Sunday, 30 November 2014

It has been Ages .....

This post is really an apology for not putting a post up recently.

As you might imagine, working in a mail order company, we are into the run up to christmas and (thankfully) things are busy (although we are happy to be busier - with orders - at any time!). We are working most of the weekend to try and get orders processed as quickly as possible, so that our customers get their magical goodies in good time.

We also recently had a visit from our dear friend Paul Bradley who has just moved into a new home. He asked my if I could make him a Spirit Doll guardian for himself and his new house, which I was more than happy to agree to.

All Spirit Dolls are individual, and based on the skills and magic of the person who makes them, and tuned towards various purposes. As I am making this doll for a special person and a specific task, I am building the magic into the doll with every stitch. It will all be hand made and hand sewn, with spells and symbols built into it. The inside of the doll, the bit no one will ever see, unless they deliberately dismantle it, is as important, if not more so, than the outside.

The inside will include a spell giving the doll its character and purpose, and there will be gemstones and herbs inside as well as stuffing. The clothes of the doll will also incorporate magic and symbolism, as will its features.

Obviously this Spirit Doll will take time to make, as it involves both a lot of different processes plus my concentration and magic. But it is also an exciting and fun thing to do.

So please accept my apology for the lack of posts recently - as soon as I get some spare time, I will be back bothering you more regularly.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Spell Casting

Number 10 in my Folk Witchery series

Spell casting is the act of seeking to effect the world by bringing magical (or some might say 'psychic') pressure to bear.

There are lots of folk spells around, and most of them are extremely simple:
     Blow a kiss to the New Moon when you first see her, and make a wish

     Grind coriander seed to powder and as you do so chant:
Warm seed, warm heart
Let us never be apart.
Put the powder into something your lover will eat

     If you have lost something, light a candle to St Anthony and pray that the item will be returned to you.

All of those examples are spells and anyone can simply follow those instructions and work those spells.
However have a think about it: spells are recipe instructions for magic, and they assume that a practitioner of magic will be aware of all the unsaid processes which can give the spell its optimum potency.

As today is St Albert Magnus day, let us have a look at a spell from the Petit Albert:

To Prevent Persons doing Evil unto you, whom you suspect of bearing Malice or designing Evil against you.
     Welcome, in the name of God, ye brethren true and God, we have all drunk of the Saviour's blood. God the Father be with me, God the Son be with you; God the Holy Spirit be with us all. Let us meet in union and part from each other in peace. + + +
     Three times spoken.

Now even though it would appear that the spell is worded as if you are speaking directly to your enemies, it is obvious that the spell is designed to be used before you actually meet them, so how would you use those words?

As Folk Witchery practitioners we know there are several things we can add to the spell, for a start we can do it within a properly cast circle. So first cast your circle, consecrate salt and water, bless yourself and anyone else with you in the circle.
Next we have to think about how we want to make use of the invocation. If you think your troubles are being caused by one person in particular, take a candle and write that person's name up the side of the candle, from bottom to top. Use your athame for this, or a long pin or needle. If you don't know who is causing the trouble, write 'My Enemy' up the candle instead. If you suspect it is a group of people, you can write instead 'My Enemies'.

Now light the candle and speak the invocation, just as if you have the person (people) in front of you and are speaking directly to them. Remember to repeat the invocation three times. the + sign means that you make the sign of the cross in the air towards the candle. So you make the sign of the cross three times after each repetition.

You can even make this invocation into a special magical talisman to carry with you for personal protection. If you want to make the talisman to prevent the machinations of one particular person (or several) write their name(s) on a piece of clean paper - consecrate the paper by putting a spot of consecrated salt water on each corner of the paper and pass the paper through your incense smoke.
In this case you could use frankincense, white sage or a special blend either for protection or to banish evil.
Turn the paper over and on the back write the invocation out. When you have written it, read the invocation out and make the sign of the cross three times in the air over your writing. Turn the paper over and say the invocation once more over the name(s) you have written and again make the sign of the cross three times.
Now fold the paper up so that the names of the person or people is hidden inside the packet, then fasten red thread around the packet to keep it closed. Then drip some of the wax from your candle onto the knotted thread to seal the package.
Put this packet into a little pouch you can carry with you, it is best if you can make it so that you carry the pouch against your skin, put a thread on it so you can wear it around your neck, or a woman could pop it inside her bra.
If it is safe to do so, let the candle burn down completely. This is for several reasons:
1)  Letting the candle burn down makes the complete offering to the powers and means that you cannot accidentally use that candle for anything else.
2) having written the name of the person up the candle, as it burns down, the person's name is also diminished and made less, and in magical terms this also diminishes their influence over you and lessens their ability to do you harm

So there you have it. From a seemingly simple and basic spell, you can create a potent and effective magical working just by using your knowledge as a working Witch.

Incidentally the book Black and White Magic of Albertus Magnus ed. Chris Sempers £4.95 packed with spells, information and a section on the Sator Square is available from
17 Melton Fields, Brickyard Lane, North Ferriby, East Yorkshire HU14 3HE

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Full Moon

Number 9 in my Folk Witchery series.

The Full Moon is the most important monthly occurence for Witches. It is the time when we get together for a Full Moon Esbat.

In the days before electric lights and street lighting the only light you ever saw outdoors during the night was the light of the stars and the moon. And only when the moon was full was there enough light to see where you were going at night.

The Full Moon is looked on as the time of the month when the Lunar powers are at their greatest strength. When the full silver disc of the moon is showing, then the power of the Bright Goddess is at its height.

Folk Witchery is natural magic, that is: magic which is an interaction between the Witch and the natural world and its rhythms.

It is possible and sometimes even necessary to work against those natural tides, but it does mean you need to work twice as hard. It is the difference between pushing a heavy barrow up a hill and allowing a slope to carry the barrow downhill for you.

So what should you do at the Full Moon? This is, of course, a great opportunity for spell casting and to make even greater use of the magical tides, see what day of the week the Full moon falls on. This week the Full Moon  falls on a Thursday (6th Nov 2014) which is the day of Jupiter, but do remember that the moon will appear full for a day either side of this, so you can also make use of the Full Moon magical energy boost on Wednesday and Friday.

Wednesday is the day of Mercury, associated with travel and communication, so a day for spells such as encouraging someone to get in touch, or be persuaded to your point of view, or to bless a journey.
Thursday is Jupiter's day, associated with wealth and money, so any kind of spell to do with financial matters such as seeking a better job or a wage increase, or a boost to your business.
Friday is the day of Venus (and also the traditional day for Witch meetings) spells tonight for love, seduction, friendship and harmony.

It is traditional to do at least part of your ritual out of doors where you can see the moon. Alternately if you have a room the moon shines into simply open the window and do your ritual there.
If neither of these is possible, go outside before you start your ritual and blow a kiss to the moon and make a wish.

If the night is dark and cloudy and there is no way you can see the moon, then remember that above all the moon is simply the symbol of the powers of the Goddess and work your ritual indoors.

Your ritual for the Full Moon can be a simple as you like.
You already now know the basics for any ritual:
Have a preparatory bath
Cast your circle
Consecrate salt and water
Bless yourself and anyone else in your circle.

At the Full Moon it is traditional to invite the Goddess into the circle and into the person of the priestess conducting the rite. The priestess then acts as the Goddess adding power to your spells and perhaps giving special messages to those present.
This process is known as Drawing Down the Moon.

However what is rarely mentioned is that:
a)  you can do it yourself, alone
b)  you can do it whether you are male or female
(the moon in many cultures has a male deity associated with it, in ancient Egypt there are both male and female moon deities, so you really can take your own choice)

In our Samhain ritual we invited the God and Goddess into our circle, so we can use the same words to do this again.
Then say:
I ask that the powers of the Full Moon descend into the body 
of your priest/priestess
(remember to stand with your arms curved out and upwards like the shape of the crescent moon)

Next the Goddess/God may choose to speak through the celebrant, or speak to you if you are working the ritual alone.
It is at this point when you may choose to recite the Charge of the Goddess. This is based on an invocation from the book Aradia, the Gospel of the Witches by C G Leland (version ed. by C P Sempers) available from Raven £4.95).
Whenever ye have need of anything
Once in the month, and when the moon is full, 
Ye shall assemble in some desert place,
Or in a forest all together join
To adore the potent spirit of your queen, Great Diana,
You who would learn all sorcery, 
Yet have not won its deepest secrets
To them will I teach, in truth all things as yet unknown.

There are actually many versions of this invocation, Raven also supplies a laminated poster version which is longer and more detailed (£1.95). So it is up to you whether you use it, or which version, or the God/Goddess may choose to speak something entirely different through you. Oh and of course you can change the name of the deity in the invocation to suit your personal preference.

Next do your magic spell, or some scrying or divination.
After that bless biscuits and drink as we did at the Samhain ritual. Remember to save a little of each to give to the spirits after you have finished your rite.

Then go to your altar and facing north - arms in invocation pose - say:
Lord and Lady of Witchdom, I thank you for attending my rite
As you return now to your place of power in peace and friendship
I wish you hail and farewell.

A nice touch now is to draw a pentacle in the air using your athame, wand or index finger.
Then kiss your hand and blow the kiss towards the north.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Ritual Preparation

Number 8 in my series on Folk Witchery

Although spells and rituals can be entirely spontaneous, there is a lot to be said for making some special efforts to prepare yourself, and your ritual area, for the working you wish to carry out.

Your preparations can awaken your Witchy senses, start the build up of the special atmosphere and 'tune' the energies so that you are in a heightened state of magical awareness before you step into your temple area.

If you are going to go in for ritual magic there are a whole set of rules concerning how you should conduct yourself and what you should eat or drink (or not) before your ritual. But as we are dealing with Folk Witchery, our preparations do not need to be so elaborate.

The main things to think about from a practical point of view are:
     Don't have a huge meal and drink loads of alcohol immediately before a ritual.

Simply because food helps to ground and close down psychic centres (one of the reasons that having cakes and drink comes after spell casting) and if you are tipsy you will make mistakes in your spells. Drunkenness also attracts the wrong kinds of energies - unless you are wanting to give yourself nightmares and call up lower astral entities, as they are known.

The best form of ritual preparation is to have a shower or a soak in a special bath infused with oils, salts or even charmed bubble bath. You can have a scented candle and appropriate joss stick or incense burning while you have your bath too.

Before you get in, pass your hands over the surface of the water and imagine blue Witchfire enlivening the bath with the power of purification and awakening in your soul and spirit the special energies you will need for your spell or ritual. Soak in the bath and think abut your ritual and the kind of magic you will be using, this will all help get you into the right frame of mind for your working and help increase your success rate too.


It is a nice idea to wear something special for your rituals (if you have a nice warm house you might choose to work skyclad - naked). A robe is not difficult to make: measure from your shoulder to your ankles then go buy some plain fabric twice this length. Fold the fabric in half and cut a hole in the fold line to poke your head through. Sew the sides of the fabric up, leaving gaps near the fold to stick your arms out. Or simply fasten the sides with pieces of ribbon, or just tie a sash or cord around your waist.
It is actually so simple you might end up with a drawer full of different coloured robes.
The colour you pick for your robe is up to you, but obviously black is traditional.

However, if you haven't got a robe, don't worry, you can wear your ordinary clothes.

Never let the fact that you haven't got exactly the right piece of equipment stop you from practising your magic. None of us ever has exactly the most perfect items we would like (unless you are multi-millionaire with bottomless pockets) and Folk Witchery in particular is about being adaptable and using what you have to hand,

Next time we shall look the Folk Witchery approach to the Full Moon