Path to the Summerland

The following post concerns the death of my husband Sandy. It was posted on December 10th but I removed it shortly thereafter. I have decided to re-post it since it is too important to leave out of the personal information about me.

Sandy died from cancer on December 22, 2007. He was my best friend.

Here is the post from December 10th:

Thank you to all my concerned clients. Your compassionate and kind words about my husband’s dying are much appreciated. It has been very difficult indeed at this time of year especially. I hesitated in even posting this here except that it does concern healing spells and healing energy and that is very much a part of my being a witch. I am not one to complain about the natural course of things.

I have conducted a number of rituals and prayers for my husband. I do not see a miracle happening. I am not adding any negativity to it but just being as realistic as possible. It is important too for him to connect with his spiritual center right now. I do not know what it is like for him to go through this. Fortunately he seems rather calm and at peace. But then he is that kind of person at his core. When we discussed it I said, “I don’t know what we are going to do.” He said, “Well, I am going to die and then you’ll be pretty sad. For that I am very sorry.” No one knows him the way I do and no one knows that he is that kind of man. I wish others had seen this side of him but I am eternally grateful that I got to share in the best of his humanity and love.

This happened so suddenly. From his feeling unwell to being hospitalized it has only been two weeks. In some ways I always knew that he would leave me before his time. He is nearly 20 years older than me so it was destined to be the case, just not so soon. He is too young. I am too young.

Wiccans and indeed many pagans believe in The Summerland, which is a kind of Heaven/Karmic Weigh Station where you go after you die. In the Pure Land school of Buddhism there is a similar location in the Astral called The Pure Land of Bliss. This is not Nirvana, since Nirvana is a state of being that exists outside of the cyclical existence of Samsara (the cycle of death and rebirth on Earth) but it is a deeply held belief that like The Summerland this “heaven” is there for those who believe it exists and they can go there and learn and reconnect with their higher mind and work out karma toward eventual Enlightenment.

So this is where we are right now. A different path than I thought we would ever be on at this stage in our lives. Sadly this is a path that he must walk alone. I will give him the best directions I can though.

Recalling Samhain

Can it be that Samhain (pronounced sow-in) was almost half a month ago?

As I put away all the decorations from this years holiday I was struck how wonderful it had been to be with my family including a new member of the family; my brother’s girlfriend.  Everything seemed that much more exciting because she had never been part of such festivities before. It also made it brand-new for me too.

In my life as a witch I have been through many Samhain celebrations. Next to Yule (which is a part of the Christmas celebration) it is our biggest holiday. It has always held a great deal of meaning to me, because it was a month of being a witch very publicly and I always enjoy that opportunity. When you can walk into the local Barnes & Noble and see witchcraft books on display, front and center – it is a GOOD thing.

I’ve been to enormous celebrations deep in the woods where a bonfire would rage in a clearing for three days! I have been to huge parties in cities that took place in a hotel ballrooms. I’ve been to every manner of Halloween party and just dressed as myself – a witch!

This year I chose the theme of the Goddesses three incarnations: Maiden, Mother, Crone. Since we were welcoming a new female to our circle it seemed appropriate. There is immense power in the number three; and our celebration reflected that.

We dispensed with some of our regular traditions in order to have a bit more of a party atmosphere. Some things were the same – the spells I cast, the ritual to celebrate the sabbat, all the decorations, candles, abundant feast, candy, dressing up like witches (always fun for the kids who come to my door trick or treating) and the toast to the Goddess with our sweet honey wine.

We didn’t do the dumb supper this year (where we celebrate our ancestors who have passed on with a silent supper) or communicate with the dead. I felt a little raw on that, since someone I had a great affinity for had passed on the day before. I felt far too close to their passing and knew with so much energy being pulled by the witches present that it would be too much to call upon the dearly departed. Also when someone dies you want to give them time to cross over. In Buddhism it is three days. There are many stories about monks and bodhisattvas who die in meditation and they are not moved physically for three days. The body does not degrade during this time, either.

Thus without the death component to Samhain we celebrated life and in doing so we had a rip-roaring feast!

We had Scottish meat pie (a recipe from the Highlands), Colcannon (a Celtic specialty of mashed potatoes and cabbage – the most authentic of all the dishes prepared), maple glazed baby carrots and pumpkin cheesecake. Usually we have Soul Cakes too but this year we just had shortbread. Soul Cakes are also very traditional to the original Samhain holiday. They were the “treat” that was given to beggars as they passed from house to house on Halloween night. They would sing this song:

A soul cake, a soul cake,
Please good Mistress, a soul cake,
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry.
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for him who made us all.

~The Cheshire Souling Song

Con-artists stealing from me

A client recently came to me after giving some money to what they suspected to be a con-artist spellcaster. You know the type as we have discussed here on my blog many times – typical garish three page site, phone number, no prices, no specifics, no real information. And ultimately everything – absolutely everything is a lie.

The particular site they sent me too was definitely a con-artist site and when I scrolled down to see the spellcasters “temple of peace and harmony” where she purported to cast all her spells, I was shocked to see that she apparently was casting spells using MY ALTAR, since that was the photo she had on the site.

She stole the photo of MY ALTAR from my site. So not only was she not a real spellcaster but she was also a copyright infringing thief. I decided to give her a call.

It was a quick conversation. She claimed to not have made the site and did not know where the photo of my altar had come from. Sure. Because at this point I would believe anything this duplicitous con-artist said!

I did say, “I know you are not a real witch. If you were real you wouldn’t have to steal a photo of my altar.” Her response was the charming – “It doesn’t matter if I am a real witch or not.” I nearly choked on my response, “Except of course to your clients!”

Sadly I had to report back to my new client that they had been had. I hate to have to keep drilling this into people looking for spellcasters!

Let’s review:

  • This phony spellcaster site was THREE pages. If you come upon a site that is only one page, or only a few pages – keep going.
  • By that same token, don’t be fooled by sites that have a ton of useless pages that make no sense. They use these pages to boost their listings in Google. It is page-spamming and all charlatan and con-artist sites do it. Once again, walk on by.
  • A photo of your spellcaster is great but 9 times out of 10 I guarantee the photo on a spellcasting site will be a fake. It is probably stolen from elsewhere on the net or is a stock photo. What is more important than a photo is personal information. Who are they? What mysteries do they practice? How long have they been a witch?
  • PSYCHICS DO NOT CAST SPELLS! Anyone who calls themselves a psychic and says that they cast spells is a charlatan. Only WITCHES cast spells. A psychic casting a spell is like going to a car mechanic to get your teeth cleaned. If you come across a site and they say that they cast spells but do not refer to themselves as a witch then do not waste your time. If you need a psychic reading; psychics are great. If you need a spell cast – you need a witch. Plain and simple.
  • If there are no prices on the site – forget it. They will charge you whatever they feel like for NOTHING. Good deal for them, waste of money for you.
  • If you decide to work with someone and they ask you for more money to complete a spell – you have been had.
  • Casting the same spell more than once is a sure fire sign of a con. Real witches will cast a spell once. If down the line, months later you ask for the same spell, that is ok but a real witch will not repeatedly cast the same spell over and over in tandem. Likewise, those sites that offer the single-cast, double-cast, and triple-cast spells are full of it.
  • There are spells that take 1 day or 3, 5, 7, or 9 days to cast. I have come across some voodoo spells that are 21 days. A real witch would not offer a spell like that for sale because they would have to charge so much for it! So you know if someone says that they will cast your spell for a month or 60 days or something absurd that they will probably not even cast your spell at all!
  • Casting a real spell is not quick and easy. It takes time. A real witch who casts spells needs time to do so and will usually cast spells according to moon phases.
  • Real spells cast by a real witch will not be cheap. You can absolutely forget about spells that cost under $40. The more complex an issue is the more the spell will cost because for a real witch more energy and time, preparation etc will go into the casting. You are better off saving your money (if you still want a spell) to get a good spell.
  • There are NO GUARANTEES! Any so-called witch or spellcaster that offers you a guarantee is a con-artist. Spells are an art and craft – they are not a small appliance or a set of tires.

I could go on and on. If you have questions about a spellcaster who is not me – send me an email and let me take a look at your spellcaster. I honestly do not mind helping you find a real witch to help you, even if I am not that witch.

The con-artist who stole my photo did take it down. But that does not make her any less a con-artist or a thief.

Be careful out there.

Samhain Spectacular

This is the witchiest month of the year. I am in my element. Halloween (what we witches call Samhain, Gaelic for “Summer’s End”) is the one month out of the year that celebrates everything that we are. Now that is not exactly intentional of course (just like Christmas picking up all the goodies from Yule) but no matter; this month is for witches and I just go bonkers!

I started thinking about Samhain and the preparations once the retail stores started getting their Halloween merchandise in. What would my theme be this year? Who would come to the festivities? Would the family be able to get together? Would we have the traditional feast or would I do something different, a little devil may care? Mead or punch? Or both? Spells? Or just the ritual?

Several Samhain’s past have been a bit somber and I determined early that this year we would truly celebrate. Now that my brother has found his true love (a wonderful witchy woman) and they have begun their life together it seems appropriate that our Witches New Year be about love.

Last year it was a small celebration but deeply moving since I was able to have a proper bonfire and be one with nature right in my own backyard. It was a bit chilly, though, so this year I have a warmer ritual dress just in case. There will be more guests too this year which makes it even more exciting. I love knowing that my neighbors will just think that I am having a Halloween party and never know the mysteries happening within!

This year, I will be conducting several Samhain-oriented spells. One will be a Wishing Spell, one a Spirit Booster Spell (good for any working cast thus far this year) and the final will be a very traditional old Samhain Love Spell. Love spells are considerably effective when cast on the 31st since the spirit realm is so close on that day.

This is one of the times that the power raised by the group will be extremely advantageous for my witch workings. I always keep everything confidential and the added power is a boon for my clients. I also start making oils ahead of time to be blessed on this day along with re-dedication of special tools and new altars.

The celebration actually begins at 11pm on the 30th. That’s when I start my spell prep. The spells are cast following the ritual which takes place just before midnight on the 31st. I usually don’t get much sleep over that 48 hours period (we have a little fest on All Souls Day, November 1st , as well) but who can sleep when there is so much electric energy abounding.?

I feel it start, right after my birthday. I so look forward to the end of September and the beginning of this harvest month. The energy transitions (September is a very transitory month) into such a pure and glorious state! I feel wrapped in it like a comforting blanket. How fortunate that I am a witch and able to feel this connection in such a deep way.

You can feel it too – you need not even be a witch! It is an awareness that you are connected to the Earth, to each other, to every sentient being on this planet. You take a walk in the woods and you will feel the Earth call to you. You go for a drive to look at the leaves change.

Here is something fascinating about that:

Leaves are nature’s food factories. Plants take water from the ground through their roots. They take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into glucose. Glucose is a kind of sugar. Plants use glucose as food for energy and as a building block for growing. The way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into sugar is called photosynthesis. That means “putting together with light.” A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.

As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter. This is how the trees “know” to begin getting ready for winter.

During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can’t see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.

I envy those of you on the East Coast (where I grew up) for there is no finer place to be in the fall!

Over this month I will share more information as I get ready for the festivities on Halloween. I already know the theme will be the three aspects of the Goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone.

Lovely Libra

I celebrated my birthday yesterday. What does a witch do on her birthday? Same thing that everyone else does: moans about getting older and that her youth has slipped away, eats cake (vanilla with lemon curd & buttercream), enjoys gifts both witchy (new lamps for the Temple Room) and practical (500 GB external hard drive from my brother) and trundles off to bed with her familiar who gives the best gift to her this year: he is still here!

The update on my familiar is that he is doing much better. It is more about the quality of his remaining time with me now than the quantity. I just want him to enjoy his life and have all the things he likes as well as all the love I can give him every single day. I am much more in tune with his needs right now than I had been. I am making time for him and being aware. He is with me so often that sometimes I would forget he was there. Now I am taking time to notice.

The Goddess has been good to me this month and it was an extra trying month. Sometimes when things are going too well you need to be slapped back into reality and reminded – not everything just falls into place. Fortunately after some workings to help my family and dealing with issues that was like riding a roller-coaster without brakes; the Goddess has watched over me. Once again being aware is what I need sometimes – to remind myself why I offer chants and prayers to Her, why I light my candles and incense and prostrate myself spiritually to Her lovingkindness.

I have a Libra friend whose birthday is next in our Libra party-line. We get on famously. Libran’s are like that. We dig our own company. My brother is his best friend and he will be home to celebrate his birthday (though he was not home for mine – drat!) which will be tremendously fun. Libran’s are the life of the party.

My Libra friend is one of those truer than true friends whose heart is bigger than his brain sometimes. This of course makes him even more charming and endearing! He did a super nice turn for my brother this past week and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy about my birth-sign. We can be trying certainly with our waffling (the scales – what can I say? We see both sides.) but our hearts are constant and wide-open.

This Autumn will be a time of great change and I welcome it. I’ve been stuck for a while and I look to the Witches New Year (Samhain/Halloween) to usher in a new beginning for me. I’ve already begun the planning stages for our big night and will write more on that plus the new spells and rituals I will be conducting all month.

My Familiar

All witches have a familiar, even if they don’t realize it. Some are physically manifested like my own; others are on the astral plane. My familiar has been with me s a very long time. Now he is old and will leave me soon.

Knowing this does not change how he affects this witch’s heart. He has been my most faithful friend and companion for nearly 20 years. Since I was a young woman he has watched every step I have taken in my life, borne witness to every tear and transformation, every wobble on the path, my despair and my joy.

He was a great hunter. We called him “The Lizard King”. He loved to chase down lizards in Key West. He’d catch them and bring them upstair to the apartment and drop them out of his mouth onto the floor in the living room. This was when I allowed him to roam freely, when I thought an island full of cats would be a safe place for a cat to be a cat.

I was wrong. Precious small creatures belong in a safe environment where they can be protected. Although my husband differed in this opinion my vet did not so I brought my familiar and our other two cats indoors and kept them there safely for the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately, my familiars adopted brother, a big glorious Maine Coon mix, was the first to pass on the rainbow bridge when he was 7 years old. He had been with us only 6 years. He died from complications due to diabetes. Diabetes is very difficult to treat in humans but in pets it is nearly impossible. My husband tried valiantly, learning to give him insulin shots and monitoring his blood sugar daily but there was so much we didn’t know.

Our only girl kitty was another foundling adopted in Key West. She was a tame cat that had been caught and spayed then released. These cats in Key West all had a notch in their ears. She came to my back door at the cottage when rented on Catherine Street and demanded to be let into the house. She’d had quite enough of living by her wits in the jungle and told me in no uncertain terms that she wanted to be a house-kitty. My familiar never really liked her. They always had a somewhat tenuous relationship until they bonded when we moved to San Francisco. They spent time in a carrier together and then later were boarded in the same kennel while we waited for our movers to arrive. They didn’t end up friends but their tolerance was definitely raised.

She was an older cat and at the age of approximately 15 after many years with us she succumbed to thyroid cancer. We did not discover her life-threatening illness in time; had we known about the radiation therapy (which my familiar would have at the age of 14), we would have at least attempted to save her. Our vet had tried drug therapy and our only girl kitty went into renal failure.

My familiar who has been with me since he was rescued from the Humane Society in Akron, Ohio at the age of 4 months was the first kitty and now, my last.

He had indulged me by letting me give love to the strays we adopted but I knew he was happy for it to be back to just us again.These past five years have been tumultuous as he has aged. He had radiation therapy four years ago, which saved his life. He had a heart murmur even then but the vet did not seem too concerned about it. This year however he suffered a terrible ear infection which caused him to go deaf. While being treated for that the vet discovered that he had some kidney trouble and put him on a special diet. The diet seems to have worked and he is doing better now two months later.

Yet last night he was dehydrated and had to go the Animal ER in town. The vet mentioned his heart murmur and suggested that he may have heart disease. She said his kidneys were doing well considering his advanced age (18 in cat years, about 90 in human years). She suggested that after the holiday I take him to my regular vet to see about investigating the heart murmur and at least trying to get him on some kind of heart disease drug therapy. A cat as old as he is not one they would ever operate on or take pains to keep alive. Nor would I want any heroic measures taken. He came into my life with dignity and he will leave this life the same way.

I do not know how I will live without him, how I will even do something so simple as casting a spell. He has been in every circle I have ever cast. He has sat by me while I have written spells and crafted sigils and read magick theory, while I mixed potions and oils and made teas, categorized herbs, called down the moon, invoked the Goddess, the God, the Fae, the Elemental Guardians. He has been with me while I sat on my cushion and meditated, while I prayed and chanted and called to the Goddess Tara for her help. At my worst and loneliest moments he has been there and put his paw on my hand to tell me he understood, that I need not look any further for love and compassion for it was with me through him; always.

A part of me will die with him when he goes. It is the best part of me, which is tied inexorably with him; one spirit between two entities; he my animal spirit, my original nature. I am his human counterpart but I am humbled by his enlightenment and his wisdom. He will continue to guide me toward all of the things I cannot remember about myself.

Yet that doesn’t offer enough consolation. Even that I will see him again in another form someday. It is his face and big green eyes that have penetrated my soul at its deepest level and no matter how many times and lives we share it is those eyes that will haunt me all of my days.

Sell-outs and Lying Liars

Usually I do not comment on the goings-on outside my witchy world but this touched my world and disappointed me tremendously.

I have been a member of the online community Zaadz since its beginning two years ago. They offered innovative community tools and it seemed to be a place where I could relax and be my Buddhist Witch self without having to explain too much. The like-minded people there were fascinating for the most part and there were interesting ways to connect with people and also to catalog information about your personal tid-bits. I didn’t spend too much time there but there were some groups I found interesting especially concerning Big Mind (Genpo Roshi’s teachings on Zen-Buddhism) and Integral Life Practice (Ken Wilber’s philosophies).

I never liked the community emails they would send though, dripping with all kinds of hugs and Gen-Y slang, calling business “biz” referring to the community as “peeps” and generally saying that everything “rocked”. It was a little young for me and seemed calculated and too market-savvy to be genuine. Also the guy who started everything – Brian Johnson, had the audacity to call himself “Philosopher & CEO”. I mean, who does that? Someone else calls you a philosopher, you don’t call yourself that. If you do your ego is way out of control and you’ve got more than a little work to do on taming that beast.

Of course the other audacious statement was that Zaadz was going to change the world or save the world or whatever. But all it ended up doing was being sold by Mr. Johnson, “Philosopher” to the highest bidder who happened to be the company Gaiam, who makes Yoga products, videos and stuff for Pilates and meditation. I guess Mr. Philosopher philosophized it would be better to have a wad of big-buckos in his pocket than continue on his mission to “save the world.”

Several things upset me about the sale of the community. First of all it was never set-up as a community commodity the way or have been from the beginning. This was like the Whole Foods of online communities – you know – with integrity. (In fact Whole Foods provided some financial support of the venture.) To suddenly make a second-wave internet uber-sale was beyond the beyond in my mind. If I had know that was ever a possibility I never would have posted anything about myself and fed their demographic monster.

Perhaps Mr. Philosopher never intended to sell-out. He has a staff of dedicated (one might even call them overly-dedicated or brain-washed (brian-washed) in their personal devotion to this man who “changed their lives”. How he did this no one ever elaborates, so who knows? Perhaps he paid their rents in San Francisco or gave them an excellent Dental Plan. It doesn’t take much to earn some people’s everlasting devotion.) employees who seemed thrilled that he sold the property and they were being absorbed by Gaiam. Of course this is a somewhat tenuous time and I am sure many of them are arguably fearful for their jobs; you know  how often those kind of things do not shake-out the way they were promised.

For me though, as a suddenly sold commodity, I did not feel so warm and fuzzy and ready to hug Mr. Philosopher. I frankly felt dirty, used and hung-out to dry. Promises were made. Promises were not kept. Then my information; essentially – ME, was sold to the highest bidder. Or perhaps the only bidder.  It was clear though that immediate liquidation of Zaadz was going to happen one way or the other (either by sale or by shutting the site down, one staff member wrote and told me.).

I wish the site had been shut down. Because then I wouldn’t feel so data-mined. I spoke out on the announcement of the acquisition on the site and was summarily attacked by all those who had been issued their color-coded Brian Johnson tracksuits and sneakers. I was surprised that in a community of some 85,000 members no one else really had a quibble whatsoever with the business practices that had just sold-out the entire community and made a liar out of the head-honcho. To me that should have caused some kind of ruckus aside from one little witch calling it what it was.

No one had anything to say. You can go there right now and see. A community that doesn’t care isn’t really much of a community. I don’t know what he sold Gaiam, but I don’t think it was the  community aspect. It was the demographic aspect. Gaiam can continue to mine these ”community members” and see how they feel about organic cotton yoga-pants and sticky mats.

I have nothing against Gaiam. I have gotten their catalog for years. I think they should have more sizes available in their yoga outfits because big people like to do yoga too and not everyone is a size 8. Some of their items are overpriced. But I bought a nice mala from them once many years ago. Their catalogs are fun to read.

Yet I have no interest in being part of their community, just as I have no interest in being part of or any of the communities that exist simply to drive sales or allow sexual predators unlimited access to tweens.

I cancelled my Zaadz account. It hurt to do that. It hurt to feel like I had been used by something I took a small spot of pleasure in. It hurt to be lied to and commodified for someone else’s gain. It hurt that no one else had anything to say about it and just allowed it to happen without batting an eye because perhaps on some level we expect to be lied to. We expect to be bought and sold. Is this how Zaadz planned to change the world?

And what of Mr. Philosopher, Brian Johnson? He says he will become a “student of life” once again. Here’s a challenge to you Mr. Philosopher – why don’t YOU be the change the world needs and take your money from the sale of this community where you robbed people of their demographic information  under the guise of spirituality/social change/sustainability/greening/enlightenment etc. and give that money to a cause that really WILL help to change the world.

Here is one I give to with my whole heart: International Campaign for Tibet.

When Unlucky is really Lucky

Yesterday was Friday the 13th a day notorious for Bad Luck. Now this is especially if you are a Knights Templar since this was the day the edict passed from the Pope to have them all arrested and hanged or burned at the stake. So definitely not a good day for them. But the rest of us? Especially witches?

Since 13 is an important number for us, Friday the 13th has always been a very fortunate day. For this reason I looked long and hard to find a great luck spell to offer that would be cast on Friday the 13th and would be good until the NEXT Friday the 13th (which is about a year away). I found the perfect spell and offered it to my clients and last night had a wonderful casting that created the charms that are the most important part of the spell.

However yesterday it came to my attention that perhaps I had been a Knights Templar in a past life because from the moment I awoke yesterday everything seemed to be going undeniably WRONG!

I had issues with a close friend on the phone that left me sad. Then I discovered from one of my clients that some fly by night charlatan had ripped off entire portions of my site and posted them as their own site. It can difficult to manage your copyrights and trademarks but I cannot abide infringement and will always police my materials to the fullest extent. Still it is utterly disheartening to discover that you have been infringed upon.

There were still more “unlucky” occurrences; that ended with my site’s host being offline for a number of hours last night. What a day this had been for me. I didn’t want to leave the house!

And then, as if by magick – things suddenly revealed themselves to be luckier than I expected.

The issue with my friend was actually a load of my mind. I felt lighter and happier and more at peace. Another problem turned out to be a great blessing in disguise. Even the copyright infringement was positive in that it made me realize how much more diligent I need to be. It also made me feel very good that I have such wonderful clients who look out for me!

Finally even though my sites were down they are back-up now and on much faster servers so that is a good thing too. Ultimately Friday the 13th turned out to be a great day for me!

Perhaps luck is ultimately a matter of perception?

I don’t know for sure but until the next Friday the 13th I will be holding my little charm very tight!

Midsummer Eve

I have always loved Midsummer (the Summer Solstice). This year I was especially looking forward to it because this was the first summer in many years where my Mom and I would take our Midsummer Eve Faerie Walk in a place so overwhelming with natural beauty.

In my backyard I know there are many wood sprites in among the trees. The yard is bordered by Hemlock and there is a towering Oak by the back fence. I love my overgrown trees and when I do spells on the back patio I feel that the trees bear witness to the magick I weave. There are eyes watching from the woods and I welcome them!

For the Faerie Walk we used to go through our old neighborhood in the middle of the night and bring a flower offering to a giant tree in the park that abutted our development. It was serene and beautiful with a lake and other trees. It was a spot that I visited often on my walks. I buried many things by that tree for it to watch over.

This Midsummer I had to find a new sacred spot and a new tree to be Guardian to my magick leavings. Along the way I was hopeful that we might see some fae folk as there were a number of gardens in other yards (where the flower fae gather on Midsummer.).

We wear white on Midsummer Eve and weave flowers into chaplets and bracelets and bring an offering of flowers and milk and honey for the faeries. We went late here so not to worry the neighbors when they saw two women in white with flowers in their hair wandering around after midnight.

There are few street lights out here in the country and we had to make sure we were doused with mosquito repellant. We each brought 7 day candles in jars to light the way. It was darker than I expected it to be and yet that made the candles glow that much more otherworldly. We began our walk and right away I noticed there seemed to be a few fireflies following us – our first faeries! Fireflies are not usually out that late yet here they were joining us on our walk.

The first garden we came to was a neighbors that had beautiful tropical flowers and night blooming jasmine. The fireflies were drawn to it and we left them there as we continued on our way.

Gardens look so different in the candlelight. They are a dusky blue gray and look like something out of a gothic faerie tale. We passed by more colorless manicured lawns with the occasional abandoned children’s toys littering the driveways. Finally we made our turn toward the forest preserve where I knew we would find the kind of trees we needed for the offering.

The thicket was right outside of the fence, just a few hundred feet away. We climbed over the fence (no mean feat in a white cotton gown!) and passed lightly along the dark path into the woods.

Immediately we were surrounded by the deep sounds of the forest, the sounds that said – there are no humans here. I knew the right tree would call to us and we went in deeper on the path, our gowns dragging along the black baked earth.

There were more faeries here we could hear them rustling in the leaves of the trees but they weren’t flower faeries; they were wild and didn’t trust us.

I almost walked right into the roots of the giant Oak that had been calling to me since we entered the woods. My mother agreed that this majestic tree would be a perfect place to leave the offering and to find again in the daylight to get to know better.

We said our prayers to the Goddess, left our flowers and I poured the dish of milk and honey and left it for the fae. As we turned away I could see flickering lights out of the corner of my eye. We did not address the fae directly, just let them enjoy the flowers and our offering. We heard high pitched laughter and the tinkling of tiny bells. Or maybe it was just the wind in the tops of the trees?

We walked home and enjoyed a cup of tea amid a dozen candles on the patio. The air was heady with the rich scent from the candles and incense. I knew that the casting I was doing would be blessed by the fae. And as if to affirm this our firefly friends flitted from the side yard right past us!



Faeries like gifts! They adore milk, sugar and honey. In my experience a dish of milk and honey works best. This works well for all faeries. Other gifts they like are tiny blossoms, little gems, tiny toys (dollhouse sized) and pretty little ribbons. Never use anything iron or leave anything made from iron – Faeries detest it. They always appreciate silver.

There are many kinds of faeries, probably some living in your house right now! A garden is one of the best ways to attract faeries. Make sure it has plenty of flowers.

Faeries love dusk. That is the best time to see them but wood sprites and deep forest faeries like the middle of the night. They especially like to avoid humans.

Faeries take on many different guises most notably butterflies, dragonflies, fireflies, moths and small birds. They can also turn into geckos and iguanas. Be mindful of such creatures as they may be a faerie in disguise.

All children under the age of five can see faeries. If you want to be sure to find real faeries take a small child with you to go faerie-hunting.

Most faeries are a bit naughty. They will pull your hair if they get the opportunity or bite you. That is why you never approach them without gifts. You can speak to them, they understand their local languages. Say something nice and tell them you have gifts for them and they will treat you with respect.

Will the REAL witch please stand up?

To me it is almost humorous, but you would not believe how many people email me and ask me if I am REAL. Of course I know I am REAL in the sense that I am sitting here typing these words on a keyboard or that two nights ago I was standing in my circle casting spells or even this morning when I poured myself a cup of herbal tea from herbs I had grown myself. Of course I am REAL!

Unfortunately this is part of the game in a world that is filled with charlatans and con-artists. I have to work extra hard to PROVE my REAL-NESS.

It is very difficult for charlatans to prove that they are real. They conceal their true identities on whois; they use stock photos of people and pretend they are the spellcasters; they make up back-stories or steal them from legitimate psychics or spellcasters (big note here: PSYCHICS DO NOT CAST SPELLS! Only witches cast spells!) and these are just the most glaring examples.

There is a different kind of spellcaster who is also not a REAL witch. I am sure you have seen these sites where it actually is a real person and they are selling their spells for $20 and they promise the world and more for this price. They may even mean well but it is unlikely that they are really casting spells. Trust me – to cast a spell for $20 is like losing money – that is if you actually cast the spell.

Casting spells is exhausting work. It takes a great deal of time and it drains energy from you so much that it often takes me a couple of days after casting to recover. To do this for only $20 would be like torturing yourself for nothing. And how effective will this spell be if the only worth to the caster themself is only $20? Consider this seriously before you go to a junior-grade witch who does not even value their own services.

So who is REAL?

There are several I know for certain for I have communicated with them directly, know them in person or have worked with them. Most of them do not offer spell services however, they just sell products for witches and shamans. But they are out there these REAL witches.

Here are some tips to tell if your witch (or spellcaster is REAL):

  • Check the domain to see who it is registered to. Domains registered to an actual human being and not hidden by a proxy could mean there is a REAL person behind this. People who have nothing to hide do not mind using their true information when registering a domain name.
  • Don’t waste your time going to so-called “review” forums or boards – these are actually owned by the con-artists themselves though they often let people post some real details to give it legitimacy. There are better ways to determine if your spellcaster is on the level.
  • If your spellcaster uses a witch-name find out what their real name is. For instance, I was not born with the name Morrigane. I will tell you my real name if you ask.
  • Once you find their real name then google them. It will tell you a lot if they are a REAL person.

I have other entries that tell you more about how to find a legitimate witch. I don’t give you this information because I want you to choose me (though you can’t go wrong since I am a REAL witch!) rather that I do not want you to be ripped off.

Now to be fair even a REAL witch has spells that fail. That is just part of the magickal universe. It is important to realize and understand that there are no guarantees in the natural world. Any one who offers you a guarantee for the spellcasting services or tells you that their success rate is 97 percent or some absurd percentage should be avoided. Magick is not a commidity that can be tracked into a percentage of success nor is it a product that can be guaranteed like a toaster.

I always use this adage to explain to my clients the nature of magick: magick is simply science that has not been proven. So as a witch I am similar to a Medical Doctor in my experience and services that I offer only my science is as yet unproven.

Like a Doctor you pay me for my expertise. Doctors go to school for many years to become Doctors. As a witch I have basically been in “school” learning mysteries and being educated in the use of herbs, oils, crystals, forms of divination, high magick and pagan belief systems for the past 20 years.

When you go to a Doctor you are hopeful that she has something in her expertise and background; a knowledge, that will help you to heal. She cannot guarantee your healing however. Nor can she allow you to pay her only if she can actually heal or cure you. That is just not the way it works.

A REAL witch will do her (or his) best for you. Like a caring Doctor we will do whatever we can within our expertise to help you. I have taken an oath as a witch but also as a Buddhist and these oaths are as important to me as every breath I take.

Investigate your witch and you will FIND the REAL ones stand out.