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.

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Walking Under Ladders, or: 13 Daily Practices of a Practical Witch

Here we go with another round of 13’s. I love the number because of its associations with bad luck and other foolish superstition. There are big differences between traditional ways of the wise that have been passed down through the generations and plain old superstition. Many folks who consider themselves of one or another mainstream religion, as well as many pagans fall into believing more in superstition than magick. It always kinda cracks me up. Hence my love of 13s, black cats and walking under ladders. In my ongoing efforts to share more of me here with you, I present:

Walking Under Ladders, or: 13 Daily Practices of a Practical Witch

 

1) Make my bed.

That’s right. Seems like a pretty mundane act, doesn’t it? I can almost hear ya’ll now “What in Hades does bed making have to do with magick?” Well, for this ol’ witch it’s a magickal act that works to manifest in my life on several levels.

It serves as a mini meditation. It’s the time when I put the dreams and visions of the night in their various places. Some might go into a mental file to be considered later in depth, others tossed out as psychological waste products, others might need to go in my write about or research this mental files. It sets me to start my day fully present in today. Puts a firm close on yesterday. I know that when I finish my day, I’ll be coming to a clean, neat space in which to be for my evening of relaxation, reading, love and ultimately sleep.

2) Bathe

For me this is usually a soak in a tub full of hot water, often scented with aromatherapy oils. It is a time to rejuvenate my body as well as cleanse it. A time to meditate and sometimes plan my day.

3) Take care of and connect with my animals.

We have the sacred responsibility of sharing our home and lives with 3 dogs, 4 cats, a Red Lored Amazon parrot and an outside Lion Head bunny with chickens and more bunnies and other livestock soon to come. Mornings as I feed them and change their water, I talk to them and send them my thoughts of love. Although I do this throughout the day, this morning connection is important. It grounds and centers me. It reminds me of my place in the world and my connection to all living things.

4) Greet my beloved dead and my ancestors.

Make sure candles are burning on appropriate altars, like my Ancestor Altar, as well as any other purpose altars, rituals or spells I may have burning. Make sure the dead have fresh water and salt. This is important to my daily life. It helps me feel connected to the love and wisdom of those who have gone before me; both those I never knew and the many loves I have lost in this life.

5) Clean house.

I won’t enumerate each aspect of housecleaning, I’ll just say that I do everything with purpose and focused will. Laundry is a special and meditative time for me and if I am sweeping, I’m sweeping the room in a counter-clockwise or banishing direction and I’m sweeping out more than what is visible to the eye. If I’m dusting or polishing or cleaning the kitchen, I wipe first widdershins to banish, then sunwise to bring in health and light and love. It’s especially important to pay attention to corners where negative energy can collect. I wish I lived in a round house with round rooms. Hee hee!

6) Meditation

My daily meditations are varied and eclectic, just like me, but they happen every day in one form or another. A simple repetitive act like washing dishes can be a deep meditation if one performs it with presence of mind and practices staying in the moment.. Some days I find myself performing Thelemic Adorations, others I gaze into a crystal or the flames in our fireplace, or weather permitting, a cactus flower or other living element. Some days I feel the need for a more obvious and conscious direction or insight and I’ll pull one of any number of different tarot or meditation cards and meditate upon the message therein. Some days I simply seek the silence of an uncluttered mind.

7) Pray.

Think witches don’t pray? Hehe. Call it by what name you will. I once heard it said that “Prayer is talking to God; meditation is listening. I talk to my Goddesses, my Gods, the Universe, my Higher Self… daily. I ask for peace. I ask that those who hunger be fed. That those who suffer be comforted. I ask for guidance and for the ability to discern my True Will. (It is always my purpose to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable)

8) Take creative action.

Magickally I feel it’s important to create every day. Whether I’m writing for one of my blogs, be it serious stuff or a little foolishness; working on one of my novels or even a bit of poetry, or crafting something for personal use or to sell; even designing and implementing a DIY project for my home. The magickal aspects of the creative process keep magick alive in me and my life.

9) Learn something new every day.

So easy to do, especially with the resources of the internet at our fingertips. It’s so comfortable to stay within our spheres of understanding; to sit in righteous surety of what we believe we know. People and ideas will always surprise us if we open our minds and give them a chance.

10) Practice gratitude.

There is nothing worse than a whiny witch. Well, than a whiner; period. ‘Nuff said.

11) Be aware of my self image and pay attention to my language.

Words are powerful. Am I speaking my truth? Am I using my words to manifest the positive reality in which I choose to live, or are my words full of fear and negativity? Our language carries our message into a Universe that says, YES! It says yes to our bad ideas as readily as it says yes to our good ones. I touch on this a bit more in depth in my post on 13 Ways to Manifest Abundance

12) Practice self awareness and personal responsibility.

No excuses. Pay attention to myself, spend some time looking at me. At or near the end of each day, I look back over my day. Did I do another harm? Did I neglect to tell someone I love them? Was I self centered and self absorbed or did I make the effort to be a part of the world? Was I stingy with compliments? If I was, it was most likely to my family, so I can usually make amends right away. If it was in the world or to another I make a note to address the situation and right the wrong. If I’m given an understanding of a past wrong I can’t make right, I can always take a moment to light a candle, or pray, or simply send my good wishes and love out to that person and then sleep with a clear mind and a full heart.

13) Play!

That’s right- all work and no play makes Thorne a dull grrrl. It’s important for my spirit that I find some time to treat myself to playfulness and a childlike attitude of wonder and joy and freedom. My two granddaughters are great for me that way, they keep me feeling playful. Giggles are good! Hey, it ain’t easy being a witch! But it’s my path and I embrace it in perfect love and perfect trust.

 

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Fall Housecleaning, The Witchy Way

Here in Thornesworld I’m not all that hot on Spring Cleaning.  In the spring I’m just too busy getting outdoors in the garden to really clean house.

I know, I know. Spring cleaning began as the way to clean out all the winter gloomies and yuckies and germs and stink.  But these days, no matter how cold it is, we all take baths, don’t we? I mean, do any of you really still believe that a bath will kill you or in the least make you deathly ill? I’ve gotten over throwing my refuse from meals and such on the floor of my castle in the last few centuries or so, too; so thank Goddess that’s not an issue anymore. In fact, the house stays so clean during the winter (due to the reasons below) that spring cleaning isn’t much more than a wave of my broom and a twitch of my nose!

Well… that might be a slight exaggeration.  Of course after a long, cold, winter inside, I like to throw open the windows and doors, grab both my magickal and physical arsenal and do a little house cleaning and cleansing, but the really deep clean?  That waits for Fall in Thornesworld.

I can’t speak for all witches, or even any other witch but me; but I am super in tune with the turning of the wheel of the year. The seasons as they come and go are times of change on both inner and outer levels for me. I hear a lot of folx say that there are no seasons in California, but I must heartily disagree. We may not get tons of snow, and it can be hard to come by a road covered with the bright colors of fallen autumn leaves, but our seasons are as distinct to me, (and must be to any who stop to really experience them), as are night and day.

So in the spring I’m planning my garden and making lists of all that needs must be done while I check the thermometer and wonder when the last frost will finally come.  I’m ordering and sorting seeds and sowing in my little greenhouse shelf… peppers, tomatoes, flowers and herbs to start things rolling.

In summer I’m fertilizing, pruning and weeding, foraging and working on my landscaping in the cooler hours before noon and in the evening hours approaching (and sometimes after) dusk. I’m catching up on the laundry I let get behind in Winter and Spring because it was too wet or too cold to hang out on the line. I’m harvesting herbs and hanging them to dry and scouting the yard and garden for any errant Goat’s Head vines or invading Russian Thistle (Tumbleweeds). Summer is for swimming and napping naked, for grilling and iced teas, for late nights under a sea of stars.

Then comes fall. The days begin to cool and I have more energy again. We’re wrapping up the gardening, lots of harvesting and canning or freezing our bounty to carry us through winter. Time to start picking the pumpkins and gourds and the Winter Squash for storage. In pagan traditions, today, the Autumnal Equinox, is the second harvest festival, celebrating the year’s bounty and sharing it with others to assure the continued favor of the gods. It’s time for outside cleanup and prep. Making sure tools are put away, and the house is sealed up tight against the coming cold. There’s kindling to gather and cordwood to cut, split and stack, and yes, the house to clean so we can enjoy being inside for the Winter months.

Sometime around the first of October is when I get serious.  Winter is the time I go inward, both physically and magickally. Who wants to be cooped up inside a dirty, dusty house all Winter?  So I grab my magickal vinegar, light some of my Clear & Cleanse incense, crank up the tunes, and get to work. Yeah, yeah, there’s more to doing a Deep Cleanse & Bless than that, and you can find my full kit along with 11 pages of detailed instruction/guidance HERE, but it’s a good start toward making everything clean and clear for both myself and my guests. Besides, if I light the fireplace without removing the current inch or so of dust, we might explode.

Hallowe’en is the one big ritual observance of the year for me. I celebrate all the solstices and equinoxes (Greater Sabbats), as well as the Cross Quarter (or Lesser Sabbats) in my own way, but on Hallowe’en I really pull out all the stops.

And I have a lot of guests from Hallowe’en thru the calendar New Year.

A lot of them arrive on Oct 31st and don’t leave until Jan. 2nd or so. Along with the living friends and family that come to celebrate and enjoy our  traditions, this is the time of year that I celebrate and honor my beloved dead. My ancestors, my husband, friends, family, and lovers who have passed on. I spruce up their year round altar, both cleaning and decorating it, and I pull out photos and mementos. I cook their favorite foods and we offer some to them on the Dia de los Muertos altar, along with clear water from our well and the light of many candles and sweet smoke from resins and herbs, and we the living eat of their favorite foods and share the stories. Although our beloved dead are only a thought away all through the year, the winter is when they come in and cozy up close to the fire to enjoy the light and celebration.

Winter is my time for study and deeper meditation, it’s the time that I spend hours gazing into the fire to see what I might see, the time that trances come easily with needlework, crochet and spinning, and that I set myself to divine my path forward as I meet the challenges and joys of the coming year.

 

 

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13 Ways to Manifest Abundance

Are you a Working Witch? An Unemployed Witch? An Urban witch? A Disabled Witch? A Homemaker Witch? A SAHM Witch? No matter which witch, you are surely among the millions who are feeling threatened despite He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named tweeting from his golden throne about how bigly great the American economy is doing. Most the folx I know would beg to differ.  Trade tariffs, bail outs, budget cuts. Robbing Peter (FEMA) to pay Paul (ICE).

Scary times.

Here in Thorne’s World things are much the same as ever. I bet that’s true for most of us small folx. We try to keep up with the world, but it always seems like if the world isn’t beating us down, it’s just going along doing its own thing. And we; we just keep doing what we can.  Right? Keep being frugal not only for our own budgets, but for our Mother Earth, as well.  Keep being frugal with her resources.  Keep being grateful and responsible.

And still, we struggle along on the verge of being broke.  Riding that razor edge between making it and having one small emergency send everything spiraling out of control. But while we rest there on that sharp sliver of steel, our needs are met. We have a roof over our heads, the power is still on and the internet bills get paid. (Hahaha!!) There are groceries in the pantry and meat in the freezer. I even got a fancy set of spoons from my daughter to use in my magickal workings. Those definitely fall under the category of wants, as opposed to needs, and if I get to enjoy a small want, it’s a bonus!

It’s that time of year when folx get a little tight, too.  Back to school shopping for the kids, followed by the harvest and magickal and commercial holidays through year’s end have folx tightening their budgets.  So, shop sales are down a little, which turns my thoughts to creating and manifesting abundance, so I thought to share those thoughts with you.

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Dark Moon Crafting

It’s that time again.  Time to dive into my interior spaces and heed the call of my shadow, my left handed sister within who knows that if she can’t hex, nor can she heal.

I listen.  Do I hear a need whispered on the gentle breeze that blows across the desert under the star shot but moonless sky?

I hear. So no hexes tonight then, but some good dark moon magick to offer to the crone in gratitude.

Tonight’s work is begins with a powerful candle spell of uncrossing.  A spell to clear the way, to remove obstacles; be they physical, magickal or emotional.  A spell that begins like a breeze, like a gently welded broom or fan to move and sweep away and then increases in strength and power by increments until it blasts away every blockage it encounters to clear the way to your goal, your desire, your need.

And I feel a need tonight to craft a candle of protection for someone out there, but protection with a kick.  Protection in the form of reversing.  

Protection that guards as well as returns to the source whatever gossip, slander, bad energy or magick is being used.

*Stop by the shop in a couple days, when these candles will be finished and offered for sale.

 

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