To Cleanse and Purify The Home


Incense: Frankincense & Myrrh, Dragon’s Blood, Sandalwood

Rose Water

Drum or Bell

First, open all windows and doors. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths until you reach a meditative state. Light incense containing any combination of the scents listed above, ideally in the form of a bundle that will remain lit for awhile. You may have to blow on the bundle periodically to keep it lit. Start at the back of the home, and walk through each room from corner to corner, filling each room with smoke. As you walk, you may repeat “All harmful energies are now banished from this place”. As you finish with each room, maintain your meditative state, and visualize each room filled with white light. You may wish to raise your right hand and project this light out of your hand into each corner of the room. Cleanse your house in this way, from back to front, pushing all harmful energy out the front door. If you have a 2-story home, begin on the upper level first, then continue with the downstairs. If you have a drum, after you have cleansed each room with smoke, bang the drum loudly 9 times in each room. If you use a bell, ring the bell 3 times in each room after cleansing it with smoke.

You may also wish to add 9 drops of Sage or Dragon’s Blood pure essential oils to mop water and clean the floors. This is known as a “Floor Wash” and some witches use this for additional protection in the home. Finally, take a bottle of Rose Water in a spray bottle, and spray all corners and thresholds of each room.

Return To The Old Ways

The snow is falling again here at our mountain cottage. It is still Winter, after all. I am just now beginning to recover from a nasty bout of the flu. I tested negative for Covid, for which the management at the day job will be thankful. I still have a nagging cough, sore throat and runny nose, but I am not as fatigued or physically exhausted as before. The fact that I can sit here at this laptop and write means I am improving. Elderberry syrup, hot green tea and lots of sleep have been my saving grace. I’ll spend this weekend resting, writing and reading. I started reading the Prince Harry book, Spare, and it is absolutely riveting. Very hard to put down. I have such admiration for those two, choosing to live their lives on their own terms. Diana would be proud. I remember that car crash, when the whole world mourned.

Later this afternoon, I will have to give the dog a bath. He’s been scratching more than usual lately. I’m dreading it because he sheds profusely and I’ll need to clean the tub afterwards. A tough job but someone has to do it.

Because of my illness, my book projects were on hold, but today I may be able to dive back in. The novel is a long-term project, one that I am not going to rush. The short-term project, a book of witchcraft for beginners, is an idea that came to me recently and is what I will spend some time on this weekend. I’ve been thinking a lot about witchcraft and it’s connection to nature, and how so many pagans, particularly younger ones, often do not realize the importance of this connection. There is so much mystery and mysticism tied to witchcraft, and some aspects are not so easily defined or pigeon-holed. Social media has become a chaotic mess of people asserting their ‘adeptness’ or ‘expert knowledge’, each trying to outdo the other and become some kind of rock star in the pagan community. A practice that is largely personal and experiential is being turned into a list of do’s and don’ts, and gatekeeping, and accusations of “cultural appropriation”, and ridiculous demands for references and footnotes and “where are you getting this from”. There are many different kinds of witches, all with varying gifts and abilities, many of which they did not learn in a class or from a book. People seem to have forgotten this. The practice of witchcraft is centuries older than the formal traditions that developed around it. Not everything in witchcraft can be backed up with references and footnotes.

We need to return to the naturalness of it all. The Old Ways. Interpreting the voice of the wind in the trees, or the shapes conjured by incense smoke and the flame of a burning candle. The secrets revealed in tarot cards and images reflected in a crystal ball. The swing of the pendulum and the casting of runes. Nature is the driving force behind witchcraft. It is not how many followers one has or how many books one has sold. Even this website is not for me to put myself on a pedestal, but to share the wisdom that has been shared with me, and offer my services to those who may need them. To be a witch is not just about magic and spells, but also about nature, healing and service.

There are many who seek to dilute the Old Ways with their so-called ‘modern ideas’, putting aside the wisdom of the elders in favor of new concepts and philosophies. Some are even mocking the old knowledge, calling it “outdated” and “no longer relevant”. They do this at their own peril, forgetting that they are where they are because of those who paved the way. Do not disregard the old teachings or cast them aside like rubbish.

I will cling to the Old Ways with all my being and share them with those who will listen.

The Witch’s Book of Shadows

The ‘Book of Shadows’ is shrouded in mystery and mysticism. Nearly every Witch has one, and while many may look similar on the outside, the contents therein are unique and individual to the Witch who owns it. Some say the Book of Shadows is a product of modern Wicca, however there are mentions of handwritten books kept by Witches as far back as the 17th century. There is also some confusion as to the difference between a Book of Shadows and a Grimoire. Many use the two words interchangeably, but there is a slight difference.

A Grimoire is a book (or portion thereof) that contains only spells and rituals. Many Witches have a Grimoire contained within their Book of Shadows. For most modern Witches, when we speak of a Book of Shadows, it is usually assumed that it contains a Grimoire. In my own Book of Shadows, I do have spells and rituals recorded, but they are not kept in a special section labeled “Grimoire”. They are interspersed throughout the book, with other information. There is no hard and fast rule about where to put things, although I prefer to record the herbs and plants all together at the end of the book, which makes them easier to find.

A Book of Shadows may contain a Grimoire, but it can also have other information. Herbs, correspondences, magical studies, meditations, drawings, symbols, lore and legends, personal observations, divination tips or any other info that the Witch has found personally useful in their own practice can be documented in a Book of Shadows.

So where does one find a Book of Shadows? Some simply use a special journal or a notebook, while others have large, elaborate tri-fold books that have 1,000 pages and weigh a ton. There are a few websites where you can purchase handmade Books of Shadows, but they are priced in the hundreds of dollars and take months to produce. If you are willing to invest the money and time, go for it. Or, you can use something a bit smaller, less expensive and more practical. It’s really up to you what you want to use, but I will offer a few suggestions. You may go through several, as I did, before you find the one you really like.

The magical journals of Old World witches were hand-written on parchment paper, using special inks and writing instruments, such as a feather quill. Dragon’s Blood Ink or India Ink are popular choices, as they take longer to break down. On the other hand, if something else works better for you, (or is more affordable), then use it. Some hardcore traditionalists would cringe at the thought of using colored pencils, stencils or rub-ons in their Book of Shadows, but I use them frequently.


  • Look for something that fits your personality. Many seem to want something they have seen in movies or on TV, such as the Charmed Book of Shadows. Don’t fall into the pop culture trap. Find something that represents you.
  • Simple is often best. Instead of going for a mass-produced Book of Shadows covered with symbols or drawings, find something with a blank cover that you can personalize and decorate yourself. I prefer to leave my cover unadorned.
  • Don’t get something too small. Journals and notebooks are great, but eventually they will be full and you’ll have to start another one. I recommend looking at artist sketchbooks in hardcover. You can find them in larger sizes with 200+ pages and they are made specifically for those who paint or draw. There are also some gorgeous leather-bound books of parchment paper, which is what I use. Check your local art stores or look online to get a better variety. Consider your Book of Shadows a sacred object. The contents within are for your eyes only, hidden from public view and away from prying eyes. When not in use, keep it wrapped in a natural fiber.

My own Book of Shadows, which I have named Llyfr o Dewiniaeth (Welsh for ‘Book of Magic’) is a large leather-bound book of parchment pages that have been given an antique appearance. I found this on Amazon, of all places. The pages are quite thick and suitable for writing, drawing or even painting on. It is a rare thing for me to share photos of my sacred book of magic, but here you only get to see the first page with it’s name. This book is one of my most prized possessions.

I want to emphasize again about not getting something too small. It is kind of a drag transferring everything from a smaller book into a larger one, and is very time-consuming. The larger ones are more expensive, but are well worth it in the long run. In my own book, I document the spells, rituals and magical information that I use most often, including information from books and teachers that have been most meaningful in my life and personal path. Do not just put random information in your book, but only that which has the most meaning for you and that which you will use on a regular basis. Your Book of Shadows, or whatever you choose to call it, is meant to be personal and an extension of your magical identity.

When Spells Don’t Work

Magic can be tricky, and there are some things that can make your spells ineffective. Take note of the following list when planning your magical workings.

  • Energy Failure: If energy is not raised properly or is not allowed to reach it’s peak, it is likely your spell will not manifest. Practice different forms of energy raising techniques, such as chanting, dancing or burning parchment with a written intention to discover which works best for you.
  • Doubt: If you do not believe in what you’re doing and you really don’t think it will work, then chances are it will not.
  • Unclear Intention: Know exactly what you want. Be specific. If you are indecisive or unclear, nothing will manifest for you. If you are not specific enough, you may get what you want, but with unpleasant strings attached.
  • Don’t Talk About It: Telling your friends or posting on social media about the spell you cast last night is a sure way of bringing that energy back to you and disabling your spell. Remain silent about your spellcasting. Skeptical friends or outsiders who have negative opinions about spells and magic can bring their harmful energy into the process. Your best bet is to be silent about your magical workings until they have manifested into physical reality.
  • Weak Will: If your will is not strong enough or if you’re really not sure it is what you want, this can also sabotage your spell. Be commanding and know that it is yours.
  • Lack of Follow-Up: If you cast a job spell but you don’t submit any resumes or go on interviews, you can’t expect to get that job. Follow up is important.
  • Scattered Correspondences: If the symbols and energies you use in your spell do not have any association to the outcome, there is a good chance your spell will not manifest. Like attracts like.
  • Mercury Retrograde: It is a matter of debate whether or not it is a good idea to do spellwork while Mercury is in retrograde. A good rule of thumb is, if it bothers you, then don’t do it. If you feel confident enough to cast your spell, and it cannot wait until Mercury goes direct, then cast it. Some practitioners include in their spell “I neutralize the power of Mercury in Retrograde“.
  • Lack of Full Attention: If you are distracted or in a hurry while casting your spell, then it is not likely to have the effects you want. Wait until you can be undisturbed and give the spell all of your attention and focus.
  • Violation of Free Will: This is a rather grey area, as these kinds of spells do work, but with repercussions. Magic that is used to control others or make them do something they would not otherwise do is a dangerous practice. The power of suggestion is real, however, the only way another person can use magic to violate another’s free will is if there is already a weakness or foothold in the area of suggestion. It is very important that those who work with magic constantly examine themselves, We must discipline our minds and work to take control of our fears, anxieties and passions. It is not an easy task.
  • Moon Phases and Planetary Energies: These can work against you if your spell is cast during unfavorable times. Be aware of current moon phases and planetary hours to get more power behind your spells.
  • True Will and the Plan of the Universe: There are times when we may cast a spell that is not for our highest good, and does not fit within the plan of the universe. There may in fact be something even better for us on the horizon, and a particular spell may not be aligned with our true will. It is important to include in our spells an intention of “for the highest good” and an outcome that is “perfect and correct”. It is equally important to focus on the outcome of your spell and not on how it manifests.

The casting of spells is an art and a science. There are many factors that come into play. This is not an exhaustive list of things that can wreck your spell, but they are some important ones. Plan your spells carefully.

The Witch and Activism

The witch has many roles in modern society. As healing facilitators, we work with herbs and plants, and many other alternative therapies to help bring healing to those who come to us. As educators, we show others the truths of witchcraft and paganism, and work to dispel stereotypes and falsehoods about who we are. As seers, we give people encouragement and insight into their lives with the use of tarot cards and other divinatory methods. There is another role of the witch that is equally important: the role of Activist. As witches, it is our duty to be an advocate for others. We have the responsibility to speak for those whose voices are being silenced. Witches are called to speak out against bigotry, racial injustice and inequality. We are called to speak out against gun violence and fascism. We are called to speak out against homophobia and discrimination. As a minority, the pagan community needs to be more understanding of the struggles that other minority groups face. Unfortunately, many witches shy away from activism. When gross injustices occur, such as we have seen on the news in recent months, many remain oddly silent. The illegitimate Supreme Court has outlawed abortion, taking away a woman’s right to have autonomy over her own body. They have already stated that they also want to reverse gay marriage, and criminalize contraception and gay relationships. America is careening towards a Christo-Fascist, authoritarian rule. This Supreme Court has made other decisions that will result in environmental harm and endanger the safety of Americans. Extremist Christians want to force their religion on everyone and legislate their beliefs into law. We cannot afford to be silent or stick our heads in the sand. Activism is becoming more important with each passing day.

We are not on this path only for ourselves, but also to be of service to others. While we’re casting spells and enchantments to meet our own needs, it is important that we are also doing magic to help make the world a better place. Some seem to think being a witch is all about wands and spells. The truth is that witchcraft will often take us out of our comfort zone. It is not always comfortable.

Another unfortunate truth is that there are bigots and racists even in the pagan community. Some witches refuse to get political because they’re afraid they’ll lose business. They don’t want to offend any of their followers who might be bigots or racists, so they say nothing on these issues. After all, these followers might stop buying their books or coming to them for readings. For these unethical witches, money and popularity are more important than the people they serve.

I once had another blog with over a thousand followers. I wrote about many subjects related to witchcraft and magic. The blog won two awards and was moderately popular. When I wrote some posts about social issues and speaking out, a few people got upset. “Why are you getting political?”, they asked. “I’m not following you anymore”. They loved reading about the spells, the herbs and crystals, but when I spoke out against government corruption, discrimination against the LGBT community and racial injustice, that was a problem. I was “getting political”. I lost some followers, but I didn’t care. I still don’t. There are far too many witches and pagans who are content to live in their little New Age bubbles. Candles and incense won’t make it all go away. Witches are peacemakers, yes, but maintaining peace sometimes means being a voice and speaking out. Being passive only results in more rights getting taken away.

Activism does not mean you have to stand on the corner with a megaphone. There are many things you can do, and there are different kinds of activism. Join environmental groups like Friends of the Earth or Greenpeace. Support equal rights for the LGBTQ community by getting involved with the Human Rights Campaign or the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Work with racial equality groups like NAACP and Black Lives Matter. Make a donation to Planned Parenthood and be vocally supportive about a woman’s right to choose. Get involved with animal rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the World Wildlife Fund. Use social media to raise awareness, and expose bigotry and discrimination wherever you see it. Don’t just be an armchair activist. Go to rallies, participate in protest marches, boycott companies with unethical business practices and also those who donate to hate groups. It is time that we as witches embrace our role as activist. It is our sacred duty to be advocates for others. It may not make us popular, but is that really the point?

Benefits of a Structured Practice

I have encountered many pagans who have a practice that seems rather chaotic and random, with no rhyme or reason, and approach it with a sort of casual “whatever I feel like today” attitude. There is no discipline or consistency to their practice. Many become “Eclectic” witches, because they don’t want to be limited to one particular system or pantheon. This buffet-style paganism seems to work for some, but leaves others feeling their energies scattered and ungrounded.

My practice has remained largely unchanged for the last ten years, but it is still just as vibrant and alive as ever, because it is based on connection and relationship. While it is very structured, it still allows room for growth. I will share my practice with you, and give suggestions on how to develop your own. In the meantime, consider the following:

  • What deity figures, gods and goddesses do you feel the strongest connection with?
  • Which crystals and stones do you use most often?
  • What flowers, herbs and plants, if any, are the most important to your personal practice?
  • Consider your magical skills. Perhaps you’re a tarot reader or a Reiki practitioner. Would you like to develop these skills further?

Below is a brief outline of my yearly practice. You will see that even though it has organization and structure, there is room for growth and versatility. I have strong connections to the Celtic current and it’s magical systems, so this is what I work with exclusively. You may choose to work with others of your choice. I present this only as an example, so that you can use it as a template for your own personal practice.


  • Deity: Cu Chulainn
  • Plant: Valerian
  • Stone: Citrine
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Full Moon and New Moon
  • Reading and Study
  • Meditation


  • Deity: Brigid
  • Plant: Hyssop
  • Stone: Rose Quartz
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Imbolc, Full Moon/New Moon
  • Make Brigid’s Cross for altar
  • Reading and Study (Tending Brigid’s Flame by Lunaea Weatherstone)
  • Meditation


  • Deities: Cerridwen and Taliesin
  • Plant: Blackthorn
  • Stone: Green Aventurine
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Spring Equinox, Full Moon/New Moon
  • Crafting and Consecrating a New Wand
  • Reading and Study (Mabinogion, Cerridwen by Kristoffer Hughes)
  • Meditation


  • Deities: Dian Cehct and Airmid
  • Plant: Mandrake
  • Stone: Moonstone
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Full Moon/New Moon
  • Reading and Study
  • Meditation


  • Deity: Cernunnos/Herne/Green Man
  • Plant: Sage
  • Stone: Clear Quartz
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Beltane, Full Moon/New Moon
  • Make a new batch of Personal Oil
  • Reading and Study (Three Cauldrons of Poesy)
  • Meditation


  • Deity: Manaanan Mac Lir
  • Plant: Lavender
  • Stone: Amethyst
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Summer Solstice, Full Moon/New Moon
  • Visit to Peace Valley Lavender Farm
  • Make a new Crane Bag
  • Astral Projection/Psychic Travel Exercise
  • Reading and Study
  • Meditation


  • Deity: Rhiannon
  • Plant: Marigold
  • Stone: Lapis Lazuli
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Full Moon/New Moon
  • Reading and Study (The Song of Amergin)
  • Meditation


  • Deity: Lugh
  • Plant: Yarrow
  • Stone: Tree Agate
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Lughnasadh, Full Moon/New Moon
  • Re-dedicate skills and abilities to Cerridwen and Community
  • Craft new Protection Amulets and Talismans
  • Dragon Magic
  • Reading and Study
  • Meditation


  • Deity: Mabon
  • Plant: Cinquefoil
  • Stone: Selenite
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Autumn Equinox, Full Moon/New Moon
  • Reading and Study (Mabon story from The Mabinogion)
  • Meditation


  • Deity: Morrigan
  • Plant: Wormwood
  • Stone: Black Obsidian
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Samhain, Full Moon/New Moon
  • Craft a new Ancestor Bottle
  • Craft a new batch of Ancestor Incense
  • Reading and Study (Celtic Lore and Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess, by Stephanie Woodfield)
  • Meditation


  • Deity: Dagda
  • Plant: Mugwort
  • Stone: Hematite
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Full Moon/New Moon
  • Reading and Study
  • Meditations


  • Deity: Cailleach
  • Plant: Mistletoe
  • Stone: Snowflake Obsidian
  • Weekly Divinations
  • Rituals: Winter Solstice, Full Moon/New Moon
  • Craft a new Silver Branch
  • Reading and Study
  • Meditations

This is not an exhaustive list of everything I do each month, there are other more specific things I could have added, but I did not want to make it too confusing. As you can see, there is room to be flexible on various things, such as study material or forms of divination. I typically use tarot, oracles, pendulum and crystal ball. I practice various forms of meditation, including chant and creative visualization. There are certain things I do at specific times of the year, such as wand making in the spring and protection talismans in the summer. Add practices that are meaningful to you in your own yearly devotionals.

By working with the same deities, plants and stones on a consistent basis, you develop a stronger connection to them. You can use this same format to choose which of these you will focus on each month. Many people have one specific deity they are closest to, and for me that is Cerridwen. I acknowledge her in all of my rituals and her statue is on my altar year round, but there are other deities I draw near to each month as well. It is my hope that sharing my yearly practice will help others develop their own. You will find that a structured practice such as this will be more meaningful than one that is scattered and disorganized. After all, you will be working with the deities, plants and stones that you have the strongest connection to, and learning more about them each month. Discipline and consistency are key elements to developing strong relationships with our magical allies.

The Lost Art of Tree Gazing

Divination by leaves and branches of trees, called Dendromancy, relies heavily on intuition and the inner voice. By observing the whispers of leaves, and the swaying of branches in the wind, the trees offer their wisdom for our personal growth. When tree gazing, it is best to approach them with open-ended questions rather than seeking a “yes-or-no” answer. Scientific studies suggest that trees communicate with each other through root systems and fungi under the earth, and through the air using pheromones and other chemicals. With a world-wide network of trees, many that are thousands of years old, they are believed to have developed a language of their own. They can also communicate with humans who have learned to listen.

Whenever a witch places their hands on a tree with the intention of healing and communication, the tree responds accordingly. An old word for witch is Pharmaceute, where we get the word pharmacist. This word denotes the witch as someone knowledgeable in the healing properties of flowers, plants and trees. The trees will nearly always recognize a pharmaceute, for they know you mean them no harm and your intentions are for the highest good. When tree gazing during the light half of the year (spring and summer), observe the sound and movements of the leaves and branches. During the dark half of the year, (fall and winter), observe the bare branches as they dance in the wind. You will find the energy feels different at different times of the year.

To begin tree gazing, you must first find the tree you wish to communicate with. You may have a favorite tree already, or you may wish to find a tree at a local park. Intuitively listen as you walk among the trees until you find one that “feels” friendly and receptive. Find a spot where can sit undisturbed near the tree for at least half an hour.

Next, close your eyes and take several deep breaths until you reach a meditative state. This will help make you more receptive to receive psychic information. Place your hands on the tree, and visualize white light coming out of your hands and into the tree. See the entire tree bathed in this healing white light. Project feelings of love and healing into it. Say to the tree, “Blessed tree, I come to seek your wisdom”, or “I seek your wisdom about...” then state your problem or issue. At this point you may keep your hands on the tree, or if you’re worried about getting looks from passers-by, sit as near to the tree as possible so you can observe it. Just as with most types of divination, the tree will impart information through impressions, images or feelings. Have a notepad and pen handy to jot down anything that comes to you. Do not stare at the tree, but let your gaze soften as you maintain an open, meditative state of mind. There are many things to take notice of as you observe the tree, such as:

  • What shapes or symbols do you see formed by the branches or leaves?
  • Are there any sounds coming from the tree? If the wind is blowing through the leaves, close your eyes and listen closely. What does the tree seem to be saying? Take note of your emotions. What are you feeling?
  • Is there any wildlife in or around the tree? Birds, insects and other animals all have their own unique wisdom. A bird building a nest could indicate that it’s time for you to start preparing for the future. Write down the animals see so you can explore their wisdom further at a later time.
  • Are there any plants growing on or near the tree? Mistletoe growing on an oak tree could suggest that you need to devote more time to spiritual practice. Write down all of the plants you see, and research their magical properties.
  • Is the tree near a body of water? If there are long branches extended over the water, take note of how it is reflected in the water below.

It is important not to be super-specific when tree gazing, as their wisdom seems to be more focused on personal growth and inner transformation, rather than “should I take this job” sort of questions. It may take some practice, but as the tree becomes more comfortable with you it will communicate more often. It is also good to know what kind of tree it is and any magical associations it may have. Consider the tree a friend, and it will respond in kind.

At the end of your tree gazing session, always leave it a gift. You can pour some spring water around it’s base, or leave some seeds, fertilizer or stones (Tree Agate, Clear Quarts or Aventurine are good choices). Thank the tree for sharing with you, and document your experience in a journal.

Your Personal Oil Blend

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in healing, magic, religion and spirituality. Healing practitioners use them in Aromatherapy, Massage, Reiki and even Meditation. Witches use a variety of oils, crafted for specific purposes from healing to protection. There are many available on the market, and you can find oils already prepared in just about any Witchcraft store. You can find pre-made Healing Oil blends that are made from plants associated with Healing. There are oil blends made from plants and flowers associated with various deities, planets, sabbats and endless other magical purposes. The focus of this article is the Personal Oil Blend, the oil that represents who you are on a magical level. Tip: The most powerful oil blends for you are those you make yourself. This is because you have directed your own energy into them during the process. From the very beginning when you choose the bottle, herbs, oils and other ingredients, actually handling them in your own hands, to the oil heating & blending process, to the end when you have everything in the bottle and charged with intention, this infuses who you are and your magical energy into the oil and the bottle itself. This is not to suggest that an oil made by someone else won’t work. Pre-made, mass-marketed oils and oils made by other Witches can and do work, but making it yourself makes it even more powerful. It is not as difficult as may seem, but it is not something to rush through.

The first thing to know when crafting a personal oil is the difference between essential oil and fragrance oil. They are not the same. Fragrance oils do not contain plant material, and are not to be used on the skin. These are the oils that make your home smell good, they can be used in a diffuser or placed in one of those rings for the light bulb. Some people use fragrance oil to dress their magical candles, but I do not recommend this. Fragrance oils are just scented chemicals. I do not recommend using them for any magical purpose whatsoever.

They are less expensive than essential oils and some of them do smell good, but no matter what the label says, fragrance oils do not contain the real thing. Pure essential oils, on the other hand, have actual plant material in them. The oil has been extracted from plants, flowers and herbs using a variety of complicated processes, which is one reason why they are more expensive. Most are safe to be used on the skin, but it is a good idea to mix them with a base oil, such as Almond or Jojoba Oil to minimize skin irritation. Cinnamon Oil, for instance, is quite irritant and must be mixed with a base oil for use on the skin. I like to use 2/3 base oil to 1/3 essential oils for large bottles and 1/2 to 1/2 for small bottles. When choosing oils that you will put on your skin, make sure the bottle says Essential Oil or Pure Essential Oil. Some are more expensive than others, depending on the rarity of the plant, herb or flower. Lotus Blossom. Rose Absolute and Jasmine Absolute essential oils are all highly expensive.

A Personal Oil is a special blend of oils, chosen by you, blended by you, and intended only for you. Your personal oil blend should reflect your magical self, who you are on a magical level. When you have all the ingredients together in the bottle and you take in the aroma, you just know “this is me… this is who I am“. Your personal oil will help you immediately “tap in” to your inner power and bring you into a magical mindset. You can use it in meditation, for protection and healing, for consecrating your magical and divination tools, or any other purpose you feel guided to use it for. It is best to store your personal oil in a dark-colored glass bottle. This helps prevent light from entering the bottle and affecting the oil. They come in various sizes and shapes, usually in brown or blue. I prefer the one ounce bottles, as they last longer and are more practical.

Some witches decorate their bottles with ornaments or clay, and this is perfectly fine to do, but I prefer to keep my personal oil bottle un-adorned. My first bottle had polymer clay around it, but over time it began to show wear, and the clay was cracking and peeling away from the bottle. I eventually threw it out, although some prefer the old and worn look.

The dark amber glass bottles are recommended, as they help to keep out sunlight which can affect the potency of the oil. There are also dark green and blue bottles. Use only glass bottles, not plastic. Once you’ve chosen your bottle, how do you decide what oils to blend? Take your time exploring several different oils: how they smell, what they’re used for magically, and how they make you feel. You can blend as many or as few oils as you want, but I personally recommend no less than three. The number three has many magical associations and is a powerful number.

When choosing your oils, there are a few questions to consider:

  • Does the smell of the oil put you in a magical state of mind?
  • Does the oil, it’s smell and magical uses, make a connection to your inner magical self?
  • How does it smell when combined with the other oils you’ve chosen?

I recommend starting off with a test bottle, so you can mix different oils together, not only to see how they smell, but also how your inner magical self responds to them. Remember, your personal oil represents who you are magically, and whenever you smell it you will be reminded of this. The measurement you use for each oil is up to you. For my own personal oil, I like to use equal amounts. It makes things simpler, but that’s just me. Your oil can be as complicated as you like, with various oils in different measurements of each. Once you have chosen your oils, use a funnel or an eye dropper to get the oil into the bottle. Seal it tight and then turn the bottle over and over in your hands until the oils are well blended.

Many different flowers, plants and herbs have had essential oils extracted from them. Below are a few, with their magical uses:

Cedar Oil: Cedar is associated with the Sun and with Fire. It is used for healing, protection and money magic.

Lavender Oil: Lavender is associated with the planet Mercury and the element of Air. It is used in love spells and relationship issues, as well as healing and relaxation.

Geranium Oil: Geranium is associated with the planet Venus and the element of Water. It is used for protection, healing and fertility spells.

Patchouli Oil: Patchouli is associated with the planet Saturn and the element of Earth. It is used in prosperity magic and money spells, as well as magic to increase lust and passion.

To learn the properties of other oils, I recommend The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews, by Scott Cunningham.

There are other things you can add to your oil blend, such as dried herbs, roots or bark, and a few crystal chips (these are tiny miniature crystals that come in small bottles). If you add these, make sure these also represent your magical self and are not chosen randomly.

Once your oil bottle is complete, the next step is to charge it with magical intention. It already has some of your power within it, as this occurred during the previous process. But now, you want to charge them all together at once. This “seals” everything together.

To do this, follow the instructions below:

  • Hold the bottle in your hands, close your eyes and take a few long, deep breaths to bring yourself into a meditative state.
  • Visualize a stream of light coming down from the universe, entering into every cell of your body.
  • Visualize this light coming out of your hands and into the bottle. Picture the light filling the bottle and surrounding it completely with a bright, glowing aura.
  • Allow the aura of the bottle and your own personal aura to connect.
  • Say the following three times: “I charge this oil to represent me and my magical self for the highest good”.
  • Once you feel intuitively that enough universal light has penetrated the bottle and it’s contents, release the light back up through your body and out in the universe.
  • Slowly bring yourself back to full awareness.

You can use your oil blend to anoint your candles, tarot decks and other divination tools, your Book of Shadows, and even yourself. Remember to label your bottle! When not in use, store it in a dry, dark place, away from direct sunlight. I have a little cabinet that I keep all my oils in.

One final word: After you have completed your oil bottle, tell no one what is in it. Keep the contents a secret. The creation of your personal oil is somewhat of a spell in itself, and just like regular spellwork, telling everyone what you’ve made and what you put in it can lessen it’s power. Your personal oil bottle and the contents therein are to remain a mystery to everyone but you.

Elemental Protection Talismans For The Home

Elemental protection talismans are fairly easy to make, and the entire creation process infuses your own energy into them. The talismans work through energy, intention and vibration by including time-honored magical correspondences. You will make your talismans during a waxing moon phase.

A simple way to make them is by using polymer (oven bake) clay. You will need four different colors of clay: Green, Yellow, Red and Blue. Each of these will represent one of the four directions and the element associated with them. Green represents the Earth and the direction of the North. Yellow represents Air and the direction of the East. Red represents Fire and the direction of the South. Blue represents Water and the direction of the West. You will make one talisman for each color, a total of four. Before working with your clay, begin gathering the dried herbs to be placed inside the talismans. Here are some suggestions:

Green/Earth: Patchouli, Oak Moss, Vervain.

Yellow/Air: Lavender, Lemongrass, Mistletoe.

Red/Fire: Cinnamon, Clove, Mandrake Root.

Blue/ Water: Chamomile, Datura, Valerian.

Note: Mistletoe, Mandrake and Datura are all poisonous, so handle with care. These are included for extra protection, but you may choose less toxic herbs, as long as they correspond to their elements.

Making Your Talismans:

  • As you make each talisman, work the clay with your fingers to soften it up a bit.
  • As you form your clay, place the herbs into each talisman according to their color and element. Continue forming your clay until the herbs are spread throughout.
  • Shape each one into a 3” x 3” disc, about a half an inch thick.
  • Carve any magical symbols you desire onto the surface of the clay. These may include pentacles, runes, ogham, elemental, planetary glyphs or simply the words “Protect This House”.
  • Next you will place them in the oven to bake on low heat, no more than three minutes. If you are fortunate enough to have a clay oven, this is ideal, but a standard oven will work.
  • Allow talismans to cool.
  • At this point,you may choose to cover each talisman with a glossy glaze and allow to dry. This will help seal everything inside and give them a shiny, translucent appearance.
  • Charge your talismans one at a time. Hold each one in both hands, close your eyes and take several deep breaths until you reach a meditative state. Say three times, “I charge this talisman to protect my home from all harmful energies”. In your mind’s eye, visualize bright light coming out of the talisman and forming a shield around your home. Visualize this shield in each elemental color as you charge your talismans.
  • For the final step, you will bury the talismans at the four sides of your home. Bury the green talisman at the north side, the yellow talisman at the east, the red talisman at the south and the blue talisman at the west. When they are all buried, they will form a protective ward around your home. Try to bury them at least three feet deep, or as close as you can get so that they won’t be dug up by pets or wild animals. Your elemental protection talismans should work for as long as your live in your home.
Elemental Protection Talismans

The Art of Spellcasting

Spellcasting is an art and a science, as there are many factors that must be considered. The phase of the moon, magical correspondences, planetary influences, raising energy and even the time of day can all play a part in your spell. Although it may seem so, there is nothing supernatural about spellcasting. As witches, we work with the natural forces of the earth and the universe. Once our spell is cast successfully, it is a matter of time until circumstances line up and our goal begins to manifest.

We must first ask, what is a spell? Spellcasting is but one form of magic. It is a method of communicating our desires to the universe, so that the universe can respond and manifest our desires into physical reality. There is an old magical saying, “As above, so below”. This means that in order for something to manifest in the visible realm, it must first be present in the invisible realm. Your spell is what places it there. Another magical concept is “Like attracts like”. Using energies and objects that have a connection to your goal will help it to manifest faster.

There are six keys to effective spellcasting. The first one is Altered Consciousness. If you want your spell to work, you must first learn how to alter your consciousness. This can be achieved through controlled-breathing exercises, meditation, visualization, chanting or drumming. Incense smoke, candles and relaxing music can also help. Once we alter our brain waves to the Alpha state, we have reached the magickal mindset, the state of ritual consciousness. In Alpha we become more sensitive to the unseen realms, and we are more open to receive psychic information. Healing abilities are enhanced and we are better able to communicate with our dieties and spirit guides. Alpha has been called by some the “daydream” state, when we are relaxed yet still aware of our surroundings.

The next key for effective spellcasting is to have a Clear Intention. Know exactly what you want. If you are indecisive or unsure about what you want, it is unlikely to manifest. Your focus should be on exactly what you want, and not on what you need in order to have it. For example, if you have a bill that needs to be paid, focus on the bill getting paid and not on the money you need to pay it. You don’t want to limit how the universe manifests your goal. You might get a check in the mail from an unexpected source, or you might be contacted by the bill collector informing you there was a mistake and you don’t owe anything after all. Remember to focus on the outcome and not on how it manifests.

The third key for effective spellcasting is to have a Strong Will. It must be something you truly, earnestly desire and you are determined to see it happen. A determined mindset is key. The more emotionally involved you are, and the more of that energy you put into the spell, the more likely it will manifest.

The fourth key is to Raise Energy. You may choose to repeat a chant multiple times, first softly then increasing in volume, then returning to a soft tone. Some choose to write an incantation on a piece of parchment paper, and then burn the paper while reciting the incantation. Others may dance around in a circle, beat a drum or sing. You may raise energy any way you choose. Be creative. Use your intuition to determine when enough energy has been raised and when it is time to release it.

The fifth key to effective spellcasting is the Expectation of Results. Know that it is going to happen. If you begin to have doubts, or start thinking to yourself “It didn’t work”, then you have short-circuited your spell and it certainly will not happen. I have, however, known some folks who were skeptical of the magical process, and their spell manifested anyway. It is important to try your best and maintain a positive expectation of results. Visualize it as already happened and place yourself in the picture.

The sixth and final key of effective spellcasting is to Let It Go. Don’t obsess over it and do not talk about it. Keep it to yourself until it manifests. This is rather important. It is one thing to have a positive expectation, but if you are constantly thinking about it, then you are calling that energy back to you instead of letting it do it’s work. Cast your spell, maintain a positive attitude, and let it go.

Now we will examine the days of the week and the magic associated with each one. These are some of the traditional magical associations, but if you feel something different will work for you, then by all means use it. A wonderful thing about magic is that it can be individualized. Symbols, colors and scents can mean different things to different people. However, these correspondences have power because they have been used for centuries. It would not be wise to disregard them completely.


Name: Day of the Moon

Celestial Influence: The Moon

Colors: White, Silver, Purple

Crystals and Stones: Moonstone, Clear Quartz, Smoky Quartz, Selenite, Amethyst, Pearl

Herbs and Plants: Moonflower, Lavender, Sage, Jasmine, Mugwort

Magical Workings: Goddess Worship, Divination, Spirit Communication, Meditation, Introspection


Name: Day of Tyr (pronounced “teer”). Tyr is a Norse god of law and war.

Celestial Influence: Mars

Colors: Red, Black

Crystals and Stones: Red Jasper, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Carnelian

Herbs and Plants: Red Clover, Damiana, Cinnamon, Basil

Magical Workings: Resolving Conflict, Assertiveness, Courage, Force, Male Sexuality


Name: Day of Woden. Woden, or Odin, is a Norse god, the mythological inventor of the runes.

Celestial Influence: Mercury

Colors: Yellow, Orange

Crystals and Stones: Citrine,Tiger’s Eye, Calcite, Yellow Jasper, Amber

Herbs and Plants: Mint, Daffodill, Calendula, Pumpkin, Saffron, Marigold

Magical Workings: Memory Retention, Safe Travel, Learning, Ritual Writing, Communication


Name: Day of Thor. Thor is a Norse god of thunder.

Celestial Influence: Jupiter

Colors: Green, Brown

Crystals and Stones: Tree Agate, Aventurine, Emerald, Jade, Malachite

Herbs and Plants: Oak Moss, Patchouli, Eucalyptus, Cinquefoil, Bay Leaves

Magical Workings: Career, Finances, Advancement, Growth


Name: Day of Freya (pronounced “Fray-uh”). Freya is a Norse goddess of love and beauty.

Celestial Influence: Venus

Colors: Red, Pink, Blue

Crystals and Stones: Rose Quartz, Lapis Lazuli, Blue Lace Agate, Rhodocrosite

Herbs and Plants: Rose, Lavender, Lilac, Yarrow, Thyme

Magical Workings: Romance, Friendship, Family, Fertility, Self-Esteem, Female Sexuality


Name: Day of Saturn

Celestial Influence: Saturn

Color: Black

Crystals and Stones: Black Obsidian, Black Tourmaline, Black Onyx, Jet

Herbs and Plants: Henbane, Hellebore, Belladonna, Blackthorn, Mandrake, Hemlock, Foxglove, Datura, Snapdragon, Mistletoe, Wormwood. Most of the herbs and plants associated with Saturday are poisonous and must be handled with extreme care.

Magical Workings: Protection, Banishing, Binding, Removing Obstacles


Name: Day of the Sun

Celestial Influence: The Sun

Colors: Gold, Yellow, Orange

Crystals and Stones: Sunstone, Citrine, Yellow Calcite

Herbs and Plants: Sunflower, Heliotrope, Fennel, Goldenseal, Dandelion, St. John’s Wort

Magical Workings: Success, Achieving Goals, God Worship, Ambition, Illumination, Revelation

You now have learned some of the basics of spellcasting, but there is so much more. As you grow in your practice of witchcraft, you will discover what works best for you. Listen to your intuition, and let your deities and guides assist you in casting your spells with power and stronger focus.