Crystal forms: A variety of curio magic

Crystal forms: A variety of curio magic

An assortment of Crystal types and forms

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

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

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

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

Raw and Tumbled

Raw crystal curios

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amethyst, quartz, Hematite Hanging Pentacle charm

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

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

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

Mini prosperity and succsess grid

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

Wands

Wands of crystals and stones

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

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

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

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

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

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

Totem Stones

Totem crystal collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skulls

Crystal Skulls

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Crystals Galore Magic In Store

Crystal Magic

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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Crystals and Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reiki altar and crystal healing altar

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

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

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

Bones of the Earth: Crystals as Natural Curios


Raw crystal curios

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

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

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

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

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

Choosing your crystals

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

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

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

Crystals to start with

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

Amethyst


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

Clear Quartz


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

Flourite

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

Hematite


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

Lapis Lazuli


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

Moss Agate


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

Obsdian


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

Cleansing and dedication

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources for Crystals:

I have personally bought from each of these vendors

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

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

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

Tools of the Craft : The Besom

Brooms are everywhere this time of the year. Black ones. Orange ones. Black and orange. Brooms with lightening bolts on the handle. You name it and you can likely find it on a besom. Other than the pointy hat, few other things identify witches as well, witches other than this universal accessory. Brooms have played an integral part in modern witchcraft and occult history. In fact, it would be hard to locate a circle anywhere this time of the year where a broom wasn’t somewhere to be found. It’s not just for sweeping the front porch anymore, at least not these.
As I said, brooms come in all sizes, shapes, textures, and patterns. Traditionally brooms were created from an ash or hazel (depending upon which was readily available in the area), sometimes willow, and birch branches or an herb called…you guessed it!….broom. Broom in it’s natural habitat of England, Scotland, parts of Asia, and warmer climates of Europe, has many uses, making brooms is just one. This bitter tasting herb grows as a shrub and can be used as both a toxin and a medicine. As an herbal treatment for bladder and kidney problems, and as a diuretic broom is used in conjunction with other herbs usually as an infusion over the course of a week or two until it is ready to be mixed into a potion. Unlike most herbs, this one is better taken with alcohol as it is very bitter and has an unpleasant scent after it dries and is boiled down.
The herb itself is very tall almost three feet high, woody with long tangling twig like stems, and grows in unlikely places. The rougher the terrain the happier this particular herb is. In fact, it will grow on rocky mountains in poor soil with little rainfall. This made it ideal for using as a tool or utensil for cleaning as well as magick.
Constructing brooms (besom) is pretty simple really. All that is needed is a long stave of either hazel, ash, or willow, willow twine, and long twiggy broom. The broom is connected to the stave with the willow twine and voila a besom is born! Of course the use of said besom isn’t always so simple.
Besoms were used, and still are, to clean the space for circle, to sweep away stagnant energy, as a protective barrier, to welcome guests, as a marital fertility aid (jumping the broom), and in some cases as a form of circle casting itself. Besoms placed near doorways welcome guests and ward away negative spirits. Sweeping the doorway, porch, and front of the home prevented energy from gathering and remaining there to cause problems later. In some cultures, sweeping of one’s feet meant the person in question would either get pregnant, go to jail, or get married. In other cultures it’s a way of removing the last bits of energy after shaking it loose with the besom.

Other lore regarding the besom include never sweeping with a broom while a deceased family member is in the home. A broom that suddenly falls from a door way announces company on the way. Brooms placed over the door protects against fairies and imps. Never bring old brooms into a new home and never burn a broom. Both are very bad luck.

 

The Welsh gypsy practice of jumping the broom is said to bring the newly wedded couple good fortune and many children. In parts of Africa sweeping over a man’s feet is said to bring on impotence. Of course, one can’t mention brooms without the practice of riding one.

 

The Dark Ages brought mountains of superstition regarding witches and devils. One is said to be the consort of the other and riding a broom was a reward for carrying out the devil’s work on Earth. I strongly suspect that should a Witch be able to actually get a broom to sweep his or her floor on its own, much less fly, there would be mass conversions. Certainly modern television witches have no problem twinkling their noses to a spotless home. However, Dark Age witches probably used a salve called flying ointment which was used to dress the broom for ritual use. This ointment consisted of a fatty base in which essential oils and herbs were mixed and then used to dress the broom from tip of the stave to the joining of the herb. Herbs such as wolfsbane, hemlock, henbane, and Nightshade were used and still are as a basis for charging these brooms. Charging is the practice of imparting energy onto an object so it become personal and receptive to the individual’s will. The first mention of flying ointments in conjunction with brooms and their use could be as early as the mid 1400’s.
The besom itself is a work of symbolism. It represents the union of the God and Goddess, a holy marriage, that revitalizes the Earth. Brooms may be created on May Day (Beltane, Belteanne, Beltaine, Cetsamhain), but not purchased on this day. To do so is said to sweep away friends and family and prevent visitors from returning.
Today modern witches still use the besom as an altar adornment, to sweep away negative or stale energy, and to recharge the energy in a space. They are used to cast circle, to mark the barriers of a circle, cleanse and consecrate the circle, and to prepare for smudging. Non-witches also use the broom to scent their homes, adorn their doors, and decorate their homes. It’s unlikely any of us witchy folk will be saving gas and riding our brooms any time soon, but the tradition and lore still live on.

Crystal Grid Basics

Crystal grids are all the rage in the metaphysical and natural sciences world. Scientists are beginning to explore these simple crystal patterns as a means of healing and exploring the Earth’s natural energy grids. Crystal grids are part applied science and part intuition. They work with the Law of Attraction and the natural ley lines in the Earth.

Ley lines are bands of geomagnetic energy that stretch across the globe usually beginning and ending in a mountain or hill source. Where you find ley lines you will usually also find a location of water. The Earth is naturally embraced within a magnetic field. This magnetic field can be used as a guideline for planting strong crops, finding healthy water,

Archeoastronomy, and geosciences. The ancient civilizations of the Mayans, Incans, Aborigines, Celts, Sumerian, Babylonian, and Chinese, knew of these ancient lines of energy and used them to construct sacred spaces, to conduct rites of worship, for healing, and energy work.

The Law of Attraction states simply that your thoughts translate as energy. That energy is released through intentions. Speaking or sending positive thoughts yields positive results. Speaking or sending negative thoughts yields positive results. This is a mixture of perception and belief. If you believe your life is negative it is. By keeping your thoughts positive you emit positive energy, as your thoughts and perceptions are nothing more than energy. The energy is reflected in the vibration of the energy field around your body. In terms of science, the Laws of Thermodynamics may be applied, which states simply that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but it may change form and it may be transferred from one thing to another. In this respect the energy you create with the Law of Attraction (using thoughts and perception as forms of energy) may be transferred to the crystals using the First Law of Thermodynamics. When you charge your stones this is what you are using.

By using natural laws of energy and using sacred geometry, you can create a simple, beautiful, and powerful crystal grid to attract abundance, healing, love, and tranquility into your life.

Sacred geometry applies within the shapes used for constructing pieces of spiritual art, buildings, shrines, temples, churches, and so forth. This is a very ancient form of mystical science which gives the vibration of a form a number, the number of which is applied to a specific spiritual attribute. Ideally the form should connect and be made of equal parts of the same number. Using crystals with a specific vibration is also important as this determines the frequency that your grid will emit. With the aforementioned science in mind, use this as a determining factor for your crystals:

* All things are energy in one form or another. The crystal you are holding is created from the same exact energy that also created you. All energy is derived from a central source, however or whatever you determine that source to be. Therefore you and the crystal already have an energetic connection.

* The same energy that connected you and the rock is also the same energy that connected other people, things, and creatures in the world. You are already a part of their lives by collective consciousness, and also a part of the stone. Creating and sending energy through an extensive length is space is positive through this collective connection.

* Crystals have their own energy. The numerical values of their name is not their frequency. Their vibrational frequency (harmonics) is measured by the density of the crystal which is reflected within the color, structure, and weight of the stone. Note the weight difference and intensity of color in a piece of tumbled clear quartz, rose quartz, fancy jasper, and hematite. Structural differences may add to the energetic qualities of the crystal and function, but doesn’t really affect the actual harmonics of the crystal that much.

You can use pre-set crystal grid kits or you can create them yourself. You may also use as a center stone a crystal generator, points, balls, pyramids, or merkaba. These are all used to collect, cleanse, and magnify the energy used with the grid. Use what you are drawn to, what you like, and what connects with your purpose. Excellent general use stones include clear quartz, selenite, jaspers, amethyst, aegerine, agates, moonstone, and river stone.

Book Review: The Good Witch’s Guide : A Modern Day Wiccapedia of Magickal Ingredients and spells

Written by: Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell, pub 2017 Sterling Publishing Co. 305pp

The Good Witch’s Guide is not your average, everyday introductory or advanced peep into the Craft. To be honest, owning quite a few of these guides, myself, I was used to the standard Wiccan/Witchcraft encyclopedia reference materials. Most of them, I find, are stuffy, and to be clear, I’m not a huge fan. When I cracked open this book, I was expecting this to be just another reference guide, however; I found myself pleasantly surprised. This book is a real page turner.

The Good Witch’s guide is full of wonderful spells, incantations.

There is a guide to crafting your own personal Magick and yes, stones, essential oils, colors and herbs.

It has everything from Witchy Wisdom, rituals and formulas, spirituality, folklore, health and health remedies.

Of course, there are sections dedicated to candle Magick, brewing your own potions, tinctures and salves.

This book is jam packed with all kinds of recipes for Sabbats and special occasions.

Want to know how other Witches are casting their own versions of these spells? There’s even a section dedicated to that!

There are tons of traditional spells that are tried and true and all of the “how-to’s” that go along with them.

In this authors humble opinion, this may very well become the definitive guide for all who take the time to read it. The Good Witch’s Guide is a pleasure to read for the Beginner in the Craft all the way to your most Adept Student. It can be used strictly as a reference manual or can be read cover to cover without the monotony of other reference guides.

On a more personal note, this is one book is one that I will cherish and read again and again!

Laurie Bates
Falcon Lunafyre

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Witchs-Guide-Modern-Day-Ingredients/dp/1454919523/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495484984&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Good+Witch%27s+Guide

A Free Form Sort of Way

I started teaching and facilitating workshops in 2013. Of course I didn’t know where to begin in the big ocean of all that my life had taught me and continues to teach me. All I knew, was I need to share what I’ve learned. It took me a few teaching experiences to know really where I needed t0 start. For I came to understand that there were some needed tools that could help with the life changing things I have to share. It was also in some ways that I knew that these tools were the things that really helped with my healing and transformations that have been going on for the last 11 years. I had at first called my class that had these tools Unscript It! and Unscript Yourself!. Yes I did have a rough time knowing how to name my classes. Then when the decision to do my tools class I settled on A Free Form Sort of Way! In fact I will be teaching this class at this year’s ConVocation. But now I know you are curious as to what this is all about.

My first painting I did using ArtRage app January 2017

A Sunlit Evening by Aurora Shirina Lee-Laine

It is all about active, expressive meditation styles that are free-form in nature. These meditation styles teach us to make use of our voice and bodies in a free-form sort of way. Another way of seeing free form use of voice and bodies is things like ecstatic dancing and singing or sacred dance and singing.  I also share how we can use creative arts in free-form sort of ways, so that we can freely express ourselves. It may seem odd to hear that free-form dance or singing and art can do so much to help us. For I know that most of what we have available, while very helpful and such, they require that we do things a certain way. In fact much of our lives are set up to follow certain ways to seeing things, doing things and so much more. I know I myself was struggling still to find my path and find myself within all the should do this and that this way and believe this and that. I had been doing meditation, chanting, prayer and ritual and so much more. Yet I was still somehow stuck in certain patterns and was feeling guilty when I couldn’t do ritual in the suggested ways. Often I found myself doing spontaneous things that really helped shift things for me and empower me. Yet I felt guilty for these spontaneous things I was doing during ritual and such.

That all started to change though when somehow Gabrielle Roth’s work showed up in my life!

Gabrielle’s books Maps To Ecstasy & Sweat Your Prayers, became a part of my life about 11 years ago.

A Book By Gabrielle Roth

 

Another great book by Gabrielle Roth

With these books I started another part of my healing journey. There has been other peoples work that has added to her work and my understanding of free-form expression of our voices and bodies. Two such people are Bradford Keeney PhD his book: The Bushman Way of Tracking God and a local person in the Detroit Metro area Michael Patrick through his: Dance Meditation Technique.

A book by Bradford Keeney

These three people in different ways guide us in the benefits of free form body movement and expression of our voice. In different ways they show us how this path to meditation can help us get to know ourselves and how our mind and bodies respond to things in our lives. In different ways they show us how movement and use of voice help us to heal the disconnect we have between body, mind, feeling and emotions. They also show us how we can use these styles to make our connection with the divine in a more authentic way. These meditations styles also help us to in a conscious and active way to navigate our tougher challenges that are a part of our healing journeys. And as we are getting to know how our bodies and mind interact and react to things around us, we find means to move through stressful and tough things, because we are aware of things and we also are aware of how we can diffuse things. Why this works is because we are learning to face things and to express those things and this is a part of what can help us heal. For we are listening and paying attention to ourselves and we are giving voice, expression to things. Often just that act of acknowledging something , we start a process of diffusing things and calming things down.

The other thing that started to happen with my practice of free form expression of voice and body, was my spiritual practice deepened. I in more consistent ways experienced  connection with the whole of life and it’s energies. I found myself wanting to commune with the wind, trees and animals, to where I’d dance with the trees and sing with the birds and insects. I often find myself being a bit more playful and filled with joy from the simplest of happenings and things. There is a certain freedom I gained in expressing myself through body and voice. I could feel the energies building easier and better for me when I do ritual or pray and chant freely and well, as raw as possible. Now mind you I still have the times I follow prescribed procedures when doing ritual, meditating and such. Yet so much for me has come from adding free form expression of my voice and body, as a part of regular practice also.

Another thing I’ve experienced with my free form meditation practice is that I can separate and know what emotions, energies and such belong to me and set myself free of others emotions and such. This is an important thing if you are an empath, energy worker, counselor or healer. It is also a helpful thing if you are Autistic. But even if you don’t identify with any of those things, it is good to be able to know what is your emotions and energies, what belongs to you versus what may belong to another person. Reason is we all take information in of varying types and in a variety of ways. We can get lost in all that information that we take in and it can leave us wondering why we are feeling a certain way, when it feels like we shouldn’t have a reason to feel say angry or depressed. So being able to move other peoples energies and emotions out of our system can be a big help in taking some of the edge off of being overwhelmed or buried under so much. Chances are if we feel this way we’ve been taking on to much of other people’s things. So it’s good to have means to let that excess energies and emotions out in a safe way.

This is just some of how free form expression of our bodies and voices can help us.

Now I want to share a few routines that can help:

First pick a favorite album or play list; Then ask yourself and your body ” How am I feeling? How is my body feeling?”;With the music playing start moving your body in how ever way it is feeling!

examples; can be you are feeling sluggish. So you droop down, move slow. Another is you are stressed filled with tension, go ahead and tighten as much of your body as possible. You are feeling happy, do a happy dance then”

The point is move your body according to how it is feeling! As the music plays work through the way your are feeling. Let yourself feel and express what you and your body are feeling as much as you feel comfortable with.

” It is alright if you can only do this for say 5 minutes or a couple of songs” even that short bit of time can do wonders in diffusing the tough stuff and giving you more energy with the upbeat stuff! As you do this practice at least once or twice a week you will get better at helping your body and mind navigate how you are feeling both emotionally and physically.

You can also use this method to do energy work and to set intentions and work with affirmations! You also can spend time with The Divine and express your love and gratitude!

So allow yourself to work with and express your body and emotions through free form movement and see how it can help you.

Next is your voice!

This is a bit trickier if you don’t have any just instrumental type music you like. Yet your usual music can be alright for this also.

As for body movement, you now pick a playlist or album that you have found yourself humming or singing along with. Now you ask” What needs to be expressed?” and you express it through singing, humming or even just making sounds. We don’t always need words! The objective is to put as much feeling as you can into your voice as possible. It’s alright if words fail you! Just use your voice!

Once again it is alright if you can only do this for 5 minutes or a couple songs! All that matters is you consciously express what you are feeling through the music and your voice!

Again this can be used for a multitude of reasons!

Then comes the part that you combine your voice and body movement! And yes things can really take off when you combine the two! This is what you are working toward!

This is just a snap shot into how you can use free form expressions of your body and voice. Don’t be afraid to explore and discover these things for yourself!

I had mentioned free form expression through creative art styles in the earlier part of this article.

So let me share this particular style of free form expression with you.

I love art and I always hoped I could be an artist, even if it was just for myself. Yet sadly I didn’t have acceptable natural talent or ability when it came to art classes and such. I couldn’t draw like my sister could. Yet I did love to create cards for holidays and birthdays. Yet it never was something I thought I could do. So I never pursued anything with art.

Then I became a mother and one of my tough choices I made was to home school our child. It took me a few years to put together something that worked for myself and our child and fulfilled the state requirements also. It was during those early years that the Waldorf Education style arrived in my life. Fortunately I was able to find home school resources for this path of education. It helped us out a lot. It was also where I found that art was one of their core aspects. For the children are encouraged to do their own lesson books, in which they were encouraged to illustrate their lessons and write about their lessons in their own words. Working with our child through this style, opened some doorways for me to see what artistic things I could do.

A Zentangle

The Many Paths To Learning To Love by Aurora Shirina Lee-Laine

That was when some drawing styles came into my life. The first was: Touch Drawing, created by Deborah Koff-Chapin. Then came: Zentangle: created by Rick Roberts & Maria Thomas. Also two other books caught and grabbed my attention and those are: The Art of Silliness by Carla Sonheim and the other: Doodling with Jim Henson.

So what all did these styles teach me and still are teaching me? Well they first gave me the means that did not require me to know how to do this shape or this form and making sure that I got them proportioned right and the lines are right and well you know get it right! So they freed me up by giving some guidelines, yet gave me plenty of room to just draw! Some interesting things started to come to my notice. I’m a very creative person and learning this about myself seemed to free me up to take that creativity and use it to change my past history’s stories and programming. I also had some repeated “Aha!” moments as I saw that even though I couldn’t keep forms, shapes, lines and proportions right, I still got to see neat things come forth. It showed me that my life choices that I had made that weren’t right or healthy or did more harm than good, could be things that were still a part of who I was, yet could be turned around to help in my growth and understanding of things. That mistakes and such aren’t necessarily the terrible monsters we can make them out to be. That mistakes really are lessons. We weren’t meant to be perfect and have all the answers. Life is about exploring, learning, growing and healing. That the messiness of life can still be useful and it’s okay that we don’t get it right all the time. Learning this started helping me to feel alright around other people and helped me to not be so scared that I’m going to mess things up. Sure I do bumble and fumble, but guess what we all have our awkward moments with each other. I started to understand that we all are students in this thing called life.

A Zentangle Session

A Turtle That Showed Up by Aurora Shirina Lee-Laine

I could share so much more! But that is for a book project that needs to start happening! What I hope you take away from all this, is learning to know ourselves and love ourselves is the biggest job we have. I found that making free form expression a part of my routines has done so much to help me learn about myself and love myself. It has taught me and continues to teach me things about life and how to navigate it. It has helped me in being able to better to know what is my stuff and what belongs to other. It helps me by giving me an outlet to express and release things that have overloaded me. It has taught me that there can be good lessons in my mistakes and it has giving me so much in healing my connections with the layers of myself and also the greater wholeness of life and my fellow human brother and sisters. And it keeps giving so much more!

So please accept this invitation to explore these teachers I’ve shared with you and give these meditation styles a try and see what they do for you!!!

Aurora Shirina Lee-Laine

 

 

 

 

Conjure for the Holidays

Ah the holidays.  Its a time for joy and love.  Its a time that is meant to be full of happiness and good will towards others.  This time of year is as full of goodwill and love towards your fellow man as it is jealousy and fear.  From neighbors who are jealous of you to those troubling family issues that seem to come up around the holidays energy of jealousy and anger spread as rapidly as love and joy. A lot of the jealousy issues raised during this time are unconscious so it is important to keep up your protections.

In addition to what ever protections you typically have around your home this time of year you can add extra protections through your holiday decorations.  That’s right your wreaths, the bells, and the crystal balls on your holiday tree can be protections.  These protections are excellent in that they can be hidden in plain sight which makes them even more effective.  So lets take a look at a few of these decorations.

Lets start with the wreath.  Wreaths are in a circle which is unbroken.    Most wreaths are made out of evergreens.  Most evergreen trees have symbolism of prosperity and wealth or succsess.  So the wreath itself represents unbroken prosperity and succsess.  Many wreaths have tinsel or glittering ribbon as decorations.  Those glimmering ribbons distract any ill intent or spirit that is sent your way.  Add a pair of nails in a cross buried in the center of the wreath and you have excellent protection.

Christmas and Yule trees are very popular.  Tinsel is a common decoration like with wreaths the tinsel distracts the ill intent of any spirits that could be sent your way.  Many craft stores sell clear glass balls that can be decorated with symbols of protection (depending on your path which symbols are important to you) and filled with herbs protection, luck, prosperity, etc.  Adding bells to your tree will invite positive spirits and blessings and warn you if there are negative spirits or energy it will banish them from the area.

Finally cinnamon brooms can be hung to invite prosperity and succsess.  If you add red ribbons it will bring protection your way as well.  Hang it over your door or the door to your business or office to bring succsess and prosperity through the new year. Adding bells or chimes will add additional protection and blessings.

I hope that you will take this article and use it to spark some Yule or Christmas holiday traditions.  Let the decoration for the holiday and the setting of the decorations with the protections and blessings become a ritual in and out of itself.  By letting your family join in the setting of the decorations everyone adds their energy, their desires, and their will to the home.  The decorations and the magic within them will truly reflect the whole home.  Brining the whole family together is really what the holidays are all about.

May you have a blessed Holiday!

Happy Yule

Merry Christmas

~Loona Wynd~

Altering the view on Altars

Altering the views on Altars

The most basic ritual tool in any religious or spiritual practice is your altar. It is where any work with the Gods or spirits will be done.  It is your spiritual home.  Your altar is your connection to the Gods and spirits of your path.  They can be complex or they can be simple.  You can have them up permanently or you can use them only when you need them.  You can have them outside or inside or you can make one on the fly at locations for specific rituals.  There are as many ways and styles of altars as there are people who build them.

The purpose of the altar is to be tool in your spiritual, magical, and or religious work.  An altar is simply a working surface.  It is the place where you hold rituals and place offerings for the spirits or Gods that you work with.  If you do spell work it is the surface on which all your tools and ingredients for your spell.

Many people believe that you need to follow strict requirements for altar set ups like being in the north, what tools you must have on them, and positioning of those tools and items.  The fact is that unless you belong to a specific path like Traditional Wicca which has specific altar requirements no one can tell you how to build your altar and what you can and can’t have on them.    It is your altar, your sacred place to connect with the Gods and spirits that you work with.

There are many different types of altars and many different ways to work with them.  The type of altar that you build will depend on your path and the Gods and spirits that you work with.  Each altar has its own uses and practices.  Some are more devotional and some are more for active working.  There is no right or wrong way to work with your altar surface.

The most common altars in magical and spiritual work are working altars:

dad-healing-poppet
Healing spell working altar

The above photo shows a working altar near the end of the working.  At the start this altar would have had the needles, herbs, and the fabric outline of the Poppet.  Working altars are just that- a space for performing magical and spiritual works.  They contain all the materials that you need for any spell or working.  They can be used for one time or be used continuously it depends on the working involved.

Other working altars would be spell type specific altars like a money altar.  These altars are altars designed for specific type of spell working.  On a money altar you would perform any spells and workings dealing specifically with money (new job, raise, getting debts, sales etc) basically anything related to finances.  Another working altar could be a healing altar where only workings based on healing would occur.

Aside from working altars devotional altars are fairly common;

Saint Michael Devotional altar
Saint Michael Devotional altar

A devotional altar is an altar that is dedicated to a specific spirit or God.  Only items related to that particular God, Spirit, or being are placed on that surface.  They commonly involve statues or images of the being, candles, incenses holders, and bowls or glasses for offerings.  Devotional altars are places where you can honor a specific spirit through prayers and offerings.  You can ask them for help, thank them for being in your life, or just honor them.  These altars are typically only used for prayer work and offerings.  However if a spell or working calls upon them you may include the completed poppet,charm,etc on their altar to add their energy to the spell.

One of the most common types of devotional altars is that of an ancestor altar:

An ancestor altar
An ancestor altar

Ancestor altars are common place in many different pagan religions and traditions.  An ancestor altar is used to honor and venerate our beloved dead.  Ancestor altars are a place for us to remember and honor those who have come before us.  Most often they include pictures, a candles, and an offering bowl or plate.

Many people have permanent altars in their home.  In some witchcraft traditions the altar may look something like this:

Neo-pagan witchcraft altar
Neo-pagan witchcraft altar

On that altar they have all the tools they need for any sabbat or esbat as well as any impromptu ritual they may feel like performing.  Permanent altars like the one above often provide a sense of security and satisfaction.  To many it is a physical symbol and reminder of the path they have chosen to take in this life.

Its common to find that people practice or have influences from multiple pagan paths.  Often they will  have separate permanent altars for the different paths that they practice.  For example someone may have a religious witchcraft altar set up for Sabbat work and practices while they may also have an Asatru or Kemetic altar set up.  They work in and honor both sets of beliefs and Gods but keep the altars separate as they are separate paths and are kept separate out of respect.

There are many other forms of altars from outdoor altars to travel altars and even pocket altars.  Altars are very powerful and very personal tools.  Let the spirits you work with guide you on building your altars.  You will know what is right for you and you alone.

 

Knot Magick

A few years back, a member of the circle I was then a part of brought a photocopy of some info on knot magic to our ritual, and we read it, and tried it out.

It was an interesting experience, one that I want to share with you.

A yellow patterned background with a black cord on top with four knots
Knot magic at work. Photo: Janet Callahan

It turns out the copies I was given years ago are a chapter from DJ Conway’s book, Wicca: The Complete Craft.  I don’t own a copy, but Google Books has it in their library.  The internet is an amazing thing….

Knot magic has been used for hundreds (probably thousands) of years. Many of the various Goddesses of Fate are weavers, who tie  and loosen knots all the time. And there are lots of stories of sailors buying knotted cords from witches and wizards, in order to make the wind blow if their ships were stalled.

Looking back to that bit about the ships tells us something important about knot magic: more than anything, it’s something of a battery, storing energy up for when we need it. And frequently, the energy stored is something natural – wind, the full moon, the dark moon….

An organized witch might, then, prep many different cords with knots, each cord representing a specific type of energy they might need later.

Another obvious use of knot magic is to bind.  That is, after all, the definition – to tie something securely.  Equally, the untying of knots can be used to symbolize the dissolving of a problem.

Even our weddings, both Pagan and more mainstream use knot magic and knot imagery – to get married is to “tie the knot” in the mainstream world, and our handfastings typically involve an actual cord being tied around the hands of those being joined.

a person in a gray suit and a person in a wedding dress, with a third person tying their hands
Image via flickr user ms2588a, under creative commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

 

So, how would one use knot magic to store and use energy?  The example given in the pages I have give some good examples, and this is basically what we did that night so long ago.

For the full moon, pick a silver or dark purple cord. While the instruction say to use a 2-3 foot cord, I’d suggest 39 inches – 13 x 3 – for best effect. You want cord that is not too slippery (satin cord, for example, does not hold knots well), and not too stiff (we used 1/8″ gross-grain ribbon, which was pretty hard to tie because it was stiff).

On the full moon, cast your circle and perform any other ritual things your tradition recommends before your working.

Use a full moon incense, and cleanse the cord in the incense smoke. Stand somewhere in the moonlight, making sure the moonlight has touched all of the cord.

Now, you will tie nine knots, from one end of the cord to the other, while reciting this chant (or something like it):

Knot of one, this spell’s begun.
Knot of two, the power is true.
Knot of three, my will shall be.
Knot of four, I gather more.
Knot of five, moon power is alive.
Knot of six, the power I fix.
Knot of seven, moon magic leaven.
Knot of eight, this spell is fate.
Knot of nine, the threes are trine.
I gather moonbeams in this cord, according to my magic words.
Moon power is stored here on this night for magic good and strength so bright.
(chant from Wicca: The Complete Craft)

Then finish out your ritual and close your circle.

When you later wish to use that stored energy (for example, you need to do a spell that normally requires a full moon, but the moon is now just a tiny sliver), take your cord and your full moon incense, set up your ritual as you normally would, and during your working, you untie the knots from one end to the other, visualizing the full moon energy flowing into your hands, using the following chant:

I open the door to the power beyond,
The moon gate that has an Otherworld key.
Unending power flows into my hands.
This is my will and so shall it be.
(chant from Wicca: The Complete Craft)

Then do the rest of your working as if there is a full moon, and then close out your ritual as you typically would.

References:

Wicca: The Complete Craft, by DJ Conway, published by Crossing Press, September 9, 2001

http://realpagan.net/forum/topics/cord-or-knot-magic

http://www.magicalrecipesonline.com/2012/10/knot-magic-tie-knot-bind-magical-power.html

Cord Magic Basics

https://bytheknotofnine.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/historical-spells-cords-knots-and-magic/

Knot Magic

Knot Spells

 

 

How to build a strong Brand for Events

Establishing a strong brand for your event helps you differentiate your event and build loyalty with attendees. While branding encompasses everything from your logo to the way you write your social media posts , your on-site experience is critical to building a memorable brand.

After all, having a captive live audience gives you the rare opportunity to fully immerse people in your brand. But how do you create a brand experience that goes beyond slapping your logo all over walls of your venue?

1. First impressions are everything.

From the moment a guest arrives at your event, they should have a sense of your brand. Consider key moments of entry where the most people will interact with your brand: the front door, the entryway of your venue, or even your registration table. These areas are worth investing in because they’ll get the most eyes.

Especially if you’re working with a limited budget, prioritize your high-impact points of entry — and don’t worry about placing costly signage at every turn.

2. Quality over quantity.

Don’t just throw your logo everywhere. Sure, you want your logo prominently placed throughout your venue, but think about the big picture. It’s about creating a clean, consistent look throughout your venue. You want to come off as polished — not pushy. Think about subtle ways to weave in your brand look and feel at key touchpoints like:

  • Building exterior or front gate signage
  • Registration or check-in area
  • Directional  signage within the venue

3. Creativity counts.

Beyond traditional signage like banners, think about how can you surprise and delight your guests with your brand experience. Instead of traditional foam core signs placed on easels, why not create floor decals? In place of printed posters, how about on screen motion graphics that catch your attendee’s eye?

Here are a few other ideas to get you started:

  • Coffee sleeves: Include your event tagline!
  • Projected lights: Project your logo or brand color(s)
  • Window or column clings: Put them in unexpected places
  • Swag guns: Shoot swag from a “swag gun” onstage to engage the crowd
  • Photo booth: Create a fun branded backdrop or frame to give attendees a photo op (An added bonus? You’ll improve your chances of attendees sharing your event

4. Engage your audiences before and after the event

why not create an application for your event- Eventbrite and Doubledutch are just two services that offer low cost  social app for your event branded with your own logo.

  • Event lasts longer and people have the ability to connect with friends long after the event
  • being able to network, network, network
  • better audience to advertise next years event
  • Sponsor have better presence, and intern stronger buying power!

 

Courtesy of Doubledutch.me

 

Bryan Peters ,  Meetings Expert  Consultant with American Express Meetings and Events, Questions/ comments? Bryan.peters@aexp.com  or call me at 330-274-7353

MEETINGS EXPERT Consultant, a freelance independent contractor, duly appointed by and working in association with American Express Meetings & Events.  “American Express Meetings & Events” is a service provided by American Express Global Business Travel (“GBT”).