Everything is Popping Up Poppet’s!

PoppetPattern

Poppet! Poppet! Who has the Poppet!

We’ve recently started making Poppet’s in the store. Poppet’s, up to this point, were not real big sellers. In fact, like Witchcraft, they’ve had a rather nefarious reputation. The Poppet has become interchangeable with the voodoo doll. Both of which have been forced into the stereotype of evil, hateful, used for revenge, etc.

I saw the stereotype in action not too long ago. I was visiting New Orleans, the French Quarter. There is no place like it! I was in one of the many little shops along Bourbon Street getting my fortune told. These two ladies walked into the store, saw a shelf of voodoo dolls, and immediately turned around and walked out. As they walked out, you could hear them say, “I’m not going in there with those evil things! I can’t believe they’d sell such things!”

I have to admit I wasn’t impressed with the fortune teller. I’ve had better readings from a novice. When you tell me someone is going to die in six months…simply because I had the death card. I really have to question your ability to read tarot. Then again, I was in New Orleans, and while I know the history, I also know much of it is now strictly for tourist.

I was, however, very impressed with the shop keeper. The ladies who walked out, offended by the voodoo dolls, sparked a conversation with the other customers. He quietly explained the history of the voodoo doll, and its purpose. He didn’t mince words, and gave the other customers a chance to ask questions. It is that one act which will make me a return customer. Faulty fortune teller or no, I will be back!

The Poppet’s user is age old. They were, and are, a closely guarded secret. I know I’m hesitant to hand someone a Poppet without knowing their intent. In the wrong hands, or used incorrectly, a Poppet can be a dangerous tool. Used correctly though, they can be a saving grace.

Poppet’s are generally made from cloth. Any material will do. I’ve seen Poppet’s made from twigs and corn husks. You’d be amazed what you can create in a pinch! I tend to make mine with yarn. A cloth doll is nice, but if someone else makes it for you, it is really hard to fill it with herbs, etc. If you make it yourself, with the wrong material, it can be hard to write on it.

The yarn Poppet’s we make solve both of those problems! Even after they’re made, you can still fill them with herbs. If you write what you need on paper, you can put it inside the Poppet. If you’re like me and tend to write a book whenever you write…a larger piece of paper is a saving grace! Plus, you can still add hair, clothing, facial features, etc.

There are many reasons you’d make a Poppet – Protection, prosperity, luck, love, health, happiness… We tend to use them most for bindings – admittedly, this is NOT something we like to do, or recommend. Poppet’s can also be used for Banishings, in extreme cases, and again it is not something we recommend.

Our favorite reason to make Poppet’s is for Friendship. Each of our Poppet’s is blessed with health, prosperity, success, healing, and family. Then we bind it with the following:

Love and Friendship, Kin and Kind
Ever in our Hearts and Mind
Magick made and Lives Entwined
Thus we Honor, Ties that Bind

The Poppet’s are not taglocked. So, they’re not tied to any one person, place, or thing. If you ever purchase one, you can taglock it yourself. For those who do not know what taglock is – A taglock is the part of the poppet that links to the person you mean it to represent. In order to taglock a Poppet you would need a piece of the persons clothing, their handwriting, a photograph of the person, some of their hair, nail clippings, or bodily fluids. The more personal the item, and the more personal items you have, the stronger the taglock.

The more time you put into making/taglocking the Poppet the stronger the connection. Don’t forget to name the Poppet if it is going to represent someone. You can do this by repeatedly telling the Poppet who it is it represents.

This is where we’re going to throw in a strong Caution! Remember, this Poppet represents a person once you name it and taglock it. Keep it in a safe place!! What happens to the Poppet, happens to the person. You may not mean to cause the person harm, but if you get the Poppet to close to a flame…or the neighbors cat runs off with it because you filled it with catnip….you will never forgive yourself!

Once the Poppet has done its work Do Not forget to dismantle it! Remove the herbs, taglocks, etc. Dispose of them properly. Make sure any link between the Poppet and the person it represents is completely destroyed. Then cleanse the doll thoroughly!

Poppet’s can be reused if cleansed properly. It is not something we recommend, but then we tend to err on the side of caution. When in doubt, rule it out!

Most Poppet’s come in the shape shown above. Ours come as male or female. Eventually we’d like to include animal Poppet’s. There have been many times we could have used a cat or dog poppet to do a healing. If you know of a good way to make an animal poppet, drop us a line at wickedwitchmidwest@yahoo.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

For now…

Blessed Be My Friends!

Wonderfully White Winter Solstice Blessings

 

 

winterwonderland

Winter Solstice is upon us, and I have to admit…I do not like winter!

I love Winter Solstice though! It is a magical time of year. It is a time of renewal, rebirth, and joy; a time to reflect on the past. Remember those who have come before, and those we are blessed with now. It is also the time when the fermentation process would be complete, and alcohol would be ready to drink!

I’m not a big drinker – I do like a glass of wine once in a while but, I never seem to finish the whole bottle. Not without help anyway. A good glass of honey mead is never wasted on me, but again…a glass is my limit. Call me old and boring if you want. The “falling down drunk” never appealed to me. I do enough falling down without the help of alcohol.

The Winter Solstice is “The Holiday’s” for everyone else. That means baking and wrapping packages and shopping and snow and garland and glitter and glitz and…. exhaustion! It also means eating too much, and drinking too much. Do you see a bit of a recurring theme here?

So…what does a Witch do for the The Holidays? This Witch gets crafty!

This time of year I pull out the Blessing/ Banishing tree. I know I’ve posted about this before but we can never count our blessings enough. But, you can’t have the light without the dark. For each blessing we receive we must surrender something. So, why not something we want to get rid of?

The Blessing/ Banishing tree works like this – you’ll need:

1 Tree – Tree size depends on the number of people participating. If you purchase a living tree, you can save it until the season is over, dry it out, and you have your Yule log for next year.
10-20 Red Ribbons/ Bows Per Person (or color of your choice)
10-20 White Ribbons/ Bows Per Person (or color of your choice)
Drink – Alcoholic or Non-Alcoholic. I usually combine the Blessing/Banishing Tree with the Triskelian Rite of Tea. Since I’m doing this one for the Winter Solstice Mint Hot Chocolate is my go to drink – the benefits of mint, especially this time of year, helps with the headaches, indigestion, gas, heartburn, and sleeping. If you prefer tea, a nice chamomile mint tea would be perfect! Chamomile reduces the stress hormone, as well as having aromatic benefits.

Back to the Blessing/ Banishing tree! Once everyone has their tea, or hot chocolate, elect someone to go first. Each person will add one red bow, and one white bow, to the tree during their turn. You’ll have to designate which color bow is for banishing and which is for blessing. Personally I use white for blessing and red for banishing.

When putting the bow on the tree each person will say what blessing they’d like to bring into their lives, and what they’d like to banish from it. For example: I’d place a blessing bow on the tree to bring family closer. I’d put a banishing bow on the tree to rid myself of excess weight (everything I gained from Thanksgiving!).

You might think coming up with 10-20 blessings and banishings is hard. Once you start though, you’ll wish you had more bows! Don’t hesitate to use your blessings and banishings for someone else. Remember, what you send out comes back to you! I have family that struggles this time of year. We’ve had so many family members pass around the holidays. It does tinge the holiday with a bit of angst, and fear. The Blessing/ Banishing tree allows me to remember all the great people I have in my life, and to send them Blessings while Banishing some of their troubles.

The recipe for my Mint Hot Chocolate is:

2 cups milk
2 cups half and half
6 sprigs fresh mint
10 oz milk chocolate chips

I usually double, or triple the batch and throw all of the ingredients in the crock pot. Since it is winter, fresh mint sprigs may not be easy to find. You can substitute a crushed candy cane or two. If you prefer your hot chocolate luxurious and rich, reduce the milk to 1 ½ cups and add a half a cup of sweetened condensed milk.

If you’re like me, and do not have a fire place, you might find it a little hard to do the traditional Yule log rituals. Over the years I’ve replaced the burning of the Yule log with the gathering of the pine branches. Everyone receives their own pine branch, and single green candle.

Pine signifies prosperity and growth. Add a green candle which stands for abundance, growth, money, success, health and healing. Toss in a little craftiness – a sprig of mistletoe, a little ribbon, a couple of crystals, and whatever else you’d like to use to decorate…and the next thing you know, you have the perfect centerpiece, or table marker, or bookshelf décor.

Once you have the above crafted. You can use it for one of two little rituals. The first one, everyone lights their candle, makes a wish, then lets the candle burn out. The second one, everyone lights their candle, sits back and remembers the past year. After a bit of inward reflection, everyone uses their candle to light a larger, central candle. The central candle represents togetherness, the coming year, and new beginnings. Once the central candle is lit, you can either put out your individual candles, or…make a wish and let the candle burn out.

However you choose to celebrate this wondrous season be sure of three things – Dance, sing, and celebrate! Every one of you will be in my thoughts, and part of my Blessings/ Banishing tree. May Isis, Mithras, Rhea, Hera, Lucina, Lucia, Frigga, and Freya show you the beauty of the season and bless you many times over.

Blessed Be My Friends!

Attitude

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

~Charles R. Swindoll~

A Little Wicked Wisdom

It is amazing to think…

I have been writing this blog, and a couple of others, for several years now. I write solely for myself, but really appreciate the readers I have. I don’t filter my writing to be politically correct, or socially acceptable. I believe both are a waste of time.

If we were to stand face to face and have a conversation; you would find I speak exactly the same as I write. I don’t change myself to suit others. This world is already way to full of people judging people. I don’t have the time, or the inclination to join the mass hysteria.

I am a small town, bible belt living, bi-sexual, Book of Shadows totting Witch. I stir up controversy the second I step out my front door. I fight multiple stereotypes every chance I get, but only with words. I don’t have a taste for violence – I wouldn’t be a Witch if I did. I am also not a pacifist. You hurt my family, kids, animals, or friends – anyone I care about and the hexes come out.

I know I will face the consequences of any negative actions I perform. Call it karma, the three-fold law, whatever you prefer. I try to keep my words soft, my actions softer, but I will not back down from a fight. Insults are just words. They generally don’t ruffle my feathers. And, if one wishes to discuss religion vs. spiritual beliefs I’m up for the debate.

However, I do not appreciate emails from bible thumping groups depicting me as the devil, and all that is wrong with society. I do not even tolerate such issuances in my daily life.

What is wrong with society, and the bible thumping crowd, can be defined in one word: Ignorance.

Infer I am a Satanist, Devil worshiper, purveyor of evil and I say, “Thank you!” I know a couple of Satanists, and a couple of Lucifarian’s – fantastic, caring, loving, completely non-evil people. To be counted among them would be an honor.

Call me Christian, or Catholic, and I take offense. I do not wish to be associated with religious belief systems which have spurned more death then any Satanic group. The foundation of these belief systems is solidly built on death. The historic deception, deceit, lies, and coercion used in solidifying the basis of these religions is sickening.

If the ‘faithful’ of these belief systems would truly research the foundation of their dogma…they would not blindly follow them any further. How do I know? I didn’t blindly follow.

To the group who so wisely emailed me. Who wanted to bring to my attention my short comings; how the devil was leading me astray. Who wanted to bring me to the light. Let me say this:

Your ignorance is showing, and it is shameful!

First, you know nothing about me. Second, you are not “the way, the truth, the light.” You are closed minded, deceived, and hopelessly lost to an idea. I feel sorry for you. You are what is wrong with this world today.

Since I dislike sweeping generalizations, and the last paragraph was full of them. Let’s begin with the first part – you know nothing about me.
I may be from a small town, but that does not make me ignorant. I did blindly follow your belief system….until I started questioning. I was told to “take it on faith,” but wasn’t a fool. So, I studied. Studied, ..and studied,.. and was ordained,… and questioned more,… and hated the answers I was given,… and was disillusioned by what I was being force fed. There is a reason they call it ‘Blind Faith.’

The bible…the lovely, fictitious book; culled by a council of corrupt, pagan influenced, self-righteous men with an eye on controlling the populous. Did only what their predecessors had done before them. They used existing religious practices to define your valued doctrine. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look.

The cross – the most ancient and exalted human ideograms of the Sun. SUN not SON. Recognized throughout the world, and celebrated as a symbol of life by Buddhists, Greeks, Amerindians, Egyptians, and Christians. The cross dates back to the Paleolithic era. That is pre-Neolithic….long before bible decide to use it.

The cross also represented resurrection of the Sun. Oh, there’s the spelling thing again! Sun, not son. Such a small thing – especially if you’re a group of men looking to control a populace. If you add in the representation of Egyptian Anhk, which is the Just-Man crucified. You start forming the picture of how they decided on the crucifixion.

Oh, and let’s not forget Osiris-Dionysus (1000 BC) – the pagan fertility god who suffered persecution, was nailed upon a crucifix, died, and later rose from the dead. It just happened to be the dominant belief system where Christianity first flourished. Coincidence? Artifacts portraying Jesus on a crucifix weren’t found until the 5th century. Prior to that time artifacts depicted Jesus as the fish, or shepherd, but never on the cross.

Felix Marcus Minucius, one of the early Christian fathers even discredited the whole idea Christians worshiped the cross. Declaring:

“You it is, ye Pagans, who are the most likely to adore crosses. Your winning trophies not only represent simple crosses, but a cross with a man on it.”

That is only the cross. One small part. I haven’t even touched on the four gospels. Four gospels…four seasons…that one is hard to miss. Then there is the whole male dominant part. A male council decides the “God” of the bible is male – shocker!

To many early cultures, prior to the succession of Judeo-Christianity, the celebration of birth to death was key. Ceremonial figure heads were female. The Goddess was supreme through 3000-1100 BC. Christianity insists this cycle is reversed – a dead man literally came back to life.

Multitudes invented tales of resurrection to lead people astray. Pythagoras’ servant convinced the Scythians he had risen from the dead. Pythagoras himself did the same in Italy. What about Rhampssinitus in Egypt? Don’t forget Orpheus among the Odrysians, Protesiaus in Thessaly and Heracles and Theseus.

To Roman historians Christianity was seen as a new depraved and deadly superstition. The Sophist historian, Eunapius of Sardis, even described the destruction when literalist Christians came to power. He recorded that the Empire was being confounded by a “fabulous and formless darkness mastering the loveliness of the world.”
Before Christ, Jesus Christ, the original dying and resurrecting Solar gadman was known by many different names:

• In the Greco-Syriac myth, Adonis. Worshipped by women as the beautiful fertility god. Yearly carnivals called “Adonia” took place at Byblos and abroad to commemorate his demise and resurrection.
• In Egypt, it was the goddess Isis and the resurrected Osiris.
• In Anatolia, he was the youthful godman Attis, the Sun/Son of the goddess Cybele, who died, and three days later returned to life.
• In Babylonia, he was Tammuz worshiped by the goddess Ishtar. In the Old Testament, his disappearance is even mourned by the women of Jerusalem (Ezek. 8.14).
• In Greece, it’s the Thracian god Dionysus in honor of the goddess Demeter and Persephone. His fanatical priestesses were called Maenads. In Rome, they were called the Bacchantes.

I could keep going, but I think this post is long enough. I’m happy to talk with anyone via email, or otherwise. I am happy to listen to what you have to say. Just know that you will not convert me, or convince me. I am far too old, and have done far too much research.

That is why I do not follow a religion. I follow a spiritual path. I am polytheistic, no monotheistic. And I encourage everyone not to be blind followers. If you want some reading material pick up some of the following:

Pagans and Christians: Gus diZerega
The Christ Conspiracy: Acharya S
The God Gene: Dean H. Hamer
The God Delusion: Richard Dawkins
Beyond Belief, The Secret Gospel of Thomas: Elaine Pagels
The Gospel of Mary Magdalene: Jean-Yves Leloup

Do not let anyone, including me, tell you what to believe. Use that wonderful brain of yours and decide for yourself. Then do not expect others to believe as you do. Their life, their experiences, their surroundings, the events in their lives, are completely unique to them – and it is those things which have led them to the path they chose. Let them walk that path – judgment free!

Harm None and Blessed Be!

Pumpkin Pickin’ Predicament

pumpkin

Do a little dance! Make a little rant! Get down tonight!

We’re having 80’s week at work to celebrate Customer Service. It has given the world a whole new sparkle! It has also colored it brightly, and erased all signs of fall. I’m a bit torn as to whether this is good, or bad. I love fall! I love fall colors! I love all of the fun things which fall brings!

Apple cider, pumpkin pie, spices, cinnamon…. and clove… and nutmeg… and….oh the smells and tastes and… excuse me while I get lost in the thoughts! More than any other time of the year I get a true feeling of home tinged with a great big glop of love. And why not? It is the one time of year we let our guard down, and become truly human.

This is the time of year when donations to charities increases; where stories of people helping people become common place. Love is in the air, and more babies conceived – human and animal alike. The average person would simply write this off as the time of year. I, however, know it has everything to do with magick!

Don’t believe me? Let’s break this down. Starting with the spices….

Clove – a very aromatic antioxidant with antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory quality. Oh the things you can do with Clove!

Used to treat gastroenteritis and intestinal parasites, toothaches and insect bites. Also used to relieve pain, treat nausea, vomiting, stomach issues and impotence.

Fill a small bottle with whole cloves, pour olive oil over it, seal it…and you have one of the best, natural, remedies for toothaches. Cheaper, and sometimes better tasting, than store bought anbesol, etc.

Put it in a tincture of alcohol or witch hazel and use it as a disinfectant. Add a few cloves to a mix of fresh apples, orange peels, cinnamon sticks, and spring water – heat on low, in a bowl on the stove and your house will smell fantastic!

Use some clove and eucalyptus oil in the shower, or bath, for help with repertory illnesses. Carry clove with you for protection. Make it into incense to draw wealth and prosperity. Burn it in your next campfire to keep away the pesky bugs like mosquitoes and flies. Add it to smudging spray to drive away negative forces – it is that added little ‘kick’.

Cloves secret weapon though is the emotional element of love…sweet, enduring, love!

Cinnamon – another very aromatic spice. Used in treating coughs, arthritis, muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, loss of appetite and sore throats. If you follow research, cinnamon may also have an effect on preventing Alzheimer’s.

Every year at this time I buy a cinnamon fragrance broom to hang in the ritual room. I mix up some cinnamon and sugar for morning toast. Cinnamon and honey gets mixed and jarred to help with annoying coughs and sore throats.

A tincture of cinnamon helps lower blood pressure. Also helps lower blood sugar levels in diabetics, works on circulation problems, and digestion problems. If you have never made cinnamon tincture (extract) don’t panic when part of it comes out gooey. That does not mean the tincture is bad. The gooey-ness is a good sign. Tinctures/ extracts bought at the store are processed…which is why you don’t see the gooey-ness. Also, if you’re making your own cinnamon tincture be sure to leave it sit in the dark for a minimum of two weeks. Shake it periodically, but don’t open it for at least the two weeks. The longer you leave it sit the better.

Like its friend Clove, Cinnamon has the emotional element of love. And I’m not just talking about the love of the taste!

Ginger – The aromatic spice makes think of Asian stir fry, almost as much as pumpkin pie! Ginger is used for treating loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, nausea resulting from cancer treatment, flatulence, stomach upset, colic, morning sickness, motion sickness, bronchitis, cough, menstrual cramps, arthritis, and muscle pain. Wow! What a list! I love nature!

A little secret from the modern world – ginger is used as an ingredient in antacid, laxatives, and anti-gas medications. They’ve even done tests of adding ginger to asthma medication. The tests have been pretty successful so far.

Personally, I add ginger to my yearly cold medicine. A small jar, one lemon sliced, two slices of ginger, and a lot of honey. Put the sliced lemon in the jar until it fills it. Add the two slices of ginger, pour the honey over all of it until the jar is full. Put a lid on it and let it sit in the fridge. When you need it, take one to two tablespoons, add to boiling hot water, and sip. I like adding a little green tea for an added antioxidant boost – plus I just love green tea!

If you’re making any kind of stew…add some powdered ginger and you’ll be amazed at the flavor bonanza. Just a side note – Ginger Essential Oil should never be consumed unless supervised by a doctor. I prefer to buy fresh ginger since I haven’t had much luck growing my own. I will conquer it though!

If you’re working any spell which need an added kick – spells for success, money…Love. Ginger is a great addition, and adds a kick you won’t get with other herbs.

Oh! And let’s not forget my favorite ginger of all – Ginger Ale! I highly recommend making your own at least once in your life. They have a great recipe on the foodnetwork.com

Nutmeg – the aphrodisiac of the group. Nutmeg has been used to treat rheumatism, and gastric disorders. Nutmeg also has a darker side. For this site though….I’m only interested in its wonderful addition to making my pumpkin pie delicious!

Carrying a small piece of nutmeg is considered lucky. If you want to attract money, you can make a charm of a whole nutmeg.

Nutmeg does not have the emotional element of love. The fact that it is an aphrodisiac definitely aids in the love factor though.

Apples – the cancer fighting fruit. It is actually part of the rose family. Apples aid the digestive system. The pectin has an amphoteric action – meaning it is either a laxative or antidiarrheal. Depending on the bodies needs.

Apple Cider Vinegar is one weight loss tincture the world has made popular over the last few years. A week doesn’t go by that I don’t see it posted on Facebook. I keep it handy for getting rid of fruit flies outside. A little apple cider vinegar and a drop or two of dish soap in a bowl… flies can’t resist it!

The apple is associated with beauty, love, faith, death of the old year, peace, abundance, wisdom, joy, fertility, youthfulness, immortality, temptation, and knowledge. Say that in one breath! Used in pies, drinks, tinctures, salves, shampoos, sauces, and the list goes on. My favorite, this time of year, is apple butter! One recipe for Apple Butter I recently found on Yahoo Food…and can’t wait to try…is:

4 pounds of mixed apples – they suggest Cortland, Pink Lady, and Braeburn – peeled, cored, and chopped into ¾ inch cubes.
2 cups apple cider
1 cup light brown sugar
One 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

Preheat the oven to 300°. Combine all the ingredients in a Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until the apples are soft, about 25 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the apples (or puree in a blender in batches).

Transfer the Dutch oven, uncovered, to the oven. Bake, stirring every 20 minutes and scraping the bottom so that it does not burn, until the mixture is very thick and dark brown, 2 to 2 1⁄2 hours. Cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve. The apple butter will keep for up to 1 week.

Doesn’t that sound delicious? I can already imagine the smell permeating the house while it is cooking.

On to pumpkins, and the rant part of this post.

Pumpkins – packed with carotenoids and a great source of vitamin A, C, E and B, and dietary fiber. They’re rich in potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, sodium, and zinc. Plus, pumpkins are just cheerful looking with their bright colors. Yellow, orange, red – very chipper colors!

Even the seeds are healthy with an anti-inflammatory effect. Asthma, atherosclerosis, bone health, cholesterol, depression, eyesight, immune system, … the list of items pumpkin helps fight is endless (or it just seems that way!)

Now…here’s my rant. This year, walking through Target, admiring the Halloween decorations, I ran across fake, carve-able pumpkins. Fake! Man-made pumpkins. I can only imagine what it takes to make those pumpkins. I can see the chemicals, the pollutants, the ick factor! Every part of me cringes at the thought of these things.

Here is my problem with them. Somewhere there is a factory pumping these things out. In that factory are workers slowly getting sick due to the chemicals. No matter how hard any company may try, when working with any kind of chemical, there is no way to completely prevent the illnesses caused by the toxins. Those same toxins are seeping into the ground, reaching our ground water. The neighboring community is being affected.
I appreciate the fact the company is providing jobs for the community. At what cost though? The medical costs these people will later incur will be more then what they will make. Their lives will be forever altered by the illnesses.

These fake pumpkins will be bought by millions. They’re easy, less messy, a time saver, and cost about the same as a real pumpkin. They’ll be bought because people are lazy. They were created for a society that is over-weight, takes the easy way out, and doesn’t consider the consequences.

And don’t, for a second, think I exclude myself from this broken society. Oh, heck no! For one minute I considered buying one of these fake pumpkins. I considered it because I can’t stand the feeling of pumpkin guts on my hands. What can I say, I have issues with textures. In that minute though, my brain kicked in. I started asking the “What ifs?”

What if I did buy the fake pumpkin? What would it hurt? Well….for one, the neighborhood squirrels wouldn’t get their yearly supply of pumpkin seeds. I would truly miss seeing their little tails scurry around the yard. I wouldn’t get to watch my ever growing family of cats try to fit inside the pumpkins once they’re carved. I wouldn’t get to enjoy the smell of semi-burnt pumpkin. Thanks to a small candle and freshly carved pumpkin ‘lid’. I wouldn’t get to watch the pumpkin slowly melt into an unfamiliar funny face. My compost bin would miss the familiar orange fall covering that comes with the aftermath.

There would be no spicy pumpkin seeds for the remainder of the year. Snacking would go back to being boring. I wouldn’t be able to try pickle juice flavored pumpkin seeds. And I was so looking forward to that this year!

And that is exactly how my mind works. Scary isn’t it? 

So…after looking at all the spices, and apples, and pumpkins, it really does come down to love. The smells, the colors, the tastes, all inspire in each of us an emotion. Whether it is contentment, happiness, feelings of home, love, peace, ….or even fear. Emotions are strong this time of year.

Whether you’re working your magick in the kitchen, or in a circle, never doubt magick is real. Take it from a Witchy one, the herbs and spices and foods we use for the holidays carry that magick.

Blessed Be My Friends!

In Blackest Night, and Furriest Day

blackcat

It is almost Halloween and my house is upside down…as usual!

The past three years at my house have been interesting. It all started on Halloween day 2012. I was sitting quietly in my living room watching something-or-other on TV. I wasn’t paying attention to anything going on around me. I couldn’t have told you what the neighbors were up to or even if they were home. I couldn’t even tell you if I was truly paying attention to what I was watching. Then it happened…

I heard this sound. This strange, mournful, LOUD sound. So, I started listening closer. I turned down the TV, walked around the house, listening the whole time. Then it dawned on me where the sound was coming from. It was coming from outside! I ran outside to find the source of this poor, pathetic sound. And there, in the corner of my backyard, curled up in a tiny ball and making a heck of a racket was this little, solid black kitten.

She was fearless! As we approached her she hissed, and meowed, and tried to hide herself further in the corner. She wasn’t even a month old! So very, very tiny! We didn’t see a momma cat around. And we didn’t see any other little ones around. And it was cold, and snowy, and miserable out! So, we did the only thing we could. We adopted her.

Her name is now Salem. She is our little bitty pretty one. Spoiled, and loved, and adored, and one of the best Halloween gifts ever.

But that was 2012… we move on to Halloween 2013.

Halloween 2013 came along much like Halloween 2012. We start looking forward to it sometime in July, and impatiently count down the days until October. We start crafting, and creating, and celebrating. Planning events, and gathering leaves. Keeping our eyes on pumpkins, and plotting the years costumes.

We never expected a repeat of the previous year. Never would have imagines we’d receive a second gift. But… once again…this little black fuzz ball shows up. He was so full of energy! His favorite toys were anything that moved, and his greatest talent was cuddling. Another cute black kitten arrived at our home in need of love.

Jinx was a welcome addition. Well, welcome to us. Salem, however, was not so thrilled. It may have been Jinxes exuberance in trying to win Salem over, which she didn’t appreciate. Whatever it was it took Salem a little time to appreciate the furry intrusion.

Jinx has become our handsome boy, and Salem our pretty princess. Two so unique personalities you’ll never confuse the two. They are our wonderfully witchy kitties. Our greatest Halloween gifts. But that was 2013….

Halloween isn’t here yet. It is only September 29th. We’re a month away from the best holiday the year offers. And….keeping with tradition… we had not one, but two, little black fuzzy things show up at the house.

I would love to say I’m joking. I’d love to say I’m making this all up. I’d love to say my house has not been turned upside down, again. But I’ve learned, that this time of year, it is best just to accept the inevitable and celebrate its wonder.
Merlin and Nightmare are now permanent fixtures in our house. Two wonderful, furry, black little kittens have won the hearts of everyone in our home. Including Jinx and Salem. The twist this time is Merlin. Who has one white spot on his belly.

There is something about having an all black cat in your house. It becomes Halloween year round. When you find yourself with four black cats, there is no question Halloween is home.

Now, I know, this post isn’t all that witchy. I will argue there is magick in it. It touches my heart because I’m a softy when it comes to fuzzy, furry things. It also brings a bit of sadness. This time of year black cats get a bad rap. They also tend to be tortured, abused, and put to sleep. Humane Societies put black cats to sleep more often than any other color cat. People are less likely to adopt a pure black cat than a tabby, or calico, or other color.

So, this year, for Halloween, if you have extra love to share, or a home which needs a cat’s special kind of love, consider adopting a black cat. If you do not have the ability to adopt a black cat, think about making a donation to your local shelter. If you can’t donate money, or pet food, think about donating your time. Our furry friends can always use the extra love.

For now, I’ll enjoy my black cat sanctuary, and hope I never have to turn a kitten away. To quote Sigmund Frued: “Time Spent with cats is never wasted.”

Goodnight my friends, and blessed be!

Coughin’ Up Coffin Nails

nail

I remember watching a movie where a guy coughs up nails. It all started with an evil voodoo priest, a man who didn’t know any better, and a curse. The poor cursed gentleman coughs up handfuls of nails. Shredding the inside of his mouth and causing me to wince. The scene in the movie fascinated me. We only have 3.5 to 4 grams of iron in our bodies. That is only enough to make one 3 inch nail. Nowhere near a handful!

Then, of course, my mind went into overdrive. If the guy coughed up a handful of nails, that meant he had an abundance of iron in his system. If he had an abundance of iron in his system, then he would have been extremely sick. The curse wouldn’t have been a curse in that case. The voodoo priest was saving the guys life!

The magickal side of me had to argue we never saw the cursed guy in the hospital. So, the voodoo priest was actually evil and the curse, with its fully magickal workings, was hurting the guy. That thought led to another, and another, and then… It occurred to me I was watching a movie…about an evil voodoo priest…so my mind quickly went to, “Seriously? An evil voodoo priest? It has been soooo over done!” That led to… “I really hate movie stereotypes!”

I don’t personally know any voodoo priests, or priestess. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting one. I do know Voodoo, like Witchcraft, has a bad wrap thanks to the movies. What I’ve read about the belief system leads me to believe it is as benevolent as Witchcraft. It is also, often, confused with Hoodoo. I will admit, I’m not sure exactly what the difference is between the two. I think one is Island specific, and the other Africa specific. Don’t quote me on my statement though. I could very easily be wrong.

The reason I bring up this movie is because I want to talk about nails. Specifically, coffin nails.

The first reaction of many is going to be, “Coffin nails? That’s black magick, or evil magick, or negative magick.” Well, yes and no. There are spells and rituals which can and do cause harm. The Malison charm which brings sickness and/or death. The Madness spell, which is meant to drive an enemy mad. There is even one to bring tragedy to the specified person. These three alone would fall into my evil category.

What we have to remember is intent is what matters. You can use a coffin nail negatively, or positively. For instance, you can drive someone away from a person, their home, a place, a vehicle, etc. Used correctly though, that could be a good thing. One example I have is a friend was being stalked by an ex-boyfriend. It was affecting her life, and her health. The answer was a coffin nail.

Nine coffin nails, to be exact, graveyard dirt, and banishing powder mixed and placed in nine individual bags. One nail per bag with equal amounts of graveyard dirt and banishing powder. Then nightly, for nine nights, dump the contents of the bag onto the path the person uses to leave or enter their home.

I use an incantation when pouring the mixture out. I make it specific to the person/place/thing. The one I initially wrote for this instance was rather harsh. So, I haven’t used it since. I would go with something quick and easy like:

“What now is dark
Be made light
Remove __________
From our sight
For the good of all
With harm to none
As we will it
So it shall be done”

Granted, that was off the top of my head. It likely needs tweaked a bit, but you get the general idea.

In this instance I also gave my friend a coffin nail to carry with her. You’ll want to put the nail in a case, or pouch, or wrap it in brown silk. Besides being protective it has the added benefit of not allowing any vengeful spells to be performed against you.

I keep a coffin nail in my ritual bath mixture. If anything negative is attached to you, it gets washed away. Just be sure when you use the bath mixture you put the nail under the running water and let it wash into the bath basin. Then fish it out, dry it off, and re-use it. It is very effective for negating entities, curses, and some hexes.

Ritual Bath Mixture

Epsom Salt
Sea Salt
Sage Essential Oil
Lavendar Oil

You can also add one coffin nail to a base oil, or a blessing/banishing oil and anoint doorways, windows, etc. to help keep negativity away. We keep one coffin nail in the bottle we use for mixing up our smudging spray. It adds an extra kick to the mix.

Now, before I close this post. Please do not run out and start grave robbing to collect coffin nails. You can order coffin nails online. It takes a little searching, but they can be found. You can also make your own.

Coffin nails from an individual’s coffin are more powerful. There is no arguing that point. Unless you’re going the dark route, you don’t need the nails super charged. We’ve found nails from an animal’s coffin works just as well. And no, we haven’t been out killing animals. We’ve had a couple of our furry friends pass away. The vet we go to puts our furry friends in a nice cardboard coffin to be sent over to be cremated. We’ve saved the coffins, placed the nails in them, and buried them for a few months. Icky, and decay free!

Death is as powerful as life. The choices we make with either one are what define us. There is always a way to solve any problem. It may not always be with magick, but it should always be harm free.

Blessed Be My Friends!

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