I Believe in Fairies 'Cause They've Got All My Stuff!

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

Tonight I went into my workroom and sat down at my desk to prepare for some spells I needed to cast.  And, yet again, an essential piece was missing.  This time, it was the spell itself I couldn't find--the protection talisman I was talking about last time.  I set to finding it right away.  I knew it didn't come from any book I own, so it had to be in one of my big binders of filed information.  I pulled them down and looked; it wasn't under Spells, nor Amulets and Talismans, nor Sachets and Conjure.  None of the other categories fit, so I put the binders up and checked my BoS.  Being the pseudo-librarian I am, this, too, is heavily indexed.  But nothing!  I thought that maybe it was a newer addition to the book and had escaped my labeling, but no.  With a frown, I slapped my BoS back on the shelf.  *Humph!*  I was starting to get mad.  It wasn't in the "To Be Filed" folder I keep by my desk.  It wasn't in any of the notebooks I have stacked on shelves or slid in drawers.

Alright, hand it over, lady!
This is, sadly, nothing new.  I often discover that there are missing ingredients, missing jars and bottles, missing papers, tools, ink...you name it.  While making a batch of Vesta's Marriage Repair candles for the shop, I noticed my Reconciliation oil running a little low.  So I got into my books to assemble the ingredients for making a fresh bottle.  I went through all the books I own that contain formulas, all the binders, notebooks, and files I have that might contain the recipe.  I even went online to see if anything I found there looked familiar.  And I still came up empty-handed.  Anybody out there know how to make Reconciliation oil?

On the same day I wrote about cleansing the house I had done a ridiculous dash through the house searching for my censer, my head waggling left and right trying desperately to spot it in some out-of-the-way place.  When I finally gave up, I found it--sitting on a canister of wishbones on my workroom desk.  Was it there all the time?  Was this someone's joke?  How could this happen?  How could it continue to happen?   

With how crazy it makes me (and how hilarious it must look when I go crazy), I can easily imagine that this is the work of little peoples unseen.  But there's more to it than that to make me blame the fairies.  Firstly, I don't go in for the tinkly-music and bubbles version of fairies.  But neither do I see them as buxom coquettes with corsets and butterfly wings.  My views are a little more complex, yet also a little less defined.

I guess you could say that, from experience, I think the fairies are tricky, sneaky, and irritating--but all without malice.  Like a 3 year-old.  And like a 3 year-old, they can make anything disappear into nothingness by simply turning your back on them for 60 seconds.  If that thing is shiny, they will snatch it.  If it's movable, they might break it.  If it's something you want, they will indubitably want it more and prove it.  With a 3 year-old, you need to either safeguard all your precious things by putting them up before little fingers enter the room, or hope that you can shift their interest to a safer object once they've got something expensive in their grasp.  (Note: this isn't some disgruntled babysitter or friend-of-a-new-mommy talking--I've lived through 2 little ones and had numerous magical items get dumped, crushed, and drooled on in their time)  But with fairies it may not be so simple.  They can get into anything and move your stuff wherever they choose.  If you need it now, then it's all the more fun.

I first had this trouble about 10 years ago when I incautiously invited the fairies living in my yard/garden into our home for the winter.  "Poor things!"  I thought.  "They'll be so cold out there!"  Who I should have been pitying was me, since it was from that time on that all manner of items routinely came up missing.  They would--maybe--be found a few days later in some odd place for which no obvious reason could be found.  The tradition continues to this day with the kids' toys, school papers, my husband's projects, and my magical wares.  I had been tempted to blame it all on that one incident so many years ago, but I'm more inclined now to see it as another example of the attention that magic-making here brings from other places.

Part of the purpose of casting a circle is to keep back all the disruptive influences that are gathered by the act of casting a spell.  But most witches (myself included, of course) cast smaller spells all the time without benefit of a circle.  Some form of magic is to be found in this house at least 3-4 times a day.  That's a lot of circles!  And even if I did protect myself each time, I would have to cast it around the house to keep these pesky little critters away from my belongings.  Our house isn't very big and yet that's not very likely to happen. 

So here's my plan to regain my missing objects and set some limits for the future:

  • Presents!  Everybody, from cranky relatives to immortal Gods, loves to get things. Offerings are a simple way to open up communication between two parties, no matter who they may be.  
  • Tricks of my own.  I read about a little girl who came up with an ingenious way of dealing with her fairy troubles.  She and her father place a strawberry on the table and then put a glass over it, like a tiny force-field.  Then they announce to the fairies that they can have the strawberry when the missing item is returned.  I can just imagine them wringing their pointy hands and biting their little lips.  Grrr!
  • Lure them back outside.  I think it must be the lateness of the year that draws them to our home's never-dull interior.  Outdoor activities and decorations soon-coming for Halloween may catch their eye better.
  • If all else fails, it's back to the old standard of salt, iron, and St. John's Wort.  If they won't hand it back nice, I'll get nasty!  It's not as though I've got no weaponry!
So here's hoping that tomorrow morning I receive a pile of goodies heaped at the end of my bed as though Santa had been here, not the least of which are my missing talisman instructions and Reconciliation oil formula.

Our Complicated Relationships with Animals

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

My family and I have many animals living in our home.  Our cat named Cinder, ball python named Hiss, and two parakeets, Helios and Phoebe (so named after the sun God Helios and His legendary chariot, Phoebus, meaning "shining."  Lil' Phoebe is all yellow, get it?), as well as our daughter's gerbil, Storm.  We have also, in our time, cared for a beloved dog, rabbit, a second gerbil, a third parakeet, two hamsters, a baby robin, a guinea pig, a massive cricket, and three cats (in this house, that is). 

But none of them are pets.  At least, I don't call them pets.  To me a "pet" is a critter you have around to entertain you, to name "Mrs. Snuggle-Wuggle-Kins," and put funny hats on at the holidays.  And they're not my babies (I have two of them already!).  All our animals came here after they no longer needed the care of a mother, so it's a rather moot point to insist on being "mommy" to them.  Plus, they all did have mommies.  Cinder's six-breasted mother was a lot better at feeding and cleaning him and his siblings than I could be.  Why compete?

Maybe that opinion is a little skewed, but my point remains that I don't acknowledge any owner in our relationship.  Our animals live here, play here, and get cared for, kept safe, and loved by all of us, but they are their own beings.  Almost all of the animals we've ever had here were rescues.  The rest showed an affinity to one or more of us before coming to live here.  I think it's only fair to give an animal the option to stay or go, like I would anyone else in my life.

This gets a little tricky when I think of all the traditional bits of magic that can be worked on animals/pets.  In addition to the standard spells with the aid of an animal, there's also spells to keep a cat from straying, to make a pet loyal, to turn an animal into a familiar (in the case of the spell I have, by placing a low-level spirit within the animal's body, like assisted possession), etc. make me question my standard attitude that all magic has merit within the context of the need which formed it.

So though Cinder missed us like mad when we went on vacation, and refused to cease meowing when we returned until he finally lost his voice, I've never felt that I had the right to force his loyalty or compel him stay home all the time.  Like a love spell, I can understand using magic to create artificial closeness in a more casual relationship, but not with someone who lives, eats, and sleeps with you. 

The exception to this rule of mine, of course, is protection from danger.  While I understand an animal's desire (and right) to come and go as it pleases them, I would never suggest it if it were dangerous to the animal.  We live near a road with infrequent but fast-moving cars and trucks.  That's part of the "charm" of country living--everyone knows there's no police nearby so they use the road as their personal Autobahn.  Poor Cinder has had to endure staying indoors for the past two weeks, while the absolutely lovely weather is calling him by name, because I needed to wait for the right timing to recharge his protection talisman.  When he has that, I don't fear him going out to play in the fields and chase grasshoppers.  Without it, even a solitary bask in a sunny grassy spot seems, to me, fraught with danger. 

Though keeping those I love safe and happy is always at the top of my list of important responsibilities, I am forced to reconcile this with the knowledge that our animals--like our children--may someday choose to go their own way without concern for those who gave them love and shelter for years. 

That's just the nature of life, though, and a witch never runs from life.

Hip Hip Hooray for Cleansing Day!

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

There are witches out there who do house cleansings on a regular schedule--like at the New Moon--but, as is standard practice for any busy mom, I do it when it needs it.  And today it really needed it.

For those of you who may not know just what that would feel like (and, honestly, most books don't explain), I'll give you the situation here at my house.  It all starts with irritation.  Everything irritates--not a lot, just little by little, like an itchy sweater.  I notice it in our kids; they fight over senseless things, they bicker and hit out of nowhere, doing routine things (like getting a shower) makes them super cranky, they cry and want nurtured while also pushing everyone away.  I notice it, too, in my husband; strange pains out of the blue that lessen outside our home, being both very tired and also sleepless, short-tempered, strange dreams.  And in me, naturally, it's easy for me to notice; I am anxious and tense over nothing, I anger quickly and tire quickly, I ache all over, I become overly critical of everything, and the house feels incredibly dirty to me.  It's this last one that really sets me off.  It's like the baneful influences are so thick on the walls that I can see them!  Then I know it's time to do something drastic!

Today was perfect timing since Gigi was doing all the standard chores (vacuuming upstairs and down, washing dishes, cleaning out the pets' homes, etc.) so once we were both done the house would be both physically and spiritually clean.  In the spirit of her new lessons on magic, I showed her how I make a wash (note: check the BONUS page for more on making washes!) and how to wash the walls.  I was using one to drive away evil.  She was very curious about where evil comes from so we talked about the Evil Eye and other ways that regular (non-witch) people can cast spells, plus spirits and other things that create bad luck.  I was quite proud to overhear her later that night as she perfectly answered her little brother's questions about the Evil Eye! 

While I washed the walls, I threw open all the windows in the house and burned a big batch of newly ground Clearing Incense.  I was sure I'd set off the smoke alarms, but somehow they remained quiet.  I usually pop out their batteries before burning a large amount of incense but since I often forget to put them back in until a few days have gone by (bad idea!), I would rather disable them only if necessary. 

With the incense burning away on our house altar, I also lit some white candles rubbed with Van Van Uncrossing oil.  On my personal altar, I also stood the Sun card from one of my tarot decks.  I was in full-out cleansing mode!

Hey!  I didn't get any cookies!
Stopping for dinner, I noticed how nice everything felt.  My husband always feels it first thing in the door, so I'll be watching him when he gets home from work in the morning!  After getting the kids to bed, I decided to finish the job right.  I scrubbed the floors with a bucket of washwater to which I added Van Van oil and Cascarilla powder.  All throughout the house I sprinkled the last of my saved Rose of Jericho Water and then put my dried rose in water to open again on a table in the living room.  The last step for me was to clear off my altars and wash everything before replacing it.  I rubbed the candles with special oils I got just for that purpose on my last trip to Salem and burned Offertory Incense for my Patron Gods.  I cleaned and spruced up the house altar and got out a new set of candles for my husbands' Gods. 

Now it's done.  Sometimes it's more elaborate than that, other times less.  But, to me, the job is done when it feels done, and not before.  If you're experiencing something big, by all means, go big when getting rid of it!  I once had a neighbor (who was a witch as well) and she gave me a whole laundry list of woes, from rampant illness to no income to mysteriously unfixable vehicles--and never thought of using magic before that point!  Please don't wait that long!  You're not over-reacting by cleansing when bad things happen--you're under-reacting when you wait for some critical point.

And P.S.--my neighbor's story has a happy ending.  I made up a kit for her out of the same things I use in our house.  Did the trick right quick!  And (prepare for the landing of a shameless plug for my shop) you can order that same kit (and many more) from Quill's Occult Supply

About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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