The year is 2020. A green mist of Coronavirus has descended over the skyscrapers of Manchester, and I am BORED. Where do I go to read about cool things? And possibly have to trawl through pages and pages of people claiming to be Satan himself? Why, /x/, of course.
For those of you who haven’t heard of /x/, this is a 4chan board where people (mostly) discuss the paranormal. Some posts on /x/ are ridiculous, but every so often you come across a real gem – I even wrote an article about one of them! So, /x/ draws me back in time and time again, just out of hope that I’ll read something as interesting as that.
Anyway – back to the story. I was happily browsing /x/ one day when I came across a post. The text of the post wasn’t compelling, something about demons etc etc, but I was drawn to the image posted. The image in question was this:
I felt some sense of anxiety looking at this image. It reminded me of when Lovecraft refers to something as ‘a picture which drives one insane’. I’d never seen anything which inspired so much dread and a gut-wrenching feeling that something was wrong. I was convinced that I’d never come across this image again, so I saved it onto my phone.
A few days passed, and I couldn’t shake that compulsion to keep looking at it. Part of its weirdness was that I didn’t know where it was from, and the art style was just….uncomfortable. In an attempt to make myself feel better, I reverse Google image searched it, and easily found it.
It was a book cover: a book called Chamiel by Edward Pearson. But that didn’t fully satisfy me. I had to see what it was about, as I’ve learned to pay attention to this weird gut feelings, so I headed to Amazon (boo! hiss!) to see if I could buy it. Yes! I could buy it! It was even on sale.
It was reduced to £0.01. This felt wrong, I thought, as I added it to my basket. Wasn’t it a coincidence that I had such strange feelings about a book that just happened to be on sale for one pence at the exact same time? I knew the universe wanted me to buy it. So, in true reckless Frankie Synth fashion, I bought it. I felt like there must be something in it that I needed to read.
It came, and I opened it. The dedication page just said ‘dear John.’ That was it. Just that on an empty page. I already had the feeling that this book was cursed somehow, but I couldn’t explain it, it was a gut feeling. The first rule of cursed objects is to cleanse cursed objects (we’ve all seen Annabelle, I aint having chairs flying around my house).
After cleansing the book and the house, I sat down to read. The book was an adventure novel about archangels, but what stood out to me was the ending (I’ll try to keep it spoiler free): the ending of this book provides a new perspective on the canonical Adam and Eve story, and after reading it, it prompted me to look at my own roots with new perspectives.
Had I not looked at my own roots, I wouldn’t have made some difficult decisions and expelled negativity from my life. That is what this book was trying to tell me. So, thanks good guy universe!
However, that picture still remains a mystery as to why it disturbs me so much. It may be symbolic of my reluctance to do shadow work: the picturesque, dreamlike landscape contrasting with the harsh oppressive shadow is pretty evident. Because I’m apparently a masochist, I may even print it out and display it on my desk to remind me to do shadow work!
What do you think? Does this image disturb you the same way it disturbs me? Do you have any images that have spoken to you?
It’s been a good long while since I last posted here. Firstly, I just want to thank everyone who still visits this blog (I can tell cos ya girl’s got analytics), even though at the moment it feels like this:
Apparently my sigil pages are the most popular, and hopefully I might have time to update the sigil bank. Hopefully.
The thing is, life is really hectic at the moment. I have a full time day job™, work as the social media manager (professional meme maker) for Pagans of the North (as well as writing the odd article for them here and there), and am also doing a course in Coaching & Mentoring, just on the off-chance I didn’t have enough things to do. Also, April was when things started reopening in the UK, so I also go to the gym three times a week.
Add all this together and you get a very tired human.
So, as this blog is at the bottom of my priority list, I actually forgot about it until a notification popped up that I had a yearly fee to pay for the domain name.
I am currently working on a novel too (yeah, really). I’m not sure what my goals for this blog are: I started it to be informative and interesting, but I might begin to post some of my own work on here: poetry, excerpts, etc. I’m taking suggestions if anyone has any!
TLDR: I’m struggling to maintain this blog alongside everything else that I do. I’ll still post whenever I can here, and hopefully get around to updating my sigil bank (after LITERALLY A YEAR),but most of my time and energy is going into my other projects right now.
Welcome to the first of hopefully many book reviews I intend to do on this blog – I intend to cover lots of different topics and themes. Enjoy nerding out with me!
In my manic ‘I want to do a philosophy masters’ phase of mid-2020, I bought this book as my first foray into Hermetic philosophy. I already vaguely knew the term Hermetic, as I’d been reading my Hermetic tarot deck for a year prior to that, but I was yet to actually understand what Hermeticism actually was. (something something…Dr John Dee…something something).
When this book arrived, it looked so cool. It was black faux snakeskin with gold leaf titling, and holding it felt like I was a 19th Century hermit starting a vast library of antiquities. Another thing that I noticed was that it was quite small, which was a good thing – as sometimes I’m put off by Yellow Pages-esque tomes about philosophy (yawn).
However, it took me forever to get around to reading it, and even longer to get around to finishing it. Not that it wasn’t interesting, but it was difficult to bring myself to read something so academic when I had other fiction books to occupy my time. Nevertheless, I finished it, contemplated it, and wrote this review.
This book is very ‘to the point’. It clearly states what the ‘axioms’ (or rules) are in Hermetic philosophy, and even lists them as headers. This is quite refreshing to someone who thinks they are reading an academic text, and really handy for beginners that just want to know what Hermetic philosophy is. The book follows a three part structure: firstly, laying out the ‘rules’ in a bitesize format; then following this with clearly marked chapters expanding on each rule; then a conclusion, which sums up some key axioms and leaves the reader with at least basic knowledge of hermeticism. And really, that basic knowledge was all I wanted! The middle chapters were useful in that there were a few axioms where I was a bit ‘eh…?’ in how I understood them, and explaining each axiom per chapter gave me a way to settle into each one without it being overwhelming.
However, this book seems to assume that I am already a student of Hermeticism, and that made me feel a bit alienated from the subject matter:
‘If you are a true student, you will be able to work out and apply these principles- if not, then you must develop yourself into one.’ (p5)
There really seems to be no intention of non-Hermetics reading this, and so my brain almost responded with ‘ok then I won’t read it, screw you Three Initiates.’ The writing style is interestingly contradicting, as sometimes it can be really boggly (ie. having to read the same sentence over and over to understand it) or it can be overly patronising. Some paragraphs feel like the author is trying to fill the word count, with one whole page of the book being dedicated to explaining why they are using the word ‘feminine’ rather than ‘negative’ – when relating to the opposite polarities of life – and this message could have easily been conveyed in two sentences. On the other hand, sometimes the author will explain one statement through an example, but then give an ‘easier’ example. This may have been a good idea conceptually, but the writing style was just patronising, using phrases like ‘it may help you to get the proper idea (if you consider)…’(p46), as if we, the humble reader, were on a different intellectual plane altogether.
Let’s address the two main elephants in the room here when Hermeticism is mentioned. They either see it as ‘problematic’, which yes, if you view it through the lens of Hermeticism borrowing from lots of different cultural traditions, it can be. However, this book was written at a time when this school of thought was commonplace in Western philosophical culture -just look at the works of Saint-Yves d’Alveydre for example-, and I feel like throwing away Hermetic philosophy based on this and on its association with the (very) problematic Alastair Crowley is wasteful – I may actually write about Mr Crowley in the future as whoo boy that’s a deep dive.
The second elephant is the question of Hermeticism being like a cult. I legitimately felt like I was joining a cult for about 30% of my reading time. Sometimes the subject matter, to me, can feel totally cuckoo bananas, but of course that’s all subjective. It’s interesting to me that this book was written at a time where offshoots of Hermeticism were cults – the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was around then (although it seems that the author, William Walker Atkinson -pseudonym, The Three Initiates-, was not a part of this).
To conclude, The Kybalion is definitely a useful book, both as a way to begin reading into Hermeticism and also as a reference point. I’d recommend getting the Centenary Edition, as the introduction includes several other works on Hermeticism as recommended reading – super helpful! If you can look past the negatives that I outlined before, then this book is certainly a good read. It was for me.
One way of raising energy is achieving some kind of meditative state, How do we do this? Some people use shamanic drumming, others use sitting perfectly still on top of Helvellyn (trust me, it’s cold up there).
I use dance and music.
Not just any kind of music, but music that my brain reacts to. There are studies that show certain types of music causing the brain to go into a trance like state, and you can find hours of ‘trance’ music on YouTube just by searching for it:
But here’s the thing: I don’t use either of those.
My top two energy raising genres are folk music, or actual trance electronic music. Folk, as I was brought up on it, creates a feeling of home and high spirits in my brain, and trance…well, I think I just have a natural affinity for getting ‘lost’ in it.
Here are my favourite songs for energy raising. Give them a try and see if any of them work for you!
The way I raise energy is by dancing to this music and feeling the energy from it coursing through me: I am a vessel for the earth’s energy.
Jig of Life: Kate Bush
This is great for me as it taps into the shamanistic drumming, whilst also having a folk dance segment at the end. The words ‘and you will dance with me in the sunlit pools’ are some of my favourite lyrics of all time too. It was really important when I first started and I used this song all the time! Love you Kate ❤
Free Tibet – Vini Vici Remix – Vini Vici
Complete polar opposite, but allowing yourself to sink into this music really works for me.
All Tomorrow’s Parties – The Velvet Underground
You know there’s just those songs where they make you feel like a witch? Well, this one really does. If you recognise it and you’re a big goth like me, you might know it from the end of the Rob Zombie film ‘Lords of Salem’. I’m not going to put The Velvet Underground on this list twice but they also did this song which works really well, too.
Fee Ra Huri – Omnia
Here we are in the pagan aesthetic folk dance genre and I love it. I like to use this one whilst cooking or kneading bread.
Bliss on Mushrooms – Infected Mushroom & Bliss
What can I say? Makes you feel up in the clouds and dancing to this is just….ahhh.
Opening Titles – The Sorcerers
This band was introduced to me by a fellow Witch At Work (WAW) and they’re so nice to just spin slowly to. This whole album is great for it but this is my favourite track.
Hopefully these have given you an idea of what trance-state through music feels like, and how achieving a trance energy is easier than you think!
Early in my journey, I decided the best thing to do would be to go to Manchester Central Library, get everything out of the ‘Occult’ and ‘Alternative Religion’ sections, and just read. I spent hours in the study room, which was honestly so quiet I could hear the guy nearest me breathing. When looking up images to use for this article I actually found a picture of the very room I was in!
Anyway, when I read these, I had to go through a lot of filler – by filler, I mean, I read the whole of Malleus Maleficarum on the offchance I found some spell or whatever. Hint: I found one.
So: what books are helpful? Here’s my top five easy to digest books!
I can’t rave enough about this book. This is a yearly publication, like a diary, and it takes you through each month. I bought the 2020 edition and you’d better believe I’m going to buy the 2021 edition too!
Whilst it doesn’t have spells and isn’t necessarily a grimoire/spellbook. it does have information on moon phases, historical seasonal recipes and even a ‘song of the month’ with the sheet music included! The great thing about this book is that there’s no expectation for you to believe one thing or another – it just gives you information that you can work with. 10/10.
For a beginner, this is a great book as a starting reference point for herbal magic, and just getting to know your ingredients. If you start off using this like a recipe book, you’ll notice certain herbs popping up and then you begin to learn properly through doing!
The introductions to each chapter go into depth on the actual magic used, so if you use this and the Almanac in tandem with each other, you can come up with some pretty potent spells!
It wouldn’t be in character for me if I didn’t fangirl over Pam at least once, would it?
I read this book after I became a regular listener of The Witch Wave podcast (also a must listen!). This book is more for /reading/, rather than a reference point like the other two are. It reiterates how magic can be in everything, and how magic is art and art is magic. It also made me feel more comfortable actually identifying as a witch, as culture nowadays tends to see it as a trend that will come and go. A must read!
When people ask me where they can find spells and feel connected to the power of words, I always say ‘read poetry!’ And this book is a collection of rituals, songs and poetry that really make you feel connected – at least they do for me. I use these in my personal practice, and for any group rituals I lead, and there are some really beautiful contemplative verses in here. These aren’t necessarily labelled as pagan or witchcraft, and sometimes need to be edited to suit your individual beliefs, but as a starting point these verses can form great building blocks for if you want to write your own spells.
I’m unsure if I’ve made a post about it before, but my whole home is my altar, in that, I don’t have a specific space, but I use my whole home.
This book is great whether you’re a hearth witch or even just want to decorate in a nice way! It gives advice about what to put in your home, where to position different ornaments for peak energy flow, and loads of other really useful house things! Perfect for beginners and witch experts alike!
As I sit here in my little terraced house in Britain writing this, I can see the cloudy grey sky out of my window and I feel the summer ending. I can feel the leaves turning crunchy and everyone’s back to school photos, and with a little twinge of excitement, I can sense the pumpkin spice lattes waking and stretching their little caffeinated arms. Without a doubt, this is the end of summer.
Which means that Mabon is coming, and it means that it’s been a whole year (!) since I started fully practising on Pagan holidays. Over the year, I’ve been refining my skills, bought far too many books and qualified in various different aspects of witchcraft and Pagan culture.
Anyway, with Mabon coming up, I’ve put together a couple of things that you can do if you’re struggling for ideas – especially if you’re in self isolation or local lockdown (like I am, sigh).
It wouldn’t be a Frank post if there wasn’t some reference to food, and so I’ll start with a bit of kitchen witchery. I got this recipe from The Almanac by Lia Leendertz – an absolute must have for anyone wanting to connect more to the earth and its ways. This recipe was tweaked from another book called Cattern Cakes and Lace. As with any of my kitchen witchcraft posts, you can add or remove spices from this as you see fit, and use spices that you feel are connected to Mabon! I would use woody spices, like nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then add the butter and rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the water and mix until it becomes a dough, then tip it out on a floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes. Put it in another bowl, cover with a teatowel and leave it somewhere warm to rise for 1 to 2 hours (until it’s doubled in size).
Tip it out and knead in the currants (if using), then divide it into two pieces. Shape them into two loaves and put each in a loaf tin. Leave them to double in size again.
Preheat the oven to 200C, and when the loaves have risen enough, brush them with milk (to make them shiny) and bake them for 45 minutes. Leave them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then cool them on a wire rack.
Enjoy as part of your Mabon feast or leave as an offering!
Easy Mabon spell bags
I love spell bags. They’re easy to make, and my home is full of them! A neat trick with certain spell bags (ones containing cloves or other whole spices) is to put a bit of water in the top of a wax burner, and ‘boil’ the bags with the tealight underneath. You can take them out, dry them and then use them again and again! You can make them out of cheesecloth and twine: just put the spices/flowers in your cheesecloth, wrap them up like a parcel with twine and make a little string to dangle them if you want to! I have protective ones in my front window which I hang off the window handles.
NB: if you do this, be careful of the bag dripping when you take it out! My carpet is a bit stained from the clove syrup dripping off the bag 🙁
As I mentioned in the recipe, I associate Mabon with falling leaves and woody earthy smells/atmospheres, so for my spell bags, I put in whole cloves, two cinnamon sticks and a ‘stone’ (unsure of the word!) of nutmeg. Hang them around, or use the wax/oil burner trick to make your home smell like Autumn.
Summon a demon
Joking! Joking! Please don’t do this – we have enough issues in the world already.
Thank Mother Earth for the circle of the seasons
Feel free to ignore this one if you don’t believe in prayer, as I will probably post some poetry at some point. I am by no means more qualified to lead a ritual than anyone else, but I have edited this ritual prayer so the solitary practitioner can read and sit in contemplation, or read to a group of practitioners. This prayer is from Seasonal Occult Rituals by William Gray, and this section is The Rite of Autumn.
May the light of sunset shine resplendently on us this Autumn equinox.
Blessed be the sun of Autumn bringing heavenly beauty to the edges of this earth.
Blessed be light so wonderfully shown to us upon its path of power.
We stand between the light and shade
Upon the middle path we made
Where day and night divide,
As we have lived and worked and prayed.
Fire and water bring to birth
With air, the outcome of this earth.
So bless the earth on which we stand
For harvests of the sea and land.
Roots below, fruits above, ripe and ready for our reaping. Blessed be the earth suppoorting life, and air that brings the breath of life to earth. Let us keep our feet well grounded on our earth however high we hold our heads to the sky. So shall we live as upright souls between both ends of our existence.
Make a Cerridwen brew
Cerridwen is the Welsh goddess of transformation, so you could probably brew this at any changing of the seasons. This recipe is toxic and so should not be consumed. Instead, you can sit and absorb the vapours as it boils.
This recipe is from The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews by Scott Cunningham.
Hellebore (you can substitute this with rosemary)
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you would like me to write one for each corner of the year (ie. Yule, Ostara, Litha and Mabon 2021), please like, share and comment!
Hi guys! Long time no write, and with good reason, I promise.
There are a few reasons why I took a break:
Reason 1: Mental Health
Now, I don’t know where you’re reading this from, but I live in the UK. In the UK, we have been pretty much in lock-down since March – it is now July.
Many of my mental health coping mechanisms relied on doing things outside my house: for example, I used to go to the gym, to pole dancing classes, and spend hours with a hot chocolate in the library with a big ol’ dusty tome on occult studies (living the dream). Now I don’t have any of that, and this coupled with the fact that I haven’t really seen anyone properly since March…my MH has really taken a beating. This has led to me hibernating, binge eating, restrictive eating, excessive video game playing and just doing everything I can to escape the reality of the world we live in.
This was exacerbated by the other terrible events which have occurred since the lock-down started, and to be honest, I could have done more and been more vocal, but that would have been at the expense of my mental health. Instead, I have been quietly learning and donating to causes, which lets me keep a safe distance so as not to really hurt myself whilst still helping.
Reason 2: Music
After my mental health was back on the up again, I set some targets for me to hit, writing-wise. However, it seemed like every time I sat down to write, something else would crop up for me to devote my time to.
One of these things was recording for a cameo appearance I am making on a single that is coming out real soon- watch this space!
I think that music is really magical and so this was important to reconnect with my own soul, which, at the time, my blogging didn’t really feel like it was doing.
Reason 3: Livestreaming
Call me a boomer but I don’t really know what Twitch is. That is all about to change this Sunday night when I am beginning to co-host a weekly livestream with my buddy where we talk about conspiracy theories and other cool stuff.
He says he got me in because of my knowledge on ‘weird stuff’ but actually I think it’s because of my sharp wit and sweet style.
This livestream is going to be recorded and uploaded to YouTube for anyone who is interested but can’t tune in on Sunday night for whatever reason. More details will follow when I know the specifics.
Reason 4: Following my actual dream
I feel lucky to be at a point in my life where I can follow my childhood dream of becoming a writer, with no pressure and just the freedom to enjoy.
As some of you may know, I am currently working on my poetry anthology which will be a sort of ‘reference book’ to the tarot cards, with each card having a corresponding poem or verse. I’m intending the first drafts to be completed at around the end of August, and it to be published at the end of the year (touch wood).
In an attempt to avoid working on what I should have been working on (the anthology), I have also started another writing project. It’s extremely early days at the moment but it’ll be a reworking of some of the lesser known Greek myths into modern culture.
I feel like I have an advantage, because really, I’m not in it for the money! I’m in it to spread joy and to help people understand, whether that be ‘what the Seven of Cups means’ or ‘what about Medusa’s sisters’. I will be self publishing and selling these books, but I don’t intend to charge more than totally necessary to break even on the costs.
If just one person enjoys my work and it brings them happiness, then I have succeeded.
Reason 5: Other little things
Other little things I’ve been up to include:
Working on my languages for spell forming
Working on magickal recipes (see below)
Working with different brands to see if we have a common goal in our work
Binge watching Disney Plus and crying at the Lion King
I went on a break for a la’l bit and now I’m back, but I may upload with less frequency as apparently I have a lot going on at the moment! I’d rather upload less but better quality content than more poor content just for the sake of being regular.
I hope/know everyone will understand- diolch for all your continuing support! I love you guys ❤
[NB: Two things: firstly, sorry for the delay in posting, my mental health hasn’t been great and apologies if my writing isn’t up to scratch with the rest of my posts; secondly, I’ll probably update this post if I find new and relevant information to add!]
I did an interview on Monday for The Brit Witch’s blog, and I was asked why I started my blog. My answer: to help people feel a little bit less overwhelmed.
I made a previous post for beginner witches, but I thought I’d just expand bit on a piece of advice which is probably the most important.
What do YOU believe?
I can never get over how many people I meet that blindly follow without figuring out what they believe in, and its unsurprising that a fair few of these fledgling witches lose interest and end up stopping practising.
By far the most helpful thing for me was actually figuring out what I believe, and by doing this, helped me develop my own craft and spiritual practice, as well as strengthening my faith (because if you’re sceptical about something at first, forcing yourself to believe can have a negative effect on the rest of your learning).
Here are links to interesting information as to why magic works, the reality we live in and even some theories as to the meaning of life. Also: some of these may just be INTERESTING AF, with no relation to spellcraft, but obviously read these at your discretion.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of these theories, and also please be careful of trying any of these practices at home – ALWAYS make sure to cleanse and protect.
The Law Of One
“I am Ra. The Law of One, though beyond the limitations of name, as you call vibratory sound complexes, may be approximated by stating that all things are one, that there is no polarity, no right or wrong, no disharmony, but only identity. All is one, and that one is love/light, light/love, the Infinite Creator.
The Law of One messages were channelled by a group of mediums in the 1980s, and these messages supposedly came from a non-human entity called Ra. Here is a link to their website, which includes questions and answers, however in my experience it’s a bit heavy to read – 106 sessions? No way bozo.
The Law of One suggests that there is a Divine Creator, but that Creator is us. My haphazard paraphrasing (which could be nightmarishly wrong but I’m trying my god-damn best) is that we are on a journey to find our path back to the Divine, and these paths can either be service to ourselves or service to others. If we don’t choose either of these paths and find our way back, then we reincarnate until we do.
For people like me (who need TLDRs), here is the synopsis.
This theory implies that in order to harness our true potential, Kundalini yoga is the answer.
Why a snake? The power of this yoga comes from the Kundalini (Sanskrit for “coiled serpent”), an enormous reserve of untapped potential within each of us, located around the sacrum or “sacred bone” at the base of the spine.
You can do a course in it for free, by visiting their website here, or just read up on it by reading the Wiki (yeah, cheating, I know). Interstingly, there was a Netflix documentary about a cult that was based around this practice, but I feel that that’s a really closed-minded way of looking at it. Russell Brand says it’s good, and he doesn’t (really) seem like a cult leader to me, so give it a try! (FYI if Russell Brand did lead a cult I’d be first in line. Love you RB x).
Alternatively, there are several Kundalini videos on Youtube – for example, this one.
I find this interesting as so many people have their own theories as to what Kundalini is (a magical practice or just meditation?)- it’s a rabbit hole worth going down, for sure.
The Language of Arithmetic
Remember when you were in Year 8 and learning about equations and thinking ‘when am I gonna need this’? Well, according to several famous thinkers, the answer is ALL THE TIME.
These philosophers and mathematicians speculated that maths was the language of God, and that the universe was created through a series of equations.
See here for ya boi Pythagoras (remember him from GCSE Maths? I do). He is a theorist of Numerology which is another wonderful labyrinth of info. Here’s a YouTube video, too.
He had this theory about music, which I love:
Pythagoras pioneered the mathematical and experimental study of music. He objectively measured physical quantities, such as the length of a string, and discovered quantitative mathematical relationships of music through arithmetic ratios. Pythagoras attempted to explain subjective psychological and aesthetic feelings, such as the enjoyment of musical harmony.
To go further with the reality is numbers theory, think of binary code and how technology is made up of numbers – isn’t it weird to think that we could be living in a simulated reality made up of numbers? Or a ‘real’ reality that’s also just made up of numbers?
The Fibronacci Sequence
This is a short one, and relates to the last point, but the Fibronacci sequence is too interesting not to share.
Here is the Fibronacci sequence:
Recognise it? It’s probably because a lot of things grow according to this sequence.
The Law of Attraction you’ve probably already heard of: wish for something hard enough and that thing will manifest. This in my mind corresponds to witchcraft as a lot of that is about intention, so here we go:
My only issue with their website is that it reminds me of that episode of The IT Crowd where one of the characters wishes for a helicopter and he got one- it’s the spacey header! (and the fact that the episode was sort of about this). Basically, don’t go too far-fetched and this will most likely benefit you.
Ancient religions and Pantheons
Here are some wikis for different cultures: you may find that you have been a polytheist for some time and have never thought about it! Definitely worth reading and seeing if there are any deities that you specifically connect to.
Animism encompasses the beliefs that all material phenomena have agency, that there exists no hard and fast distinction between the spiritual and physical (or material) world and that soul or spirit or sentience exists not only in humans, but also in other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers or other entities of the natural environment: water sprites, vegetation deities, tree sprites, … . Animism may further attribute a life force to abstract concepts such as words, true names or metaphors in mythology.
Basically what that quote said^. Everything has its own sentience.
Since ancient times, humans have attached sentience to nature spirits, and even inanimate objects like swords and ships. A modern example of this is when I have to put my stuffed animal into the wardrobe when we have visitors and I feel so sorry for him in there, even though deep down I know that he is just cloth and filling (I am 26 years old). It is interesting to see how many others have these feelings, so animism could be a valid philosophy, even if objects are inanimate, they may have some form of sentience.
A creepy theory and valid point of view on this is that we can only perceive what we can perceive: there could be things in the world that have energy vibrations low enough that we simply don’t know they exist.
Some of my thoughts on these theories
Even though nobody asked
When I was researching the Law of Attraction and Vibration, there seemed to be a lot centred around ‘getting what you want’. I personally don’t think this is the right attitude and definitely not the right attitude to be practising in your craft.
Having said that, I do think that all of these theories are worth keeping in mind: I find that numerology is extremely handy for tarot work and sigil making, and that vibrations are really important for energy work and crystal healing.
What out of these Do you believe in? Do you think that there is an omnipresent, one deity? Or multiple? Or that we are god?
We’ve all been here: you want to do some big elaborate rituals, you want to manifest great things, but do you have time?
With work, housework, errands, other things going on in life, it’s easy to think that you don’t have time for witchcraft – I was exactly the same before I started knowingly practising. It seems to be big elaborate rituals with fire and robes and chanting, right? Well, it was to me in the beginning (as an outsider looking in).
Here’s some quick and easy ways to practise your spellcraft anywhere!
1. Enchant your morning brew
Everyone has some kind of drink in the morning, right? For me it’s usually coffee, but this spell can be used on pretty much anything: tea, coffee, cordial, gin and tonic, vodka martini…..
Here’s how easy it is: make your brew as normal, and then when you stir it, stir it clockwise, and visualise the things you want to manifest being drawn to you by the direction of the drink. I normally sprinkle a bit of cinnamon into my coffee to accentuate the spell, but it’ll work regardless!
2. Charged crystals in your pocket
The great thing about teeny crystals or jewellery is that they’re super-portable. Try meditating on a crystal in the morning and imbue it with what you’d like to manifest, then you can keep it in your pocket and draw out that energy when you need it. I’d recommend clear or rose quartz for this, because they’re great at soaking up energy, but sometimes I’ll use my lovely teal fluorite. Why? Because it feels right.
3. Draw sigils on yourself/something you own
This sort of relates to my next point, but its a good’un. Refer to my Making Sigils page for guidance on coming up with a sigil, or use one of my pre-made ones. Then you can draw this wherever you like to manifest your goals. For example, if there is something I want to manifest that week, I will draw the sigil for it in the notes page of my diary, so then everything I write in there will be enchanted to help me. Another time, I had to deliver a presentation at work, so I drew a small sigil on my thumb.
Where you put them is up to you, but this is a super easy way to manifest!
4. Use your daily routine as a ritual
When people refer to a morning ritual, they tend to mean your normal routine: ie. showering, putting makeup on, brushing your teeth. So why can’t this be an actual ritual?
When you shower, use the feeling of the water to manifest your purification- the banishing of yesterday’s energy to welcome in the new day.
When you put makeup on, draw a little sigil in foundation on your cheek before you blend it.
When you butter your toast, draw a sigil on it with butter or jam (or whatever you prefer).
A ‘morning ritual’ doesn’t have to be an Insta-perfect yoga routine – it can just be sitting quietly with your enchanted toast.
5. Just sit with a candle for five minutes
How simple is this? Light a candle, and sit looking at the flame. This really helps you connect with the elements and also lets you practice quick meditation, so it’s a win win!
Today I’m going to talk about something that is really important to me, and probably countless other witchcraft practitioners: aesthetics.
I have no shame in admitting that I am a Millenial™ and was brought up between the 90s scrunchie-wearing-size 0 culture and the selfie culture we live in today. Even though I’m an adult, I think we are all affected by what we see in the media.
So, what’s my point here?
Look at these popular modern depictions of witches:
With this surge in popularity of young women (and men) turning to witchcraft, it’s easy to see why many witches feel pressured to look or commit to a certain aesthetic and interests that ‘correspond’ with these aesthetics: Morticia, Misty (or Stevie, whichever floats your boat), Marie Laveau hoodoo queen, or Dayana Killstar nu goth witch.
I’m not saying that any of these aesthetics aren’t valid (I personally love all of them and model myself after two of them).
But if you don’t look like this, are you qualified to call yourself a witch? Are you qualified if you just practise a little bit in your spare time, or do we all have to be hunched over grimoires in candlelight in our Instagram-perfect gothic houses?
Of course you are qualified.
The aesthetic and interests you have, and who you are, do not have an impact on your value as a witch.
Witchcraft can be as much a part of your life as you want it to be.
To illustrate this, I’ve collected together some folks, all of whom are different, and all of whom are extremely valid witches. I have also included their Instagram handles if I know them! Do you see yourself in any of these people? If so- great! If not- great! I rest my case and hand you over to…
‘I am an eclectic witch and for the past seven years I have been working on my craft.
I am not a multigenerational witch. I am the first in my family to work in witchcraft, and over the years I’ve been able to gather witches from all over my area and of all different paths and bring us together. I am a hot mess with my three rescue cats and roommate (who is also a witch).
My interest is mostly in the work itself, connecting different items and elements to alter the flow of energies and bend it to what I ask. Being eclectic I work a lot with different mediums. Finding a home in Tarot, candle work, and spell creation.’
‘I’m Skye, from the UK. I have been a practising pagan witch for just short of a decade. My interests pertain to the ocean, nature, art, poetry and music. I consider myself a sea witch and I work with the oceanic realm. The sea has always captured my heart, and soul. And it has always been a place of solace and strength for me. Being a witch to me, means being your authentic self, living your truth and standing in your power. After all, the greatest magic takes place within ourselves.’
‘My aesthetic *nowadays* is what I would call “evil school girl” or a mix of 70s punk, 80s goth, and just a huge 90S/Y2K mess! It really depends on my mood, but lately its leaning more towards my goth look in middle and high school. I definitely believe self-expression is a HUGE part of witchcraft and just me in general. Whatever I’m feeling I need help with that day is what I express throughout the day and in my practice, as I tailor it to my needs and make it as specific as possible. My interests outside of it are dancing (modern, bellydancing and hoopdancing), theater/costuming, sewing, art, poetry, music (both listening to and playing), nature, natural medicine, essential oils and herbs, astrology (which all play a part in my craft) cooking/baking, so many things.’
‘I was raised Wiccan, but dabbled and studied one or two other religions before studying paganism as a whole. I discovered my ancestors were Viking and Celtic and decided to try the more ancient path, while merging it with a little new age belief. So I’m classified under a heathen pagan witch but I just do magick when I’m called. Magick is a big part of my daily routine and helps with manic depression, ptsd and fibromyalgia. I incorporate it into everything from my coffee to my shower to setting an intention on my work break. Witchcraft and magick saved me, my health and my life.’
5. Jorge (@thescribian)
‘Witchcraft found me before I even knew what it was. It’s not what defines me, but it plays such a beautiful role in almost everything that I do. I love to entertain people with writing and acting – I’ll work with candles to infuse creativity and passion into those things. I love helping people through my career in education – I’ll invent rituals for good fortune, or even clear communication! And when I’m not chasing the forty million ambitions I can muster in a moment, I like to take some time to study witchcraft and connect with other practitioners, which reminds me I’m a part of something so much greater than myself.’
‘I’m in school for social work but my ideal goal is to be a psychedelic therapist so I can merge the spiritual and apply therapeutic techniques. I’m interested in astrology (still learning!) but that was a huge explanation for how I naturally went about my craft. I use fire, incantations and draw sigils! Drawing itself is an act of meditation and manifesting for me.’
7. Kit (chronic.enby)
‘Hi I’m Kit, I’m 28 and I’m nonbinary. I started practicing witchcraft at about 8 years old when I found out I had witch/pagan ancestors. I work a lot with candle magick since fire has always called to me. I’m also an artist! I like to incorporate my art into candle making/carving: it makes my practice more personal.’
‘My witch-name is Seren, I’m Welsh, and I’m a kitchen witch, 27.
I primarily do kitchen witchcraft and hearth witchcraft, which means I work primarily with food – something I’m very happy about! – and I consider myself secular, despite also being a Hellenic polytheist – I don’t believe that my deities are inherently linked to my witchcraft. I do a lot of baking and cooking, which my housemates are very pleased about.
My aesthetic is anything pink, pastel and cute – I like vintage, flowery, but also creepy-cute and pastel-goth. I appreciate the duality of the aesthetic. I wear a lot of 60s and 70s style dresses, and if it doesn’t come in pink, I don’t buy it!’
‘Hi, My name is Puneet (Witched Felis : magickal name) and I am a natural Witch from India. I am an author and I have recently published a book on true paranormal encounters. I am a Wiccan , Psychic and Clairvoyant. I also write a Blog where I express my views on witchcraft. Witchcraft for me is a way of living, An ancient way of living being aware of our body, mind, consciousness and the parallel dimensions. To be a Witch is to be leader of self, to be a healer and to be a guiding light for self and all those who come to you seeking help. I was born as a Witch and Since I live in India, Which is considered as a Land of Magick ,my Journey as a witch was smooth. I believe, there is a Wise Witch in all of us, but we just don’t choose to become aware of it. It’s a a beautiful path, and We create our own Path in this, We don’t follow a single religious book but write our Own book of Shadows- isn’t it interesting? We follow our Instincts and Strongly believe in what we are and Be proud of it. There are many subjects in Witchcraft and depending on our interest we choose to learn. I have been using tarot as a tool for learning philosophy , as a medium to read the fortunes, heal and understand the Underlying mindset.’
10. Angela, los angeles (@eastwest.sun)
‘Hello! I’m Angela from the suburbs of Los Angeles. I’m an outdoors girl at heart and on normal weekends, you can find me camped out in a van with my two dogs in the mountains or deserts of California. I have an incredibly bright and candy colored wardrobe. I know I don’t seem very witchy but my craft comes from the conjoining of two cultures. I practice elemental herbalism and healing, and I always try to honor my magickal roots — from California to Taiwan.’
I think my point here is proved, However, this is only the tip of the iceberg of the diversity of this practice, and I think that’s what makes it the most magical and powerful.
(NB: I originally submitted this piece to a publication in December, but it got lost in the ether and therefore, wasn’t published – so when I say ‘Samhain was ages ago’, yeah, it was ages ago)
Hey everyone! It feels like a million years since I last uploaded, and with the pandemic lockdown happening, it’s near impossible to stay organised *looks sadly at scattered notebook pages and split ends of hair*. So on Samhain (yes I know, Samhain was ages ago- please refer to the above sentence), I attended a Zoom ceremony as a guest to a local pagan circle.
The only experience I’ve had with pagan ceremonies is YouTube videos and conducting my own at home, so I was very excited to experience a /real/ ceremony with /real/ people. I went into it expecting a half-hour, candle lit, intention setting ritual – with maybe a bit of ancestral stuff thrown in – and whoo, boy, was I wrong.
Instead, what I got was a two hour shamanic experience, unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It started with drumming, where the hosts played a recording of a steady drum beat, and put us all into a trance state. After that, it was sort of like I was dreaming, but lucid dreaming in the sense that I could control what was happening. Since the vision, I have tried my best to channel the images I saw and follow the advice it gave me.
In my ‘dream’, I wandered into a dank, moist forest, the smell of soil and rotting leaves around me. I ducked under a few branches, noticing the first sprouts of fungi near my feet. There wasn’t a path, but somehow I knew exactly where to go. The sight in front of me confirmed this was where I should be. There was a toad, about seven feet high and eight feet wide, sitting comfortably under the trees. It’s mottled skin heaved under its gentle breath, and it seemed totally at peace. As I approached, it seemed to welcome me somehow, and in a raspy, deep voice it greeted me. ‘What do you need, small thing?’ The toad rasped. ‘Guidance,’ I replied, ‘and reassurance.’ ‘I am at rest. But I am growing still, despite being at rest. That is my guidance to you. Learn to rest and you will grow.’ Its eyes closed with a booming sigh, and at that point, I knew it was time to leave.
End of vision
So what have I taken from this? It sort of confirmed what I already knew: chill out Frank!
But, to bring us to the second part of this title, this totally would not have worked had I not willingly suspended my belief in order to see this vision. All the time I was in the forest, I was totally aware that I was sitting at home in Manchester in my armchair, but it was as if I shifted planes of existence. To be honest I’ve always been a skeptic of shamanic experiences, but now I completely understand both sides. If your heart isn’t open to the lucid dream, you won’t experience it.
Willing suspension of disbelief is by far the most important aspect (to me, anyway) of any shamanic experience. Have you had any shamanic visions? If so, what were they like? Did they foresee anything or just reassure you that you were on the right path?
When I first started using sigils, my little skeptical pea-brain was convinced they wouldn’t work. I didn’t think ‘charging’ them would do anything, and I certainly didn’t think that burning them would achieve anything but cinders and an asthma attack. And you know what? None of my sigils worked. At the time, this reinforced to me that they were a waste of time, but then I started reading into it. Millions of witches couldn’t be wrong, could they?
Months passed, and I thought….yeah, I’m going to try and identify why mine don’t work. I went through the steps of what I used to do, and if you like, you can use this as a guide for what NOT to do.
Go on Google Images and search for ‘protection sigil’
Pick a random one without checking that they have been done with either the grid method or the Witches Wheel
Draw it somewhere
I’m going to illustrate why the first and second steps are wrong: people draw sigils for all kinds of reasons, and with their own personal methods. For example, I had a shamanic experience and drew my own sigil for ‘healing’ in my trance state. Will that sigil work for everyone? No, because that trance state was personal to me.
If you don’t want to draw your own sigils, feel free to use mine on my sigils page. These have been drawn using the grid method, and so are about as impersonal as you can get, leaving you to imprint your own energies and magick as you use them.
So, why do they work? Here’s one theory that I found particularly interesting:
I was browsing the 4chan /x/ board – which is normally just full of apocalyptic nonsense but occasionally will have the most interesting gems – and came across a post, which I will paraphrase and condense here. I think this is the most accurate explanation to me of how sigils work.
Symbols have no inherent meaning without what is programmed into them. However, the projected programming causes the symbol to carry energy…and meaning projected onto it, if we are open to receiving the already established energy. So too, at all times, are we projecting energy and programming our environment around us…[things] will carry energy.
Take, for example, the Christian crucifix. For some people, this symbol instils a feeling in them, whether that be through associations, or literally because of the energy they themselves have projected onto that symbol. There’s even a condition called ‘Jerusalem Syndrome’ which you can watch a video on here, where people become overwhelmed and start quoting Bible verses in the street (NB: while this video is good, it is quite skeptical, but the information is there!).
My point is here, that this extends to sigils. If I create a sigil in a trance state, my energy is being channelled into that sigil, and therefore the sigil will retain that energy. If you take an impersonal base sigil, and channel energy into it, that energy will be retained.
Do you have a theory as to why sigils work? Post a comment and let me know!
I hope you all are having a great summer, wherever you are!
I realised that I don’t actually post much about the Pagan holidays as I’d like to, so here we are with some nice ideas of things to do for Lughnasadh.
What is Lughnasadh?
Lughnasadh, or Lammas, is a Pagan holiday held on 1st August which marks the end of summer and the beginning of the harvest season. It is named after the the god Lugh, who is sometimes interpreted as the Sun god, but is also related to the Roman god Mercury. You can read more about Lugh here.
Pick dandelions and make flower crowns
Ok so I started off with the most twee thing on the list. Dandelions and marigolds are very connected with Lughnasadh as they are sun plants, and Lughnasadh is a time of heat and light. They could also be said to invoke Lugh, if you interpret Lugh as a god of the Sun.
Disclaimer: Please don’t pinch marigolds out of other people’s gardens! Dandelions are fine, or any yellow/red/orange flowers.
Here is an easy flower crown tutorial:
2. Bake bread
Lughnasadh is a time for harvest, and so baking bread is great to reconnect at this time. Try baking flowers into the top of it for that extra special touch.
3. Decorate your altar for the holiday
My altar is my whole home, so I decorate with flowers in vases and things that remind me of harvesting – orange flowers, spell bags of wheat wrapped in brown twine, jute cloth garlands, etc. You can find or make all sorts if you meditate and think about what the holiday means to you!
4. Make blackberry crumble or pancakes
An old custom is that it’s unlucky to eat blackberries after 29th September, so eat as many as you can before then! Source They’re super cheap around this time in supermarkets due to being seasonal, or you can go and pick them yourself if they are safe to eat.
5. Make something with corn
Because it’s the harvesting season, it’s the perfect time to eat corn. Literally canned sweetcorn (30p from the right stores). A great tweak I’ve found is to cook the sweetcorn until it’s hot, drain it and put a knob of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic in it.
6. Attend my free Twitch session
Shameless bit of self promotion here, but I will be conducting an online meditation/ritual session on 1st August to celebrate the holiday. Stay updated here.
7. Have a talent show with your friends
Lugh is the god of craftsmanship and talent. So what better way to celebrate him than to get together, drink some red wine and hold a performance where you all take turns? If your country is still in lockdown (I hear ya UK) you can do this over Skype!
8. Have a sports competition
If singing on Skype isn’t really your thing, and you’re not having to stay at home, why not have a sports competition with your friends? The festival of Lughnasadh has been likened to the Olympic games, and so anything that tests your mettle in sport is a great idea!
9. Sing and dance
I do this at every holiday but this is my favourite way of reconnecting with my soul and the universe. Put your favourite music on and just go for it. Have a good time. It’s a festival!
10. Create something
Again, celebrate your craftsmanship by letting your creativity roam free!
Most importantly – reconnect, reflect and look forward to the waning light.
You know when you’re watching a horror movie, and the main character goes ‘Yeah I know what will be super fun- let’s get that Ouija Board and see what happens’, and everyone collectively sighs?
I feel like that right. Now.
For those of you who haven’t heard this news, a few days ago, there was a thread on Twitter on some baby witches who had hexed the moon and the fae,
They hexed the moon. And the fae.
This is weird actually, as I felt that something was off on Sunday morning when I was doing a reading for someone, but didn’t find out about this nightmare until last night.
Hexing the Moon
Even if you hate it, maybe it’s too big or silvery or whatever, the moon is such a vital part to witchcraft and also the pagan faith, that to piss it off probably isn’t a good idea. The Twitter thread mentions that the deities associated with the moon are pissed off, but even if you don’t believe in that, sending negative energies into something that provides so much positive energy isn’t going to end well. If you do believe in deities, the moon deity is connected to the sun deity, so well done, you’ve also involved the sun.
What really made me laugh is ‘they’re planning to hex the sun’. What are they, Mr Burns?
Hexing the Fae
There is a great blog post about the fae that’ll give you a bit of background here. I’m not going to sit here and explain the fae because honestly I don’t know enough about them! But they are powerful beings that aren’t to be messed with. Now – imagine hexing them. That could mean especially bad things for the people hexing them, and could even mean that their lines are cursed.
Even the most experienced witches don’t mess with this, let alone witches that are just beginning! There is a later tweet that explains that at least one of them was not a beginner but WHO THE HELL JUST DECIDES TO HEX THE FAE FOR FUN?!??!?!?!??!
It is important to note that the Fae are typically considered mischievous and tricky, and should not be interacted with unless one knows exactly what one is up against… With the Fae, there are no gifts–every transaction is an exchange, and it’s never one-sided.
Why they’d do this is completely beyond me – please someone enlighten me if they know, because….I’m stunned.
So – what can we learn from this experience?
For goodness sake, do not mess with this stuff
So now we’ve established that this has been a terrible idea, lets look at….
My thoughts on this
When you begin, you sort of focus on learning. If you were learning to weld metal, you wouldn’t just turn on a blowtorch without knowing what a blowtorch. Why should this be any different than witchcraft? If you have doubts about what you’re doing, don’t do it.
Those of you who have been following this blog will know that I don’t believe in hexing or cursing. This isn’t because I don’t think it’s real (I really do think it’s real), but I believe that it is wrong to do.
I don’t agree with people who hex anyone, so imagine how I feel about people hexing the moon.