Friday, 7 December 2018

Why Mind Witching?

This is actually something I have done since I was a little child.
     I have always been fascinated by dreams, lucid dreaming and astral travel. My dreams have always been vivid, colourful and interesting - sometimes scary - but I have always remembered my dreams. It was a natural part of our family routine to talk about our dreams and look up the symbols in the Big Blue Dream Book.
     My dad encouraged me to write my dreams down and I have been keeping a dream diary for over fifty years now.
     As I got more into the occult and Witchcraft, I was fascinated by the stories of people taking magical journeys when they were supposed to be asleep in bed, in order to get up to mischief or attend magical meetings.
     Also as I have got less physically able as I've got older, I have found that it is possible to work more of my rituals using the power of my imagination.
     Many people have restrictions in their abilities to perform rituals and magic. It might be that you do not have the privacy, or restricted movement, or little spare space. We may live in the city with little access to wild open spaces and countryside.
     And these days even if you do live in the country it can still be surprisingly difficult to find a private, natural place to work a full ritual. I remember one time we ventured out into the woods, to a place we had picked during the day, only to find that night the same place was being used as a Scout camp!
     Mind Witching is very adaptable, so you can incorporate as much or as little into your rituals as is necessary or you want to.
      All magic involves mind power, because all magic works through the sub-conscious, our link to both primeval and universal energies and principles. Whether we realise it or not.
     So, if you have the room, capacity, tools and desire to set up your magic circle in a physical way, then go ahead. But if, for whatever reason, you are unable to do this then Mind Witching will still allow you to create rituals and spells and go on magical journeys.
     Personally, I love candles and incense. So even if I am not working a ritual, I may still have a candle or two burning and some incense on the go. So to do this as part of a spell or ritual I find no trouble at all, in fact quite the opposite. Candles and incense are to me two of the keys which start to unlock the magic and get the atmosphere and energy growing. Once these are in place, then how much of the rest of the ritual involves physical objects, words and movement will depend on how I am feeling.
    So never feel that you can't do a spell because you haven't got the right 'stuff' or the right place, or the right words even, the main element in any magical working is you.
     You are the magic!

Friday, 23 November 2018

Mind Witch Full Moon Ritual

The idea of Mind Witching is the dynamic use of the imagination to work rituals and magic. You can of course use magical tools, candles and incense to enhance these rituals, as pleases you, but this is a working created to show how any magic or ritual can be carried through using just the powers of the mind.
     For this ritual you can sit in a chair or lie down, or sit on the floor. It can even be done in bed if you are totally immobile.
     I would say that you are less likely to fall asleep if you are sitting up - but I know that I can fall asleep sitting up, so that is no guarantee. Don't worry if you find that you have fallen asleep, this usually means that knowing what your aims were, your spirit has completed the working on the astral planes.
     First cast your circle.
     There are many ways of doing this and if you have a ritual that you are happy with, then use that.
     If not, then the simplest and easiest way to cast a circle is simply to imagine yourself sitting or lieing within a blue bubble. I always use a blue bubble because to me blue represents the colour of Witch Power. Blue is also a calming and protective colour.
     Take a little time to think about being surrounded by your magical bubble, this is your magic circle in three dimensions.
     Now think about the Full Moon, the bright shining disc floating in a deep blue sky.
     Imagine that the disc of the Moon becomes the face of a beautiful woman, with dark hair streaming over the sky. Now say, or think:
Lovely Goddess of the Moon,
fill me with your magical light.
     Try to imagine your blue bubble filling with the silver glow of moonlight.
     Take your time.
     You might 'see' the energy like a bright moonbeam flowing from the Goddess and into your circle, filling it with glowing energy. Know that with every breath that you take you are breathing in that energy and taking it deep within yourself. Feel it filling you and making your whole body glow with moonlight and magic.
     When you are ready, use that energy to create a magic spell.
     You could send healing to a friend.
     You could turn the energy into a shower of golden coins which rains over you, bringing wealth and optimism.
     You could use the energy to send erotic thoughts to someone you desire, and make them think longingly of you.
     You could radiate the light, making yourself a beacon to draw friends and magical companions.
     Or you could use the energy to move your magic circle, like a spacecraft, to a different dimension or realm, such as the Land of Faery. Or to the woods where spirit animals wait to become your familiar.
     What magic do you want to do?
     Do it now!

     When you have finished you can then say or think:
Thank you, Lady of the Moon, 
for lending me your power, to work my magic.
     Then imagine the Moon glow fading until your circle returns to its calm blue colour.
     At this point you could have a little something to eat and drink. This both celebrates your successful magical operation and also helps to 'ground' you and make sure that you are fully back in this world.
     However if you have fallen asleep that is fine, as sleeping within the blue bubble does mean that you will have a good sleep, and be magically protected at the same time.

     Incidentally, if you ever suffer from nightmares, put the blue bubble around yourself, and they will be banished.

(the book 'Mind Witch' by Chris Sempers is available from Raven at £8.95 plus p&p)

Friday, 12 October 2018

The Dark Half

Here is an extract from our latest October Raven Newsletter, which goes out to folks on our Mailing List:

     The two Equinoxes mark the two points in the year when the length of day and night are equal.This only happens on two days each year, the rest of the year there is more light than dark, or more darkness than light.
     The Equinoxes also mark the transition points for the Goddess. The Spring Equinox celebrates the return of the Maiden, bursting with life and fertility.
     The Autumn Equinox marks the Goddess turning from fecund Mother to barren yet wise Crone.
     The Autumn Equinox is also the start of the Dark Half of the year.
     As soon as you say that, doesn't it make you feel spooky, sinister and magical? And yet all it means is that from now onwards there will be more hours of darkness than of light.
     The further North you go, the more dramatic this change is, until you cross into those latitudes where there is no light at all, the sun never making it above the horizon for days even weeks at a time.
     As the darkness grows, the night enfolds us and the stars and moon, and the Northern Lights too, are more easily visible.
     The sun loses its Summer ferocity and, although there can still be many sunny and even warm days, there is a distinct cooling, and a proper nip in the air.
     In the UK, we have a temporate climate, less harsh and extreme than places on the same latitude on the continents of Europe and North America. Yet we still see changes all around us.
     The leaves of the trees change colours, losing their Summer vitality and becoming the warm colours of Autumn, gold, russet and brown. In the fields the Winter crops are coming to ripeness, root crops, turnips, swede and parsnips, cabbages and brussels and apples too and the bright orange pumpkins. All food for warming stews, pies and pastries.
     At the beginning of October in Hull, every year for a week the Fair arrives. Loud, noisy and colourful, and only waking properly after darkness falls. With its Gypsy caravans and fortune tellers, stalls selling typical 'fair' goods, candy floss, nougat and brandy snaps, side shows, guess your weight and travelling rides which will be set up and taken down again, to vanish like magic after a week.
     And every year the weather seems to change with the arrival of the Fair, so that when you see your breath and the twinkle of frost on the pavement, people will say to each other, 'It's Hull Fair weather!'
     And as the darkness grows and encroaches on the firelight, so the magic grows.
     The power of the Winter Crone growing, encouraging us to light candles and cast spells. To seek out those who also feel the energies of the Old Ways.
     To become one with the magic.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Diary of a Small Dog

Tallulah aged 15 weeks:

Today has been an exciting day!
     Mind you all days are exciting. There is so much to do, to explore, to stick your nose into, to scrabble at, or to try out with your teeth.
     This morning so far I have played with Bridie, taken some socks outside and eaten many marrowbone biscuits.
     The humans had burgers with their breakfast, so I had to remind them that I was hungry by jumping up and down and yipping as loud and shrilly as I could.
     I don't know why they put me out of the room and shut the door.
     I chewed the carpet at the bottom of the stairs while I waited.
     Then I was let in and Bridie and me both had a piece of burger each. Bridie ate all of hers! I made sure she hadn't dropped any.
     After that we went in the kitchen and I practised 'Sit!' with Bridie and we were given pieces of dried meat strip. Bridie ate all of hers! I did check thoroughly that she hadn't dropped any.
     Daddy put his boots on.
     Well, after bringing in the one that was in the garden, and the clog. And several toys. And the dog brush. And the dog comb with the chewy wooden handle.
     Then me and Bridie had our leads put on and we went for a walk.
     There was nothing to eat in the underpass today (yesterday there was some bread I managed to eat before daddy caught up). When we got onto the track at the side of the field, Bridie and me ran and ran and ran.
     Sometimes I think Bridie is trying to get away from me. I jumped at her and yipped in her face to let her know that I was happy, then we ran some more.
     On the way home I met two of the neighbours, they are black pug dogs. When I lunged and yipped at them, they lunged and barked at me! They were very noisy and a bit scary.
     Then we came home and I went to sleep.

Sunday, 9 September 2018


Well, a lot can happen in a week.
     It has been a steep learning curve for all of us - including our other collie, Bridie.

Tallulah has learnt:
     After 2 days - to go upstairs
     After 3 days - to go downstairs (going downstairs is much more scary for a small dog whose legs are the same length as the height of a stair)
     After 4 days - she decided that she was sleeping upstairs in our bedroom
     She also learnt to follow Bridie out of the dog flap
    After 5 days - she learnt how to pop in and out through the dog flap on her own
    After 6 days - she had learnt that outside is where dogs do their toilet, and had house-trained herself

     Tallulah is as bright as a button. (she may even be more intelligent than our Lupin was, and that would be going some), she watches everything and is interested in everything, and wants to know everything that everyone is doing!
     This can sometimes be difficult as she wants to follow me, Graham and Bridie all going in different directions.
     She has decided that Bridie is her friend.
     Bridie has no say in this matter, Tallulah is determined to follow Bridie wherever she goes, copy Bridie and play with Bridie too. Bridie is not sure about the 'playing' thing and has tried to discourage Tallulah when she gets too boisterous by snapping at her.
     Tallulah barks at Bridie, then 'accidentally' falls on her, she is a determined little thing and not easily put off even by a dog four times her size.
      One thing that Bridie does like to do from time to time is dig large holes in the garden.
     On Wednesday night Bridie came in looking sheepish, followed by a very happy, enthusiastically wagging Tallulah covered in wet earth. Graham had to go and find the large hole and fill it in again.
    Tallulah likes to play, and to chew things. Alan, one of the dog walkers Graham chats with while out with Bridie, found it hilarious that we were getting a puppy, imagining all the trouble/disruption she would cause. And as soon as he heard Tallulah had arrived, he went straight home and presented Graham with two Disney toys for her to play with. 'You want to get Disney toys from boot sales,' he explained, 'They are good quality and the eyes are embroidered on, no loose bits to come off and be eaten.'
     Tallulah has also found a wooden child's brick, the vine from a bunch of tomatoes, the inside of a toilet roll, learnt how to take the laces out of Graham's heavy work boots, and was only stopped from burying one of Graham's slippers in the garden because she couldn't get it through the dog flap.

     One week on and we already have her lodged in our hearts.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

A Lot Can Happen in a Week

Sometimes you can go along, week after week, nothing much changing, then sometimes it seems like the fates have to shove everything into one week!
     As you know (if you read my blog) it was only on Monday that our sweet China died.
     I was so upset that I couldn't ring our friend Angela (Wicani Collies) to let her know, so Graham rang her up. Of course once Angela was on the phone, then I could talk to her, and straight away Angela said, 'This might be a bit soon, but I have a bitch who is just recovering from having a litter, and when she is ready, I will be looking for a home for her, so would you consider taking her on?'
    It always means a lot to us that Angela considers us a good retirement home for her dogs, and so it was not difficult to say 'Yes.' to that idea, knowing it might be a few months before we would have another dog.
     The next day we had a message from Angela 'Would you consider having a puppy instead?'
     Now Angela's puppies are like rocking horse droppings, they are precious and there is a waiting list for them, so we thought there must be a story about why she had one to offer us.
    We worried that it might be a health problem, as we know of Angela's heart condition and that she has had several major operations over the years, the latest being earlier this year. We also were not sure whether taking on a puppy would be something we could/should do at our ages.
     So we rang Angela and she told us that this puppy was supposed to have gone to a family member. But this lady had recently had a baby, and when Angela dropped the puppy off, decided it was too much to cope with as well as the baby. So Angela had to almost immediately go and pick up the puppy and take it home.
    Graham and I had a discussion and decided we would like the puppy, so rang Angela back again and asked when it would be ready. 'It's ready now,' she said 'You can pick it up any time.'
    So yesterday afternoon off we went to Langtoft to pick up Wicani Larks Rise - or as she will be known, Tallulah.

Angela and Tallulah at the top, and Graham and Tallulah.

When we agreed to have Tallulah, we could hear the spirits laughing.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Wicani China Doll

It doesn't get any easier.

     Today we have had to take our beautiful Wicani China Doll on her final visit to the vet. China was thirteen and a half, a very elderly lady in collie terms, and suddenly over the past few days she started to leave us.
     Yesterday she went on her usual morning walk with Graham and Bridie (our other collie), even if it was a slow walk, but she had eaten little on Saturday, and she ate nothing and drank little on Sunday. And after coming home from her walk, moved very little, and during the day became doubly incontinent.
     Her body had decided it was time to shut down, and so we had to take that final little journey together.
      The pain of losing a loved companion never diminishes, but that is the price we pay for having that love over the years.
     That and a felt covered house.
     Every dog we have had, is always different, always has their own personality. No two are ever the same no matter how much alike they look. All dogs are individuals in the same way that humans are.
    No dog will ever be as intelligent as Lupin, our first collie.
     No dog will ever be as loving as Raven, who wrapped herself around you.
     No dog will ever have such powerful body odour as Snag, our Yorkshire terrier.
     No dog will be as missed as Maeve who loved to be in contact with me at all times.
     No dog will ever be as fluffy as China! Or as beautiful, or make you feel so privileged to be having a cuddle with her.
    And no dog will ever have such big feet as Bridie!

Go safely through the field of reeds
With Anubis by your side
Enjoy chasing over the Elysian Fields
And meeting friends who have gone before.
Know that you are loved, and always will be.