Illness


I have heard that you shouldn’t perform witchcraft while ill. I would amend that and say I would not perform witchcraft while I was unable to function except if it was an emergency.

To muddy the waters further, I have found I am unable to read tarot cards with a headache but would have no problem performing witchcraft. Others may be able to read the tarot with a headache as it could be that the reason that I am unable to read with a headache is because I’m not very good at reading the tarot.

In other words, it’s up to you and your own limitations. I imagine there are a lot of people thinking “that’s not very helpful” but if you have fibromyalgia (like me) or another ongoing illness then there are days where you can perform witchcraft and then there are days when only two brain cells turn up for work and you’re not going to be able to do anything.

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Newspaper Astrology


The problem with newspaper astrology is that it focuses only on the sign your Sun is in. It’s particularly inaccurate for me as my Sun is in Scorpio, but the vast majority of my planets are in air and fire signs.

This means that when the newspapers say that my Sun is in Cancer or Capricorn and good things will happen, they are dead wrong.

This is because the Sun makes some very nasty aspects (see bottom of this post for details if you’re interested) in those signs and only one nice aspect.

I am currently having a very hard year because Saturn is in Capricorn (which the papers probably say great times for me) and for most of this year making some nasty aspects.

This is why I calculate my own astrological chart.

Saturn aspects : square natal Moon, conjunct natal Jupiter, square natal Pluto (there’s roughly a 0.2 degree orb between the natal Moon squaring natal Jupiter, which is one of the reasons why it’s lasting so long).

Sun in Cancer aspects : first a sextile with natal Mars, then makes a cardinal cross with square natal Moon, square natal Pluto and opposite natal Jupiter. Later it squares natal Venus/Uranus conjunction and lastly trine Sun.

Sun in Capricorn aspects : square natal Moon, conjunct natal Jupiter and square natal Pluto. Later square natal Venus/Uranus conjunction and lastly sextile Sun.

Dark Fluffies


This is a term a friend of mine coined to describe fluffy bunnies who are not all “everything in the universe is lovely” but still manage to combine the ignorance and idiocy of your generic fluffy.

For anyone who is ignorant of the term “fluffy” a good example is a sister of a friend of mine who was telling him that you could cure any illness by rolling around in grass yet went to A&E when she had a broken collarbone. He encourages her for the entertainment value.

Dark fluffies are those who will happily tell you all about how to curse, but when you ask them how to cure mysteriously fall silent. They are those who will extol using blood in spells for everything, when it’s obvious it will not work for a cleansing spell.

Midsummer


This is the first ritual I’ve done in a while. All the tests came back from my doctor negative, so I assume the tiredness was my fibromyalgia stepping up a gear. I say “was” because the last time I was flametending I asked Brigit for healing. Last Monday I tried to walk around the sward and felt knackered after it. The next day I felt fine, despite going out to a toddler group. The third day I weeded the drive for half an hour and felt fine, where normally it would have had me on the sofa. It looks like Brigit has answered my prayers, although I’m being cautious and taking it gently for now.

The ritual went well and was lovely. All my rose bushes were out, which added to the atmosphere. The first one to come out was my old-fashioned pink climber called Celsiana, which smells how you think roses should smell and is now past its best. The second is in the height of its glory and is an old-fashioned off-white rambler called Garland. The last is a red tea rose called Fragrant Glory which has a strong smell.

Hiatus


I’ve not really been doing anything apart from flametending and what I call my daily practice i.e. talking to my ancestors and reading the horoscope that I calculate for myself, as I’ve been suffering from tiredness.

I am currently awaiting blood tests to come back from the doctors. Hopefully it will be vitamin D deficiency (which I have had before) or another vitamin deficiency rather than diabetes or my fibromyalgia stepping up a gear.

I was going to write a pagan post, but I thought I’d use this as an example of when not to use magic.

You see, I ran into someone asking for help to do a voodoo or hoodoo cleansing on a Facebook group. After I queried why (and people had given assistance) he told us it was because he was tired all the time and thought he was being psychically attacked. It turned out he had not been to the doctors.

I do not know what happened to him, but in a case such as his and mine it is best to get it investigated by the doctors, take their advice/medicine and if that does not help, then use magic. Also, it takes more time and work to do a spell rather than make an appointment with your doctor, turn up and have blood tests done.

Ancestors 101


If you are going to make an altar to the ancestors, keep in mind these points.

Firstly, not all ancestors will wish to be on your altar. When you first place a photo of the ancestor(s) you wish to have on your altar, light the candle and ask them if they wish to be on the altar. If they do not, whatever their reason, respect their wishes and remove their picture. Bear in mind that ancestors may change their mind – my mother-in-law said she did not want to be in contact with me via my altar, then a few months later the other ancestors said she’d changed her mind and wanted back on.

Secondly, the ancestors on the altar will have all the same faults and virtues that they had when they were alive. If an ancestor is an untrustworthy son-of-a-gun when s/he was alive, they’ll still be like that after death. Only venerate the ones which will support you in your life. I have not yet had an ancestor turn up who I did not wish to be in contact with after death, but if I did I would politely request them to leave. If the ancestor did not I would then research banishing rituals for spirits.

Thirdly, I have heard that you should wait a year and a day after their death to invite them to your altar. I was going to do that after my Poppa (mother’s father) died only because it seemed like a decent interval. However, he turned up on my altar six months after he died. This may be an exception, as he was always a people person and my son is named after him, which may be a good reason for hearing from him sooner than I thought. I would still wait a year and a day, but it would be insulting to ask them to come back later if they turn up before that interval.

Altar to Brigit


I am in the process of making an altar to Brigit. I confess that what is holding me back is that I am broke, but hopefully I will get things together and buy what I need next month.

An altar to a deity is so that you can connect more with that deity; also it will hopefully aid focus when I am flametending.

So, what am I going to put on it? A candle is a must. Not only to connect to any entity, but because Brigit is a goddess connected with fire. I am going to leave any other elements out. While the Celts had their own elements of water, air and earth none of them seem to be particularly connected to Brigit.

The altar cloth will be green and I have an LED candle already consecrated to Brigit. I always change the colour to green as it starts off white. A bowl to put offerings and healing requests is needed, but I can get one from a charity shop and consecrate it.

Brigit has various animals connected with her; I will buy some toy animals from a children’s toy shop and consecrate those.

It seems a pretty bare altar; most of the pictures of those you see on the net are stuffed with all sorts of artifacts. If anything occurs to me to put on the altar or Brigit asks for it, then I will add to it but I am not going to put crystals on it just because someone has done some hard work working out what deities are associated with which crystals when Brigit is not connected with crystals or the earth in particular.

Candles


A lit candle makes a connection to an entity, whether it be the ancestors, spirits or a deity.

Either the candle being dedicated to the entity you want to connect to or a photograph will help matters.

So not a Witch’s Garden


When we were looking for a house to live in, one of the few stipulations I made was that it had to have a decent garden. Luckily, we did not end up with the huge garden I wanted, as it’s difficult enough to manage the small garden we have.

To start with, the garden was covered in either ivy or bluebells. If I had known what I had known now, I would have napalmed the lot. Whatever you do, do not plant bluebells in your garden. They are a devil to remove and I’m still trying to kill the blighters after seven years of gardening. I cut all the ivy down and have a wand with a diameter of an inch as a result. I kept quite a few other pieces, but unfortunately those were stored in the garden shed, something got in and made holes in them, so I lost the lot. I now store wood in the garage to cure.

The garden and lawn has suffered from my ignorance. When I was growing up my parents had just let the lawn be, but the soil in my current garden is clay so we are prone to moss and I knew nothing of drainage holes and still know little of weeding the lawn. I have nearly banished all the moss and this year’s lawn project is to buy edging and use it to mark a border, as one of the side borders is merging with the lawn. I did previously use a spade to mark the border, but since the lawn is so poor this did not work and I think I need edging to make a permanent border edge.

I had done some gardening before, but stopped in my teens after the gladioli incident. I had grown them from seed and they were growing marvellously and flowering well until my parents insisted on putting grass cuttings around them for mulch, which killed them. I was terribly upset and did not garden again until I moved into my current home.

I did not know about soil types or shade as my parents’ attitude is “just put it in anywhere, it will survive” and I found out through a lot of trial and error that this advice just doesn’t work. I no longer take gardening advice from my parents.

Since the garden has clay soil a lot of herbs will not grow, as most need dry conditions. I did plant heartsease, thinking it would have a lot of uses but I never did use it and one year it failed to come up again. I could plant herbs in containers, but I currently have four, which are proving hard enough to deal with as it is. For example, I had not realised that even when it is raining sometimes the rain doesn’t reach the soil in the container until my penstemons failed to flower.

My garden is at the moment suffering from neglect through illness (I’m currently recovering from a bout of ‘flu and am off physical work until better) and having a toddler to work around. I’m hoping to do a lot more this year as he’s now napping for around two hours an afternoon, but it’s possible that he may drop naps altogether and I’ll be stuffed.

I don’t think I’ll ever have the witchy garden I dreamed of, but I seem to use wood in my spells instead and have a local wood five minutes away from me.

Prayer


I have been a pagan for sixteen years and am just getting into prayer.

This is not counting the “A, please help me with X thank you” requests which I suspect everyone of any religion makes when they’re in a tight spot.

I have taken so long to get into prayer because I was brought up as Christian, yet God never answered any of my prayers, not even the ones of which I’ve given an example of in the paragraph above. So I became disillusioned and stopped praying.

When I became Pagan and found myself in a tight spot, I did pray then and the prayers were always answered. However, I did not start praying properly again when someone on a Facebook Brigit group recommended it for becoming more in touch with Brigit.

So far I say a prayer to Brigit when I light the hob and one to The Morrigan before I shuffle my deck of tarot cards. I suspect prayers will become more a part of my life as I progress in my path.

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