This Is Witchcraft: That Which Cannot Be Named

Something Worth Witching For.

To attempt to define witchcraft is like trying to capture smoke or bottle moonlight.  It is constantly changing, shifting and evading definition.  Just when we think we have captured its essence another veil is lifted only to reveal a deeper mystery.  The answer to this question will never suffice to capture what witchcraft is in its entirety.  Any verbal or written definition will be superficial; a finite container attempting to contextualize something infinite.  Even the most eloquent descriptions of the art of witchcraft leave something to be desired.  Human language, especially English, does not have the nuance to capture something that can only be experienced.

To continue reading…..

 

The need for More Than One Candle Holder and Why You Need Different Sizes

A little know fact about the misuse of the name candle holders. My mother was an avid collector of “candle holders” and did some reserched about them. Come to find out through her research that they proper name for them is “candle sticks” not “candle holders.”

If you would link to read a little history about this definition for candlesticks please click on this link: Candlestick

As Witches/Pagans, we use candles for a large variety of things. From holding our person candle and the element of Fire’s candle to those used for a specific purpose in a spell and/or ritual. We also use different sizes depending on how long we want or need the candle to burn for the spell thus the need for multiple candlesticks in different sizes.

You should have at least 2 candlesticks that a taper candle will fit into. 1-7 candlesticks for chime size candles. 1-2 for tea light or votive candles. Again I send you to look at garage or yard sales and thrift shops if you are like me and cannot afford to spend a lot on all the different holders.

 

A Simple Chalice and Offering Plate

During rituals is it common to have a drink and something to eat that you share with the God and/or Goddess you call upon to help you give more strength to your spell and/or ritual.

A “chalice” does not have to be an expensive or even inexpensive vessel like looks similar to or is a wine glass. The offering bowl or plate does not have to be a certain size or shape or even have a particular design on it. Here again, we come to the part of me telling you a simple and pretty inexpensive way of having both items.

There are tea/coffee mugs sold that come with a lid to help keep your beverage hot and/or to set your used tea bag on. I have one with a Chinese design that I use often when I am using the smaller space I have for an altar in my den. You can use the cup as your chalice and the lid as the offering plate. I found mine in a thrift store and paid I think $3.00 or $4,00 USD for the set. Look around at garage or yard sales, thrift stores for a set or they carry them also on Amazon.com for a reasonable price.

You can also go to your cabinet in your kitchen and find a glass or cup no one uses often and bless that to be your chalice. As for the offering plate or bowl again look through your cabinets for something you feel you could use for this.

No one says gathering your magickal tools needs to be an expensive investment. Look around for items you already own or find cheaply at a sale and/or thrift store and/or dollar store. Remeber to thoroughly cleanse and consecrate them for use as one of your magical tools before using them in a ritual.

Simple Way to Make Your Personal Candle for Your Altar

When setting up your altar you should have a candle that represents you. This candle would be lit first and then used to light the incense if you are using one, and your candle representing Fire or to start burning anything you may need to burn during for ritual.

First chose the type of candle you want, a pillar or a 12 inch/30.48cm taper candle or a smaller candle. Using a smaller candle means making your personal candle more often. I find the taper candle is the easiest to work with when lighting my incense and the Fire elemental candle. If you chose a pillar candle it should be unscented. The color can be any color with the exception of black. The color could be your favorite color or whatever color you feel drawn to make it from. Next using your Atheme or another sharp object if you do not have one yet (You can bless a kitchen knife you rarely use or even a letter opener as an Atheme – some Witches would disagree with me on using one of these objects but as I know how money can be tight and you might not be able to purchase a regular Atheme I figure use what you already have to make the item into one) inscribe your first name and last name you were given at birth or adopted parents surname you grew up and if you have one your Witches/Spirit name. You can write the name or names in the alphabet of your country or with Runes, Ogham or other “Magical” alphabet there are samples of different ones on this website, to find them use the search box and put in the word “alphabet.” Hold the candle in your non-writing hand start your name from the end with the wick showing going downward. Turn the candle each time you write a name so you have a fresh surface to write on, the exception being your given first and last names they should be in the same line.  Next starting from the top and moving in a downward motion use your favorite or an all-purpose essential oil saying this spell “This candle is a sacred representation of me to be used during meditation, spells, and rituals to light my way”. You will use the oil three times turning the candle so it covers different parts of it each time and repeat the spell each time you apply the oil. Pick out a special candle holder that you either already have that has a special meaning for you or you can purchase one that when you hold it, it feels as if it is supposed to be with you from a dollar or thrift store. You can also get out Magical Necessities for one that catches your eye. Some witches say you should not blow a candle out but use a snuffer others, myself included say it is ok to blow them out. I usually blow mine out because of the belief that the smoke carries whatever I used the candle for out into the universe.

Any question please write to me at covenlifescoven@gmail.com

 

 

What Makes it Witchcraft .1

Cyndi Brannen of Keeping Her Keys recently posed the question, “What is it that makes Witchcraft…Witchcraft?” I love this question because it not only allows us to see the tremendous variability in what Witchcraft involves for different people, but it also encourages me to revisit my own core beliefs. Sometimes, in the craziness that is life, we can lose focus of the fundamental elements that make up our identities as Witches. When feeling overwhelmed or stuck along my path, I have found that it’s immensely helpful to return to this core, to the basic nature of your Craft – in whatever variation that may be. You may be surprised by what new things you can learn!

To continue reading click here

 

Jewelry as Protection

I was leaving for a rally the other day. Which one it was, doesn’t really matter. Won’t be my first, nor will it be my last in these turbulent times. As I was getting ready to leave, I went to my “accessory tray” (a family joke with my sons, as I am obsessive about everyone having one of these. Where you drop your jewelry, change, keys, etc.) I absent-mindedly began armoring up.

Yes, armoring up.

To read further please click link below.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/witchindeed/2018/07/jewelry-as-protection/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pagan&utm_content=37

 

 

Self Care Both Practical And Mystical: Techniques For Defensive Coping

It should go without saying but taking care of yourself is crucial for anyone in any viable spiritual, mystical, or occult practice. Now more than ever it is crucial, especially if you’ve decided to do your part in ways either practical and/or magical in order to help out with the current state of affairs.

For you, for anyone feeling more stress than usual in general, I have the following tips:

To read further please click on the link below.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teaaddictedwitch/2018/06/self-care-for-practical-and-mystical/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pagan&utm_content=37

 

Altar and Magickal Tools

I have always been of the firm belief that to create one’s own tools of the craft is to imbibe them with one’s own personal “magick”.It all begins with the seeking process and ends with an item that will be treasured always.I myself have found that holding the intent that one wishes to do this is always the best place to start…and often what you are seeking will FIND you first!By sending out our request to the universe we are setting in motion the magick that will make this happen.Thus…I did just this to find my own tools throughout the 30 years[on and off]that I have been practicing my craft and have acquired quite a collection now.Those that are pictured are only some of the many…and are perhaps the ones I use the most.The very first tool I ever created was a Willow Wand, which unfortunately I no longer have..for reasons I can’t quite remember,but since then I have made several others.

The Wand pictured is crafted from Apple wood and has an Amethyst crystal point in the tip.Living in the suburbs[at that time],I had no access to an apple tree, so I decided to call up an apple orchard farmer and told him I was in need of an apple branch, for a “craft” project[I wasn’t lying!]He was very obliging and so I traveled the one and a half hour drive to seek my wand out.I found it in a pile of off-cuts he had and I knew there and then it was the “one”.Of course,I had previously put out the call that I was searching for one…and just “Knew”, when I had found it !I had intended initially to use this wand for Faery Witchcraft,but over time it became my favorite and therefore,multi-purpose.The crafting process entailed firstly sanding all the bark from it and then varnishing it.During this whole project,I held it’s purpose firmly in my mind, thereby giving it a reason for it’s beingness.Next,I glued green felt around the handle part and then dug a hole in the tip,in order to insert and glue in place, the Amethyst point.I mixed a little of my own blood with some red paint and daubed it around the tip first.Lastly, I decorated it to my desire-I wrote my craft name in Ogham[using a permanent marker] and a sigil that I had devised and then it was all  ready for cleansing and consecrating!

My Athame was constructed from a bought Kitchen knife that was initially single bladed and I had to file the other other side down , in order to make it double-bladed.I wrapped the handle with black leather  and inserted a Quartz point[which I entwined the leather around]I had to use a little bit of glue in this process, but tried to keep it as minimal as possible[as I didn’t want anything coming between the crystal and the wooden handle]and  decorated it to my desire.My Goddess and God statues were made from craft clay.I could never find a statue that I really liked, that I could afford!The best ones are always costly…and so I decided to make my own.It took some moulding and shaping, but eventually I achieved the look that I desired.My Goddess represents Danu[in her guise as Moon mother] and Cernunnos[in the guise of green- man] and the hours I spent forming them were instilled with much energy…of which I am sure they would have been proud!I painted them with regular acrylic paint and decorated them as was fitting.I initially had my “Green-man” naked, but my husband suggested putting an oak leaf over his privates and I thought this was a fabulous idea…so I did!My Danu wears a plastic crescent moon head-piece [care of the craft store] and until I find a silver one…it will suffice.They are not the most beautiful Godform statues, but they are my time and energy[ and love] and hence…they serve me well!I have a store-bought pentacle [in the picture]which I use mostly, at present, but I possess several others that I have also crafted myself.I have a pentacle to suit all purposes and needs-one for Moon rites, one for solar rites, one for Green witchcraft and also one crafted from clay.The Faery star is a substitute “pentacle”, that I use for Faery witchcraft.For this, I used a 10 inch wooden disc, which I bought from the craft store.I found a suitable Faery Star on pinterest, which I then printed, cut out and glued on to the wooden disc.It was originally uncolored…so I painted it with acrylic paint and made it my own.Again, the time and energy put into this act made it uniquely mine and utterly con-joined to my energy….thereby making it more powerful[and I know the Faeries like it!].Lastly, my Book of Shadows….ofcourse I HAD to make this my own…and thus, it is crafted from a plain and simple ring binder, which I covered with black leather and glued in place.The Triple Goddess sigil is also from leather[white] and has a wooden pentacle in the circle[Full Moon]and amethyst crystals surrounding it[which are glued in to place.I then used some silver paint to add the border touches and finally, I made a BOS Protection pouch bookmark[my own idea][.I stitched a length of black satin ribbon on to a black velvet pouch that I had made and filled the pouch with protective herbs and crystals, and a lock of my hair.I also stitched a silver bell on the outside of the pouch[to add more protective qualities] and lastly,I anointed it with a drop of my blood.I then  charged the end product with my intent and  it was done!My offering bowl, and salt and water bowls are store bought,but I intend constructing my own of versions of  these one day also…perhaps from earthen clay or such like….it is in the cards.The  satisfaction from knowing that you have made it yourself [in my mind] far outweighs the bought items and I believe that …not only do your own creations retain a substantial amount of your own energy…but they also develop an energy of their very own, that increases with time and use.When I created each and every one of my tools, I infact gave them “life”, and just as a mother to her child…I gave them birth.

By Susan member of Coven Life’s Coven

Making Tools and your spiritual Journey

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Written for: Coven Life

On: May 5th 2018

By: Hypatia of Alexandrea

Lesson 4

 

Continuing on with tools of the trade, or the Craft should I say.

In the previous lessons in Making Tools and your spiritual Journey we covered the reverence of space and respect needed to make these sacred objects, ones that will assist you on your Magickal Journey. Please review if need be on Coven Life web site.

Allow yourself time and space to be creative by adding to your Witches armamentarium.

All good things take time, time to make, time to collect, and the right time to make such as certain moon phases or even planet and other star alignments. I have known people to take years to make a tool. This does not need to be the case with you, however the more energy you weave through it the more of a Magickal significance it will have to you and the reason you choose to use it for, Just like the incredible Magick that is weaved into tapestry, carpets, quilts, clothing for war that was made by the women throughout the ages to protects their loved ones from harm.

In this Lesson we will continue with scrying.

This is a technique where with practice one becomes better. Others are born with the sight and scrying allows one to hone in on that sight, others need to practice and become better equipped with this skill as time goes on. Either Way, it is an invaluable tool to possess.

Through scrying we can tap into the sacred knowledge of all mankind. Scrying is best done when the sun has completely descended and the moon is at her peak.

Learn to work with the Earth and her phases, both the masculine and feminine energy that is needed to weave such Magick. Use the energy that descends from the Cosmos and bring it into your working space. Use the energy that ascends from the Great Earth Mother and use it ground yourself.  This can be done as a daily ritual too.

As a Witch you have been gifted with the ability to harness from this universal energy. However do keep in mind that this is ONLY to be used for the greater good, this does not include personal gains. Please refer to previous lesson on how to harness this energy and the importance of purity of thought and deed when using it. Use your gift wisely!

Mirror Magic

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A shiny piece of obsidian palm stone used for scrying is perfect!

Just like a crystal ball and water, anything that lends a reflective surface can be used for scrying.

Making your own mirror can also be a great deal of fun. This is best prepared during the waning of the full moon, so ensure the materials are gathered before that time.

Ideally leave it for one whole moon cycle before scrying.

 

You will need:

  • Photo frame with backing, choose any size you desire, smaller ones are great to carry around with you, larger ones can be displayed in the home. This will get the visitors talking! Start small and if you feel it works for you than go ahead and make a larger one.
  • Non aerosol, black high gloss paint
  • Dried herbs that will enhance your psychic ability such as dragons’ blood, hyssop, orris root, mugwort, or whatever herb you choose during your research. There are a number of psychic herbs, I personally use mugwort and jasmine flower (all dried and crushed well in a mortar and pestle).
  • Disposable mixing container
  • Paint brush

Method:

Mix the paint and herbs together. Ensure there is not too much of the herb mix that will interfere with the final glossy finish, just enough to create the texture yet still somewhat smoothed out.

While mixing, visualize the light of the moon and say:

By the Moon’s darkest light

Perception of the night

Become part of my skills

And thus banish all ills.

 

  • Paint inside of the glass using long brush strokes.
  • Cover the surface completely leaving no gaps.
  • When completely dry, place the backing back on the frame.
  • Leave your mirror outside in the moonlight for as long as you can, then keep it covered by a dark cloth. I even like to put a piece black silk over mine.

Note: Such mirrors can also be used to deflect negativity back to where it belongs.  If it ever needs to be used for this purpose, it needs to be reconsecrated if it is to be used for scrying again. It might be best to keep a separate mirror for such purpose.

Please look up consecrating your sacred objects on Coven Life search if not sure.

 

In the up and coming lessons I will be talking about using your mirror for protection of personal space and finding lost objects.

 

Magickal Tools and Your Spiritual Journey

 

Written for Coven Life

on 30/3/2018

By Hypatia Of Alexandrea

 

Let’s start off this magical tool journey with understanding how to concentrate our tools.

Lesson One

Consecration of magical tools

As magical and spiritual practitioners we acquire certain tools in order to assist us throughout our spiritual practice. These can be in the form of physical tools such as wands, besom’s, staff’s and cauldrons, or mental tools that can involve white light, spirit guides in the forms of animals, beings from other worlds, plants and so on. These tools are to be kept separate from your other everyday objects, such as not keeping your Athame in the same place as your other knives where others or even you accidently use it for other than magical and spiritual purposes. If a tool has been used for mundane purposes, then it will be of no use in the magical world. It would have to be ideally replaced or thoroughly cleaned and rededicated at the least.

Consecration and dedication is not only an important aspect of the self, but that of your magical tools and space. It consists of preparation, purification and presentation of your chosen objects. This creates the right vibration. Such procedures involve soaking tools overnight in salt water or by standing them on a moon it alter. If salt soaking will damage the tool than do the latter. Visualization is another, using other power objects such as oils, incense and crystals, using prayers, drawing down the moon, creating sacred space for the object to sit in for the full cycle of the moon, burying the object in the earth, anointing with consecrated candle wax and of course the list goes on. Your imagination is your only limit. Another way is first presenting them to the 4 quarters and then to the Goddess and God.

Sometimes the simplest methods work the best, for instance

Visualization:

  • Hold the object in you power hand allowing to pass energy into the object.
  • Make an effort to establish a link with it allowing the energy to flow back towards you.
  • When this stage feels complete allow the energy of your ultimate power (whatever you may feel this is) to flow back into the object.
  • Perceive as self as being a medium or channel for that Ultimate power.
  • Know that every time you pick up that tool that you will feel that surge running through you, to the object and back into you.

Note: As the energy between you and the tool is strong, please consider carefully all that you do and ensure that it is only for the greater good!

 

A ritual to consecrate tools

You will need:

Incense

White candle

Small bowl of water

Small bowl of salt or earth

Your chosen tool

Method:

Cast your circle

Ask for blessing on the articles representing the quarters

Place your symbols in the appropriate directions (for instance fire in the south)

Now

Pick up the object to be consecrated

Consecrate on the goals you want to achieve and the actions that you want to carry

Say

Before you wondering spirits,

I bring this (name tool)

May its benefits be devoted to the work of the Lady and the Lord.

Now

Light the incense and waft the object through the incense smoke.

Say

By force of air, be purified

Be devoted to clarity

May all aspirations be realized for the greater good of all.

Now

Over the candle pass the instrument over the flicker of the flame

Say

By the power of the dancing light, be purified.

Be devoted to longing.

May all aspirations be realized for the greater good for all.

Now

Take the implement and bring to the earth and salt and say.

Say

By the power of earth and dust be purified.

May all aspirations be realized for the greater good for all.

So mote it be!

Lesson 2 will consist of ideas on how to be creative in making your magical tools.

 

Lesson Two

Making magical tools

Your imagination here is your only limit. This is where your creativity and spirituality meet. Allow yourself to merge with spirit and the tool you require will come through that. Sometimes its finding a piece of drift wood while walking and contemplating on the beach, or a stone or pebble that calls out to you during a forest walk, even a feather that happens to be in your walking path where ever you may be. Finding your magical tools in nature can be very invigorating and exciting. Other times it’s walking into a local crystal shop and picking up a stone that is speaking to you. Others use Tarot cards as their magical tool, some even make their own tarot. Just remember whether you find it on the beach, in a shop or you have made it with your own hands, concentration of the object is essential in order to use it as a magical, energy and spiritual tool for the greater good.

We accumulate these tools that are there to assist in our spiritual path. They should appear to us at the time we need them, they will often call out over and over again. Sometimes we collect sticks and stones without even knowing their purpose, and then, Bam…… a set of runes and a wand is made. Well along those lines anyway.

In this lesson I will be giving some ideas on what materials to use and how to make them and other magical tools. Remember that each and every person connects to their wand on a different and of course personal level, if you chose to have one that is.

You’re Wand:

This tool should be made to be portable or just to be placed on your scared alter of your choice. For those who prefer to make their own, working with the energies of nature is very powerful and beneficial. It could be out of wood or crystal or both and include a variety of natural materials. Remember to keep the materials that the wand will be made from as natural as possible, even the glue, such as a natural resin to stick what is needed on your wand.

I myself love any type of wood, depending on what I need it for.

  • Drift wood- Connecting to the power of the earth and the sea.
  • Apple wood- Working with Faerie magick
  • Ash wood- Communication on all levels
  • Alder wood- Spiritual self-development
  • Basswood-Star magick
  • Beech wood- Divination
  • Birch wood- Expel evil
  • Cedar wood- Protection and preservation
  • Cherry wood- Healing and love magick
  • Elder wood- Faerie magick and the healing arts
  • Elm wood- Fertility and re-birth
  • Hawthorn wood- Psychic protection
  • Hazel wood- Magick spells for wisdom
  • Hickory wood- Direction and abundance
  • Ivy wood- Determination and strength
  • Maple wood- knowledge
  • Oak wood- Protection
  • Vine wood- Spiritual intuition
  • Black wall nut wood- Magickal teleportation

These are just some examples. To read further and decide which one suits you follow this link http://www.bardwood.com/magical_lore/wood-trees.html

Or you could be drawn to a local wood within your region. Sometimes it’s just a matter of the wood calling out to you. When you find out what type of wood it is,  you can then connect why it has chosen you. Sometimes this takes a while. Learn to be patient and they will appear to you when you need them.

Remember:

Don’t just take, please ask for permission from the Great Mother. Do a little ceremony if you have to. Don’t just go and randomly cut of a piece of wood without asking the plant or tree spirits. In some cases such as the Elder Wood- “The Elder is the Lady’s tree, cut Her down and Cursed ye shall be”. Respect, gratitude and reverence will only help you acquire the correct spiritual tools. Ensure they are taken ethically and with permission, always!

These sacred woods could be used to make other magical tools such as a set of your own runes.

When you are ready you will know what you need to do. Sanding, cutting, trimming, engraving, wood burning and more. These are all techniques that will be used to shape, construct and energize your tool. Choose the symbols that call out to you, meditate, ask for assistance from your Goddess and God, your higher self, your Familiars, your Spirit Guides, Nature, or whatever it is that you would be drawing the energy from and to, for the greater good of course.

While making the object, ensure you are in a scared space. This could be done by simply placing a veil of portable protection over you. Use only pure intention, be out in nature, at home with incense burning and music. Allow yourself while making the tool a space where it can speak to you. You may have a certain design with certain symbols before you start and through the spiritual process of construction it may change to something completely different. Just remember to take your time. The more you connect with your spiritual tool and become one, the more it will assist you on your spiritual and magical journey.

Here are some examples of my own spiritual experience just to get you started and remember this is your own personal journey. The more personalized it is the more it will mean to you and the more power it will be charged with!

Choosing your material to make your tool.

Below is a piece of drift wood, when I cut it I found nature’s own pentagram within.

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A piece of Birch drift wood that I literally nearly tripped over on the beach.

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Magical tools taking shape by charging them with sacred symbols.

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Final product,

 

A set of runes

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A magical wand with one of my long-time favorite Brazilian quartz crystals attached (with natural resin) that finally found its home.

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Setting up sacred space to concentrate the tools.

I also spent a great deal of time in this circle constructing them.

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And remember this is your personal spiritual journey so make it POWERFUL!!

Use your Imagination and Off You Go!!