Cursed Places


There have always been places that are cursed : trees which the locals go past at a run, rivers that are known to take a life.

There’s a bridge over the railway line that I used to walk through twice a day. I have never seen it with graffiti on and there have been a number of nasty incidents, including one where a mentally ill woman set herself on fire in the toilet of the train she was travelling in as it was coming into my town and unfortunately died.

I have been advised to do a cleansing, but will have to do my tarot reading beforehand to see what exactly the problem is, as I have never dealt with anything such as this, but do not want incidents such as the above to happen in my town.

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Hallowe’en Market


Last Sunday I went to the Hallowe’en market run by The Raven and Broomstick occult shop in Peacock Mews, Leighton Buzzard.

The market was a delight. There were many craft stalls of which the owners had obviously put hard work and many hours into their wares. There were also a few of which the wares were just a piece of wood with some crystals stuck into. Caveat Emptor.

The Raven and Broomstick itself has many wares : herbs, wands, skulls, the usual books and much more. I purchased a box for my tarot cards and while the carving on the box was not the best I had seen, I have been struggling to find a box for my tarot cards for years as the cardboard containing the pack is fast crumbling.

All in all, an enjoyable hour spent and I highly recommend taking a look at The Raven and Broomstick if you find yourself in Leighton Buzzard.

As for Samhain, I am writing this while suffering from the tail end of a stomach bug and while my appetite is back to normal I am still feeling tired and cold, so unfortunately it is a non-starter this year.

Irish Witchcraft


For some years I have been trying to find a strain of witchcraft that is particularly Irish and so far I have failed.

I feel it is time to drop this search and concentrate on doing witchcraft. This is because while such a search usually has benefits because you find out other things while trying to find your goal, this one has not borne any fruit, so it is time to concentrate on other things.

I have not totally given up and may resume the search at some time. If I am meant to find it, the deities will guide my steps. It may be that another is destined to find it and I am not.

Witchcraft in Venice


Last Monday we hired a babysitter and went to the talk about witchcraft in Venice at Treadwells.

The talk disappointed us by solely focusing on the witchcraft courtesans use. For example, up until World War II there was a large Jewish population in Venice and it is from Venice that the word “ghetto” comes from. We both would have been interested to hear about Jewish magic.

There was also (I don’t know if this is still being done) a marriage ritual performed yearly between Venice and the sea which was not mentioned.

It seems that the magic the Venetian courtesans performed is much like British magic, except with no familiars, but the courts were a lot more lenient. The accused would produce witnesses to her character and often got off the charge by playing the “I’m the poor illiterate woman whose lodger has left these books behind” card. The most that happened to one witch is that she was imprisoned for ten years. Her imprisonment involved having dinner with the Warden.

Picking up Witchcraft


I am trying to pick up my witchcraft practices and do something every day. It may be a bit of research, a tarot reading or finding an ingredient.

With a toddler, it is easy to do things if they do not cost a lot of time. However, picking up the practice after being ill is difficult, especially when you have a lot of things to do as I do.

Blog


I haven’t written anything for quite some time due to being ill and my son disrupting my writing.

My son has gained mobility and more importantly can climb on to the table where the laptop is which I am writing this entry, so any writing now has to be done when he is asleep.

I am going to try and pick up this blog and write once a week. This blog is written for fun, so the frequency may be patchy. I will see what I can do.

Infused Oils


I hadn’t oiled the wood I have for my stang for two years, as I forgot last year when I had my son.

Last weekend my hubby was available so we could go into the woods to gather oak leaves for the oil.

This is the first time I’ve done it in Spring and I’ve found that the young leaves are better for infusing oils. They’re softer and seem to lend the infused oil a better quality. I’ll be doing this in Spring from now on.

Beltane


For once I got my research into the festival finished, but only just before the festival so it didn’t leave me much time to prepare.

I was going to do a May bush which is used to ward off fairies on Beltane and try and catch the May dew to wash my face with it, but were unable to organise these in time.

Instead I did my ritual and took the day off.

I was also going watch Doctor Who and The Daemons as it’s based at Beltane and is pagany, but we didn’t have the episodes on DVD.

This is an example of a festival which just didn’t happen.

Disagreeing


I am writing this article as a result of having a disagreement on a Facebook group where someone is trying to convert me to her way of thinking.

The disagreement is that I think that only certain trees are sacred, whereas she thinks that all trees are sacred. It’s the sort of argument where either party could be correct, yet as far as she is concerned I have to come round to her point of view.

Sometimes there are arguments where one party is plainly wrong. For example, if I said that Brigit was Donn’s sister I would be wrong. Both are Irish deities, but Brigit is of the Tuatha De Danaan, whereas Donn is a Milesian.

However, there are many arguments where what is being argued is the philosophy and the interpretation of data and I may change my mind at some point in time to the opposing stance.

Now You’re Expecting…


First off, CONGRATULATIONS! It often takes a lot of hard work conceiving. However, as a pagan there are some extra things you have to do…

When your baby is newborn, at first the vast majority of your time will be taken up with looking after it, so this is a rough guide to enable the primary carer to be able to pick up the pieces of having a pagan life when your baby progresses beyond the newborn stage and you find yourself having a bit more time.

If you have a newborn, then unless it’s an emergency don’t bother trying to do any sort of magical work. If you’re lucky you’ll remember which day of the week it is and if you’re really intent on marking the festivals, light a candle, but it will probably come and go and you will have forgotten about it.

Firstly, make preparations before the baby comes. I typed up a lot of astrological information I knew I needed to run my daily horoscope, so I was two years ahead by the time my baby arrived. If you have a witchy garden and your baby is due to arrive in the Spring or Summer, then make sure it is all tidied up and get a responsible person who is not you or your partner to take care of them.

Also, in case herbs you need die or you are unable to get to your usual shop find a mail order system. I am unable to go into the woods because I can’t use a sling and two of my friends are unable to walk far due to pelvic problems. Another friend has a baby who screams when he is in the car despite trying everything. If you are in this situation you will want to keep car journeys to a minimum.

Essential oils and herbs need to be stored where little fingers cannot get at them. Also labelling everything is now of the utmost importance because if the worst happens and you have to take your baby or child to hospital, if the doctors know what they’ve ingested then they can get the best care. Children, babies and animals have smaller internal organs than us, so are less able to process medicines, herbs, essential oils and suchlike, which is why they have lower doses than adults.

These days I write all my spells on my mobile. This means that if I get a few minutes to myself I can look at the spell I’m working on and add or change a few bits. I also try and do something magical every day. This might be as simple as gathering together a few ingredients while on a walk, or consecrating them ready for use.

I also wait until I’ve put my son down and then perform a spell or ritual, because I know then that I have roughly half an hour before he wakes up and can concentrate fully on what I’m doing without fear of interruption. Spells are hard enough to do without worrying about whether your baby will wake up or not.

I mentioned candles earlier in this article. I flametend regularly and having a cat and a mobile baby plus naked flames can spell disaster. So I bought battery-operated candles. These are just as good as the real thing, plus using them again and again builds up the power in these objects. You can probably do the same thing with a real candle by making your own and using the remnants of the old candle in the making.

I hope you enjoy your babies and someday you get some sleep…

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