Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Workings: The Witch's Mirror

It's official--Mickie Mueller's new book The Witch's Mirror: The Craft, Lore & Magic of the Looking Glass releases June 8, 2016 (available for pre-order on Amazon)!

I am giddy and honored and humbled to be a contributor to this project (Book 4 of Llewellyn's The Witch's Tools Series) along with Raven Digitalis, Melanie Marquis, Blake Octavian Blair, Lisa Allen Calantriniel, Charlynn Walls, Autumn Damiana, David Salisbury, Michael Furie and Judika Illes--and of course, Mickie who also did the interior illustrations (SO cool cover art is by John Kachik).

Monday, September 7, 2015

Wandering Witchery: 5 Ways To Enchant Your Day At The Beach...

You never know when inspiration will sneak up on you. Every other year we try to get the whole family to get together for vacation. I thought our trip down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina would be a pretty uneventful time at the beach--but it turned out to be quite special. No matter where you go, or how long you get to stay, any trip can be magical and spiritual with a little thought and preparation, so I put together some tips for making a day at the beach an enchanted adventure. 

1. Forget the sand castle--build a labyrinth...
Being from New Jersey, trips to the seaside were always a part of every summer, along with the building of a sandcastle. This year I was working on an essay for Llewellyn's Magical Almanac about labyrinths, part of which was explaining how to lay out a simple seed pattern. The sand proved to be a good medium for trying this out:

We dug a trench in a seed pattern (click HERE for instructions), then filled it with small pebbles that we found closer to the water. Every beach is different--you can just leave the trench, or fill it with shells. Give walkers an affirmation or have them make a wish before they enter your magical path ♥ 

2. Connect to the energy of the local wildlife...
Beach habitats are filled with animals and plants you probably won't see inland, and each has its own unique medicine.

The beaches of North Carolina are nesting grounds for sea turtles, who embody the energy of change--particularly beginnings and endings--feeling at home anywhere (turtles carry "home" on their backs), and connection to water. A few houses down from where we were staying, a nest was ready to hatch! We watched for a while (the volunteers at N.E.S.T. kept a round the clock vigil), but didn't see any turtles, only changes in the nest. It is a sacred privilege to see nature at work. Be safe and respectful when it comes to wildlife; observe it at a distance.

3. Find some fulgurite...
It's always fun to find shells on the beach, especially perfect ones, but there are other touchstones to be found along the shore including sea glass, hag stones (stones with natural holes in them) and fulgurite.

Also called thunder stone or natural glass, fulgurite is sand fused together by lightening. It can be found just about anywhere where there's sand including the beach and the desert. That encapsulated power is good for use in divination, making connections to other worlds as well as "cloud busting"--rainmaking.

4. Make a wish with water and light...
Make a wish and write it in the sand--and sometimes the sand will surprise you. There have been lots of pictures on the internet (like the one below snapped by Will Ho) of beaches alight with bio-luminescent plankton. There are spots around the globe where this phenomenon is a regular occurrence--but when the conditions are right, it could happen anywhere.

For a few days, the cresting waves crashing on the Outer Banks glowed green and when we wrote in the sand, it was like using a flowing, glowing fountain pen. Look for warm sea and air temperatures, northwesterly winds, and a full moon (our plankton appeared a day or two before she was full). Read more HERE, or, you can try growing your own. Seriously--have a look HERE.

5. Look for black sand--and bag it...
Black sand is magical--and beaches made completely of black sand are found in a few places in the world (the best are in Hawaii). These are usually comprised of volcanic material, but many beaches have patches of black sand--not volcanic, but from "placer" deposits (like the photo below), gluts of valuable minerals--this is the stuff you'll find if you were panning for gold.

Black sand often contains--though tiny--ruby, sapphire, hematite, garnet, topaz, titanium,  and iron among other things.

I'm *thinking* of making this a regular feature of this blog, we'll have to see how it goes! I would love to hear about your seaside adventures and if you found this helpful. Thanks for reading, and safe travels!

Monday, August 31, 2015

In My Mailbox: Incense from the Bayou Witch, New Orleans bricks, and Sound Pods...

It's still (technically) August, but when we got home from our holiday in the Outer Banks, it was just like Christmas. I'd been waiting on some packages when we left and was very excited to finally get my hands on...

Back in late July, my much-talented friend Mickie Mueller started a "Three Magical Things" thread on FaceBook. One of Lunaea Weatherstone's magical items were these:

These are just lovely--a wonderful alternative to chimes, bells or rattles in ritual. I can't wait to use them in that way, but right now, I just pick them up whenever I pass them. Hearing them makes me smile. See them in action HERE, and get your own by clicking HERE!

I finally got around to ordering some incense from Celeste over at Bayou Witch. I've been rediscovering my relationships with the Saints I grew up with, so I selected a few scents based on my favorites. These are all lovely, rich and lingering, but can I just say how much I LOVE St. Francis?

I also got a brick from the now demolished Mitchell Elementary School in Louisiana. I'm going to be honest in that I've heard about red brick dust--and there my knowledge ends. Time to hit the books! When I saw Celeste's post, I knew I had to have one, if for no other reason than the pull I feel towards Louisiana. The brick was from a school (I was/am a teacher) that was built in 1928 (my mom's birth year)--I don't know if these connections mean anything, but here I have a tool with which to learn and share. Any reading recommendations are most welcome!