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.
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.
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.
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.
I would like to share a few simple ways to cover yourself, home and family in spiritual protection. A large variety of herbs and stones include protection as a quality, so I have listed them first, as they can be mixed and matched (based on availability or preference in your own craft) for the protection spells below.
Angelica, anise, dill, basil, bay, carraway, carnation, sage, rosemary, garlic
Light your candle, bless your working space with your chosen method. Add salt, wine, nails and herbs to jar. Ask blessings of protection over your home and family, then tightly close the lid. Use some of the candle wax to seal the jar.
Take the jar outside if you can, and bury it near your front door. If not, place under steps, behind door (where it won’t be smashed!) or anywhere out of sight. Take it with you if you move.
Small sachets for each entry point of home
A protection stone
Light your candle and bless your workspace by your chosen method. Mix all protection herbs in a large bowl, then distribute evenly between bags. Add a stone to each, or or at least one in the sachet for the main entrance. Hang the bags above each entry point.
Refresh herbs and recharge stones quarterly, if not monthly.
Binding Someone’s Actions
*NOTE: Doing any magick over a person without their permission is a huge universal consideration. Make sure the person you are binding truly needs to be redirected in their ways. Also, do not perform spells when upset/angry.*
Ice cube tray
Slips of paper
Light your candle and bless your workspace with your chosen method. Cut enough small slips of paper to put one in each well of the ice cube tray. Write the name of the person who causes you fear or has harmed you. Visualize the person choosing to follow a path that allows you freedom from their actions. Forgive them, then fill the ice cube trays with water.
Place in the freezer and leave for 3 months. Bury the cubes off property once this has elapsed.
These are but a small fraction of ways to protect yourself spiritually. All of these methods can be adjusted to suit your craft, availability (ie: use vinegar or oil if you don’t have wine) and preference. What are your favorite herbs and crystals for protection? What protection spells work best for you? Comment below!
Jasmine is a numerologist, tarot reader, artist, and self proclaimed esoteric intellectual. Through her art and spiritual practices she strives to facilitate defiant self love within herself and others.
Are you a novice tarot reader struggling to memorize or rote learn all the card meanings? Maybe you’ve been reading for a few years, but your conversations with the cards have gotten stale and need to be revamped? Heck, maybe you’re a 200 year old witch who has every tarot deck in existence and can channel the Akashic Records, even you can find value in the tarot practice I’m going to explain!
As Dumbledore once said, “Ah music, a magic beyond all we do here!” Music is perhaps one of the oldest forms of magick. It can make us cry, laugh, dance, and even fall in love, but can it help us deepen our understanding of the tarot? Yes, of course!
Allow me to explain. One day I was walking to work, listening to my alternative music playlist, and the song Things I’ll Never Say by Avril Lavigne came on shuffle. Besides being instantly taken back to the year 2002 as an angsty middle schooler with a tattoo chocker on, I couldn’t help but feel like the song reminded me of something else. I opened up a note on my phone and wrote, “Things I’ll Never Say-reversed 2 of Cups.”
Lo and behold, I had just created my new favorite past time! I started with just the Cups suit but quickly felt inspired to do so with each of the 78 cards in the deck. I mean, what song really tells the story of the Ace of Pentacles better than Marry the Night by Lady Gaga? And what better way to spend my morning walk to work every day than listening to music while deepening my understanding of the tarot?
I was elated to find that this practice allowed me to grow and build on my knowledge of each of the cards, something I am always striving to do. And that’s what is so beautiful about the tarot, they aren’t rigid archetypes, but instead are more like fluid, living stories. When we expand and seek new ways to speak with the cards we grow as readers and story tellers.
Here are some ways you can incorporate this practice into your life:
If a daily draw is already in your practice, great! If not, let this be a sign to start doing so. Now put on your favorite playlist and press shuffle. Listen to each song closely seeing if you can find similar themes to the ones in the card you pulled this morning. Once you’ve found the perfect song, you’ll know! It’ll be your jam for the day. Write it down in your grimoire or book of shadows, if that is in your practice. It’s totally fine if your grimoire is a note in your phone and not a notebook made from the skin of demons, it’s 2018 Witches!
If you’re like me you love lists (shoutout to my fellow Earth signs). First pick a suit, then make a new note in your phone, or jot one down by hand if that feels right, listing ace through 10. Spend as long as you need, a week or more, listening to your music trying to piece together which songs work best for each card. Do all the suits, then the court cards, ending with the Major Arcana. Note any trends like “Cups are all Oldies” or “All the Knights are punk rockers,” and see what new insights these trends can give you about the cards.
This is a fun way for a more advanced reader to play this musical game. Make a playlist with 78(ish) of the songs near and dear to your heart, songs that you understand more than yourself, songs that have lived in your soul for years. Then, as you listen to this awesome playlist, start to imagine that the songs are about the cards. You’ll find that, as you assign a card to each of the songs, new ideas will sprout and give birth to new insights that you can use in your readings.
At the end of the day, all of this should be fun! So whether you’re looking for a more exciting way to learn the card meanings, or if you just love tarot and music, I hope you all enjoy this little exercise.
Happy reading and happy story telling!
Analisa is an intuitive Tarot Reader, Beginner Astrologer, and practicing Witch who studied under Vicki Noble, co-creator of the Mother Peace Tarot deck, and author of Shakti Woman.
Analisa combines her knowledge of Tarot, Numerology, and Astrology into her sessions and provides an enlightening experience on seeing how you can best use the energy in your life, and the energies of the celestial forces to expand and grow on your own spiritual path. You can follow her on IG @cosmicladysix and stay up to date with the celestial forecast by reading her weekly blog on her website cosmicladysix.com
Blessings WitchyWisdoms Readers! My name is Analisa and I am here to give a quick intro on how to discover your past life Karma using the birth chart.
A lot of us have different reasons for being interested in astrology. It can be fun to see trends in how we relate to one another, as well as how we perceive people through their astrological archetype. But the birth chart holds a key so much larger than just our personality traits; your personal life purpose in relation to your Karmic mission on planet Earth.
The birth chart in astrology I like to refer to as your “cosmic birthmark.” It is a celestial stamp imprinted into you at your time of birth, mapping out themes and potential challenges one will face in their personal development.
The birth chart is also believed to hold the answers to past lives, and shows us what past Karma we have come here to work out.
Many western people have a general understanding of Karma. “What goes around comes around.” This is true, but there are many layers to this understanding that go beyond.
The Story of Rahu and Ketu
In astrology the way we determine our past life Karma, is by looking at the placements of two energetic points located within the chart. These points are called Rahu and Ketu, and are also known as your North and South Node. These points are not planets, but are energetic points determined by the magnetic pull between the Moon and the Earth.
In Vedic mythology Rahu and Ketu was originally one god, a dragon god who disguised itself and in turn betrayed Lord Vishnu,the god who was responsible for protecting the universe. The dragon drank a special nectar meant for other deities that in turn made the dragon god immortal.
Upset, Lord Vishnu severed the head of the dragon, Rahu became the head, and Ketu became the severed body, or tail of the dragon.
This dismemberment is symbolic in representing the disconnection between the head- knowledge- and the body/heart- spirit, that we enter into our lives as humans.
How to Find Your Past Life Karma
In astrology whatever house and sign your South Node falls in, is the past life Karma you are required to heal in this life. Whatever house and sign your North Node falls in is what direction in life you are supposed to be moving towards.
In order to do this you will need to have your birth chart generated for you either by an Astrologer or using a website like astro.com to generate a free chart.
Using David Bowie’s chart, we can locate his South and North Node placements finding the above symbols, although in the astro.com generated charts, they do not include the glyph of the South Node but it would be exact opposite of the North Node in the chart.
In David Bowie’s chart we can see that his North Node is located in his 4th house of home and family in the sign of Gemini. This means his South Node is in the 10th house of occupation in the sign of Sagittarius.
If we were to look at David Bowie’s life in its entirety we could see that by the end of his life he began to work more in the direction of his North Node.
In the first half of his life David Bowie was much more focused on the path of his South Node, which was career and public recognition. Being in the 10th house and in the sign of Sagittarius means that he potentially in a past life was a teacher or did some kind of worldly travel for work revolved around enlightening others or educating people around broader philosophical ideas. He also very well could have been a musician in a past life as well having the South Node in the sign of Sagittarius- a common dominant sign in the charts of musicians. He also could have been some kind of religious leader. He was obviously attracted to that life in his younger years- bringing that karma with him into this life.
But in David Bowie’s later part of his life he developed severe health issues that prevented him from touring the world.On his last world tour, he had to cancel in the middle of it and return home due to unforeseen illness. He then spent the remainder of his life living very privately with his family (4th house.) And no longer was as focused on fame or recognition in the same way as when he was younger. This was his karma to fulfill in this life, and in one way or another, his fate pushed him along into that direction.
With this simplified and generic break down of the North and South Node you can see how it is beneficial to understand your North and South Nodes in your birth chart and the influence of the energy within the personal path of your own life.
I always feel when I am doing a chart, the most important piece to guide the client to is unlocking the key to your Karma through the Lunar Nodes as it is showing you the path you are meant to be leading in this life, and the karma you are meant to be healing.
I hope this article helps you to want to discover your personal karmic life path and help you to see the many layers in which the birth chart can help guide us in our lives.
Suggested reading for beginners on the Lunar Nodes and Karma in the birth chart:
Lunar Nodes: Discover your Soul’s Karmic Mission by Celeste Teal
Astrology, Karma, and Transformation by Steve Arroyo
Aries As your planetary ruler Mars swoops backwards, through August 27th, you may feel like you’re not getting a big enough paycheck, especially on the 6th through the 9th. This motivates you to get creative on how to expand your net worth during the solar eclipse on August 11th. The 19th presents an opportunity to raise your prices, which may leave you waiting on pins and needles for the next several days. August ends with a chance for your clients to see how amazing you are and how much more credit you deserve, by way of money. Taurus A fortuitous opportunity presents itself on the 6th, giving you the chance to collaborate on a profitable new project. Be careful to outline the partnership through a contract, which will save you time and money in the end, as the slowdown of Mercury, Mars, and Uranus retrograde can leave you with a reversal of fortune if you do not use the 6th to your full advantage. The 7th will make you feel as though you are giving up too much authority in this alliance, heightened by financial stresses on the 9th, as well as the solar eclipse August 11th, but dig your heels in, as the 19th allows you to reap serious financial benefits. Gemini Uncertainty regarding finances may leave you with persistent worries for the first half of the month, as your planetary ruler, Mercury, is causing you to feel more mentally restless than usual. Try to focus your abundant energy on innovative ways to save and maybe even make an extra buck. The Solar eclipse on August 11th brings info to light surrounding raises or money owed to you, whereas the 12th may have you hiding under a rock dodging people you’ve borrowed money from. Relief is on the way on the 19th, lasting the last 12 days of August, allowing you to enter September on solid financial ground. Cancer August pushes you to take stock of your personal net worth, giving you the opportunity to reassess your finances during the Solar eclipse on August 11th. Mercury’s moonwalk through the financial sector of your chart, which lasts until August 19th, urges you to decide if luxury items you crave for comfort are truly necessary or if you can wait to make the purchase. Stresses are alleviated on the 12th, as Mars, who is retrograde as well, offers you an opportunity to consolidate debt or save money.
Leo With Mercury moonwalking and the solar eclipse heating up your already hot sun, August is a month full of change for you, as long as you access your ferocious Lion energy and fight for what’s yours! August 8th causes some ambiguity about your debts. You may have recently taken on too many creative projects, leaving you with fresh debt, which will really bug you on the solar eclipse. You may get upset about your inability to treat yourself to nice treats on your solar return. The 18th allows you to shine amongst your friends and the 19th gives you the vigor to treat yourself again, as you’ve paid some or all of your debts. Virgo You’re finally getting that long lost paycheck on August 6th, which you’ve been waiting for since since July 26th when Mercury started to slow down. The retrograde caused delays in receiving mail, and, therefore, money. With some extra cash in your pocket, you may decide to relax this month and take a rest-cation from work, opting to use all those personal days you earned through the year to center yourself, especially during the eclipse on August 11th. Be sure to deposit the check right away and to keep your bank statements up to date, as things may get tricky to manage around the 21st. Libra August 6th serves as your time to pamper yourself with luxurious gifts, as your planetary ruler, Venus, links up with your sun. With champagne wishes and caviar dreams, August is a lovely time to shower yourself with gifts, mostly because your personal wealth is being expanded all month. With that in mind, you may decide to give back for all your good fortune this month by donating money to a charity during the solar eclipse on August 11th. Just be sure everything is legit about the organization you choose so you don’t feel scammed! Scorpio August proves to be a fruitful time for you financially! Even while your planetary ruler, Mars, moves backwards, you are still on fire, as you know how to manage your money. The solar eclipse on August 11th can offer you a chance to get a raise, which is something you have been eyeing at work for a while now. Show your audience you are the top Scorpion for the job by subtly reminding them of all your hard efforts from the past. This will propel you to monetary bliss by the beginning of September, when you can afford to treat yourself.
Sagittarius This August, you may be the recipient of some sweet charity from your friends. While you may be too proud to ask for a loan, your friends may offer it or take up a collection to help you on August 6th. You are generous and deserve a helping hand! The eclipse on the 11th gives you a moment to feel grateful for the kindness of others. Just be sure to make an agreement with them about a repayment plan by the 19th, as your friends may grow impatient if you don’t make an agreement by then. Assuring them you will return their generosity will avoid strife on the 27th. Capricorn Your personal finances may be a mess until the 12th, as action planet Mars shifts backwards from the financial sector of your chart making you take action and accountability for your spending habits. The solar eclipse and Mercury’s retrograde journey allow you to understand you can ask for help, whether it be financial aid, assistance, a loan, or even guidance on how to invest your money. Don’t be too proud to ask for help and take the advice. It will leave you more clear about how to manage your assets. Aquarius You are best served by heading into this month ready to do some hardcore adulting! You may feel like a bit of a shut-in and you will probably get bored in a week, but saving money will prevent issues for you in September. This includes making a monthly budget, coming to truly understand the costs of your expenses, and not going out to party whenever you feel like it unless you can truly afford to. While you may feel financially stressed on the 9th, the solar eclipse on 11th and then the helpful vibe of the 18th bring you time to spend some hard-earned cash on a fun evening out with your friends. Pisces It’s high time to get your monetary ducks in a row this month! The 6th brings a little quiet time for you to patiently tally up all your expenditures just in time for the eclipse on the 11th, which will help you understand what you should be spending your hard-earned money on… and where you can save a little for a rainy day. It’s time to take action and forego the fancy lattes this month. If you save now, an investment or return on your savings will make a once in a lifetime dream vacation possible in the coming months. Start saving now and you will be thankful later on.
Monthly Tarot Forecast
The Atmosphere: August brings with it a host of intense cosmic energies that we can all use to fuel the fires of our passions and ambitions. While we are in the midst of multiple retrogrades, Leo season is bound to keep us motivated to achieve our career goals. With the planets turning on their heels, hitting points we recently experienced all over again, we are given a chance to dig in deeper so that to we can aim higher when Mercury and Mars go direct again a few weeks.
The Draw: The cards that represent the energy this month are the Ace of Wands, the 2 of Wands, and the 4 of Swords, with the Fool holding us steady to the promise of bliss at the bottom of the deck. We have low number (below 5) fire cards (wands), which indicate that we will start the month off with lots of energy. The Ace of Wands gives us a surge of inspiration surrounding our career goals, no matter the retrograde vibes! We will probably return with renewed energy to a project we dropped earlier in the summer and work at it with all our might through the first half of the month.
The 2 of Wands signifies the commitment to the idea, with the figure in the card taking the first step towards manifesting his vision. We will prepare to plant the seed of our inspiration in the fertile ground of the outside world. Use this energy well, for the 4 of Swords at the end of the month shows an abrupt slowdown. We may feel that we’ve overexerted ourselves as Mercury moves direct in the 3rd week of August. At this time, we may be prone to burn-out if we don’t slow down when we first start to feel tired, sluggish, or simply uninspired. You will have done enough work where a restorative break won’t put you back! Plan on rewarding yourself with a weekend of quiet self-care towards the end of the month. The Fool at the bottom of the deck (the “end of the book”) reminds us that the work we do with integrity will lead us to our bliss in time.
The Bottomline: Trust that whatever calls to you from the past in the beginning of the month is worth the work to either accomplish or resolve, and know when to take time for yourself to prevent burn-out.
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.
Kitchen Witching 101: Herbs
There are myriad of sub-topics to cover under such a broad category, one I could write pages upon pages (and have!) about herbs, salts, cooking methods, growing a garden, cosmetic uses, remedies to fight ailments… into infinity!
Today I would like to start at the very basics of Kitchen Witchery, the herbs. There are SO MANY herbs we could talk about, all of them wonderful, with their own properties in the physical and metaphysical world. It is HARD to narrow them down, because I love them all, but these top 5 cover a broad spectrum of health, beauty and magickal properties.
Top 5 Must Have Herbs
Garlic – this is my top #1 all time favorite herb. It does MF everything, from toothaches, warts, inflammation, heart & blood ailments, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, eases headaches, treats type 2 diabetes, fights cancer like a BOSS, yeast infection and so many more! It contains vitamins A, B + C, magnesium, potassium, selenium, allin, sulfur, phosphorus & germanium. In the garden, these plants repel slugs and snails; I plant them as a wall around my garden and it definitely helps. It is easy to propagate, simply take the fattest, outer bulbs, put them in a bit of water (I use toothpicks to keep them partially submerged) and place in a sunny window. Once roots and sprouts appear, they can be potted. Magick wise, garlic has been rumored to avert vampires. While you may never meet a fanged immortal, there are energy vampires aplenty in our world today, so hanging some in your home, placing bulbs near entrances or having a nice little potted one on your porch will help keep those energetic monsters away.
Ginger – this is another super herb. Use it to treat inflammation, arthritis/muscle pains, poor circulation, high cholesterol, colds/flus, any type of nausea (sea/motion sickness, morning sickness, chemo side effects). Used in cosmetic products, it fights signs of aging, improves skin tone, calms irritation plus it adds a warm fragrance to the skin as well. You can understand why it is so super when you consider it is chock full of Vitamins C & B6, magnesium, manganese, potassium and copper. I used ginger tonic for my babies when they would get sick, from about 9 months old (when it is ok to give them more than just milk). I also use it in my ageless face mist (ginger tonic+rose water+witch hazel.) In the garden, it can be a bit invasive and needs to be kept fairly warm (read: won’t live through winter.) HOWEVER it can be grown inside in troughs. For Magick purposes, the scent of ginger induces passion & enhances sexual energy.
Mint – just the way it smells could be reason enough to put this at the top. Mint has a cool, refreshing taste making it popular in teas, which are stimulants and also aid in digestion & reducing flatulence. Mints have antiseptic, antiviral and sweat-inducing properties. Drink a cup of mint tea before and after difficult meals or if you have been experiencing digestive issues. I make a ginger-mint tonic for my family members at Thanksgiving, when we all need it most! It is an easy plant to grow (but don’t love it too much, moderate water and sunshine) and will continue to sprout and spread as far as you will let it. I have it planted under my front porch steps, where it gets afternoon light, and it is slowly spreading under my stilted house. Used for prosperity, success and money magick, this herb amplifies spells used for business and finance.
Rosemary – the smell of this plant is just unbeatable. It’s got me huffing all my little plants. I wonder what my neighbors must think?! Not only does it SMELL good, but when burned, this baby is an actual air cleaner. Around cold and flu season, I am known to place it in little jars of water all over the house, then running through with some dried, bundled, burning rosemary. I swear it eliminates a couple occasions a year of sickness for us (3 kids in and you realize they are practically petri dishes for germs). For cooking, try with almost any veggie, fish and poultry. It’s magickal properties include purification, love, protection and intellectual matters. Rosemary is an excellent aid for memory; keep a small sachet on your person when needed. Rosemary tea before a test or exam will awaken the mind into it’s best functionality.
Lavender – this one is a gem. Lavender treats colds, flu, staph, strep, skin infections, nail infections, indigestion & IBS, muscle spasms, depression, insomnia, yeast infections, wounds.. just to list a small portion of uses. Practically non-toxic, this is an herb safe to use in cleaners, to burn.. the essential oil is safe to put directly on the skin to heal wounds, cuts, scrapes and bruises. Via aromatherapy, lavender has a powerful calming effect and works wonders against depression (do not use to replace therapy or medication!! Use to aid and enhance current treatments ONLY). Based on folklore, it is said carrying this herb will allow you to see ghosts. Apart from that, use magickally for love, protection and purification. Lavender is a good herb to attract an affair, so be sure you state your intention and know what you want before you start “attracting all the strays” as it were.
Some notes on the subject of using herbs to turn the mundane to magick:
Intentions are everything. I focus on my intentions when I add herbs to food, asking the Lord and Lady to bring the benefits of the selected herb to all who consume the food.
Stir clockwise to invoke magickal properties (focus on intention!!)
Some herbs, such as sage, rosemary, mugwort, lavender and rose can be burned for magickal effects and cleansing.
Growing herbs in containers is totally viable if you have no space. I have been there, and even still, many of my plants are in pots close to my kitchen door.
Suggested Reading Material:
Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham
Do-It-Yourself Herbal Medicine published by Fall River Press