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.

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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.

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…

Defining Spells


I once visited Aberglasny, which is a National Trust property, in order to see it’s thousands year old yews.

What was apparent to me on setting foot on the property is that the place has an unnatural air of calm about it. Reading the history of the property, I learned that the families who inhabited the property never got beyond the third generation before dying out.

Talking later with a friend of mine with a lot more magical experience than myself, we came to the conclusion that a Bishop who originally owned the property had probably “blessed” it so it would have the calm he desired. Of course, he never wanted children, so what started out as a blessing became a curse.

Permission


Some say that you should ask permission for performing spells. I agree with those who say that it’s not necessary to ask when you are doing curses, but what about other spells?

As in any relationship, I do a quick calculation as to how much trouble I’m going to be in if the recipient finds out I’ve done a spell. So far the answer has always been “it’s not worth it” and I have asked permission.

I have not yet been turned down and when the recipient has said “yes”, I have felt the spell working even before I have done it.

Quatrains


I have been writing quatrains for a while and until now I have not used rhyming sites or thesauri, reasoning that it was better for me to do things the hard way and work out rhymes myself and thus build my skill in doing so.

Unfortunately it results in spells that stink. Oh, they work all right, but the words only just fit into the meaning I want and the rhymes can be a bit convoluted.

While it is not necessary to write beautiful, flowing poetry in order to perform a successful spell, I would prefer that my words were more than one jump up from making sense. So I have resorted to using rhyme and thesaurus sites.

Protection


It is not often that you know your protective spells have worked. I have been putting protection on my house for years and a few months ago I had confirmation that what I was doing worked.

Unusually my hubby was ill, so my son and I were sleeping downstairs so he wouldn’t be woken when my son woke up.
At three in the morning my son woke up, but by the time I had switched on a light and made my way over to the cot, he’d gone back to sleep. I checked he was okay and it was then I heard two people walking past, which is unusual for our part of town, but thought no more of it and went back to sleep.

The next day we heard that a house a couple of doors away from us had been burgled. They had left their doors unlocked and the burglars were going past trying doors.

Non-Pagans


I would not involve more than one non-pagan in a group which is doing pagan work. I have found that non-pagans are often there only because they are curious and if there is more than one talk turns to non-pagan subjects and the essence of the group is diluted.

This is fine if it’s one of those moots where all you are there to do is make friends and the subjects can be anything, but if you are doing serious work or the preparation of such I have found it’s best to keep non-pagans down to one.

Headspace


In order to perform a spell or ritual correctly, you must have your head together.

By this I mean even before getting everything together for the spell, you must eliminate all possible distractions, e.g. going to the toilet, making sure pets are shut up and cannot break your circle.

Part of getting my head together is gathering all the paraphernalia ready for the spell and making sure it’s consecrated before I go out and do it.

After that I know that I am totally focused on the spell and its outcome and I am sure that the spell will work. I cannot be sure of this if I am distracted or worried about something.

Sometimes things happen, especially during ritual. Candles blow out or fail to light. If I am in the proper headspace then I can carry on, confidently knowing that my ritual will work.

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