I'm on the road!

I'll be away from the computer for a couple weeks, so comment approval and replies will be delayed a spell (ba dum tss). But don't worry! There's fresh cookies on the counter and milk in the fridge. Make yourself comfortable, and I'll see you when I return! =D Happy Casting! ♥

The Witch's Guide to Samhain


As the cool air swaddles nature, welcoming the fall with a crisp autumnal embrace, the scent of magick permeates the atmosphere. We sense it in the trees, the way their orange leaves sway upon the branches one last time before taking flight, fluttering to the ground in a ritualistic dance of fall-painted beauty. We can feel it on our skin as the weather turns dry and nature softly exhales, hinting at the impending winter with sacred, frost-laced breath. Above all, we feel it in our souls, the way The Wheel churns around us, humming with life as the veil thins and the world brims with magick just before its winter slumber.

Autumn is undoubtedly a special time of year. It's a cozy cluster of days celebrated with the comfy aspects of life—luscious slices of gooey apple pie, soft woolen blankets clutched across our shoulders on dreary October nights, pumpkin bread and cinnamon coffee and hay rides and corn mazes and haunted houses!

Whew, getting a bit winded over here. Just so darn pumped!

If you're new to Paganism or simply need a brush-up, let's sit down together over a mug of London fog tea and a slice of banana bread while we discuss The Witch's Guide to Samhain!

Samhain (pronounced sow-in) is a cross-quarter sabbat that is celebrated on October 31st. On this sabbat we honor the death of the God, acknowledge death as a necessary stage in the cycle of life, and celebrate our ancestors and those loved ones who have transcended before us. Just as The Wheel turns, demonstrating that nothing in this realm is constant, our lives too will eventually cease, though our souls remain eternal. We acknowledge this unconditional truth on Samhain and address our own discomfort that often accompanies our mortality.  

As Samhain nears, the veil between our plane and then next thins to near transparency, granting us easier communication with those beyond. Now is the time to honor your loved ones, letting them know their life on this earth may have ended but your love for them has not. This post has five meaningful (and cost-free!) ways you can honor your ancestors on this sacred night. In an altar kind of mood? Check out my Natural Samhain Altar and let nature guide you! Or make a super simple Souls' Feast Pumpkin Sacrifice.






Although we are honoring the proverbial death of the God (who will be reborn on Yule, the Winter Solstice), we are also aware every ending is a new beginning. Thus, Samhain is often referred to as the Witches' New Year. And because the veil is thin, gifting us with heightened energies from the other side, Samhain is commonly seen as a time for divination and foretelling. Cast runes, try your hand at scrying, or break out your tarot deck to see what the coming year holds. Looking for some inspiration? Take a peek at the Autumn Moon Pumpkin Tarot Spread!



Just as we observe in nature, life is about balance, which is why this somber sabbat doesn't have to be all melancholia and sorrow. Decorate your home in red, orange, and yellow hues (representing the sun, which represents the God) as well as black and brown, which signifies death and our return to the earth. Seasonal vegetables such as pumpkins, winter squashes, apples, pears, and cranberries are all appropriate treats for your Samhain feast. Feeling sentimental? Treat yourself to the tart red flesh of a pomegranate, which is a Greek mythological symbol for the underworld. Legend says leaving a pomegranate outside your door on Samhain night protects your home and family from evil in the coming year.

If the fresh scents of autumn put you in the mood to conjure, whip up a batch of Samhain Protection Salt, a spell that keeps giving all year long!  And it's pretty. See:



Lastly, I just wouldn't be the Penniless Pagan if I didn't give you a few good tips on how to celebrate without spending a dime. And since I like you, I'll do you one better! Here's ten ways to celebrate without spending a dime!




If you simply can't get your fill of Samhain, make merry with meaning and simplicity by picking up a copy of Samhain Traditions: 13 Simple & Affordable Halloween Spells & Rituals for the Witches' New Year. Available in e-book and paperback! Every sale helps keep the blog stocked-up on free material, so thank you for your support! ♥



Whether you choose to spend your Samhain with candied apples and rowdy children, or you settle in for a quiet evening of deeply spiritual ritual, I hope you have a wonderfully magickal Samhain eve!

Happy Samhain, everyone! 


How do you celebrate Samhain: fun and gleeful, sweet and somber, or a little of both?


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.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase a product I make a small percentage that helps keep this blog running (but does NOT affect your cost). Thank you for your support!

Souls' Feast Pumpkin Sacrifice



Oh, Samhain! How I love thee!

What isn't there to love about this magical time of year? Pumpkin bread and spiced apple cider. Crimson and gold foliage. Apple picking. Farmers' markets. Craft fairs. Blankets and bonfires and s'mores! You can honor your departed loved ones with sacred ritual and a few minutes later find yourself giggling on the couch with a bowl of buttered popcorn and a Halloween flick. It's just flipping fantastic!

With so many wonderful festivities, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when planning a Samhain ritual. But there's no need to over complicate it! If you're looking for a sentimental yet simple way to honor the sabbat, Souls' Feast Pumpkin Sacrifice is for you!

Legend says the souls of the departed walk the earth on Samhain night, taking advantage of the thinned veil to find their loved ones. Leaving a snack for departed souls to nosh on during their journey on this plane is a simple tradition I embrace every year. It’s also believed by many to be the origins of trick-or-treating. 

Of course, if you’re looking for supreme simplicity, you can leave a plate with a few veggies outside and return to your Halloween festivities. But since this is arguably the most important sabbat of the year, why not take a few extra minutes to add some beauty to this honored ritual?

What You’ll Need:
Miniature pumpkin
Food for sacrifice*
Knife/spoon for carving

*If you choose to leave your sacrifice outside or have pets in your home, PLEASE avoid foods considered poisonous to many animals, in particular dogs and cats. You can find a complete list on the ASPCA website, but the most common offenders are raisins, chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, coffee, alcohol, and anything containing artificial sweeteners (especially aspartame and xylitol).
Note: Dried cranberries are depicted in the photo above, not raisins.

How to Conjure: 
Carefully cut a circle around the stem of your pumpkin and remove the seeds and innards. Set seeds aside for a delectable batch of Samhain Seed Spell (which can be found in Samhain Traditions).

Select your desired foods for the sacrifice and arrange inside the hollowed-out pumpkin. I like to use season fruits and vegetables because it’s festive and is generally incorporated into my Samhain meal, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Just please ensure it is safe for pets and wildlife if you intend to leave your pumpkin outside! 

Here is a list of generally safe, recommended items:

Seeded apples**
Seeded pears**
Celery
Carrots
Cranberries (pictured above)

**Apple and pear seeds are considered poisonous to dogs and should therefore be removed.

Place your Souls' Feast Pumpkin on an interior windowsill or altar as a symbol of your sacrifice. If you choose to leave this sacrifice outside, I recommend placing it away from your home since it may attract critters. 

Once your pumpkin is situated, stand before your sacrifice and say the following simple incantation:


In honor of your life, I offer you a sacrifice on this Samhain night.

Leave your Souls' Feast Pumpkin for a few hours (or overnight) before respectfully disposing of it.

Disposing of your pumpkin in a field or wooded area is a great way to honor the night while nourishing Mother Nature. Burying or composting is another suitable option, as this will breakdown in the ground and feed insects. Lastly, you can simply eat the food yourself! While it is true sacrifices generally remove any benefit to ourselves, this isn’t always the case. In this situation, the sacrifice is symbolic. It’s not offensive to eat the food, thus putting the sacrifice to use; it’s offensive to throw the food in the trash and be wasteful. =/ So grab some dip and enjoy those carrot sticks, my snacky friend!

Wishing you all a blessed, magickal Samhain!

Looking for more ways to celebrate Samhain? Check out Samhain Traditions: 13 Simple & Affordable Halloween Spells & Rituals for the Witches' New Year! Every purchase helps keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied with tons of free material, so thank you! ♥

Do you offer a sacrifice on Samhain? What's your favorite way to honor your ancestors?



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.

The Witch's Guide to Mabon


Do you have a mug of apple cider? If you don't, I need you to immediately get up and find yourself a cup of apple-y goodness or a pumpkin-spiced treat before you begin this post. Go ahead...I'll wait.

*Sips cider*

Mabon is here, which means it's time for nutmeg, autumn leaves, and some serious sweater weather! And isn't that the best part of autumn—coziness, fall beauty, and scrumptious baked goods?!

Mabon is the first official day of fall, even if Samhain decorations have been in stores for a solid 6 weeks by now.

Seriously, retail industry, we're not going to forget the major holidays. Can you chill out a little bit? Live in the moment, man. Find your zen, dude. 

Anyone else smell patchouli?

Anyway, the autumn equinox (or what we Pagans call Mabon) is when sunlight and nighttime are equal. After today, the darkness will overcome the light by roughly a minute per day as The Wheel churns towards winter. As nature (Goddess) begins to slow down and harvests become less plentiful, the God begins his transition towards physical death, which we acknowledge on Samhain. Mabon is also referred to as the Witches' Thanksgiving, a time when we embrace gratitude for all the bounties in our lives (edible and otherwise!). 

Mabon occurs between September 20-23. Like the vernal equinox, Mabon is about finding balance in your life, which often manifests as a need to balance work and home life in our modern go, go, go era. But take a few moments on this cool autumn morning to reflect on your own personal circumstances. Is there an area that's been overlooked? Now is the time to give that aspect of your life a little love. Not sure where to begin? Why not ask your Guides for some direction by using this Autumn Moon Tarot Spread?



If you're looking to incorporate the colors of Mabon into your home or altar, the supplies are just outside your door! Rich crimson, golden yellow, vibrant orange, and grounding brown are the hues of the season! Fallen leaves, acorns, apples, gourds, maize/corn, and even pine cones are all appropriate equinox decorations. Need some inspiration? Check out this natural Mabon altar!



Interested in celebrating this Mabon with a festive nosh? Whip up the flavors of autumn with earthy pumpkin, roasted nuts, corn, late summer berries, squash, cinnamon, and nutmeg to commemorate this quarter sabbat. Better yet, why not weave some magick into your autumnal meal? Check out these edible spells for some tasty castings!






If dirtying a pile of dishes isn't your thing, don't fret! I've got TEN ways for you to celebrate this hoodie-weather sabbat without spending a dime! 





Whether you cast and conjure your Mabon away or simply stroll through your neighborhood and enjoy the crisp autumn air, I hope you have a magickally-filled, apple-scented, fallen-leaves kind of Mabon!

Blessed Mabon, everyone! 🍂🍎


What's your favorite way to celebrate Mabon? What are you most thankful for?

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.

Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥

Elemental Magick (Use What the Good Goddess Gave you!)


So we bought the cat an RV...

That's how I like to start this story, mostly because it's true. Our furry feline child was our biggest concern when on the prowl for a used RV. I mean, I have books stuffed in the microwave (fact) and my husband sleeps in the shower (not fact), but by god the cat has floor space!

...I promise this will be short, and I swear I have a point! 

After far too many reluctant years in the desert (due to my husband's career, wherein we had no say in where we lived), we are finally free to return to green grass and wise trees and ocean tides and rain and butterflies and f-ing unicorns, because we are leaving the Southwest!

Gone, witches! G.O.N.E.

Sometimes the stars beautifully align and there's a small window of precious opportunity just screaming to be noticed. This is one of those times. I always envision perfectly-timed circumstances to look something like that mechanism from 13 Ghosts. You have a short fraction of a second to jump through the hoops while they lay flat, otherwise you'll be torn to shreds by the gears.

Kind of an odd way to look at life, hm?

Warped mind aside, we had this perfect alignment of opportunities that allow us to travel the country for a year. It was fortuitous and we are deeply grateful. But we also worked REALLY hard to get ourselves in the financial position to do so. As I was once told, "The important things in life rarely come easily." That's okay; hard work builds character and gratitude.

So we are off to chase the rain, my friends! And I'll be sharing our nature-steeped adventures on Facebook (and here, of course) as we hike throughout this beautiful country, reconnecting with nature, discovering incredible places (like Hoh Forest!), and drinking an irresponsible amount of coffee. So make sure to follow me! And, of course, check back on this blog because it will continue to be updated with loads of spell-tastic material while we're on the road!

Did this broad really just say "spell-tastic"? 

*Mumbles to self* I knew it was wrong as I was typing it.

...I hang my head in shame.

Side note, did you know Teddy Roosevelt lost his mother and wife on the SAME day? To heal this terrible heartache he immersed himself in nature, which (along with the strong influence from naturalist John Muir) is how we came to have our wonderful National Parks Service today! Nature is unquestionably a place of healing, and my husband and I are very grateful to be able to do a little spiritual sprucing amongst Mother Nature's fertile splendor.  

To celebrate our return to the trees, I created a quick reference guide entitled Elemental Magick. While this printable PDF is by no means exhaustive (because that would be an entire book!), it is an easy reference to help you cast and conjure entirely from natural (thus free!) spell supplies. Use it like an encyclopedia and craft your spells based on the desired qualities found within each natural entity.  

This free PDF download was inspired by conversations with a lovely reader named Gea, a single mother doing her very best to raise a mini witch with all the love and respect she holds for nature. As the Penniless Pagan motto goes, worshipping nature shouldn't cost you a dime! Embracing your spirituality and casting a totally kick-ass spell is entirely possible without the use of expensive crystals and cauldrons (though those are a fun indulgence!). This guide will help you get started on your path to completely free witchcraft! And please don't forget the two most important tools you will ever use for magick are your hands (to direct and concentrate energy) and your mind (to visualize your manifestation). See, you are your own little spell kit. ♥

Print a copy of Elemental Magick to paste into your Book of Shadows. Or keep a copy on your phone for when inspiration strikes. Just make sure to notate your own personal associations with each ingredient as they reveal themselves to you!

Transcribed from my own personal Book of Shadows, I sincerely hope you enjoy Elemental Magick. It's my gift to you, a token of appreciation for your readership. Have I mentioned lately that you guys are awesome?! =D

...And so are trees. Which is where I'll be if you need me. But don't worry! I have plenty of blog posts yet to come, so make sure to check back for new spells and rituals every month! 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some rain to catch up on. ;)

Looking for more low-cost ways to cast and conjure? Check out By the Light of the Moon and Samhain Traditions. Each purchase helps keep the blog alive and supplied, so thank you! ♥


What's your favorite cost-free spell supply? Do you prefer completely natural spells or spells that include fun items like crystals and candles?

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.
Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥

Dream See Pillow Spray Spell


Have you ever experienced a deja vu from something that transpired in a dream? But the moment you realize you've seen this movie before, you find yourself unable to remember the outcome of said dream, thus rendering your slumbering premonitions useless? For instance, maybe you recall having a dream where your spouse enters the room, says something strange like, "I didn't realize tugboats could smell like cheese," and then breaks into a full-on, Lord-of-the-Dance-level Irish jig while wearing lederhosen.

I know, it's a totally ridiculous example. Because, I mean, who does an Irish jig while wearing lederhosen? *shakes head*

You wake up from the dream, find the scenario odd, but life continues as usual. Weeks, maybe even months later in strolls the spouse with this bizarre (and, let's face it, kind of gross) proclamation, and instantly you're thrown back to your weird dream. What did it mean? What does dairy-scented watercraft represent? Moreover, what happens next?!

Whenever I experience a snippet of something I've seen in a dream but can't recall what follows, I'm half convinced an ax murderer is about to break through the wall like Kool-Aid Man and hack my family to bits.

... I think I read too much Dean Koontz. =/

Certainly there's got to be a better way to recall the messages received in dream states before a Koontz-level maniac shows up in your reality. Well, there is!  Let me show you how.

Whether you're looking to intensify your recollection of prophetic dreams or to simply remember your nightly musings for journaling (which is a fantastic way to work through repressed, often negative emotions that need to be acknowledged and understood before they can be healed), this Dream See Pillow Spray Spell will, well, do exactly as it says—help you better see your dreams! 

Interested in how this lightly-scented oil infuses your dreams? Here's how!

Clary sage essential oil — enhances psychic abilities and spirituality, opens third eye chakra

Cedarwood essential oil — Protection for your spiritual journey (particularly important if you're seeking to purge the emotional toll of past traumas), grounding

Rose absolute* — Encourages prophetic dreams

Amethyst — Aids in recollection of dreams. (Only use a crystal if your bottle is made of plastic. Otherwise, it could crack the glass upon shaking!)

*An absolute is pure essential oil cut with a carrier oil. This is generally done for cost effectiveness, as pure rose oil is very expensive. If your oil doesn't specify "absolute" and was affordable, it's likely the company used artificial fragrance. You may also use rose water in lieu of the oil. Simply replace the entire amount of bottled water with rose water. Smells heavenly! 


What You'll Need:

Scant 4 oz purified water, preferably distilled
4 drops clary sage essential oil
1 drop cedarwood essential oil
13 drops rose absolute 
Light-block spray bottle**
Small amethyst crystal, if desired

**This helps protect your oils and increases shelf life.


How to Conjure:

— Combine all ingredients in the bottle and give it a good shake. (Only use the crystal if your bottle is plastic to avoid breakage. Otherwise, skip the crystal. You can also leave the crystal in the water overnight to charge the water, if inclined. Remove in the morning, add the remaining ingredients, and finish casting your spell.)

— After taking a few deep breaths to center yourself, hold the Dream Spray in your palms and envision psychic energy spiraling from your mind and down your arms in a wave of purple light, infusing the bottle with amethyst rays until the liquid emits a beautiful purple glow.

— Once your Dream Spray is infused with shimmering psychic energy, say the following:


As the sun takes its rest and my body sleeps,
My soul is enlivened with prophetic dreams.

— Mist your pillow with one or two sprays before bed to peek into the future as you slumber! Remember to shake your Dream Spray before each use. 



There you have it, my friends! An earthy, slightly sweet aroma to lull you to sleep. Just try to ease up on the horror novels before bed. ;)



Have you experienced a deja vu that originally occurred in a dream? Do you keep a dream journal?


Looking for more spells? Check out By the Light of the Moon: 13 Simple & Affordable Pagan Spells & Rituals for a Year of Full Moon Celebrations! Every purchase helps support the blog, so thank you! ♥


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.
Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥

Matchstick Spell


Simplicity is the name of the game this year, especially in my house. Not only is my husband coming to the end of his career contract, which means changes in job, we will also be moving across the country, changing our lifestyle (farming!), and in the transition taking about a year-long road trip to explore the country.

Holy. Changes. Batman.

These changes are all VERY welcomed and SUPER exciting! I mean, if you've ever read the site, like EVER, you know I've been counting the minutes until I get to leave the desert. And after years of scrimping and saving, we are so VERY fortunate to travel the country. Trust me, you will not hear one bitch from this ecstatic witch!

But the reality of all those changes is that I don't have a lot of time left over for showering eating reading casting. Fortunately, I happen to know of a site that specializes in quick and easy spells! 

;)

And since you're living in modern era, what with all this technology that's supposed to make life easier yet somehow we find ourselves busier than ever, I'm guessing you could use a time-saving spell now and again as well! While I'm generally not a proponent of glorifying busy, the reality is sometimes chaos pulls you in like a riptide—strong, full of havoc, and you find yourself with hardly enough time to change your undies, let alone set up an altar.

...Fortunately, I've never been sucked into an actual riptide, but I'd imagine I'd be in major need of an undie change if the ocean was trying to kill me. Let's be honest.

This Matchstick Spell is the epitome of simplicity. Combined with a few moments of visualization, you will literally ignite your intention as you manifest the spell in your mind! (Because thoughts are energy, and energy is power!) Who doesn't like a little pyro in their Pagan?! =D

What You'll Need:
A matchstick
A pen


How to Conjure:
-Write your desire in one word on the match. Being so small, it may get tricky. Don't get frustrated. Write as neatly as you can and call it good! =P

-Before lighting the match, take a moment to envision your spell coming to fruition. For example, if you're seeking a new home, imagine walking into your new house. What does the entryway look like? What color are the walls? What does the living room smell like? Where will you put the couch? Really visualize your goal.

-Once your desire is crisp and colorful in your mind, say the following:


With the strike of a match, this spell is aflame,
Quickly manifesting, my desires attained.

- Light the match and allow it to burn as completely as possible without burning your fingertips! With one deep breath and the unfailing belief your spell will manifest, blow out the match before it reaches your fingers.

-Dunk the match in water to ensure it's entirely extinguished. 

-If you have house plants, push the remaining bit of match deep into the soil. Otherwise, take the small bit outside and bury. You shouldn't need a shovel, just kind of shove it into the dirt with your finger. You know, nature's tool! ;) Alternatively, you may also toss the remaining bit into a fire.


Your spell is now quickly on its way to manifesting! In and out in under five minutes. Imagine that! You just earned yourself a shower, you busy Pagan you!

Enjoy this spell? Check out By the Light of the Moon: 13 Simple & Affordable Pagan Spells & Rituals for a Year of Full Moon Celebrations! Every purchase helps support the blog, so thank you! =)

Do you have a go-to spell when you find yourself short on time?

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.

Charmed to Drink You: Tea & Coffee Incantation


Caffeine is my vice. I know this is such a common habit it's not even considered a vice in our society. And I'm fairly certain people roll their eyes at me when "things to let go" discussions come up and I declare my bad habit that needs breaking is an overconsumption of tea.

I mean, how friggen weak does that sound?

*Tiny voice* "Oh, I really need the tea, man. You got any to spare? Earl Grey? Irish Breakfast? Hell, I'll settle for some Lipton, dude. You got a bag?"

But seriously, I'm kind of...cantankerous without my morning mug. I'd like to think charmingly so, but I think that's being optimistic.

=D

I wasn't always this way. In fact, I rarely drank caffeinated beverages when I lived in Arizona. New England is a whole other story. You practically grow up drinking coffee. They put that $#!@ in your bottle right around three months old. They actually served coffee milk in my elementary school, alongside chocolate and plain ol' white.

Ah, coffee milk. The TRUE gateway drug.

But back in high school, which was the last time I lived in New England, coffee was more of a way to stay up crazy late to do really strange stuff rather than a necessary component of functioning.

Strange stuff? What the hell does she mean by that??

Um, visiting a playground at midnight to play on the swings? Going sledding at night in the pitch black. Standing up old, dried out Christmas trees in my friend's yard so we could run them over with his beat-up truck. You know, strange stuff.

Hey! Don't you judge me! *Waves tea-caffeinated fist* When you live in a small town you have to make your own fun, okay?! 

...Really questioning the "charming" part of that cantankerousness right now, aren't you? =P

But now that I'm a pseudo adult, tea has become a necessity. I look forward to that steaming mug of bliss, breathing in the scent of bergamot and hope as the hot drink courses through my body, awakening the cells, tantalizing the mind with prospects and endless possibilities for the day ahead. 

See? Problem.

I've tried to skip my cherished brew; some mornings I'm successful. But usually by day three I find myself staring out my kitchen window at the desolate smattering of creosote bushes half hidden by the red dirt miasma this state calls air and I start grumbling to myself—actually muttering like a malcontent lunatic—"Nope. Not today. Maybe when we're out of here. Maybe when I wake up surrounded by trees, but not today!"

Have you called the authorities yet? I feel I need to tell you not to call the authorities. 'Cause I've had a cup of chai today. Really. I'm quite myself this morning.

=D

It's no secret America loves their caffeine. As of this post, there are nearly 14,000 Starbucks in America. That's 280 per state! And that's JUST Starbucks. That doesn't include my beloved Circle K, or my east coast mistress Dunkin' Donuts, or any of the other chains and quaint little coffee shops drawing in countless customers with their siren scent of aromatic roasted beans.

Fourteen THOUSAND. Whew! That's a lot of brew!

Whether you're a purist or prefer a double shot soy latte, no foam, half sweet with a caramel drizzle, you can cast yourself a daily spell in under twenty seconds.

Yes, twenty SECONDS. Of course, if you're drinking a double shot you can probably fold a load of laundry in twenty seconds, so maybe that's not quite as impressive as I imagine it to be.

Below is my personal incantation I use every morning to start my day with a little magick. You can select any three attributes you'd like for your day, but I included a list of suggestions to help you as well. Just remember to stir your drink clockwise to draw your spell to you. Counterclockwise is used when rejecting energy, which can also be done if so desired. 

What You'll Need:
A mug of coffee or tea
A spoon

How to Conjure:
-While stirring your drink in a clockwise direction, envision three general qualities you'd like in your day. Here are a few examples:
  • Productivity, creativity, and accomplishment
  • Relaxation, restoration, and tranquility
  • Happiness, health, and positivity
  • Laughter, enjoyment, and protection
  • Peace, contentment, and abundance
  • Love, serenity, and calmness

-Continue to stir your brew clockwise as you say the following:


____, ____, and ____
These three things I draw to me as I drink this cup of tea (coffee).


(So, if you want to use the first example you would say, "Productivity, creativity, and accomplishment. These three things I draw to me as I drink this cup of tea.")


There you have it! A simple spell that is easily incorporated into your morning routine. Toss in a scone and you're starting the day off right! Keep calm, drink tea, and cast on, my friends!


What's your favorite morning drink? What's your harmless vice?



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.
Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥

Death, Grief, and the Shitty Side of Spirituality


It's been just over two years since I experienced an unexpected death that forever changed me. It all happened quickly, a diagnosis and phenomenal loss in less than a week. Half a damn week, really. When it happened I wasn't just sad and depressed, I was choking on the grief, wading in guilt—which all too often accompanies grief—and I was angry.

Really. Friggen. Angry.

I wrote about it here and discussed the natural approaches I used to help cope with the grief hereSince then I've received a lot of e-mails regarding these posts and have had more than one person tell me they feel there isn't enough discussion concerning grief and Paganism, as if the topic itself is taboo.

In some ways, maybe it is. After all, death is something we openly embrace. Heck, our biggest sabbat is dedicated to it! We honor death as part of the life cycle, an ending that is also a beginning. As Pagans, we see beauty in the cyclical, including the reality that all life cycles include a stage of death. To us, death is not a definitive ending but merely a period of transition and growth for the soul, returning to the Divine Essence from which we all emerge.

Yet therein lies a dark little conundrum, one that I myself have questioned: Since Pagans embrace death as part of life, shouldn't we be at peace when people die? Shouldn't Pagans innately have a shortened period of grief since we understand it as the end of our journey on Earth? Shouldn't we be celebrating their life and honoring their transcendence instead of crying? Their spiritual journey is over! They've accomplished what their spirit came here to do! All is well, my remaining earth-dwelling friends!

Um, NO. This Pagan is more than willing to admit I am NOT okay with death. I accept it and I seek comfort in my spiritual beliefs when someone I love dies. I await signs. I tell myself death was part of their journey, and all journeys must end. But I mourn like a mutha. 

Like, bad. 

I'm an embarrassment at a funeral. I can't stop sobbing. The only redeeming factor is that I've learned to do so quietly. Even if I hardly knew the person I'm still a weepy mess. I just feel so deeply for their survivors, you know? We've all experienced the pain of loss. And despite understanding the need for death, it's a reality I strongly dislike— seeing people in pain, watching the family suffer. Knowing that numb, alien, sleep-like state they will stumble through in the weeks following such a painful loss.

As a Pagan, I do see a beauty to the cycle of life. There is a peace that can be found in the impermanence. Nothing lasts forever, not even the crappy stuff, which is a good thing when you're swimming in a poo-laden stream. As a Pagan I accept death, but I don't have to be happy about it!

I'm not okay with losing someone I love. I'm certainly not okay with watching them suffer, because death is an UGLY creature. And when I lost someone I so desperately loved two years ago, my world all but shattered. I will openly admit I didn't handle it with even a semblance of grace. I proverbially collapsed. I stopped functioning. The only reason I even ate was because my husband continued to shove plates of food in front of me and gently nudged me to eat. Otherwise, I probably would have gone weeks on just water and Kleenex. 

As Pagans, we often discuss the release that is death, the end to a cycle, and the eternal qualities of our soul. But apparently we don't discuss the turmoil left behind on our wondrous planet, because, as I said earlier, quite a few people have contacted me about feeling this topic is not frequently explored in our community.

Fortunately, after previously mentioned snot-fests at funerals, there's little in life that embarrasses me, so I'll go ahead and admit to it: As a Pagan I struggle with death. 

Not all losses are as monumental as the train wreck that occurred in 2016, but every loss is met with tears, with sadness, with a period of uncomfortable numbness where the world feels oddly dull and yet distressingly piercing at the same time. The explanation for this experience isn't that complicated: we are human. It doesn't matter what we believe, loss is still loss. They call it that for a reason! Someone that mattered to us—human or animal alike—is now missing from our daily life, leaving behind a void, excruciating emotions, and a lot of questions.

Why them? Why now? Why like that? Why ever? Why is life filled with so much goddamn pain?

It's okay to question the meaning of it all, the purpose of a path you can't rationalize. It's acceptable to wonder if you've been fooling yourself with comforting beliefs. It's natural to ponder if it's all a load of bullshit. Is there even really a purpose? 

I've done all of the above. I'm sure you have to. Moreover, it's okay to be angry. And it's okay to direct that anger at the energies that called home your loved one, the very same energies we otherwise worship. They can handle your wavering faith, your limitless anger. They understand your soul and the agony you are in. As our spiritual parents, they will carry you while you've fallen and they won't hold resentment when you are ready to stand again. Because the simple truth of spirituality and death is this:

Just as science can explain the process of conception without removing the awe of birth, spirituality can offer us footing but cannot eliminate the heartache of death. There is explanation, there is grounding in your beliefs, but the loss still remains.

Furthermore, being a spiritual person does not mean you never question your beliefs, your journey, or your purpose. I question that stuff all the time. If you're not questioning, you're not learning. And considering we're on a learning plane, there's always more to be understood. Otherwise, your journey would be complete and I'd be standing graveside, a blubbering spectacle garnering stares from bewildered strangers. 

If you've recently lost a loved one or you're still grappling long after a death, be patient with yourself as you process these arduous emotions. Grieving is a long process, and the truth is some losses will never fully heal. They'll become manageable, sealed over with a thin layer of acceptance, but in the quiet hours we still experience the yearning for that special soul that changed our lives.

Even now, two years after that ominous day, there are moments I ache with longing, my eyes well with tears, and my heart feels the weight of his absence. But most days I can celebrate his life, the lessons we learned together, and our bond that is unbreakable, even after death.

Because I am Pagan, and I know that his soul lives on. 

Have you questioned your beliefs after the loss of a loved one? Do you feel grief is under represented in Paganism? 


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.

5 Ways to Celebrate Ostara (Without Spending a Dime!)


Spring is such a lovely time of year! The earthy scents, bright green buds on the trees, and the sounds of chirping birds are all welcomed indications that nature is awakening from a frosty slumber. Slender grass tendrils poking through melting snow and that first day when mittens are no longer a necessity serve as a promise that those blustery winter days are slowly waning into the warmth and splendor of spring.

I've noticed people who love fall tend to consider spring a close second to their favorite season. It makes sense, really. It's basically fall in reverse, nature yawning to life instead of preparing for slumber, as if someone hit rewind on the DVR.

Spring in the Southwest isn't nearly as exciting as in other parts of the country, mostly because cacti are pretty stagnant. They'll spear you anytime of year, really. They're just so reliable like that.

Nonetheless, spring remains a favorite season of mine. Easily one of my top four. ;) And every Ostara I think back to the springs of my childhood, the vibrant colors of a refreshed earth, the blissful fragrance of revitalized nature. 

If you're looking for detailed information on Ostara, check out this post, which includes more free ways to celebrate! Otherwise, unwrap that chocolate bunny and let's get to celebrating!

Plant something
In many parts of the country the ground is still frozen on Ostara, if not covered in snow. But that doesn’t mean you can’t welcome the (painfully slow?) arrival of spring by planting something indoors! Treat yourself to a pot of tulips, a countertop herb garden, or whatever plant makes you smile and enjoy a little spring essence on your windowsill.

Treat the bunnies
Rabbits are a symbol of the Goddess, particularly during the spring. Seeing them is always a treat in my household, mostly because I live for anything covered in fur, but it’s also considered a blessing to encounter these lovely little lagomorphs.

Ahhh alliteration!

Give a sacrifice to the blossoming Goddess and her fertile earth by leaving some romaine lettuce* or berries for the bunnies.

Prepare your garden
If the weather permits, start clearing out your garden and preparing the soil for spring-time planting. If you're reading this while glancing out your window at a foot of snow on the ground, why not plan on paper? Make a list of what herbs, vegetables, and fruits you'd like to grow once the ground thaws. It's a nice way to tackle the winter blues!

Brew a spring tea
Just as nature refreshes and revitalizes, now is a good time for us to address natural detoxification approaches. 

But, you know, easy. Because that's how this blog rolls.

Brew yourself a warm mug of spring tea to help your body transition from the long nights of winter to the budding days of spring. Choose herbs like nettle, rose petals, lemon peel, cornflower, calendula, or dandelion to aid in detoxification as well as celebrating spring with an herbal brew! Interested in specific herbal purposes? Check out my absolute favorite go-to herbal medicine reference book: The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine by Brigitte Mars. 

Make an omelette
You gotta eat, right? Start your Ostara with a simple celebratory omelette (or egg scramble if you haven't mastered your diner skills). Use spring vegetables and herbs, like asparagus or chives, and a little fresh goat cheese to make a tasty—and sabbat specific— Ostara feast.

Bonus—veggies and herbs are detoxifying, so it's kind of a 2-in-1 celebration. Score!

Eggs aren't just treats from everyone's favorite oversized, home-intruding bunny. They also represent growth, fertility, and potential, all important aspects of this vernal sabbat! So whether you like your cackle fruits wrecked, on a raft, or flopped, eggs are the perfect way to celebrate the commencement of spring.

Too much diner talk? A thousand apologies. I've been enjoying myself some Do or Diner. I'm a sucker for a good cozy mystery! In fact, if you also love cozy reads please help a reader out and leave your favorite titles in a comment below!


Hope you all have a flower-picking, chocolate-eating, pastel-colored kind of Ostara!

Happy spring, everyone! 🐰🐣

*Some lettuce varieties, such as iceberg, can be dangerous to rabbits. For more information, check out this list of safe bunny fodder.


What's your favorite part of spring? 


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NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.
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The Universe Doesn't Give a $#@! About Your Plans (But that's okay!)


The Universe doesn't give a shit about your plans. Startling from a spiritual blogger? Probably. But it's true. At least sometimes.

While I believe in free will, I also believe the Universe will nudge us in the right direction when we need a little guidance. Sometimes this nudge can feel like a kick in the nuggets while you're already kneeling. Life can be funny like that. 

It's happened to me many times before (one time of which is documented here), it's happening to me now, and I have no doubt it will happen again. Because I'm a Taurus, which means I can be stubborn. But I had plans, damn it! Plans that were already plotted out in a day planner. That shit is binding!

Yet sometimes the Universe has bigger plans. Plans we can't always see at the time. Plans that usually make sense in hindsight, even though it really, really sucks at the time.

Bear with me here. I'm a little cranky from lack of sleep. =D

This blog, for example, came only after the Universe gave me a proverbial shove. I spent a few years trying desperately to become a novelist. I wrote several novels, some I'm extremely proud of, some that need serious editing. (Learning curve and what not.) But no matter the genre I wrote or the approach I took, nothing ever seemed to really stick. The turning point came when, after a few months of fruitlessly wasting my days at the keyboard spending more time deleting useless prose than producing anything even marginally readable, I realized something was amiss. Something was inhibiting my creativity, and I needed to let go and trust. Because fighting it was futile. Sort of like trying to windsurf in a hurricane.  

After a session of brainstorming that, in honesty, looked a lot more like me talking AT my husband than actual chatting (You can read more about that here), the idea for this blog came to me from seemingly nowhere. And you know what? I'm really flipping glad something stopped me from writing that novel. Because I truly love writing for this blog. And more than writing, I've found interacting with you lovely readers far more fulfilling than I ever imagined. With complete sincerity, thank you for every comment, every "like," and every e-mail, because each and every interaction is genuinely appreciated.

My long-winded point, dear friends, is that once again the Universe has kicked me in the ass nudged me towards something yet unseen. Don't fret! The blog is not going anywhere! In fact, my love for this site is why I'm more than a little cranky about said nudge.

Basically, writing feeds my soul. Writing at the computer feeds, well, nothing. Years ago, when I was a teen, someone made a foolish mistake, like humans tend to do. A driver pulled out in front of me, realized he didn't have enough time to cross the rural highway, and stopped dead in my tracks. Fortunately no one was seriously injured. Unfortunately, my neck has been more jacked up than a football bat ever since. And working on the computer is not helping things. Generally, this manifests as intense migraines. But lately it's gotten even worse. (Because evidently a silly little migraine just wasn't enough to get my attention!) After a few months of numb hands, searing nerve pain, and horrific sleep, my chiropractor broke the news: computer work sucks for people.

All people. The human kind of people. Because it jacks with posture. We were meant to frolic in the woods, not live on iPhones.

With that said, I took a week off from the computer, focused on physical activity, and I felt 80% better! Good news for my body! Bad news for the blog.
The answer is simple: I need to slow down. Which is the exact opposite of what I had been doing up until last week. You see, 2018 is the year my husband and I have been waiting for. In a mere 6 months, his contractual obligation to the government is over. We get to pack up everything we own, move clear across the country (treeeeesss!), change careers (farming!), and squeeze in a cross-country trip in the process. A trip we've spent the last 5 years scrimping and saving for. It's truly a chance of a lifetime, one I'm super grateful for and don't intend to squander!

In order to make sure you wonderful Pagans were supplied with spell-tacular goodies while we are on the road, I've been doubling up on work, furiously writing posts and trying to squeeze out one more book before we hit the road.

Again...in 6 months. All while dealing with the logistics of a cross-country move. That's kind of a crap load of work. Which is a legit unit of measure, by the way. I think it's part of the metric system. But I had it allllll scheduled out in my adorable little day planner. Post-its and all. That shit was tighter than a pair of jeans from 15 years ago. 

And the Universe laughed and laughed and threw in a road block. Because apparently it has something else in store. Probably healing. Because you know what would really ruin our hard-earned road trip? Not sleeping due to nerve pain. I'm a horrible person when I'm tired. Really. Like, even I can't stand me. Have you seen how much swearing has made it into this post? And that's what I didn't edit out. =/

As a side note, I know I'm most definitely not the first person to deal with pain, especially poorly-timed pain. So I'm guessing you can relate. If you can, keep searching for answers. Because healing comes in many forms and it's different for every single person. Your body was meant to heal. Don't give up because someone tells you it's impossible! But that's a topic for another post.

With that said, I made the decision to begrudgingly start posting on the first Monday of every month rather than every other week. It wasn't a decision that came lightly, because I feel like I'm letting you down a bit. But it's something I realized I had to do. Because you can't trade health in the name of work. It's a raw deal, dude! Don't do it. And said book, (that, by the way, was going to be holly and mother-fing jolly), has been put on hold. Not forever, since I already outlined the GD thing. I should seriously just burn my day planner. Is nothing sacred anymore?! *waves numb hands*

But it's time to put my money where my coffee-hole is and actually trust the process, which brings me to the point of this post:

Sometimes we simply have to let go and have faith that the Universe has the map. And the compass. And a really kick-ass nav system. 

Don't get me wrong. A person can't throw in the towel the moment something gets a touch challenging. But if you've been coming at a dilemma from left, right, over the top, around the back, and up the middle and you STILL can't make it work, there's usually a reason. As much as we may fight and despite any tantrums we may throw, no amount of swearing is going to force the square resolution into a round hole. 

Using my own situation as an example, I can't tell you why this puzzle won't come together. Maybe it's as simple as needing time to replenish the creative reserves. Maybe I've been neglecting my own health in the name of work (somewhere, miles away from this computer, my sweet husband is nodding vigorously and he has no idea why.). What I can tell you is I've chosen to trust. That doesn't mean it's not uncomfortable. And that doesn't mean I'm not questioning every single decision I'm making right now. I'm human, a stubborn one at that. But I am working on letting go of the need for complete control. Because the Universe hasn't failed me yet, and I trust it's not leading me down a dark alley just to rob me and steal my sneakers.

I mean, they were $20 at Target. I'm *pretty* sure the Universe can afford that.

Despite technology literally being a pain in my neck, it also helps me track what you most enjoy on the blog. Which—surprise, surprise!—is spells and sabbats. So guess what this blogger is queuing up for you? =D

I want to express how much I truly appreciate your support and readership, which is why this decision was difficult for me. I genuinely love interacting with you! I feel energized by writing spells and answering readers’ questions and getting into very strange positions just to get that perfect angle for a photo. When I say this site has been a blessing, one of the few things to keep me sane during my last couple years in hell the desert, I’m not exaggerating. I'm truly humbled by your support, which is why I’m not too pleased to slow down the process, because I fear a drop in material will kill readership.

*Deep, calming breaths*

But the reality is I can't jeopardize my health. Because if I lose my arms it will be impossible for me to write at all. Or to apply mascara. I'm Irish, man. You can't tell I have eyelashes without it!

So while the quantity may ebb just a bit, quality will remain my focus. Think of this site like a really killer cheese platter. =D

The beauty in being spiritual individuals is that we don't have to have all the answers all the time. Sometimes you simply need to heed the signs, find a little balance, and trust the Universe. Because it hasn't lead you astray (or stolen your sneakers) thus far! ;)


Has the Universe ever shoved you in a direction you didn't want to take? Have you ever left a troublesome path only to find the new option is more appropriate?


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.