Chris ( aka Ammo ) O’Day, The Fitness Witch, has been in the occult community for over 20 years. She specializes in mind, body and spirit transformations through fitness, nutrition, energy work and magic. She is initiated in Santeria, Quimbanda and ceremonial magic and a 2nd degree Gardnerian High Priestess. She can be reached through her Fitnesswitch page on instagram or her website www.fitnesswitch.com for in person/online personal training, yoga, reiki, tarot and astrology. She currently resides in Redondo Beach California.
I spent a really long time avoiding working with the dead. Even though I was out of the broom closet in my 20’s, I wasn’t ready for such intense work. I was also already 30 by the time a close relative passed away, so death just hadn’t touched my life yet. But from that point it hasn’t slowed down.
I’ve lost so many people to addiction, Cancer and suicide that I’ve lost count. Once death started happening, and my loved ones still felt close by, to the point of appearing in dreams and visions, I realized it was the missing puzzle piece to my magical practice. I set up a simple altar and they were front and center from that moment, ever present and ready to guide in the right direction.
This magic has brought me to such an incredibly healing place, as well as to straight up slap in the face reality checks.
At 9 years old, I died on the operating table. My appendix burst while they were doing surgery. My childhood was plagued with stomach aches. This particular one was worse than usual and landed me in the hospital. After the operation, I was held there for 3 weeks, with a needle in some vein or another the entire time, eating every Italian Ice in the place, and driving the staff insane. I look back and see this incident as to what led me here, all these years later, working with the dead and my ancestors and preparing to be an end of life doula. The dead, at least my dead, don’t fuck around when they want me to learn a lesson.
As I approach the one year anniversary of my fathers death next month, which has shook the very foundation of who I am, I thank him, all my blood dead as well as all of those that have passed in my magical lineage, for their constant guidance and love, and for always having my back.
The best part of this practice is that it is relatively easy to reach the dead in your bloodline, even if you’ve never met. An easy set up to start with is a white candle, a glass of water, photos ( only of deceased people ) and an offering of some kind. If you know their tastes in food, alcohol, etc. you can leave those as well.
For example, my grandfather loved red licorice, so I always buy him Twizzlers. My grandmother lived on chocolate and lipton tea, so I always make sure those things are there, too. Choose one day a week to sit in front of your altar, light the candle, put out the offerings and just be still. Tell them your troubles and ask for guidance. Sit and just listen. If you have trouble making a connection, persevere, and over time things will start to happen.
Beginning a meditative practice will be of great assistance to help you quiet your mind so that you can hear what they’re trying to communicate to you. I’m truly stunned at all the distant relatives (and when I mean distant, I mean 500 years ago) that have made their presence known. And once that connection is made, you have a constant feeling of someone having your back and guiding you to a better life. I invite you to celebrate your beloved dead during the thinnest of veils between worlds, Samhain, and make magic that will change your life.
Natalie is a Tarot reader, Medium, and a student of Astrology. She is a Priestess in several traditions of Witchcraft, and enjoys all variety of plant medicine, sigil magic, and ecstatic ritual. She spends her time traveling between the veils, studying the dark arts and crafts, and creating ritual goods and self care items for her online store Skeleton Key Shop. Her favorite moments are spent making magic with her coven Deam Lux and snuggling with her bunny familiars.
Santeria, also known as Lucumi or La Regla de Ocha is an initiatory religion with origins in West Africa, that was brought to Cuba, Brazil and other regions of the Caribbean during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Centered around deities known as Orishas, that were often syncretized with Catholic Saints in order to preserve the practice in secret.
I am a Priestess of Yemaya in the Lucumi Tradition, more commonly known as a “Santera”. When you come into my home it looks mostly like everyone else’s. You won’t find huge altars full of statues and candles, or chicken feet hanging from the ceiling. In fact my home looks pretty ordinary besides my penchant for crystals, apothecary jars, and the spaces reserved for my Ancestors and other practices which are usually kept out of sight.
You wouldn’t know what I practice unless I specifically told you, or if you too were a practitioner and able to read the subtle signs. A certain charm on my necklace that is only prescribed during ordination as a priest or the bracelets I always wear that match with none of my outfits. My close friends know that certain foods are taboo for me. I also try to avoid getting wet in the rain – also a taboo for me. Sounds strange, but becoming deathly ill twice after getting caught in the rain makes you realize that your Abuela is sometimes right! My point is that the Lucumi religion is a highly personalized practice that is fitted to the individual. What is medicine for one person can be poison for another.
According to the lore of this practice, which is purely oral tradition, we are all born with our ORI. In new age terms, this is our higher self. This higher self is connected to our life’s path and comes with an innate knowledge of certain things. It has its own power, or ASHE. Although we have free will to make our way through life, it is our ORI that repeatedly nudges us in the direction of our best life, whether this is through people that we meet, or a seemingly random chain of events. These moments and people change the entire course of our lives, as it did mine.
“You wouldn’t know what I practice unless I specifically told you, or if you too were a practitioner and able to read the subtle signs.”
I was born into a family that suffers from Bipolar disorder, Depression, and Schizophrenia. Unfortunately, some of my family members committed suicide. My mother attempted suicide when I was just two years old. She had gone off her medication during pregnancy in order to carry me at great risk to herself. As we know, postpartum depression is very serious. It is even more so for people already living with mental illness. Miraculously, she survived what should have been a fatal injury. Still, she was hospitalized with a fractured spine. For the next three years, she would relearn how to walk and perform basic motor functions. During this time, I was cared for by my grandmother. Abuela was a priestess of Vodou, as practiced in the Dominican Republic. She was also a nurse at an elderly care facility. Every day, I would watch her pray, work, and help the streams of people that came for her assistance. She would sit me at her altar – in this case and practice, there were many statues and candles – and taught me how to pray. I prayed every night for my mother to come back to me as she was, although I was warned repeatedly that she may never walk again. Against all odds and prognoses, she made a full recovery. Though I went back to my normal life, I never forgot my introduction to this world. My innocent prayers were heard by these mysteries, as they were called.
Fast forward to my early 20’s. After years of solitary practice, I found a pagan path where I was exploring traditional witchcraft and being offered initiation. Coincidentally, I was presented with an opportunity to read tarot in a famous New York botanica (Nudge.) At this time, I had absolutely zero interest in the religions of my culture. Yet, I was suddenly immersed head first into this world. Instead of crystals, pretty talismans, and perfume oils, I was surrounded by Catholic statues, camphor, cigars, Florida Water, and images of the Orisha.
A close friend and colleague had been seeing someone whom she called “Her Padrino.” She was super secretive about her interactions with this person, which I found rather creepy. Sometimes, she would show up to work dressed completely in white and be eerily silent most of the day. She was my polar opposite, as I was wearing all black and blasting My Chemical Romance each morning. I was the one that customers would gravitate to for hexing and separation work. Looking back, I realize that I was ANGRY with a lot of things in my life and that this was a perfect outlet at the time. Though my tireless work was effective, my aura was dark.
A particularly cool shipment of statues came in one day, and my High Priestess presented me with an extravagant gift, a large statue of the Orisha Yemaya. She was a brown skinned, bare breasted mermaid with a pink tail, a jeweled crown on her head and holding a silver star in her hands (Nudge). This was odd as I was being trained in Initiatory Wicca, which has absolutely nothing to do with Orisha practice, or other African Diasporic religions. (This is the realm of usually ill-informed eclectic witches and a whole separate topic). She said simply, “You should have this. This is you.” I laughed, thanked her and accepted the gift, as alien as it was. Truthfully, this lovely statue stayed in her padded foam box for several years as I had no idea what to do with her.
“Instead of crystals, pretty talismans, and perfume oils, I was surrounded by Catholic statues, camphor, cigars, Florida Water, and images of the Orisha. ”
Around the same time my colleague and fellow Bruja invited me to a drumming. An Orisha drumming is not anything like a pagan drum circle. It is normally reserved for initiates or for members of an Ile, a temple or house of Orisha. I don’t know how this even happened, but I went to the event.I could hear the drums before I even entered and they immediately gave me a faint queasy feeling, like butterflies in my chest. When we entered the large room, the air was surprisingly thick and humid. To the left was a huge altar called a Throne. It was adorned with fabric, fruits, sweets and other items gleaming in shades of gold and pink. Three drums were set up in the front of this room. As the drums were played, my friend and I stayed plastered to the back wall hoping that no one would ask us who invited us, or why we were there, as the girl who had extended the invite in the first place was a no show.
I watched the people dance, their methodical steps giving way to abandon and wild movements at times that frightened me. A woman danced alone in front of the drums, her clothes plastered with sweat and her face beet red. After a time she was ushered away, only to return with a glistening blue and silver shawl around her neck, her hair wrapped up in another lovely fabric, and several younger people escorting her where she wanted to go, as she seemed to move through the room like a butterfly, speaking to some and ignoring others. I could see the people present crying and I did not understand why.
I honestly felt a pang of panic at this time and I wanted to leave. When I told my friend this, she flatly said that it was too late to leave. Once an Orisha had joined the event, possessing an initiate, it would be considered extremely rude to walk out the door, and there was no way of doing it sneakily as they (the Orishas) were capable of seeing and hearing everything in the room at once, including our thoughts. Now I was truly shitting myself and broke out in a cold sweat, when this woman immediately made eye contact with me and walked straight in my direction. At first I returned her gaze, but the closer she drew, the more unsettling it became and I shifted my eyes down towards my feet.
She came right up to me and grabbed my chin upwards. At this moment I was being yelled at by my friend who was trying to show me how to properly greet The Orisha, but I was frozen to the spot and her grip on my face was not soft. As per the woman who appeared by her side to translate, this was the Orisha Yemaya who was speaking to me (Nudge). She proceeded to speak about my mother’s accident (I had never shared this with anyone at that point in my life as I was too ashamed). She said that the spirits of my homeland had heard my prayers saving my mother and myself from living out that tragedy, but that I ultimately belonged to HER, and to all of them. I opened my mouth to ask how and my friend shook her head rapidly at me with bulging eyes. Instead I nodded and crossed my arms, bowing my head a little, as I had seen others do. She passed her beautiful embroidered cloth all over my body, and I felt the crackle of energy like electricity as all the hairs on my arms and head rose. Her last words to me were “Don’t worry, you will see.” I did see.
“Once an Orisha had joined the event, possessing an initiate, it would be considered extremely rude to walk out the door, and there was no way of doing it sneakily as they (the Orishas) were capable of seeing and hearing everything in the room at once, including our thoughts.”
The chain of events to follow were less like nudges and more like blows upside the head! I chose to share this to show something that few share on Social Media. The magic of these Orisha goes way beyond spells and altars, and deep into ancestral healing and realignment with one’s destiny. It’s an experiential religion that creates deep, personal growth and change for each person it touches. To those seeking the Orisha, I advise you to really SEEK them, so that you can have these life-changing and miraculous experiences for yourself.
I was recently moved to tears and brought to my knees in front of an Orisha, Babalu Aye (syncretized with Saint Lazarus, Patron of illness and disease) after hearing that a member of my Ile, an elder and sister to me within this practice, was now Cancer Free. This beautiful and humble Orisha not only alerted her to the unknown illness in her body but also CURED her, through his prescriptions and guidance of her elders, in a time span of only several weeks. These stories and experiences are the truth about this religion and practice. This is why practitioners spend so much time, blood, sweat and tears working ceremonies with our spiritual community as well as with seekers needing help and guidance. If your Orisha practice consists only of spells on an altar, or selfies of your beaded necklaces with cigar in mouth, then I am here to tell you that you are missing out on so much more. There is a whole world out there, just waiting for you to dig a little deeper.
Yemaya N’Agbe O,
Chris ( aka Ammo ) O’Day The Fitness Witch has been in the occult community for over 20 years. She specializes in mind, body and spirit transformations through fitness, nutrition, energy work and magic. She is initiated in Santeria, Quimbanda and ceremonial magic and a 2nd degree Gardnerian High Priestess. She can be reached through her Fitnesswitch page on instagram or her website www.fitnesswitch.com for in person/online personal training, yoga, reiki, tarot and astrology. She currently resides in Redondo Beach California.
In my 15+ years working in the occult community, the most common things I hear are “How do I get ( insert desire here)?” and “Someone put a voodoo curse on me.”
If you believe you are cursed the first question you need to ask is, “Why?”
Why do you assume a Voodoo practitioner put a curse on you? Do you think you’re that special, my little snowflake? Unless you did something to screw one of us over, most of us have better things to do with our time and talents than to throw our energy at you and, if that’s the case than maybe you should check yourself, and start a meditation practice for some self examinaton and really see how you’re behaving because most magical practitioners I know have better things to do.
My other problem with this statement is that it’s always a Voodoo curse, or Santeria, and it’s one of the most ignorant comments that I hear on a regular basis. Did you ever think that the Wiccan in the muumuu might want to make your life a living hell? A curse can be thrown by ANY magical practitioner of any path. Norse practitioners, ceremonial magicians, satanists, to name a few, can all do damage if they want to. Whether or not you’ve been hexed, your first step to be a witch should be mastering your psychic development, which includes psychic self defense and strengthening your energetic field ( the invisible “egg” shape surrounding your body ) not “I want to do a love spell to force that person who’s never been nice to me to be my boy/girlfriend,” not “I want to summon a Goetic demon etc, etc, so and so fucking forth. STOP! Before you hurt yourself, seriously.
To be a successful practitioner of magic you need to master yourself, not your external circumstances, first.
When you change, the world around you changes but if you’re only trying to control your environment all you’re doing is AVOIDING YOUR SHIT. Yes, I said your shit. Don’t look at me like that, we’ve all got a lot of things about ourselves that we’d rather not look at. On top of that, we project our issues onto those around us if we are not self-aware. Whether you like it or not, those people that piss you off so much are mirroring something back at you that you’d rather not see in yourself. The fastest and easiest way to strengthen your aura and, not only protect yourself from others but also to protect others from you ( no one wants your crap, keep it to yourself please! ) is what’s called the egg of light visualization.
Stand up with your feet together, arms at your sides and close your eyes. Now imagine that your entire body is encased in an egg extending approximately 9 inches all the way around you, including under your feet and above your head. Visualize a bright blue light filling the egg. Maintain that blue light while seeing a silvery white sphere a foot above your head and slowly allow the silvery white energy from the sphere to enter your egg and the crown chakra at the top of your head. Let it drip down into your throat, chest, arms and fingers, your back, hips, legs and feet to the tip of your toes and feel this light energizing every cell in your body. Hold the egg shape and the silvery energy in your minds eye as long as possible. When it fades know that it is still there and protecting you even though you can no longer see it. By practicing this exercise a few minutes a day you will soon be able to make it appear at a moments notice just by thinking about it. The best part about mastering this practice is that it improves your life in general from increasing your self confidence and vitality but also by being able to pick up on negative people and troubling situations before they occur.
And at the end of the day, if you REALLY need to send someones crap back at the them, just throw their name or a picture inside a mirrored compact with some command, control, and compel oil, wrap tape completely around it, and then throw it somewhere dark and forget about it.
Arielle Ollivier is the Creatrix of Mahina Medicina; a mystery school/sisterhood for Wombyn to feel safe, seen and supported; as they awaken and embody their Divine Feminine Rhythm, Mystery and Sensuality. Arielle is a best selling author and certified intuitive life coach, utilizing her training in ceremony, ritual and magick for transformation. She works closely with flowers and plants, alchemizing essences, tinctures and salves. Arielle invites you to follow her on Instagram @mama.mahina or visit her website: mahinamedicina.com to connect into CommUnity.
Our menstrual blood as We’Moon is sacred.
“It is prophesied that when all women are giving their blood back to the Earth in a sacred way, all the men will come home from war and there will be peace on Earth again.” ~ Hopi Nation
When Matriarchal societies ruled; Women would gather in the Red Tent to bleed. We understood the power of retreating during our flow. Allowing us the space to receive Divine messages through increased intuition.
Practicing rituals to honor the Goddess within.
Unfortunately, in modern Western society this tradition has been dormant. Wombyn have been taught to be discreet and silent about their menstrual cycle – pad or plug it up, as if it’s a plague. This negative connotation disconnects Women from the very fluids that create us.
It is my passion to assist Women in remembering, reconnecting and reclaiming the sacredness of their blood through ritual. Reframing the experience of your period to be one of pleasure, instead of pain.
Below is a ritual invitation for your next cycle;
Day 1 of bleeding: Create an altar
A beautiful visual to honor yourself with.
Create an altar with crystals, feathers, flowers, or whatever feels good to you! Infuse it with love! Say a prayer in gratitude for yourself, Gaia and the Great Goddess.
On my altar are:
Amethyst~Quartz~Spirit Quartz~Rose Quartz
Koa Wood Carved Egg (fertility)
Butterfly wings I’ve collected (transformation)
Rose petals (feminine/love)
Day 2 of bleeding: Womb Massage
Most likely, you hardly touch your stomach with appreciation. Giving yourself a womb massage is a wonderful way to adorn yourself and create a physical connection to your body.
I use a ‘Womb Salve’ and I rub it on my abdomen/womb clockwise. Mugwort, (the main ingredient in the salve) increases circulation of blood. Thus relieving cramps, as it repels stagnation; cold and dampness in the Uterus.
You can use your favorite essential oil too! Clary sage, lavender, rose, and ylang ylang are all supportive oils for moon time.
Day 3 of bleeding: Anoint yourself
This one takes courage, as it’s way beyond comfort for some! It took me about a year of catching my blood before I practiced this.
Transfer blood from menstrual cup into a small bowl or jar. Lovingly say a prayer to yourself, honoring your ability to create life, as you dip your fingers into your blood. Notice any negative thoughts that arise, and ask they be transmuted into love as you take your fingers to your third eye (between the brow) and gently touch them to your forehead to make a heart, star or a crescent moon (as the Avalon priestess would do!).
You can continue to draw on your body, if you feel inclined. I found it liberating to draw on my womb!
Day 4 of bleeding: Offer it to the plants
Menstrual blood carries 385 proteins unique ONLY to menstrual blood. It’s incredibly nourishing to the soil, helping plants grow.
(I love to give it to my Mugwort).
Pick a flower, plant or tree and ask it’s permission to give it your menstrual blood.
(Permission in magic & ritual is KEY)
Transfer the blood collected from your cup, tampon or pad into a cup, jar or vase and dilute it with water.
As you pour into soil, say a blessing or prayer.
(use your Intuition, there is no right or wrong)
It can be: what you are releasing in this cycle, and what you wish for the plant to circulate & grow. The beauty of mother nature is her ability to recycle energy, to create anew!
My prayer is these practical and magical rituals serve you to cultivate a deeper connection to the Earth, the Moon and your Womb.
Money ‘Scopes by Darla Downing
The bills may seem endless this month, Aries. Every day you may receive a new letter asking for money owed. All this financial stress may lead to exhaustion. However, Venus Retrograde, which starts on the 5th can help to consolidate credit, make payment plans, and offer debt relief. Calling in a financial advisor, or asking for advice from others, on the 12th will help elevate your assets on the 26th. Don’t be a hero, use your fiery energy to get assistance, instead of falling victim to endless bills.
While others may be scrambling to keep their livelihood afloat this month, you are mostly concerned with partnerships—deciding what projects and people to invest your money and time in. The 5th causes you to rethink recent endeavors, giving you the option to renegotiate recent contracts. The 26th gives you clarity, as you may possibly renege on a deal. Listen to your intuition this month, if a deal, contract, or situation doesn’t feel right—let it go, move on to the next project right away and don’t waste time on nonsense.
Your intellectual nature often motivates you to logically assess work and financial matters. However, October leaves you feeling lost, as your pristine crystal clear judgement is now foggy. Disappointments at work on the 18th and 19th may force you to feel lost in terms of your career, as feelings of inadequacy come to surface. The 20th and 22nd urge you to take control of financial and career power dynamics. But, you may take a step back, opting to ride the wave before taking any actions, due to your lack of career motivation and uncertainty this month.
Living in a rich girl’s world this October allows you to step out of your shell and spend the fruits of your labor on forbidden pleasures. This is quite exciting for you, dear crab, as you often spend frugally. The 5th and the 26th jumpstart your urge to invest on passion projects. Just be watchful over your investments and contracts with others on the 24th, as a “trusted” party may lead you astray on the 27th.
Often the life of the party, you tend to overspend quite often. This will cause issues in October, as your generous heart has left you scrambling for cash. As Venus starts to glide backwards on October 5th, you will immediately start to feel the financial pinch. Don’t stress, sweet lion! Use October to revise your monetary plan and create a budget. Even though you may feel financially overwhelmed and your bank account may be underwhelmed, you have the opportunity to enhance your assets with simple planning and foresight, which will allow you to feel more in control of your finances by the 26th.
Spending money frivolously with friends this past month sure has put a drain on your once lush bank account. October begins with the heat on your finances, causing you to feel the financial drain on the 3rd and 7th. The 31st brings a new chance to revise your finances, as Venus moves backwards through your house of finances, offering you an opportunity to change the game for November.
This month takes a bite out of your bank account, Libra. As your planetary ruler, Venus, glides backwards in the financial sector of your chart (starting on October 5th), the next 41 days will prove to be taxing on you, creating much anxiety around money. Be cautious this month! Do not spend your cash on fanciful inclinations and desires. Try to create a penchant for coupon clipping and bargain deals, which will help you reassess your wallet by Halloween, when Venus aligns with your Sun, thus, allowing you to spend your savings on a lovely costume, drinks, and fun with friends.
October may prove to be challenging for you, Scorpio. Venus kicks off her retrograde journey October 5th, on your Sun, forcing you to make minor financial touch ups. This may come as a surprise to you, after all, you are usually financially responsible. The 9th gives you the opportunity to address your current financial missteps, giving you the chance to clear your current monetary lulls on the 23rd, by bringing in an advisor on the 24th to help you budget.
Your current financial state may be stressful, as you’re nearing your account minimum. Luckily for you, Sag, your friends step in on October 2nd and offer you financial support. While you may view their kindness as unnecessary, accepting their help on the 4th, will allow you to be at ease on the 5th. Be aware, the loan does come with strings. Try to make proper guidelines and boundaries on the 7th and 9th, by openly discussing a payback plan. If not, the 22nd will prove to be challenging with your peers and your wallet.
Known for your work horse drive and determination, you often place all your efforts into your career. However, this month, you are swept away by politics, dedicating yourself more as a SJW than a workaholic. Your charisma will be placed on humanitarian efforts, starting on the 5th, as unsavory news hits the airways. The 14th gives you an opportunity to assess your beliefs, creating a platform to express yourself, allowing for you to raise money for your cause on the 18th, 26th, and 31st.
All work and no play can make your loving cup feel under nourished and appreciated. October 5th forces you to dedicate your energy toward work, as major shifts and transformations at the workplace are underway, making you feel like a fish out of water. This may cause frustrations within, as you won’t have time to enjoy the frivolities of life for most of October. Keep the faith, dear Aquarius! The 29th allows you to burn off some steam as work issues clear up, allowing for you to celebrate Halloween with friends with no worries.
With your head mostly in the clouds this month, your finances will take a sudden windfall. The 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 13th will cause utter confusion regarding your dwindling assets. As you struggle to keep your finances above water, in the first half of the month, try to keep a diary of your spending. The 18th and 19th boost your assets, allowing for financial clarity on the 29th. Expect a monetary gift from your spirits on Halloween, as you are the recipient of a wonderful financial surprise.
A native Russian raised in the South and bred in Philadelphia where she attended art school and began her career, Tatyana brings a slew of backgrounds and artistic experience from painting to writing and directing into her role as an art and magic coach. A primary theme throughout her all of her work is that of seeing the magic in the mundane, and how anything in our lives can be a form of creative energy and expression. As a multidisciplinary artist, she finds it integral to nourish all facets of the creative self and harvest intimate connections and collaborative relationships, and through her work, Taty wants to help others do the same. She does so through writing via her blog, New Moon Creative, filming a weekly video series on IGTV, and by working with individuals directly through her independent Reiki+Intuitive Painting service. Tatyana aims to build New Moon Creative into a full one-on-one coaching business by 2019 to help redirect people towards their most authentic, creative journeys and be available as a personal teacher and mentor.
For many of us who run businesses, blogs, or provide any other kind of service, intelligent planning and structure are essential in order to organize our weeks and stay on track of our goals. They gives us a framework within which we can funnels our ideas into real plans of inspired action, and keep us in check with the content we are putting out and the dialogue we’re guiding.
However, the problem with over-planning is that we risk getting so caught up in the way something “should be” that we might accidentally miss out on some of the most authentic moments of organic inspiration that we can receive. In her book “Big Magic,” Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the nature of Ideas. They come knocking on your door when they’re ready to be born, and if you don’t let them in, someone else will. It’s a divine moment of connection to Source, and YOU are the Vehicle.
When we work consciously with external energy and see ourselves as a conduit for it, our focus begins to shift from obsessing over controlling a Plan to building ourselves up to be the best possible channel for this Life Energy. When you feel good in your body and create healthy practices, you clear pathways for this energy to flow through with ease.
So how do we build ourselves up to be the most magnetic receptors of and channels for ideas?
Disconnect to Reconnect.
Those of us who rely on social media as a business platform tend to feel like we’re not doing our job if we aren’t constantly connected. We tell ourselves lies like, “If I’m not keeping up and putting out content, I’m lazy.” False. Your audience doesn’t want a burnt out, depleted version of you. They want you at your most rested and tuned in because that’s when you bring your best value. That’s comforting to people. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Tune in and pick a Mantra.
Remember, your body is your vessel. How you equip it will determine what signals you pick up from the ether and what you end up creating. To assist this voluntary mental shift, try starting with a mantra to help transition you from a cluttered headspace to a clear and receptive one. Even something as simple as “I release all that which does not serve me, and I am creating space for beautiful, sparkling light to flow through me.” Let it make you smile!
Repetition of such affirmations is coined as a thing called “auto-suggestion,” and it is one of the most powerful ways we can consciously influence our subconscious mind. By saying things out loud, we gradually begin to BELIEVE them even if initially this isn’t already an embedded belief.
Find ways to ground and connect deeply to yourself through practices that clear stale energy and replenish your lifesource. This can be anything from practicing Magick rituals to self-Reiki to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. Sweating is AMAZING for releasing negative emotions, but then so is writing down all of your fears and anxieties and flushing them down the toilet. Likewise, consciously working with the energetic centers of your body via meditation and visualization can be incredibly powerful. Sometimes it’s even putting on some lingerie and telling yourself you’re beautiful, as molecules of self-love and playfulness slowly replaces those of doubt and insecurity.
Set Healthy Practices
The truth is, no matter how much work we do to prepare our vessel, the intensity of our connection to Source will ebb and flow. There will be times when you feel like you just can’t connect, and if you plan on building your career solely off of waiting for divine moments alone, you’ll be broke and depressed fast. This is why it’s imperative to form practices in all that you do. Do your grounding rituals before you check your email. Set the time to write, but maybe don’t set the topic. Your job is to show up; the Universe will do the rest. If you equip yourself with healthy practices that make your body into the best home it possibly can be, when Inspiration hits, you’ll be ready for it.
Ariella Upton is a solitary eclectic witch who was raised by a Christian kitchen witch. She has a wealth of knowledge about herbs, crystals, natural remedies, gardening, history, religion and is currently studying astrology. She works as a PA & manager on Maui, and spends her free time with her magickal family in the forests and beaches they call home. Her shop is on Instagram as @the.celestial.rose where she sells jewelry, artesian smudge sticks, antiques, books and more.
Ahh, Venus, how we adore you! She rules over our relationships, our concept of beauty, our love style and everything we associate with being “nice” in our opinions. So what do we do now that Venus is in Scorpio? Do we bang anything that moves? Do we cut out everything unpleasent in our lives? Do we change how and who we love completely?
I recently had a discussion about this shift with another astrology-curious friend, and I mentioned to her that since Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, which is associated with sex, death and transformation, that many things ruled by Venus would be experiencing these shifts.
Like what? Well, all relationships are a matter of Venus because she shows us how we display affection and appreciation. You may find old friendships, lovers or maybe even a long-term relationship is no longer aligned with your life. Scorpio is working in your life to transform you from tolerating your existing paradigm to THRIVING. The old relationships that were waiting to crumble will likely be expedited by this Scorpion energy, and you may find it intolerable to associate with these people who need to GTFO of your life. Let them go in peace, as they are probably experiencing a similar perspective shift about you.
It can be a painful time, and though these people are not physically dead, it may still incite a period of greiving of what has been lost, and that is totally ok. Greive for the loss, go through the stages, but MOST IMPORTANTLY you must heal and become better than you were before. Don’t bother dumping toxic relationships if you are just going to find new ones. Have the courage to listen to your intuition and act accordingly from now on.
Venus is also associated with our self-worth, ability to earn and even jewelry or fine clothes. Positioned in Scorpio, she helps us to reconcile our sexualities and material worth by aligning to what truly feels right and good for our highter selves. Scorpio is a pretty intense energy, and you are not going to win over her insistence to transform. Allow yourself the space and compassion to eliminate the old baggage weighing you down, which in turn will leave more room for the things we love and are truly passionate about (hey-o, Venus!) This may include a physical purging of things taking up space in your home… might be a good time to have a garage sale or donate your unwanted goods to a charity/thrift store. It can also bring about questioning your self-worth… maybe you don’t charge enough for your goods and services. Maybe you don’t accept praise without doubt. Whatever is holding you back is getting chucked; just do it!
KyKye is an eclectic pagan witch, writer, yogini, and self-taught holistic health guru. Spirituality, Philosophy, and Art are mediums through which she chooses to express the dual nature of her free, yet centered spirit. She attended The Academy for Performing Arts in Scotch Plains, New Jersey as a theatre major and is currently working towards a BFA in Creative Writing at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. If you find her words resonate with you, feel free to follow her personal IG account @_eclectickye and her daughter, a feisty two year old mini-potbelly pig @badass_piggy_noelle.
As a multiracial spiritual woman, of Isan Thai and Irish descent, I feel it is essential to research the beliefs, practices, and ancient folklore of my ancestors on both my maternal and paternal sides. By learning more about my cultural past, I gain a better understanding of which innate magickal abilities lay dormant in me and unlock my potential to fully awaken them. Today I will give you a glimpse into the sacred wisdom of my Thai ancestors and thereby encourage you to seek the wisdom of your own.
Thai people are known to be extremely superstitious, regardless of their religion or social class. While the dominant religion in Thailand is Theravada Buddhism, all ancient Thai magick is deeply rooted in Animism, Brahmanism, and Black Magick. From their superstitions and folklore to their rituals and spells, magick is still widely practiced today, especially in the more rural areas of Thailand. In fact, the belief in the supernatural is considered to be an essential part of a Thai person’s identity (as demons, spirits, ghosts, and other deities are held to the highest regard). Many Thai people associate auspicious/inauspicious meanings with specific dates, numbers, shapes, animals, and colors.
SAN PHRA PHUM (GHOST HOUSES)
A Mau Pii (spirit doctor) is consulted to help determine the best location for a spirit house to be built as well as the best date to hold an invitation ceremony to welcome the spirits into their shelter. Thais believe that by providing the spirits with a place to call their own-adorned with incense, garlands of flowers, food and drinks- they are calling upon their deceased ancestors and other prominent figures or deities to protect them. Soda, fruit, water, cigarettes, alcohol, amulets, and statues are common offerings brought to the spirit houses everyday to keep the spirits happy and prevent future hauntings.
(Anthony Pioppi, 2010)
BARANG (THAI VOODOO)
Black Magick amulets are sacred gifts both created and blessed by Monks, many of which are traditionally bestowed upon donors who have made significant or frequent contributions to the Temple. Each individual amulet is infused with specific powers that are believed to bring the wearer good luck and protection. These amulets can be made from a variety of different materials, including bone, ash, dirt, teeth, herbs, oils, metal, hair, skin, and blood. An image of a Buddha, Monk, demon, animal, or deity is often depicted.
(no copyright infringement intended)
Kuman Thong (koo-mun-tong): an unborn male fetus/demonic child spirit that is said to protect a household so long as the amulet is properly cared for. The spirit is said to have an exceptionally strong sense of sight and hearing, which it uses to protect the owner when specific guidelines are followed, some of which include offering it sweet drinks and scheduling certain times to talk to it throughout the day. When and if the spirit becomes too difficult to care for, it must be properly disposed of at a Temple.
YANTRA (MAGICK SPELL)
The Thai Yan is extremely complex, containing a mystical amalgamation of ancient scripts, sacred geometry, holy texts, and Divine power invoked by Monks. It acts as a supercharged magick spell that is designed for the individual, according to their desired purpose or intent. Most times, one seeks to receive the Thai Yan for protection and strength, but it is known also bring forth love, luck, and wealth.
(no copyright infringement intended)
Whether ink to cloth or ink to skin, the tradition of the Thai Yan has been carried on for centuries. Sak Yant tattoos are gaining popularity in the West due to recent exposure by tourists and celebrities drawn to their unique beauty. Please note that the Sak Yant tattoo is not meant to be worn as a fashion statement, as there are karmic repercussions that will follow. Those who seek to receive its power must never disrespect or disregard the great spiritual significance it holds, especially for the Thai people.
Listed below are some (but not all) elements that a Monk, Ajarn, or Master would have the knowledge of how to combine and use to create the Yan, though the specifics of the Yan’s design-making process and its exact interpretations remain esoteric to non-initiates. I would highly suggest further research be conducted to fully understand all that the Thai Yan entails.
Sacred Geometry & Astrology
-Magic Squares: number puzzles that contain mathematical magic sequences
-Elemental Triangles: triangular symbols that signify the four physical elements
-Trikaya: the Buddhist trinity
-Circles: can represent the Dharmachakra (auspicious buddhist symbol), planets with astrological significance, the Sun, and the Moon
-Bodhi Leaf: from the tree under which the Buddha sat and attained Enlightenment
-Numbers: 9 is auspicious, 7 is inauspicious, 8 can be both
-Dates: colors, planets, and gods correspond with specific days of the week
Pali Literature & Post-canonical Pali Literature
-Traiphum Phra Ruang (Three Worlds According to King Ruang): descriptions of death and fate according to cosmic destruction and creation, an analysis of the ethical and spiritual progress of beings in the universe
-Tipitaka (Pali Canon)
*Vinaya Pitaka (basket of discipline): contains rules and customs
*Sutta Pitaka (basket of discourses): contains sermons of the Buddha and his close disciples
*Abhidhamma (basket of high doctrine): contains a psychophilisophical analysis of The Law of Nature and cosmic order according to Buddha
-Buddhaghosa’s Expositions & Commentaries
*Visuddhimagga (Way of Purification): easy to follow guide to practicing Theravada Buddhism, elaborates on Buddha’s Path to Liberation through strict discipline & meditation
Materials & Utensils
-Cloth: created on specific days of the week in auspicious colors with corresponding gods and celestial bodies of those days and colors
-Ink: a secret blend of ashes (human and/or animal), natural dyes (such as chinese charcoal), snake venom, oils, powders, and other ingredients
Whether we choose to or not, believing in the magick of our ancestors and following in their footsteps is entirely up to us. In cultivating awareness of ourselves and others, we are challenged to turn inwards and explore the realms of our being that our physical body and mind do not have access to. There is knowledge, wisdom, and ancient power that runs deep in our blood, that connect us to the Divine, through the Earth, through our Spirit.
It is time for us to return to our roots. It is time to expand our consciousness and invite ancient wisdom and magic back into our blood. As spiritual beings, we are being called upon to add yet another level of depth and meaning to our magic, to our purpose. While it is not our fault that we have fell out of touch with our roots and our magical lineage due to cultural repression and societal conditioning, it is now our choice and our destiny to find the answers our souls are desperately seeking, and to fill in the missing pieces of our puzzle.
Jenna Fox is employed as a writer and educator described by her community college students as “sympathetic, but with a blunt sense of humor.” As a queer adult adoptee, reuniting with her biological family has helped her reclaim the ancestral witchcraft practices of tarot and folk herbalism native to Scandinavia, the British Isles, and Czech/Slovakia. You can listen to her podcast Leo Rising: Living Tarot & Creative Intuition, on any major podcasting app. To schedule a tarot reading with Jenna, reach out on Instagram @leorisingtarot or her website: www.leorisingtarot.com.
Is the white sage used for smudging practices actually endangered? Is using white sage, or palo santo, as a practice, actually engaging in cultural appropriation of spiritual traditions that are not my own? If you run in New Age spiritual or witchy circles, you’ve probably at least encountered the practice of smudging with white sage, if not encountered these two questions.
What if I told you there was a way to embrace smoke cleansing that was rooted in traditional European folk medicine/witchcraft ancestry, that was both sustainable and not appropriative? Wouldn’t that be lovely?! And what if it was as easy as going to your local grocery store? Would you be into that? Who wouldn’t want to jump on this easy, sustainable and conflict free form of spirituality?
So, a few years ago, a trusted witch friend from high school posted on Facebook about her practice of smoke cleanings (smudging, without that label) using traditional European herbs, and I was intrigued. I love the practice of burning sage, but hadn’t thought deeper about the fact that many tribes were criminalized until the 1970’s for these very same spiritual practices.It seemes wrong that my 20-something spiritual white girl body was able to do these practices without a second thought about the bigger picture. The more I sat with my friend’s words, the more I was impacted by the colonial mindset that had permeated my spiritual practice of smudging.
And thus, entered my experiment with “returning to my roots.” There are many herbs that were used in ancient and medieval Europe for the same spiritual and practical purpose that white sage and palo santo are used by new age spiritual communities today. And so I began my own practice of tying and burning herbal bundles that my witchy ancestors would have used. Some grocery store versions are:
Garden or cooking sage
Yes, just like the song! Cheesy, but maybe the hippies were on to something…
Below I’ve outlined a step by step guide for tying your own herbal bundles from ingredients easily found in grocery stores. And for those that are more foraging inclined, herbs like mullein, lavender, or mugwort were also traditionally burned to clear spaces of negative energy.
Step 1: assemble materials. I use cotton twine for “sausage making” found on Amazon, scissors, garden sage, and rosemary.
Step 2: Identify size of herb bundle that you want to make. Remember, it shrinks when it dries!
Step 3: Tie a knot at the bottom of the bundle, begin winding the twine around the bundle, tightly packing the herbs together.
Step 4: Once you’ve wound all the way to the top of the bundle, wind back down and tie off at the end. Leave some room on the string to hang it to dry.
Step 5: Hang to dry in a sunny window. I choose my kitchen window because blinds are so handy for hanging. It take a week or two to get fully dry!
Once they’re dry, they can be burned just like a white sage bundle. Make sure to have a bowl/dish below the bundle to catch any ash, and don’t leave unattended!
There are so many different traditional herbs that can be used for this spiritual smoke cleansing practice, so feel free to experiment (but do your homework and be safe!). I’ve found this practice of connecting with my ancestry, rather than just easily adopting a spiritual practice that comes from a different lineage, to be really rewarding for me. Not only do I feel more connected to my lineage, I also feel more connected to the plants. There’s something amazing about the smell of sage and rosemary lingering on my fingers for hours after I’ve tied my last bundle, and the reward I feel when I take one of my dry bundles and light it to clean my house. Short of growing these herbs myself, I’ve had an intentional hand in the tying, drying, and frying of them, which leaves my house smelling great and feeling light and free.
While you may feel a slight financial pinch in the beginning of the month, the backend of September pays off tremendously. By accessing your innate patience and methodical practicalities, you have the power to transform your monetary blues into bliss on the 21st. The Fall Equinox adds prosperity into your bank account, ending your financial lull during the Harvest Moon on the 24th,
Money has been free flowing, like champagne, all Summer. September is your wake up call from living the good life, as your money making abilities slow down. Venus, Goddess of Money and your planetary ruler, enters Scorpio on the 9th, right after entering the pre retrograde shadow on the 2nd (Venus retrograde officially begins October 5th) in the financial sector of your chart. Projects can be slow to start, forcing your bank account to slowly dwindle. The 21st and 22nd give you an opportunity to start new creative ventures with others, that can add some momentum to your assets.
As Venus aligns on your Sun, on the 9th, you may feel some short lived velocity in your finances and career. Be advised, this is a temporary fix due to Venus’s inevitable journey backwards next month. Focus your energies in September on your savings account and try to plan properly for the next months ahead. Autumn will bring financial challenges, but you can avenge such issues by building better spending habits in advance. Saving your pennies now, will pay off later. And, yes, the road to financial growth is around the corner. After all, Scorpio is the sign that rules sex, death, and taxes.
A gambler by nature, you often take monetary and career risks. Your enthusiastic approach may often lead to gain, however, sometimes the house wins. September brings you back to reality, forcing you to make realistic financial decisions on the 6th and the 30th. Your career is highlighted during the New Moon on the 9th, allotting you different responsibilities at work, which may cause quarrels on the 25th. Try to take on the nuances of September one step at a time, access your inner warrior to strategically balance out the different energies.
Your earthy intelligence has graced you with the gift of financial structure and career prominence, making September an easy breezy month for you on on all fronts. Responsible by nature, September rewards your efforts with a long due raise on the 10th and fame on the 21st. You glide into autumn ahead of the game, making the Equinox on the 22nd the most auspicious day for your career this month.
September allows you to take back control of your finances. Summertime overindulgences have forced your bank account to take a hit, causing your emotional cup to over runneth with personal anxieties. The New Moon, occurring on September 9th, helps clear your financial strain, ONLY if you address debt concerns with your creditors on the 5th and the 6th. September 10th is prime time for you to start repaying debts, on your new plan, which will alleviate stresses for you by the 25th.
September forces you to feel like a fish out of water, pushing you to network within your work community. Your increasing Instagram following allows you to enjoy fruits of your labor, as the public is taking notice of you professionally. All these efforts pay off during the Harvest Moon on September 24th, when your bank account ripens due to the influx of cash from your entrepreneurial mingling.
Known for your strong work ethic, September is when your efforts shine. The month kicks off with a long awaited raise coming your way on the 3rd and the 6th gives you dominance in your career. The world sees you as the top ram in your industry, even catching more respect and admiration. from your coworkers during the New Moon on the 9th, when you receive a highly anticipated raise. September ends with you at the top of your field and the envy of others—due to your new career status.
Venus, your planetary ruler, enters Scorpio on September 9th, the same day as the Virgo New Moon, giving you hope to have the chance to pursue your artistic inclinations at work. While this may sound amazing, the caveat arises from Venus enters the pre retrograde shadow September 2nd, causing your cash flow slow down, as investments from investors and patrons may fall through. The 10th is a powerful day for you to sweet talk your way into a profitable partnership, just be sure not to over-promise, as the 25th can leave you feeling out to pasture by your financial backers.
Unfortunately, September is a bit of a challenge for you, Gemini. However, you can transform your dwindling bank account into gold on the 30th of September if you do a bit of detective work on the 6th, to understand potential growth at your job and partnerships. Use your keen Mercurial gifts to see if you can develop your career or receive a raise by the end of the month. With your chameleon like abilities, you should be in full swing by the 30th.
Saving your pennies for a rainy day has surely has paid off, allowing you all month to pursue creative endeavors. The 10th of September starts a new fiscal beginning, as your credit card balance reaches 0 (or close to it), offering you time to focus your energies into work. The Full Moon on September 24th brings a possible promotion your way, which helps you see tangible rewards for your hard efforts.
September acts as your financial wake up call, dear lion. It’s time to get your bank account in other. Planning your autumnal budget September 5th, will allow you to embrace new enterprising opportunities during the Virgo New Moon on September 9th. Wounded healer Chiron, slips back into the house of other people’s money on September 25th, allowing you the chance to make good on credit card payments and debt if you plan accordingly in the beginning of the month.
Career Tarot Forecast
Happy back to school season, especially for those of us in the School of Life. This is the first week of the whole summer where all personal planets are all moving direct, and while that usually motivates us to get back into the swing of things, we may still feel sluggish due to the sheer weight of all that we’ve experienced during this past couple months. Try to focus on steadily integrating lessons rather than pushing forward at top speed.
The Hermit guides us through the first couple weeks of September, which is very appropriate for Virgo season. He is facing the past, shining the light of his wisdom on all that we have gone through in the past two months, giving us time to discern what it is that we truly want to carry through to the manifestation phase in the coming harvest season. With the Hermit as our guide, we are being asked to release outdated expectations in favor of what truly matters to us. 9, the Hermit’s number, is all about the process of purging what is finished and integrating what is our’s as we step into the next phase of our journey. And so we begin at an ending: what is holding us back? How can we let the dead things fall away? The Hermit makes these decisions in quiet and solitude, so make time for reflection, especially at the new moon in Virgo on September 9th.
While the Hermit requires solitude, the 4 of Pentacles reminds us not to isolate ourselves to the point of disconnection. Sharing time and energy will open us up to new opportunities. We may be afraid of being taken advantage of or of not being valued in the workplace, but creating a barrier between ourselves and others, seeing our job as “just a job” will make us feel small and may even have a negative impact on our career in the long-run. It is better to take conscious steps towards something we desire than to move through where we are as only a shell of ourselves.
That said, if you are feeling stuck and can’t take big leaps towards your dream job this month, make a concerted effort to open up to friends, partners, and family, valuing community to help you maintain a more satisfying work / life balance. The 4 of Pentacles asks us to focus less on what we have and more on what we have to share. With the Lovers card representing the last part of the month, it seems that our work in solitude with the Hermit and the way we use our experience of the “little emperor” (4 of Pentacles) leads us to a fork in the road. The Lovers card speaks to the moral obligation we have to make commitments that nourish our soul’s purpose. Are we committed to our path or are we floating? Either way, it’s ok! Wandering is vital to making any commitment. The Lovers are there to remind us that we have a duty to ourselves to be honest about where we are and what we feel called to do with our lives for the good of humankind. You may be looking at a great collaboration or the opportunity to join a team that inspires you. Where the Hermit cautioned us, the Lovers asks us to reach out and share ideas, openly seeking our place in the world.