Lots of plants have thorns on them; roses, brambles and blackthorn spring to mind and these thorns can be used for magic. Think about what a thorn does, they are protection for the plant, they guard it against predators and they are sharp and defensive. They can pierce, they can cut and they can draw blood.
Folk lore says that blackthorn thorns were always used to curse but folklore says a lot of things that we have since twisted around to our advantage but if that is the choice you make…thorns (any type) are very good for cursing and hexing spell work, rose thorns work especially well in affairs of the broken heart.
I am always being gifted with feathers when I am out usually pigeon ones but I have also been given crow and magpie ones too. If you are in the forest you may find all sorts of bird feathers and on the beach it will probably be seagull feathers. Whatever kinds they are feathers carry their own very special magic with them.
When I find a feather I usually take it home and pop it in the freezer overnight, just as a precaution really because the cold temperature will get rid of any nasties that might be lurking therein. Obviously keep the feather away from your frozen food! Alternatively you can place the feathers in a solution of five parts warm water, one part vinegar and one part witch hazel, leave them to soak for twenty four hours then dry them by laying out flat on a towel.
You can find stones anywhere; it might be in the hedgerow, the forest, a field, on the street, on the seashore or in your garden, if you are really stuck then you can buy them in home depot stores and garden centres…
We take a look at folk magic in Pennsylvania. Patheos gathers a list of some of the most important tools for Vodou. And Gods & Radicals takes a look at Paganism's kinship to the occult. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Dance can be an ecstatic experience. Folk dances tell stories, preserve cultures, and draw communities together. Some dances encode history, preserve martial arts moves, or mimic work such as planting and harvesting. Mixer dances serve a social function, as do dances for specific celebrations. Some dances are forthrightly fertility rituals, and some are magic spells.
The song and dance Mayim Mayim (Hebrew for "Rain, Rain,") is a rain dance. That is, it is a ritual performed to make it rain. Rain Dance is a short film I directed featuring the Ethnic Express Folk Dancers of Las Vegas, Nevada, performing Mayim Mayim.
I am looking forward to the final episode of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrellon Sunday (I think it's begun in the States more recently). It's been fun seeing an 'alternate' history of magic, though I will be sad to see it end. It got me thinking about a period in history that leads to a lot of confusion. When people say 'witch hunts' most people still seem to think of the Middle Ages, though the worst years were part of the Early Modern era, sometimes known as the Renaissance (a much disputed term for a variety of reasons). While many see the dividing line as the Reformation, the roots of that change can be see in Wycliffe and the Lollards in the 14th century. I tend to see Gutenberg's innovation as a technological change, though even there printing existed before his moveable type -- but the speed of the technology has all kinds of impacts as we know in the internet age.