Tuesday, 12 June 2018

BoS Putting Specimens (Flowers, Herbs etc..) in your books!! WARNING! ⚠


I saw a blog where the lovely was taping flowers into her journal to journal about..  I wrote a blog about it and a reply to her blog and I also thought this would make sense to share with BoS users as we're probably very likely to put herbs and flowers and such in our books..  So..

Thankfully I did this quite early on with my wreck this journal and not much later on with my Bullet Journal (or Book of Shadows)..

I put flowers from my valentines flowers (2016) into my WTJ I taped them in and tapes over the pages..  Sort or a poormans lamination lol.

After a week there was this aweful smell coming from my bookcase..  Eh?  I took my WTJ to do more of the wrecking and realised the pages had gone super manky!!  They STINK!!  Wrecked.. And not in the fun way the journal encourages or that I was hoping!

The prompt says 'press' leaves and other found objects.  The key word is press, like using a flower press to dry out these things..  I have a spooky box club flower press but they're not too expensive on ebay, obviously reuseable and there's loads of tutorials online as to how to dry flowers or press flowers inc diy your own flower press.. But I digress.

So.  I ended up taping the backs of the pages and hoping for the best and putting more tape over the front of the pages..  It didn't look too bad and the smell was contained but it's kinda put me off wanting to do this WTJ and over the last year or two it's decomposed more and more and more.  Maybe I should remove these pages.......?  Maybe I didn't or this happened to me simply so I could share this knowledge and experience with you all now........?

So here it is.  Ew!  




Oh and the manky brown bleeds through onto 7 or more pages!!!  Yeh!!

...

Im not being a killjoy and saying don't put specimens in your book... But perhaps do it in one of these ways..

⬜ Option 1. Use a flower press and thurrely dry out the flowers so they're well preserved and not wet at all..  before putting them in.. Not only will they be thinner in your book but shouldn't decompose or cause as much damage.  - I don't know how this would hold up over time.

⬜ Option 2. (what I do) Take photos and print them out... And stick them in and do it that way or if you're talented enough draw them.

There may be some other options but point is don't be sticking decompostable wet things in your books.  This includes insects too btw..

And while I have your attention..  People who are sticking magazine pages in note they're not all acid free and this will tarnish your books over time if you plan to keep them.  Same with some cheaper stamping inks and printer inks that are not acid free or archival quality.  - this for me doesn't so much matter as I take photos of the pages so I'll always have a digital copy if anything should happen to the book..
🖤 Imogen

Ps. Sorry for the icky-ness just trying to help! x

Monday, 28 May 2018

(UK Review 19) Enhancing your Mind, Body, Spirit Magazine Issue 69, 70, 71 and 72 Subscription


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Sunday, 6 May 2018

BoS Prompt 23: Conclusion.




There's now a dedicated facebook page to support these blog posts @ https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/

Thank you all for the support.  I've now made a dedicated facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/ so if you go there turn on all notifications you won't miss these blog posts!!  


Prompt 23. Sunday 5th May 2018 - The 23rd prompt will be..  The Conclusion to this series thus far.



This week isn’t much of a Book of Shadow Prompt as it is more of a conclusion summary to the previous posts and also a follow up of a few things plus a mini recap.  So..

First of all I’m closing the Facebook Group.  These posts get between 200 to 1000+ views each and the group has 103 inactive members (excluding myself) so I figured that closing down the group and creating a Facebook Page @ https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts would be better.  I have amended each post so they link to the Page and not the Group.

I’m sadly ending doing these Book of Shadows blog Prompts here @ Blog No.23 with a view to continue doing these posts come late Autumn (Fall) / Winter time..  But anything can happen between now and then so I make no promises.  However I will resume back to doing one off posts here and there which I think would suit this BoS category and so I’ll be posting them on my Patreon *for free* and also on my Twitter and in various Facebook groups..  & Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/.  It’s been a crazy journey this past 25 weeks or so and so much has changed for me in that time.  I really hope these blogs have been of use to someone; and no I won’t be deleting them and so they’ll remain here for as long as they remain...!

What have I learnt?  I decided to do a 5 part series on getting started with a Book of Shadows.  I did 5 posts on setting up a Book of Shadows / Grimoire and then fellow members of a group I frequented asked me to do these blog posts every Sunday, we would work on them and share within the group what we had done on Fridays.  By week 8 I was very frustrated that not one person had bothered to do these prompts..  And by week 18 I had been banned from that group for being depressed and suicidal and unfriended by some of the people I thought were like family to me – so live and learn.  I did start doing these prompts for them but soon found that I was doing them for myself and I have learnt more, recapped, reviewed and grown so much as a spiritual / magickal person.  Outside of these I have also grown from my depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia and other medical problems and have a much more positive view forward with my life, at least the near future.  I am sad to be ending these posts here but I feel that I have achieved what I wanted to do in bringing you food for thought and a jumping off point as to what to include in your Books of Shadows as well as hopefully some encouragement to learn and grow yourselves.  I have a lot of people come to me and say 'I'm new, will you teach me..' and in truth the only way (I personally feel) you learn is to read everything, practice everything, take onboard everyones opinions (not just one persons) and work out for yourself what YOU feel works for you regardless of if you're a Wiccan Pagan, Druid Pagan, Other kind of Pagan, Witch, Spiritual, Unsure, Inquisitive, Mundane or somewhere inbetween or beyond.  We all have to start somewhere so I thought I'd write a blog each week with some IN MY OPINION & MY BELIEFS (as an Eclectic Wiccan / Pagan and a Witch of 16-19 years (at this time).  Please feel free to disagree with me - but you don't to be rude about it.  Feel free to get others opinions or make your own mind up.



You can follow me on Instagram here. (I’m currently doing a Giveaway!)

You can also check out my YouTube as I post unboxings and my thoughts and opinions on DeAgostini’s Enhancing Your Mind Body Spirit magazines so check that out here.

I truly hope we have covered What is a Book of Shadows / Grimoire?   - From my understanding (in my opinion) that these books are used as journals and/or references and/or..  Well let me explain - A Book of Shadows (BoS) / Grimoire is used to contain a Pagan/Witch/Spiritual Persons spells, ritual, recipes, notes, thoughts, instructions, other workings, instructions, education etc..  It is typically handwritten, but not always, and it's usually a very private book.  Sometimes this book may be a collective book like one shared in a coven (but here we're looking at personal BoS/G).  Sometimes this book is passed down throughout a family or left to descendants upon death and other times it's to be burnt with the writer.  Some writers even publish theirs or versions of.  - Similar books may be a Book of Light, Book of Mirrors, Book of Rainbows, Book of Angels and the list goes on.  

Is there anything I didn’t blog about of which you would have liked me to of blogged about?  Feel free to IM me on that Fb page, to my Instagram, in the comments below..  I’m sure my knowledge is much more extensive than what I’ve shared here.  Plus I love to learn and grow too..

So until Merry Meet again for now Bright Blessings, much Love and Light and Merry Part xX Imogen x

Ps.  Here's some of my favorite YouTubers..
RhomanysRealm YouTube 
Molly Roberts -HerSpeak YouTube
Kelly-Ann Maddox YouTube
Adam Balan YouTube
Joey Morris YouTube 
TipToeChick YouTube 
Tarot Tribe Beyond Worlds YouTube
LadyGraveDancer YouTube
Earthly Alchemy YouTube
Raven Flower YouTube
Owlvine Green YouTube
Joanna DeVoe YouTube
DragonFeather369 YouTube
Amethyst YouTube
Erick Silvermoon YouTube


-----------------------------------------

Thank you all for the support.  For anyone wishing to share, ask for help, talk about BoS / their book and relevant content (or for more information, ideas and unmissable blog posts go to new Fb group https://www.facebook.com/groups/BoSPrompts/  Also as previously mentioned you can go on the website version of this blog over on the left there’s a ‘subscribe by email’ so you don’t miss a single post from me.  If you’re on the mobile version scroll right down to the bottom and click ‘view as website’ and that should take you to the website version where you can expand, navigate to the left and subscribe by email :)  I will continue to share this on my Patreon *for free* and also on my Twitter and in various facebook groups..  & Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/





Saturday, 5 May 2018

(UK Review 17 & 18) Enhancing your Mind, Body, Spirit Magazine Issue 61 - 68 Subscription


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* The full playlist + bonus content - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLP7v71QgbKgqOVcYHqP5UaGsEApfShjul


November 10th: Thank you for 700 YouTube Subscribers❣️

December 23rd: Thank you for 825 YouTube Subscribers❣️

January 20th: Thank you for 948 YouTube Subscribers❣️

February 3rd: Thank you for 1005 YouTube Subscribers❣️

March 3rd: Thank you for 1109 YouTube Subscribers❣️

March 16th: Thank you for 1141 YouTube Subscribers❣️

April 19th: Thank you for 1199 YouTube Subscribers❣️

May 5th: Thank you for 1222 YouTube Subscribers❣️

Sunday, 29 April 2018

BoS Prompt 22: Shadow Work / Self Love




There's now a dedicated facebook page to support these blog posts @ https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/

Thank you all for the support.  I've now made a dedicated facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/ so if you go there turn on all notifications you won't miss these blog posts!!  


Prompt 22. Sunday 29th April 2018 - The 22nd prompt will be..  
 Shadow Work / Self Love

Following the success of the last 2 blogs regarding getting you practicing magick by – “Breaking the fear of practicing & writing your own workings.” and also “Magickal Housekeeping And Everyday Practical Magick.” Both aimed at newer practitioners especially those still in the closet.  Today’s blog is about ‘Shadow Work’, a term which most people shy away from as it sounds dark possibly even evil and not this airy fairy “light” magick everyone seeks to attain to be “good”.  Well I’m here to tell you you’re wrong (and a little bit right)..!  Today’s blog is open to the world it’s not necessarily Witchy or Pagan based at all but leans more towards mental health!  - I’m striving to prove that even the most mundane of people do magickal acts without even realising like that morning ritual of a brew or their get home after work routine.  Mental health is no joke and hopefully we can touch on some points here to help improve everyone’s path in life..  And raise awareness.  Everyone has been through something and it's those something we're looking to explore starting here today!!

Shadow Work.

First of all what is the shadow?  Well the Shadow is the 'dark side' of our personalities, our character, ourselves even our personas (that we put on as a show for others).  It's those primal primitive instincts and negative emotions and reactions.  It is our very core self that we suppress into the darker corners of our inner selves. 

What is Shadow Work?  It’s basically us looking at those deeper darker aspects of ourselves in order to understand ourselves and perhaps evolve and improve ourselves on all levels including mentally and physically.  It is literally looking at those parts of us we have buried deep down, locked away in the back of our minds, that be push down, suppress and burry all being brought out into the light and being exposed and explored, being unpicked and unravelled to really see if we can get a better handle on what makes us tick, what drives us, what is that darker side of our character that we hide away (almost like we’re Dr.Jekyll and we’re looking at the Mr.Hyde parts of ourselves or in some cases vice versa).

Shadow Working is usually done in the darker aspects of the year typically mid-late Autumn (Fall) through to early Spring time; although of course it can be practiced all year round.   In fact I prefer to do it mid-late Spring through to early Autumn (Fall) simply because the sun helps keeps me positive and balanced and is the light when I try to cope with the dark.

So how is it we even have a darker self?  Well this inner self that's hiding in the shadows of our very being is caused by suppressed thoughts, emotions, actions..  Most of us dwell upon being seen in the most positive light and so our personalities, our interests, hobbies, self-image, the things we do and say etc..  We craved to be well liked and respected even loved and desired!  We have learnt that society prefers the most beautiful, the perfect and well-loved forms and so we take all the negative aspects and hide them away..  We cover our imperfections with makeup, body flattering clothing, locked journals, secrets behind closed doors..  We suppress the bad as we’ve always been taught from birth the difference between right and wrong and it's those wrong parts that we hide in our shadows that eat away at us.  We were taught certain behaviours are not acceptable nor tolerated such as crying or throwing a tantrum because you can’t get your own way being met with a firm hand to the backside or weeks of being grounded in our rooms with no niceties which we want so we learn not to cry or throw tantrums even though we want too.  – On this note I'm definitely not saying to go out and murder some people, rape, steal, or do other unspeakable things or act of terrorism.  What I'm saying is to explore why you feel you want to do those things to relieve yourself of them, get a better understanding of why you think and feel those things in the first place so that you can deal with and defeat them and overcome those feelings not just burry them inside ourselves.  Shadow work is also what can be explored through various forms of counselling and therapies, with trusted friends/family or alone by ourselves.  Thought it's important to note that you shouldn’t go into this lightly or jump in with both feet to the very deepest parts alone.  Everyone has their own demons and you need to be able to be in control so as not to endanger yourself and/or others.

However if done correctly it's nothing to be feared!!  Exploring your shadow can lead to a much better fulfilled life of self-worth, wellbeing, creativity, energy, happiness, personal awakening, personal power and development..  It can truly open our eyes to see who our friends are and the people who don't add value to our lives (ie the people who leech off of you and just take).  It can open your eyes to understand anger issues, depression, anxiety, other suppressed emotions, feelings and values.  It can help you to be the best you on all levels.  But it’s not some miracle that’s going to fix years of torture, torment, negativity, depression, medical conditions especially in mental health but it will help you on the road to recovery..

Speaking of the dangers though..  In some cases the shadow part lashes out consciously or subconsciously which then leads to people who do more wrong because they don’t know how to control or can no longer continue to suppress and that’s when the bad things happen.  This is when you get those over all bad eggs.  Throughout history when you look at every serial killer, psycho or sociopath the majority of them when you look at their past clearly have a tormented history.  Even those who had it all: perfect parents, friends, money it was not enough!  And in some circumstances was even the cause of their downfall being that one day they just snapped.  Or some psychotic break is made which is when we delve into schizophrenia and other psychological takeovers.  – So while exploration can be dangerous it could be equally or more so dangerous not to explore those hidden depths.  Which again brings us back to the Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde situation where Jekyll being the well-respected Doctor who was all round good but couldn’t control the Hyde aspect who was definitely not ‘good’ or lived up to Jekyll’s idealistic morals.

By now you’re probably on the fence torn between wanting to explore that inner self, the inner child, those suppressed memories and feelings to become a better all-round person and also not wanting to become some psycho killer, rapist, narcissists, depressed loser, suicidal maniac.. 

So let’s look at some of the benefits of doing Shadow Work.  Improved mental and physical health and wellbeing - accepting ourselves inc' ache, scares, weight, love handles, limp, hunch etc etc..  It's all a part of you and if people can't accept that of you they're not real friends or people you should strive to keep in your life.  Speaking of..  It also improves your relationships..  You're able to not envy others and be your own person and in turn strive to achieve as opposed to that living in everyone else's shadow of never being as good as or better than X person.  In turn this true self-confidence will win you better relationships.  And also help you see that even those perfect people are suppressing a lot within their inner shadows.  Plus dealing with your issues helps you all round.  You're able to truly know yourself and your passions the things you like and be able to do them as opposed to that fear that was holding you back.  So untimely more self-confidence and able to be your own person and not live up to other people’s expectations or even criticisms..  The list of positivity is endless..


Regardless of how magickal or mundane you are doing the following will greatly improve your Shadow Working experience:


1.  Center yourself, it's important before engaging in shadow work be be well balanced and centered.  With a positive outlook - which is one of the reasons I prefer to work in the summer times as the light literally helps to pull me out of the dark.  Being calm, open minded and in a neutral or safe space literally and figuratively.  Sometimes prior knowledge in Mindfulness is helpful here too alongside meditation and/or grounding in order to be centered and balanced.


2. True awareness is important as it is important to know the difference between who you are NOW and what you feel and who you were and what you felt.  It's important to be aware as we look at self-reflection to remain outside and observe than to get pulled back in to those emotions, feeling, thoughts, behaviours and actions.


3. Have respectful empathy for yourself and self-compassion as you're going to be digging up some deep dark emotions; some of which may be a little harder to forgive or accept than others but it's important to show yourself the compassion and kindness to keep positive while dealing with these negative emotions.  Accept that you're only human.


4. Will power and courage to accept and deal with what was in order to improve and change what is.  It's often very uncomfortable looking at who we were regardless of if you're looking at the abused child, yobful youth, bolshy teenager, young delinquent, misguided young adult, that snobby rich kid, the school bully or one being bullied, that anxious vulnerable child, the shy bookworm, or the person you were yesterday!  Reality is it might not actually be as pretty as you think!


5. Honesty and realism.  If you go into this thinking you don't need to change you're perfect the way you are and you had an amazing life.  Maybe this isn't for you..  If you're seriously truly happy then perhaps the skeletons in your closet and demons under your bed are perhaps best left alone; at least for now.  But if you truly want to improve your life no matter who you are or where you're at then being honest and real with yourself is very important.  - Own your shit!


6. The actual practice of Shadow Work.  It's important to write everything down, in fact some of the best practices are to just write and write and write until your hand bleeds - write everything and anything; don't think just do.  Then read back and highlight or underline anything you feel that stands out.  - I know for a fact there's some YouTube prompt videos out there which may help if you struggle with this exercise.  But record everything in writing.  Or read over some of them journal and make notes on anything you feel you want to revisit.  Don't try unpicking the deepest darkest manifestations start on the outside with the little things.  Other exercises may be to mind map thoughts and triggers write them down on paper.  Or create a moodboard of images you feel represent those things lurking in your shadows.


7.  Detach!  Sometimes it's important to detach yourself from these aspects so you can truly deal with them.  Think of it more of you're helping a friend with their problems..  What would you say to them?  Now apply this to yourself..  Sometimes it's simply easier to deal if we detach ourself but remember we have to reattach ourselves in order to progress after process.




This blog post particularly hasn't been aimed at the witchy/pagan community persay.  However I found this practice to be helpful to us all.  It's something I encourage everyone to do.  For more information an amazing magickal UK YouTuber who talks about shadow work a lot is Kelly-Ann Maddox




Self-love.

Yes the title of this blog also mentions self love, well if you haven't got that from the shadow working part then I thought I'd inject (here) some information on why we would practice self love!!

Self-love is important aspect but one a lot of us find very hard to do.  Through Shadow Workings this can be achieved but it can also be achieved in many other ways including to just decide to be confident, love yourself and strive to only have the best.  I'm not necessarily talking about having better material things, job, skills or education than the person next to you but to strive to have those things not to be better than anyone other than yourself.  It's a long and difficult road for some (especially those like myself that struggle with depression, anxieties and/or medical impairments) but it's not impossible.  I look at some amazing people in the witchy and mundane communities who use their downfalls as their unique positivities to enrich their lives and love themselves.  You'll no doubt at some point in your life hear people say "How can you expect someone to love you if you don't love yourself first?" 


So these are some of the parting food for thought I pass onto you.  Next week is the conclusion to this Book of Shadows blog prompts series.  At this time I am considering bringing this series back come winter-ish time however anything can happen between now and then so I make no promises.



Activity..

  • Practice.

Book Activity..

  • (Optional) Copy down any information from above you think you will find useful.. and/or any further information you find out.

Interact with me Activity..


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Thank you all for the support.  For anyone wishing to share, ask for help, talk about BoS / their book and relevant content (or for more information, ideas and unmissable blog posts go to new Fb group https://www.facebook.com/groups/BoSPrompts/  Also as previously mentioned you can go on the website version of this blog over on the left there’s a ‘subscribe by email’ so you don’t miss a single post from me.  If you’re on the mobile version scroll right down to the bottom and click ‘view as website’ and that should take you to the website version where you can expand, navigate to the left and subscribe by email :)  I will continue to share this on my Patreon *for free* and also on my Twitter and in various facebook groups..  & Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/

Imogen x

Sunday April 29th's prompts No.23. Conclusion.





Sunday, 22 April 2018

BoS Prompt 21: Magickal Housekeeping and Everyday Practical Magick.



There's now a dedicated facebook page to support these blog posts @ https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/

Thank you all for the support.  I've now made a dedicated facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/ so if you go there turn on all notifications you won't miss these blog posts!! 


Prompt 21. Sunday 22nd April 2018 - The 21st prompt will be..  
Magickal Housekeeping and Everyday Practical Magick.

- PLEASE NOTE EVEN IF YOU’RE THE WISEST OF CRONES AND EXTREMELY EXPERIENCED YOU MIGHT STILL LEARN OR AT LEAST ENJOY SOMETHINGS WITHIN THIS BLOG.

- For the sake of this blog post when I say “ornaments” I live in England I believe in America ornaments are what you put on trees?  I am referring to decorative items, figurines, statues and similar display pieces and home decor. 

- Also note I am putting all resource materials in BLUE for your easy finding later - you're welcome!



Magickal Housekeeping and Everyday Practical Magick.


If you have read my previous blog posts you’ll know I’ve been studying and practicing a Pagan (Wicca / Eclectic Wicca) path alongside witchcraft for many many years, even before I knew that I was..  During this path and study I’ve collected and read a number of amazing books including: 
  • “A Charmed Life – How to Make Your Life More Magical” By Teresa Moorey.
  • “TO WALK A PAGAN PATH – PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY FOR EVERY DAY” By Alaric Albertsson. 
  • “THE MAGICKAL HOUSEHOULD – SPELLS & RITUALS FOR THE HOME” By Scott Cunningham & David Harrington.
  • “MAGICAL HOUSEKEEPING – Simple Charms & Practical Tips for Creating a Harmonious Home” By Tess Whitehurst.
  • “Mrs. B’s Guide to HOUSEHOLD WITCHERY – Everyday Magic, Spells & Recipes” by Kris Bradley.
  • "A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft - 366 Ways to Witchify Your Life" By Deborah Blake.
  • “CLEAR YOUR CLUTTER – with Feng Shui” By Karen Kingston,
These are just 7 books from my collection, I have a great many more and there’s many more I haven’t yet read / own.  – I’m working on it!!  But all of them give great inspiration and ideas of how to live a magickal life some more literal and aimed more at the Pagan / Witch community and some a little more aimed at open minded people who wouldn’t class themselves as Pagan, Witchy and/or even Spiritual.  (Feel free to leave comments below and/or on the Facebook group and/or message me with further book recommendations!)

I also want to take this time to mention some none magickal resources to truly improve your life.  The first being a book by David Allen which if you’ve been in the planner community for the last 2-3 years you’ll more than likely of heard of his book “Getting Things Done – How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity” By David Allen.  Another book would be “The Miracle Morning - The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM” By Hal Elrod (Creator of Level 10 Life).  Another book would be “Unf*ck Your Habitat – You’re Better Than Your Mess” By Rachel Hoffman which there’s also a phone app you can download to help you to achieve this!  Finally I wanted to take the time to mention a powerful way to declutter your life (I’m working on it all honestly) method known as the KonMari method http://konmari.com/ Quote: “Developed by Marie Kondo, The KonMari Method™ is widely regarded as a new approach to decluttering based on Japanese values in order to surround yourself with items that spark joy.” – I have seen a lot of YouTubers tackle their craft / planner supplies with this method.  – Feel free to look into that at your own leisure.


Back to the living a magickal life.

In my last blog “Breaking the fear of practicing & writing your own workings.” I went into detail about a number of ways in which you can incorporate mundane daily life into your magickal practice from what you make and do.  Ie making a meal, making a drink, bathing etc.  In this blog I wanted to look a bit more at some of the ways in which you can live a more magickal life, even if you’re still in the broom closet.  In fact that's whom I'm dedicating this blog post to!!

Side note: As I have previously mentioned when saying spells, rituals, prayers, wishes, gratitude, grace, calling upon (deity, spirit, st, etc etc) this can be done silently in your head, whispered, spoken aloud softly, spoken aloud loudly and/or even shouted from the very mountain tops..  Yes you may feel silly but you'll get used to it.

A typical day can start with getting up and firstly thanking the Sun, Elements, Deity, Ancestors, Spirits or even the Moon etc..  for all that you have (Gratitude) and to greet them, show your appreciation.  It’s a good positive start to the day having that positive reflection or outlook rather than waking up feeling sorry for yourself that you have to go to work and pouring those energies into your morning coffee literally string in all those negative emotions and really setting the tone for the day ahead.

Speaking of that morning coffee, or if you’re anything like me then it’s tea, as mentioned previously that first cup of the day you can stir clockwise to bring good intentions or anticlockwise to push away bad ones.  Putting simplistic thoughts into making that drink that morning ritual of get up and before anything else stick the kettle on and poor a nice brew.  That alone is a simply magickal act which can be enhanced by putting a little more thought into it.  As you’re reaching for that clean fresh cup – think of symbolism “clean” and “fresh”.  I’m not saying you should grab the loose tea, best china cup and practice the art of Tasseography – well if the mood strikes and you have time, go for it!!  But just your simplistic making a cup of tea/coffee.  This could even be advanced by putting good will and intentions (thoughts) into the cup of your partner / parents / children / friends that you kindly (not begrudgingly) make for them in the morning too.

Following the morning cuppa heading to the bathroom to have a wash / bath / shower remember in my last blog how I mentioned that you can bless the water (with the power of your mind and hands) to cleanse yourself of negativity.  You could include essential oils or salts or even use soaps that were made with essential oils to bring to you certain things you wish for the day like lavender if you wish for a relaxing day or patchouli to bring wealth or even sex etc..

So that’s three magickal acts all before breakfast!!  Speaking of breakfast again this can be a magickal act of showing gratitude and honouring the earth.  While making / eating cereal or buttered toast think of the yearly cycle of crops growing and the harvest or of that cow that gave the milk and the process and journey of these simple every day taken for granted things.  I’m not saying do this exact thing every day but something similar..  It's just it’s an idea.  Equally let’s say you opt for a cooked breakfast which could include some herbs and/or spices which again have magickal properties.

Choosing your outfit, getting dressed, adorning your outfit with accessories.  I have spoken before about how none magickal jewellery (see my blog about amulets, talismans and charmed jewellery) can be charmed.  How jewellery that can be magickal like say a amethyst crystal is very bohemian and not unusual for jewellery these days; yet holds great magickal powers as an amulet.  Equally if you’re not able to wear jewellery or other accessories look at the colour of your clothing and what that represents (seem my blog about colour correspondences).  Also how does your outfit make you feel.  We all have that lucky pair of pants, that outfit that makes us feel a million dollars but secretly was thrifted.  – If you don’t then you’re shopping all wrong!  Or the magickal feeling of confidence can come from your hair cut / colour / style or even makeup, perfume – especially those homemade with essential oil perfumes.

Regardless of if you’re going out, staying in or a mixture of the two the day will present a number of opportunities.  From simply smiling and having a more upbeat positive attitude or persona to doing good deeds for others (remember what we said though doing a good deed for good to come back to you ie karma is actually bad..  You should do good because you want to do good end of).  This positivity will in turn manifest into good things for you and/or others - smiles are very contagious.  Help others.  Make time for yourself and make that time spent on doing something you love.

Daily routine of house work doesn’t have to be the burden or chore it might seem.  There’s many YouTubers out there like Clean My Space’ and ‘Clutterbug which make amazing video content on cleaning quick, easy and dare I say fun?  As well as storage and organisation!!  And I know both of these channels have DIY home cleaning products made from natural and safe products (I've tried and tested and I’m on this train!!) which can be fragranced with essential oils..  But essential oils have their own magickal properties remember – double kill..!!  Why not “make your home smell nice” when really you’re adding positive vibrations, removing bad energies, making a peaceful environment, creative energies and so on.  – Remember what I said though some essential oils (like herbs) are toxic to you and/or your pets so be mindful.  Cats also typically don’t like citrus scents.  Another book recommendation for you which has a lot of home remedies is "JUDGES HERBAL HOME REMEDIES - Natural Health, Beauty & Home-Care Secrets" By Jude C.Todd".

Speaking of making your home smell nice...  Essential oils can be used in oil burners and also put into candles!  Candles can be used for decoration it’s true but also for their scent.  Candles made with essential oils can carry those essential oil properties too.  So want to spice things up with the bedroom, relax things in the bathroom, create a more intensive feeling in the kitchen, create positive energies in the hallway/reception area etc..  then essential oil candles can be a great witchy / non-witchy way to achieve this.  Forget spending hours brewing up some tincture or spell to add to your lovers’ food simply make a candle.  Or incense which can double as potpourri.  – Note.  You can use white sage essential oil diluted with water to make a spray which you can use to smudge your home if you can’t burn sage.

The day can continue to unfold and may include taking trips to some of your favourite places such as the woods, the seaside or even a park where you might throw a penny in a well / fountain and make a wish – not an uncommon thing to do but for you; you just did magick!!  Plus kudos for the extra good points if it’s one of those where the money goes to a charity!  Also there might be birds at the park and so take time out to stop and feed the birds..

Speaking of feeding: brunch, lunch, dinner, tea, high tea, supper, pudding, snack, treat all of the food / drink consuming times can be treat equally to the way in which we looked at breakfast; thinking about the cycle, process, how blessed and lucky we are to have it or have access to it unlike some other countries etc..  Thinking about other less fortunate people.  Perhaps even then taking the time to donate food or money to the homeless or people in less fortunate countries and circumstances.  Sharing of your food with others (humans or animals) and this can be considered as offerings.  Those more so out of the closet can also give to The Fae and/or Deity without it seeming too peculiar to those who know you.

Again on an evening with bathing and preparing for bed which might include herbal tea, relaxing candles, bath bombs of essential oils, reading and expanding your mind and knowledge (doesn't have to be a Pagan/Witchy book just growing and developing as a person is magickal) etc.

Every and any act can be seen as a magickal one if you stop taking everything for granted, take off those grey tinted glasses and really open your eyes!!  I know for some it's a lot harder than others especially those, including myself, who live with illness and/or disability or hardship.

Meditation & Yoga are two forms of magical attunement that are rather popular in the world we live in today yet have Pagan/Witchy roots including grounding.

Music played aloud or to ourselves through headphones/earphones can include classical, percussion or other instrumental music (I myself am a fan of flute pan music!) or other musics that you have a connection with.  None lyric music can be used for meditation, yoga, while reading or sleeping, for background vibrations and mood..

Before bed thanking the sun or the moon etc..  Praying or being thankful for what you have is not unusual.  You don’t need to get down on your knees or clasp your hands together.  You can simply lie in bed and say the words in your head.

Your days can truly be made up of so much magick that you miss it.  Alternatively you can inject more magick to your home.  I previously mentioned in the Protection, Banish and Repel blog about the concept of creating witches balls to protect your home other things you could do is hang a horseshoe above your entryway to bring luck and protection.  Or look for other ways you can adorn your mundane house with mundane items that have symbolism and/or magickal properties even if only you know.

I know of a number of in the closet witches who have altars set up on small shelves which to everyone else is just a collection of candles, a collection of items they like, a collection of trinkets and/or ornaments like YouTuber DragonFeather369 said to her parents that her Draconic Altar is her “Dragon Collection”. So you don’t have to be all out with big elaborate displays of altar like setups.  You don’t need to hang up a big sign that says “WITCH”.  You can create a lot of subtle things through pieces in your home.

Crystals and stones are highly popular home décor pieces these days.  Which you can use for their magickal properties and uses as well as decoration.  - Just because Great Aunt Sally thinks it’s a pretty overpriced rock you got on holiday doesn't mean that's what it actually is.

Witchy books can be kept in drawers under your bed, in a cupboard shut away, disguised with other boring covers on a shelf or as most modern people do purchased upon a kindle or some other electronic reading device.  Alternatives would be to go to a library and read books they have there or borrow them from friends who know.

Keeping a book of shadows doesn’t have to be this big statement tomb of a book that is on a big display stand, granted perhaps locked away in your charmed attic room.  It can be a plain binder on a shelf, a simple notebook in your bag, a diary in your nightstand or even a word document you keep on your PC.

Speaking of your nightstand and other wooden furniture..  Real wood comes from trees (Honestly!) and trees have magickal properties too thus the wood does thus the furniture does or wooden sculptures, wooden picture frames, wood used for shelving such as that which your secret altar is on.  Choosing wood or just having some wooden pieces can hold great magickal properties and/or represent earth element in your home.  Another mundane item which can add magickal qualities to your food is wooden spoons, wooden spatulas, wooden chopping boards etc.  As they have the wood properties of nature and earth which you’re using with your food; which is also earth based.

Elements in your home can sometimes be missed especially if you live in a concrete jungle.  Candles, real fires / fireplaces, gas stove can all be symbols and used as fire element for magickal workings.  Spells, sigils, wishes etc can all be wrote on paper and then burnt in a fire.  Water is pretty obvious but again things can be flushed down the toilet and taken away from your life.  Earth as mentioned we have wood in your home, plants and food.  Air well we breath air, but you could incorporate real feather pillows, fans, air conditioning, incense etc..

Remember any broom (or sweeping brush) can be used as a witches broom.  The magick comes from the act not the appearance of a traditional broom or besom as it’s usually referred to.  Magickal brooms / besoms are used more for the sweeping away of negative energies than literally sweeping.  There’s nothing stopping you from having a yard brush, a house hold sweeping brush and also a brush for magickal purposes that looks rather similar to the other two – just try not to get upset when someone picks up your besom and uses it for a mundane task.  It’s like my friend who stayed over and used my cauldron as a bedside table..  There are no words for that feeling!!

Other ideas may be to create sachets (which look like those fragranced little pillows you put in your clothes drawers or wardrobes) which are for say house blessings, protection, positive energies etc and hang them on door handles, in windows, on chairs.  They could also be made in the shape of a five pointed star which can represent the pentagram which as we should know by now represents the elements.  Or other shapes which have correspondences to elements or embroidered with zodiac symbols; as again all very common things in a mundane house that can be used in a witchy home.  Equally they can make great gifts and now what your friend things is a wonderful scented pillow for in her clothes draw is actually secretly a protection spell for that person.

Zodiac and symbolism in your home can be achieved in a number of ways.  Today it's very popular to have jewellery and homewares with Zodiac symbols on them.  Other symbols like hearts, stars, eyes, ying yangs, skulls, flowers, animals etc can be used and purchased in shops that cater for jewellery/homeware but used for their symbolism.  [See my Zodiac blog post for more information.  See my symbolism blog post for more information.]

Dreamcatchers are a very witchy item, especially if you like / know their history.  I particularly enjoy the spider lady story of her wanting to protect her children.  Dream catchers are used a lot these days as home décor pieces and graphics on items such as clothing, accessories and other textiles such as bedding and scatter cushions.

It’s not unheard of to have bells above the main entrance way to home so when people enter it rings to signify someone entered your home.  Another use for bells can be to scare away spirits or cleanse vibrations.  Wind chimes can also be used for similar uses by widows or outside.

Seasonal Holidays are great times for getting your witch on secretly with outward displays of Paganism and Witchery.  Such as Ostara is around Easter time so it wouldn’t be unusual for you to decorate your home with dyed eggs, bunnies, symbolism of springtime.  Halloween / Samhain is a time in which you could put up your vintage ancestor photos to pay respects to them while others think their some creepy Victorian images you’re using as Halloween décor.  Similar goes for most Halloween décor and attire that is ghost and/or witchy themed.  Yule is just before Christmas and again like most other holidays the Christians stole the ‘Christmas’ Tree, Yule Log, ‘Christmas’ Wreath.  These are but three examples.  There’s other holidays see my blog on Sabbats & Wheel of the Year.

Having a familiar (see my blog on what a familiar is) which to anyone else would seem like you just have a regular pet (I have 2 cats one is a pet and the other is a familiar). 

Speaking of cats they're great symbols of Gods and/or Guardians throughout history.  Images, statues or other cat resembling pieces can be considered as a symbolism including the Egyptian Cat God Bastet.  Cats also have great symbolism of protection, psychic energies and are said to be able to walk through other realms - which is what makes them very common as witches familiars.  Because of this statues of cats near doors and/or mirrors can act as protectors from anything trying to cross into this realm.  To anyone else.. you like cats!

House plants are a great way to bring outside in with element of earth properties.  But they also each have their own properties.  These plants can be anything from flowers to succulents to herbs.  But be aware if you have pets as some plants are harmful to them and others will be considered a food source.  (My cats truly will eat any plants I get!)

So that's inside the home well what about out of it?  Gardens are the magickal protective barrier around your home.  They can be anything from a beautiful moon garden, to a tribute garden especially ones dedicated to lost loved ones, herb garden etc.  Many flowers, herbs and other flora have connections with Gods, Goddesses and a whole list of other Witchy/Pagan correspondences.  Gardens are homes to The Fae and these days "Fairy Gardens" are extremely popular.  Creating a magickal garden is so easy plus in can incorporate all the elements when you add a water fountain or bird bath and a fire pit or outdoor candles.

Speaking of garden and garden decor Gnomes are considered to be Earth Spirits alongside other traits.  So having Gnome ornaments in your garden can be the same as Cats and give your garden and home added protection.

So far a lot of what I’ve mentioned is suited more to those of us who are in the boom closet or out but practicing in silence.   Well there’s a lot more information in the book recommendations I provided and more.

I hope this has given you some food for thought.

Activity..

  • Read books.
  • Read other peoples opinions.
  • Practice / put into action.

Book Activity..

  • (Optional) Copy down any information from above you think you will find useful.. and/or any further information you find out.

Interact with me Activity..


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Imogen x

Sunday April 29th's prompts No.22. Shadow Work / Self Love




Sunday, 15 April 2018

BoS Prompt 20: Breaking the fear of practicing & writing your own workings.



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Thank you all for the support.  I've now made a dedicated facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/ so if you go there turn on all notifications you won't miss these blog posts!! 


Prompt 20. Sunday 14th April 2018 - The 20th prompt will be..  
Breaking the fear of practicing & writing your own workings.


Following up from last weeks blog post about ‘starting to learn Herbs and stones’ I decided to make this weeks post about writing your own spells and next weeks post about breaking the fear of practicing.  The more I thought about this the more I felt it was really one in the same blog as the two go hand in hand along with obviously practicing other people’s workings.

PLEASE NOTE EVEN IF YOU’RE THE WISEST OF CRONES AND EXTREMELY EXPERIENCED YOU MIGHT STILL LEARN OR AT LEAST ENJOY SOMETHINGS WITHIN THIS BLOG.

For the sake of this blog post when I say “working” or “workings” I am referring to any spell, ritual, prayer, meditation, enchantment, psychic ability, magickal act etc etc any act of magick or craft etc..

How I got started and broke my fear.. So let us start with breaking the fear of practicing or indeed where to start!  For me when people ask how long I’ve been a Witch/Pagan usually I answer with something like 14-16 years (I’m 29 now).  The reason for this is that I’ve actually been practicing some form of Witchcraft / Pagan Practice / Spiritual Life all of my life but it wasn’t until I was 13 that I discovered the things I did actually have a name, I belong to a group of people and that witchcraft is actually a real thing..!  But I only found my confidence and came out of myself (not out of the broom closet until I was 25) and I was able to practice..
So I started studying, learning about witch history..  Learning about what real life witches do, the occult, how it’s not Satanism, how you can even still be a Christian in this day and age.  This was a happy accident I discovered while researching about paranormal so of course those studies continued too and then developed and went on Paganism or more specifically Wicca.  
For the first 2-3 years from 13 - 15/16 I became scared to practice, now armed with my new knowledge I worried too much that something bad would happen, something would go wrong, I was doing these acts for more selfish reason and such forth.  I had purchased a few tools and items.. (I was very lucky at that time as I lived in a town that had more Antique Shops, Thrift Stores, Junk Yards and Flea Markets than regular shops!!)  My Grandmother bought me my first Tarot deck and while I’d never been allowed to light candles I certainly had a large collection along with other trinkets, knickknacks and things.  Eventually circumstances saw that just before my 16th Birthday I ended up leaving my Dads house and that town and moving to live with my Grandparents.  I was back with my old friends at my old hang outs and indeed met new friends too.  One particular new friend was very much into the practice himself, or some much darker and twisted version of it, and he took it upon himself to get me out of my comfort zone and start practicing..  (While our friendship wasn’t long lasting for other reasons, mostly that I became busy with college, voluntary job and an actual job..  Plus my best friend broke up with him and it was just awkward - it’s definitely part of my foundation getting over my fear to be able to be so open about it all now!)
Some believe that you need to be initiated by another into the craft whereas others say if you follow X you can initiate yourself; which is more or less what I did..  During my 2nd-4th year I did some initiation online courses and then much later on in I believe 2014/15 initiated myself following my officially coming out the broom closet  announcement by following and practicing Timothy Roderick's book - 'Wicca: A Year and a Day: 366 Days of Spiritual Practice in the Craft of the Wise' ..which I'll mention more about further down this blog post..  But YouTuber DragonFeather369 has some amazing videos on that book.
Yes when I practice (even now) sometimes I feel really stupid, self-conscious, nervous, shy, weirded out, worried people can hear/see me etc..  But that's the same with almost anything I know I'm like that when making YouTube videos regardless of if the content is planners, magickal, arts and crafts or something else entirely. Same with gaming around guys I like or people I want to impress (I like to think I'm good but worry they'll judge me if I mess up!) But don't worry..  It's ok a lot of people talk to themselves and even more talk to their pets and some even talk to their plants.  You can always pretend you were on the phone and/or work in a more secretive place ie late at night or when you're home alone.  Work in whispers or not aloud!  Next week I will talk about Magickal Housekeeping and Everyday Practical Magick which is more aimed for those who want to practice but are still in the broom closet because of family, friends, religion, society or some other reason.  But for those of us out and proud and shouting from the mountain tops it's still good practices to keep. Keep going and you'll get there..  I promise.

My recommendations will always be study / research first then practice; practice may never be perfect but you’ll definitely learn and grow.  So I figured within this series by now we have learnt a lot about ourselves, about how to cleanse,consecrate and charge and indeed why that is something we would do with newly bought items first or second hand.  We have learnt about The Pentacle / Pentagram meaning & The 4 Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water (plus the firth Spirit).  About The Tree of Life, Grounding, Meditation And Prayer.  We learnt about The Sabbats & Wheel of The Year.  Plus some stuff about The Moon including planting by the moon, moon gardens and Esbats.  We learnt a little bit about Enlightenment & Deity (Gods and Goddesses).  We learnt about Zodiac signs (birth signs) and their properties.  We learnt a little bit about using Herbs, Oils and Stones plus tinctures and more.. Using Colours in our workings and coloured candles (with a mention about an old blog post on Candles I wrote last year which can be found: HERE).  We looked at Intuitive, Empath & Clair's Psychic abilities.  We looked a little more closely at some types of Runes, Symbols, Sigils & Cyphers and the use of Alphabet within them.  We studied about Spirit guides, Spirit animals & Totem animals & Familiars and also their differences.  We started looking a little more at hands on practice with Protection, Repel and Banish Workings.  Furthermore we looked at Amulets, Talismans & Charms.  We looked at gratitude and respect with Deity Offerings & Fae Offerings which really could be lent to any aspect of Nature Offerings & Elemental Offerings etc.  We took things back to basics with a little knowledge on types of Witches / About Witches blog post and followed that up with exploring types of Divination.  We continued our in-depth learning last week with starting to learn Stones & Herbs etc.. blog and so really we’ve been on one crazy ride this last 22 weeks or so, not forgetting my prior 5 part mini-series that inspired it all on how to literally create a Book of Shadows. Part 1. Finding your Book of Shadows / Grimoire etc.  Part 2. Breaking in your Book of Shadows / Grimoire etc.  Part 3. What to write in your Book of Shadows/ Grimoire etc.  Part 4. What to add(visually) to your Book of Shadows / Grimoire etc.  Part 5. When should we be adding to our Book of Shadows / Grimoire etc..

So after all of that we are definitely ready to start practicing and writing our own workings.  Starting is always scary breaking that fear of ‘what if’ and the glass is half empty.  Take the leap of faith and always do what feels right to you.  Never fear asking for help.  Another thing I’ve learnt is that this is a never ending pool of knowledge.  There’s so many religions and faiths and spiritualities – Which is why now I feel me saying I’m Eclectic Wiccan is more just Eclectic or Eclectic Pagan perhaps since while I do keep the Wiccan Religious side mostly but lean towards my own kind of craft with elements from all walks of life.  Plus I absolutely love to read / hear different people’s opinions and takes on the same subjects. – geek!

..But you’re not here to listen to me babble on about myself..  So lets us break into the next phase for anyone who isn’t there and for anyone who is, you may even learn something or just refresh some of them baby steps.

So shake off the fear..  First of all fearing something, doubting something, disbelief in something..  Nothing’s going to work for you!!  If you enter into a magickal working thinking this is a load of old codswallop, it’s clearly fake and this is a load of cow dung.  Guess what..  It’s not going to work!!  You’re right!!  Congratulations!!   But it’s as Roald Dahl said “Those who don’t believe in Magic will never find it!”  You have to at least believe in the idea or want to believe!  As Jack Skeleton said “Just because I cannot see it doesn’t mean I can’t believe it!”  and so enjoy this amazing unique and wonderful journey and remember as Tolkien said "Not all who wander are lost!" So go in with an open heart and an open mind and see what comes to you..

Ok let's say you believe..  But how does this work?  Right..  I’m going to be honest with you and tell you how I feel it works (other people will have various opinions).  For me I feel that you have a hope, a wish, a dream, a desire..  Something you’re longing for (not destined as that’s a whole other thing) but something you want.  For you..  For others..  Be mindful of being careful what you wish for, the Wiccan Rede Rule of “Harm none, do as ye will” (do what you like as long as you don’t hurt anyone, that includes yourself).  Or other rules like three fold law, karma and such forth.  Just do good things with good intentions and then read about the rest later.  So for me I feel that setting your intention for what you want and spending time creating that working, setting up that working, doing the working itself opens our hearts and opens our minds, even our subconscious mind, to look for those opportunities to find good even in the very bad, to use ourselves to aid, heal and help others.  I don’t believe we can just light a candle, wish for a million and wake up the next morning with a big bag of cash posted through our door.  What I do believe is we can light a candle, wish for a million and over the next few weeks be presented with opportunities in career / job, living / accommodation, relationships and much more a wealth of opportunities that could lead to that abundance of money if you work hard and take every opportunity created by you making that decision.  The act of lighting the candle is simply symbolic that you did this thing to mark your intentions for what it is you want in order for you to actively look for the results and other things to happen but ultimately it’s your decision and your choices to take the bull by the horns and go for it.  That’s not to say that you won’t wake up with a million shoved through your letterbox..  I suppose in some weird twist of fate it could happen.  But another point to consider here is also greed in that!  Wish for money, wish for abundance, wish for a better financial situation but do you really need a million?  Will a few thousand not buy you your house, get you out of debt and put you and your family in a comfortably living situation?  People say to me if magick is real and I believe in it and I practice it then why am I still disabled unable to work coping with multiple illnesses/disabilities?  To which I don’t have an answer but I can tell you that through magick I’m still alive, it’s given me faith and something to believe in, work with/for, have, teach, do..  And my practice is rewarded when I'm offered medical opportunities and medication to improve my situation the best we can right now.  It’s taught me things and that alone to me is magick.  It’s given me the strength to keep fighting and keep trying.

So we believe..  We have some tools and ingredients (or not).  Where do we start to practice?

For me I won’t say jump into casting a circle, summon some ancient being and have a tea party while cursing your enemies.  Seems a bit of a leap..  and not something you should ever do!!  But each to their own.  Perhaps start with simple things.  Next week, as said, I plan to do a blog on everyday magick looking at some of the more basic and mundane things that everyone can do.  I mentioned this in my last few blogs that practicing doesn’t need all these tools and items, an altar.. etc.  My practice may look elaborate with all this stuff as seen on my instagram @ instagram.com/missimoinsane but believe me deep down I know I just need the very basics and myself.  So start with simple things like stirring your morning tea/coffee clockwise while wishing for positive influences all day or anticlockwise while wishing your tiredness away so you can focus on the day ahead.  While bathing at night hold your hands over the water and ask that this water washes away all the negativity you’ve accumulated throughout the day, even add salt to purify if you wish (Epsom salt is especially good and has additional relaxation and health benefits!) – this could be a sink of water, bowl of water or bath etc..  Prayer is such a simple and easy one pray for the health and safety of others, light a candle in respect of that.  Practice some of those protection workings.  Grab yourself a book (Elemental Encyclopedia of 2000 Spells is a good place to start.. huge heavy hardback, hard to hide!  But they do have a 500 paperback version that’s smaller) there’s a few spells there..  Or you could get a book that’s more of an initiation into a craft/practice such as Wicca.  One book particular is the big orange Wicca A Year And A Day 366 book by Timothy Roderick.  (BE WARNED the book requires you to purchase items for the practice which comes with quite a hefty priced shopping list!!  Yes you can substitute some of those candles for smaller ones or white if you can’t find the colour you need but still pricey!!  I took it upon myself to write a blog with the shopping list contents: HERE!!)  Which is a great book for beginners (even if you want to be a witch and not wiccan it’s still a good book for you!) there’s a new page or two for each day giving you tasks and teaching various workings including giving you more details on various things such as grounding and meditation.

So you’re practicing?  Good!

How do you write your own workings?  It’s actually a lot easier than people think and can be done in multiple ways. 

Words:
First note that if you’re adding words, like a speech you don’t have to make it rhyme it doesn’t have to be a poem.  But if that’s what you like then there are many books and even phone apps and online websites that can help you with rhyming words and/or poetry.  Words don’t have to be complicated they just have to be accurate and heart felt; say what you mean and what you want.  Does it need to be spoken aloud?  No!  Sometimes people feel very self-conscious as is without talking to themselves too.  So saying the words aloud in your head to yourself is still putting those words out there just not literally aloud.  Equally you can whisper, I know a girl who finds whispering magickal and says her words are carried in a whisper by the winds.  Others feel the need to stand on top of hills, cliffs, mountains and scream and shout their words to the world.

Tools:
Tools are not needed; but they’re sure fun to have!!  Your index finger of your more dominant hand can be the best wand.   Or for me I use my whole hand, I have a wand I just prefer to use my hand.  Tools can be sourced from things you have around the house.. cups, knives, sticks, bowls etc..  But can also be sourced and/or made from various places and various materials.

Ingredients:
Use what you have, what you can find, what you can swap, etc..  Don't spend silly money if a working requires X which will cost you silly money to import a tiny bit that might not even make it through customs..  Don't risk it.  There's many alternatives for every ingredient you would need.  I will go on to explain changing ingredients..

Grounding, Casting Circles, Meditation etc:
Do you need to?  Well it depends who you ask but if you're asking me then no, at least not for everything!  Do what feels right to you!  Some people take a long blessed bath complete with some salts and essential oils to purify themselves.  They then smudge their spaces.  They call the quarters (elements, deity, spirits, guides etc etc) and cast a circle of protection making sure they have everything they will need so as not to break the circle and step outside of it.  Their practices are long drawn out events sometimes repeated daily, weekly, monthly, yearly etc..  Their practices are deep and well constructed ritualistic / sacred events.  Whereas other people just light a candle and say a few words.  Do what you feel is right, although when inviting spirits and such forth even benevolent ones I'd always cast a circle and exercise some cautions before and after.  Seek information on smudging, ringing of bells or chimes and similar.  Also some people prefer to not eat before a practice to increase their vibrations and eat after as part of a grounding and restoring your energy.  You'll figure out what works best for you.

Using a pre-existing spell or other workings:
Always do your research so lets start with you bought a book that has a spell in it, found one on the internet or your friend/family/coven passed one down to you.  First believe in it or it will never work; remember open heart and open mind.  Second just because it worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you.  Like how not all people gel well with all forms of divination, not all people have the same psychic abilities and/or intuitions and not all people are going to get on with all forms of workings and types of work.  One person who works primarily casts their spells with herbs could be terrible with candles magick, water etc etc.. and visa versa.  

But you have this recipe, let's say it’s a spell.  So option 1 use the spell as is and see what happens (making notes is always great to have a journal or a computer or notebook or phone or something where you can keep notes – what you did, what you changed, moon phase, day of the week, ingredients, how you did it, did it work, your thoughts and feelings).  Option 2 you see what the spell contains and see how you can change it to make it your own.  Does it call for a blue candle but you feel a green candle would work better, does it call for sage but you can’t get any where you live and can substitute it for frankincense resin or palo santo wood.  Option 3 completely rewrite the spell using your words, your ingredients, things you made, include other things, turn it from a big complex spell to a much simpler or visa versa.  Be creative.  It’s not difficult and as said in my last blog a basic knowledge of say 10 herbs and 10 stones will give you a little insight.  Revisit the blog I wrote about colours how can you use colours be it candles, stones, feathers, yarn, clay, beads or other objects.

Creating your own recipes:
How to write your own working from scratch?  This becomes a little harder than say altering one but works very much on the same principles.  First you have to decide what it is you wish to achieve.  (Having a working notebook is fantastic for this.)  Second write down some of the items you might like to include.  Third research those items and see if their properties work together with your intentions or clash, see if they work well with others – especially if you’re making say incense or an oil you want scents that work together.  If you’re making something a little more dangerous like tinctures maybe consult some professional information.  Remember what I said in my other blog post how some herbs, resins, bark, spices, flowers etc etc can be poisonous to humans, cats and/or other animals when inhaled or ingested or even when come in contact with the skin.  Fourth get to making.. do your working / practice and see what happens.  Making notes helps you to change things up for next time or know how to repeat.  Repeat and have enough repetitive successes?  Why not add those to your Book of Shadows as your personal recipes?  Have fun and explore!


Note.  Recipies are the ingredients used and how much but also when some days, dates, astrological events, moon phases etc have great effects on your workings.  Recipes may also refer to things being measured in "parts" please refer to my blog about herbs, stones, oils etc for information on what "parts" mean in recipes ie "one part X to two parts Z".  Recipes this can include anything from stones used, herbs, incense, objects, colour of candles, candle shapes etc..


Next week I’ll be looking more closely at Magickal Housekeeping and Everyday Practical Magick.


Finally I just wish to say that you're never too old or too young to learn / practice.  You're never too old or too young to have a mentor, teacher, join a coven etc.  Asking for help, assistance, advice is recommended even if you're the most introverted or solitary witches.  These days there's 100s if not 1000s of Facebook groups and Forum based apps like Amieno.  As well as the Instagram community and the YouTube community.

Activity..

  • Read books.
  • Read other peoples opinions.
  • Practice.

Book Activity..

  • (Optional) Copy down any information from above you think you will find useful.. and/or any further information you find out.
  • (Optional) Once you have activly working recipies 

Interact with me Activity..

  • (Optional) on the Fb Page https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/ feel free to add any information you deem worthy..  

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    Thank you all for the support.  For anyone wishing to share, ask for help, talk about BoS / their book and relevant content (or for more information, ideas and unmissable blog posts go to new Fb group https://www.facebook.com/groups/BoSPrompts/  Also as previously mentioned you can go on the website version of this blog over on the left there’s a ‘subscribe by email’ so you don’t miss a single post from me.  If you’re on the mobile version scroll right down to the bottom and click ‘view as website’ and that should take you to the website version where you can expand, navigate to the left and subscribe by email :)  I will continue to share this on my Patreon *for free* and also on my Twitter and in various facebook groups..  & Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/BookOfShadowsPrompts/

Imogen x

Sunday April 22nd's prompts No.21. Magickal Housekeeping and Everyday Practical Magick.