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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



Here, let me tell you something about the flying ointment—the witch's salve, the ungentum sabbati—that you probably didn't know.

You use your off-hand to apply it.

Why, you ask? Well, there are reasons and reasons, some of which I can't write. But here are some that I can.

For most of us, using our off-hand means using the left hand, and that's Old Hornie's side.

(As Red God of Animals, he's Left-Hand Twin to his Green Brother's Right.)

But if, with Him, you're a leftie, it's your right hand that you use for the ointment.

(What the truly ambidexterous—literally “both-righted”—do, I couldn't tell you; you'll have to ask one.)

But in witchery, symbolism never stands alone: there's always the practical, standing close by.

Now, what you do with your off-hand, you do with a greater thoughtfulness, and that's part of the matter.

And here's another: that the lifting balm is a toxin, external use only. So though, at the Sabbat, they'll offer you ointment and a linen after for wiping the hand with, it makes it all the more likely that when the time for eating comes—and this is the Sabbat, there will be food—your eating hand will be clean of it.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Citrine Serenity Ceremony

Light a yellow candle for mental clarity, and anoint with calming and uplifting bergamot oil. Place a yellow rose in a vase to the left of the candle. To the right, place a bowl containing at least two citrine or quartz crystals.

Saffron water is made by boiling a single teaspoon of saffron from your cupboard in two quarts of distilled water. Let cool to room temperature and pour into the bowl of crystals. Put your hands together as in prayer, and dip your hands in the bowl. Touch your “third eye” in the center of your forehead, anointing yourself with the saffron water. Now, speak aloud:

Goddess great, fill me with your presence.
This night, I am whole and at peace.
Breathing in, breathing out, I feel your safe embrace.
And so it is.
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Re)writing the Spanish Armada by JD Davies – Historia Magazine 


With Lammas Eve barely a bowshot away, let us ask the question: what do we make of Operation Cone of Power ?

Gerald Gardner loved to tell the story of how the witches of England came together to work magic to prevent the Nazi invasion of Britain. Through his career as self-appointed public spokesman for the Craft, he told it many times, in various—if not always internally consistent—recensions.

Certainly the story made for good publicity. “See: we may be witches, but at least we're patriotic.”

And—who knows—it may even be true. His accounts of the ritual differ just enough from what would later become the CM-based standard Wiccan ritual format to inspire consideration of the possibility. In Crafting the Art of Magic, Aidan Kelly posits (with, be it admitted, no evidence whatsoever)  that it may actually have been the first ritual ever performed by the so-called New Forest Coven.

One would certainly think that the possibility of invasion by a hostile power might be enough to get a bunch of like-minded armchair occultists actually up and doing, for a change. So an actual Operation Cone of Power (as it later came to be called) seems a possibility, if not proven.

(Of course, 1939 is more than a decade before the earliest evidence for Wicca's first stirrings. Probably likeliest of all is that Operation Cone of Power II was an “if-only” fantasy of the Father of Modern Witchcraft.)

What, though, to make of Gardner's claims of a magical precedent for the working: that the witches of Elizabethan times worked the same magic against the Spanish Armada?

Let's say (again without evidence) that there actually were in late 16th-century Britain witches like us: a self-acknowledged minority of magic-workers with shared religious interests.

Would it have been in our interest to ward off Spanish takeover?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sandalwood Spell for Grounding

Sandalwood, from the Sanskrit word chandana, has been used for thousands of years in India. The woody, sweet smell clears your mind and reconnects you to the earth. This simple spell can actually be used every day as prayer, or to prepare for meditation. Light a stick of sandalwood incense and “smudge” the area with the soothing smoke.

Anoint a brown candle with sandalwood oil. In scentless base oil, such as canola, olive or sesame, add:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pagan Zen Pick-Me-Up
The ancient pagan art of aromatherapy owes its newfound popularity to its remarkable capacity to heal the mind and alter the emotions. To enhance your spiritual health, combine the following essential oils in a dark colored bottle with a sealable cap:
Six drops lavender oil, four drops frankincense, six drops vanilla oil, and two ounces almond oil

Light your way to a healthier outlook by burning this Pagan Zen combination in an oil lamp or, for a quick pick-me-up, dab them onto light bulbs in your home or office. A soothing, meditative smell will soon develop you.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Pins and Needles and Nails

Generally speaking, pins, needles, and nails are protective elements in folk magic. They are one of the elements included in many British witch bottles, which function by drawing in malevolent magic and trap it. One source describes a witch doctor who recommended that a man “take a Bottle, and put his Wives Urine into it, together with Pins and Needles and Nails, and Cork them up,” first to be set on the fire to explode and then later buried in the yard to heal his wife from an illness (Saducismus triumphatus). In Appalachia, Scots-Irish settlers held onto these traditions and passed them down. Here, pins, needles, and nails can be used for protection, healing, divination, love magic, and cursing.


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Misty Moon Potion
If you are dreaming of true abundance, with the understanding that health is more important than wealth, you want to feel your best. You can bring this about with this potent potion:
  • 3 drops vanilla oil
  • 3 drops lavender
  • 3 drops orange blossom essence
  • 4 ounces pure distilled water
Pour all these into a colored glass spray bottle and shake well three times. Fifteen minutes before you retire, spray lightly on your linens, towel, and pillow case. Keep a dream journal on your nightstand so you can record details of the dreams of abundant health that will soon manifest.
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