Getting ready for Samhain

I wrote this for 2 reasons” 1) To help those who are new to the craft understand Samhain and 2) to serve as a conversation piece for those who have been long practicing. I’m feeling good about Samhain this year!

 

Every October I feel a new surge of energy- something that makes me feel extra “witchy.” Part of me believes that it is the crisp, cool weather that breathes life into me… Another part of me thinks it is all the Halloween décor for sale. Regardless of why I get that surge of feeling, I believe that all other witchy people feel it, too. Whether or not you have been practicing the craft for many years now or you are just beginning to dip you toes into these waters, Samhain is a wonderful time of the year to connect to your spiritual path.

When is Samhain?

In the northern hemisphere, traditionally, it is November 1st, but the celebration often began after sunset on October 31st. For our southern hemisphere companions, Samhain is celebrated on May 1st. For my own practice, I celebrate on Halloween.

Why do we celebrate Samhain?

Samhain, meaning summer’s end, is the last of the three harvest holidays. The leaves are changing color, our fields are producing the last of their crops, and we are beginning to move forward into longer and cooler nights- officially propelling us into the dark half of the year.  Additionally, we believe that the veil between the living and the spirit world is at its thinnest, allowing us to honor and reconnect with our ancestors before they move on.

In both respects, it is quite clear that we honor death during this time of year; be it the death of the land and crops or a loved one. However, this celebration isn’t as morbid as some may think! Though we honor those that have passed, we do so by celebrating the life that was once had- It can truly be a happy time.

Symbols of Samhain

Using traditional Samhain colors, herbs, symbols, etc. can help give a boost of energy to your ritual- or at the very least brighten up you altar!

Colors: focus on black, orange, brown, gold

Stones: Onyx, Jet, and Bloodstone

Food and Herbs: Pumpkins, turnips, apples, mugwort, rosemary, garlic, sage, catnip

 

Celebration Ideas

We all celebrate differently, but these are a few ways I like to spend my time leading up to and the day of this holiday.

Make lanterns out of gourds: This is a no brainer- most of us do every year anyways. If you are feeling adventurous, try to make a few smaller “candle holders” out of turnips- the original jock-o-lantern. I’m NOT that adventurous, so I stick to my regular pumpkin. We carve the pumpkins as a family, carving faces into some of them and protective sigils in others. We use pumpkins and other gourds because they are the most durable crop we have available to us around this time of year.

Bake pumpkin seeds: You just carved that pumpkin, right? Waist nothing! Clean and toast your pumpkin seeds as a delicious, family friendly snack. You can also set aside a few seeds to be used in your Samhain ritual- get creative!

Leave baked goods as an offering: If you are planning on celebrating your departed loved ones, make sure to leave a place at the table for them! I make many different recipes of bread and bake apple pies (or any other seasonal baked good that comes to mind) and I be sure to leave enough for any loved ones who may be visiting. I believe it is a good way to show them that I still value them and will always leave a spot in my heart for them.

Revamp your altar: Using traditional Samhain colors and herbs, redo your altar and make it picture perfect for the season. I buy a few of the tiny pumpkins and other squash that are sold at grocery stores and place them all around my altar. I also add a few framed pictures of departed family members to my altar with black and gold ribbon and the name tags of beloved pets who have crossed that rainbow bridge.

Break out your Tarot Cards: Or any other divination tool you might have. Because of the mass amounts of spiritual energy in the air, this is an ideal time to practice divination. Personally, I like using Oracle Cards or my pendulum while holding a pouch of mugwort- an herb that is widely used for its properties in divination.

Get a witches’ broom: Not too long ago, I bought a cheap witch broom from Michaels and decorated it the fabric and ribbon. I use it around this time of year to “Sweep” away any nasty energies that may be lingering around my house.

Play with your kids and family: Go trick or treating, dress up with them, eat too much candy, go to a haunted house, watch the scary movies, etc. Though we honor death this day, we do so my celebrating life- so go live! While I believe that it is important to make time to partake in Samhain rituals, don’t lose sight of the friends and family you have in front of you. Be silly, make memories and laugh with them.

 

Have fun this Halloween!

 

Apple Picking and Magic

apple-picking-4

With how much Cody and I have been working, it is rare that the both of us have an evening off together, let alone a whole day… But yesterday both of us were fortunate enough to be off work all day long with one another. Originally, we were talking about doing a lot of much needed shopping, running errands, cleaning house, then making dinner and calling it an early night; practical and boring, but thing that needed to be done.  However, as soon as we woke up and saw what a beautiful day it was, we decided an adventure was in order.

apple-picking-7We got dressed, threw together some snacks, and jumped into the car and set off for Blue Ridge, GA. There is a family run apple orchard there called Mercier, which hosts a “U Pick,” where guests can pay for a bag and pick all the apples they could possibly ask for. Cody and I spent the day in the Orchards and picked more apples than I could ever dream of eating, so I imagine I will be spending the next several days putting  together obscene amounts of baked goods for my loved ones.

With all the time we spent in the orchards, surrounded by the mountains and apples, it was hard to not thing about all the wonderful, magical properties in which the apple possesses and the many ways that you can incorporate said properties into your magical and mundane life.

The magical properties of apples:

  • Health and fertility
  • Financial Abundance
  • Happiness
  • Protection
  • Divination
  • Connecting to the feminine
  • Emotional and romantic love

apple-pickingAs you can see, apples can be used for nearly anything you can possibly imagine, and using apples for these purposes are incredibly easy. For health, bless and apple before you eat it. Add apple seeds to a financial security mojo bag. Bake apple pies for your loved ones. Place apples on your altar to protect and bless it.

As you can imagine, you all will be flooded with magical apple crafts for the next week or so- in fact, as we speak I am waiting for my sweet potato and apple dog treats to come out of the oven, so you will be getting a post on the baking process within the day.

Apples…apples for days. I have a life time of magic laying across my counters at the moment (and at least a week’s worth of baking… at least), so I will leave you here for the moment. I hope you all enjoied your long weekend (if you did indeed have a long weekend).

Be Blessed,
-D

 

What is in my MoJo bag?

Just a short post, for in a few minutes I will be off to a job interview. Please cross your fingers for me, I need a second job pretty badly if we are going to be comfortable in our own finances… and plus also we are planning a surprise Disney World vacation for my mom, so the extra money would definitely help.
Because I am really needing a little extra “umph” in the working department, I decided I would make a prosperity and business MoJo bag to help me sell myself as best as I could to a potential employer and to help me stay calm and extremely productive whenever I am working. If you want to watch my YouTube video on what all I put in there (in case you want to see my make-up-less face and pony tail AND what the stones looked like) you can click HERE.

Within the bag I have a:

  • Blue Goldstone- for good business sense and smart money investments.
  • Tigers Eye- to keep you grounded and to protect the wealth that you already have.
  • Citrine- to stay positive and promote a happy vibe, luck with money.
  • Clear Quartz- to magnify all of the stone’s properties.
  • Bluckeyes- something that has always been lucky to me.
  • A Dollar- to represent the money we need.
  • A note with all the needs of Cody and myself.

When I was finished stuffing my bag, I rested it in a bed of patchouli and cinnamon sticks so that it would be charged with their properties of luck and prosperity.

 

I got my mojo bag in my pocket… wish me luck, y’all. I need this.

-D

 

 

Five Crystals Every Beginner Needs

I’ve been feeling a little uninspired lately, so writing has become increasingly difficult. We are dealing with a lot of stress in the area of work and finances, leaving us exhausted at the end of the day. Lately, when I get stressed out, I’ve been going back to my basics and gathering my crystals, letting them heal my broken mind.

This being said, I have a pile of crystals sitting in my lap- a blue lace agate to help with my anxiety, black onyx to chase away negative feelings, blue calcite to help renew creative feelings, and so on. All of these crystals, most of which I’ve had for many years- from the days when I was first beginning my path. Thus, I bring to you, five crystals I believe every beginner should have in their collection.

b1442bfeefdd3d44e0f8cadd92f912f8Clear Quartz: Clear quartz, to me, is a stone of universal properties. Clear quartz carries and directs powerful energies, helping its handler to create sacred places in their home an in during magical workings. Placing this crystal next to another stone of in a bed of herbs magnifies their magical properties.

 

amethyst.gifAmethyst: Sometimes, the world gets to be a bit too much for us all. One these days, Amethyst is one of the best stones to have on hand. This stone is soothing to the handler, easing their troubled minds. It is a very grounding stone, so holding it in your palm after magical working or a hectic day at work can help you return to center.

 

tigersTiger’s eye: This is another stone that is perfect for staying grounded. Tiger’s eye helps to clear your mind so that you may accomplish any task at that lies before you. It helps you unblock any worries that would affect your creativity. Keeping this stone on you or where you keep your money can help to protect the wealth you already have and to keep you from growing a greedy heart.

 

rose quartzRose Quartz: One of the best stones for your heart, Rose Quartz is ideal for aiding all matters of the heart; from self-love to emotional love, it helps mend broken hearts and to facilitate the growth of love. Carry it with you to boost self esteem and keep it near during your beauty rituals.

 

onyx-stoneBlack Onyx: I can’t think of a stone better for dispelling negative energy that may otherwise affect your mental and physical health. Placing a black onyx stone in all of the corners of your home can keep unwanted spirits away and any bickering within the home at bay.

 

These are five of my favorite stones and I find them to be some of the most useful to have. I hope some of you find this helpful and that you all have a wonderful day.

Blessing,
D

 

 

Magic with Cody

I’m very fortunate that my fiancé is my best friend. Seriously, he is the perfect person for me. I don’t say this just to be sappy or to portray an unrealistic relationship between us- we still bicker and have our issues, but that pales in comparison to the love, understanding, and support we experience from one another.

cure1
Waiting for the concert to begin… I was crying I was so excited!

I bring this up for two reasons. The first: last nights he helped me cross off a bucket list item and took me to see one of my very favorite bands ever… The Cure! Such a great time, they sounded amazing and I loved every second of it. The second reason: though we don’t necessarily share the same beliefs in terms of my spirituality, he still has a desire to learn and to be a part of my practice.

 

I was reading through some old books on witchcraft and was telling him about how I kind of miss practicing magic the way I use to; several years ago I was constantly crafting something, and now I am constantly reading about someone else’s craft. I then told him how I use to really enjoy making magical oils and using them to dress candles, tools, etc.

Being the person that he is, Cody then allowed me to elaborate on the making of oils, the steps I took to produce them and how I went about decided what ingredients I wanted to use. I got very noticeably worked up and excited while explaining it to him- I don’t always actively try to involve him in this portion of my life, I would rather him try to involve himself in it. Knowing how happy it made me, he asked me to make an oil with him.

Guys, I’m excited. Working magic with this man is always an adventure.

We have been working together to come up with a list of ingredients and a spell, I can’t wait to share it with you guys!

 

 

 

Witchy Unpacking

The worst part about moving is undoubtedly the packing and unpacking. Sure, taking all of your belongings out of boxes has an air of “Christmas” about it… at first. But then it always seems to take a dark turn for the worst. You have more “junk” than you have room for and all the still packed boxes seem to multiply. It sucks.

To keep myself somewhat sane while unpacking and reorganizing, I’ve been slowly setting up altars around the house. It helps me channel my frustrations into creative, spiritual energy.

My Altar When I Lived With Cody’s Parents

small altar

When we lived with Cody’s parents, I wasn’t sure how his parent’s would feel if I had a full altar set up, so I had added a ton of “essentials” into a beautiful wooden box with flowered carvings.  Though I no longer need to hide all of my things, I still love having my box and have it on display on my main altar.

My Main Altar

main altar

I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% loving this set up. I thought having my altar on my dresser top would look wonderful and I would have a ton to room to spread out my tools, but now I’m not so sure. I guess we will figure that out later on.
My two white candles represent the god and goddess, I have taper candles to represent my elements, my tarot and oracle cards, my book of shadows and a few other’s here and there… but it still feels a little odd. I may begin looking for a smaller table and restart it from there.

My Living Room Altar

living altar

So far, this is my favorite part of my living room.
My living room altar, though to most it doesn’t appear to be an altar at all, I feel is even more magical than my main altar (which is a problem to me, but it is what it is). I have on it two of my favorite pictures of Cody and myself, all of the wine corks from the many bottles of wine I’ve shared with my family and friends, two lamps (one owl, on elephant), and my Buddha, Ganesha, and my owl totems, and a  few candles here and there. There is so much love on this small little area, it makes my heart happy.

I am still unpacking, still organizing, and still looking to create more altars, but so far this is where I am sitting.

As soon as I get a little more settled in, I will have more posts to come.

 

Witchy Tip: Use Rose

First of all, I’m sorry for the venting involved in yesterday’s post. My family is going through a lot right now and I had a desperate need to vent to the world without actually airing out all that dirty laundry to the people who personally know us. Today, I’m feeling a little bit better and I’m ready to write to you about all kinds of magical things.

Because I was so down last night, Cody brought up the topic of taking a Disney Vacation (I’m eat, sleep, breath Disney…) as a way of taking my mind off things. He promised that The next time we go, we will wait in line to meet the Beast- something I have never done before. That is when I began telling him about my life long fascination with roses.

th5ORKC191From a young age, I have always believed that roses were magical. My favorite movie (then and now) was Beauty and the Beast and I was OBSESSED with that rose. My mother had a beautiful rose garden at the time, so any time we were outside I would pretend that all of those beautiful roses were magical, that they served as a “count down” to finding love. Sense then, I have always considered roses to be a sacred plant and I love using them in my magical workings.

How I use Roses in my magical workings:

  • Have your received a bouquet from a loved one lately? Dry and keep the petals for future spell work. When my fiancé proposed, I pressed a few of the flowers to keep and I hung the others out to dry for upcoming spell work. When I need a spell for harmony in the household or to strengthen mine and my fiancé’s communication skills, I use these flowers.bouquet_of_roses_by_muffet1-d38f7s5
  • Boil the petals in water charged by the moon to make rose water. This can then be used in love related rituals, beauty spells, or as holy water. My favorite way to use rose water is to anoint candles with it when preforming love spells (love spells regarding my fiancé and I with his consent, so relax). When you are done with your rose water, store in a cool place.
  • Add dried rose petals to homemade smudge sticks. It will purify your home and promote peace- I like to use sage, rose and lavender in one bundle.thZC2DK3UL
  • Take advantage of those thorns- they can be used in witches’ bottles and  home protection spells as a way to deter any negative forced from entering your home.
  • Plant a bush as an offering to the Fae or the Green Man. Roses, to me, are the ultimate sign of beauty in nature. Planting and caring for the bush can be shown as a sign of respect and love to these nature entities, dedicating this special flower to these spirits may encourage them to look after and care for all of your other plants in your garden.

rose-garden

My magical used of roses may not be the Beast’s magical use of rose, but that magical movie lead to my love of this beautiful plant.

How do you use rose in your metaphysical life?

Blessings,
-D