Call me Loona.
I am a part time model and an amateur writer. My blogs serve as my primary method of publication at the moment. These blogs are also a way for me to build an audience and get my name known.
I have been involved with my spiritual path for half my life now. I have spent that whole time seeking and exploring every path I could find. While I will always identify as a witch and a Pagan, I do believe there are lessons that every path can teach me.
When I am not writing, or modeling I spend my time watching science fiction (I'm a big Doctor Who fan as well as Warehouse 13, Eureka, Babylon 5, and other shows). I also enjoy shows like Ink Master, Bar Rescue, Hotel Hell, Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares. I also love Bones for the anthropological aspects.
When not watching tv I spend time playing video games. I'm a retro gamer at heart. I would rather play a game on my NES than the newest game for my PC. I actually have more NES and SNES games than I do Wii, N64 or PS2. I do play Starcraft2, Everquest, Guild Wars, and random Facebook games.
I also enjoy reading. My reading will often be in the spiritual or philosophical fields. This is what I enjoy to study. I also love to read science fiction. Anne McCaffery is actually my favorite sci-fi writer. Her Pern and Accorna series are my favorites.
I currently hold an associates degree in Liberal Studies or Liberal Arts. My focus is on folklore, philosophy, classics of world lit, anthropology, and history. I do have a vast interest in Physics. I was actually happy with how much my physics teacher was able to connect modern physics with ancient and modern metaphysical philosophy.
This morning I sat my desk and looked out side to see it snowing on the second day of spring. As the snow falls I see at least 6″ of snow all over the ground from a blizzard that occurred last week. This is how it is every year where I live. Lots and lots of snow that never seems to go away.
Yet when you walk into a retail store you will see seeds for sale and signs of spring every where. people longing for the time where the days are warm and gentle and that they can be outside with out harsh heat and those pesky bugs (we have a lot of bugs in my area). Spring time in Maine can be a wonderful time of year when it finally gets here.
Its hard to be thinking about planting your gardens when its still covered in snow and the temps outside can still reach below freezing. There were times when during this past year I thought about getting started on my prep work outside, but once that thought hit me another draft of snow appeared to come our way.
It may be weeks before we actually notice spring here in Maine. As a pagan and as a witch I work with the spirits of the land and the current of the land energy. Hug a tree to talk to the spirit now and they are often annoyed that they got woken up. They are not yet fully awake and the land is still very much asleep. Some trees like Birch and Maple have started to have small leafbuds. Looking outside at the trees in the back and I largely have an image of this:
The grips of winter largely still hold over this land. Yet we see the squirrels and chipmunks darting to and fro finding food and the birds looking for any seeds or food they can find out in the snow. Life still moves in Maine spring, just moves quite slowly. Once the spring rains get here then I can say that the season has begun and that Spring has come to Maine.
This is why for myself I really dont celebrate and honor either Imbolc or Ostara. To me neither one really represent spring. Its not spring here. To me honoring the birth of the sun at Imbolc makes no sense, its still very dark here during that time. Then the Spring Equinox often has snow storms and ice going on, which to me is not very spring. Its not really the season of spring, at least in feel or look. Its still in the grips of old man winter.
The land does not have flowers blooming and baby animals all around. Its still quiet, cold and mostly slumbering. The lakes will start to crack and the ice will start to melt, and some flowers will start to peek through the snow in a few weeks. When that happens I will gladly honor and welcome to start of spring, but for now its very much winter still here.
It took me a while to get comfortable with not having those two sabbats in my practice, but then I realized if I was really going to honor and work with the spirits of the land I should honor the seasons when they actually come to the region. When they come to Maine, and Winter by far is our longest season. I’ll acknowledge the light and increase in day when we see that happen and I’ll welcome spring when I see the first flowers popping up in gardens. Till then I’ll simply continue to ask Old Man winter to be gentle with me and hope the ice and snow spirits accept my prayers of protection and my offerings when I give them.
I look forward to connecting to the spirit of the land when they wake, but for now I will let the land sleep. I have some plants I can work and grow in my office to try and feel as if Spring is here, but until the land wakes and the mud is here its still a land of snow with ice and cold and fires are needed to keep warm.
Be mindful of your land and the climate. Don’t force yourself to work in rituals or holidays that dont fit what you see and experience as your land. The land spirits will guide you and direct you and may even help you find new ways to look at everything you have been doing.
As a witch I work with many different spirits and have many different spirit allies. Some of these spirit allies have been with me longer than others, and many times they have lessons to teach me. For a long time I wondered what exactly it was my spirit allies had taught me, and where their lessons came from. There was a time when I actually believed that I had never learned anything from spirits, but I was wrong.
For years one main lesson from all of my spirit allies was to simply trust my intuition and trust my knowledge. I knew and know more than I often give myself credit for in both theoretical practice and actual practice. To put it blunt I was afraid of my skill with energy manipulation and with psychic work, so I didn’t let myself access my actual knowledge and understanding. I didn’t let myself practice.
This was until I encountered my first plant spirit guide. I had been buying “healing” incenses from stores and “Astral Travel” or “Psychic” development incenses from stores to use in my meditations, spells, rituals, and works. These worked for a while, but I began to wonder how I could make my own and if that would be any different. So The next time I went to the local metaphysical store I bought a few herbs to use for healing work and psychic work. I bought Peppermint, Myrrh, Calendula, and Mugwort to start with. I also had white sage, Dragons Blood, and Frankincense. This base provided me lots of different things to work with, spirituality, psychic work, meditation, and healing. It was a perfect selection to start my journey into magical herbalism.
Before I made my own I started by adding a little of these herbs to the powdered incenses I had been buying. Just to get myself use to the concept of working with herbs in this fashion. After a while I decided it was time to start working with the herbs and make my own blends. I had no idea what I was doing at first, no real connection to any of the herbs, then as I sat down and looked at them I started to have an understanding of which herbs I was supposed to use for the general healing incense I was creating at that moment.
I didn’t think about where the decisions and choice came from at that point in time, but looking back its pretty clear that it was the plants that were helping. One plant in particular seems to help me more than any other. That plant is Marigold/Calendula. To this day it has been the plant marigold that has led me to trust in the plants energy and the plants spirits guiding me in working with them and getting the incense blends just right.
Today when I do spell work or rituals I get out the herbs and ask them who is best to do this work with me, or who wants to be used in this work. One time when I was doing this for a money spell Calendula spoke up and wanted to be used in the mix. Which to me was strange. Our relationship had been with healing and psychic work. But after some time I relented and added some of the flower to the mix and the ritual worked quite well. A few days later I did some research and found out that money work was one of the attributes of the herb, yet the plant itself decided to teach me this lesson over books.
A lot of people ask me where the recipes I make come from. The answer is quite simple. The plants tell me. Its that simple. I may get out a bunch of plants with a similar set of associations (lets say astral travel and psychic work). I will then set them out and say what I am doing for work. The herbs themselves will guide me in their use and the specific work. Some herbs speak louder than others. Some take getting used to understanding how they speak, and others may never work or speak to you, each plant spirit is different and each one will have different lessons for you as you work with them.
It can be easy to forget the importance that these spirits have in our lives and in our practice. When we do they can give us needed wakeup calls. Sometimes these calls are as simple as quick image flash reminders of what we need to do and are doing and other times they can be more to the point causing issues in areas of our life until we address what they have to teach us.
I almost forgot how and why I got to where I am today. Its thanks to working with the marigold spirit and the spirit of the Pine tree. These two plant spirits more than any others have helped me develop an understanding of the green world and are one of the reasons I consider myself a magical herbalist. There are other plant spirits that have been influential in my life, as a witch I have a relationship with mugwort, but its not as strong as any other spirit, but the two who have been my main teachers and guides in spirit work with plants are Marigold and Pine.
Today I got that reminder from one of the spirits. Writing this article has been one of the ways I am apologizing to that spirit and trying to show the world what it has done for me. The other way is I reworked my workshop a little bit to include herb samples and a secondary incense to awaken psychic and spiritual powers and connect to plant spirits. One of the herb samples that the people attending my workshop will get is marigold, helping other people connect to the energy of that spirit is another way I will be making up for forgetting their lessons.
Let the plant spirits guide you and you will find a lot of allies who will aid you in contact with other spirits and your own spirit. Let the plants guide you and they will teach you their mysteries, their magic, and their spirit uses. They can be great friends and allies in magic if we just open up to them and listen to what they have to say.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Crystals and Me
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
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
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.
Magical properties: Energy Booster
Healing Properties:aids focus, promotes harmony
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,
Magical properties: Grounding, Protecting,
Healing Properties: Anxiety relief, Sleep aid
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
There seems to be a theme of people who have issues with the idea and the concepts of Pop Culture Paganism. Many of these people have issues claiming that it makes pagans look bad, is full of fakes, and playgans. Often those who cry out against pop culture paganism claim that those who would use Pop culture symbols in their worship and practice are lazy, have a lack of knowledge of the ancient traditions, and they often claim that there is an inability to tell the difference between fiction and reality.
For people like me this is often highly insulting. Many of us are educated in our paths and practices. We simply like to use the modern images from pop culture to connect to the Gods and spirits of our path. These modern images are powerful tools for reaching the various spiritual forces out there. These modern images can be useful in relating to beings that many people may never have heard of without the use of pop culture.
I do not identify as a Pop culture pagan. However I have used popular culture in my path and my practice. I see the dangers and I see the benefits of working with Pop Culture images. This is the first in a series of posts talking about the subject. I figured before I got into the meat of the issues around pop culture paganism it would be a good idea to start with my own experience with the use of Pop culture symbolism.
I started my path with Pop culture Paganism. It was a combination of the Disney Hercules series and Sailor Moon combined with reading the Greek and Roman Myths and books on Wicca. Now keep in mind that I was about 9-10 when this started but I still feel that this is an important thing to share.
As a child and teen these images resonated with me and helped me relate to an connect to the various Gods and spirits in the world. These images to me were gateways to the power within the Gods. Before starting what i thought was Wicca I often spoke to the Muses of Greek Myth. Originally I thought of them as angels to God, but that changed when I read the myths and realized that people believed them to be Gods originally. (I saw the movie Hercules first, then I saw the cartoon Hercules series and then the live action Xena and Hercules series). Still those images provided me a tool to connect to the power of the Gods.
I didn;’t quite understand Polytheism at the time. So for me they were “Gods” but under the main God who was the father of Jesus. You could say I was exploring my understandings within the religious framework I had been exposed to. Still to talk to an communicate with those Gods I was drawing on the image found within the Disney Movie Hercules and the Hercules Cartoon series I watched every Saturday Morning. When I spoke to Zeus or Hera or even Hades I used the images of those Gods from the source I most recognized.
When I started to explore Wicca and Paganism I understood they were not servants of one Larger God but were Gods in their own right. So I dropped the frame of Christianity and continued to speak to those Gods and work with them. I still used the images from Disney. I was now 14 and questioning religion and spirituality.
At the same time I was starting to watch the anime Sailor Moon. As the story progressed and I looked at the Sailor Senshi I saw the properties of the Roman Gods within the Senshi and I was able to find a way to focus and connect with a Moon Goddess. I knew that the image wasn’t the Goddess but it was a tool to help me focus and connect.
I used the images of Queen Serenity from Sailor Moon to connect to the moon Goddess Selene. I knew that the image I was using to connect to Selene wasn’t actually Selene, but it helped me connect to and focus on that divine presence. I had no other image or idea to connect with, so the image of Queen Serenity helped me relate to her.
17 years later and I still can find images in pop culture useful in connecting to Gods and spirits.Today when I call on Thor I occasionally use the image from the Marvel movies to connect to that energy. Again I know it is not Thor but it helps me focus and reach the actual Thor. The same goes for Loki and Odin. I use my knowledge of the lore to connect to the Gods I am trying to connect to. The image I use just happens to come from Modern Popular culture. I still use Norse Rituals to honor those Gods. I simply have a modern image of the Gods I use to connect with.
Today when working with the Moon Goddess Diana I still occasionally use the image of Queen Serenity. Most often I use that as the gateway to get to the other images I have of a Moon Goddess. These images are tools to help connect to the divine forces and nothing more or less. They are just like the tools used in various spells or rituals. They are props to help get into the right mind frame and connect with the energy you are working with.
In essence there is nothing wrong with using the images from popular culture in your work. If they help you connect with spirit and the universe than they are a tool for you. The danger comes when you start to claim that these pop culture figures and images are the same as the ancient Gods. Anyone who truly respects Gods as individuals would never say that. They would however more than likely admit that the images can be powerful tool to connect to the Gods they represent.
We live in a world where often concepts of the mind and soul are ignored. Where mental health issues like Depression and Anxiety are ignored or made light of. As a society we are told that its “all in our heads” or that “it will pass”. We are expected to be able to just laugh and smile at everything.
To those without anxiety disorders, clinical depression, or any other number of mental health issues it makes no sense why a certain song can bring us to our knees or cause crippling panic. It looks like we overact to every little thing for no reason or for the smallest most insignificant of reasons.
These people don’t realize that there is an intense battle going on within our minds every day. Its expected that everyone gets sad so you will just power through it. When a person says that certain activities like going shopping make them panic they can get laughed at or told to just “buck up and do it”. Those who live with mental health issues often wish we would just snap out of it. Who wants to feel paralyzed by crippling anxiety and depression?
Those without mental illness may be able to meditate, be in nature, do yoga, exercise etc to work out depression and anxious feelings. Which is good for them, they don’t realize that it may not work for those with actual illnesses not just situational depression or anxiety. Many of us try to be in nature to relieve our depression. We may try exercise and meditation. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes the depression and anxiety can be so overwhelming that we can barely get out of bed, let alone do anything physical like exercise!
One of the many reasons why people dont get help for mental health issues is the stigma that they are crazy or that they feel they should be able to control all of their actions without the aid of medication or therapy. They believe that it should be possible to just shake off the depression and anxiety. They believe that since everyone gets sad and anxious and still manages to go to work etc they should be able to do it as well.
The above meme is dangerous. It gives people who would seek help a bad idea. At the same time when those who would seek help (therapy, medication etc) many people reply that they should spent more time in nature. That medications are poison and should be avoided. Often times people highlight the fact that several of these anti-depression medications have side effects that include suicidal thoughts and worsening of symptoms. To those uneducated in medicine it seems silly to take something for depression and anxiety that could make you feel worse. Memes liks this go around promoting this dangerous attitude.
Likewise you get those people who claim that herbal supplements, crystal therapy, Reiki, and prayer were all that they needed. That if you were in tune enough with your spirits and the spiritual forces of the universe you would not have these very real health issues. These people argue that if you were truly a witch and truly a member of the priesthood your connections to the spiritual world would make you healthy and secure in your health.
Mental health issues are not something to make fun of. Nor are they something to state is all in the head or a result of spiritual work and awakenings. Mental health issues can strike anyone of any religion, spiritual path, race, and walk of life. Mental health and mental Illnesses exist everywhere. No one person is more susceptible to mental illness than anyone else (except those who may have a family history, but that goes for any medical condition that can be hereditary).
There are those who believe that if you do work with spirits and are attuned to nature you will develop depression, anxiety, and other issues as a result of the spiritual work you have done. They attribute issues like anxiety, depression, Schizophrenia etc to being awaken to the worlds state. They believe that these illnesses are gifts from spirit to see the world and be able to help heal the world. They treat the illnesses as if there was no problem with them at all. That your spirits will care for you, and you should live with the illness.
All of these attitudes are very dangerous. They do not count for the fact that these are very real illnesses. They do not account for the fact that with these illnesses there are very real chemical imbalances in the brain which need medication to be corrected. They do not account for the fact that these illnesses present very real disabilities, disabilities that can make a person go from being productive and useful to curled up in a ball cringing at every little thing. Mental Illnesses are very real and cause very real problems in life.
These problems can not be fixed with simple prayers and crystal charms. These problems can’t be fixed with a spell and herbal teas. These problems have no single simple solution. Mental health is a complex issue that impacts the mind, the body and the spirit. This complex relationship makes it impossible for there to be a quick and easy fix.
It can take years for an individual to find the proper treatment for themselves and their particular illness. Some of these treatments may include different types of therapy (Cognitive Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Etc) along with medications. Sometimes several therapies and medications will be used at the same time. Until all parties involved believe that the best treatment possible has been reached finding the perfect treatment takes trial and error as well as time an effort. Everyone involved needs to be doing their part otherwise the treatments don’t work.
So what about those who have an aversion to prescription medications but would like to treat with herbal supplements and natural medicines? There are hundreds of memes going around that discuss the virtues of herbal medicine. Some of them list herbs others list various natural remedies to treat depression and anxiety. What’s wrong with using some of these remedies?
If you have access to a Naturopathic Doctor and pharmacy for Herbal prescriptions than go for it. A naturalpathic doctor is the only one who could safely prescribe you medications for your illness. Other than that unfortunately i have to say you have to see a doctor and get on prescription medications. These medications can and do save lives.
I’m not saying that herbal medicines aren’t useful or effective. I’m saying that if you are going to go that route you need to understand that there is a lot to look at. It is better to work with a trained professional in herbal remedies and natural medicine than experiment on your own. I’m also saying that these remedies work best in trained hands and in cooperation with trained medical professionals. If you use herbal remedies and folk medicine let all your health care providers know.
Those are steps that you can take to address the physical and mental aspects of Mental Illnesses. How are you going to address the spiritual aspects of the illness? This is where some people have issues. They aren’t really sure how to deal with the spiritual side of mental health issues. Once they have chosen to deal with the mental and physical aspect of the health issue, sometimes they can have difficulty finding ways to address the spiritual aspects of the illness.
Many pagans and witches believe in true holistic health. They believe in a connection between the mind, the body, and the spirit. Mental health impacts the mind, the body, and the spirit together. So it makes sense that there would be treatments spiritually for mental health issues.. For the treatment of mental health issues the alignment is no different. The use of therapy and medication treats the mind and the body. The treatment for the spirit is very different.
Spiritual work is an important part of maintaining mental health. It can be a powerful partner in treatment of mental illnesses. Performing rituals, casting spells, and going to powerful church services can leave a person invigorated, feeling powerful, and cleansed. It can be a way to connect with yourself and be motivated beyond anything you had before. Spiritual work absolutely plays a part in healing mental health issues.
This is where spiritual work comes into play. Treatments like Reiki, Soul Retrieval, Chakra Alignment, and Sweat Lodges are all spiritual work designed to heal the spirit and align the mind, body and spirit. Aromatherapy and crystal elixirs would be a useful one to include with spiritual treatment. These wok on the mind and the spirit together while Chakra alignments and sweat lodges combine the physical and the spiritual. Reiki does all three in one.
None of these practices should be done without the practices of modern medicine and therapy. Spiritual treatments are designed to be used along side of modern medicine. Those are treatments and practices that can attune to the spirit and heal the spiritual aspect of the illnesses. They are used with the modern medicine and therapy to create an approach that is holistic and will heal you completely. Modern medicine, therapy, and spiritual work together provide a holistic health plan allowing you to become your best self.
Even knowing that spiritual work can be useful maintaining it can become difficult. The spiritual side of things can be very hard to deal with when you are at your worst. It can be the best thing for you, but it can become the hardest thing for you to deal with. At times mental health issues can be overpowering where even the most devout priest or active witch can be paralyzed to the point of no practice.
Often times in these situations the witch and or priest may know that doing cleansing work and prayers could be some of the most useful things to help break the cycle, yet they are paralyzed and can not get themselves to do the needed work. For people in this situation the statements about faith and depression can cut deep and deliver a sense of failure as a witch and or as a priest.
This is where your spell casting and ritual work can be useful. Doing a spell and ritual to break the blocks keeping you down can invigorate your spirit and release the mind. Spells that would be good here are cleansing, protection, and self love work. These spells boost positive energy in the spell casters life. Starting with a few simple spells or rituals is an excellent way to get back into the swing of things.
This will allow you to be more open to the regular daily practice ( if you are looking for a good guide line to developing a daily practice check out :Starting a Daily Practice ). Through the use of a Daily practice and spiritual hygiene (protection and cleansing, blocks and filters etc) one can treat and realize that your spiritual practice can be helpful tool rather than a hindrance in your mental and spiritual health treatment.
Many pagans think about running their own business. They often dream about providing products and services for their faith community. These products and services run from workshops and teaching to creating ritual tools and items for the religious practices. Many of them don’t ever believe that someone would want to cause them stress or ill will. When that trouble does come how does a small business protect themselves and manage to stay afloat?
I interviewed Lila Elwood one of the owners of Wild Witchery to find out more about her battle and how this has impacted them going further.
Loona Wynd: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your Business?
Lila Elwood: I have been a practicing Pagan for about 25 years now. On my mothers side of the family we are Iroquois and I was raised in native tradition. By the time I was 12 European Paganism/Witchcraft piqued my interest and I started down that path with no regrets.
I attended American University where I received my BA in Religious Studies-concentration on Ancient Mediterranean Religions with a minor in Ancient History of the same region. I am married and have 2 children and currently live in Yorktown VA- where our Business Wild Witchery is based out of.
We are primarily an e-commerce business specializing in creating Ritual Oil Perfumes, Candles, Bath & Body, Skincare, Hand Wrapped Amulets & Crystals. I have been making these items inside and out of Business for about 10 years now.
Loona Wynd: What inspired you to start Wild Witchery?
Lila Elwood: I had a business prior to this called Lady Leigh’s Apotheca, which was primarily an apothecary & didn’t focus too much on the metaphysical side, but offered similar items: bath and body, aromatherapy perfumes, plus teas and healing items. But I wanted to focus on the metaphysical. I wanted to offer really great products that were infused with Magick because i believe every aspect of your life has the ability to be infused with magick and sacredness- right down to the soap you use, lotion or perfume you apply or the jewelry you wear.
My friend now business partner and I had been talking about/dreaming about having a metaphysical shop together as our skills complimented each other, she focuses on crystals and jewelry and i on the herbal/bath body aspects. So this time last year we just went for it and started laying the foundations of what Wild Witchery now is.
Loona Wynd: You claim that you and your partner received a Cease and Desist letter. What was it for and about?
Lila Elwood:Yes, My business partner & I received a letter via email claiming copyright and trademark infringement on 2 of our products, Amatus & Yule Ritual Perfume Oils. The letter demanded that we stop selling these items, remove them from all social media & pay the complainant $5,000 + their legal fees potentially. The letter also claimed issues with “Trade Dress”
Loona Wynd: Can you explain what they meant by “Trade Dress”?
Lila Elwood: I wasn’t sure what this was either until talking with our lawyer, it is the look and feel of the product.
Loona Wynd: Did they give you a further explanation about what it could entail? Feel and look of a product could cover a lot of things.
Lila Elwood: The complainant feels that our products look the same as hers – we DID at one point, use the same cap style on our bottles as theirs, and we also tie ribbons around our bottles to fill in void space. However, the bottles and caps we buy are available through multiple suppliers that sell to the public, and there are MANY other business’ who also use this same bottle/cap style for their ritual oils and perfumes as well. in recent months however, the complainant has changed their cap style and discontinued use of the ribbon so really, there should be no conflict with this.
Loona Wynd: What actions have you taken to defend yourself and your craft? It seems something named after a holiday such as your Yule Perfume Oil couldn’t be trademarked as holidays are open to anyone who follows those traditions, and there are many religious traditions which celebrate Yule.
Lila Elwood: We did a lot of research as to what constitutes trademark/copyright infringement. While the complainant holds NO federally registered trademarks/copyrights, they are alleging these charges based on seniority. They came out with these products first – which the law allows – sort of.
Common Names do not count in the eyes of the law – and as we all know, Yule is a common word/name/a holiday in our spiritual tradition. Many Pagans also make use of other languages when naming their products, i have half a dozen products named in various languages, which is how Amatus, which means Beloved in Latin, was named. Yet, it is uncommon enough to be misconstrued as trademark infringement.
After consulting with our Lawyer we agreed it was probably best to discontinue the use of the name Amatus, so we have removed our Amatus line from our Website and Etsy.
Yet there is another well known business who is selling a ritual oil using the same latin name as one of the complainants products of the same nature! But we want to keep the peace.
However we will NOT be doing the same with Yule. Yule is a sabbat and it belongs to everyone. No one person can trademark our holidays and the products we create inspired by those holidays.
We gathered examples of other Yule Ritual Oils from other Pagan businesses as evidence that we, nor the complainant are the only ones marketing a Yule Oil Blend
Loona Wynd: Is the Amatus line going to be discontinued completely or are you thinking about renaming it?
Lila Elwood: We will simply rename it and re-release it.
Loona Wynd: What is the next step for you in this fight?
Lila Elwood: Our Lawyer will be offering the complainant a settlement we discontinue the use of Amatus. But that’s it. Examples of other Yule oil products will be included in defense of out product & other business’ right to create sabbat oil blend, and we will not be paying them any money. We just released our Ostara oil so we’re honestly waiting on the other shoe to drop to speak!
Hopefully, that is the end of it. We do not want a huge dispute. We’re a micro business, small fish in the pond compared to the complainant who compared to other business’ in our niche, is a large corporation.
Loona Wynd: Given the small size of your business it must have been a shock to receive the letter. What went through your minds?
Lila Elwood: I was SHOCKED. I panicked, they were demanding $5,000 from us, we’ve made just under that amount in sales- not being that familiar with the law, I thought this was a formal lawsuit. i was envisioning us having to close up shop, being bullied out of business by the larger corporation
My business partner was not as shocked as i was. In hindsight we should have seen this coming, we had noticed in recent weeks personal friends of the complainant liking some of our social media statues and asking to join our Facebook groups.
Loona Wynd: So they had spies? Friends checking you out and seeing what you were about? Are any of those people still in your groups etc?
Lila Elwood: It kind of seems that way to us.we never admitted these people to our groups and they have been blocked on social media
Loona Wynd: Are you taking any actions to protect yourself in the future?
Lila Elwood: Protection- YES! Our lawyer has implored us to trademark the names of our products – at least at the state level. In VA it costs $30 to trademark a product within state lines. My partner was apprehensive to go this route with trademarking the names of our holidays, and i agree with her, they belong to the community. However, the lawyer has assured us we do not have to enforce these trademarks, but they are there for if/when another situation like this comes about.
Loona Wynd: What advise would you give other small businesses should they receive a Cease and Desist letter or any actions along those lines? Lila Elwood: If you receive such a letter, research and consult with a lawyer, absolutely. Don’t Panic! It is not the end of your business, and don’t give in. Consulting with a Lawyer or having a lawyer draw up paperwork is not as expensive as you’d think. It cost us $250 to employ the help of a lawyer. But also, i do suggest researching the name you’re considering. We did not do that because we figured “we’re small & no threat to anyone” & also because we were naive thinking that no one would take issue with our business.how wrong we were! So research unique names, if a business is offering a similar product named the same thing, move on to the next name, no matter how perfect it was. And definitely look into getting state trademarks on the names of your products, if only for your protection.Loona Wynd: Is there anything else you would like to say about this situation or add?
Lila Elwood: It is my opinion that the complainant is trying to corner the market on the type of items that we offer and is trying to scare the small business’ who offer similar items out of business. We all have a right to be here, we all have a right to create magickal products and market them – which certainly includes sabbat products named after the sabbats. To think you are the only person who has rights to these names and holidays makes you arrogant. Live and let live.
It seems like no matter what we do in this world there is always someone who will try to rain on your parade. This author firmly believes that if you want to run a business you should try and go for it. Live for your dreams and follow your path. Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Learn from articles like this and take their advice. There is room for us all as we all have something different to offer.
If you would like to support and see the products and services provided by Wild Witchery: Wild Witchery
There are many websites out there which provide bloggers like myself with a place to write and provide their information. One of the best well-known is the website is Patheos. Patheos built its website around the philosophy of having a space to “host conversations on faith”. They different channels on various Christian paths (Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Mormons, and Progressive Christianity) as well as a channel for blogs on Islam and Judaism. They include a place for Hinduism, Buddhism, Spirituality, and finally Paganism for religious blogs.
In general the idea behind a platform for multiple religions and spiritual paths sounds great. For the past several years it has been a place for people to find good blogs. In the realm of Paganism one of the most important ones is the Pagan Leadership blog. It was a popular blog for event planners and teachers. Today if you go to Patheos the Pagan leadership blog is listed as an option to read. Once you click on the link the blog is not available. You get this image:
The Pagan leadership blog will not be the first blog on Patheos to be removed. I expect more pagan blogs on Patheos to be deleted and more authors blocked from accessing their accounts. This is due to the new leadership at Patheos. One author has already been blocked from their account while the blog is still open for reading.
Back in September BN media, who also own the website Beliefnet, bought Patheos. With the new ownership comes a new contract for the bloggers of Patheos. Many of the authors worry about having their content edited or removed together. This new contract supposedly allows for more direct editing and censorship of materials within the blogs.
It’s not an unreasonable fear either. The new contracts prevent the bloggers from posting disparaging comments on any related company. Some authors have spoken to the lawyers regarding the new contract and the words about disparaging comments. The contracts are apparently not clear on exactly what constitutes a related company.
Another blogger from Patheos named Pat Mosley went into further detail about how he felt there were additional issues with the support of BN media and Affinity4 through writing at Patheos. Pat Mosley writes about his concerns with writing in support of LGBTQ when the company you write for may not support the LQBTQ community as much.
“Writing in support of Queer people is pointless if the site that publishes you is funding* the fight against our lives at the same time. While I appreciate the efforts to renegotiate the contract, I cannot in good conscience continue to allow my work to be associated with Patheos. I am grateful for the editorial and reader support I have earned through my work there, however, this is the necessary end to that chapter of my life as a writer.
I hope that other writers of conscience will join me in refusing to create content that produces profit for the men who also direct a major source of funds for right-wing politics. I hope Patheos readers will join me in a general boycott of the website, and in encouraging their favorite bloggers to migrate somewhere with better ethics.”Pat Mosley What happened at Patheos
Suffice to say for the pagan bloggers at Patheos there is substantial confusion about who they can and can’t talk about as well as if there will be higher editorial control over nonpolitical content. There are several authors who are leaving Patheos because of the new contract and some are staying where they are.
Jason Mankey (one of the bloggers at Patheos) wrote an extensive post on his position related to the new contracts and the confusion. This quote comes from his blog that covers his stance on continuing to work at Patheos and his thoughts on the ability to write disparaging remarks.
“A few of the provisions in that contract have been taken radically out of context (at best). The most contentious provision is the one that’s being the most distorted. It asks writers not to write despairingly about Patheos or its “affiliate partners.” In this case the affiliate partner is Beliefnet, and nobody else. Such provisions are common amongst online entities. The Huffington Post is not going to host an article that says negative and untrue things about the Huffington Post, and not surprisingly, either is Patheos. Patheos Pagan Update
After reading that blog by Jason Mankey I asked him a few specific questions about the contract situation and if he had any concerns going forward. Here is the interview
Loona Wynd: Do you believe there is any validity to the “outrage” some of the articles related to the new contracts (John Halstead’s. Pat Mosley’s and Peter Dybing being the three that I have read) ? If so what do you see as the actual problem?
Jason Mankey: I think much of it’s overstated (at best). When dealing with a business it’s always best to be cautious, but many of the outrages simply aren’t true. I also don’t think Peter’s article was all that incendiary.
Loona Wynd: Do you have any fears or concerns going forward with Patheos?
Jason Mankey: No, and Beliefnet stepped up when there were concerns with the contract. They revised the contract, specifically addressing many of the concerns the writers had.
Loona Wynd: Do you have any words of comfort for readers of the various Pagan Blogs on Patheos?
Jason Mankey: Some blogs are leaving, many more are staying. This is an adjustment period but Patheos Pagan will survive. And just like before, our writers are free to write about whatever they want. The contract just asked them not to write disparagingly about Patheos or Beliefnet. That’s pretty standard for contracts. I don’t think you can write an article at the Huffington Post and say “Huffington Post is the worst thing ever” and have it stay on that site. Much of Patheos is overwhelmingly liberal when it comes to content, that’s not going to change.
Loona Wynd: Any idea why the Pagan Leadership blog is no longer available to the public?
Jason Mankey: I don’t think it ever was available to the public. It was an experiment with a paid blog from many years ago.
Loona Wynd: will you be signing the new contract and continuing to write for Patheos?
Patheos Pagan writers are open to write about political topics and anything else. They always have been and always will be. We’ve never done much editing at Patheos, and certainly not of content, and certainly without the author’s knowledge. Usually editing is about fixing a typo or perhaps removing a picture that breaks a copyright. If we were going in and radically altering people’s content everyone would hear about it! It’s hard to keep information away from people. In the last four months one post has been deleted from the site, and that was because it contained many untrue allegations.
For the moment it seems like Patheos is going to remain open to Pagan blogs and Pagan spirituality. My advice is to archive the blogs that you read regularly. We do not know how long the blogs will remain up if the author does not sign the contract. Read them now while you can.
With tomorrow being Valentines day alot of people are thinking about love spells and love charms. Love magic can be effective. It can be used to attract a long term relationship, a sexual relationship, friendships and more. Like with any spells love spells need to be made very specific. You may find that if you target an individual that the relationship is not a healthy one and they end up being obsessive or controlling. This is why it is best in love spells to gear them towards a specific type of person (meaning qualities, interests etc) rather than an individual.
With this in mind one of the most powerful love charms out there is Witches Red Salt. Witches Red Salt is an herbal charm that is made out of roses, sea salt and other herbs associated with love such as cinnamon, dragons blood, and Apples (the peel or flower would be best here). The goal of the Red Salt is to attract love first other additions depend on the individual witch.
Now that we know what Red Salt is used for let’s make an All Purpose Red Salt. This witches Salt will ensure fidelity, attract love, happiness, and friendship, all things that are essential in a healthy relationship. Once we have the Red Salt made we will take a look at how you can apply the red salt in a spell. The first part of the entire process is the crafting and charging of the Red Salt.
The act of making the Red witches salt is a spell in itself. When you are creating the salt you are directing, manipulating and focusing various energetic forces into the salt. You are working with the energy of the herbs and your own emotional energetic forces to create an item used to direct those energetic forces for a change in your life or the life of another person. You are effectively working a spell through the process of making the Witches Red Salt.
Crafting the Red Salt
4 cups Sea Salt *Any salt will work. Sea salt is best. Kosher salt works as well. Pink Himalayan salt will add to the spell from its color. (Salt is used to cleanse and remove blocks in the way of attracting love)
1 Cup Sugar (to sweeten them to you)
1 Cup Red Rose Petals (for love)
1 Cup Dried Apple Peels (Love)
1/4 cup Catnip (Happiness)
3 Tablespoons Dragonsblood (lust and love)
2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon (lust and love)
1 Tablespoon Ground Allspice (Fidelity)
Red Candle (for love)
Green Candle (For the herbal spirits)
White Candle (Spiritual force in general)
Mortar And Pestle
Rose Quartz (self love and friendship)
Jar or Container with a lid to store your salt in
On your altar place the three candles in a triangle with the white at the top point and the red and green at the bottom point.
Place the mixing bowl in the center of the candles
Around the Mixing bowl lay out the Rose, Apple Peels, Catnip, Dragonsblood, Cinnamon, and Allspice.
As You light each candle state:
“I call upon the spirits of the herbal Green
The powers from the worlds unseen
Lend me your blessings on this night
Bring me the powers of love shining bright
Empower this charm today
Bring us love which will stay”
Next you take the Salt and pour it into the mixing bowl
Pick up the Rose Petals and Hold the Rose petals over the candles.
As you hold the rose petals over the candles feel the powers of the spirit awaken.
Thank them silently and put them into the Mortar and Pestle.
As you grind the Rose petals into the finest powder that you can see love surrounding you.
Feel the energy of love flowing from your hands into the salt
Once the Roses are ground add them to the red salt
Stir the roses into the salt clockwise once again visualizing love. See the salt covered in a bright red light that is warm and welcoming (Red being love, desire and passion)
Take the Apple Peels and repeat the process using the Mortar and Pestle.
Once the Apple Peels are ground add them into the salt again stirring clockwise visualize the red light
Take the Catnip and awaken it as you did with the Apple Peels and Rose.
Once again grind the Catnip into as fine of a powder as you can and add it to the salt stirring clockwise
Awaken the Dragons blood, and add it to the salt followed by awakening the Cinnamon, and Allspice together.
Next add the sugar
Now that all the herbs are combined continue to stir the Red Salt together.
As you stir the salt visualize the salt glowing with red light.
While you stir and blend chant the following chant five times:
“Love come to me
One that freely loves me
Bring a lover that’s true
Open me to a love that’s new”
Once you feel that the energy has reached its max potential place your hands over the salt and draw a pentacle and a heart sealing in the energy
Pour the Charged Salt into your jar or Container
Cover With the lid and place the Rose Quartz stone on the Lid to continue to charge the Salt
Extinguish the Candles
The red Salt is now ready to use. Simply take out a small amount as needed for spell and ritual work.
Working With Red Salt
Now that we have made the red salt it’s time to talk about how we can work with the witches salt. It is important to remember that witches have always been very practical. They worked with what they had on hand and when they could. Working with red witches salt is designed to be practical and easy.
Working with red salt is fairly easy. The salt is already charged and ready to go. You can simply use the red salt as it is. That’s right. Since the red salt is already charged all you need to do now is give it a specific direction to work in. You can sprinkle the red salt into your shoes with the intent to attract love with each step. Just sprinkle the salt and say your intent for love. If you are the type to be a little more formal with your application of powders the following two spells are more structured ways to use the sprinkle in your shoes trick.
Walk to manifest Love Materials:
A piece of Paper with your petition written on it
On the paper write out your desire to have love. Be sure to include any specific desires and qualities about the type of person you are looking for. Things like hobbies, music, general interests, etc as well as personality traits (supportive, strong, good with animals etc) down
Once the paper has been written on sprinkle a little bit of the Red salt over the Paper and state:
“”May every step I take this day bring true love my way”. ”
Fold the paper towards you with the red salt and place in your shoes.
Then as you walk every day the energy in your steps will activate the salt.
Your walking ever day will attract the energy that you are sending out through your steps.
Dancing for Love
A piece of Paper with your petition written on it
On the paper write out your desire to have love. Be sure to include any specific desires and qualities about the type of person you are looking for. Things like hobbies, music, general interests, etc as well as personality traits (supportive, strong, good with animals etc) down
Once the paper has been written on sprinkle a little bit of the Red salt over the Paper and state:
“Every move I make tonight brings a lover that is right”.
The more you dance the more energy you will gather and direct.
The salt will act as a focal point directing the energy from dancing and the salt into the earth through your feet.
There are other ways that you can sprinkle witches salt and form a love spell. Many men and women use lotions and colognes or perfumes to male ourselves feel good about ourselves and to feel attractive. You can use red salt to strengthen the feelings of attractiveness when you work with those products. The goal in this application is to maximize how you feel attractive so it gains the attention of those who you are attracted to.
Makeup and Lotion Attraction Spell
Materials: Red Salt
Lotions and or any Beauty supplies (this includes hair styling supplies as well as makeup and colognes)
Gather all of your Beauty Supplies together
Envision yourself in a pink (for self love) and red (for general love and attractiveness)
As you pick up each item see a red and pink light entering the items until they glow.
Once they are glowing pick up the red salt and sprinkle it over the item stating
“Love come to me freely
One who accepts me
A love that’s meant be”
Now these items will be charged for the next month for both self love and romantic love.
Simply use them as you would normally.
Repeat the spell once a month to keep the items empowered
Perform the spell as needed when items are replaced
These spells should help you get started. Working with witches salt can be as simple or as complex as you would like it to be. The charm is powerful and ready to use. Be wise. If you are unsure about performing a spell or working do a reading and look to find out if its a good time to do the spell. If its acceptable to perform the spell get to work. If not do a reading and you’ll find out what you can do instead.
Joie Grandbois is one of the members of the Maine Pagan Unity Day Association and is on the board of directors. She participated in the Woman’s Rights March in Portland Maine. This is her experience and reflection on the March.
Q:Can you tell us a little about yourself and why you participated in this march?
A: My name is Joie and I live in Portland, Maine. I am partially self employed as a performer, artist and teacher but I also work part-time as a paralegal and research assistant. I have many fears and concerns regarding the actions of the new administration.
As a woman I worry about my reproductive rights being taken away, as a non-traditional worker who has health insurance through the ACA which is under threat of repeal and as a member of a community that is made up of a diverse group of LGBTQ people, immigrants, women, minorities and other who are greatly at risk from the promised policies of this administration.
I could not in good conscience stand aside and do nothing. I do make calls to my representatives and voice my concerns in other ways as well, but sometimes it is important to physically stand up and be counted. To be a part of a strong visual representation of those who are not in agreement with the way things are heading.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your experience at the march? How many were there and how you felt while you were there?
A: I marched in Portland. When I was there I guessed that there must be a couple of thousand at least but then the Portland Press Herald said it was over 10,000!!! It really was awe inspiring to be a part of such a large slice of the community all coming together. It was a little overwhelming but in a good, good way. At the end of the day I felt so hopeful. Just knowing I was not alone meant so much.
Q: That’s amazing. Can you tell us about the sign you were holding?
A:Sure. I carried a sign that had the names of several friends who could not be a part of the march. Some were disabled, others were fighting the flu, a couple had to work or had other obligations. It felt good to be able to help them be a part of the march even though they could not be physically in the space a that time.
Q: Have you been involved with any other political movements like this?
A: I was pretty heavily involved with the peace movement leading up to the Iraq war. I was very active with Peace Action Maine and Bridges for Peace (we did vigils on bridges across the state on Sundays). I have helped organize buses to DC for national marches and helped organize several other local protests and events.
I stepped back from organizing for a time as I, like many activists, started to become a bit burned out. I am still pretty active on a personal level. I’m one of those folks who calls and emails my representatives and I often show up for marches and protests of causes I support. I think as a citizen it is important to make your voice heard in as many ways as possible.
Q: I was there in 2004 when Michael Moore was supposed to visit and hold a rally for peace and voting. That was the first and only time I have been able to be active. It was an experience still hearing him from the conference call they had. What advice would you give to people who want to get involved but are not sure how to?
A: There are a lot of resources out there for finding out when actions are taking place. Facebook groups, peace organizations, women’s health groups, LGBTQ organizations, group for people of color, immigrants and so many more. Deciding what you want to support can be a bit overwhelming particularly when there are so many worthy causes and actions to support and we all have only 24 hours in the day.
It also means taking a look at yourself and seeing what you are capable of. Some of us are able to take part in direct action activities like the Greenpeace activists on the crane in DC today and others may find calling their representatives or showing up for a march to be more in line with what they are capable of doing.
There is no action too small really. Any action is better than nothing. I would suggest attending an organizing meeting for the particular issue you are interested in. Bring a friend if you are worried about going alone – when I went to my first protest I had a tiny little sign made from a pizza box top. It had a peace sign painted on it and I was sooooo nervous. I just felt like I had to do something and I heard about this protest outside of Senator Collins office. When I arrive folks were friendly and welcoming. It was a small step but every first step generally is.
I would also remind folks that activism can be a heady thing. It is easy for it to become all consuming; it is exciting and a relief to finally feel like you are doing something. But remember to take time to regenerate and rest too. Burn out is all to common in the activist community and I think even more so for women as we are culturally conditioned to be caretakers.
I am remember now too, when I think of being an activist. I was one of those kids in my high school who was boycotting Coca Cola and other companies to pull out of South Africa when apartheid was still in effect. I have always considered my self a feminist since I was very young. So I have been politically active and aware for much of my life. I think maybe because of that was easier for me to take a stand on things.
For others who are new to the idea or who have only recently had their eyes opened to the troubles of the world it can be an overwhelming thing – there is SOOOO much to be fixed.
Q: Do you think these marches and protests are going to have any lasting effect? If so how do you think we can ensure that they are successful?
A: Hmmmmmmm….yes I do. Maybe not on their own, though the images of the marches from around the world and the sheer numbers are crazy impressive, but I think it inspired a lot of people to get involved. There are a lot more folks coming out for this than I saw at peace events in 2003. I think you are seeing a lot of folks who have been pretty comfortable with things; we do tend to live in bubbles.
Sometimes it takes something becoming personal to spur someone to action – it would be nice to have everyone instantly empathize with each other issues but that sadly isn’t always the case. It can take having something personally impact someone or someone they love to inspire them to act.
My hope is that whatever brought people out to the marches this weekend, that they connected with others, that they have begun to see that issues like fighting racism and sexism, reproductive rights, protecting the environment, healthcare, equality, LGBTQ rights, etc. are all connected. We need to stand up for each other if we are going to make an impact.
We need to show up for each other. I think at least a few people likely made that connection on Saturday and will take steps to stay active.
So that is my long winded way of saying yes, I think the marches will have a lasting effect in that it showed people they do have a voice. Hopefully on they keep using
Q: Is there anything next on your agenda to continue this work?
A: For me it is continuing to make my voice heard by calling my representative in the state legislature and congress. It is showing up for events as much as I can. It is also doing things like building community, reminding folks they are not alone in this, and also remembering to celebrate the victories when we have them and to use those victories as foundation to work towards more. And it is a lot of one on one, face to face conversations. We need to continue to connect. Social media is great for organizing, but we need to go deeper than that and start more human to human conversations.
Q : Thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?
A : I’ll add that we all need to take a look at our lives and see where we can make changes. I think that one thing Saturday showed us was that while we all feel we are just one person, when we all come together we can really make our presence known. There are other ways we can do this – by being careful where we spend our money for example.
Are you spending it locally when possible?
Are you supporting companies that are doing good things for the communities they are in and the environment? You may show up for environmental protests, but what are you doing in your own life to support that.
You may be all for equality, but have you looked at what ways you benefit from inequality?
Do you come from a place of privilege?
We think of activism as something we do “outside” ourselves – we make calls, we march, we post on Facebook and Twitter, but it also has to include a deep look inside ourselves and at our lifestyles. We are after all the only thing we really have any control over and if we don’t work to change ourselves our impact on that which outside of us is reduced. Integrity means something….
Trite as it may sound, we do need to be the change we want to see in the world.