Sunday, 30 June 2013

Introduction to Me and the Life of a Working Witch

As this blog has leapt into being, as an extension of my Facebook page, I suddenly thought that there may well be people who come across it and have no idea who the heck I am and what I do.  So here is a bit of a quick biography, so you know where I come from:

My name is Chris Sempers and I run the Mail Order company Raven with my husband Graham Raven.
Raven is a magical supply company and we have been in business since 1989. Oh and the 'Mike' I refer to often through the blog is our son Michael Raven who is the techno geek of the family and is frequently on the receiving end of my questions such as 'what is a follower?' and 'how do I do this?' and occasionally 'Where has my toolbar gone!?!'
We actually started our business making hand made toiletries and cosmetics: skin creams, lip balm, bath products, skin scrubs, all those sorts of things.  Everything we made was as simple as possible, made from herbs and flowers, beeswax and natural oils wherever possible.
As both of us are practising Pagans, we also had done loads of research into the magical uses of herbs - and made incenses and ritual oils for our own and friends use. So we decided to put a few pieces on our catalogue such as 'Home Protection Sachets' and one or two hand made divination sets, runes etc.
To our astonishment we found that the magical stuff far outsold the cosmetics !
Not having to be hit over the head with a brick to take notice, we decided to try putting out a catalogue which concentrated on the magical items instead, and have not looked back since.
Incidentally if you haven't had one of our catalogues recently/ever you can give me a ring (01482) 632512 or message me through facebook ( and I'll be happy to pop one in the post

I called this Blog the 'Blog of a Working Witch' because what I do in my job is based very much on being a practising Witch. A lot of the goods in our catalogues are hand made by us, using magical principles and correspondances. They are also constructed in special magical area, what is most commonly known as a Magic Circle.

I have been putting up daily snippets of magical and other info on our facebook page for well over a year now and felt I needed a bit more elbow room to express myself, so I intend using this blog as a place where I can put up articles on magical subjects - these may well be drawn from past issues of our own Raven Newsletter - and other info which will be of interest (I hope) to Pagans, Occultists, Witches and friends of Raven, such as pieces which may give you more of an insight into our personal lives - such as we love dogs and have two large fluffy ones to prove it.

I am also quite happy to answer questions of a magical nature, and, again, there is more space here for a fuller response to questions.

A Spell to Give Up Smoking

Take a pack of cigarettes you have started, take out all the cigarettes and cut them up. Put them back in the packet with a paper on which you have written the following magic triangle:
Sprinkle some consecrated salt in the packet and keep it in your pocket

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Followers and Doggy Bathing

You Too Can be a Follower!

One or two people have tried to become followers of this blog but, so far with no success. So with Mike's help I have added a little place where you can just pop in your email address and (I think) you will be notified when I've put up something new here.
I am just not sure whether it will simply send you the text, or whether it gives you a link to the blog site - which is what I was actually aiming for

Doggy Bath Time
Yesterday as it was a pleasant day we decided it was time to bath China.
As both our dogs are long haired, rough collies this was not going to be an easy task.
The bathing went quite well, China sat quite quietly in the bath and was shampood and rinsed very quickly. Then came the next stage. Getting large hairy dog out of the bath, with the amount of fluff that soaks up water like a sponge meant it was going to be a wet affair for all involved. Outside a whole lot of shaking and towelling dry went on until we had a merely wet dog, at which point China decided she had had enough and went inside to finish drying out on our bed. Maeve meanwhile had hidden under the spare bed and was not coming out.
Graham moved China off our pillows and onto a bedcover instead and left her to sleep off the trauma, aided by a bickie or two.
This morning China is dried out, and looks even more beautiful than usual.

By the way both China and Maeve came to us from Angela at Wicani Collies - have a look at her website she has loads of piccies and videos to drool over if you are a dog lover

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Gardening, Elder and Midsummer Magic

We have been helping Graham's mother by sorting out her garden for her, now that she is no longer able to get out and do stuff for herself.
This has largely been by making it low maintainance and removing some large, overgrown shrubs and trees. The last one we felled this weekend was a towering leylandii in the middle of the garden, which had three trunks to be hacked through with axe and bow saw - nope the chainsaw extension lead wouldn't reach.
Later that day when we were relaxing at home with a little game of World of Warcraft our son Mike popped in on his way home from visiting grandma to tell us that Grandma was really pleased to get rid of that tree, but there is another one she wants cutting down - the elder tree in the corner.
'Nope,' said ' Sorry but we aren't cutting an elder down, it's bad luck.'
Mike was amazed by my response, 'You won't cut it down 'cos it's 'bad luck'?'
'That's right,' I said, 'The last time we cut an elder down we had shed loads of bad luck, so I am not risking that again.'

I know this is an old fashioned superstition, and I also know that it won't affect everyone, and that 'bad luck' could be seen as a co-incidence. However I know that the last time I decided an elder tree had to go and cut it down, we went through one of the nastiest periods in our lives. So whether it was co-incidence, or bad luck, makes no difference, I will be very cautious before I cut down another elder tree.

Oh by the way as today is Midsummer's Eve you could try the magical collection of Fern Seed: Tonight at the midnight hour the magical fern will glow golden in the moonlight. It should be approached in silence and a pewter plate or a box held beneath the fern leaves. Be silent be patient and the fern seed will fall onto your plate - you must not touch the fern. This seed has magical properties: sprinkle it on yourself and you will become invisible; throw it into the air and it will fall to the earth like a star and where ever it lands you will find treasure; keep it in a pouch with your money and your money will never diminish. If you are careful and respectful the spirit of the fern may appear to you, a Fairy man who will offer you a pouch of gold. If you are disrespectful or careless, the spirits may take offence and strike blows at you, or make swishing and cracking sounds to make you frightened and run away.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Blog of a Working Witch

I have been considering doing a Blog for some time now, but have been unsure about launching it.

I have been putting bits and bobs of magical info on facebook ( nearly every day for at least a year now and felt that some times I didn't have enough space to write properly about various magical subjects (or other things which I find interesting - and hope that you will too).

Then suddenly it is the Eve of the Summer Solstice and with all the magic in the air this seems the ideal time to give it a go.

So here we go .... and please watch this space.

A Salve to Enable One to See the Fairies
A pint of sallet oyle and put it into a vial glasse: and first wash it with rose-water and marygolde water; the flowers to be gathered towards the east. Wash it till the oyle becomes white, then put into the glasse, and then put thereto the budds of hollyhocke, the flowers of marygolde, the flowers or toppes of wild thyme and the budds of young hazle, and the thyme must be gathered near the side of a hill where fairies used to be; and take the grasse of a fairy throne; then all these put into the oyle in the glasse and sette it to dissolve three days in the sunne and then keep it for thy use.

This comes from a manuscript dated 1600 in the Oxford Ashmolean Museum