Monday, 5 October 2020

Spell to Deal With Corona Virus

 Now, I don't know about you, but I am just about fed up with my life being restricted because of the ramped up fear of the Corona Virus. This started in March and seems to be going on indefinitely, so I think it is about time it was dealt with.

    This is actually more of a ritual than a spell, but it is very simple and does not need lots of stuff. It can be done at any time, day or night, but pick a time when you will not be disturbed. Turn off your phone, unless you are working the spell with friends and using the internet etc to work together.

    Light a couple of candles on your altar, and some incense too if you can. I'd recommend something like Dragon's Blood, White Sage, a smudge stick or any healing or banishing blend. Candles can be any that you have handy, night lights are ok. To be honest I can come up with reasons for using any colour of candle, so use what feels right to you.

    First cast your circle. Do this however you normally would, but make it a good one, we need as much power as possible to see off this demon of disease. If you haven't done this before, just sit quietly and imagine yourself inside a glowing circle, either silver white or smoky blue (Moon Goddess colours).

    Now call your deities. You can say something like:

    Thou loving Goddess, thou protective God, I call thee here to witness my rite and to aid this work.

    For this spell you will need a plate with a deep rim or a shallow dish or bowl and some salt and water. This can be water from the tap and kitchen salt, these are fine.

    Dip your finger in the water and draw in the bottom of the plate an image of the Corona Virus, whatever you think it looks like - an amorphous blob is fine. From the illustrations on the tv it looks to me like a spiky ball, so that is what I will draw, a circle with lines radiating out from it. This also looks a bit like a crown, which also reflects its name 'Corona'.

    Dry your fingers then sprinkle salt over your drawing. Try to follow the lines of your design if you can, but don't fret about it, it is your magical intention which is important. You will then have an image in your dish/plate drawn in water and salt.

    Put this in front of the candles and waft some incense smoke over it. Then invoke:

    Lady and Lord, add your power to my desire!

    Know that as you say these words the Goddess and the God are also adding their magical powers to the spell. Then gaze fiercely at the image you have made in your bowl/plate. point at it with the index finger of your strongest hand, or with your wand or Athame, and say:

 Corona Virus, heed my words!

It is time that you were gone from us

It is time for you to go away

Your power to harm grows less

Your power grows less

Your power is less

You are less

You are little

You are small

You are gone

Are gone

Gone

    Clap three times as loudly as you can. Then relax, let the spell go and do its work.

    You can sit in your circle and have a sandwich or a biscuit and a cup of tea/coffee, glass of wine, to celebrate your successful working.

    When you are ready to end your ritual, thank the Lady and Lord for their help, then close down the circle. (Just walking through the boundary will pop it, like a soap bubble).

    Take your dish to the bathroom. Wet the image with more water and wash the image into the toilet.

    As you flush the toilet, say:

    Goodbye, Corona Virus, go back underground and stay where you belong!

    This spell can be repeated as often as you like and the more people who do it, the better. So please feel free to pass this on to anyone you think would like to have a go at it.

    Remember at all times in the circle, your attitude must be: I am the boss! I am in charge! What I say goes!

    You may notice that I did not specify a phase of the Moon for this working. To make something diminish then traditionally the waning phase of the Moon is used, but to increase health and strength, and your power over the Corona Virus, the waxing phase is used.

    But the main reason I did not specify this is that when you need something badly - and we really do need this virus to go away as quickly as possible - then I am a great believer that the Goddess and God will help us no matter what the state of the Moon and planets. And also that the best time to do any spell is NOW!




Saturday, 3 October 2020

Jumper!

 About a month ago a young lady contacted me through facebook, saying that she had seen some of the pictures of my crocheting, and really liked them, so would I consider making her a jumper?

    Well, I was a bit taken aback. Astonished, flattered, gob-smacked, all those things, that someone had liked my stuff enough to want me to make them something. I didn't really know what to say, as I have only been crocheting for a year or so, and wasn't sure that I could make something that she would like.

    Also I had no idea how long it would take me to make a jumper (never having made one before) - it could be months!

    Anyway, the young lady was very kind and told me that she wanted a garment that was big and sloppy, but colourful, and told me the colours she liked and pointed out one of the blankets I'd made which she liked the pattern of. So I said that I would be happy to give it a go, but I didn't know how it was going to turn out.

    As it happened, once I got started, I really enjoyed it.

    The main pattern is what I call my 'circle to square', with colours fading from dark to light in the circle bit, then light to dark in the square part. I tried to make all the central circles slightly different from each other, but kept the outer squares in the same colour configuration to give the garment an over-all harmony. 

    The first part of the pattern was easy: going off the jumper I'd made earlier this year for Graham, I started by making four blocks of nine squares. One block for the front, one for the back and one for each arm. And to further harmonise these blocks, the central square in each block has sunny orange and yellow colours. When I'd made those blocks I then had to figure how they were going to be joined together.

    I went for the shoulders first and made two more of my sunny blocks, which joined the front and back squares together into a sort of tabard.

    Then I had a measure and realised that I could really do to have a few more inches on either side of the body, but not enough to make a whole square, so instead I made long rows of the colours I'd used for the edges of the squares. Once I'd done that, I then had to join in the arms, but because the body was now three and a bit squares wide, and the arms three squares, there would be a gap underneath the arm. I filled this by making a triangle at the top of each striped row, so that I could join the arms to each side of the triangle, then close them into a cylinder as they met at the top of the triangle.

    That worked out smashing, and was a lot less fiddly than I'd imagined

    I tried the jumper out on a hanger and realised two things: the neck hole looked far too big and the proportions of the body weren't quite right.

    I decided that another row of squares around the bottom would sort the proportions out, but I decided to simply join each square at the top to the body and leave the sides open. That would give the jumper more movement, give it the length of a mini dress and also mean that if worn with leggings etc, you would get flashes of the under garment between the squares as they moved.

    The only trouble was that I also had a gap at the side where I had made my stripes. So I adapted my circle to square pattern, keeping the circle part as usual, but making the overall shape an oblong, to fit the space.

    To make the neck hole smaller, I made four quarter circles which I fitted into the corners of the square neck hole, which would give a sort of 'sweetheart' neckline which is quite a flattering shape.

    The whole process was a lot quicker than I expected - but once I get stuck into my crocheting, I tend to do a bit whenever I have a few minutes spare.

    Happily when the young lady saw the results, she said she was pleased with it



Oh and by the way, when got home from shopping on Friday we found a parcel outside our front door.

When we opened the door and went inside, there was a card on the doormat, which was headed: 'Where's My Parcel?', and the box marked 'Porch' was ticked.

Nice to see the delivery people have a sense of humour.



Saturday, 5 September 2020

Autumn Fires

 Do you remember? Back in the Spring, just before the Covid Lockdown, the high winds brought down our ivy-covered arch into the back garden?

    Graham cleared away the debris into a HUGE pile at the back of the garden. This was substantially added to when he 'trimmed' the leylandii hedge (lopped six feet off it and reduced it to chest height).



    Well this now VAST pile of twigs and sticks and logs has sat in the garden all Summer.

    Occasionally Graham has taken the brown bin (garden waste) and filled it with clippings from the heap, making apparently no difference to the volume.

    Until the other day when he said to me: 'What do you think to getting a garden incinerator? Aldi's have some in at £15.00.'

    I said 'If you want to buy one, go ahead.' while thinking to myself that if he was thinking of feeding the Heap into it, that would take some doing.

    Graham was silent for a bit, and then said, 'Of course, I'd have to move the heap out of the way ....'

    Now one of his objections to having a bonfire was that the Heap was currently positioned over what had been our fire pit, so in order to have a controlled and safe bonfire, he would have to move the Heap, then feed it into the bonfire gradually.

    Also we know that wild life will have made homes in the Heap, so it would need dis-mantling and moving, to be sure that none of our garden inhabitants came a cropper.

    I said nothing. Then Graham said, 'Or I could just have a bonfire.'

    So yesterday afternoon the Heap was shifted. Larger pieces of wood were separated and the fire pit was exposed. As expected, several frogs/toads had made homes under the Heap and these had to be shooed away. One was a magnificent large frog with a prodigious leap. Anyway all was prepared ready for dusk.

    And at 7 pm Graham announced that he was going to start the bonfire, 'I'll come out with you.' I said.

    'Why?' asked Graham.

    'Just to be sure we have stuff put on gradually and not all in one big chunk.' I said.

    Actually it all went very well. Graham was careful as he had seen that at least one of the frogs/toads had moved into the Heap again, so he took stuff off the pile carefully, making sure he wasn't transferring any creatures into the fire.

    The Heap was lovely and dry/seasoned, so it burnt well, but even so it still took over an hour to gradually feed all of it into the bonfire. But it all burnt down well.

    After the last lot was on, we sat and watched it for a while, making sure it was burnt down to a glowing grumble before we left it.

    It is a long time since we last had a bonfire. To me they are always magical, as we always have tried to have a little fire to celebrate the festivals. This year we have kept largely to candles, so it was lovely to sit and watch the dancing and leaping flames.

    These are the fires that our ancestors had. That burnt up the waste at the end of the harvest.

    this was the time when fields would be alight with burning stubble, burning up the disease and fertilising the Earth with fresh ash. These were the fires we would see at night, up on the hill sides, visible for miles. As the bonfires and Need Fires would also be visible in those dark, dark nights or the far past, when the only light you could bring into darkness was fire.



The next day - this is all that was left.



Thursday, 3 September 2020

Autumn is Coming

 I love the progression of the seasons through the year.

    They remind us that nothing stays the same, everything constantly changes and moves on. But also they remind us of seasons past and seasons yet to come.

    It is only a couple of weeks since we were sweltering in Summer heat. Every morning I would look forward to opening the back door, and leaving it open, to encourage as much as possible of the cool, fresh air to flood into the house. They yesterday when I opened the door, there was a distinct nip in the air. And after the door had been open only a few minutes, suddenly 'the factory' struck up into full production. The 'factory' is our central heating boiler, which has been silent for months, but that morning with a whoosh and a vrrrrrm suddenly it was heating water and, for the first time since late Spring, the radiators were beginning to warm up.

    It is true that the leaves on the trees are starting to curl up and change colour around the edges. Growth has slowed in the garden, but the hedgerow fruits are starting to ripen. It looks like a good year for rosehips, and the cotoneasters in the garden are popping out hundreds of little red berries. I shall ask Graham to look out for brambles when he takes the dogs for a walk    

    When I was very little, this is when my dad would call for me to go for a very early morning walk with him. We would set off when it was barely light and walk around the edges of the stubble in the newly harvested fields. The mist would be rising, and the air soft and cool enough to make you want to keep moving, and soon we would come to the field where the mushrooms grew.

    We searched through the meadow, avoiding the cows which were following their own daily routine, wandering slowly and grazing the moist, thick grass at the far side of the field. Dad showed me how to look for tufts of grass, where the mushrooms hid at their base, and to look out for the darker green circles of the fairy rings, so many in this field that they intersected. Some were small, only just big enough to sit inside, others were huge, obviously grown over many years, and following around the edges of the rings was where the white capped mushrooms grew.

    When we had picked enough for breakfast, we would meander home, but sometimes we would go the long way, over the fields away from the houses, until we got to Uncle Bill and Aunty Laura's house. Dad might leave a paper bag of mushrooms by their back doorstep, so they would find them when they opened the door.

    Then home at last to have mushrooms cooked in my dad's special way: fried in butter, then a blob of Marmite, and a splash of strong tea (tea leaves and all), to make a flavoursome liquor which we would eat with bread and butter.



Sunday, 30 August 2020

Making Mitts

 Crochet central! 

    Through the Summer I have mainly been concentrating on making bedspreads and throws usually from a variety of squares of different sizes and patterns, but eventually I started to want to try something different. So I decided to have a break from squares, and look at what else I fancied making.

    One of the things I wear a lot in the Winter are fingerless mitts. My wrists often ache in the Winter, when it turns colder, so having something warm around them helps get rid of this, but I want to be able to use my fingers properly, so fingerless mitts are ideal. So I had a look on the internet, my first go-to place for all things crochet and there are some beautiful designs, but a lot of the patterns seemed really complicated. I had a think about it and realised that all you need to do is crochet an oblong.

    Start off by making a chain which is the length you wish your finished mitts to be, from about the base of your fingers, to cover your wrists and a bit more. I actually like a long mitt which nearly goes up to my elbow, so I did a chain of 21 plus an extra two for my first double crochet (most people do a chain of 3 for this, but I've found with my kind of crocheting a 2 chain works better for me). Work your first double crochet in the third chain from your hook and work double crochets all along your line of chains, right back to the beginning, then chain 2 (or 3) and turn and work back along the row doing double crochets in all the stitches along. This is a very simple pattern, but I used some balls of ombre wool (ombre means 'shade' so this is wool which shades from one colour to another) that I had and this makes a colour changing pattern as you continue working. 

    Just continue making your rows of double crochet until the oblong is wide enough to go round your arm at its thickest point. I would make it a little on the tight side as this will make them fit better and also the wool will stretch a bit with wearing. Don't fasten your wool off, as you are going to join both sides together into a tube by using a sort of running slip stitch. It is really easy (everything I do is really easy!).  Line up both sides so that the stitches match each other. Push your hook through both sides of the oblong, as near to the edge as your can get, yarn over at the back, pull your hook through the work and through both loops on your hook. Then move to the next stitch along. 

    Continue in this fashion until you are about 8 stitches from the end. At this point you are going to make your thumb hole, so try the mitt on and see if your thumb will stick through ok, you might want to pull a stitch back or two, but don't worry, you can always pull it back and have another go as long as you haven't fastened off. If your thumb hole is in the right place, rather than doing your slip stitch chain through both sides of your work, just do it in one side, leaving the other side free. Do this five times, then go back to joining the two sides together by pushing your hook through both sides of the tube again. You should have three stitches to join (but there might be 4 or 5, if you pulled back a stitch or two earlier.).

    When you get to the end, don't fasten off until you have tried your mitt on, to make sure you have the thumb hole in the right place. If all is fine, then fasten off and weave your ends in. If the thumb hole doesn't feel quite right you can pull the stitches back and re-position the thumb hole to suit yourself.

    Oh something else I tried was using a larger than normal crochet hook. I tend to use a 4.5mm hook, but for this project I tried a 6.5, which is considerably bigger. This means that your stitches will naturally be larger, and makes it quicker to crochet, but also if you tend to crochet tightly this will also loosen your work, make it feel softer and actually warmer as it will hold more air.



As modelled by my lovely assistant.




Saturday, 8 August 2020

Consecrated Salt and Holy Water

 Two of the items we sell in our Raven Catalogue are Consecrated Salt and Holy Water. These are basic supplies used for a variety of purposes.

    Both of these items are used to cleanse away negative vibrations or any unwanted energies and also to bless objects and make them holy. For example if you have bought a special tool for use in a spell or ritual, you could sprinkle it with Consecrated Salt and a few drops of Holy Water and this would magically cleanse it and prepare it for use in your ritual.

     Basically these items clear away any previous contacts, if someone else has held it or used it. A bit like wiping a computer disc of its previous information and leaving it empty and pristine for you to fill with your own special energies.

    The Consecrated Salt and Holy Water can be used separately, or you can put a little salt into the water to make a particularly highly charged magical preparation. This can be used to bless participants in a ritual, or for initiation rituals, or to cleanse any object or area. Such as clearing out unwanted spirits.

    Consecrated Salt it often used to cleanse items which can be damaged by water, so you can cleanse books or Tarot Cards with it. You can also throw it directly at a manifestation to disperse its energies.

    Both Consecrated Salt and Holy Water can be added to your bath water to cleanse you of any psychic intrusions, get rid of bad luck, hexes or curses. They can also be added to a bucket of soapy water and used to cleanse larger areas such as a room used as a temple, or even to wash the path or road leading to your home.

    They can also be used separately or in combination to create a magical boundary which spirits or other entities cannot cross. So if you were having trouble sleeping, or having nightmares, you could make a boundary around your bed, make sure the line is continuous, but it does not have to be a circle. You can use it to reinforce the magical boundaries of your home too.

    The only things I would not use them on are objects which you want to use for their intrinsic magic or psychic powers. So do not use them on herbs as this removes the very magical powers you want to make use of. Also natural talismans such as a Holy Stone or a horseshoe as, again, you would be wiping away the objects own magic and leaving them blank.




Thursday, 23 July 2020

Wishing Trees

After I put my last post up, I had a look on the internet to see if there was anything about coins being hammered into trees, and to my astonishment there were several quite detailed articles about it.
     Apparently there is a growing revival of this tradition of making a wish and forcing a coin into the bark of a (usually) felled tree, or a tree stump. I found articles about it from Wales, Scotland and England, so it is a much wider known folk spell than I had realised.
     Up to now, I had only come across the traditions of hammering nails into trees, or tieing bits of cloth or ribbons to them. But in both those cases the trees would be living. Traditional Wishing trees are usually living hawthorn trees and usually overlook a natural spring. You make a wish then tie a piece of your own clothing, or a ribbon to the tree, as an offering. This relatively new phenomena of using coins utilises dead or felled trees, either the trunks of the trees, or sometimes just the remaining stumps.
     I haven't yet found out what makes a particular tree a candidate for becoming a Wishing Tree in this way, or whether any felled tree or tree stump can be used in the same way - I get the feeling that this might be the case.
      Having read some of the articles, it seems that this may be something that many people are doing just because they see that other people already have done it. In other words they are simply copying the behaviour. Sometimes this happens to trees on private land, or that owned by the National Trust, and one confused National Trust person was quoted as saying 'Why are people wasting their money like this, they could give the coins to the National Trust and we could do something with it!'
      The leaving of a votive offering in return for a wish is a very ancient behaviour, it goes way, way back into the mists of time, and seems to be something humans just can't help doing.
      In Hull, one of the shopping centres has an indoor pool with a fountain in it. If you look in the pool you will see that the floor of the pool is full of coins of all different denominations. This pool in a modern shopping centre has become a 'Wishing Well'. There are no signs up telling people to make a wish and throw a coin in (in fact sometimes signs are put us asking people to refrain from throwing coins into the fountain), and periodically the management order a clean up and the coins are removed and given to charity. But it is not long before coins are once more being thrown into this pool.
      People need magic in their lives.
      They need to be able to ask for help from some supernatural power.

       I find it very interesting and encouraging to note that even in these modern days of computers, when people seem to be getting further and further away from nature, new magics are still finding their way into the world.