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.
Rebecca M. Farrar, M.A. (aka Wild Witch of the West) is an archetypal astrologer, revolutionary, lover, and general wackadoo living in San Francisco, California. She offers astrological guidance with a down-to-earth approach utilizing her studies on the evolution of consciousness and psychology. While she considers herself a witch and an intersectional feminist, she also realizes her whiteness, cisgender, and able-bodied privilege is a constant process of uncovering. In 2013, she received her Master’s in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. Her thesis, titled “Stargazing: Re-enchantment Through Language,” combines philology, consciousness studies, and enchantment with the stars. When not staring at her transits, she can be found wandering Ocean Beach, curled up with a good book, or “force” cuddling her kitty, Freyja.
Virgo and the Astrology of Virginity
Recently the Sun has made its annual move into tropical Virgo, the symbol of the woman and refers to the word virgin. While our modern minds think of virginity as referring to sexual experience and specifically valuing chastity in women, this common definition has strayed far from the word’s original meaning.
Virgo comes from Latin meaning “unwedded girl, maiden.” It wasn’t until around 1300 that it was used to denote a lack of sexual experience or imply chastity. In Greek translations the word virgin meant “one unto herself.” Similar to many words in English, the original meaning became lost as our Western culture became more and more patriarchal in nature.
With this evolution of language in mind, virginity then actually indicates freedom, self-sufficiency, and wholeness. One of my favorite authors, Nancy Qualls-Corbett goes on to say a virgin is “untouched by man, or…the laws of man.” In this way, virginity is not something that a person could “take” or “give away.” Virginity instead belongs to each of us as an expression of wholeness and divinity and the stories of the virgin goddesses remind us of the power of our own sovereignty.
In Greek and Roman traditions there were often three main virgin goddesses: Vesta/Hestia, Minerva/Athena, and Diana/Artemis. Regardless of gender or GNC, I believe each of these goddesses speak to an aspect of our own wholeness and virginity. Understanding these archetypes in an astrological context gives us important clues about how their archetypal energies show up in our lives and our soul patterning.
I enjoy working with the asteroids and dwarf planets as they are often named after goddesses and invite a complexity not found with just the more popular planetary bodies in our solar system. While the names are gendered, I don’t think of them as unique aspects to any gender and instead different energies that move through us at different times.
How can we work with these archetypal, virginal energies throughout the next month? For me the answers lie in our natal Vesta, Pallas Athene, and Diana asteroids. Both Greek and Roman, though largest in the solar system, all in these asteroids orbit in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Here’s a rundown of each of their meanings in the collective and personal astrology charts:
Asteroid Vesta // Named after Greek Goddess of Hearth and Home
The second largest asteroid discovered in 1807 and was more recently in the news because the satellite Dawn completed its orbit around the asteroid. Currently at 23 degrees Sagittarius trining Pallas Athene perhaps igniting the sacredness of expanding our horizons both mentally and physically.
Claim to fame: Vesta the goddess refused to marry Apollo or Poseidon, though may have taken them as lovers. The Vestal virgins of ancient Rome who kept the sacred fires burning and were honored for their chastity.
Aspect of virginity: Represents how we channel sexual energy and the blending of both the sacred and profane
Astrological energy: What we hold sacred, how we connect through spirit with ceremony, routines or personal rituals, sexual potential or sacred sexuality practices such as Tantra
Asteroid Pallas Athene (Athena) // Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Craft, Poetry, and War
The second asteroid discovered, in 1802, and third largest asteroid, goes by Pallas or Pallas Athene named after Athena. Currently it sits at 22 degrees Leo next to the Sun shining a light on our desire to learn or highlighting our unique version of genius.
Claim to fame: A warrior goddess born from Zeus’ head in full armor she event had an entire city named after her (Athens). She fought with Jason and the Argonauts and wore Medusa’s head on her breastplate.
Aspect of virginity: The light of the intellect and ability to think for ourselves as well as the internal balance of masculine and feminine energies and head and heart
Astrological energy: Our ability to perceive and understand patterns, which require the integration of both intuition and intelligence…as wisdom. Can reveal gifts of creativity or identification with the “know-it-all.”
Asteroid Diana // Named after Roman Goddess of Hunt and Nature
Discovered in 1863 by a German astronomer, it is small compared to the other virgin goddess asteroids and isn’t even within the top 20 when it comes to size. Diana currently sits at 21 degrees Aries, creating a grand trine with the other two virgin goddesses. Together, these two asteroids in such a strong fire sign uplift and empower feminine energies.
Claim to fame: She begged her father Jupiter to liberate her from marriage and motherhood, though in Greek mythology she had 50 daughters with the handsome shepherd Endymion. She also had the power to talk to and control animals in the forest and there is even a branch of Wiccan dedicated to her.
Aspect of virginity: Freedom and the relationship to our wild nature as well as the connections between women as a part of our unity under patriarchy
Astrological energy: Where and how we yearn for our own freedom, perpetual “hunt” for something, our ability to nurture “sisterly” relationships, connection to the wildness in ourselves
Virgo and the asteroid virgin goddesses remind us of the power inherent in our own life force energies and self-possession with or without our sexual relationship to others. A facet of self that beckons us into being whole, complete, and unfettered by the man-made laws and expectations of the gods or patriarchy. During this virgin season may we our inward experience and attitude that isn’t dependent on others for definition or happiness…whole unto ourselves. The way Vesta, Athena, and Diana would have wished.
Renee Watt is a Clairvoyent who specializes in energy readings, spirit guides, and chakra assessments. She began reading tarot at age 10 and picked up her first book on witchcraft at 12. Her knowledge ranges from essential oils, crystals, and intuitive magick to energy healing and beginner astrology. When she’s not giving readings and selling jewelry from The Crooked Path in LA, you can find her doing standup comedy. Her podcast “Witch Doctorate” takes the structure of a university with an esoteric twist exploring a new witchy topic each “semester” (season). “Astrology 101” debuted in February of 2018 giving novice listeners a digestible introduction to understanding the cosmos. Find her on Instagram @rainbowglitterstar and @witchdoctorate, or online www.reneewattentertainment.com and www.witchdoctorate.com.
Smudging is an ancient custom that has been practiced for centuries to help clear away negative and harmful energies, acting as an energetic bath for yourself and your home. When one makes the decision to smudge, they’re mentally and energetically stating their intention to release anything that may be weighing them down. Smudging in large concentrations has also been shown to reduce airborne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, pollen, and dander.
To perform a smudging of your own you’ll need the following:
1- A Sage bundle (which can be found at your local witch shop or health food store)
2- A clay pot or bowl to catch any rouge ashes or embers
3- A feather to help direct smoke in the direction of your choosing (optional)
Open a few windows before you begin and unwind with a moment of quiet—a few breathes amongst the fresh air will help center your intention. Once you feel at ease, light the end of your herb bundle, working the smoke in a counter clockwise motion to send any unwanted vibes back from whence they came!
Still unsure of where to start? Here’s a list of places one might not think to sage, but probably should.
Considering all the anxiety, road rage, and rushing around that happens in your four wheeled comrade it’s a good idea to get rid of any lingering energies to make your commute feel more relaxing. It’s especially good to do this after a road trip, travel is taxing on the psyche because there are so many energetic shifts, give your car the tune up it deserves.
Mornings can get a little hectic when we find ourselves running late for work or important commitments. A good smudging will help bring peace back to your morning rituals.
Us witches love our cosmetics, but when you think about all the activity that goes into making them it’s not a bad idea to clear away the energetic unknowns of production. Follow up with a nice charging under a full moon and you’ll be looking like a true daughter of mother Luna.
There’s no shame in taking some time off to zone out on the couch while binge watching our latest idiot box obsessions. The problem is, the relief of watching tv can be slightly addictive and if we don’t watch it we may dull our senses by spending too much time in front of it! You can get caught up in a cycle of abandoning projects in favor of your favorite show and before you know it you’ve gotten caught in a tv rut! Sage away the inviting yet unproductive lure of your couches (make sure you get under them as well), then go do some exploring outside or finally finish the latest entry in your grimoire!
There’s a reason children are often afraid of what’s lurking in their closets at night, low vibration energies love the dark inactive sanctuary of a closet. Take care to sage away any bad vibe stuff that’s no longer serving you, and while you’re at it take a look at your wardrobe and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in 6 months… Then treat yourself to something new!
The bed is such a sacred and intimate place for witches everywhere… it’s where we connect with mates and our vehicle to dreamland. Our subconscious works out so much stuff for us while we’re astral projecting away, we may as well give it a hand in the dream world. Also, if you’ve had an intimate interaction that you just can’t shake no matter how many times you boil your sheets saging will help banish any lingering regrets you may have.
A few final Witch Tips
Sage is energy bleach, however, you may not always want to completely wipe an area clean. If you don’t feel like getting super hardcore with your cleanse, go with a juniper or mugwort smudge. It won’t get rid of the nice energy you want to keep around, but it’ll have any bad vibe stuff running for the scary woods. After a smudging session your space is totally clean, and you don’t want to leave a blank canvas. Make sure you follow up all sessions with some sort of blessing. Many people are fond of Palo Santo for this, but I’m partial to burning some nice Venus incense and lighting pink candles to bring in all the loving and gentle vibes the planet of harmony provides. Work in a counter clockwise motion while smudging to send bad juju away, then bless your space in a clockwise motion to invite in the lovely energies you seek.