No place for stones – an editorial for the American Witch in 2017

The world of the American Witch citizen is in a state of informed chaos in these times. So much is going on at once that one only need pick up local, or national, news sources for it.  The ragged screams of disorder and imbalance blaze our ears and eyes.  The divisions that pollute the psyche of the peoples threaten the flow and weave of our tribes and kinships.

The topics of political and social hot buttons make conversations a dance for only the bravest. We talk at each other, not with each other, in gatherings. Conversation has become Opportunistic Conversion as each faction seeks to overtalk and overwhelm the others.

Credit: Josie Stephens |Pexels

When did the children of the Divine become pundits and judgemental avatars for the social elite and the ambulance chasing social justice cloaked con persons. The people are marred by the shadows of those who feed upon the hatred and dissonance. Entire careers are made and broken in the Pagan worlds based on vampiric exploitation of the suffering of others.

Witches are an independent bunch. This is not the place where I will address the nuances of Wiccans and Witches. I speak to all who take up that backpack. Thus, it is most shocking to see them cluster together to speed toward the same sort of divisive lemming like behavior that seeks to silence the dissidents among us.

When did craft become about profiteering and politics? When did spiritual service fester into a blot on the landscape, seen as a means to gaining cult of personality style control of others … the kind of control that leads to sickness and wickedness. When did the rites of the priest and priestess, the covener and the neophyte, get tainted with personal agendas?

I have no answers to the crises that face our citizens as a nation. I speak out, and urge all to do so as well. I expect, no, desire and wish, that people work their paths and live their lives in honor and truthfulness. But this, only this, is all. The need to control and thought patrol other witches, people, humanity in general, from the altar is a thing I will not do.

In this time, when religion and power are wielded from common hands that interweave so much, this is the time to hold the sacred to be untouchable. This is the time to take civil actions as we must, but the Mysteries are sacrosanct and must remain so.

So, in good will, please leave the stones at the edge of the circles you enter. Use them not to build walls between you. Use them not to stone your foes. But use them to build cisterns of love from which the world may draw what it needs to build a better place for all of us.

Just my two cents.

A Thanksgiving Smile for our Readers

Thanksgiving Rhapsody
by Kenya Davis aka Mistress Belladonna

Is this Thanksgiving?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught up in pie crust
No escape from the whipping cream

Reach for the can
Open those yams and seeeeee

I’m just a poor mom
I get no sympathy

Because I’m at the sink
at the stove
Simmering
cooking slow

Any way the tray goes
Doesn’t really matter to me
to me

Mama
I just cleaned the bird
The new counter is a wreck
dropped the giblets and the neck

Mama
I had just begun
But the cat was there
and scarfed them all away

Mama
ooooooh
Didn’t mean to tear the thigh
If it falls off during cooking it doesn’t matter
It’s all good, it’s all good
I’ll hide it on the platter

Too late
The game is on
The man is no longer mine
His chair in permanent recline
No chance I can get him, to pick up some ice
Gotta hope this punch can hold and get us through

Mama, ooooo
(checking through the windows)
Gonna have to hangup now
I wish I’d never bought that Butterballlllll

I hear a parking of a Chevrolet Sedan
It’s the folks, It’s the folks
They are blasting “Wango Tango”

The smoke alarm is crying
It is terrify ing me

Check the rolls
(check the rolls)
Check the rolls
Oh Gods no!
I burned the rolls that’s how it goes

It’s just a bundt cake
How hard can that be
My daughter cannot cook
It’s a calamity
Go get a knife, we will try to pry it free

Flip it now, on the plate
Try to hold it straight

Just wiggle

The pan won’t let it go
(let it go)

Just hold still

(the pan won’t let it go)
let it go!

Stop crying

(the pan won’t let it go)
let it go!

Come back here!
(the pan won’t let it go)

It’s okay, It’s okay
We’ll say it’s a souffle

no, no, no, no, no, no, no
Come back in here, I’m your mother
You put down those pink earphones

This non stick pan has exceeded its old warranty
Dear me, Dear me

(crashing pans and screaming kids solo)

So the inlaws have landed and the cat has run by
Children chasing it have knocked over my pumpkin pies

Oh, baby
Leave the cat alone, baby
Who’s at the door,
who invited your ex girlfriend here?

oh yeah, oh yeah

Please take home leftovers,
take some extra peas
take some mashed potatoes
That just leaves some fridge space…..for meeeee

We forgot the wish-bone
(dropped pan)

Crystal forms: A variety of curio magic

Crystal forms: A variety of curio magic

An assortment of Crystal types and forms

Crystals are simply larger and more defined pieces of minerals. They are often polished and tumbled for sale and decorative pieces. Most of the ones you find for sale at metaphysical shops are likely tumbled and polished. Raw crystals like the ones above are the ones that you can find yourself when you visit a local quarry or dig site. In these locations you will be able to find stones yourself in their natural environment. When you pull them from the earth yourself you have a closer connection to them and can feel their natural power more easily.

Crystals are natural curios regardless of the form. Crystals come from the earth and are natural items. While humans have shaped them and formed them for us to collect, play with, enjoy, and work with they are still gifts from the earth. They grew deep within the earth and are the bones of this planet. They are very powerful natural curious for this reason.

shapes, sizes,and forms of crystals
Crystal forms
shapes, sizes,and forms of crystals

In the above photo you can see several different forms of crystals. There are small totem stones, you have a crystal mala bracelet, angel carved crystals, shaped animals, hearts, raw, tumbled, skull, spheres, towers or wands, pendants and a pyramid. All of these different forms provide many different ways to work with crystals. By combining the shape of the crystal with the properties of the crystals you can find unique ways to work crystal magic that suit your personal body and style.

Raw and Tumbled

Raw crystal curios

Raw and tumbled stones and crystals make the best talismans and charms. They are easy to carry and to create into jewelry. For many stones and crystals the tumbled varieties are readily available and less expensive than working with a pyramid, sphere or object in that manner. Small tumbled stones and raw stones are easily obtainable. Which means depending on the stone obtaining what you need for the work can be done.

When it comes to crystal magic the best way to work with them is to carry them as a talisman or amulet. A Talisman is typically a piece of jewelry that is worn or a stone carried that has a symbol or phrase inscribed on it describing the magical use. Talismans are typically for draw something to you. An amulet is typically an item worn or carried to ward off something. Both talismans and amulets are used for protection. One tends to be more about removing it the other is more about preventing it from getting there to begin with.

Two of the best examples of stones carried as charms for protection come from warriors. Both of these stones were associated with blood and bleeding. The first is Bloodstone and the second is Hematite. Two very different stones that share a common historical use: Protection from bleeding or excessive wounds on the battlefield.

Hematite is a stone that has associations with blood and protection in battle. The name comes from the Greek word for blood. It has been used as an amulet against bleeding, and so is known as the “blood stone”. Many people believe that Hematite is actually the original stone referenced when folklore mentions “bloodstone”.

Blood stone was historically carried by warriors in battle. It was thought that it was a charm that would protect against bleeding in battle. Which is why warriors wore it or carried it for protection. Occasionally it was worn as a pendant hanging over the heart chakra to cleanse the blood and protect from wounds.

In the case of both Hematite and Bloodstone they are both working as protection charms. Bloodstone worked more of preventing and removing so it was more of a talisman while Hematite was more of an amulet designed to try and ward excessive or unnecessarily wounds and fights in battles. Both stones worked to protect the warriors and both stones dealt with blood.

Amethyst, quartz, Hematite Hanging Pentacle charm

Today wirewraped crystal gifts have become very popular. They are made with crystal chips or small raw or tumbled pieces. Witches by knowing the properties of the crystals can create charms that are hidden in plain sight. They will be able to place the decoration on the wall or in the window to catch the light and the properties of the crystals will be brought into the home. Creating powerful subtloe natural magic.

The above photo is a crystal sun catcher in the shape of a pentacle made out of Hematite, Amethysts, and quartz. Hematite isused for protection and grounding. Amethyst is used to promote peace and protection. Amethyst being an empath’s stone is also one used for healing and working out emotions. Quartz is also a good one to have in the mix. Quartz provides power to all other stones and is a good overall energy stabilizer.

When the person who bought this pentacle hangs it in their house they will be bringing the energy of those crystals into the home. The shape of the pentacle ensures protection as it is a protective symbol. The way the crystals are aligned balances the energy of the three crystals in a repetitive pattern so that none of the energy overwhelms each other and they all work in harmony for the purpose at hand. Now all they have to do is charge the crystals like they would with any other crystal item. once it is charged and dedicated by hanging the crystal on the wall they bring that magic and energy into their home.

Mini prosperity and succsess grid

Raw and tumbled stones are also the corner stones of grid work. Crystal grids are a way of laying our crystals in a pattern that sends out your intent and desire into the universe. Most crystal grids are more complex, the one above was a simple one created for one day. The Aventurine stone was the anchor or core for luck, prosperity and succsess. The five citrine tumbles were arranges around the center piece in a star or pentacle pattern to direct the desire for sales and succsess into the universe through the directions and elements. Citrine was chosen for its money, luck, and prosperity properties.

Wands

Wands of crystals and stones

Wands are actually a new thing in my life and in my practice and I have to say its a new way to look at one of the most common tools in witchcraft and magic. Wands are the most common tool in magical traditions and practices. Wands are used to direct and raise the energy manipulated for the spell at hand. Wands are tools traditionally made out of wood and fashioned with crystals feathers etc. Crystal wands allow us to work with crystal energy in spells by directing the energy trough that crystal.

A Selenite wand is good to banish and remove energy. I use it regularly to wipe myself down after a day of high anxiety. The properties of selenite are clarity and dispelling negativity. Its an excellent stone to use to work with banishing and removal work. My wiping myself down with selenite after work is an example of banishment and removal work.

An Aventurine tower held over a money incense as it burns would be a great way to work with the energy of the wand. The wand will absorb the energy from the incense, add its own energy to the blend and then direct it out into the universe amplified and further charged. As seen in the grid photo posted earlier the wands also can work effectively as core components of grids. This allows them to direct the energy from their root (bottom) to the universe up through their tip. They in the end focus the energy of the other crystals from one point into the universe to create your change.

An amethyst wand would be a great way to direct specific healing energy. Simple hold the crystal wand over the area with the specific ailment and direct the energy through the Crystal into the area. The point of the tower will provide pinpoint accuracy to the area. The energy channeled will also be charged by and effected by the energy of amethyst infusing any healing energy with amethyst healing and protecting properties.

One thing wands are really good at is directing energy long distance. Lets say you have a friend that is feeling depressed and you want to help them heal and feel better but can’t travel to them. A Rose quartz wand with lavender and catnip incense burning and a photo of your friend combined together can make an effective love and healing spell. You’d burn the incense and chant something about love and healing for your friend then take the Rose quartz wand and direct the energy of the chant, the incense, and your mental/emotional energy at the photo of your friend sending it into the universe towards your friend.

The more assortments of wands you have the more opportunities you have to work crystal magic. You can work with many different wands until you find the right crystal wand for a specific task. You may even find that some crystals dont work well for you in a wand form but they do work in tumbled or shaped or other forms. The crystals will speak to you.

Totem Stones

Totem crystal collection

Many people work with animal symbols within their spiritual practice. These totem stones and soapstone or gemstone animals are tools that can be used to call upon animal energy and powers. The shape and image of an animal can be a powerful way to connect with that animal when physical contact or items are not possible.

By carrying those stones with you in the shape of an animal or with the engraving of an animal you have that energy with you. Not only that but you also have the combined power of the stone with you. Its a double wammy. Great way to create charms and talismans with very few tools.

So if you have an Unakite totem stone with a dolphin carved into it you not only have the power of the dolphin in your hands but also the power of Unakite as well. In this case the symbolism of dolphins can be protection, rebirth, and renewal. The stone Unakite encourages psychic visions and the development of the third eye. Unakite is a powerful healer too. Unakite helps balance emotions, it can help with sleep, stress and healing addictions. With these two sets of symbolism there are a few different things that we can have here.

For someone trying to overcome and addiction they could carry the stone to help balance their emotions, relieve stress, and protect them self from the addiction. The healing of the addiction will also lead to renewal. They would simply need to create a dedication spell for this purpose. That spell should include herbs to heal for strength and for power. Lavender, Woodruff and Rosemary would help in this working.

For someone who is still developing their psychic abilities the protection and rebirth aspects of the dolphin can be of help while the Unakite stone itself can help them deal with the new information and regain balance. As with the above the person carrying this stone would now need to create a dedication spell or ritual for the purpose of strengthening their psychic abilities and providing a new start. Here I would recommend using herbs like Frankincense, Mugwort, and again Rosemary.

Lets take another stone and animal combination. Red Jasper is a very common stone. Red Jasper is known for dream work, sleep aid, and protection, Eagle is a popular bird to call on for spiritual aid. They bring independence, vision, strength, power, and freedom. Here are a few different combinations here.

Lets say you feel that you need more insight and are looking for dream wisdom. By sleeping with a Red Jasper Eagle totem stone under your pillow you can call upon the eagles vision for insight and you can call upon the Jaspers properties for dream work and sleep aid. Together you have a sleep magic dream work charm. As with the Unakite an actual spell to dedicate and charge the stone would be required. Chamomile and lavender with rosemary or ginkgo would work well in this spell.

Eagles are strong and powerful. Lets say you aren’t that physical strong but want to feel more confident. Red Jasper is a stone of strength and protection. It will bring you protection energy and build your confidence. By charging this crystal in a spell calling upon the animal and stone spirits you can create a charm to carry for protection that fits in your pocket. In the charging process I’d personally add Dragons Blood, Frankincense, and Nettle Leaf for additional energetic and spiritual protection.

Skulls

Crystal Skulls

In witchcraft communities you will find a lot of people who love their skulls. Many witches wear skulls in various jewelry and there are those who have skulls on their altars. Skulls are powerful symbols for many cultures. For many witches skulls are a symbol of the powers of death and rebirth and decay. Witches dont see death as a bad thing. Its seen as part of the life cycle. For many death is not an ending but the start of something new. For other witches death is the end of this life but not our full journey.

For most witches skulls are symbol a symbol of the dead and of our ancestors. They provide us a way to connect with our ancestors. Some witches use animal skulls on their altars to represent the God and some use human skulls to represent ancestors. Most of these skulls are resin or made out of clay/ceramic. For those who want to have a skull on the altar but dont want ceramics or resin and a more natural material crystals provide that opportunity.

Skull shapes crystals offer us a unique way to work with the dead. The skull shape due to its symbolism allows us to call on ancestral powers and properties fairly easily. Like with the totem stones crystal skulls would retain the properties of the crystals that they are. They also gain the additional property of being able to connect to the dead and be used to channel ancestral energy.

A quartz crystal skull is a great addition to an ancestral altar. Quartz crystals are good all purpose crystals. They also empower and power up any and all other magical workings. So with a quartz skull on your ancestor altar any workings that you do with your ancestors is automatically amplified. Quartz skulls also hold energy so it can be charged with the energy of your ancestors and brought with you so that you can take their energy any where with you. To charge a quartz crystal Frankincense and Copal are good for generic all purpose spiritual cleansing and workings.

An Opalite Skull would also be a great addition not only to an ancestor altar but a working altar as well. Opalite is a highly spiritual stone and is great for communication, meditation, and all around healing. Opalite can also help us be successful in business. By placing the Opalite skull on the ancestor altar it opens your communication with the dead making it easier to let them teach you and help you in your life. Magically lets say you had an ancestor who ran their own successful business and you want to do the same. When you do a spell or working to help with your business succsess add the Opalite skull into the working. This will allow you to call on that ancestor, their wisdom and the energy of the crystal at the same time. To add further assistance I’d add herbs like Cinequfoil, Cinnamon, and Dragons Blood.

Obsidian Skulls are probably some of the most popular Skulls out there. They are Black, which is a color associated with the dead and underworld as well as death and they are simply beautiful. Obsidian is also a very protective stone. Its great against psychic attacks, removes negative energy, grounds, and protects. IN many traditions the first spirits that should be called on for protection magic or any magic is our ancestors because they will answer before any other spirits will answer. An Obsidan Skull allows for that instant connection to ancestor energy and protection. To charge it I would run it through an incense that is a combination of Wormwood, Dragonsblood, Basil, White Sage, and Frankincense.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many different shapes and forms that crystals can take. There are many other shapes and forms that haven’t been mentioned that all have their own unique properties and benefits. Let these styles, shapes and ideas be another way for you to begin your journey into the world of crystal and gem magic.

Crystals Galore Magic In Store

Crystal Magic

Introduction

When people think of witchcraft it is very easy to associate the practice of witchcraft with herbs and candles.  People have images of witches standing over cauldrons mixing herbs and other natural curious.   There are lots of images of a witch tending her garden using these herbs for charms and works.  Witches, herbs and magic all seem to fit together to form a pretty picture.   Its easy to believe that witches only deal with herbs and animals as that is what we have recorded in myth and lore.

What you dont often see in the media or hear about in public  are witches who delve into the other gifts of the earth.  Natural curios involve more than found animal parts, finger nails, and hair.  Natural curious refers to gifts from the earth.  Things that nature gives us.  One of the gifts that come from deep within the earth are gems, crystals, and minerals.  These are the “bones” of the earth.  These are what form the very ground that we walk on.

One of the benefits to working with crystals in magic is that they are reusable. Once a spell has manifested you can simply cleanse the crystal and use it again in another type of working. Herbs can only be used once. Once the incense has been made the herb has been used and its energy has been spent. Crystals however are reusable. Simply set them in the earth and they will recharge and gather energy again. Cleanse them between uses and you can use each crystal in a different working.

Like with herbs there are many different ways that you can work with crystals. The most common ways to work with crystals is to carry them as a charm or use them in mojo bags or charm bags. Jewelry is another common uses. Crystals are often worn in jewelry form as powerful talismans and amulets. Other people use crystals as decorations in their home and have the effect work that way. Over the last few years more and more people are learning about Crystal grids which is another form of crystal magic. Finally crystals are able to be used in washes and elixirs just like herbs.

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Crystals and Me

Sample of a crystal collection
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Before I ever began practicing magic and witchcraft I had a fascination with crystals.  I can remember as a child when my parents and I found a natural quartz quarry on a hike by our camp.  I remember being the one to spot the disrupted ground and differences.  My dad explained what it was and we stopped to take a look.  I remember the joy of finding the quartz points and the gems in the ground.  It was a wonderful experience and every time I touch quartz I am brought back to that childhood experience.

My collection of crystals developed and grew from that day forward.  I gathered a lot of Mica, Amethyst, Smokey Quartz, and Clear Quartz.  These were all readily available and around me.  My favorite gifts at museum gift shops were the little tiny boxes of stones and crystals.  Most of them were typically a dyed agate, but they were still crystals and fascinated me.  There was something there I couldn’t quite place it.

Crystal magic was actually the first area of magic and witchcraft I ever explored.  I wasn’t sure what to do with herbs when I had them.  At the time I used premade stick incense for my rituals and spells and simple white candles.  Crystals I knew that just by holding them or carrying them with me I could use and work with their energy.  It seemed natural, plus it reminded me of a more direct connection to the earth.

My collection was small at first.  It consisted of only five or six small pieces.  There were three that I worked with more than any others though.  These three were the ones that essentially taught me the first and most basic way to work with crystals.  Carry them as a natural charm.  It was simple and effective personal magic.  Those three were Rose Quartz, Hematite, and Amethyst.

I use rose quartz for self love and self esteem to help heal and alleviate depression.  When I was depressed I would hold it and try to feel myself align with the energy of the crystal.  When I needed a little self confidence I would fondle the stone and hold it close to myself.  For me simply by holding the stone I was able to transfer its energy to me to have it cause an impact in my life,

Amethyst was one I carried to help develop my psychic abilities.  I’ve always been hyper sensitive to emotions and energetic fields.  When I first started to learn to read cards and energy I scared myself with my accuracy.  There are still times when I get uncomfortable with how accurate my intuition is and the information I get from a reading.  One of the ways I dealt with this was carrying amethyst.  This helped me not only have clear readings but be comfortable with my spirit and with my abilities.

Hematite was an important one for me.  One of the first things I was taught to do in magic is have a protection charm.  Hematite is a stone that has protection qualities. I carried it with me as protection charm.  Hematite is also a grounding stone.  When engaging in  meditation and doing magic it is essential to ground after work.  Hematite helps provide a grounding point.   I also found that with my day to day life wearing a hematite bracelet or piece of jewelry helped me focus much better on every task I was doing.

Those three examples are just the way my exploration of crystal magic started.  When I was in college I had no way of working magic aside from pen, paper, and crystals.  I used an assortment of stones to lay out my circle an create my sacred space.  Most of these stones I had no identification for.  I just got them because I knew they were to be used.  They became a symbol of my circle.  Laying them out for ritual in the circle became my circle casting instead of using candles and incense I laid out rocks and sprinkled water

Reiki altar and crystal healing altar

Today my collection has grown substantially.  I no longer collect just tumbles for use as holding charms and talismans.  I collect many different shapes, sizes and styles of stones and crystals. I’m learning more about crystals and their roles in the magical and spiritual universe.  I’m exploring the differences between tumbled, and raw.  They all have different and unique properties.

I have a healing altar set up that is basically all used for crystal work. Crystals have become a central component of my Reiki and Intuitive healing work. I always knew they would be, but now I have them set up and ready to work with. I have a set of chakra stones and wands for dealing with clients and customers and a set for myself and my loved ones. The only thing remaining are a few wire wrapped tools I need to make using crystal chips and wire wrapping together to make. Which I will do in a bit, I just needed to see everything together first.

I’m actively working with every stone and crystal in my collection. I have them all around me. There are some on my desk, some on the book case, and some in the bedroom. I have some on different altars and some set aside in storage waiting for their purpose and specific use. Frequently I will change the ones on my desk out so that new energy can come into my life and more work can be done. Some will never leave their specific locations like my Obsidian Scrying sphere. That belongs on my working altar. Other stones like the merlinite and rose quartz spheres may not be there for ever. They may be there for a time and then rest while another stone takes their places.

Bones of the Earth: Crystals as Natural Curios


Raw crystal curios

When natural magic is discussed it is often mentioned that natural magic is the use of objects from the natural world to create changes in ones life. Its easy to think of things like flowers, trees and roots when it comes to natural magic. However natural magic includes a lot of other items called natural curious. Most commonly natural curious in spells are often things like animal parts easy to find (shed skins, shells, hair, nails etc). The magic of our ancestors was simple and practical. So its easy to see why items like crystals and semiprecious stones might be passed over in favor of things like dog fur, snail shells etc depending on the need at hand.

The power of stones wasn’t fully ignored though. In Hoodoo earth or dirt is used in many different spells and rituals. Dirt is nothing more than very fine stones and rocks composed of minerals and metals. Quartz is likely found in many piles of dirt in many locations across the world as it is the most common crystal in the world. Likewise various forms of mica can be found in dirt all over the world. Dirt and crystal magic is not that far removed.

Dirt is not the only way that crystal magic was found across the world. One of the most basic crystals n the world is salt. It is found everywhere is is a central component in life and magic. Salt is often a part of herbal magic as it is used in cooing and as a flavoring etc but salts are crystals. If you work with salts in magic you work with crystals.

Salt is a crystal. Salt is a natural curio that is present in basically every culture across the world. Salt is a very potent magical ally and one that should not be ignored. Salt crystals are used to bless water and make holy water through ritual actions in many traditions. Salt is such a unique crystal that it is used to cleanse and clear other crystals. This powerful magic is an example of crystals being found everywhere everyday without realizing it.

In other cultures crystals were carved and used as charms. Crystals have been carried as amulets and charms for an extended period of time. One of the possible origins for the idea behind jewelry is magical work. Amulets and talismans are commonly worn. This would make them easy targets to craft spells with or around. Egypt is famous for their jewelry and use of charms.

Choosing your crystals

So before you can start to work with crystals you need to actually choose and find the crystals that work for you. The best way to do that is to physically hold them in your hand. Pick them up and hold them. They should feel right in your hand. You will know it. You just “have to have” this stone. If it doesn’t feel right away then feel around and pick up a few other stones of the same type and see if any of them give off any feelings. You will find the ones meant for you.

Many of the ones seen in the photos posted today I bought online through a group that does shows two times a week. With those stones since I can’t physically hold them I do focus on the photo of the stone. I look at it and see what I feel from it. Sometimes I know right away. Others I need to come back to after a while before I say yes or no. When I dont have a chance to get that stone, I know that it was meant for someone else and that the right one will come to me at some point in time.

Finally you can also shop by specific need. This is how many people buy herbs and other supplies. If you have a specific issue you are dealing with like anxiety for example you can search for stones known to work with and help deal with that issue. When it comes to Stones and anxiety there are a few different approaches. You could choose stones like Hematite or Onyx to ground and center or you could choose a stone like Amethyst to soothe emotions and provide emotional stability, for a third option there is also Chrysocolla which is known to ease fear and anxiety. All of these stones would work well as an amulet to help ease anxiety. I personally carry or wear hematite often and just received a Chrysocolla mala bracelet which I am going to be wearing daily to help with anxiety.

Crystals to start with

Before we go on to cleansing, dedicating and starting to work with the stones I thought it would be a goo idea to start with a list of a few stones that I recommend to start your collection with. Like with all forms of magic it is important to know that not every stone will work for everyone and not every stone here will be one that you end up working with or have in your collection. This list here is to give you a list to look for and start exploring with.

Amethyst


Magical properties: Courage, happiness, peace, love, protection, spirituality, psychic development
Healing properties: Encouraging sobriety, aids sleep, helps break addition, cleanses auras

Clear Quartz


Magical properties: Energy Booster
Healing Properties:aids focus, promotes harmony

Flourite

Flourite is one that comes in many colors and each has its own properties.
Magical properties: Promotes order and reasoning, Stabilizing, Mental powers. Conscious Mind, Absorbs negative energy
Healing: Concentration, Assists in processing information,

Hematite


Magical properties: Grounding, Protecting,
Healing Properties: Anxiety relief, Sleep aid

Lapis Lazuli


Magical properties: Healing, Joy, Love, Fidelity, Psychic abilities, Protection, Courage
Healing Properties: Depression relief, Headache relief, Immune booster, Insomnia relief, Stress relief

Moss Agate


Magical properties Gardening, Riches, Happiness, Long life, Fertility
Healing Properties: Depression relief, Immune Booster

Obsdian


Magical properties: Protection, removing negativity,
Healing Properties: said to benefit the stomach, intestines, muscle tissue

Cleansing and dedication

The last thing you need to do before you start working with crystals is to cleanse and dedicate or charge them. Both of these practices help you connect with and create your crystal magic and or crystal healing. They connect you to the stones and the energy allowing the two of you to bond and create a relationship.

The cleansing aspect is very important. This removes all the energy from those who have touched and or played with the stone and leaves it pure for you and the stone alone. There are three primary methods of cleansing stones and crystals. Each of these methods provides a way to remove the excess energy on the crystal letting the crystals pure power seep through.

You can bury them in the ground and or place them on a large bowl or plate of sea salt which will cleanse and clear them. As the crystals are on the plate or in the ground visualize and see all energy that should not be there returning to the earth. You may want to say a statement like I cleanse this stone on this day only its perfect energy shall stay. I recommend leaving it in the salt or buried for 24 hours.

Next we have the smoke cleanse. This is where you use an herb like white sage, Pine, of a cleansing incense mix. By passing the crystal through the smoke of the incense you remove all of the energy that should not be there. It is an earth, air, fire, and possibly water cleansing (water come in if a resin is used like Frankincense, Myrrh, Dragons Blood or Copal for example). As with the earth and burial cleanse you should say a statement of intent etc through the process and use visualization.

Finally there is literally a ritual bath cleansing option. This is not an option for all stones. Some stones like Selenite, Flourite, Labradorite etc are water soluble. This means that they can dissolve in water. For these stones the best best is to dust them off completely with a moist cloth and then use the burial or smoke cleanse method. For all other stones this cleansing does two things. It physically cleanse and it spiritually cleans. In this case the physical act of washing the stones and removing the dust etc cleanses the crystals. By adding essential oils like Lemon Grass or Pine and herbs like Basil and Angelica Root to the bath you can create a powerful cleansing bath that removes the physical dirt and the spiritual contaminants. As you wash these stones an affirmation like wash away negativity today only blessings stay will charge the cleansing and clear the energy away.

Once the stones are cleansed you need to charge or dedicate your stones. Its the last step in getting them to work with you. Which ritual action you take depends on the stone and how you are going to work with them. Dedication is a long term one or single specific job ritual set up. Charging your stones is more for stones what you will use in different workings over and over again. They both have the same purpose: Telling the stone what job you are doing to do.

If your stone is going to have one specific job all the time then you want to dedicate the stone. It has one job and will always be used for that one job. The more you use it for that job the stronger your relationship with that crystal will get. This is where anointing them with oils or incenses related to specific tasks is appropriate. For example my Obsidian sphere is for scrying and psychic development together. So it is on my working altar. Before I use it for the first time I will create a ritual where I call upon Gods and spirits to bless the sphere for scrying. I’ll activate the spirit in the crystal at the same time. Then periodically I will rededicate and renew and power up the sphere to renew its energy and power sources.

If you are going to be using the crystal in multiple works you will want to charge the stone for the first job and then cleanse after that job is done and charge it for the next one. This is generally how I work with most of my stones. I’ll put them out for the work at hand. I’ll hold them each and tell them what their task is for that specific time. Then when its done I cleanse them and set them aside so they can be ready for the next use.

The world of crystals and stones is so brilliant and full of wonders. We are still learning about new crystals and finding new crystals all the time. We do not know everything abo0ut this planet yet. May this blog inspire you to start working with your own crystals to create a life you desire.

Resources for Crystals:

I have personally bought from each of these vendors

Heartlink Gems: https://www.facebook.com/heartlink11/

Ellie’s Treasures: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1949559788599116/

Phoenix Rising Apothecary: https://www.facebook.com/PhoenixRisingApothecary/

The hip of the rose: leadership in Pagan communities after crisis

When Pagan communities have unfortunate uproars, or controversies, it often leads to fissures in the communal networks. In the settling dust of the aftermath is where the remains of once seemingly seamless connections burn slowly under their own power. The hurt and anger expressed by the parties involved spill out and touch all the events, celebrations, and organizations in some way when factions draw lines over who is right, who is wrong, and who is interested in healing through discussion vs. excommunication and banishment. It is at this time that the responsibility of leadership to not only bring peace, but also truthful constructive examination and amelioration.

In these times, we have access to the power to inform one another in the blink of a cursor. Information travels as quick as the thought can leave our brains and animate our fingers upon the electronic devices that serve as our virtual avatars. Words that we would not serve in person are dished out upon the byte filled landscapes of social media. When used for confronting the pains brought by crisis, they are the stallions of our causes. They deliver the emotions and thoughts that join the fray in order to bring about justice and fairness. When used carelessly, they become hellhounds that are unleashed to destroy our opponents without the nasty inconvenience of having to look them in the eye and share the same air in the same room.

It is the wounds that words and actions inflict that must be healed. To do this, those same words must be examined and digested. The community must eat from the plate that it serves. If our words are truthful, that means the meal will be pure. And if our words are cruel, that will season the meal. If we refuse the meal by avoidance or dissembling, then we starve our souls. And if we only eat from one side of the table, we are in a state of imbalance. All sides must be present at the table if the people involved are to heal and grow stronger.

Leadership is not pushing the truth under the tablecloth. Leadership is not forcing a narrative. Leadership is not playing holier than thou, or claiming the cloak of respectability by staying silent behind group statements. Leadership does not tip over the lid of the boiling pot of problems, and then walk away to pretend nothing has happened. Leadership does not call attention to a transgression and then refuse to take the next steps.

What are the next steps? What do those look like?

The next part to any situation where hurt and pain and anger have burned through the bonds that connect us as peoples in the Pagan circles is examination. After the flash of conflict has faded, it is the time to really look at what happened and weigh how it was handled. Was it done with determination and fairness? Was it righteous? Was the will of what is right served? Are there ways that could have led to the desired outcome that may have been more productive? Did the desired outcome happen? Why, or why not? How does we heal after this?

If the crisis is legal, have the authorities been contacted? Did we follow through with making sure the reports were filed and accurate?

If it was ethical, were all parties contacted? Was there a town hall meeting type of conversation? Was there an opportunity to make amends given? Was there a desire to do so?

Now comes the part where foot to ground comes into play. What actions are leaders taking in order to decompress the atmosphere? Did they set up a forum, or simply walk away back to their regularly scheduled programs? Are there educational events or rituals scheduled in order to make peace or bury animosity? Is there any effort to heal the fractures that this may have caused? Where do we begin?

Each body of people is its own. Each will find its own way of handling what may be a pivotal moment for them as individuals and part of a greater circle of connections. However, it is the responsibility of leaders to take part in finding what that looks like…with purpose and action.

 

 

Upcoming Events

Calendar of Events
Date Event City, State Website
10/14/2017 Midwest Witches Ball 2017 Warren, Michigan http://michiganwitchesball.com/tickets/
10/15/2017 Pagan Pride Day LA/OC Long Beach, California https://www.facebook.com/paganpridela/
10/20/2017 Little Witches Ball Warren, Michigan  http://usoam.org/little-witches-ball/
11/2/2017 Flames of the Ancestors Hudson, Florida http://tagmeet.org/reg.html
11/3/2017 Flames of the Ancestors Hudson, Florida http://tagmeet.org/reg.html
11/3/2017 Changing Times Changing Worlds Kerhonkson, New York http://ctcw.net/
11/4/2017 Flames of the Ancestors Hudson, Florida http://tagmeet.org/reg.html
11/4/2017 Changing Times Changing Worlds Kerhonkson, New York http://ctcw.net/
11/5/2017 Flames of the Ancestors Hudson, Florida http://tagmeet.org/reg.html
11/5/2017 Changing Times Changing Worlds Kerhonkson, New York http://ctcw.net/
6/8/2018 Three Gates Gathering West Plains, Missouri http://threegatesgathering.com/
6/9/2018 Three Gates Gathering West Plains, Missouri http://threegatesgathering.com/
6/10/2018 Three Gates Gathering West Plains, Missouri http://threegatesgathering.com/
7/20/2018 New England Metaphysical and Holistic Festival Augusta, Maine theenchantedbazaar.org
7/21/2018 New England Metaphysical and Holistic Festival Augusta, Maine theenchantedbazaar.org
9/22/2018 York Pagan Pride Wrightsville, PA http://yorkpaganpride.webs.com/

Laura Perry Announces 2nd Edition of Ancient SpellCraft

Ancient Spellcraft
Does 16 years of experience make you better at casting spells? Author Laura Perry thinks so!
She has just released a newly revised and updated second edition of her popular book Ancient Spellcraft: From the Hymns of the Hittites to the Carvings of the Celts. The first edition was the first book she ever published, way back in 2001. Perry says she has learned a few things in the intervening years, and those tidbits make the second edition of Ancient Spellcraft even better than the first.
Cover of the book, Ancient Spellcraft, which has the title and author's name in red, and an old looking image of a woman in green and yellow robes in the center of the cover.
According to Perry, since 2001 we’ve discovered a good deal more about the ancient cultures the book focuses on: the Babylonians, Canaanites, Celts, Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks, Hittites, Minoans, Phoenicians, and Sumerians. She has incorporated this new information into the book for your reading pleasure.
But more than that, Perry says she has learned a lot more about magic, from both successes and mistakes, in the years since the first edition of Ancient Spellcraft was released. So she has revised many of the spells and then tested them, or had trusted friends test them, to make sure they work well for you. The spells include the all-important subjects of protection, prosperity, romance, fertility, healing, and divination.

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Ancient Oak Scouts Donate Crayons

Ancient Oaks

This year, our family joined Ancient Oak Scouts, a new-ish Pagan youth program that started here in the Detroit area.  We’re our own little group – doing any youth group or scouting program with two children with multiple special needs is a challenge, so we’re keeping it small and simple so we can work at our own pace.

One of our first projects was a community service project – we collected crayons at the end of the school year from the kids’ teachers to donate to an organization called The Crayon Initiative – they take broken or otherwise used crayons, re-melt them into new crayons, and donate the new crayons to children’s hospitals around the United States.

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Introduction to Dream Shielding

dream shielding
Dreaming is a healthy and wonderful outlet for our fantasies, fears, and emotional and physical stressors. It’s a healthy way for the body to sort out problems into a workable format, to analyze events going on in our lives, visit other verses, access the astral, feed, and even work magick. It is also a way for less ethical individuals to stalk and terrorize individuals who can’t or don’t know how to protect themselves. A basic knowledge of psychic self defense and shielding is important for everyone in the magickal community and especially so if one is being plagued by an overzealous and unscrupulous dreamwalker.
There are many different ways of handling someone like this but the primary thing to remember is that in every dream you are in control. This is your world, your thoughts, your mind, your time on the astral or aetheric. This is not someone else’s time unless you invite them in or allow them to control the sequences and events in your dreams.

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