QUESTION - I have been wondering what I am, I believe in God, Spirit guides, crystal healing, herbs and oils for healing. I also believe if someone does harm to me that they will have harm done to them, it just happens every time. I can see spirits and hear them, I have been able to do this since I was little. I have been able to play with the wind and fire since I was at least 10 yrs old I remember making the fire dance when I was smaller and standing outside and raising my arms above my head and telling the wind to come to me and it would. I see the future at times and have learned not to wish bad things cause it always come to be. I am on a journey right now trying to find my path and what I'm supposed to be doing, I meditate and try to figure it out can you help me?
ANSWER - I sometimes wonder if we in the Pagan communities are a little bit too fond of labelling ourselves and pigeon holing our individual paths with terminology that serves to define us but also to limit our beliefs.
Reading your question, the thing that really struck me was how free you sound as a person. You cross the barrier between the living and the dead, you play games with the wind... You sound like a true free spirit at peace with yourself and I'm actually quite loathe to suggest that you give yourself a title. You could pick one if you so chose but I wonder if having a title would constrain some of that freedom and take away some of the individuality of the path you are already walking.
You could if you like call yourself a witch or a pagan, you also have some druidic characteristics so none of those terms would be wrong but I do wonder if any of those terms are strictly necessary. Why not just evolve on your magical journey until one day a label that is 100% right for you (if any) turns up?
You ask what you are supposed to be doing but I actually think you are already doing what you need to. You haven't got your nose buried in a book, you're already starting to understand the natural world around you and you seem to have an intuitive grasp of magic. Keep on doing the things you are doing, focus on evolving your path, not forcing it. Do what comes natural and what feels right, perhaps try some different methods of utilising your will, possibly some formal spell work to see how that works for you and let yourself relax into habits and practices that suit your way of working.
A path isn't always something you find and follow, sometimes its the track you look back on and realise you were following signposts all the time but you just never knew it. That's following your intuition and in your case I think that will work better for you than any step by step guide based on somebody else's idea of what your path should look like and where your path should lead.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1425928 (Suemax)
Memory is a tricky thing to define and I'm not sure if you are referring to memories of this lifetime, memories of a past life or the ancestral memories that many witches utilise in their craft work.
However, my answer to all three would be similar with some additional provisos. Basically, no, I don't have such a spell. There are workings I would do to enhance my memory, the most effective being deep meditation to patiently allow my mind to open and the memories to gradually float to the surface. The process of recalling memories is to my mind something that cannot be forced which is why it is so unsuited to spell work. You coax memories, you don't demand from them. Its also important to understand that some memories are suppressed for a reason. This is quite often seen in victims of child abuse who bury the memories that they are unable to confront. It needs the help of very skilled mental health practitioners to bring those memories out into the open, while of course helping the individual to develop the skill and confidence necessary to deal with them.
You can however lay foundations for placing your memories in such a manner that you can easily recall them. A friend of mine wrote a guest blog on the concept of the memory palace here and it is worth reading. The idea of the memory palace is that you store your memories systematically, linked by visual association and you can then "walk through" the place you have created in your mind and have access to all the memories you have stored.
If you are seeking memories from a past life then hypnosis may well be the best step for you to take. Again I would warn that confronting memories from a past life is not necessarily an easy thing to do. Choose your hypnotist wisely and don't push yourself too far (even under hypnosis despite popular perception you do actually retain a fair level of control). Better to unlock memories gradually over several sessions than to jump in the deep end with a level of recollection you may not be comfortable with.
There are some memory spells on this resource here that may interest you. They are not really my thing to be honest - a little too much focus on instant results which like I say isn't really what memory is all about. But I enclose the link if you want to take a look.
QUESTION - Can I ask your opinion about the herbs, oils, crystals, salt circles and any other paraphernalia used with (specifically) candle spell work other than the actual flame itself: Does all that stuff have any actual power, or is it ALL about the way that each of these tools makes subtle nuances to the way in which we manipulate / focus our own energy. I.e. – is their only purpose to influence the way we feel in preparation for (and during / and after) doing magic? Like setting the stage for a performance.
ANSWER - I don't think it is really a case of one or the other, its a blend of both the psychological affect on the caster and the actual tangible benefits each element brings to a working. It is sometimes hard to separate a genuine effect from a belief in a genuine effect and sometimes with magic the two are so interchangeable that it doesn't really matter all that much anyway.
I'll give you an example. Orange oil is traditionally associated with luck. A traditional association gives you a certain confidence (almost like a placebo affect) in the knowledge that it has gained this association through the trial and error of our ancestors. As I work with it myself and get results that reinforces my own belief it strengthens my personal belief that it will work which adds to the effectiveness of my spell work. However, it is important to think beyond the experiences of others and consider specifically why you choose to use something in a working. Would I use orange oil if I didn't like the smell? No. Would I use it if I didn't have a personal intuition that it brings about luck? No. Would I use it again and again if my own personal experiences had negated the traditional correspondence? Certainly not. When I use something I try to think back to how it gained the association in the first place. Oranges, traditionally hard to grow in colder climates, would perhaps have been a real symbol of success for the few to managed to raise an orange tree. Possibly this is how they gained their traditional association with luck.
By thinking through the reasons behind what I do, I strengthen my own belief in the correspondence and therefore the working. I affect my own belief which has a knock on effect of increasing the power of my intent. There is a fine line between knowing that something will work and believing something will work and like I say, I'm not sure that the distinction is really all that important.
In terms of genuine properties of individual spell enhancements, do I believe they have actual tangible properties in themselves that add power to the spell? Well yes, I do. And again this is borne out through my own experiences as a witch. I don't use salt circles because other witches do, I use them because salt has a genuinely protective property and utilising that property taps into the essence of a power that can be used to enhance my own. Certainly I could substitute a visualisation of a barrier rather than an actual physical salt circle and if you are asking would this negate the power of your candle magic then no, it probably wouldn't. But why would you not utilise other strengths and energies in a blend with your own intent in a spell? I'm a big believer in intent being the key element (though many recent discussions on this subject suggest that a lot of witches are moving away from this in their practise) but intent isn't the sole force behind your power. The knowledge of how to use the energies and attributes of different herbs, crystals and oils does play a part in your work and don't forget that that link with the natural world is a big part of what it is to be a witch.
I'd also comment that sometimes a belief can be strengthened by the number of people believing in it. If witches all over the world believe salt to have protection power, the energy of all that belief may well play a part in fusing salt with that power. Kind of a bit like chicken and egg, which came first the property or the belief in the property. It would be an interesting experiment. Sugar has no discernable protective properties (at least not on my path) - it would be interesting to see what would happen if witches all suddenly started using sugar for that purpose. I'd suspect that eventually a belief would be sustained and a correspondence would be formed. And I wouldn't be surprised if beyond the belief, sugar itself actually did take on the property eventually. Like I say, there's a fine line between belief and reality in the craft.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/913569 (socyo)
Yes, of course. Binding is quite a simple effect to achieve and requires very little planning or tools. When I bind someone I generally start by making a likeness of the person, usually a simple plasticine representation or if I'm feeling a bit more adventurous I might sew a poppet. The important thing for me is that the figure be closely associated with the person for whom you are working the spell so if you do have hair, nails, blood etc. so much the better. If you don't you could perhaps drip some wax onto them and carve their name into it. Or you could write their name on a piece of cotton or cloth and wrap them in it. It doesn't really matter how you do it as long as the link is your mind is established.
Now there are two different kinds of binding, one is to limit a person's affect on you and the other is to limit them as an individual. The first is seen as defensive magic and generally more acceptable. It also depends on why you want to bind someone. If they are an all round bitch it might be more appropriate to target their actions in general. If however the problem is just between you and them, you may want to tackle the binding with regard to your relationship.
When I bind to limit a person in general the first thing I do is to place my representation inside a small circle of salt. Try to get the circle as unbroken as possible and visualise the circle creating a barrier that their negativity and spite cannot break through. I always articulate my intentions very clearly out loud, stipulating exactly what I am trying to achieve. With the person still in the small circle I have created I then physically bind my representation with thread (sometimes colour dependent but more often not) and then I seal them inside a bag and hang them on my spell tree.
If I'm doing the other kind of binding I put a piece of my own hair inside the circle and visualise the protective barrier protecting me from the offending individual. I then physically bind and wrap them outside the circle and again, hang them on my tree. (If it's a particularly malicious spell I might give them a squeeze or a pinch every now and then to reinvigorate the spell.)
Image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/905239 (LilGoldWmn)
QUESTION - I'm sure you've gotten this question before, and I hope you can give me some advice. This may sound strange, but I'm sure I was born a witch. I was born on Halloween during a full moon. I have natural red hair and green eyes. I'm of Scots-Irish descent. I have a witch's mark on my cheek. But, besides all that, I've always felt like I have powers just under the surface that I have no idea how to use. I remember being a little girl and trying to move objects or make things happen with concentration. My everyday life has been filled with strange occurrences and coincidences that have convinced people who know me that I'm a witch and even scared them. I won't go into detail here, but it's too much to ignore. I've always felt like something's missing from my life, and that I've been born into the wrong century. A few years ago, I started researching witchcraft, and bought a few books. Of course, these turned out to be Wiccan in nature, and that path doesn't seem right for me at all. I'm pretty much a loner, and I don't like to follow so many rules. It felt a little too much like church to me. I've recently decided to try and study traditional witchcraft. My question for you is, where do I start? Can you please recommend some books and websites for this kind of witchcraft? From what I've told you, do you think it's possible I was born this way? Thank you so much for your time!
Answer – From what you say I certainly think it sounds like you have a natural proclivity toward the craft. I do however think it is important to highlight the elements that support this reasoning. The feeling of your own power is deeply suggestive as is your feeling that you are somewhat out of time with the century you were born into. Above all the fact that you are drawn to being a witch and you keenly feel its absence in your life is a clear indicator that you are ready to take the step forward to studying the craft.
I am afraid though that neither your appearance nor your witch mark are all that relevant. In my experience there is no correlation between the expected image of the witch and the actual appearance of those who study the craft to success. Short fat bespectacled mousy haired witches are often those who wield the most power…
In terms of books on Traditional Witchcraft, you will find that there are actually very few about. A lot of books as you have discovered yourself have a very definite Wiccan bias and although some (Raven Grimassi, Doreen Valiente, Paul Husan) do have valuable information on older practices you will often find that you have to wade through a lot of muddy water to seek knowledge of the older ways. Forums are a different thing entirely and the opportunity to interact with those on a similar path can be invaluable. I am sending you a link separately to one of the best forums I have come across. There is an application process but I believe the site moderators look favourably on newcomers if they are honest about being a beginner who genuinely wants to learn.
A good understanding of history can be a great starting point for understanding the lives of our ancestors. Try to read around how normal people lived in older times, their dependency on the earth and how they incorporated the change of the seasons and the patterns of the moon into their daily lives. The witches of old worked closely with the natural world and I would advise you to broaden your own knowledge of the world around you. Study books on botany, herbs, even astronomy to create your own awareness of the world - start to think how you might begin to incorporate your environment into a magical path.
With Traditional Witchcraft there is no substitution for getting stuck in. Unless you are following a specific tradition or hereditary path that requires mandatory steps (and I’d avoid such things to be honest, they are usually Wiccan in origin despite claiming to work with knowledge preceding the mid 19th century Wiccan religion) then you have the freedom to start expressing yourself at the most intuitive level.
Write some basic spells. Start with a framework from a book if it makes you feel more confident (Element Encyclopedia) but then start to alter and adapt the spells to fit better with your own intuition and what you are learning from your reading of the natural world.
There are of course restraints on what will/won’t work with magic – herbs for example have specific properties and these need to be learned and understood. But in terms of the craft itself, the ability to connect with your own power comes from within and no book can teach it. So my advice is to read as much as you can around the peripheral ”science” of magic (herbs/crystals/divination – whatever appeals) and not simply to seek out books that claim to teach the craft, because they won’t. Work a blend of the knowledge you acquire into a determination to have a go and that will give you a better foundation for witchcraft than any book ever could.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1430242 (MrsPeel)
My boyfriend of five years and I pre-adopted three beautiful, unique and lively kittens from a local non-kill shelter. The two girls passed on from a possible birth defect and now the boy is showing signs of poor health. He's such a beautiful kitten... can you send some healing vibes his way?
Answer - I will light a candle for him tonight and hope that his poor health is not an indication of what his sisters suffered.
I’d also like to say that I think it is wonderful that you have chosen to adopt from a shelter rather than seek out a breeder. With so many homeless animals (particularly at this time of year) it is good to see somebody giving an unwanted animal a second chance at a loving home.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1424296 (fousik)
Answer – I have to be honest, I have absolutely no idea. I am neither psychic nor a clairvoyant. With the little information you have given me I am also unable even to make an uneducated guess.
I will however give you two pieces of advice. The first is to open up communication with your daughter. Ask her – If you are open and honest without being judgemental you may well find that she tells you the truth and this can only be a good thing for your relationship.
My second piece of advice is not to fear drugs. Whether we like it or not drugs are endemic in modern culture. There are many different types of recreational drugs and drug taking lacks the stigma that it used to have. Chemical recreation is certainly not something I would encourage but nor is it an indication that your daughter is on any kind of downward spiral to throwing her life away. Again, I wouldn’t say all kids do it but a good many do and I’ve known plenty who have gone through drug taking as a phase and moved onto more socially acceptable pastures new.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=489545 (rotorhead)
Oh wise Witch
I read somewhere (I cannot remember where) that when using candles in a spell you should not blow them out but use a candle snuffer, otherwise you weaken/break the spell you were casting.
My question is this, what if you don't have a candle snuffer??? I have not got one so have always blown them out. Am I doing wrong???
Answer – You are doing nothing wrong at all. These kind of irrelevant hard and fast rules of magic really annoy me. What difference could snuffing or blowing possibly make? Yes its something I’ve heard before but no it will make no difference whatsoever to your spell work. Keep on doing what you are doing and don’t listen to people who try to reduce witchcraft to a series of formal rules. Generally your intuition will lead you along the right lines.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1409490 (gorand1983)
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