17 Inexpensive Tools for a Well-prepared Witch

 

17 Inexpensive Tools for the Well-prepared Witch

This is a list of everyday mundane items we may not give much thought to, but have very practical uses in our magickal workings. These inexpensive, even dollar store, tools will give you a witch’s toolkit ready for just about any spell you can find a need for. This is by no means a complete kit, but makes a great starter kit or you can put together a beautiful gift basket for your favorite witch.

  1. Salt- Salt is as ancient as the earth and has been revered by many cultures for different reasons. Salt sprinkled around the exterior of your home offers protection. Used on the altar it can represent the element of earth. Sprinkle salt around your circle to protect your magickal workings.
  2. Hemp twine – I love hemp twine for it’s naturalness. Use hemp twine in binding spells, knot work, protection spells, and prosperity spells just to name a few.
  3. String – Very much like twine in it’s uses, it can also be strung with beads or woven through candles.
  4. Chalk – Chalk, white or colored, is wonderful in it’s versatility. It can be used to draw symbols, talismans, runes, sigils on just about anything without the worry of causing damage. Draw your circle on the floor or an amulet for protection on your front door. Chalk can also represent earth on your altar.
  5. Glue – Great for binding spells, of course, among more practical uses.
  6. Glitter/Glitter pens-A beautiful and fun way to add symbols to your spells or altar.
  7. Ribbon – Braided, woven, or knotted, ribbon is perfect for binding, protection, love, and healing.
  8. Wax – Use wax for amulets, seals, divination, spell work, ointments, and balms. Seal the tops of jars or bottles used in spells.
  9. Ink – Ink can be purchased in many colors and scents. The most popular is red. Wicca Spirit Book of Shadows has a nice list of ink recipes and uses. Write out your spells, sign contracts, and draw symbols and amulets.
  10. Matches – Always handy for the fire element. Seems witches are always burning things. Use for incense, candles, burning herbs, paper, etc.
  11. Ball jars – Ball jars are so handy for spells. Sweeten someone with a sour disposition by filling a ball jar with honey or sugar water and plopping their photo in there. Seal it up, say a few words, and toss it in the freezer.
  12. Rubber bands – Seal mojo bags and talismans, wrap candles, or anything else you can think of.
  13. Candles – White or colored to be used on their own or in addition to other elements of your spell.
  14. Charcoal – Charcoal is used for inscribing much like chalk but with more mess. Herbs can be burned on charcoal blocks.
  15. Feathers – Representative of the air element, feathers can be placed on the alter or used in cleansing spells.
  16. Cord –  Cord is the strongest for knot work and binding/releasing spells.
  17. Hat pin or Needle – Use a needle or pin for inscribing symbols in wax or candles. Pins or needles can be added to witch bottles and buried or strung up for protection. I’m sure the image of a poppet of your ex with pins sticking out all over has crossed your mind already. Just remember the rule of three.

mortarpestle

So there you have it. Seventeen simple items that will give you a complete arsenal of spells. I would like to add that most of us, when thinking of a witch’s proper tools, think of a cauldron, athame, wand, crystal ball, tarot cards, bolline, etc. These items, while unnecessary, are worth investing in. However, I would not want to receive these items as a gift, nor would I purchase them as a gift for someone. This is solely my preference and personal opinion, but I feel that these items should be personally chosen by the user. It’s important to feel the energy of these items for yourself. I have a mortar and pestle that I picked up in an antique mall and it literally gives me chills when I hold it. I have no idea of it’s origins or handlers, but I can feel the energy this item carries.

As always, you should cleanse your tools before use to remove any negative energy they may have acquired. Even the simple ones. Smudging or moon bathing are the simplest and quickest methods.

Wishing you a magic-filled day,

BethAnne

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What Rhymes With Bat Wings?

Batwings

Double, double, toil and trouble

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.-

William Shakespeare, MacBeth

Why do witches rhyme their spells and incantations? And why do they use ingredients like bat’s wings and eye of newt? It all sounds really cool, and gross, but there are very practical reasons.

I wrote a post recently on the power of your words. Your words, spoken with intention and emotion, are very powerful on their own. Now add rhyme and rhythm and that power just escalated.

When casting a spell, the incantations are often repeated three, five, seven times. When repeating an incantation in rhyme, certain syllables are stressed leading to a rhythm or beat that induces focus and an altered state of mind. This method has been used by various cultures and practices since the early times from the ancient Celts to the Native American Indians.

Crafting a spell’s incantation in rhyming verse takes some extra effort, and will infuse the spell with a greater level of your personal power. The more thought and effort you put into it, the stronger it will become.

Rhyming also makes a chant easier to remember. I have several shortened versions of chants that I repeat on various occasions for different reasons. Here is an example of one incantation I wrote when I was unhappy at having a large sum of money taken from me unjustly. I feel the need to add that this was not written or spoken out of anger or with ill-intent. Remember, what you put out will come back to you.

Take from me and you shall see

The value shall be returned to me

In my pocket I shall hold

The value of riches ne’er told

What you have taken shall be lost

Three times three the greater cost

Returned to me so mote it be

three times three times three times three

Anyway, over the years, this has been shortened in my mind to simply ‘three times three’, or maybe ‘three times three so mote it be’. When I’m feeling ripped off in some way, I’ll repeat this a few times and I don’t dwell on it or allow it to upset me. I simply release it for the universe and karma to handle.

Do your chants have to rhyme? Nope. If you despise composing verse, it’s no big deal, so don’t throw away your athame and BOS just yet. An incantation can be perfectly effective when it doesn’t rhyme. Rhyming verse, however, is not so difficult and if you’re feeling overwhelmingly challenged by it, I would suggest grabbing a pen and paper and giving it a go in fun. You never know what you’ll come up with and you might discover you’re actually really good at it. Remember, also, these are your personal spells and you don’t have to share them with anyone.

So what about all those weird ingredients witches toss into their cauldrons? Does blood of goose mean you have to go out and kill a goose in the dead of night? All of the strange ingredients in old spells refer to the various herbs that were used. I’ve read of several reasons for these names. One is that most people back then were illiterate and not familiar with the Latin names of the herbs, so they called them by names of common things that looked similar such as lamb’s ear. It also made it easier for teaching the next generation. Another theory is the recipes were kept secret to keep common folk from poisoning themselves with herbs like belladonna. Regardless, in witchcraft, it is never necessary to pop out a newts eyes or clip off a bat’s wings. All you really need is mustard seed and holly leaf. Here are a couple of ancient herbal name reference lists for you at The Village Witch and Witches of the Craft. And for those of you looking forward to your first chicken sacrifice, I am sorry to disappoint.

Wishing you a magic filled day,

BethAnne

Imbolc Is Here!

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As new baby roots burst free and burrow deep for nourishment and the crocuses prepare to take their first breath, Imbolc brings with it the promise of spring. Imbolc is by far my favorite holiday. Usually, at this time of year, I’m desperate for warm

Photo from Pixabay.com
Photo from Pixabay.com

breezes and sunshine (wistfully staring at photos of Bora Bora on my computer screen.) and for me, Imbolc is a turning point. We’ve rounded the corner of another long dreary winter and it’s full steam ahead for spring.

Imbolc is a cross quarter holiday that falls between the winter solstice and the spring equinox on the wheel of the year. It has been called by many different names and celebrated by many different cultures throughout history. In Gaelic tradition it was a celebration of the goddess Brighid who represents fire, hearth, and home. She is also the triple goddess maiden, mother, and crone. Imbolc is the transition from crone to maiden bringing the promise of rebirth, growth, and new life.

For me the underlying energy of Imbolc is palpable. The shift in this energy and the promise of possibilities not yet realized is exciting and I find that my mood definitely improves. I prefer this time of year, rather than the New Year, to set goals and make resolutions.

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Photo from Pixabay.com

This is a great time to declutter and thoroughly spring clean your home making room for new things to enter your life. No one likes to clean, but you have to admit it feels really great when you’re done. A clean uncluttered space reduces stress and frees up your mind. You’ll be totally zen.

It’s an exciting time holding promise for the coming year. Light candles and make wishes for yourself and your loved ones for prosperity, health, and success. Candle colors are red, white, yellow, and green. There’s also a very nice solitary Imbolc ritual posted here.

Imbolc is the perfect time to make your own traditional witch’s besom to sweep negative energy out of your home if you’re up for the challenge. I definitely want to do this, but I’m not going to make it in time for Imbolc this year. There’s a great tutorial here, and no you can’t fly on it. 😉

Celebrating with food is always a must. Foods for Imbolc are pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, muffins, breads, peppers, onion, garlic, and dairy products. Herbs are basil, bay, wisteria, cinnamon,violet, vanilla, and myrrh. This year I am making an Indian curry dish containing a few of these ingredients. I’ll share the recipe Sunday evening. A few links to some recipes for Imbolc:

Imbolc Food and Feasting

Recipes for a Pagan Soul

Imbolc Celebration Recipes

curryspice

Now that I’ve made it my life long goal to never see snow again, I am not as desperate for spring days as I used to be. There is something to be said though for aligning yourself with the heartbeat of the earth, with the turning of the wheel of the seasons. In sync with nature and the all that is, is a beautiful place to be. Blessed Imbolc.

Wishing you a magic filled day,

BethAnne

Is There a Full Moon?

Photo from Pixabay.com.
Photo from Pixabay.com.

Did you ever have someone in your life that seemed to be wonderful one minute and stark raving mad the next? Does it seem to run in cycles? Let’s narrow that down some more. How about a personality flip around the solstices or even every couple of weeks.

My first husband fits this description exactly. Our relationship, based on his behavior, ran in two week cycles. Great and then bad, on and then off. Twice a year he would go completely off the deep end which would result in major drama and upheavals in our lives. Granted, he had his share of issues, but how much of a role did the phases of the moon play in his behavior? In my personal experience, a lot. I could set my watch by it. Okay, we’re going to have a blow up in 3, 2, 1. . .

A full moon will see an increase in erratic behavior in anyone that suffers from unhealed issues such as fear, anger, depression, or addictions. Anyone that works in healthcare or law enforcement can attest to this.

So what about a new moon? According to SpiritualResearchFoundation.org, “An increase in negative energy attacks and subtle negative pressure has been observed on full moon and new moon days. It starts two days prior to full moon or new moon and ends two days after.” So yes, a new moon affects us also, only with slight differences. A full moon has more effect on the physical body while a new moon has more effect on the mind. You can read more about this here.

Spiritual Research also mentions negative energy, ghosts, and demons having more power and influence on humans on these days. Do I believe in these things. You bet your sweet patootie I do. There are plenty of cantankerous energies hanging around with nothing better to do than cause trouble (perhaps a future post on how these negative energies come to exist.) And as we all know, misery loves company. They will congregate and hang around places of low or negative energy such as a bar, a gang hangout, or an unhappy home.

These energies use the power of suggestion to get to you. Go on, have another drink, I’m ugly, nobody loves me, the world’s better off without me, I wonder what it would be like to kill someone. Have you ever caught one of these thoughts fleeting through your brain and thought, “Woah, where’d that come from. That wasn’t me.” They will pick a fear or insecurity and emphasize it and if you’re in a bad place already, it could get ugly.

When my youngest daughter was 11 she woke me up crying in the middle of the night insisting she was going to stab me with a knife. She was inconsolable. “But Mommy, I don’t want to hurt you!” she cried. “And you’re not going to.You are in control of what you do. Just tell those scary thoughts to go away.” You better believe mom was doing some major witchy work behind the scenes.

We have a new moon coming up tomorrow January 20th and are in dark moon now. This is also one of six supermoons we will see this year. (A supermoon is when the moon is the closest it will be to the earth.) If you notice your friend is a little off, your sister suddenly won’t speak to you, or the elderly parent you care for is cranky and uncooperative, it’s probably the moon.

From a witchs’ perspective.

A new moon is a powerful time. It’s perfect for new beginnings, starting a new relationship or endeavor, setting new goals or reaffirming old ones.

This is a great time to do some wishing spells if you’re so inclined, put together a vision board, or write your desires in a journal like I do.

How to protect yourself.

If protecting yourself from negative energies is a concern for you, I wouldn’t worry too much if you’re the type of person that is generally in high spirits (no pun intended). You probably have nothing to worry about.

Maintaining a high vibration or frequency is key. Practice anything that makes you feel good. Listen to great music, watch funny animal videos, have a laughfest with your best friend. It’s your mood and thoughts that matter.

There are various crystals that can be used and a good article on that can be found at hibiscusmooncrystalacademy.com. (I use amethyst myself.) I also love her perspective on negative energy.

You can sprinkle salt around the perimeter of your space or make a witch bottle for protection and bury it near your front door. Either way just being aware is the biggest protection against undue influences.

Wishing you a magic filled day,

BethAnne

On Being a Witch (part 2)

Photo from Pixabay.com
Photo from Pixabay.com

It’s been several years since I cast a circle and performed a full on spell. To be honest, I don’t feel they’re necessary. Spells can be just as effective without it. I suppose it would depend on the gravity or importance of a matter. For really big spells in which I would use a circle, I take a very long time choosing the implements I will use. I examine my intent carefully and choose my words carefully. I create all of my spells myself. I feel this makes them stronger and there is a ton of great information on the web from proper herbs to use to candles to oils etc. Although, I don’t see as many sites as I used to.

Once a spell is complete, I give it time to see if it’s successful. If so, I put it in my book (my grimoire) for future reference. I may never need it again, but it’s there.

Sometimes I struggle with casting. I think that we walk a fine line between being helpful and interfering in situations. If someone is supposed to go through a hardship for the learning experience and the sake of growth, then who are we to potentially hinder that? Just something to think about.

We also always need to take karma into consideration. Ever mind the law of three, what you put out comes back to thee, and it’s often swift and just. When I’m greeted with the whole evil black magic response from others, that’s the first thing I explain. First of all, I would never do anything to intentionally harm another, and there’s extra insurance thanks to good old karma. Not messing with that. No. Thank. You.

Photo from Pixabay.com
Photo from Pixabay.com

The awesome thing is that karma works for good also. It can even start a whirlwind effect that lifts you higher and higher until you’re fairly bursting at the seams. Life doesn’t seem to be going to good for you lately? Do something kind for someone else and watch what happens. Then do something else good and something else. Remember what you put out comes back to you. It’s like a drop in a pool of water. It ripples out, bounces off the edge, and returns to center. What returns is your choice.

Life can be pretty amazing for a practicing witch. I wake up every day excited to see what I’ll create and what good I can do. I’ve come a long way in the last 15 years (learned a lot), and I’ve discovered that the only real truth that exists is the one you create for yourself, because no thing exists outside of ourselves. One’s truth is never the same as another’s and that’s okay.

Wishing you a magic filled day!

BethAnne

On Being a Witch

Photo from Pixabay.com
Photo from Pixabay.com

Fifteen years ago I began my journey in Wicca. I had been raised Presbyterian and it just didn’t make sense to me. There were more questions than answers and I was never very good at following along blindly. I made a decision one day that I wanted the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Research began in earnest. I devoured various books and websites. I studied everything from Christian theology to quantum physics and everything in between. This was a very long process. Bits of information would blow my mind to the point that I would have to step back (sometimes for months at a time.) while I chewed on it and decided whether or not it made sense.

Photo from Pixabay.com.
Photo from Pixabay.com.

Through all of this study, I stumbled upon Wicca. Now this made sense to me. The earth, nature, herbs, crystals, energy, vibration, and intention felt right to me and I jumped headlong into study and practice. This was not always easy as I had years of Christian teaching to overcome.

When I made the choice to embrace Wicca, something pretty amazing happened. Stepping outside one evening to sit on my porch, I noticed everything glittered. The leaves, the grass, the flowers winked and sparkled, and I was stunned by the beauty. It was a profound moment for me in which I truly grasped the meaning of connecting with nature, and understood the life that runs through all things.

Many years later, I no longer call myself a Wiccan. I don’t really wish to be labeled, but for sake of an identifier, I say witch. It’s gone beyond this even really I feel, because I’ve a greater understanding of how it all works. When others are curious and ask me about it, I try to explain that magic is very much like other things that can’t be seen such as air, radio waves, cell phone signals. I feel that we are on the cusp of grasping this, and soon it will be second nature to all of us. After all, we only fear what we don’t understand.

Photo from Pixabay.com.
Photo from Pixabay.com.

Magic, to me, works on the basis that all things carry their own vibration, and all things are here to benefit us in some way. Plants, crystals, rocks, wood all carry a living vibration (the energy of all that is.), and if you can stop for a moment and just hold a rock or a flower you can feel this energy. Tune into it like you would tune into a radio signal and see what wisdom it has to impart.

The energy of emotion and intention combined with the energy of the essences chosen create the basis of spell-casting. Everyone does it and just doesn’t know it. We take spelling in school. We study our grammar books (from Wikipedia: Borrowing from French grimoire, from Old French grammaire. From Wikipedia: Grimoire /grim’war/a textbook of magic.), so that we can do our spelling well. Better, I say, to be casting consciously than unconsciously.

The most basic of spell casting begins in your kitchen on your stove (I know I say this a lot.). When my oldest daughter Kate was just four years old she understood this. As I was rolling meatballs for dinner one day, Kate climbs up on a chair on her knees, puts her little chin in her hands and watches me, looking thoughtful.

“Mommy. I know why your food is soooo good.” she says.

“Why is that?”

“Because there’s so much love in your hands!” she exclaims.

How remarkable that was to me. “Yes. Yes, that’s it exactly Princess.” I say as I sniffle like the big sop that I am. (Once upon a time I could call her Princess. She got too old and “mature” for that.)

Photo from Pixabay.com
Photo from Pixabay.com

This is why mom’s chicken soup makes you feel better when you’re sick. It’s a combination of the energy of the ingredients used and the love and healing intention that goes into it. If you’re not convinced, make a meal when you’re angry and see how it turns out. These are basic energetic principles, and they work whether you’re making chicken soup or casting a circle for a protection spell.

Photo from Pixabay.com.
Photo from Pixabay.com.

Dr. Masaru Emoto (who sadly passed away a few months ago.) has done research on water crystals and how good and bad vibrations have an effect on the formation of these crystals. If you’re interested in learning more about this you can find this information here. This is a great example of our energy affecting things around us.

To be continued. . ,

Wishing you a magic filled day,

BethAnne