Monday, May 30, 2016

3 Ways to Bind a Disturbed Spell (After Some MoFo Jacked it Up)


It happened the other night.

...Oh, I'm sorry. Before I begin, let's cue some cheesy horror movie music and the fog machine. Okay, now let me try again.

It happened the other night. I was preparing dinner, minding my own DAMN business (Kevin Hart voice, anyone?) when my husband came downstairs and asked that dreaded question: Is that jar on your desk important?

"Which jar," I asked, the apprehension growing inside of me.

"The little jar of sand on your desk," he said, unaware of the fear swelling in my gut. "Was it important?"

*Cue thunder. Lightning flashes! ....but no rain. Please don't ruin this 6 month drought with a drop of rain...*

"What happened to the jar?" I questioned. But I already knew the answer.

And thus began a witch's worst fear: someone disrupting your spell despite you having tucked it away for safety.  (But Michaela, didn't you say it was on your desk? That's not really hiding it. Yes, dear reader, it was on MY desk. In MY office. Are you sensing my tone? =P)

I'm sure you've been in this position—put a spell somewhere bizarre, trusting it was in such an obscure place no one would disturb it. But that's the thing with kids, I mean husbands, they somehow sense when something was supposed to remain untouched. That hidden stash of PMS chocolate. The special guest towels that are not engine-grease resistant. The spell you so carefully crafted to ensure a bright future. 

...and in case the male readers are feeling a bit shunned, you should see what I do to that poor man's garage when I'm looking for a tool. We're simpatico. We have a beautiful marriage. =D

Nonetheless, for the first time in my witchy career I found myself wondering how I was going to correct my spell after my dear, sweet, patient, garage-organizing husband knocked it over. Years of stored information flipped through my mind like a neurological Rolodex of Pagan tidbits (If you were born after 1995, just replace "Rolodex" with "Google"). Fortunately, I've been doing this for a while and have lots of tricks up my proverbial sleeve.

Here's the top 3 simplest ways to bind a spell after it's been disturbed:

Incense 
This is the easiest approach, especially for "loose" spells, like salt or herbs left in open jars. After saying the spell below, trace three pentagrams in the air above your reassembled spell while chanting "So Mote it Be!" three times. 

Burn a fresh candle
The candle acts as a sort of sacrifice to the blunder. You'll want to choose a specific amount of time to allow the candle to burn. If it's important, and I'm guessing it is if you took the time to work a spell, I'd suggest 3 hours. But I wouldn't do any less than three minutes if you're in a rush.

Bind with ribbon
This is great for sealed spells that got touched or moved to a new location. After saying the spell below, knot the ribbon three times, each time saying, "So Mote it Be!"

Color options for ribbons:

Red: Courage, Love, Strength, Passion
Pink: Honor, Love
Orange: Encouragement, Sexuality, Attracting (general)
Yellow: Friendship, Attraction, Protection, Joy, Happiness
White: Protection, Truth, Unconditional Love
Green: Healing, Growth, Love (associated with heart chakra)
Purple: Healing, Protection, Truth, Honor
Blue: Healing, Truth, Protection

To Bind Your Spell: 
Make sure you're doing this while you're calm. If you were frustrated by the disruption, take a few moments to regroup and come back to the spell when you're in a focused state. 

Once you've reassembled your spell, hold it in your hands while envisioning your original desired outcome. If you were picturing money for a vacation, imagine yourself on the beach. Feel the warmth of the sun, the sand in your feet. If you were casting a spell for a new job, picture yourself in that new career, happy and enjoying your new path. Whatever the spell was for, imagine it coming to fruition—the sights, the scents, the sensation of it happening. Once it's so real you can taste it, then say the following:

Bound once more, and so it shall be
This spell continues to grow in prosperity
What was once disturbed is made whole again
To flourish and blossom with my original intent
Disruption matters not, for the magick is within me
Three times three, So Mote it Be!

Remember to say "So Mote it Be" three times whether you're knotting the ribbon, tracing the pentagram, or lighting the candle. 

And there you have it! Your spell is fixed! And in the words of my husband upon hearing I corrected the spell: I'm so glad you didn't have to waste your night hexing me.

Ahhh true love! ♥♥♥


What's your favorite place to hide a spell in progress?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.

Monday, May 23, 2016

5 Pagan Sacrifices (That Don't Involve Bloodshed or Children)

(No children were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

Part of casting spells and practicing magick is offering sacrifices in return for our conjure. This is where Hollywood makes Pagans and Witches look a tad more sinister than the nature-lovers that we are. Here are five easy ways to show your reverence for nature and the universe without having to lure children to your house Hansel-and-Gretel style. ;)

Burn a favorite candle or incense 
This is the easiest way to offer something to the universe. If you're anything like me, you have a candle or two that you've been hoarding for a special spell. Well, that spell has come! Instead of using it for yourself, burn it as a sacrifice to the universe. Let the Goddess and God know it's for them and designate a specific amount of time to let it burn. I also include a candle sacrifice during a Sabbat in conjunction with any spell work. 

Plant a tree or bush 
Simple enough! Add beauty to your landscape, air purification to the world, and food & shelter to all the little critters living in your yard. Toss in a little steer manure instead of chemical fertilizers (you can find this at any gardening or home improvement store and it's dirt cheap), and Mother Nature will thank you for your thank-you!

Leave Nature Alone! 
Did anyone else hear that in the "Leave Britney alone!" voice? If not, I've failed as a blogger...

Anyway, that perfect rose bloom you've been eyeing? That first fruit from your raspberry bush? Leave them for nature. Let the bees enjoy the pollen. Let the birds enjoy the tasty bounty. Let nature enjoy a little bit of your hard efforts as a thank-you for all that Mother Earth does for us!


Time 
I live in a basin where the winds routinely reach thirty miles an hour for days on end. You know what that means besides bad hair and horrific allergies? Trash. Trash goes EVERYWHERE. And it's not because people aren't handling it correctly. Garbage cans blow over. The truck dumpy-arm-thingy (technical term) lifts the can slowly so a certain amount of crud falls out before it ever makes it into the truck. And unless you have my super awesome garbage man who gets out and picks it up, you're going to have trash everywhere. (Yay, Elbert!.....yes, I know my garbage truck driver's name! I think he's fantastic!) Take twenty minutes or a half hour to walk around your neighborhood or local park and pick up anything that is rolling around. Even if you did this once a month, it rouses a sense of pride in your community and teaches your children (if you have them, stole them, etc) to take responsibility for their neighborhood. Not only will Mother Nature thank you, but your neighbors just may be inspired to do the same! 


Meditate outside yourself 
I meditate daily. It calms my mind and purges all the mental static built up from working with electronics all day. Otherwise, my mind races and I find myself waking up at 3 A.M. with a song already stuck in my head (Lately it's Cam's Runaway Train). Like, really....how the hell does that happen when I was JUST dead asleep?!

Anyway, something I've started doing about once a month is meditating for someone else (often referred to as energy healing). Sometimes it's someone I know who needs some positive energy. Sometimes it's for my family (fur family included!). Sometimes it's just a blanket feeling of positivity I picture radiating off myself in colorful ripples, being released into the ionosphere. The world is in a jacked-up state. I suspect it always has been, but we're just more aware due to technology. Whatever the cause, there's always someone or something out there (even nature!) that could use a little extra love! Send them some! It takes as little as 5 minutes and is a nice way to give back to the universe. 

Above all, as Pagans and witches, we need to remember there is a balance to everything. We have to be conscious to show gratitude and give where we've received, even if it's as simple as saying thank you!

What are your favorite sacrifices to make to the universe?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Grief and Loss Healing Sachet



About eight weeks ago my family suffered an unexpected and devastating loss. I'm not ready to get into the details. The truth is, I probably never will be. The feelings are too raw, like a sunburn doused in vodka then set on fire with a blowtorch. It was so unexpected that I still find myself wondering how it happened so quickly. Grief is a funny thing. It can warp your mind, making you question every trivial detail, every fragment of clouded memory. Why didn't I see any symptoms? How could he have been normal one moment and gone a few days later? Did he know I loved him? Could I have done something differently? 

The part I initially struggled with most was the anger. For several weeks I was angry with everything. With myself. With life. With the universe. He was taken care of. He was loved. So why was he taken from me?

I understand this isn't rational. But that's the thing about grief. It is never rational. How can it be? Such a torturous emotion, a jumbled chaotic mix of guilt and agonizing sadness and betrayal and feeling like nothing will ever be whole again. 

When I was in college, we learned about the Kubler-Ross model of grief. The five stages being: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I distinctly remember one student asking, "How do you know when it's done?" Being a very open classroom, I responded with, "When you put down the Haagen Dazs and get off the couch."

I find myself thinking of Kubler-Ross a lot lately, mostly because I resent her five stages. There is nothing linear about grief. Something that intangible and crippling does not happen in a neat, orderly fashion. Some moments you feel okay and you can make peace with the unchangeable. Others you are sobbing—depressed or angry. Probably a little of both.

But you know what phase Kubler-Ross overlooked? Exhaustion.

I have cried every day since I lost a vital piece of my life. A piece of myself, really. Every day. Some days are a few tears, even happy tears at a silly memory. Some days are worse, and I find myself struggling through simple tasks. 

Exhaustion is the stage I'm currently struggling with. Yes, I'm sad. Yes, I'm depressed. But you know what else I am? I'm tired of being both of those. Grief won't bring him back. My length of mourning does not denote how deeply I loved him. If it did, I'd never be happy again. Nor would anyone who has ever lost someone they loved. So the whole world would be one miserable $@!& storm of sad, mournful people. Sounds pleasant, hm?

I told you I was in a dark place.

So what does a person do when they've hit a point in their grief where they are rundown and tired? After all, our loved ones wouldn't want us to be miserable. It's a cliche expression, but it's cliche because it's true. And that miasma of dark emotion leaves us closed to their energies, their messages, their signs. It's the reason I most wish to process through this torturous stage of mourning—so that I can experience him once again in his new form. You see, I believe we are all part of a bigger energy. Every tree, every animal, every person—everything natural—is comprised of the same universal energy. Therefore, he is not gone. He's different, but he exists beside me. In another realm. In another form. But with me nonetheless. And yet my emotions are so tangled, my heart so heavy with sorrow, I feel closed off to him. 

Okay, Michaela. Get to your point. What is a heartbroken person to do?

Magick.

When in doubt, always turn to magick.

Now, you (we, me) have to be realistic here. An herbal sachet isn't going to have you waking up tomorrow, clicking your heels, ready for a new day. Grief is real. It's not a bad hair day. It won't go away after a massage and a smoothie. But an herbal sachet infused with magick can help you subconsciously process painful, suffocating emotions while you sleep, thus helping you heal. The most important aspect of grief is that you CANNOT avoid it. It has to happen. Yes, there will be moments when the pain is too unbearable and distraction is healthy. But in the big picture guilt must be processed. It's a passive process, one in which you are basically unwillingly along for the ride, but complete suppression will only make it worse. Trust me when I tell you this, because I've learned the hard way. Emotions can't be avoided when it's something that must be processed. The rude cashier at the grocery store is something that can be brushed off. The ending of a relationship (through separation or death) is something your soul needs to process in order to heal. It sucks at the time. Correction: It fucking sucks at the time. But you'll be better for it on the other side. Trust me on this. Don't run from pain. Pain will always find you. 

But there are ways we can support and encourage the process, and today I will show you the way I've chosen. 

While I did use homeopathic remedies for the initial trauma of loss, I now find myself searching for something to help me process grief while I sleep. As I'm sure you know, sleep is where we work out our most difficult emotions, thus many people suffer with insomnia or vivid dreams following a death. This is where magick and herbs step in. Below you'll find my spell for a Grief and Loss Healing Sachet. And while I hope you'll never need it, it's unlikely you will get through life without experiencing the agony of loss. 

...Unless you're a sociopath. I've met a few in my time. Trust me, they're not nearly as fun as the movies make them out to be.


Grief and Loss Healing Sachet


Sage:
 Used for cleansing and purification. Aids in alleviating grief and sorrow.

Lavender:
Promotes sleep and convalescence. Invokes peace and helps battle depression. 

***Sandalwood:
Promotes relaxation and heightens spiritual energy. Invokes passed souls

Marjoram: 
Eases grief. Helps to restore happiness.

Garnet Gemstone:
Balances energy and raises emotions to a higher vibration. Attracts happiness and purification. Aligns spiritual and physical self.

Rose Quartz:
Aids in the processing of grief and anger. Eases pain through detoxification. Protects against nightmares (common after loss).

As always, if you don't have all of these ingredients, experiment. See what speaks to you and what feels comforting. When grieving, comfort is the main objective.

***When sandalwood is combined with frankincense and burned as an incense, it raises energetic vibrations and makes it easier for us to connect with spirit guides/enlightened spirits. I suggest burning some while you energize your sachet. 


Charging the sachet 

Gather your materials and sit in a quiet place where you feel comfortable. You can do this during the day or night. Whenever feels best to you.

Take a few deep breaths and try to find a place of peace. Take a pinch of each item and place it in the sachet. If you don't have a small bag, you can use a clean sock. 

As you deposit each item, picture happy memories with your loved one. Remember good times you had together. If a negative thought pops up, especially one where they may have been sick or suffering, acknowledge the thought but quickly replace it with a good memory. A helpful tactic when grieving is to immediately think of a good memory whenever a bad one arises. This helps take the power away from those difficult thoughts and actually redefines the neuropathway connecting a specific thought to an emotion.

Once all items are in your sachet, tie it with a piece of ribbon or string and hold it between both hands. Close your eyes and picture your loved one standing happy and healthy before you. Don't be surprised if you get chills, feel as if you're being touched, or sense they are in the room. They are! Our grief is painful for them to watch. They are in a state of pure bliss, and they don't want us to suffer on their behalf!

As you hold the sachet, say:

In this time of darkness, please bring me back to light.
Ease the sorrow and the burden, during these harrowing nights.
*Loved one's name*'s time here is done, for with life is given death.
Keep with me the beautiful memories, 
Goddess, please alleviate the rest.
For only the Goddess is eternal, even the sun must disappear.
Gone from body but never from heart, *Loved one's name* is always near.

Place the sachet under your pillow or tack it over your head and sleep with it until you feel healed from the trauma of loss. And remember, healing does not mean you're okay with a loved one being gone from this realm. Or that you've "moved on" or no longer care. Don't feel guilty for trying to heal and recover. Healing simply means you're in the spiritual place where you can accept that the beautiful journey of life is concluded by death, and you've come to a place of peace and acceptance knowing your loved one's path on this plane has concluded. Healing by no means lessens your love for that spirit.

One last thing before I go, please remember that love is love and grief is pain. I once worked for a veterinarian who would complain if a staff member took the rest of the day off after putting a pet to sleep, each time mentioning that he was in work the day after his mother died. While I could spend many hours writing about how his lack of empathy disturbs me, especially from a veterinarian (??), I mention this troubling anecdote only to demonstrate that there are people in your life who will simply not understand the depths of your loss. But please know this: whether you lost a mother, brother, wife, dog, or fish, it was a spirit you had a connection with and therefore mourn. Please don't ever feel you don't have the "right" to experience your grief. No one can judge another's path. Your loss is YOUR loss. Don't let dogma (i.e. that voice in your head created by society) tell you you're overreacting or need to place an expiration date on your grief. Only you know how much you loved that special spirit. Only you fully understand the pain you're experiencing. Dismiss those who are lacking compassion. Too many people are disconnected from their spiritual selves and therefore can't understand how two spirits, especially those of different species, can be so interlinked. Don't let their negative opinions influence you. You're on a difficult journey to healing. Be kind to yourself during this arduous transformation. And if the pain feels too much to bear, please seek professional help.


Blessed Be.

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pinterest Gone Pagan: Psychic Protection Spell

Pinterest has no affiliation with this post.


Kitchen Witchery...wait. Is witchery a word? If not, I just declared it one.

Okay...

As I was saying, kitchen witchery seems to be it's own genre of magick. I'm not sure if it's because some people already find the kitchen daunting or people assume you have to have a vast knowledge of herbs in order to cast in the kitchen, but I've found many witches keep their practices to their altars and away from the stove.

But, like the creepy friend in Uncle Buck, I have a cure for that. (Please tell me I'm not the only person who has seen Uncle Buck roughly 83 times.)

You see, magick is everywhere. We just have to be willing to see it. I mean, what's more magickal than taking flour, eggs, and sugar and turning it into a delectable cake? You wouldn't eat plain flour. And it's probably best you don't eat straight sugar by the spoonful. But a little leavening, add some heat, and the next thing you know it's birthday time! Really, have you ever stopped to think about it?! Cooking is physical magick right there in front of you. So why not take the time to imbue some magickal properties to your already pretty amazing, totally tasty recipe? 

On that note, did you know Pinterest is LOADED with magick? They hide in the shadows, disguising themselves as recipes, but really that strawberry trifle and bacon-wrapped hot dog (God Bless America!) is a magickal formula just waiting to be deconstructed.

The best part? I'm here to do that for you! I call it Pinterest Gone Pagan, a new series I'm launching to teach you how to double duty your dinner into a manifesting session of taste bud delectability. 

I've decided to start with a wonderful recipe from Gimme Some Oven. (Here's the pin link if you'd like to pin it to your recipe box.) You'll have to head over to Ali's page for the full recipe (because, you know....copyright infringement.). But below I'll show you how this seemingly every day soup can actually be used for a psychic protect spell! Pretty cool, hm?

The key to turning this soup into a spell is to visualize while you're preparing it. While you're measuring, chopping, and stirring, envision your mind and body being physically surrounded by a protective barrier. Imagine yourself inside a force field where no one's ill intentions can penetrate. I like to envision a blue or purple bubble surrounding myself for protection, but choose whatever color speaks to you. And while you're eating this scrumptious soup, focus on the ingredients nourishing your body and securing that protective fortress. 

So other than visualization, how does this soup become psychic protection? Here's how!

Onions and garlic: used for healing and protection

Carrots and celery: both used to increase psychic awareness, thereby alerting you to negative energies

Mushrooms: increase psychic abilities and resistance

Potatoes: Protection

Salt: The Ultimate Protector! Salt is awesome. It should be your first go-to when you need any form of protection (or when you're having popcorn.)


Dinner and a spell all in under an hour? What more could you ask for?

Make sure to check back for more Pinterest Gone Pagan recipes to find out what other awesome (and tasty!) spells are hiding in plain sight on Pinterest. 



Have you tried your hand at kitchen witchery? What's your favorite edible spell? Do you have a recipe you'd like to see go Pagan? Leave a comment below!

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.

Monday, May 2, 2016

My Favorite Tarot and Oracle Cards

NOTE: There's been a lot of conversation around Doreen Virtue recently. Personally, I still continue use and appreciate these cards. I was actually never very familiar with her work; I just happened to really enjoy these particular decks and find them especially useful for beginners. And her announcement doesn't change that! Remember, tarot/ oracle cards are simply a tool. If they work for you, there's nothing wrong with continuing to use them! As always, follow your instincts and trust your own path! ♥




I've been reading tarot cards since I was thirteen, which must mean I'm good, right?

No. The answer there is no.

And for quite some time I figured it was just me. So I stopped trying to read any of the three decks I owned and moved on with life. But then one day in Sedona, AZ (a breathtaking place to visit, by the way) I stumbled upon a deck of Magical Unicorn Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue. I picked them up thinking they would make a great gift for my mother since she's the unicorn person, not me. But something about them resonated with me. And now, over five years later, I use these handy little cards at least once a week but generally more often. 




So what's the difference between oracle cards and tarot?


Aren't these gorgeous?
The main difference between oracle cards and tarot cards is that oracle cards have a direct message that isn't open to interpretation, thus making them much easier to use for a beginner. And while there are less cards (44 to the traditional 78 in tarot), Doreen did an excellent job of making the cards broad-spectrum, so many topics are covered. My absolute favorite part of these cards (aside from the beautiful artwork) is that they are positive. Most people don't sit down to oracle or tarot cards when life is peachy-keen. Most people are looking for guidance because cow pies have hit the fan and they're looking for the off switch. So while the cards will give you gentle guidance if you need a little prompting, the keyword here is gentle. In my previous decks of tarot cards, I found some readings left me feeling like, well...the cow pie.


Now, if you're looking for tarot specifically, she also offers a fantastic deck of Fairy Tarot. Again, I'm not normally attracted to fairies. But after seeing how accurate and easy-to-use a friend's deck was, I asked Santa for my very own set. I've been using them every since and have been very satisfied! 




What makes this deck different from other tarot? Well I'm glad you asked! The most obvious difference is that the meanings are printed on the cards. I once spent a significant amount of time hand writing all the meanings on my Rider-Waite set, and I still had a heck of a time trying to make sense of any readings. From what I understand, Rider-Waite is a particularly difficult set to read, so kudos to you if you're rocking it! 

Another difference is instead of the traditional minor arcana (coins, wands, cups, and swords) Doreen uses the four seasons, which makes me VERY happy! After all, this Pagan adores nature. 

The best part? Both sets are well under $20 each. Bargain, if you ask me! Certainly cheaper than a tarot reader. And how much fun would these be at a girls' night?!


Do you prefer oracle or tarot cards? What's your favorite deck?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.