Tuesday, May 1, 2012


May Day. Beltane. Beltaine. However you say it, it's here.

I celebrated by leaving some flowers on my neighbor's porch, anonymously. And I made up vases of flowers to bring in to my co-workers.

I could be celebrating with my coven tonight as well, but won't be. I'm sick. Sniffling. Sneezing. Coughing. That kind of sick.

I was wondering, though, if I had not been sick, would I have gone to the celebration? Or would I have come up with an excuse?

I'm not sure.

I do know that I've been questioning my coven membership.

I'm an introvert - I expected I would be a solitary practitioner. As it happened, though, I connected with some others in my age group who follow the tradition I belong to. We formed a small coven, and made a commitment to meet for every full moon and Sabbat.

For the last few months, we haven't kept that commitment. Life has gotten in the way. One woman feels a need to support her husband in his lodge endeavors. Another member had an extreme health challenge. One member is young, and often has prior commitments with boyfriends or friends or the other things that come with being young and having a full social calendar.

When I look at each member, I feel love for them. And admiration. They have places in my heart, that is for sure. When I look at the coven as an entity, though, I sigh.

I suppose I'm disappointment that we haven't kept our commitment - although of course, Life does get in the way. The health challenge for the one member is real. The need of the other coven member to support her husband is real. These are understandable interferences. Still... they perturb me.

I hate admitting that - but there you have it.

I received an email on Monday asking me if I could host Beltaine tonight. One day's notice. It felt like a test. It might not have been - yet it felt like it. "Will she host?" The answer is no.

My garden (the place they asked me to host the celebration at) is a mess. The chairs are still covered. There are leaves and debris (seed hulls, leaves, fallen blossoms) everywhere. The fire pit isn't put together.

I could have moved it into the house, but my toilet is leaking. And inevitably, someone will need to use the bathroom.

It just wasn't the right time for me to host.

I failed the test.

Someone stepped in for a "short" ceremony. Another health challenge for someone else makes it important to have a short ceremony. Short can be good - I'm not complaining about that.

But... I'm sick. And I don't want to make anyone else sick.

Yet... I'm also thankful I'm sick. I have a real excuse not to go.

I'm not sure why I feel so much resistance lately. I think it's because two of the members have admitted to talking about me behind my back. Oh of course it's in my best interest. Still, it leaves me feeling unsettled and uncertain.

Why do they have to talk about me? Am I doing something wrong? Are they unhappy with me? Concerned about me? Or for me? My paranoia kicks in and adds to my resistance.

Also... I'm not pagan. It doesn't feel natural for me to celebrate the Sabbats. Full moons speak to my witchy side. The equinoxes speak to my witchy side as well. But the others? I hate to say it, but I'm not interested.

I feel as if I should be - but I'm not. I don't get a thrill knowing it's Beltane. I don't get excited about celebrating Imbolc or Ostara or Mabon. Halloween and Yule excite me - but only because they're so closely tied to the holidays I celebrated as a child.

I don't know what all this means for the future. Will I bow out of the coven? Will I stay?

Today, I don't have an answer. I do know that I need to think about this and really get to the heart of the matter. Until then, I wish you a Happy Beltaine.

Spring is here. Blessed be!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cold as Ice

Often, people turn to me for advice on how to get someone off their back - be it a co-worker, a family member, a vampiric friend. "He constantly irritates me," or "She gossips about me to everyone." They're hoping I can cast some sort of spell or give them some potion that will magically make this person disappear from their life.

This is where KISS comes in (Keep it Simple, Student). In most cases, the simplest solutions are the most effective. And in these sorts of cases, the simple solution I've come to rely on is putting someone on ice.

I've done it to several people throughout the years - from co-workers to frenemies. And it has proven to be effective time and time again. The process "freezes" that person's actions so they don't touch you. How does it work? This easily:

The Icelandic Hold
A picture of the person
Their name written on a piece of paper
One baggie

Take the picture of the person OR their name written on a piece of paper (as always, the picture is more powerful, but if you don't have one, the paper will do), and put it into a baggie. Fill the baggie with water (not too full!), place in the freezer and Voila! No more pain in the ass.

You can craft an incantation to go along with it, you can add stuff to the baggie if you want - whatever you intuitively feel will enhance the spell be sure to add.

As the water freezes to ice, that person's ability to touch you is frozen as well.

Should the time come when you need to dispose of the baggie, there are several ways you can do it. You can simply dump it into the trash on trash day, so it's taken far away from your house. Or you can dispose of the baggie, and dump the ice packet into flowing water (a river) and watch it go far away from you.

As for how long you need to keep them on ice, that's up to you. I've had some people in my freezer for years. Others for months.

It's always better to be safe than sorry... so don't be quick about taking that person out!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy 2012

For the last few years, I've done several solitary rituals at home on New Year's Eve - rituals to get rid of the old and bring in the new.

This year was different - I felt that I needed to get back to the basics. To keep it simple. And so I did.

I began by simply cleaning the house. I dusted, vacuumed and shampooed the carpets. I put away all the Christmas decorations. I washed my dirty laundry. I swept and mopped and wiped things down. By about 11 p.m., I was done.

I had some champagne, and wondered if I should do something more with my extra time - perhaps I should do a ritual after all? The answer was no - my intuition told me I was done for the night.

When I got up in the morning, I saged the house, then used a besom to sweep out any remaining karmic residue. After that, I opened up the windows and let 2012 into the house.

Then I sat down, and sent thank you cards to those who had been special to me in 2011, wishing them happy new year. I celebrated with more champagne - and again wondered if I should do something else. A little candle magic perhaps? A wish list? Resolution setting?

Again the answer was no. "Keep it simple" was the unspoken response - and so I did.

Two days later, I feel light. Complete. The way I rung in 2012 was the right way for me to do it. But why no magic?

Ahhh... that's my mistake: thinking that a spiritual cleaning isn't magic. Because it is. Sometimes as witches we forget the simple things - the basics.

You see, magic needn't be complicated to work. We don't always have to call in the Gods and Goddesses, light the candles, ward the area, and use a bunch of tools.

Magic works best when one listens to the Universe - ask what needs to be done, and listen to the response. This year I did - and was surprised with the response. I heeded it anyway - and already see some of the results.

Happy casting in 2012!

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Wand

The Wand Lady (as I call her) had a booth set up at Pagan Pride Day, held this year at Deer Park in Sparks. She is usually at the psychic fair, but wasn't at the last one. She has the most beautiful wands I've ever seen. She makes them out of wood, and some just out of crystals.

This was the first time I've ever seen her offer low priced wands. The lower priced wands were all woods, wire wrapped (most in copper) with a quartz crystal at the end. They all had different crystals at the bottoms.

I found two three that I was torn between: an oak moss wand, a redwood wand and a madrone wand. I was fascinated with the oak moss wand, but after holding it realized that the moss chafed off every time it was held. I wasn't sure I would be happy if the moss part, which gave the wand a mysterious and powerful look, were to disappear after several uses.

The redwood wand captured my attention because I'm from California, where redwoods abound. And the Wand Lady picked up all these wood pieces in the Santa Cruz mountains - an area that I love. Redwoods are ancient trees, and I felt that the wand could be quite powerful.

However, when I held the madrone wand, my friend Claire said from her standpoint, it fit me like a glove. She said the color matched my hair, and it does.

I picked each wand up in my left hand. It is not my dominant hand, so I figured (rightly or wrongly) that whatever came through would be the wands' strengths. Each felt good, so it didn't help me out as much as I hoped.

In the end, I went with the madrone wand, which has rhyolite at the end. Rhyolite promotes change, diversity and progress - all the aspects I need in my life right now. And for $10, how could I pass it up?

Today I sat down and talked with the spirit of the wand. I asked it what it could do for me. It showed me a picture of it squeezing through fences and barriers. I took it to mean that it could cause change where I thought none could happen.

I then asked it couldn't do. The word "hate" floated before my eyes. It let me know that it could not be used for curses or bindings.

When I asked what it looked like, a translucent image of a wizened old man floated before me. That made perfect sense to me; the property of translucence could get through barriers, and the wise part knows no good comes of hate.

After my session with the wand ended, I placed it on my work shelf next to my copper wand. I can't wait to use it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Unintended Consequences

Magic quite frequently has unintended consequences. You know, those little life details that accompany the fruits of your labor. Conjure up a phone call from a lover, and you will get it - but perhaps he's calling to tell you he's canceling your date or found a new lover. As the saying goes, "Be careful what you pray for; you might just get it."

I knew I wanted to try poppet magic, and I had just the target. My problem: I had no intimacy with the target. I only know her to exist, and to be a thorn in my side when it came to my significant other. I didn't know what she looked like. I didn't have a picture of her. No taglocks to speak of. So how do I construct a poppet to torment her?

I lucked out - I obtained a pullover of hers. Soon after, she did something out of jealousy that affected me, so I felt the time was right. And it was: as luck would have it, it was during a waning moon. I pulled out the piece of clothing and got to work.

If you haven't made a poppet before, it's labor intensive work. Because I felt that could be the case, I enclosed my space within a magical circle. I gathered my supplies, and got down to business.

Stuffing each cavity takes thought. What to stuff in the cavity? What will yield the most reward? It was both fun and challenging to find ingredients and items to place in the cavities. Fun? Yes. I know in this particular case, the magic wasn't, as some would say, "white." But yes, it certainly was fun.

After the activation ceremony, I placed the poppet on my altar and began working with it daily. At some point in time, I didn't feel the need to work with it every day - but once in awhile I would feel the need to "prompt" it again.

Yesterday I received a call - did I, by any chance, have a red pullover in my possession? Danielle sent her boyfriend over to get it.

Um. Huh?

Well, duh. Of course. Girlfriend's clothes were all high end: Ann Taylor. Banana Republic. The Loft. The pullover? From Wal-Mart. I should have known.

But... and here's where the unintended consequences come in... it worked. Anyway. You see, the owner of the pullover was the cause of the most recent jealous reaction. It was because of her that Girlfriend went over the edge. Had a snit fit. Put Ex-Boyfriend through the ringer.

Bwahahahahaaaaa.... sometimes I just love magic, unintended consequences or not!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dead Man Flirting

Graveyard dirt. Believe it or not, it's a key ingredient in many spells. Unfortunately, graveyard dirt isn't easy to come by. You can purchase it in stores, but who knows if it really came from a graveyard? And, if you've been to a cemetery recently, you know that most graves are covered with grass, so digging up dirt would be a desecration of sorts.

Another little known fact: to be used effectively, graveyard dirt must be obtained ethically. That is, with full consent of the deceased. It helps to aid the Goddess Oya in this endeavor - and there is a way to do that as well.

I've had need for graveyard dirt on several occasions recently. I decided it was time to do a little research so I could stock my cabinet with this much needed and hard-to-come-by resource.

I thought of the perfect graveyard, in my hometown of Fremont. There is a little cemetery not far from Ohlone College. When I was a kid, we often walked our dog there, and spent time honoring those long since gone. Some of the graves date back to the early 1800's, and we assumed there were no family members left to visit. So, we'd visit instead.

This weekend was the perfect time. I helped my dad at the flea market (conveniently held at Ohlone), and after I was able to excuse myself, I went to CVS to get the last needed requirement: wine. See, Oya likes her gift of nine pennies to be doused in wine - specifically, red wine (that's my kind of Goddess!). I grabbed a four-pack of Merlot, checked out, and drove back to the cemetery.

At the entrance, I called to Oya. I let her know I had pennies and wine for her and asked to to allow me entrance. Before I could finish, I swear I heard Oya say "What are you waiting for! Give me my pennies." So, I did. Then I left the wine at the foot of the stairs. I heard her say, "Don't cap the wine!" I made sure to keep it open, because I certainly did not want to piss her off.

The next step was to talk to the spirits. I let them know why I was there, and told them a bit about my history and what I planned to do with the graveyard dirt. This is the part that can literally take hours. I was hoping it wouldn't, as I had to get back to my parents' house to check on my mom.

I walked around, and visited graves. I spent a lot of time with those who were veterans, hoping that our mutual connection of service would grant me permission. I sensed that a former Corporal in the Army wanted to grant me permission, but his wife did not want him to. I walked around some more. Some clearly told me to move on. Others were eerily silent.

I saw one grave that someone had clearly been at recently, and not in a good way. I talked to the pair (sisters, it looked like), and apologized for the state someone left their graves in. I looked around for a garbage can so I could clean up, but none was found. I moved on.

I visited grave after grave. I talked to many, and didn't make much of a connection. Finally, I asked Oya for help. "Oya! I'm having trouble locating a helpful spirit here. Is there somewhere I should be looking at specifically?" Oya answered me with the help of a squirrel. I saw him poised at the edge of a gravestone, and then he ran. I wasn't sure which grave to check out, the one he started at or the one he ended at. I decided to check them all out.

I talked to all those spirits in the immediate vicinity of the squirrel sighting. The only one who engaged with me was one Richard "Dick" Valencia. He died in 1999, at the age of 74. His wife had not yet joined him, but her name was already engraved on the headstone next to his.

I told him what type of spells I wanted to use the graveyard dirt in: Protection, Love and Banishment spells. He said "I can help you with protection and maybe banishment. But, girlie, I can help you more with sex than I can with love." He was joking with me - and I so did not expect that. We "conversed" for awhile, and he continually flirted with me. I asked him if his wife would mind if I took dirt from his grave, and he said "Who cares? I want you to have it." So, I took two handfuls of dirt and left him nine dimes in return.

After leaving the nine dimes, he was delighted. He said, "Take more dirt!" I told him I'd only feel comfortable taking another handful, and that's what I took. He told me he liked my red hair. I thanked him. We talked for a few more minutes, but since I had the dirt and had left the dimes, it was time for me to go. Before I left, I kissed his gravestone. I swear I felt him blush.

He escorted me part of the way out. When I felt he was no longer with me, I said good-bye and thank you to Oya, and left. I knew, though, when I got home I'd have to check the Internet to see if I could find out any information about him.

Tonight I checked, and I found him easily. It turns out his nickname was "Muscles" and he was apparently really well liked. I could tell that, though, from his spirit. He headed "The Big Dick Golf Tournament" in the Bay Area, and was an avid sportsman, hence his ability to readily admit the dirt from his grave could aid with protection. And, I do imagine that his sportsman-like physique probably did make him a big hit with the ladies, so perhaps he wasn't joking when he said he could help me with sex magic.

Either way, as read about him on the 'Net, I felt him next to me again. He didn't say anything, though, he just seemed to delight in reading his obituary. Plus, he seemed to just enjoy my company.

It's kind of sad that the only guy enjoying my company this weekend is a dead man, but I'll tell you, I'll take what I can get. After all, a compliment is a compliment, no matter who it comes from.

Thank you, Muscles. It was nice talking to you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

To Bind from Harm

Thee I bid
Thee I bind
And thee I bend unto my mind