First Dibs Friday – Moon Phase Incense

This week’s First Dibs Offer is for my ritually crafted and blended, Full and Dark Moon Loose Incense.  Half an ounce each of these luscious blends.  As always they are composed of 9 herbs, resins and oils, each chosen to honor and vibrate with the Full or Dark moon energy.  They do have a couple of herbs in common, being both of the moon, but then they diverge in light and shadow.  You will find the Full Moon scent a bit sweeter and lighter than that of the Dark Moon blend, which while still sweet, carries the musky undertones of the dark.

If you’ve made it this far, stay with me a moment longer.  I have a page and a group, over on Facebook.  My page is, of course, Thornesworld. My group, is Thornesworld First Dibs Group.  The group is just what it sounds like.  I offer weekly (usually) hand crafted magickal items there at a small discount or with free US shipping, before I list them in my shops.  So members get First Dibs.

So, half ounce each for only $13, with free US shipping.

But here’s the deal.  It’s only available through my First Dibs Facebook group.  So if you want in on this deal, head over to my Facebook Page,  Thornesworld, and give me a “LIKE”.  Then, either click on the “Visit Group” button, or go to Thornesworld First Dibs Group and join.  You’ll find this offer near the top of the feed.  Thanks!

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Tarot Tuesday – Doubt & Delay

Today’s pull is from one of my very old decks.  This is the Knapp Tarot, 1929 original printing deck. Even the reproduction decks are long out of print and quite sought after by collectors. It’s slightly reminiscent of the Rider-Waite, but different in both style and detail. This deck combines symbolism from ancient Egypt, Qabbalah, alchemy, astrology and other systems as was common in occult decks of the period.  Knapp added a then unique element of small schematic symbols on the face of each card which the viewer is instructed to meditate upon to develop their own psychic intuition. It was gifted me by a lovely crone who has since passed.  She was a student of the occult and a member of the Edgar Cayce association and I spent hours upon hours poring through her materials and discussing Cayce’s prophecies and other writings.

On to the reading for this week.

Doubt, delays, grief… are you suffering?  Has this current dark moon cycle brought repressed issues up to flood you with long held pain?  Are these feelings holding you back, causing you to doubt yourself or even blocking your progress and desires? The only way out is through.  Let me repeat that, because it’s important.

The only way out is through.

Childhood and adult experiences of pain, grief and trauma become a deep and sometimes crystalized or solidified part of our shadow selves.  Now, by now you all know I’m all about embracing our shadow, but I’m here to tell you it can’t be done unless you’re willing to dive into it.  Keeping it repressed and unexamined just allows these traumas to gain power over you as they bubble to the surface and cause us to act out from that place of pain, anger, insecurity and fear.  It allows the shadow to rule you, rather than you acting as one with your shadow self. It makes us unknowingly and seemingly unwillingly hurt ourselves and others over and over again.

So this week just allow yourself to see, feel and understand.  Embrace your left handed sibling.  Feel and love her.  Walk through this and come strong and clear out the other side.  You’ve got this.

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Imbolc, St Brigid’s Day, & Groundhog Day – A Cross Quarter Celebration by Any Name

Halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox and it’s time to party, right? In Thornesworld this means a cleaning of the altar, some Calendula and Swiss Chard that made it through winter as offerings, baking some herb and seed breads and poring over seed catalogues and working on my tree budget. This year shall bring Fruited Mulberry number two, a couple of Hardy Kiwi’s, Apricot, Plum, more Honey Locust and a Black Locust (gotta have more thorns)!

The Celtic Goddess, Brigid, is associated with this holiday (later St. Brigid of Christian lore), and charms and favors can be left at wells or tied to a bush or tree in her honor and to bring good health.

The season’s craft with the grandgirls will include some “wheat” weaving  (traditionally rushes, but we shall be using straw) and we’ll make offerings of milk to the earth and do some wild foraging for seeds to redistribute.

Traditional celebrations include hearth fires and bonfires, (weather permitting) celebrating the lengthening days and returning warmth of the sun.  Candles work if neither of the big fire options are available to you.  It’s also a special time to be aware of signs and omens of the coming season.  Pay attention to the movements of animals and plants in your environment and don’t forget to wish upon a shooting star!

If frost won’t kill it, it’s starting to grow.  Spring is on its way in, but how soon and how badly will the tail-end of winter be? If the Cailleach, (the divine hag of Celtic tradition) is out in the sunshine gathering her firewood, she’s sure to wish for a few more weeks of winter. However, if the weather is foul, she’ll stay snuggled in her warm bed and the cold days and nights shall soon pass.  If you see a bird carrying a stick, gather your own firewood because winter’s going to stay yet awhile. The hag, snakes, birds and badgers and other animals across many cultures have been known to predict weather, which brings us to Groundhog Day, suspiciously close to this cross quarter festival.  This one is really just an animal version of the divine hag.  If the groundhog sees his shadow  (clear, sunny day to gather firewood) we get six more weeks of winter.  If not, (overcast- foul but good sleeping weather) then spring comes soon.

Either way, I’m sowing my seeds in my tiny greenhouse shelf so they’ll be big and strong once the last frost is past and the beds are ready to receive them!  Happy spring dreams to all!

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Tarot Tuesday – Awakening and Renewal

For this week’s tarot forecast I’m using this lovely Shadowscape Tarot, by Stephanie Put-Mun Law.  It’s a little light on symbolism for my taste, but a gorgeously illustrated deck full of flowing and fantastical imagery.  I was given her book about the deck- not the book that goes with it rather the volume of illustrations and sketches of her creative process and loved her illustrations enough to try out the deck.

Today’s pull is Judgement.   Are you ready to wake up? Do you feel yourself on the precipice of a greater and possibly universal understanding?  Are you seeking a higher knowledge of your life choices and path and ready to move toward the next level? Then the message of the Judgement card is calling you.  You can renew yourself, your outlook and attitude, your choices.  Right now.

In order to do that you’ll have to let go of that fear and disillusionment.  You’ll need to examine old prejudices and judgements and open yourself to the possible pain of your mistakes.  This week could bring some of those changes to you, and if you go with it, embrace and move through and past it, be open to a greater understanding- who knows where your vision may take you.

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It’s Elemental! – First Dibs Friday

Do you use elemental candles, colors and oils in your rituals and circles?  I do, when I’m doing a full on ritual, like for esbats or on the rare occasion that I work with others.  I go full ritual for a Paganing of a wee new life, a hand fasting, croning or funeral.  

 

Even when I’m not casting a full circle and calling in all the elements, I use elemental energies in my magickal workings, a lot. Of course, I can gather the herbs and essential oils that vibrate to the various elements, or I can use these excellent, ritually crafted and poured Magickal Blend of Nine elemental oils. I’m a busy witch. I know these oils are amazing.  I was present during their first crafting and have been working with and pouring them for over 20 years now.  They’re all made with pure therapeutic grade essential oils and food & therapeutic grade herbs in a coconut oil carrier. So they are always my go-to choice for elemental magick.

Need to work a little love magick? The element of water rules love, intuition, emotions and courage, as well as blue, the west, autumn, twilight, the seas, oceans and lakes and the signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

Do you have a big test coming up, or a situation in which you need to be at the top of your intellectual game?  Want to open up your third eye and work out your psychic muscles? Air is the ruler of knowledge, mental and psychic ability and is associated with yellow, the east, spring, dawn, windy hills, plains and mountains as well as Gemini, Libra & Aquarius.

Casting a spell for fertility, starting a big creative endeavor or need a bump over a creative block?  Want to increase your security, comfort, and finances? Earth is the ruler of birth, growth, creativity, nature, material things and is associated with green, the north, winter, midnight, groves, caves and chasms as well as Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.

Need to raise some power and energy; some passion, for almost any need? Do you want to instigate some changes, do some healing or purification?  Fire rules healing, energy, purification, change and life force, is associated with red, the south, summer, noon, deserts and volcanoes, and the signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

If you’ve made it this far, stay with me a moment longer.  I have a page and a group, over on Facebook.  My page is, of course, Thornesworld. My group, is Thornesworld First Dibs Group.  The group is just what it sounds like.  I offer weekly (usually) hand crafted magickal items there at a small discount or with free US shipping, before I list them in my shops.

 So members get First Dibs.

This is my first First Dibs post here on the blog and I’m offering one of each Magickal Blend of Nine Elemental oils and as a little bonus I’m including a red, blue, green and yellow chime candle candle for only $25 including shipping. That’s about $5 less than full price with shipping. That’s about 20% off, so I think it’s a pretty good offer from a little solo crafting witch shop like mine.  But here’s the deal.  It’s only available through my First Dibs Facebook group.  So if you want in on this deal, head over to my Facebook Page,  Thornesworld, and give me a “LIKE”.  Then, either click on the “Visit Group” button, or go to Thornesworld First Dibs Group and join.  You’ll find this offer near the top of the feed.  Thanks!

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Tarot Tuesday – Creative Generosity

For my inaugural Tarot Tuesday reading and post, I thought I’d use my first and longest running favorite, all purpose deck. (Well, I admittedly began with the classic Rider-Waite deck back in the seventies.  It was the one that young witches and hippies found everywhere.)  But when I came upon this Morgan-Greer deck in the early eighties, something about the colors and shapes spoke to me.  The interesting line weights, the simple designs still full with symbolism, make this deck a very easy read for both beginners and those long familiar with tarot.

The Queen of Pentacles is a lovely card.  She’s a feminine archetype; fecund, creative, nurturing. She cares for her home and those under her dome of protection with beauty and grace.  She loves luxury and the comfort it brings, but is no stranger to manifesting the means to achieve it.  She’s a generous patroness and creative matriarch of her world.  She speaks to us of movement as well as the impulse to make our demesnes as lovely and welcoming as we wish.

It’s a good time to decorate, rearrange and clean & bless your home.  If there are luxury or comfort items you’ve had your eye on, now is the time to get them, if you can afford it.  You may be bursting with ideas for a complete home or room makeover, but keep your budget in mind and don’t overextend.  It’s also a good time to bless others with abundance.  Your generosity is a good impulse right now. If you do redecorate, see if anyone you know loves the pieces you’re done with, or donate them to a halfway house or other charitable organization.  Send a few dollars to your favorite charity, or head over to a crowdfunding site and find someone whose need touches your soul.

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The Call of Your Magickal Muse – Living a Magickal Lifestyle

Do you follow your intuition?  It can be hard to do sometimes, am I right?  Learning to distinguish worry, for instance, from actual intuition.  Learning to discern between desire and will.  Tough stuff.

The hardest part, I think, is quieting the restless scanning of our conscious minds.  “What shall I make for dinner?  The Calendula flowers need topped.  I think there’s a pack rat in the root cellar-  better get a trap down there.  And on and on…” I have to make a concerted effort to quiet my mind.  To bring the conscious chatter down to a background hum, so I can hear.  So I can be present in both my exterior and interior lives.  So, I listen.  I move with the flow of my connection most days, but I still get tripped up from time to time by my fears and hopes.  It’s so easy to mistake those for intuition.

But what do you do when a creative or craft or ritual idea pops into your head, seemingly apropos of nothing?

“I should burn some frankincense and Myrrh.” Do you jump up or stop what you’re doing and go scoop some onto a charcoal or grind and mix it in your mortar and pestle, or do you plan to get around to it and then maybe forget?  I think we all probably do some of both, listening to and acting upon as well as ignoring or procrastinating our intuitions.

Sometimes events occur after we followed our intuition (or didn’t) that show us that our glimpse of foresight was right.  Sometimes our action may forestall or clear the path ahead and we never know what might have been.

Here’s what I know.  I know that the more tuned in I am, the more I live my magick; the more magick is woven into every thread of my life; the clearer my insight and intuition are. The closer I am to the energies of life and death, the elements and spirits and gods and nature… the more likely I am to get clear intuitions and insights and even foresight.

Last week I was taking stock of the magickal items, spell kits, candles, charms and talismans that I craft for the store.  I was making a little list of the crafting I wanted to do during the dark of the moon and I heard these words clearly,

Fuck Off!.

Then,

Just leave me alone.  Go away.

So I just knew that I needed to craft a “Fuck Off” candle.  For someone.  Who?  Don’t know.  When do they need it?  I don’t know. But as the moon continued to wane, that need to craft it came back again and again, blooming in my mind like a dark flower, and knew I had to make it this dark moon and that it needed to be some serious, strong magick.

As I began my crafting ritual, first at my altar and then moving into my Witchcraftery to assemble the various ingredients for the workings I intended I was in my magickal  head/heart space to intuit the ingredients I’d want for the work, and especially for the Fuck Off candle spell. My regular spell candle work is literally second nature, but this one called for something special. As I danced around the Witchcraftery, the components just seemed to fall into my hand.  First, I pricked my finger on a cactus spine cluster that had somehow escaped it’s container to fall upon my table.  A little blood for the cause.  Okay. Hmmm… Then I was shuffling items on the shelf above the altar looking for matches when I saw the True Need oil that I’d crafted with my daughter and heart sister some 16 years ago, and knew that this rarely used, powerful oil belonged in this working.

As I crafted the first 3 candles, (2 Uncrossing and a Protect, Reflect and Return), the rest of the components for the Fuck Off candle made themselves known to me, and information flowed during the semi tranced state I often enter during spell work. There came a strong feminine vibe from the one who needs the spell.  Definitely someone being harassed and stalked by a violent (or potentially violent) abuser.

Being that protective Crone that I am (yes, more dangerous even than a protective Mother), the working was completed with a dash of protection and topped off with a sprinkle of rage.

The main work is done.  The spell is crafted and the candle is charging on my altar.  Wherever you are, whoever you are, I hope you find this spell candle I made for you, and I wish you freedom from your pursuer and health, safety, healing and happiness.

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Blogblast for Peace, Dona Nobis Pacem

We’ve been Peace Blogging and sharing these globes since 2006.  Thanks, Mimi. Read more at Blog4Peace

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The Thinning of the Veil – Celebrations of Life and Death

Many years ago I began a personal tradition of seasonal rituals, offerings and acknowledgment of my ancestors and loved ones who had passed beyond the veil. I had small mementos, cremains and ethnic items representing my somewhat mixed heritage all arranged on my main home altar, where I performed and displayed most of my spells and home rituals.

At Holidays and family gatherings, I always share a plate of food and a cup of drink with them. Having the mementos, photos and offerings there gave me a connection to my dead, and I always felt a bit sad when I packed some of the items away after each Holiday or Sabbat, so about 20 years ago I decided to create a year round Ancestor Altar. You will hear me refer to it interchangeably as my Dead Altar, Ancestor Altar and my Altar of  Beloved Dead.

My Dead Altar began with a simple but elegant African ancestor ritual that I found in a book on the Orishas . I’m sorry I can’t remember the title or author; it’s been long and long ago, now.
The ritual ingredients were simple:

  • 13 white tapers (to light their way and provide warmth)
  • clear water (that they mightn’t thirst)
  • salt (that they mightn’t hunger)
  • incense (to please them)
  • A photo, personal memento or representative item

You may choose to cast a circle or create a sacred space in which to work, or you may allow your creation of the altar to be your ritual, sacred in and of itself, which I believe it is.

To begin a new altar I always cleanse and bless the area first. For me that means a nice polishing of the furniture with lemon or orange oil followed by a sprinkling of holy water of one type or another. Sea water, water energized by sun and moon, or until it’s gone I’ll continue to sparingly use my stash of water from the Well at Glastonbury. I also sometimes anoint the corners with Magickal Blend of Nine Blessing Oil.

I generally arrange the altar to be pleasing to the eye; beauty is a form of adoration. If you choose to use the 13 tapers be careful of your placement of personal items. You don’t want them covered in drippings. (I switched some years ago to glass candles like the one pictured here. Too many altar cloths ruined by wax! I still use 13 for formal occasions and holidays, but keep one burning 24/7 year round)

Of course, your opening ritual can be as simple or as complex as you like. Write a poem or prose or a simple letter, or just talk to your ancestors and loved ones as you would were they alive.
As you light the candles and incense tell your beloved dead that they will always have a place in your heart and your home; that you welcome their presence; their wisdom and love and are grateful for their guidance.
As you lay the salt and pour the water tell them that you offer it that they will never hunger or thirst.
Spend a few moments in silent contemplation of the gifts your loved ones and ancestors have given you.

This standing book case that I’ve dedicated as my Ancestor Altar has given me plenty of room to spread them out that they might all be well seen. I love the symbolism of the colorful and happy style of Dia De Los Muertos. My Dead Altar is also home to many of the animals and familiars that have shared their lives and spirits with me.

Having the Altar of my Beloved Dead in my living room- making daily offerings of incense, lighting their candle and making sure they always have food (salt or offerings from the kitchen- they love home cooking) and water, keeps them close to me in a way that’s difficult to explain. Although I know they are alive in my memory and heart no matter what, I find these physical mementos and rituals comforting and it gives me a happy sense of their presence in my life. I find myself more often joyful than sad when I think of them, and am forever it seems, finding small items that I want to add to the Altar.
I hope you will take a moment to share your own experiences and remembrances of your loved ones who have passed with me, and if you have or make your own Dead Altar, please email me a photo and I’ll post it here at Thornesworld.

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13 Things about Thorne and Thornesworld

1) My magickal / internet / tattoo name, Thorne, has multiple and complex layers of meaning.

2) Regarding my use of Thorne as an internet moniker, many years ago in the dark ages of the internet, when we all lived on email lists and noone lived anywhere else (a tiny hat-tip to author Shirley Jackson there), I was named by a list moderator as the “thorn in her side”.  It’s true.  I don’t always work and play well with others.

3) It is also a play on words regarding the concept embodied in the phrase:
“Every rose has its thorn.”  It’s true. Although I am devastatingly lovely, I am also a pain in the ass! Bwahahaha… And my tattoo motto, “You’ll love getting pricked by Thorne”, was a bit of fun, too.

4) And the last bit on Thorne is but a tease; a glimpse through a mirror darkly into a story of past lives and psychic wounds and scars carried throughout many incarnations… but that is a story for another time.

5) I am a witch. Not religious, not Wiccan or any other specific tradition. Although I readily admit that the Wiccan rede of “An it harm none, do as thou wilt”, is a good bit of wisdom to consider, I myself do not follow it. Rather do I subscribe to the following in it’s original form and intent:

Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the Law, Love under will.

Continue reading

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