be ingested or used as an incense. They are for external use only, and may contain ingredients that could be harmful to you if eaten or inhaled through smoke and ash.
Creating Your Own Spell Powder
Creating your own spell powder is not as complicated as it seems, but it is time consuming. To create your own you will need some basic ingredients and tools. Below I’ve given you ideas and instructions in creating your own spell powders.
How to Choose Spell Powder Ingredients
In order to choose the ingredients you must first have a clear idea of what you would like to use your powders for. Are you looking to find love? Is prosperity or money on your mind? Do you have a neighbor that is harassing you or your family and you need them to move on? The variations are endless. However, as in any spell work, you must focus on the exact issue or need and choose your ingredients from there.
Once you have your focus you can begin to determine what herbs, resins, or stones and crystals would work best. You can use a guide to correspondences such as “Holland’s Grimoire of Magickal Correspondence: A Ritual Handbook“ or you can let your intuition guide you. Use as many as you are guided to use. I personally like to use 3, 7 or 9 ingredients but that is not a hard or fast rule.
Use high quality ingredients, if at all possible. Organic herbs have an energy that mass grown and produced do not. Better yet use herbs you have grown yourself to add extra power to your work.
The same goes with resins and stones. Purchase these from reliable and ethical stores, online or your local metaphysical shop. The better the quality, the more responsibly harvested and sourced, the better the finished product.
Creating Your Spell Powder
Now that you have gathered your ingredients it’s time to create your powders. Don’t forget to have pen and paper next to you so you can record what you are using and how much. Relying on your memory can be tricky when you want to recreate any magickal powder, potion, etc.
Be precise and accurate in your measurements. Use a scale if possible or, if you’d like, use the old methods of “one palm full”, or a “pinch. Just keep it consistent for each ingredient.
Take your measured ingredient and place it into a mortar or pestle. If you are making large amounts, like I do, use a dedicated electric coffee or herb grinder. As you place the ingredients into the mortar (bowl) or grinder focus on the intention of the powder. If it is for prosperity, for example, you can say “For Prosperity” as you place it into the bowl. Grind the ingredient to as fine a powder as possible. This may take quite a while, especially with roots and barks.
A note of caution when using an electric grinder. Resins may gum up the grinder so a mortar and pestle is preferred. Stones and crystals may dull the blades of the appliance as well, so use caution.
Grind all ingredients well and place in a ceramic bowl or a clean cauldron. Hold you hands over the bowl and charge (empower) your powder for its intended purpose. If the powder is for love you could say something such as “Let this power aid me in drawing love, in all its forms, to me.” or I charge these herbs to seek out and find my true love, whomever that may be.” When you feel you have poured as much energy and focus into the powder it is now ready to use.
Using The Moon and Planetary Timing When Creating Your Spell Powder
I wanted to add just a quick note about using moon phases and a planetary hours and astrological correspondences when creating your powders. If you create your powders with the most auspicious timing, be it by the moon or planets, it will add an extra punch of energy and efficacy to your powders. That being said, our needs don’t always happen during the correct phases. If you need money fast and it’s a waning moon don’t worry. Create that powder anyways. As an example, instead of asking for an increase of funds you can ask to banish debts instead. Better yet, you can add a “disclaimer” to your workings. You can say something like “May all the correct astrological, planetary and lunar correspondences favor this powder.” Just remember, need outweighs “correctness”. It is our will that makes it work. The Universe will listen.
Don’t have time to Make Your Own – No Worries.
Making your own spell powders can be labor intensive. If you, like many others, are super busy or perhaps just don’t have access to the herbs, stones or resins required, not to worry. You can check out my Etsy Store at TriuneMoon. I have several powders and spell candles there for purchase. I can also create custom spell powders for your particular needs.
Whatever you decide, creating your own or using a purchased spell powder, you can be certain that your spell work will pack on extra punch when you use these powdery powerhouses.
May all your intentions be made manifest and your spell work be fruitful.
We are going through an unprecedented crisis in our country right now. This pandemic has changed the way we are living, working, and socializing. Most of us in the world are now on “shelter in place” orders. It is going to be difficult for most of us to keep busy – mundanely and magickally. To help you make this time as productive as possible, and still have fun, I’ve come up with 15 Magickal Projects while we Shelter In Place.
First of all, let me emphasize “Stay Home”! Only go out for necessities – food, medicine, to work (if you can’t work from home), and to walk or run for exercise (keeping physical distance). If you don’t have supplies for any of the projects I’ve indicated – don’t run out to get them. Order online or, better yet, improvise. Let’s see how resourceful and ingenious we can be.
15 Magickal Projects
Create a Magickal Journal or Book of Shadows (BOS). – Have any old binders or notebooks laying around? How about composition books? Do you have leftover tissue paper or wrapping paper? If you have any of these things, some Decoupage or Clear craft glue, you can create a one of a kind magickal journal or BOS.
Melt down your old candle nubs and make new candles. – You know you have them. Bits and pieces of old candles that you’ve been saving for just such a day. Gather them up, melt them down, and make some new, magickaly infused, candles for your altar or spell work.
Sew up some spell bags. – Wlhile I usually like to use white or red for my spell and mojo bags, any remnants of material you have on hand will do. No sewing machine is required, just a needle and some thread. The hand-stitching adds extra energy to the bags.
Plant a magickal herb garden. – Check out my blog on creating a Witches Garden for some helpful hints.
Learn about a new magickal discipline or practice. – If you are anything like me, you love to learn about different practices and magickal techniques. Fortunately there are a lot of great books available from Amazon and information on the Internet, allowing us to research to our hearts content.
The Projects Keep Coming
Create rituals for all of the Sabbats. – The time to procrastinate is over. With all of is at home for the next few months we can devote some of our time to creating those rituals we have always wanted to. Never written a ritual before? Now is the time to grab pen and notebook, sit at your laptop or tablet, and give it a go.
Do weekly chats online with your coven or circle. – There are lots of ways to connect. Zoom, Skype, and Messenger are just a few platforms to chat, connect and see each other’s smiling faces.
Clean your altars and workspace. – No, not just a good dusting – really clean them. Wash statues and offering plates, scrape off that candle wax. Scrub your cauldrons and all the surfaces.
Start a Gratitude jar. – Grab an old or a box and create a Gratitude Jar. Each day write on a slip of paper something you are grateful for and place in the jar. Being grateful for what we have is a very magickal practice!
Create some magickal art. – Sculpt, paint, do needlework, anything creative. As you do so, infuse it with magickal intention. Later, as you look at, hold, or wear your art, you will activate the magickal intentions.
Craft a new item for your altar. – Always wanted to make an altar cloth from material you found a year ago? Itching to carve an altar offering bowl? Now is your chance. Break out your tools and get to work.
Hold daily or weekly healing rituals for the World. – It’s important to remember we are all connected. All forms of healing are critical! I will be publishing my healing ritual in the next week or you can design one of your own.
Practice your psychic arts. – Grab your pendulums, tarot cards, crystal balls, etc. and get to work. We will need these skills even more as we move forward.
Start or enhance your meditation practice. – Just do it already! This one of the best ways to enhance your magickal practice. And, there are no more “I don’t have time.” excuses allowed.
Drum, Sing, and Dance in your magick. – Bring some joy , along with the magick, into this stressful time.
Now Get To Work!
Don’t hesitate another moment. Grab your supplies and get to work. Unsure of where to start or how to do some of the projects I suggested? No worries. I will be posting “how-to” blogs in the weeks to come.
I look forward to seeing some of your projects. You can post pictures in the comments or on my Facebook Page – Triune Moon.
Vervain, commonly known as Verbena, is an extremely versatile herb, both magickly and medicinally. Found all around the world, it has a rich and useful history. Vervain has been considered a magickal and sacred herb in many different cultures throughout the centuries. It is best remembered as a sacred plant to both the Druids and the Roman priesthood.
To the ancient Romans the name “verbena” meant altar plant. The twigs of the plant were put into bundles and then used to sweep the altar and temple areas.
The name “vervain” comes from the Celtic term “ferfaen; “fer” meaning “to drive away” and “faen” meaning “a stone”. Healers would gather this herb to be used to treat kidney stones – something it is still used for today.
Vervain is a slim plant that may grow to be about 80 cm (32 in) tall. It is a hardy perennial and self-sows. It grows freely in the wild and is often found along roadsides and in dry or stony grounds. Today it is a favorite in many a garden and a staple in every witch’s herbal cabinet and apothecary.
Plant: Common Vervain
Scientific Name: Verbena
Latin Name:Verbena Officinalis, Verbena Californica, Verbena Hastata (Blue Vervain)
Folk/Secret Names: Van Van, Dragon’s Claw, Enchanter’s Plant, Herba Sacra, Holy Plant, Frog’s Foot, Juno’s Tears, Pigeon Grass
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Magickal Uses of Vervain
Vervain is a sacred plant, potentially the most mystical plant on earth. It is used on altars and is a staple plant in magic ceremonies. It is a versatile herb that has many magickal uses.
Parts Used: Flowers and Leaves
Catalyst – use to make spells “go”
Cleansing the altar
Consecration of tools
Herb of Immortality
Keeping evil at bay
Romance and love
Turning your rival into an ally
Used in fortune telling and prophecy
Vervain is the herb of poets, singers, and bards. It was often carried by these performers for to bring inspiration and increased skill
Vervain was placed around fields to prevent bad weather and to ensure a good harvest.
Substitutions: Motherwort, Skullcap, California Poppy
This easy to grow plant is a favorite in many home gardens. The Verbena genus is large, contains both annuals and perennials, and has a range in height from 10 cm through to 1.4 m. Vervain (Verbena) as an annual grows in zones 1 to 10, as a perennial: zones 3 to 10. In general the plants have dark green toothed leaves, and bloom from summer until the first frost of winter. Depending on the variety they may have clusters of tiny flat fragrant flowers or spikes with tiny flowers, making Vervain a great attractor of butterflies and bees to the garden.
Vervain can easily be started from seeds. Be sure to stratify the seeds (follow link for definition) to increase the germination rate. Sow seeds outside after the last frost of spring. Seeds can take anywhere from two weeks to three months to germinate, so don’t get discouraged. Alternately you can pick up plants from your local nursery.
Plants need full sun and well-drained soil. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Spacing of your plants will depend on the variety. Consult the information on the seed packets or plant tags to determine the planting space required for your variety. When in doubt, consult the staff of your favorite nursery or garden center.
Depending on your soil quality and acidity, Vervain needs very little fertilizer. I usually add a bit to the soil before I sow seeds or add new plants and to any established perennials in the early spring.
Blooms are very long lived. However, Vervain is self-sowing so if you don’t want your garden overrun with these beautiful plants cut the flowers before they go to seed.
The information provided below is for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Additional Information
Verbena Officinalis is most often used medicinally. Alternately you could use Verbena Hastata. Some of Vervain’s properties are:
Vervain is most often used to treat:
Painful or irregular menses
Please consult a licensed Herbalist and your Physician before using any parts of the Vervain plant medicinally.
Beyerl, Paul The Master Book of Herbalism Blaine, Washington, Phoenix Publishing Inc. 1981
Dugan, Ellen Garden Witch’s Herbal, Woodbury, MN, Llewellyn Publications 2009
Mueller-Ebeling, Claudia, Ratsch, Christian, and Storl, Wolf-Dieter Witchcraft Medicine Vermont Inner Traditions 2003
Tierra, Michael The Way of Herbs New York, NY, Pocket Books, 1998
One of the first things I learned as a fledgling witch were the basics of Candle Magick. Candle Magick can be one of the simplest, and highly effective, forms of magick to learn and practice. Candle Magick has been used by nearly every religion, Eastern or Western. It is widely practiced, even by the mundane population. Blowing out the candles on your birthday cake is a form of candle magick (you make a wish, don’t you?) We have all lit a candle for a recently departed relative, seen Catholics light candles for prayers, watched (or participated) in a candlelight vigil to offer support and best wishes for the return of an abducted child. All of this, and more, is candle magick.
In learning about candle magick you will find you can make it as simple or as complicated as you wish. During this process you will be working to imbue a candle or candles with your intentions, then lighting and burning the candle while focusing (visualizing) your goal as manifest. The spells is completed when the candle (or candles) is spent. This can be done with one candle or many, with or without spells, props or other aids, performed one time or many. Remember, you are the magick. The candle is there to assist you in your focus and aid you in your workings.
Basics of Candle Magick – Instructions
Below are basic instructions for practicing your own candle magick. I have listed them in basic order of operation – kind of a candle magick “recipe” if you will. As with all good recipes, try it out then add or subtract what does or doesn’t work for you.
Write down your intention: As with any spell or ritual you need to have a plan of what you intend to do. Do you want a spell for love, to find money to pay your bills? Maybe you wish to discover your inner child? Write it down! Review it several times to make sure that a) You really need this; b) You will not infringe on anyone’s free will (especially in regards to love spells); c) You really need this.
Write your candle magick “recipe”: Now is the time to decide how you wish to proceed. Will it be simple with a single candle or will you need several for different aspects of the spell? Do you want to add additional correspondences to aid the spell? How many times should you perform the spell? What color candle should you use? What type? Will you repeat a chant, meditate, sing or use some other method to focus your intention? Have fun, write it down, and then gather the ingredients required.
Cleanse and consecrate: Always cleanse and consecrate all candles, oils, herbs, etc. before beginning. Candles can be cleansed and consecrated using most of the usual methods.
Get your ingredients together: Gather your ingredients, anoint your candles (see instructions below), then add your catalysts (herbs, tokens, etc.). Grab your Book of Shadows handy or at least your written spell, ground, center, and….
Get Cooking: Now you are ready to practice your candle magick! Imbue your candles and catalysts with the required energies and intention. Take a deep breath, focus, light your candle(s) and perform that spell!
Now that you have the basic “recipe” lets discuss how to pick the best ingredients to add to the strength of your candle magick.
When discussing the basics of candle magick, choosing the right candle (or candles) for your spell is important. As you try to decide on your candles, keep the following in mind:
Pick a color to match with your intention: Choose a color from your color correspondence tables to best work with your intention. For example; green for a money spell, pink for a love spell, blue for a healing spell. White is a great all-purpose color and can be used for any type of spell.
Size your candle to match your spell: The size of the candle can differ depending on the time and type of spell. I prefer to use four-inch candles. However, birthday candles are great if you are short on time. If you are going to be performing the spell for consecutive days you can burn a new candle each day. Or perhaps buy one of those cool 7-knob candles. Alternately you may use a taper candle or small pillar and mark a line on the candle to separate it into sections for each day. Then you can burn it down to the line and snuff it out till the next day.
To scent or not to scent: Some Witches like to use store-bought scented candles to add to the ambiance and impact of the spell. However, most are heavily scented and the aroma that corresponds best to your spell may make you sneeze. Sticking to essential oils, or a simple, imbued, carrier oil, is usually best for those with allergies or sensitivities.
Adding the Spice to your Candle Magick
Using and choosing an oil: I feel that the use of oils for anointing candles is essential for my spell work. As you anoint your candle with your chosen oil you are adding your intention as well as giving the spell direction. What do we mean by direction? Rubbing the oil into the candle in specific manner indicates whether you are drawing something to you or pushing it away (banishing). To pull something towards, you anoint your candle from the top down to the center, then from the bottom to the center. To push away or banish, start from the center and rub the oils upward towards the wick, then from the center to the bottom.
“Spices” for your recipe: Your “spices”, or catalysts (correspondences), for a candle magick spell are the herbs, tokens, stones, etc. that are used to, a) focus your intention; and, b) add to the energy and/or vibrations require. For example, when doing a spell to heal someone (always with their permission), you may include a picture or drawing of that person. Add in a personal item of theirs, stones and healing herbs and a healing oil to anoint your candle. Use what has meaning and energy to you.
Imbuing with purpose and energy: Now is the time to get personal with your ingredients and imbue them with your energy and intent. Place your candle in your hand or your hands over the candle and let your energy flow into the candle. Tell the candle what you would like it to do, such as “As you burn you will open my mind and heart to aid me in finding my true spiritual path.” Be specific and don’t be stingy with the energy. Remember, the candle is acting as your focus and as it burns so your intention is made manifest.
Spell repetition: Deciding on the repetition of a spell can be, for some, the most difficult step. How much is too much and what is not enough? There is no set time to cook your spell – the use of trial and error is your guidepost. To assist you, try using the sacred numbers of three, five, seven or nine. Three is a good starting point for less intense spells and seven repetitions are perfect for longer and more focused spells (thus the seven knob candles). As always, use your intuition and decide what’s best for you.
A Word on Candle Safety
A discussion on the basics of candle magick would not be complete without a few words on candle safety. Please, whenever you are burning candles, keep these safety tips in mind:
Never leave a burning candle unattended. If you know you may have to step out of the room, place the candle inside a cauldron or on a fireproof surface such as a cookie sheet. Better yet, make it portable and place the candle in the bathtub to continue burning.
Make sure that nothing flammable will come in contact with the flame. Always place in a non-combustible candle-holder and keep any flammable herbs, tokens, papers, etc. out of the reach of the flames.
Keep pets out of the way of the candles. Pets, especially cats, are curious about the pretty flames. They can hurt themselves or knock the candle over and start a fire.
Now you are ready! It’s time to put all this information on the basics of candle magick to good use. You will find below a simple candle magick spell to help bring peace and love to the Universe. Have fun!
Magick Spell for Universal Peace and Love
1 white candle – marked with a line to separate it into three fairly equal sections or 3 tea lights
Oil for peace and love such as gardenia, lavender, peppermint, vanilla
your candle with the oil. Imbue with
your energy and your intention to bring peace and love to all that inhabit this
Universe. When ready, light your candle
May peace and love embrace each being that dwells within this Universe divine,
May the peace of the God fill your essence
May the radiant love of the Goddess upon you shine.
the chant three times visualizing a Universe of peace and love.
your candle to the first line (or let your tea light burn completely). Repeat
for two more consecutive days.
Rubbing her sleepy eyes, she yawns and then hits the “off” button on her alarm. Raising her arms above her head she stretches, trying to shake off the last of the sleepiness. Turning, she places her feet upon the floor and slowly rises. She grabs her robe from the side chair, slips it on, and with soft steps moves towards her bedroom altar. She pauses, breathes deeply, then lights the candle placed on a crystal plate. Another deep breath and she begins to recite her morning litany, the beginning of her daily devotional practice.
Devotional, as defined by the Miriam Webster dictionary is “a short worship service”. The Free Dictionary further defines it as “relating to worship; “a devotional exercise.” While most Wiccans have no problem relating to worship, some Witches may get stuck with this word. The act of worship itself is defined as “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” Perhaps you don’t work with deity but instead invoke a Universal One, Nature, or power. If so, you may still wish to worship – express reverence to that energy. A devotional practice does this.
I am often asked about daily devotional practice by my students and community. While sometimes a controversial subject because of its Abrahamic religious undertones, I find it an important one. I have touched on this subject in previous blogs, but have never gone into much detail. However, before we delve into the makings of a devotional practice, we must first understand the “why” of doing so.
The Importance of a Daily Devotional Practice
By performing a daily devotional, we are giving thanks, reverence, and energy towards our chosen Deity or Power. We are sharing with them, speaking words of praise, and using the time to gain a closer relationship with them/it. This act of worship and reverence, to me, is crucial for our Craft and our spiritual well-being.
Another plus of a daily devotional practice is allowing ourselves to ground and center, rooting ourselves in the here and now. Grounding and centering only takes a few moments but it can change the entire course of your day. When done first thing in the morning, at the beginning of our devotionals, we are giving ourselves a head start towards a mindful, purposeful day, rooted in serenity and peace. Done at the time of evening devotionals, we are able to put aside the craziness of our day and reconnect with the Earth, the elements and the great web of creation and life.
The second aspect of a devotional is an offering to deity or our higher power. Whether it be a poem, a thank you, a litany, or a prayer, each time we perform our daily devotional, we bring ourselves closer to them. This aids us in all of our workings. When we are closer spiritually to those we choose to honor, our rituals, our spells, and our daily lives are enriched.
Beginning Your Practice
As we’ve discussed, a daily devotional practice can enrich your life, your connections with deity, and improve your personal practice. But how do you begin?
Create a dedicated space for devotionals.: A shelf, tabletop, or even a flat stone in the yard can be set aside for your daily practice. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Make sure that there is enough room for things you may wish to incorporate into your daily ritual.
Cleanse and dedicate the space.: Using your usual methods, cleanse the area and all items you will place upon it. Then dedicate this space and the objects to the deity or power you choose to honor in your devotionals.
Decide on a time to do your devotionals.: Mornings or afternoons are fine, (or both). Just try and keep the times as consistent as possible. Currently, I do both a morning and an evening devotional. The morning is more of a connection with deity and the All and the evening is for thanks and praise for a wonderful day. You may have to work with it a little to see what feels right to you.
Now that you have the place and time decided upon you can begin to perform your devotional. Below is a suggested format for a daily practice. This is just a guideline. Take what works for you and add or subtract to customize your own personal working.
Simple Guideline for a Daily Devotional
Ground and Center: Using your usual methods, ground and center yourself. You may also wish to add in a simple smudging of yourself and your area if this is your tradition.
Greetings and salutations: Begin your devotional with words of greeting. A simple “good morning” can suffice or you can do elaborate hand gestures, clap, bow, or stomp your foot to “awaken” and signal the start to your devotions.
Statements of Purpose: You may also wish to add in a statement of purpose as to why and to whom you are performing your devotional. Something as simple as ” I give greetings to (insert deity) on this beautiful morning. I ask that you look upon me as I start my new day.”
Add in elements that honor your chosen Deity/Powers: Lighting a candle in their honor, chanting, singing, or offering a litany to the day are just some of the elements you can add to your practice. Read a poem, place flowers on the altar, or give offerings for a bountiful day. Do whatever feels right to you.
Closing statement: When you have completed your devotional, be sure to acknowledge and thank the powers for their presence. Just a simple, “Thank you and farewell.”, may suffice. Do what feels right an natural to you.
A devotional practice does not have to take a great deal of time. It may only take 5 minutes, or it could take an hour – depending on your personal preference. The important thing is the connection, the focus and intention that we create and then share with our deities/powers and to ourselves.
Speaking from personal experience, there is no better way to start (and/or) the day than by giving thanks and connecting with Deity and the Universe around me. It’s lifted my spirits on gloomy days and downright saved my sanity on bad ones. The understanding of, and relationship I have achieved with my chosen Goddess has enhanced my personal Craft ten-fold.
May your own daily devotional practice bring you as much joy and spiritual connection and awareness as mine has.
I am feeling a bit under the weather today. Allergies are kicking my butt and I feel as if my head is in a vise. So, instead of trying to fight through all of the crap in my head, I thought I would re-share an old post, Darkest Night. I wrote this several years ago as an offering to Hekate at our groups Hekate’s Feast night. However, its content is just as relevant today as it was then.
Once again we enter the season of contemplation and quiet as the wheel of the year turns to Mabon. This turn ushers in the beginning of the darkest time of the year. And in this dark, we call upon the Goddesses whose realms reside in the shadows. We turn to them in the darkest hours of the night, during the darkest times of our souls. It seems fitting that this small offering be shared once again,
Darkest Night – A Poem for Hekate
By Terry Lynn Pellegrini – (Copyright 2016)
In the darkest of nights, She lights my way. Phosphorous, illuminating, brilliant one. Torches held high, I follow. Through my despair, through my apprehension, She leads me to knowledge. She leads me to joy. And through my joy, She shows me life and what lies beyond.
Her torches burn through the forgotten fields of my soul. Scorching that which has died, lain fallow, neglected. Blackened earth and ash nourish the slumbering seeds of inspiration, Pushing visions through the parched earth towards the moonlit sky. I feel Her pull, Her presence quenching my thirst, slaking my hunger.
With Her keys, She unlocks for me the mysteries, Invites me through the door and into the welcoming darkness I have forgotten. Her hounds, black, menacing, ever at my side. Guarding my steps, teeth bared, haunches taut. Ever ready to protect as well as devour. And they watch, as fears are defeated and yearnings are satiated.
And when I stand at the crossroads of my life, She comes. Lighting the path of my existence, showing me the path to my destiny, Gifting me with the secrets of life, death, and beyond. And I rejoice in the knowing of Her. Giving freely of my heart, my devotion, my pain, and my joy.
Hekate Soteria. Hekate Phosphorous. She of the three faces. Guardian of the Crossroads. She who stands as my Mother, my sister, my Goddess. My teacher, my mentor and my muse. Hekate. May I live a thousand years in your service. May you be forever in my heart, my mind and my soul. Hail Hekate!
During the last week I have been in a creative groove. Writing, crocheting, and then, painting. Now I’m not what any one could conceive of as a true “artist” but then again, I don’t really care. I don’t create for anyone else but me. And when I do create it is with but one purpose. I use my art as magick.
I can hear the skeptics already. “I’m not artistic.” “But I can’t even draw a straight line let alone paint.” I have no talent at all.” No worries and no excuses. Neither am I. But art as magick isn’t all about talent and how fabulous it is going to look when you are done. It is about connection with spirit, connecting with the forces all around you. It is about fun and letting our visions find form. Magickal art is, well, magick first and foremost. Aesthetics are secondary.
The most significant difference between art for art’s sake and art as magick is the intention, the focus behind it. Before I begin a project I make a conscious decision on the subject of my creation. Will I be using the object in ritual? As a focal point for contemplation and meditation? Perhaps I am creating something that will make my home more attractive while infusing it with peace and love. Take my latest two projects for example. I painted four separate pieces for my book on the Elements. The other is several crochet pillow covers for my home. Each of these has a different feel, and are for a very different purpose. Yet each is filled with intention and magick.
Art as Magick – Making Intuitive Choices
Once I’ve decided on how my art shall be used, I gather my supplies. No matter the medium, be it needlework, sculpting, drawing, or painting, as you choose your supplies focus on your goal. You may even wish to infuse your paints, clay, or yarn with the energy you wish to create, making magick even before you even begin your work. Place your hands over your supplies and envision them filling with the energies required for the task at hand. Blowing on them with your breathe- giving them your energy – also connects you with your chosen medium. Then, each brush stroke, each stitch, each line drawn is infused with focus, with purpose, with energy and magick.
Using your intuition, choose the colors, the style, the shape of your creation. Focus on your magickal end result. What colors feel right for a painting to be used in meditation? Blue? Green? Your favorite aunt has requested your assistance in healing her thyroid issues. Knitting a scarf by choosing a soft yarn in a healing color would be perfect for that goal. Allow you goal to shape itself in your mind then, reach for that paint brush, those knitting needles, that clay, and begin.
Using Your Magickal Art
Once you’ve finished your creation, it’s time to put it to good use. Hang your new painting in your meditation space where you will be able to see it often. Place a warm, peace infused afghan over your husband’s chair providing him with that energy each time he drapes it over his lap. Your new sculpture (however lop-sided or squishy – you should see mine!) will look perfect on the mantle, especially since it was created to act as a guardian for your home.
As you place each piece in its new location, speak to it, remind it of what it was designed for. Touch it, then the wall, the mantle or shelf it is being placed on and let it know that this is now “home”. By doing so you are creating an additional magickal bond with the item, guiding it towards its purpose. Magick is alive people, and the things we create with it are our responsibility. Make sure each item knows what it was designed for and what your expectations are.
All that is left to do is enjoy your art! Share your creations with friends and family. Show them off, no matter the level of artistic talent you may have. Share the joy of making magick, of creating art, and changing the world for the better one “masterpiece” at a time. May you find joy in those things your heart, mind, and hands fashion.
When we are fledgling witches and magicians we tend to start out on our path trying everything. Kitchen Witchery, Spellcasting, Elemental work, Alchemy, Herbalism. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Some of these paths never resonate and others make our soul sing. In time we may decide that we want to specialize, gain mastery (comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment), or become an adept (skilled, expert, highly proficient), at one facet of our magickal repertoire. You feel you have grown as far as you can with your old approach to magick. Now you are being called towards discovering your magickal niche.
Before we move on, let me say that not everyone wants or needs to find a magickal niche, a magickal specialty. You may not want to become an adept or master just one style, and that’s okay. We all need to do what works best for us. I love being an Eclectic Witch, but I am also adept at Energy work and Spellcasting. Do you have to be to be an Adept or Master to feel validated as a Witch or magickal practitioner? Hell no! In witchcraft we do what feels right to us – period. There is no need for fancy titles or labels. However, some of us yearn to push ourselves further, hone and mold our craft to a fine point. This is the call to mastery, to adeptness. But first, we need to decide what part of our craft we wish to focus our time and work on.
The Search for Your Magickal Niche
Let’s face it, discovering your magickal niche, your specialty, isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. There are so many fascinating practices out there to delve into. So how do we look for “the one”, the practice that calls us to go deeper, further into its core? Where do we begin our search for our magickal niche?
For me it started with a tingle, a knowing. Many, many, moons ago when I began my Craft, I was like the majority of you. I read, researched, and experimented with many different forms. Yet two things kept pulling me deeper in. Two things which felt good, right, and dang it, I was good at them. Energy work – directing, molding and transforming it in ritual, spells and healing work- and Spellcasting. No matter what other type of magick or work I went on to learn, they kept calling me back.
How about you? Do you have a part of your practice or Craft that keeps calling to you? Perhaps it is stones and crystals that you are consistently working with. Or perhaps herbs and plants tend to have your focus. Are you always casting spells with kitchen tools and stirring your food with specific intentions in mind? Then perhaps Kitchen Witchery is your niche.
Take a few moments, right now, to write down what you mostly work on and with when you are doing magick. What is always on your mind when you begin to formulate a ritual, a spell, or casting? Allow your hand to just write. Let the words flow. Then look at what you’ve written. Was it one thing? Two or more? If more than one, meditate on them for a few moments. Which dominates your thoughts? This path, this thought, is your niche, your focus, your one “thing”.
Working With Your Niche
Now comes the fun part, working with your new-found niche. Okay, it is also the hard part. Mastery and adeptness is work – lots of it. It is study, research, and practice, practice, practice. You will find yourself learning and re-learning your Craft, adding and subtracting techniques and changing how you’ve always done things. In a sense, mastery and adeptness is about reinventing yourself, your Craft, and your life. You will be seeing everything with a new set of eyes, the eyes of the knowing, of the Master.
Each and every day you will be doing something to strengthen your skills, even if it is just a few minutes at a time. You will flex your magickal muscles, grab your notebooks and the latest volume filled with words of wisdom, and break out the magickal tools. Spells, castings, and rituals- oh, my. Your life becomes magick, YOU become the magick.
Then comes the day when you feel that you’ve finally reached “it”. Mastery of your given path. But no resting on your laurels when there is Adepthood waiting in the wings. So you work some more, maybe for years until not only you, but your peers, realize that you have indeed become adept at your magick, your work. Pop the cork, get out the balloons and celebrate your accomplishments.
When the Witch becomes the Adept
Once the party is over, guess what? The learning and re-learning begins. Yep, Adepthood comes with a “forever” stamp. You buy it at one price but the actual cost keeps going up over the years. The price of being an adept (or a Master on the way to Adepthood) is that the worth, the end point of your goal keeps changing. New discoveries, new mysteries appear that want to charge us more in time and knowledge. Your goalpost keeps moving, shifting with the times. The work never ends. But do we really want it to?
As I noted earlier, this wasn’t going to be easy. Nor is it a “one and done” operation. Adepthood is a life of purpose, of constant revelations, and a call to duty. Like the college student who has finally received their PhD, there are certain obligations that the Adept must fulfill. The Adept is often called to write, to teach, to share what they have learned with future generations of practitioners. Whether one-on-one or when leading a public ritual, the Adept shares their knowledge willingly, leads by example and helps pave the way for the next new Master or Adept.
The true Adept has wisdom, not just knowledge, for they know they will always have more to learn. They have learned that “truths” are fluid. They understand that what is unseen and unknowable teaches us more than any book can. An Adept wears their new mantle with confidence while striving to not be boastful or act like a “know-it-all.” But, we are all human so don’t expect perfection from them. Just because they’ve reached a level of knowledge that you do not currently possess does not mean they are infallible. Learn from them, grow with them, but always trust your inner light to guide you.
Becoming a Master or an Adept is not for everyone, but as a magickal practitioner it is a goal worth pursuing. With time, perseverance, practice and knowledge, you too can gain Mastery in your Craft, become the next generation of Adepts. May your quest towards Adepthood be fulfilling and brimming with purpose and joy!
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