Witch Tip: Charm--To Banish Mists

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

As you well know I am enamored with spoken charms and this is one of my very favorites.

To find power in a spell, first there must be beauty.  To find beauty, you need only be struck by the subject's uniqueness, its ability to radiate a deep well of self-awareness, shining like the refraction of moonlight on the walls of a watery cave.  That sparkle is beauty and the inspiration that stems from its power.

This charm, originating in the Finnish epic Kalevala, has an incredible amount of just such glow.  Though simple in language and lacking in direct imagery, it is a joy to speak, to feel on the lips, to read, to share.  How could such excitement fail to spread when it is used magically?  Remember this the next time you're driving a foggy road or, perhaps, beset with a more creative, metaphorical fog of mind or spirit.

Remember and recite.


To Banish Mists


With his sword he clove the water,
In the lake his sword plunged deeply,

Mead along his blade was flowing,
Honey from his sword as dropping,

Then the fog to heaven ascended,
And the cloud in air rose upward,

From the lake the mist ascended,
And the vapour from the lake-waves,

And the lake extended widely,
Wider spread the whole horizon.


Quick Link--Unusual Tarot Spreads

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels:

Oh how I love Aeclectic Tarot!  If you read the cards ad somehow haven't been there yet, stop what you're doing (except for reading my blog, of course) and go there straight away!  Deck reviews, card images (for those of us who like to see more than the box's one or two sample images before we buy), tons of articles, and discussions make this the perfect hang out for tarot lovers.  But this is especially fun: new and unique spreads!

If you're ready to branch out and try something different from the same old Celtic Cross, give these a go!

Unusual Tarot Spreads


The Most Dangerous Witch in the World

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

It just might be me.  Or you.  Let me explain.

In the most simplistic terms, magic is freedom and those who use it to better their lives are free.  We have realized our right to be happy, our right to withhold ourselves from those who don't deserve us, our right to choose the course of our lives.  We are self-aware and capable of handling the responsibility of being so.  That is the very nature of freedom, and to the establishment under which we live, it is a terror.

Those who are free don't feel the need to do what others do.  They don't rely on convention to train and control them.  They don't want what others want.  They are unpredictable, and that's a scary thing.  Are you that sort of unpredictable?  Do you go your own way no matter where it may lead?  Take a look at the following list of brave and bold thoughts that just such a person thinks and see just how dangerous you are!


1. Your Rules are for You


A witch doesn't have to subscribe to your ideas of right and wrong.  Not only do many of us take our magical practice as a spiritual discipline--and therefore hold values separate and distinct from other belief systems--but we also have a unique understanding of how right and wrong are measured, what happens in the event of each, and how imbalances are rectified. 

Because we have these feelings of our own, we're not waiting to be given limits by society.  Because we see how we are different, we know that options exist and are not afraid to choose. 

2. Doing What Needs Done Does Not Mean Waiting for Karma

Sitting on my ass was not in the brochure.  A powerful person who watches wrongs be committed, and then does nothing to prevent, stop, or serve justice for it, is culpable for that wrong.

Occultists are powerful people with talent and training behind us.  We can and should make things right.  I would never let the greater suffering of harm against an innocent exist just to spare myself possible retribution for harm against the guilty.  That's the price I pay for desiring the knowledge I now have.  If I can do something, I must do something.

3. It Doesn't Matter if We Agree

I genuinely don't care if we can't find common ground.  I didn't ask your permission any more than you asked mine.

That sounds a little harsh, but completely true.  I feel this way whether I'm being scorned by religious types who disapprove of my lack of godliness (despite following many more gods than them! Hmmmph!) or discussing my outsider attitudes with other magical folk.  We can talk about it but when it comes to being capital-R Right, I am going to throw up both hands and call it a day.  It isn't something that can be decided by two humans with disparate beliefs in intangible topics.

And I've got things to do, kid, I can't stand around arguing all day.

4. Freedom Gives Me Strength

I like--no, wait---I adore setting my own standards.   The gift of freedom is that I can choose what I personally feel is important, what is my weight in the world, and how I know if I'm doing the right thing or not.  That's far more than fear of divine smite.

That's for me to decide based on several factors: my upbringing, my current environment, my experiences, those of others around me, the idealized images I have
in my head, traits which are revered in mythology, actions of fictional characters whom I idolize, and real life role models whom I respect.  When all this comes together to help me form a sense of personal morality, I have a far greater number of options open to me than most others.  

Because of this, I can be a better problem solver with far less stress than those whose broad boundaries keep them in narrow spaces.

5. Wisdom is Actually Really Simple

Because I Have Experienced, I Have Learned. Because I Learned, I am Wise.

It's just that easy.  And exactly that painful.

If you don't dare, you'll never understand, and understanding is the basis of all the great things humanity wishes for itself.  You must go into the scary, dangerous places to find treasure.  And this goes double for the places that the world around you keeps telling you is scary.  Don't follow in the fears of others.

6. I Have a Low Tolerance for Bullshit in My Personal Life

Ya know, I might cast a low-level curse on you just because you annoy me.  That's what the Evil Eye is all about, so don't start getting high and mighty on me!  I'll tell you like it is and then, if that's not enough, I'll mess up your world.  Simple as that. 

Witches must realize that who we are in magical terms is the same damn person we are in the mundane.  If you're a horrible bitch to me when you see me in the neighborhood, but then look down your nose at the thought of hexing because you'd never taint your soul that way, you've totally missed the train on your own ethical code.  And though you revile mine, I'm actually living by it.  Go figure.

So there's the rub--my love of all shades of magic can be unpopular in certain occult circles, but I dole out wickedness in my magic to the same degree that I do as a regular person.  I wouldn't run up to a stranger and punch them in the face, and neither would I cast a curse on someone who had done me no wrong.

The simple fact is that if you are in my way enough, bad enough, mean enough, and detrimental enough for me to bitch you out in regular life, then you can definitely expect a healthy dose of black magic coming your way.  Consider yourself warned.

7. However, I Have a Much Higher Tolerance for It in My Professional Work

This is where being objective really comes into play.

I'm not going to agree to curse your cousin Debbie just because she made you look stupid at the last family reunion.  Get your shit together.  I will offer advice--maybe a free tarot reading, too--but I'm not ruining people's lives over your small, unpleasant experience. 

Unless you pay me really well--then we'll do this thing!

And there's the other side of being a business--I'm selling what you're buying and not the other way around.  I set my limits on what I'll do with my magic, naturally, but sometimes the line drawn can be moved as the price rises.  I've turned down offers to blight, to disease, to tear relationships apart--and I've said no.  And then again, for other situations, for much, much higher fees, I've done all those things and been pleased at the results.



Real morality is complex and real freedom is almost frightful.  The level of accountability that comes with both is too much for some people, and defiantly too much for some witches.  But for those of us who tread outside the norm and dare to find our own way to the great repository of wisdom waiting for us all, the rewards are too great to ignore, the call to adventure too thrilling to let pass by unanswered.


Images from:
giphy.com/gifs/strength-tarot-cards
folkmagicfestival.com/2016-folk-magic-festival-schedule-of-events
gothicandamazing.tumblr.com

Witch Tip--Formulas: Hot Foot Powder

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

Continuing in the vein of my adoration for Hoodoo is this week's offering: Hot Foot powder.  If you've never heard if it before, sit yourself down and get ready.  If you have, well, watch where you walk.

Do you have shitty neighbors?  Hot Foot them. 

Does your co-worker annoy you, sabotage you, or get in your way?  Hot foot them. 

Is that ex-friend still hanging around talking smack about you to others?  Hot Foot them. 


The swifter you clear out what threatens to derail your success, the easier it is to achieve it.



Now before you go at me with a wagging finger and disapproving glare for giving unwelcome people the boot, consider how affecting they can be.  Consider the stress they cause, the ensuing arguments, misunderstandings, and undue tension just from their presence.  You're not killing anybody, merely relocating them.  That can actually be a good thing, if they choose to see it that way.

But that's not your problem.  They are your problem and the solution is to make them disappear.  So here we go.

This is another formula without exact measurements and ingredients, but there are a few herbs that must be present in the basic recipe: hot pepper, sulphur, and salt.  Everything else--including the amounts--is a matter of individual tradition and taste.  I've seen others use High John root, Black Mustard, gunpowder (to make it work even faster), wasps' nests (to make it meaner), and the toxic Bluestone.  Here is the one I use:


Hot Foot Powder

2 pt. Cayenne pepper
2 pt. Black pepper
1 pt. Sulphur
1 pt. Sea salt
  1 pt. Asafetida

Grind all these together while focusing on people in its presence leaving, running, dashing away from you.  They are helplessly swept away, carried away, driven to far places where you can't see or hear them.  Sprinkle this carefully on an enemy's door step or in their shoes so they "hot foot it" out of your life.  Use with care.



Now go get 'em!



Quick Link--Free Graphology Book!

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels:


Graphology, in case you weren't aware, is the study of one's handwriting (also called "handwriting analysis") to determine the writer's personality.  Every nuance of the script holds information about one's outlook, goals, and secret feelings.  Though not actually a form of divination, it does have similarities with skills familiar to the occultist like tea leaf reading.  If you'd like to give it a try, the Internet Archive has uploaded this 1922 classic from Clifford Howard.

What's more, because it was scanned page by page, you can see the original handwriting examples as they actually appear in the book while also enjoying a true to life paper experience (something in which book-lovers like myself take a special delight).

Graphology: How to Read Character from Handwriting, with Full Explanation of the Science, and Many Examples Fully Analyzed

Whether you're a newcomer to the practice or this piques a long-time interest, Graphology is a fascinating read that should not be missed!



Magical Fan-Fic: Bewitching the Farmer's Market

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , , ,

Let's be clear: I love occult shops.  There was a time when I, like many other practitioners, was penniless and couldn't afford anything in them.  And there was a time when I lived so deep in nowhere-land that, even if I could afford it, none were available to me (and yes, that means I lived *gasp* pre-internet for most of my life).

Now that I am a few years older, wiser, better traveled, and more prosperous, I take every opportunity I can to slow down and walk every inch of the occult shops I find.  They're always overflowing with inspiration and you're certain to come out ready to cast your fingers off!

But what if you're stuck in my former state?  What if rarity and poverty removes such opportunities?  Then it's time to take a trip to the mundane farmer's market instead and look at it with a magical eye!






Bewitching the Farmer's Market




Farmer's markets are an interesting space: part supermarket, part craft show, part bake sale--they are certain to have the unique stamp of the part of the country in which they're found.  However, there are some items that just seem to be standards in the field (and those are the ones we're concerned with here) but as you walk through, keep that creative mind working on ways to incorporate into your work the vast number of wares you find at your market.  You may be surprised!


Fresh Eggs

Eggs are a classic for cleansings of home, self, and spirit.  They're also oddly effective at cursing, and fresh laid eggs are required for this purpose almost exclusively, most likely so that the egg doesn't retain any connections to your own home.

See more about the magic of eggs here.


Honey

Nearly any farmer's market will have a stall with local honey for sale.  It's both prudent and thrifty to get it here rather than the more expensive, questionable varieties from grocery stores.  For a caster, this is a real boon.  Not only are Honey Jars a versatile, effective, simple spell, but honey is an additive in a great many other spells and formulae.  

  • Cover yourself in honey and then take a lavender bath to draw men to you.  
  • Mix warm honey and Damiana leaves and take a spoonful when you want to rev up your sexual appetite. 
  • Add it to any type of spell to make its effects stick and last longer.  
  • Turn a jar into Cunningham's Love Honey (See "Incense, Oils and Brews" by Scott Cunningham) to keep the peace in your home and for adding comfort and harmony to tea and treats you share. 
  • Offer a dish of honey to the Gods or any spirits you wish to honor

Live Herbs

In my area, springtime is announced with roadside stands at Amish farms, each one filled with racks of cheery green herb and flower seedlings.  If you don't have access to long, rural Pennsylvania roads like I do, then the farmer's market is the perfect, compact alternative. Look for herb garden standards that are versatile in magic, like basil, rosemary, mints, and lavender.  

I've also had success finding organic hand-picked dried herbs, too, so keep your eyes open for new additions to your collection.


Poppet Roots

Witchcraft makes good use of humble objects, and carving roots into human form is a prime example.  Potatoes and onions--onions most often substituting for the target's heart--are ideal for this purpose, and similar roots (especially if they carry some feeling familiar to the target of your spell) work equally well.  Give turnips, rutabagas, and yams a go!


Homemade Beauty Products

Here's also a good place to find herbal, organic, handmade items like bath salts, oils, creams, perfumes, and scrubs.  With a little focus, you can bewitch that berry red lip gloss to help you speak boldly.  Boost that body scrub with some herbs and essential oils to cleanse both your skin and your spirit.  

It's handy to have someone else do the heavy lifting when it comes to carefully prepared products that you may not have the equipment or time to make yourself.  But the magic?  That you can definitely do!


Your own local market will have its own blend of stalls that may look totally different from what I've seen.  Each area offers to its patrons what grows best and what sells best, so watch for what makes your own hometown unique.  Here are some interesting additions you can come across:

  • Hand woven baskets
  • Potted plants
  • Handcarved spoons
  • Wooden boxes and trunks
  • Homespun wool and batting for cord magic
  • Vintage jewelry, especially the 60's-70's variety for their generous use of gemstones
  • Some markets even have a stall or two with genuine witchcraft items, mostly blessings, cleansing formulae, and tokens for good luck.  What a find that would be!

As a bonus, remember that markets aren't just about the things but the people behind them.  The surest way to be accepted in your community (yes, even as a living-out-loud witch) is to listen to and interact with those who have a hand in creating the very structure of that community.  Buy and sell, barter and trade, seek services and offer them.  You can end up the official witch of your town--sans pitchforks--and it can all start here.







6 Steps to Creating Your Dream Magical Workroom

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,


  

There is nothing quite like being able to come into a room of your very own, shut the door, and with one long breath, take in the essence of everything meaningful to you.  To say that such a space has a positive impact on your magic is an understatement!





Unfortunately, too many rooms are sadly wasted when their owners set out to make them magical.  Proud witches will show you photos of spaces full of cheap, pretty knickknacks and handfuls of vaguely occult cultural references from around the world.  That doesn't reflect them.  Hell, that doesn't reflect anyone; it's only scratching the surface of what they think they should be doing. 

So that you don't become another practitioner who knows only how to technically meet the base requirements for a workroom, we're going to go over some simple tips to make something special, personal, and functional that will set your magic on fire the moment you open the door.  You ready?

Step 1: What's Your Function?

Here's where we just ask ourselves a ton of questions, some of which are:

  • Is this shared space?  If so, how often will both owners be using it?  If it's shared by function (such as in a bedroom), at what times of day will the room be engaged in each? 
  • Do you need room enough for rituals? 
  • Will you host guests or clients here? 
  • Do you have coven items that need to be stored? 
  • Are you making and/or selling items out of this space? 

Each of these questions opens up new needs for space.  Think carefully on the kinds of work you do and what is really required for each of them.  Will you need a table for divination, a permanent altarspace, room for candle burning and petitions, and somewhere to meditate?  Carefully plot out your floor plan to house all of this comfortably and manageably.

And that's not all.  What kind of furniture do you need?  No, I don't think spindly end tables and display cases are real furniture here.  This is not the time to just plop in any little bric-a-brac that doesn't fit in the rest of your house.  Make this space really work for you.  Pick one or two solid, functional pieces that you'll need all the time.  Because of my writer/librarian/antiquarian vibe, mine has always been my roll-top desk.  Everything else revolved around it and it set the tone for the whole room.  Now that that desk has found more featured space in our new home's library, the focal point of my workroom is its wall of built in glass-front cabinets (the perfect way to showcase my occult book collection!).  This means that the tone has changed even though I have most of the same stuff otherwise.

Step 2: Plan Your Storage

No matter what you plan to do in your room, you will need to store a bunch of things you're not using at the moment.  While open baskets and plastic tote boxes might look good in a magazine, it doesn't take long for them to look dusty and drab in real life.  This is especially true of a room that you won't be showing visitors.  How often do you dust your closet?  How tidy is your basement?  Because these spaces aren't shared with visitors and we don't spend much living time in them, they can quickly look as insignificant as we treat them.  You don't want this to be the future of your magical workroom, so plan accordingly to make it easy to clean, organize, and keep looking smart.

Consider carefully the space directly around the main pieces of furniture you'll be using.  How far can you reach--above, below, and on both sides--from the seat of your desk?  How about your meditation space?  Or the table you use for consulting with clients? What will you need when you're sitting here?  Combine this information to get an idea of the kind of storage you can arrange close at hand. 

Think sturdy, simple, stylish storage: drawers, labeled boxes, files, folders, shelving, pin boards, blackboards, bookcases.  You can stick to muted colors and finishes that go with everything (black, earth tones, wood, etc.) or you can work within a theme of colors that go with the walls and flooring.  It isn't necessary to become an interior decorator for the sake of this one room, but you do want to evoke a specific feeling as well as utility.

Step 3: Keep It Clean.  No, Really!

This pairs with the last step.  You don't have to scrub until it shines, but your space should be easy to work in, move around in, and feel light when you step in that door.  Remember that the goal of creating this room is so that you can get inspired and then get to work.  Don't let this be just another source of stress; it's your vacation from stress.

One of my favorite things to do is tidy up my workroom.  Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but it's surprisingly rewarding for a fairly simple task.  Every three months or so take some time out to assess how the place looks.  Put away what you've been using, straighten the books and arrange the components on your shelves, dust and wipe down surfaces, polish a bit of wood, sweep the floors and clean the windows.  I guarantee you'll feel the difference immediately!

Step 4: Make It Yours

What kind of caster are you?  This might be an easy question to answer if you only look at the surface.  "I use a lot of herbs and herbal formulas" would be my answer.  But now you must go deeper.  What's the vibe you put out?  How do you appear to others (or how do you want to appear)?  What are you most known for?  What impression do you give about your innermost self?  My own might be that I'm a combination of librarian, counselor, research scientist, and artist.  I'm a rule-follower with the exception of moral rules, which I find highly subjective.  My space works with my love of beauty and ugliness, order and chaos, and lots and lots of knowledge.  These are really great thoughts to play with as you explore the potential in your space.

Step 5: Fill It with Magic

What really sparks your magical flame?  Think about all the possible sources of inspiration: the colors that excite you, designs and patterns that have that certain something, dreamlike images and objects, people you admire, cultures and time periods that find their way into your work.  Try to cultivate a physical representation of the way strong magic feels to you, an atmosphere of occult luminescence.
And speaking of light, this would be a good time to figure out what kind of lighting your space will need.  Not only is the right lighting important for preventing eyestrain when reading (something we practitioners spend a lot of time doing!), it's also got quite a power to set the mood.  Think of it as the setting for a jewel--complementary and accentuating.  Whether your magic prefers a soft, ambient glow, a single fireside-style radiance that forms dynamic shadows, or the cool bright glint of a schoolroom, you can find lamps that hang, recess, dim, pivot, and sparkle just right for your space.    

Step 6: Make Room for the Future

So now that your space reflects where you are, you'll want to keep a little opening for where you will be.  Doing so in this physical way can inspire you to do the same in a mental, emotional way.  Life should never be so full that there's no place left for wonder, dreaming, possibility, or adventure. 

The most obvious way to do this is by having more bookshelves than you currently have books to fill, as well as sparsely decorating other spaces like tables and shelving.  Maintain corkboards and "inspiration boards" with ideas for new forms of magic to try, objects to make, places to visit, and the like.  Create space for writing in your BoS and working on long term projects.  Make this a place to allow your mind to wander about what kind of witch you will be someday. 

So now it's time to get out pencil and paper and start working up your own plans.  Remember to go with what gives off the right feeling.  Follow that up with the right function and you will have a space that can easily be the envy of who you were yesterday and the foundation of who you'll be tomorrow.



Images from:
Photos of my own workroom

Witch Tip--Shortcut: Quickie Spell Candles (With Photos!)

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

I seem to be the only witch who isn't amazed by the idea of using birthday candles for spells.  There are tons of reasons why it's dumb, but here's just a few:

  1. First, it's unlikely that you have only two minutes in which to cast a spell and this is what you chose.  You must realize that there is a big wide world of magic at your disposal and many varieties of spellcasting are quicker than candle spells.  Next time, think about spoken charms, formulas, knots, sigils, or even the use of thoughtforms and golems.  You can do better!
  2. Birthday candles don't come in many colors, and what you can find are either pastel, covered in glitter, or decorated with other colors in grooves or stripes.  You need a gray candle?  A brown one?  Good luck.
  3. You can't use them for some of the most interesting and powerful methods of candle spells, namely inscribing and loading.  I guess you can dress and dust them, but you'll spend twice as long doing so as it takes for the candle to burn.
  4. Unless you're sticking that thing in a cake, get ready to have a hard time making it stand upright the whole time.
  5. If you've tried to get around any of these problems just so you can keep saying that they're a workable substitute, you're trying too hard. 

So, now that I've got that off my chest, here's a better way.  If you simply must have candles for your spell, plan ahead and make tea light spell candles.






They are small, portable, fast burning, inscribable, stand securely on their own, and you can easily make them any color you want.  Here's how:


  • Pop out the candle from its tin

  • Remove the wick and set aside

  • Fill a frying pan with 1/2 inch of water and heat on medium-low on the stove top
  • Put the empty tins in the pan.  They should float on the water at this point.

  • Dye your candles to match your intention: Sprinkle shavings from crayons in each tin (or, if you're a pro like me, just add liquid candle dye)

  • Add a few drops of condition oils and/or powders or finely ground herbs to match your intention
  • Drop into each tin the chunk of white wax
  • Allow the warm water to slowly melt the wax (without boiling! It's too messy and can flip over your tins)

  • Once all the wax is melted, and the color is to your liking, remove from the heat and let cool
  • Before the candles solidify, put the wicks back in the center of each one.

  • Sprinkle each candle with powders or ground herbs.  Make sure that the surface is cooled and solid or everything you add will just sink to the bottom.  I like to include some glitter, too!

  • Now you're ready to cast a quickie spell any time, anywhere in style and with results as strong as a full-sized candle!


You might like to check out the following sites for more about candleburning:

White Magic Alchemy
Original Botanica





Images from:
my photos

Quick Link--Free Book: Dictionary of Occult Symbols

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels:



Free Dictionary of Occult Symbols PDF


A classic of its kind, The Dictionary of Occult, Hermetic, and Alchemical Sigils is a must-have for your magical library.


In this orderly (and you know how I love that!) collection of symbols can be found not only a great deal of rarely discussed information and origins but also all known variations, several magical alphabets, and an extensive bibliography for further reading.  You will want a printed copy of this, post haste!*







*Note, however, that in a scanning quirk, page 291 appears upside down.  If you make your own, switch it before binding.

New Mini-Series! Magical "Fanfic"ing Non-Fiction

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,

After a rousing discussion on the endless   friend of mine at work presented me with an interesting concept: anything can be turned into fanfiction.  When I noted that I only write non-fiction, she doubled down on her statement.  She could most certainly--given time and a quiet room--create fanficton even from writing which has no characters and no narrative.  Wow.  Those are strong words and I ruminated over that idea for a long time.  I might just take her up on that, actually.

But now I think I understand how I can do something in a similar way, though I be only a non-fic reader and writer; I will give the same treatment to morph non-magical articles into magical ones.  So, in honor of the person who presented the idea to me, Melanie, and the workplace we share, I'll be using one of our company newsletters as the basis for the next few weekly articles.  While the origins of each of them are purely mundane, the information I add to them is all witchcraft!  Enjoy!


4 Tips to Make Spell Planning Easier

Planning spells ahead of time means that you get the optimum associations while panicking less over the major issues in your life.  You can make this the quickest part of your magical arrangements with the use of these easy suggestions.

Tip 1: Gather a Wide Array of Spells

The best way to be prepared is to have plenty of options.  Read lots of spellbooks; keep an exemplary collection and read it thoroughly.  If you can do this, you'll have plenty of ways to deal with any situation that may arise.  As you read through each book, take note of spells which address the kind of problems you're likely to have.  Keep these notes organized and ready to use, should you have need of them.


Tip 2: Maintain Regular Planning

Once a month (or more, depending on your style), take some time to check in on your life and goals. 
Write out the ideal of each of these problems/opportunities and use that information to choose spells
to cast in the coming month.  

Small steps can make this more efficient.  For example, arrange the things you want to cast for in columns based on the moon phase which has rulership over that issue.  From there you can decide what sign would best serve it.  This list can then be used as a guide when marking the spells in your almanac.


Tip 3: Make Ahead Some "Anytime" Magic, Too

As you know, I love making and using formulas.  This is because they only really need timed when they are made; it is much less important what is going on while they're being used. 
Things like formulas, spoken charms, sigils, and talismans are the "snacks" of magic.  You can grab
them on your way out the door, keep them handy just in case you find yourself without any downtime that day, and use them as a minor stepping stone on the way to a greater goal. 

When you find yourself flush with spare time on a good moon (and it does happen occasionally), make some formulas, write out some seals or charms--do something that you will find useful at a later date.  It will matter.


Tip 4: Keep a Calendar Only for Magic

Whether you use an almanac, set alarms on your computer or other device, or just jot down your plans on a wall calendar or datebook, maintaining the witch side of your life in a dedicated way will make things easier and more orderly. 

If your favorite method doesn't include enough information for detailed timing, try adding these free online resources: 

Lunarium (especially good for moon phase and sign for any given date)

TimeAndDate.com (sunrise and sunset times for working with planetary hours, plus customizable and printable moon calendars)


And if you'd like to really go in style, check out these amazing items from across the pond:







Images from:
Shwellness Summer 2016 (edited by Andrea Rogers)
jconline.com/story/news/education
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Witch Tip--Unpleasant Truths: Books Don't Have to Protect Your From Yourself

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

This is something that I simply cannot say enough about: the magical disclaimer.

Now, I understand the thought process behind the standards in this category, such as the psychic hotline's "For entertainment purposes only" and the herbalist's "This information is not meant as a substitute for professional medical treatment."  The law is not written for casters but for the public safety from injury and scams.  So, I got that.  No contest, that kind of thing should be part of our common compliance.

But then there are authors who take it upon themselves to shield their readership from all possible damage, even if only their own stupidity.  "Be sure you are holding the candle securely so you don't get burned by the melting wax."  Well, duh.  If I'm not competent enough to keep hot wax from pouring all over myself from one little candle then I probably shouldn't be dabbling with the framework of reality, should I?  Or, for that matter, opening a book upon which I could get a paper cut.  Can I even read the words you've written? 

Perhaps tidbits like these are just little fillers.  Maybe the author was trying to stretch out his/her sentences so that they felt more dynamic than the short, bland phrases they are without any fluff attached.  If so, they should learn better technique, not just stuff packing peanuts around the core of their information.  We can handle it uncut!

Then there's the authors who want to make sure we don't do bad things with the grand witchcraft to which--they reassure us--they are privy.  I've read more than one author who went on at length about all the black magic they knew, but were determined not to share for fear of the awful results upon our innocent little karma and auras and...other mystical stuff...hell, I'm bored just typing it!  Either bring everything you've got to the page or don't.  I don't want your hints and suggestions at what you aren't writing!  (I feel that I'm in the majority on this one unless, of course, you're one of those awful readers who give one-star reviews to witchcraft books that don't "follow the Rede."  For the love of Benji, people, stop doing that!)

So, here's the deal: I'm in the process of trying to get myself in print.  It's a loooong process, even just for e-books but much, much more so if I will manage to get signed by a publisher, so don't get all in a tizzy just yet.  But I promise you that when I do, and you get your hands on a fresh copy of my book, you will see exactly ZERO condemnations of how you choose to use the information inside.  I'm not going to tell you that stove tops are hot or that knives are sharp or any of that.  You're on your own, kids!  I trust you.




Images from:
comediva.com

Quick Link--Free Labels for Beautifying Your Jars and Bottles

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels:



Free Vintage Label Download


A beautiful room deserves beautiful things and your magical room is no exception.  Organize in style with these classic--and original--labels for all your herbs, formulae, and spell components!

I won't keep you here chatting; go print these now (and you can even add the original font included, as well)!






Witch Tip--Easy Herb: Juniper

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,



This is one herb that I feel absolutely must be in my cupboard.  I know for sure now, because I've been without for some time and it's driving me mad!  My local herb shop closed so all my purchases have to be through the mail, which I am slow to adopt.  So here I am, juniper-less and imploring you not to follow my example.

So why is this one plant so essential?

First, for my fellow incense and powder makers, it doesn't seem to matter much if you use the berries or greens, as both are highly scented and carry magical associations. 

And its magical associations are so useful that you'll be calling on this herb time and time again: protection from all manner of harm--including evil emanations, ghosts, accidents, illness, and thieves--plus blessing, inspiring and holding love, improving sexual relations, heightening the psychic senses, and breaking curses.

Now, you and I had both better head out to fill our supplies!




















Images from:

roundthecauldron.blogspot.com

Quick Link--Be Your Best Witchy Self Today!

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels:



13 Tips for Being the Best Witch You Can Be


I found this list some time ago and absolutely fell in love!  Take some quiet time with it and see how it relates to you and your current practice.  Write a short version on a post-it note for your car dashboard, your bathroom mirror, your office desk.  Write about it in your BoS.  Talk with other practitioners about it.  Journal and expound on your thoughts of each of the thirteen points made.  How can you make this advice work into your life? What can you add to it?

No matter what you decide to do with what you see here--keep it, toss it, ruminate or rage about it--let it get you thinking.  That is, after all, the highest activity of seeking betterment of any kind.




Do You Really Need a Magical Almanac?

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

Um...unless you've never read a word I've written before--yes!  An emphatic yes for always having an up-to-date almanac at hand.  But since there's so much more to say on the topic, let's talk about all the reasons why you should have one.

To be clear, I'm talking about any almanac designed for practitioners (so, no, not the Farmer's).  I have my preferences, naturally, but any of those on the market have the same basic set-up and therefore are all amazing.  No worries if you haven't chosen one for yourself; I wrap up with a list and links of those that I've discovered.

 

1.  Not Just an Almanac

While the dated pages are the real reason you bought the thing, everything else is simply amazing.  The rest of the book is filled with articles and bits of information that can range from herbal correspondences, seasonal recipes, magical handcraft ideas, rituals, simple spells, q&a--you name it.  It's super handy to grab this for a quick read while you're currently between books, waiting for the next issue of Witches and Pagans, or just have enough time for something short.

Plus you'll be keeping up with the current topics in the magical community. 

Plus they're usually written by big name authors (I highly recommend scanning through the front page of contributor bios before buying.  It's weirdly fun for me to get excited over one of my favorite authors being in the latest almanac and saving their article for last, like a super sweet dessert.  I know, I know--but I did admit already that it was weird).


2.  Cast More Spells in General

When you're able to really think about all the things you'd like to see happen in your future, and then plan for them in order of importance, you're more likely to see those great things manifest.  You may be thinking about how important it is to cast a spell for that possible raise at work, but to see it written down--a specific date and time--means that you have an appointment to show up, cast big, and get things done. 

What's more, when you take a look at the current month and see it looking sparse, you might start to consider the spells you can cast for the less-than-urgent issues in your life.  This means that you'll work magic into your life on a more consistent basis and you'll also whittle down the great to-do list of things you'd like to see happen in your life. 

As an aside, I'd like to mention that it is not only a practitioner's option to use magic, it is their duty to use it.  To have in your possession a tool which could vastly improve your life and the lives of everyone around you, and to use it only when everything else fails, is an error somewhere between stupidity and selfishness.  I do not subscribe to the notion that spells are only for the really big dangers in life; they are for that, but also for the little things--the everyday wonders and blunders, the hopes and goals we want for our futures, the pleasant things we want right now, the sweet burst of happiness and accomplishment that keeps us going in life.  Magic is, in short, for everyone and every desire.  If you want it, make it happen.


3.  Get Better at Good Timing

Almanacs generally have timing information in the back so it's a one-stop reference for how to get the very best from your spells.  Time based on moon phase, sign, day of the week, planetary hour, or any combination thereof, with ease. 

I especially love how timing by the moon offers so many options.  (At this point, you may like to swing by the shop and pick up my timing chart, Magic in the Moon Signs) This means that not only can you choose which exact aspect of the issue you want to be at the forefront of your magic, but doing so gives you a number of days in the month to choose from, so that your spell doesn't compete with other events in your life.

So, let's imagine this: Nancy is an artist and she wants to cast a spell to make her latest public project a success.  She could choose to cast on a Thursday when the moon is in Pisces to ensure that the project will be a financial success with many generous backers.  Or she could decide that it's more important that the art itself succeed, making a deep and personal connection to her audience.  In that case, she might like to try a Monday Sagittarius, Taurus, or Cancer moon.  If she just wanted to be able to get her point across without hindrance--leaving the audience and philanthropists to think what they will--she might opt for Sunday spell under Virgo or Libra.  And that's before she even decides on planetary hours.  That's a lot of options! 


4.  The Ideal Way to Keep Track of Your (Possibly Clandestine) Second Life

If you're like me, you wear many hats and sometimes it takes quite the hat rack to keep them all straight.  Keeping an almanac as a separate daily planner from the one I use to track dentist appointments and overtime at work is a real advantage to me.  I can use it for to-do lists when getting ready for coven workshops and meetings, orchestrate the days of tasks leading up to each of the sabbats, and watch for the ideal times to make use of celestial changes.

But what about all the practitioners who must keep their witchiness separate?  There are many folks out there who, for one reason or another, choose not to be public about their practices and, for that reason, would benefit from a small, personal place to arrange their work.  Not everyone feels comfortable when a visiting neighbor sees that, by your kitchen calendar, tonight is your Ladies of the Burning Star meeting.   


5. Quickly Chart Your Manifesting Time and Rate of Success

While this sort of information isn't important to every caster, it's a big one for professionals and similarly-minded personal practitioners.  Of course, knowing how long it takes for a spell to do its job is something we should all care about because there might come a time when exact dates are essential to your desires.  Imagine leisurely using up your last two weeks to plan how you want to cast for a raise at work without the knowledge that your prior money spells took a month before you saw results! 


6. It Can Also Be a Magical Diary

I have a filing cabinet drawer stuffed with my old almanacs purely for this reason; I just can't bear to throw them away!  I think about clearing them all out at times, but then I pick up one and flip through, seeing entries like "Tuesday--Protection: talismans, smudge, doorstep wash" and "DDTM ointment made" and "The Poke Root spell on the 4th may have a cruel twist; the Jackball is filled with moths who died in the candle flame", and I get a twitch of pleasant nostalgia and put them back in the drawer unharmed.

It is a sadly underappreciated aspect of magical practice to look back and reflect.  We should always be aware not only of where we are going, but from whence we have come.  There is something quite satisfying in reading over your old spells, remembering the trials that brought about the need for the spell and also the triumphant calm which followed its success.  You were a different person then, but everything that that You went through has led you here. 


7. There's a Bunch to Choose From

If you're a fan of variety, you'll feel right at home here.  There are so many general and specific almanacs on the shelves that you can try them all until you find the one that is just right for you.  Check these out:

Witches Almanac

The Witches Companion

Witches' Spell-a-Day Almanac

Magical Almanac

Sabbats Almanac

Herbal Almanac

Sun Sign Book

Moon Sign Book

Witches Datebook



Images from:
rebloggy.com
cosgeek.blogspot.com

Witch Tip--Charm: To Summon the Wind

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

Here in central Pennsylvania, August is hot and humid.  We're right in the midst of a sticky, sunny summer with few reprieves and fewer rains. 

It can be hard to stand the heat (or worse, work in it!), so here's a little traditional Malayan charm (as recorded in Walter William Skeat's "Malay Magic" of 1900) to cheer you while you're outdoors.




To Summon the Wind

Come hither, Sir, come hither, my Lord,
Let down your locks so long and flowing.


Quick Link: Focus is Key; Here's 10 Easy Ways to Get It!

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels:



10 Websites that Will Help Drown Out the Noise So You Can Stay Focused



I am fortunate to have a room that I can dedicate to my practice.  There, I can carefully craft every aspect of the way it looks, smells, and feels to be exactly what I need to feel confident and competent as a witch.  The one thing I can't always control is how it sounds.  And there are times when that is all that seems to matter.

You see, I have a husband and kids and pets and they all have lives that create varying levels of noise in our house.  There's phone conversations, running in and out of the house, pots and pans clanging in the kitchen, talking, laughing, radio music, and movies playing on TV.  We live near a road which connects to a highway, so there's traffic noise as well as the occasional emergency vehicle on their way to the hospitals in the city. 

When I lay it all out like that, it makes this place seem like an endless chaos, which it is not.  But when I'm trying to concentrate, that's all I can think.  When the noise is all I hear, the chances of me making effective magic--despite having every other prerequisite--go right down to nothing.  And your own household might be far louder than mine!

To that end, I offer these helpful and creative sites that have but one goal: instantly block out the world so you can get things done.  And they do it well.  I'm a longtime Coffeetivity user for writing manuscripts, but have become a recent fan of Soundrown and Focus@Will for magic as well.  

Give one a whirl the next time you're working spells, writing in your BoS, trying out mental exercises, creating magical items, or compounding formulas.  You'll be amazed at the results!







Chasing Sex and Magic: The Right Way to Court the Most Elusive Types of Inspiration

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,


It’s a quiet night at home.  I pass by the window on my way to sit with another cup of tea and catch a brief glimpse of the world outside.  Dark streets are painted a glossy ebony black with the rain that has been falling in silent sheets all day.  Jewel-like studs of color pop from shop signs, traffic lights and give a heartbeat to the otherwise lifeless, motionless scene. 

And then it hits me--like a wave of hot water, like a ping in the back of my mind, like a sound I can’t place and now must struggle to connect in my memories—I’m suddenly alive and aware…and I want magic.  I have no urgent needs, no passionate desires to fulfill, not even a line on my list of spells I’d like to cast, but I want magic.  I want to feel it, to turn it and change it into something new, something I can call my own.  I can’t tell why but it’s happened and I can’t turn away.  





Has this happened to you?  If you’ve been casting long enough that you have successfully managed your needs and wants, then you probably have faced this many times.  To some, it’s just another wonder of the weird world of witchcraft.  To others, though, it’s a strange and confusing feeling.  Maybe we want it all the time; maybe we just want to be able to call it at will. Mostly, though, we get neither.  In a way, it’s like sex in a comfortable, long-term relationship; it’s not the top of your obsessions anymore, but every once in a while, you go wild for it!  As a witch, you’re riding a capricious wave of magical inspiration.

The flip-side of this analogy, however, is also true.  Too much familiarity and you become listless and disinterested.  There’s no spark left and you aren’t sure how to regain it or even how you got it in the first place.  You’re stuck in the doldrums of magical inspiration.

As you can see, things can get a little tricky when you’re talking about what revvs us up for both a good round of spellcasting and a roll in the hay!  How can we possibly maneuver this mercurial field?  Is it even possible to bring to it any kind of order and regularity?  Perhaps, to make things clearer, I can talk about these two topics at the same time.


Don’t Expect, Speculate

Both with sex and magic, we lose the fuel to get started if we stress about it.  If you say “I’ve only cast one spell in two months.  What’s wrong with me?” or “My work should be more impressive by now!” you’re just squashing every expansive, positive thought that once fired you up as a caster.  Let expectations go.

Instead of focusing on what isn’t going on, dig deep into what is.  What are you feeling right now?  What have you been thinking about most often lately?  Where do your daydreams lead you?  Remember that magic isn’t just for making sure your bills are paid and you shake the flu in time for your New Year’s party; it’s about finding fulfillment and happiness.  That can be big things and small.

This works in the bedroom, too.  When you set rules for yourself or your partner on how often, how long, in what position, etc. can be classified as “real sex” or “good sex,” get ready to be miserable.  If you’re connecting, it’s real.  If you’re enjoying it, it’s good.  Forget the rest and go with it. 


Start Keeping Track

                If you’re anything like me, “the other day” can refer to any span of time between yesterday and 6 months ago.  So when I say I cast a spell the other day, you might have to allow some give in the timeline.

 Same thing goes when you’re thinking about how long it’s been since you had a really great, deep magical experience.  You might think that you haven’t had anything like that in years, but that might not be the case.  This is where I tell all my students how important it is to record all your spells—from the fancy rites to the itty-bitties—it all counts.  When you see it on paper, you’ll probably realize that you use it much more often than you thought. 

For me, I use several spoken charms every day, test some new ones a few times a week, regularly use formulas like powders and tinctures, work “pushes” and other thought spells, light dressed candles on my days off work…  So it’s not a cast circle and a blazing cauldron, but it definitely is magic. 
In your relationship, you can (tactfully) do the same thing.  A common complaint in married arguments is the rarity of sex in the relationship, but it’s not often that anyone remembers exact dates.  Taking the time to really examine how often you two actually do the deed can not only stop the fight before it starts (if it’s more than remembered) but also give you a clear picture of the situation (if it’s significantly less).

Experiment

Now I don’t mean that you should run to the bookstore and grab the biggest book of ceremonial magic they have just because it’s an avenue you haven’t yet explored.  That is not actually experimentation, it’s just recklessness.  Don’t let anyone tell you that’s how to do things because you’ll end up far more frustrated and disheartened than anything positive you might have gained from the experience.

Instead, ruminate on some ideas that have made you prick up your ears in conversation, books whose titles you’ve heard again and again but have never read, interesting tools and components you’ve seen in shops.  Be curious again, explore with a sense of wonderment, be new to something.  Follow your curiosity and you will never lack inspiration.

When we’re talking about sex this could not be more important!  Never leap into something because you read in Cosmo that men love it.  Most of the time you can bet that your guy won’t.  Also, just as likely, you won’t be comfortable with have to repeat it from now on.  So stick to the outer edges of what you already know and go from there.


Keep Showing Up

This is definitely the toughest advice a person can receive.  Writers hear it all the time: “A writer writes.”  If you want to be inspired, to feel that rush that got you here in the first place, you’re going to need to be where the action is as often as possible.  A lover loves.  A spellcaster casts spells.  It’s as simple—and painfully difficult—as that.

Even when you don’t feel like it, even when you think you should wait because the “perfect moment” is going to appear at any moment, get involved.  Do what puts you in the center of your witchy universe and stay there as long as you’re able.  That gray dusty lightbulb above your head will erupt in light when you’re not expecting it.  Only then will you see that it happened because you had your hand on the switch the whole time.

The truth is that a witch is a lover.  We’re smitten with our own being, the lightness of being a human animal engaged with the world, the power we share with everything around us.  Our spells

and all their complex intertwining of forms, words, colors, and thought are an affair we have with some secret force, and each time we meet this mysterious paramour, we are excited to see what glorious offspring we might bear. 
There is nothing separate from magic and there’s nothing separate from sex.  Sex is life giving, life affirming.   Magic is life building and life expanding.  You are infused with both right now, sitting in that chair, wearing same shirt.  You had it this morning while brushing your teeth and you’ll have it tonight when you turn out the lights.  Even in the most mundane moments, without even trying, there’s something powerful stirring in you and you can use it whenever you wish. 
Imagine what you could do if you did wish.





Image from:

creativeboom.com/inspiration/dark-fantasy-photography-draws-inspiration-from-magical-books-and-films/
           
bld-in-mt.blogspot.com/2014/05/
favim.com/image/3909120/

Witch Tip: Seals for All Occassions

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

The use of magical seals goes back to at least the 1700's, with simpler examples extending back much further.  Stylized and decorative, seals force the viewer to imagine its purpose more than recognize it.  If I drew a heart shape and put my beloved's name inside it, anyone picking it up (including my target!  Eeep!) would know my intention.  Instead, by using a seal (and possibly adding only the target's initials), a viewer might assume the image has magical importance, see the attention given to perfecting the figure in detail, and find a mysterious value that either brings them to a state of curiosity, fear, or both, but they will not know what it does.  That, to me, makes the magic of the seal a form which no practitioner should ever be without.

Now, you may be wondering, how the hell you're going to make a shortcut out of something that is already widely available and public domain such as magical seals. 

(Psst!  If you weren't aware of that fact, here are some links to get you started:)


Raphael's Ancient Manuscript of Talismanic Magic

The Lesser Key of Solomon

The Book of Ceremonial Magic




The real trick lies in your preparedness.  Sort through all available seals, talismans, and sigils--yes, this will take a long time--and decide the ones you're most likely to need at a moment's notice.  I keep a selection of seals in my travel kit, drawn on squares of colored papers that relate to the purpose of the seal.  This not only helps me to choose what I need faster but it also adds another layer of correspondence to a spell.

You may choose to draw your seals on any kind of paper, or you can paint them onto wooden discs or flat stones; choose whatever works best for you.  Take some Full Moon time to draw out all the seals you're likely to use.  Put a lot of care into it; though you won't be impregnating them with a purpose just yet, you do want them as accurate and perfect as you can make them.  Remember that they will someday help you out of many a tight jam.

So how do we use these pretty little scribbles?  Because you made them ahead of time, the only time you'll be doing empowering is in your moment of need.  This actually helps a lot because it is at that time that you have the most intent focus on the problem, as well as the clearest view of its solution. 

When using your seal, press it between your hands and focus on what you need it to do.  Visualize the image of it covering the whole problem as it is suddenly turned in your favor.  For larger issues, or those more desperate, take about 10 minutes to build up your internal fire through either physically exhausting exercise (the more overwhelming, the better) or sexual excitement.  When you simply cannot go on a moment longer, grab the seal and focus on it as you completely collapse.  Pour all that concentrated force into the image.  This is the standard way to fuel a newly made sigil, so using it for a seal which has hundreds of years of practitioners' use behind it will make it incredibly strong.

When you are done with either method, carry or place the seal as is appropriate and take comfort in knowing that your prior planning (and your friend, Quill, of course!) has saved the day again.





About Me

My photo

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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