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.
It’s no secret that family knows how to push your buttons. And when they’re all gathered in one place, asking you the same drilling questions or making remarks that are unfair, it could make you want to lash out, drink heavily, or leave.
During this holiday season, use these tips to navigate a family get-together in a peaceful, copacetic way. It doesn’t have to be a disaster if you’re prepared!
Get a buddy- Ok so there’s at least one family member you ADORE right? Make it a point to stick with them, and minimize time with those family members you know will cause a headache.
Make yourself useful– Helping out in the kitchen not only makes you look good, but gives you an excuse to busy yourself when you don’t want to answer why you’re not married yet. Being of service to your family while staying out of pressuring conversations is a great way to navigate Thanksgiving dinner.
Write a script– If you know there are certain questions coming your way, be prepared with some stock answers so you can be polite, but also not feel overwhelmed.
Set boundaries– Following suit, find an exit strategy. When the questions get too drilling and you start to feel bad about yourself, find a way to politely and discreetly exit the conversation with a few things you’ve prepared, like “Oh, there’s Aunt Blanche, I haven’t said hello to her yet!” or “I should really help Dorothy in the kitchen,” or “Rose, I heard you remodeled, would you give me a tour!”
Be grateful you have them– This last one is the most important. It’s easy to get annoyed and overwhelmed by family, but the holidays are for being thankful that they exist in the first place. Yes, they might drive you a little nuts, but each one of them has contributed to your life in one way or another, and it would serve you to not only be patient, but grateful.
So, this holiday season, be merry, be prepared, and stay witchy ( *)
Your true desires are often carried out by impulses, which don’t think of the big picture. Acting in this way lands you in hot water, and then scars you because you’re afraid to take another leap. So, what do we do to take careful steps around achieving what our shadow self wants the most for us? See the examples below on how to achieve balance.
The desire: To have a path of clear communication and understanding in your family.
The impulse: To snap at a family member when you don’t think they understand you
Why that doesn’t work: Fighting a misunderstanding with a lack of compassion of your own is counter-productive.
The solution: When you’re sensing an escalation of sorts, try to understand from their side by asking questions. Approach the situation in a well rounded manner, and ask that they do the same for you. Set boundaries around what you will allow into your life, cut a conversation short if nothing is being achieved, then revisit later.
The desire: To make more money, get a promotion, and flourish in your position.
The impulse: To take any and all extra work to prove that you can get it all done.
Why that doesn’t work: Overloading yourself will almost always mean that you are spreading yourself too thin. You work will not be as thorough as if you only took on what you could actually handle, and you run the risk of burning out.
The solution: Only accept what you can physically handle. Knowing your limits commands respect, and so does quality work.
The desire: To have a happy and healthy relationship.
The impulse: To choose the first person who pays attention to you.
Why that doesn’t work: An ideal mate is not just anyone. You have to consult a careful observation before jumping into something serious.
The solution: Create a list of values your mate must have and do not make excuses. If loyalty is a value, don’t make excuses for him texting another girl, just because he’s also texting you. These values are non-negotiable. This approach takes time, and you deserve to be with someone who not only respects you, but is who you truly desire.
These examples are obviously not one-size-fits-all, but they are good jumping off points to consider when we act impulsively. It is hard to be patient, but that is essential for us to live our ideal life. Patience and discipline will lead to a high reward from the universe. Channel the desires of your shadow self in a healthy way, and stay witchy ( *)
Hello witches! This week I am on V A C A T I O N *****
My little sister graduated so we went to watch her walk the stage in Northern California, have road-tripped down to Vegas (where I am currently) and will be heading back to my home town of little old Los Angeles on Wednesday for a few days.
Currently, I am embracing the Nine of Pentacles by enjoying the fruits of my labor. I have been working my buns off and now it is time to enjoy some fun in the sun 🙂
The Three of Cups is all about celebration and community, and being around my family has all of my wishes fulfilled. It’s hard to live so far away from them, but it makes the time we have together so much more special.
I hope you are all enjoying your summer. Stay witchy ( *) !!
Today we’re going to practice an essential skill for life in general, but more specifically, those really tough times.
Like mentioned in the previous blog post, it can be really difficult to look at the positive in trying times. But that is why we have a tool called positive reframing.
Positive reframing takes your current situation, asks you to look at it with an objective viewpoint, and then find the positive amongst the difficult. If you are going through it right now, ask yourself some of the questions below and see if you come out with a new outlook.
How will this make me stronger?’
What can I learn from this?
How can I best show up in this situation to have it align with my values?
What are the benefits?
I know it’s difficult, and what we really want to do is wrap ourself up in our pity blanket, but if you practice positive reframing on a daily basis, you will literally change the way you brain works! You are actively programming your brain to focus on the positive. And it will get easier the more you practice.
The Nine of Pentacles denotes gratitude and inner harmony, and what better time to be grateful than during Thanksgiving?
When things aren’t going well, it is difficult to be thankful. But it is also an important time to look for the positive in your life so the negative doesn’t consume you. Looking in retrospect at how you’ve chosen to grow from unfavorable situations is easier than when you are in it, but looking forward with tenacity is an admirable skill that can be learned.
In the spirit of the holiday tomorrow, I’ve decided to create a list for the things I am thankful for today. Feel free to use it in comparison with your own!
I am thankful for my mental and physical health, which I have had the strength and value to invest time in.
I am thankful for my coven/ my family, for supporting me when times were bad, and celebrating with me when times were good.
I am thankful for the ability to open my heart again.
I am thankful for the obstacles in my life that have made me stronger and smarter.
I am thankful for the strength that made me a survivor, and more than a victim.
I am thankful for forgiveness, which has helped me to release harmful, negative energy within myself.
I am thankful for my steady income, which keeps a roof over my head.
I am thankful for my ability to write, which has been an incredible gift and exercise.
I am thankful for my followers, who are loyal and accepting of my brand.
I am thankful for my spirit, which had many opportunities to falter, but never did.
Get thankful today, tomorrow, and always. Stay witchy ( *)
As you know, I have been away in Atlanta to celebrate the life of my Popsie. I was able to be with my family for four days while we stayed in his old house, full of memories and sentimental belongings.
This man was one of the greatest to ever live. Up until the day he passed, he treated everyone with kindness and love.
This is how I want to be remembered.
No one gets out alive, unfortunately. No one lives forever. And while it is important that we fill our lives with experiences to shape the foundation of our person, and to see all we can see, it is of utmost importance that we treat others with kindness.
Everyone that came into contact with my Popsie loved him. His charm was infectious. He truly was a gentleman. And I will miss him so very much.
Thank you all for reading. Stay grateful for those in your life and stay witchy ( *)