Monthly Archives: October 2009

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The Magick of Samhain

At midnight tonight my Samhain began in earnest. I had decided to cast not just the special spells I was offering on this sabbat but all the spells I had for this time period. A little boost from the magickal power of Samhain can only enhance spell workings after all!

There are some witches who never do workings on sabbats but I have found that usually they add more power and focus to my workings. I will not spend all day or night casting however which is why I chose midnight to cast rather than later tonight when I will have my family Samhain party, feast and ritual. I like to kick back and relax with a glass of mead when all is said and done just like any other witch!

Needless to say it was a magickal casting!

I lit the fire in the fire pit even though we have been having some unseasonably warm temps right now. It was still cool enough to have a fire going and that plus the herbs I toss on the fire always gets me in the mood. I had some patchouli candles I made last year that I decided to burn set up on the perimeter of my sacred circle, so the smell was magnificent. Just the glow from the firelight and the moon above, with flickering candles against the black branches of the trees that shroud the yard was enough to evoke the true spirit of Samhain.

Once the casting was complete, I let the fire burn out a little before dousing it and took my candles and craft goods back inside. I usually have a piece of fruit and a beverage to help ground me after leaving the circle. I am always a bit peckish after such work.

Now I feel the energy drained from me and sleep curling at the edges of mind, like flame to a parchment. I’m still so excited about the holiday finally being here that it is difficult to consider sleep but I do have baking and preparations yet to do for tonights proper celebration.

I hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Bright Samhain Blessings to you all!

Getting ready for Samhain (Halloween)

It is no secret that in the witchy world Samhain is the mack-daddy, grand celebration to end all celebrations. This is the Witches New Year and we take it very seriously (and also like to have fun too!).

I actually started thinking about Samhain at the beginning of the year. I knew I wanted to offer some special spells on that night (two new ones this year! check out mysticspells.com) and also wanted to craft an exciting feast and ritual night as well.

I have all kinds of neat things for the house. I usually do the dining room table up and the snack bar in the kitchen (which I use as the buffet) with candles and vintage inspired decorations. (Check out the Victorian Trading Company to see some of the cool stuff that I use to decorate.)

I also decorate the altar and get all my spells supplies together for the bonfire. One of the great things about living in Central Florida is that the weather is perfect for casting outside at this time of the year and I can get a great fire going in the fire-pit. This is where I do the ritual to mark the holiday and cast the spells for the night. It’s funny because everywhere people are dressing as witches on this night and there I am with my family in the backyard – real witches casting spells!

I usually wear my purple gown, all my most sacred ritual jewelry and my High Priestess torque. I do have a lovely cloak I like to wear sometimes but it is usually too heavy once I get the fire going. Zaliha (my best friend) knows this cape well since she taught me how to wear it during a special festival that was as muddy as the original Woodstock! With her help I never got a spot of mud on my cloak, though my boots were history.

During the year (except at other important sabbats) I rarely dress in my witch finery. I usually have a scaled down version of sacred objects and a special robe I wear for casting but often during the summer months it’s too hot and I just wear regular clothes. Putting on my jewelry always puts me in the right mood though. I have some items I wear that have been with me since my initiation and I have worn them for over 25 years.

The feast is probably the most exciting part of Samhain for the whole family. We drink mead, punch, and go all out with dinner, desserts and tons of candy!

A traditional feast we often have is Pub Pie (we do ours with root vegetables and onions since we don’t eat meat) which is based on the original Scottish pasty, Colcannon (delicious Irish dish made with cabbage and mashed potatoes), Irish soda bread,  mushy peas and Scotch Eggs (done with vegetarian sausage). I usually bake an apple pie and my sister-in-law will bring her famous peanut butter cookies (the best ever) and sometimes I might do a pumpkin cheesecake if I get really inspired.

One year we decided to have the feast catered and had wonderful platter of fruit, vegetables and dip, spinach dip in a rye bowl (another of my sister-in-laws best) and a huge platter of cold shrimp for those in the family who eat seafood. That was a really nice event since I didn’t have to spend hours in the kitchen before I had to do the rituals.

This year it will be a combination of catered and home-cooking as I am dying to have Pub Pie and we will have a full family gathering (though without my brother who will be at sea).  We’ll start the party around nine in the evening, do the spells and ritual at ten and then have our feast until the wee hours.

I’m really looking forward to it!

On being a witch

I had an email from a client recently who wanted to investigate witchcraft further. He asked some excellent questions and for some recommendations from me on books that would give him solid information. Here are the questions I answered plus my short reading list (for beginners).

How did you know you were a witch?

I was born a witch. I have witchcraft from both sides of my family and my mother has always been a quiet daughter of Isis (Egyptian witchcraft). I was raised without any religious affiliation and told from a very early age (four, I think) that I was welcome to make my own decision regarding religion but that my parents were not especially enamored with Christianity, specifically Catholicism, which had excommunicated my father for marrying my mother (yes they used to do that in the early sixties!). I was offered information on just about everything (my mother kept the paganism light but she always stressed a connection with nature and animals) and when I was a teenager I decided I wanted to practice an earth-based religion so I joined a coven of witches in the Gardnerian tradition (through a family friend) and I became an initiate.

It took three years (not in a row) to become a High Priestess but I no longer practice Wicca in the religious aspect because I became Buddhist. This actually had an even more positive reflection upon my witchcraft since becoming an eclectic allowed me to practice all the mysteries I had always been attracted to like Faerie, Hoodoo, Voudon, Romany and Sino-Nipponese.

It took me years to accept that I was a witch. It isn’t instant. It takes years of study and discovery. I really never felt my power until I was in my late twenties. Being a witch follows very closely the Triple Aspect of the Goddess – Maiden, Mother and Crone. At least it has for me!

How did you learn to cast spells?

I learnt from the coven’s Book of Shadows. For over 20 years I have kept my own books too. Study, trial and error, friends and mysteries that are handed down in the oral tradition all become part of my Book of Shadows.

Casting spells takes nothing but practice and you definitely need a predilection for it. You must have a natural ability (like with any craft – some people just have a knack for certain things) for spells to work.

You can’t learn spells from books, don’t make that mistake. They can teach you how to craft spells but spells need to come from you and need to be honed and developed over time. Most books on witchcraft have tons of spells in them but until you are crafting your own spells, using your own knowledge and words, they will lack power, imagination, focused will and intention.

What books do you recommend for a beginner?

1.  To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft  by Silver RavenWolf

2.  To Stir a Magick Cauldron: A Witch’s Guide to Casting and Conjuring  by Silver RavenWolf

3.  To Light A Sacred Flame: Practical Witchcraft for the Millennium  by Silver RavenWolf

Many witches would disagree with me regarding Silver’s books, they’d say she practices “fluffy bunny witchcraft”. I disagree. These books are a full-course in Witchcraft 101 that are light on the dogma and give a terrific overview of the craft. Don’t take everything Silver says as gospel but she gives a great foundation.

4.  Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation  by Silver RavenWolf

This book is a compendium of further study into witchcraft and is practical for novices and even advanced students. It’s a huge heavy tome but has everything you need to go through the first degree of witchcraft (avoid books that go through the “year and a day” approach – it is better to get your information culled from other sources unless you have joined a coven).

I don’t recommend a coven however until you’ve done some study first. For instance I never would have put three years into the Gardnerian tradition if I had studied first to find where I really felt comfortable.

I hope these answers give some guidance. Feel free to comment below or visit me at mysticspells.com.

My new website: mysticspells.com

It’s taken several months to get my head around what I needed to do to take my witch-business to the next level. Magick Rituals has been long over-due for cosmetic and programming changes as well as I have been trying to find the right domain name to increase my site visibility. Although I love Magick Rituals the site name doesn’t really describe what I do and actually could be somewhat confusing – thus I have a new site and new site name.

Welcome MYSTIC SPELLS to the world!

For now the content will remain the same from Magick Rituals but eventually Mystic Spells will veer off on its own and I will no longer keep Magick Rituals up to date. This change is essential for growth and will allow me greater accessibility to my clients and many more interactive options. I am proud to say that I am the first witch on the web to publish with a blog format as well as the first to use Twitter and was the first to have a personal blog and will be the first to have a Facebook page too (coming soon!). All my work in technology is finally paying off – as a witch! Somewhat ironic, the marriage of the ancient and the new.

This was not easy by any stretch of the imagination (I had to learn so much new stuff to re-design my templates etc and I had been out of this kind of experience for a number of years) but I am happy with the results. The site is much more user-friendly, easy to navigate and will be interactive once it is complete.

I still have to add money spells, tarot readings and the rest of my voodoo spells but once that is done the new site will be ready.

A few of my plans for the future include: more photos,  interactive comments and consultation areas and perhaps at some point even a members-only area and forum.

Don’t worry I still cast all my spells the old school way but now I will be able to keep in better contact with you and show you more of my world (wouldn’t it be interesting to see my altar room, my fire pit where I conduct spells, my herbs and potions and other witchy wonderfulness?)

Let me know in the comments below what you’d like to see developed on the new site!

Also once it is complete I will be offering some terrific new spells and a BIG SALE!