25 More Bullet Journal Ideas for Witches

Pink Journal with Pencils

In the first part of this series I listed 25 Bullet Journal Ideas for Witches, and below you will find 25 more! I have been loving my BuJo, so hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you.

Astrology & Moon Magick

1. Full Moon Ritual Page
2. Mercury Retrograde Mood/Event Tracker
3. New Moon Ritual Page

Favorites

4. Favorite Magickal Authors
5. Favorite Witch Shops (online or in person)
6. Favorite Witchy Quotes
7. Favorite Spells
8. Favorite Witchy Movies or TV Shows

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Book Review: Magical Folkhealing by DJ Conway

Magical Folkhealing by DJ Conway Magical Folkhealing: Herbs, Oils, and Recipes for Health, Healing, and Magic was published by Llewellyn in November 2018. Note: I recently signed up for NetGalley so I can get early copies of books in exchange for honest reviews, so, while I did not pay for this book, the opinions are still entirely my own. People always put those disclaimers at the end of the page and I feel like that’s so sneaky, so mine’s right up top. Anyway, the book! First, I love the cover and chapter headings for this book, and after reading the introduction I believe it’s meant to mimic the author’s own herbal that became the basis of this text. The introduction has a lot about the author’s background and it made me feel like the really understood the traditional folk magick behind herbal healing; the more I read about it the more intrigued I became.

The first few chapters are introductions to timing and terms with one covering flower and herb slang that presumably gave witches the reputation of “eye of newt” and other such mean ingredients. I really enjoyed seeing it all written out as a list and it gives me a little chuckle to think how these old slang terms ended up accidentally terrifying people. When covering the planets and signs I was disappointed that the author left out Pluto; even though we Scorpios are also ruled by Mars many (most) of us are very Pluto loyal. Hasn’t it regained planetary status yet? Because it will always be the planet of my heart.

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Book Review: Llewellyn’s 2018 Magical Almanac

Llewellyn's 2018 Magical AlmanacLlewellyn’s 2018 Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday Living is one of the publisher’s annual offerings and contains a series of interesting articles geared toward pagans and witches. It is Llewellyn’s longest running annual and is similar to the Witches’ Companion, though it differs in some key ways. The Almanac is divided into four sections: Earth Magic, Air Magic, Fire Magic, and Water Magic. In the center there is an Almanac Section that has information on Moon signs, Sabbats (Northern and Southern Hemisphere), and a calendar that contains Moon information and various festivals. The Magic sections are filled with 7-8 articles each with a total of 29 articles in this edition. Each article has a different author and are around 5-10 pages long apiece. There are many different kinds of articles, not all of which work for me, but there’s plenty to like. Below are my favorite articles from each section along with some information about them.

Earth Magic

“The Five Celestial Animals of Feng Shui” by Mireille Blacke

To be honest, I have never connected with Feng Shui, but I still found this article very interesting. It covers the celestial animals and their properties, as well as how to use the information to arrange your home. Maybe it’s my inner clutter bug that’s resisting, but after reading this article, I wanted to give Feng Shui another try.

“The Problem with Offerings” by Lupa

I really enjoyed this article because this is an issue that has been on my mind for the better part of the last year. Offerings are a standard piece of pagan and witchcraft practices, leaving something behind for nature to reclaim as a gift of thanks. However, every single thing has a carbon footprint, and while I do still like leaving food (which Lupa argues well against), their ideas for replacement ‘offerings’ was helpful and very appreciated. I am absolutely incorporating some of them into my practice immediately.

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Eight More Yule Season Celebration Ideas

Yule Ornaments on a Tree

It’s that time of year again when the holidays are already in stores and you’re making cocoa regardless of the temperature outside: Yule! I don’t put my Yule decorations up until after Thanksgiving (American), but the pre-game? It’s already started. Below are eight ideas for Yuletide fun that I hope you’ll enjoy.

1. Full Year Divination: Now that the nights are long, doing divination for the full Wheel of the Year to come is a fun way to pass a lazy evening. It takes a little while, but the results can be illuminating. Suggested spreads include the Yule Tree spread found in Yule by Susan Pesznecker, a Wheel of the Year spread with one card to represent each of the eight sabbats, or a 12 card spread to symbolize each month in the solar year. You can vary this one and go a 12-13 card spread for each Full Moon in the lunar year as well. Be sure to record the information in your Book of Shadows and reflect on it as the year goes by.

2. Gift Tag Wish Tree: A wish tree is part of Tanabata, or at least that’s what I always associated it with. This activity uses that traditional festival as a basis, and adapts it for Yule. This activity works well for witchlings and families as well as solitaries and witches in the broom closet. Once your tree is up, use paper gift tags to write intentions or ‘wishes’ for the New Year. Fold the tags so that the writing cannot be read; then hang them on the tree. Either on Yule or when you take the tree down, dispose of the tags by burning them in your cauldron (recommended) or burying them, if they are biodegradable.

3. Give Back: Last year I recommended giving back to nature, but people also need a little help getting through winter. Charity is a wonderful quality to bestow to witchlings, too; in my house we never threw anything out that wasn’t damaged beyond repair, we rehomed it or gave it to charity. I also never sold gifts, if something was given to me and I no longer wanted it, I gave it away. This year consider giving back in any way you can. Go through old clothes and donate them, sponsor a child for the holidays through a local Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, or other organization. Donate canned food, go to a soup kitchen, or adopt a family for a holiday dinner. You can also support Giving Tuesday, which is the first Tuesday after US Thanksgiving, a day that a lot of people donate money to charitable organizations.

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How to Make a Yule Countdown Calendar

Advent Calendar

Over the past year I’ve softened a lot on the blending of pagan Yule traditions and Christian/secular Christmas traditions. One of my personal favorite traditions growing up was an advent calendar; probably because I got a present every day. Regardless of my dubious childhood motivations, below are some ideas of how to adapt an advent calendar to a pagan tradition that I call a Yule Countdown Calendar. I hope your family enjoys it. (And yes, I know it’s November, I’m just excited about the upcoming holiday season.)

What’s a Yule Countdown Calendar?

The word “advent” is a play on the Latin word for “coming” because, I guess, Christmas is coming and everyone is excited. This Yule Countdown Calendar works the same way, Yule is coming to let’s get excited about it. Traditionally, an advent calendar has 24-25 days, depending on whether there’s an extra gift on Christmas. The Yule Countdown Calendar should have 19-23 days, depending on a number of factors. If you want a box on the day of Yule, that day will be included, if not, the last box should be the day before. If you celebrate Yule on December 21st, that’s either 21 boxes (day of Yule included), or 20 boxes (last box on Yule eve). If you celebrate Yule as the Winter Solstice, the date will change from year to year, and you can adapt the Yule Countdown Calendar accordingly.

How Does it Work?

Every morning up to and/or including Yule, one item on the Countdown Calendar is opened, but only one a day. On December 1st item #1 is opened, on December 2nd item #2 is opened, and so on. If your calendar stops on Yule Eve, that gift is usually a bit fancier. I suggest making the last day Yule Eve since the gifts will steal the show on Yule. However, if the Yule Countdown Calendar is the whole gift, then Yule day should be included, and it should be the ‘big’ gift. If you have multiple witchlings, you know they count gifts and compare; giving everyone a Yule Countdown Calendar shuts down the fairness-based whining pretty effectively.
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Indie Deck: Seventh Sphere Lenormand Deck by Labyrinthos Academy

I am a huge fan of both Lenormand cards and Labyrinthos Academy, so when they started teasing a Lenormand deck, I knew that I would need it in my cartomancy collection. I received the Seventh Sphere Lenormand Deck for my birthday last year, so this will be a sort of capsule review alongside information about the deck.

Seventh Sphere Lenormand by Labyrinthos Academy

The Seventh Sphere Lenormand Deck is a modern version of the traditional 36-card deck, created in Labyrinthos Academy’s unique style. There is something that feels both very modern and quite dark about this deck. Interestingly enough, the artist does admit that creating this deck was the first time they worked with Lenormand cards, which may have been what contributed to this feeling. The images on the cards, as you can see above, are done in a dark, cool color scheme, with occasional splashes of greyed coral or mauve. It’s a moody deck full of clean, digital illustrations, and it feels contemporary.

Seventh Sphere Lenormand by Labyrinthos Academy

The deck itself is printed on “waterproof, eco-friendly plastic” cards, the size of a standard playing card deck. The back of the cards are matte white, embossed with a metallic, rose gold heptagram. The seven pointed star is alchemical symbol allegedly associated with paganism, but which I have never encountered. To be honest, I cannot stand the white backs, but maybe I will soften to them over time. I know that rose gold is on trend, but I don’t know why else it was used. White, aka the color that gets dirty instantly, as a card back; I’m having a hard time getting passed it. It also doesn’t match the moody vibe of the cards, and feels like a misstep to me.

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Halloween by Silver Ravenwolf (Llewellyn’s Holiday Series)

Llewellyn’s Holidays Series was published in the late 90s and was eventually replaced by the Sabbat Essentials Series. The Holidays Series was what I had as a baby witch, and I decided to start collecting them about a year ago, partially out of nostalgia. While the information in many of them is outdated, there is still a lot of good information in them. In fact, some of the Holiday books are better than their modern Essential counterparts. One of the quirks of the series is that some books are titled the Christian or secular name of the holiday, which is a little odd. Halloween: Customs, Recipes, and Spells by Silver Ravenwolf is one of those, but the book, published in 1999, is about Samhain. It is still available on Llewellyn’s website here. A few other notable differences between this Holiday Series and the Sabbat Essentials Series are that the Holidays Series does not have uniform covers/spines or chapter structure, though they are of a uniform size, and that the Holiday Series books are much larger than the Essentials Series books.

Chapter 1 explores the historical origins of Halloween, but has sort of a gimmicky framework. While moving between locations and times the reader is on “Silver Flight 2000,” a sort of broomstick-airplane amalgam. It’s kind of cheesy to me, but I think a lot of other people would find it cute, and it’s only done in this section. Some of the historical Samhain information was interesting, but there were a few notable inaccuracies. The first is regarding “the burning times,” when millions of witches were allegedly killed. This is sort of a boogeyman in the pagan community, and has been debunked by historians, so Ravenwolf’s book shows its age by printing it. The next is that the original scarecrows were human sacrifices, which just rings false. It might not be, but a rudimentary Google search came up with nothing on the subject, and it seems like an unnecessarily gory footnote.

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Tarot Deck: Hello Kitty Major Arcana Tarot

I’m a Hello Kitty junkie, so this mini review of the Hello Kitty major arcana tarot deck is going to be biased by my undying love of all things HK. Last year I was on an intense divination deck buying kick: tarot, oracle cards, indie, well known, I needed them all! Happily I’ve chilled out a tiny bit since, but I have some pretty neat decks in my little collection, including two Sanrio major arcana decks: Hello Kitty and Little Twin Stars.

Hello Kitty Tarot Cards

I think the Hello Kitty tarot might make a perfect starter deck for a witchling who you don’t want to overwhelm with a  full deck. It’s cute, kid-friendly, and even the ‘scary’ cards have been made somehow adorable.

There are multiple Sanrio and Hello Kitty Tarot Decks, but this one – to the best of my knowledge – is the only official deck. It was made in 2009 and it comes in a slipcase that includes a full color book on one side and the cards on the other. The cards are a slightly different size than standard tarot cards, just a touch shorter, but the same width. The deck also comes with two blank cards, which I thought was a neat touch. A gallery of the cards can be found at the bottom of the post.

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Grandma’s Cottage Witch Ear Medicine

Some of my favorite witchy tips and tricks come from old world grandparents, who seemed to live more magickal lives filled with garden tending and home cooking. This is my grandma’s super simple recipe for ear medicine. I have no idea where she got it from, for all I know it was a 1950s homemaker’s book, but we’ve used it our whole lives, and you know what? I’ve never had an ear infection. Not one, ever, in my whole life. Plus, this recipe makes years and year’s worth of ear medicine for about $5.

As kids we would use this formula when we got out of the pool to prevent swimmer’s ear. To this day, if I start getting a twinge in one of my ears, I use a few drops (once or twice a day, depending on the severity of the earache) and within a few days it’s all better. I think I have to say that this old school formula isn’t a substitute for medical advice, so this is not a substitute for medical advice.

Supplies:

– Brown glass bottle with dropper
– Rubbing alcohol
– White vinegar

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Book Review: The Witch’s Broom by Deborah Blake

The Witch's Broom by Deborah BlakeLlewellyn’s Witch’s Tools series contains six small books, one for each of the major tools in witchcraft (athame, book of shadows, broom, cauldron, mirror, and wand) though I hope more are forthcoming. The author varies by the book with no author having more than two books in the series at the moment, similar to the Sabbat Essentials series. The Witch’s Broom: The Craft, Lore and Magick of Broomsticks is first book in the series and was written by Deborah Blake. While I enjoyed this book more than The Witch’s Book of Shadows, I didn’t think it was nearly as good as The Witch’s Cauldron. This is the third book I’ve read in the series; three down, three to go! Something interesting that I just noticed is that the praise for the book including on the inside cover is all from Llewellyn authors, seems like they would have a lot of motivation to provide positive reviews, and smacks of quid pro quo.

The book has also had its cover changed as the series is being revamped, I am happy to have a first edition (third printing) copy, so I have the original cover (above). The current cover can be seen below. The books in this series are presented as a guide to the major tools in witchcraft, including uses, history, folklore, notable references in myth, a craft section, and various spells. The Witch’s Broom is broken into nine sections to cover these topics, with guest blurbs and “broom lore” interspersed throughout. In the other two books in the series that I’ve read, I noted that the guest author sections were somewhat disruptive because the author wasn’t credited until the end of their article. Happily, in this book, the author is credited at the beginning of their section, which I found much easier to read. The chapters are number on the index, but not on the chapter pages, so if I mislabel any, forgive me now.

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Book Review: The History of Witchcraft by Lois Martin

The History of Witchcraft by Lois MartinOriginally published in 2002 as part of the Pocket Essentials series, I recently finished reading the 2016 edition of Lois Martin’s The History of Witchcraft. More appropriately, this book could be called A Brief History of Witchcraft Persecution by Christians Mostly in Europe and Great Britain. I believe it’s very important for modern witches to try and understand our history, and not only rely on pagan writers to inform us of our past. This is because writing history and writing spirituality are rather different pursuits. While I am extremely interested in learning about the history of witchcraft, this book is very much focused on people, who probably weren’t witches, being killed by Christians. The introduction – the first words of the book are “Harry Potter” – mentions that this is not a book about Wicca, and the author uses Wicca as synonymous with “modern pagan witchcraft,” which is mostly because the book is written by a historian. It’s not really an issue because the book focuses primarily on persecution.

One of the important things that modern witchcraft writers have not helped with is perpetuating the myth of ‘the burning times’ when millions of witches were alleged to have been killed. I’m also reading Silver Ravenwolf’s book Halloween right now, and she throws out that very same, inaccurate statistic. I believe that Martin’s book, and others like it, give more accurate counts because this was something of which the people involved were likely to keep track. Christian (lumping Catholics in here) ‘judges’ who sentences alleged witches to die were not ashamed, and records were usually kept of the charges, tortures, confessions, and punishments.

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Book Review: The Witch’s Mirror by Mickie Mueller

The Witch's Mirror by Mickie MuellerLlewellyn’s Witch’s Tools series contains six small books, one for each of the major tools in witchcraft (athame, book of shadows, broom, cauldron, mirror, and wand) though I hope more are forthcoming. The author varies by the book with no author having more than two books in the series at the moment, similar to the Sabbat Essentials series. The Witch’s Mirror: The Craft, Lore and Magick of the Looking Glass is third book in the series and was written by Mickie Mueller. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this book very much, maybe even as much as my other favorite from the series: The Witch’s Cauldron.

The books in this series are presented as a guide to the major tools in witchcraft, including uses, history, folklore, notable references in myth, a craft section, and various spells. The Witch’s Mirror is broken into nine sections to cover these topics, with guest blurbs interspersed throughout. This book has my absolute favorite cover of all the books in the series: a tattered looking crow peering into a magickal mirror, wherein the reflection of a beautiful, witchy crow appears! Talk about life goals. I’m sure you remember my complaints about the changed covers, but in all honestly, the cover of “The Witch’s Mirror” was why I bought the entire series.

As for the book itself, it starts strong with Chapter 1 “Mirrors in History, Tradition, and Lore” which explores where mirrors came from, how they’ve changed through time, and deities associated with the mirror. There’s also “mirror lore” in this chapter and sprinkled throughout, almost all of which revolves around concerns about spirits of people getting trapped. Maybe it’s my renewed interested in history, but I found this chapter really interesting. Chapter 3 “Which Mirrors for Witch’s Mirrors?” was another standout; I wouldn’t have thought there was that much to say about mirrors, but there really is. Shapes, concavity, backings, and traditions are all covered in detail. I appreciate that Mueller goes into which shapes are best for which type of magick, it’s a helpful touch and it doesn’t feel like filler. Mirror washes are also discussed here, as well as in other chapters where specific recipes are given.

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A Witch’s Guide to Magickal Blogging Part 4: Post Planning and Editorial Calendars

Domed Skylight

Welcome to Part 4 of A Witch’s Guide to Magickal Blogging. This post will cover how to use an editorial calendar to plan posts. This is the last installment in my four part guide to magickal blogging; I hope you enjoyed it.

Planning Posts for Your Magickal Blog

Step 1: Why Have an Editorial Calendar?

In order to explain why you should have an editorial calendar at all, I’m going to use myself as an example. For a while I posted when ever I had an article finished, then it was about once a week, then for a while I alternated between Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday and Monday/Wednesday/Friday posts. I found that M/W/F worked best for me: it was versatile, and people don’t seem to be online that much on the weekends. I also never, ever publish posts right after I write them. Usually they’re written weeks or even months in advance. That’s because it’s just me here, I have no editorial team (or proofreader), and that creates a few issues that the editorial calendar helps with.

The first issue with being a solo blogger is that I’m a typo monster, I find typos in old posts all the time. Tip: If you see that an old post is suddenly getting hits again, open it up and proofread it; I always seem to find something that I want to change. Second, and I’m going to blame my Scorpio Sun/Virgo Moon combo for this one, I’m a mean reviewer. It’s that Scorpio sting, coupled with Virgo’s perfectionism, I’m telling you. I’m naturally a hyper-critical perfectionist, and I’ve had my critical chops cultivated by my education and profession (I teach writing and literary analysis). Because of this, I write my reviews ages before I post them, then I go back and take out most of the unnecessary snark, then I re-read it again before it’s published. All told, my posts go through an average of a dozen revisions each, with some posts getting over two dozen edits. Perfection, go!

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Baby Room Blessing Bottle

Hand Holiding Baby Foot

A witchling will be among us soon, and so I was honored when I was asked to contribute to the protection and blessing of the baby’s room. This blessing jar is based, in part, of the House Blessing Potpourri recipe found in Halloween by Silver Ravenwolf. I’ve obviously made a lot of adjustments, but that article is what sparked my idea, and credit should be given when due.

This list below has a decent number of items on it, but you can either pick and choose, or see the second set of directions for a simple blessing jar ingredient list. This is because the jar really doesn’t need to be elaborate, but I love to go all out with baby stuff, and I have a lot of herbs and crystals on hand. Many of the herbs and crystals have overlapping properties to them, and this is because the jar is specifically to bless and protect a baby’s space.

These directions can also be adapted for a child, an adult, or a household. This jar would make a lovely gift for expecting parents, even if they aren’t pagan or witches.

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Book Review: The Witch’s Cauldron by Laura Tempest Zakroff

The Witch's Cauldron by Laura Tempest ZakroffLlewellyn’s Witch’s Tools series contains six small books, one for each of the major tools in witchcraft (athame, book of shadows, broom, cauldron, mirror, and wand) though I hope more are forthcoming. The author varies by the book with no author having more than two books in the series at the moment, similar to the Sabbat Essentials series. “The Witch’s Cauldron: The Craft, Lore and Magick of Ritual Vessels” is sixth book in the series and was written by Laura Tempest Zakroff. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this book far more than The Witch’s Book of Shadows, which is the only other book in the series that I have read thus far.

You may notice that this book looks different than the others in the series, and that is because Llewellyn decided to change how the covers looked before the publication of this installment. All of the covers are going to be changed as they are reprinted, so if you like the original covers, buy the first five books as soon as you can. By the by, I know this because of an Amazon comments conversation with a Llewellyn rep that I jumped in to because I really do care that much about book covers.

Strange as it may sound, I really love the original covers; it was the cover of “The Witch’s Mirror,” which features a tattered crow looking at a magickal, beautiful version of itself in a mirror that made me pick up the first book. Alas, the eternal bane of book collectors is the non-uniform set, which seems to be part of our destiny. The original cover, for the record, is super cute; I put it below so you can decide for yourself, but I like it much better than the final release version of the cover above.

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Book Review: Llewellyn’s 2017 Magical Almanac

Llewellyn's 2017 Magical AlmanacLlewellyn’s 2017 Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday Living is one of the publisher’s annual offerings and contains a series of interesting articles geared toward pagans and witches. It is Llewellyn’s longest running annual and is similar to the Witches’ Companion, though it differs in some key ways.

The Almanac is divided into four sections: Earth Magic, Air Magic, Fire Magic, and Water Magic. In the center there is an Almanac Section that has information on Moon signs, Sabbats (Northern and Southern Hemisphere), and a calendar that contains Moon information and various festivals. The Elemental Magic sections are filled with 8-9 articles each with a total of 35 articles in this edition. Each article has a different author and are around 5-10 pages long apiece. There are many different kinds of articles, not all of which work for me, but there’s plenty to like. Below are my favorite articles from each section along with some information about them. At the bottom you will find some issues and concerns, along with my final recommendation.

Earth Magic

“Luminous Labyrinths” by Natalie Zaman

This article discusses labyrinths, but also provides a lot of practical activities. There’s a guided visualization, a May Day labyrinth, and a tabletop version, all of which look intriguing. If you’re looking for something a little different to add to your coven’s celebrations, there are a lot of ideas here.

“Ten Essential Herbs” by Deborah Blake

Just a continuation of my Deborah Blake obsession; seriously, though, she pretty much always writes excellent articles. Frankly, the longer you’re a witch, the simpler your craft tends to get, so Blake’s list of essential herbs and their uses is very helpful. Many herbs have multiple purposes, and a lot of these are ‘catch-alls’ that can be found in any kitchen. All of them are affordable, as well, which is always a plus.

Honorable Mention: “From Care to Karma” by Hannah E. Johnston whose food blessing we used for our Thanksgiving.

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Book Review: Llewellyn’s 2018 Witches’ Companion

Llewellyn's 2018 Witches' CompanionLlewellyn’s 2018 Witches Companion: An Almanac for Contemporary Living is the 10th installment in their Witches Companion Series, which started in 2008. Per usual I absolutely love the cover and want to have a backyard and then make that crescent moon flower bed. For those new to the series, “almanac” is a bit inaccurate, as the book is really just a set of short articles with a calendar in the back. My reviews of the 2016 and 2017 installments are on this site (click years to view). The articles range between six and twelve pages long with the average article being ten pages, very digestible if you are looking for a book to pick up and read casually. They’re divided into four sections: “Community Forum,” “Witchy Living,” “Witchcraft Essentials,” and “Magical Transformations.” The final section has a calendar from September 2017 through December 2018 that has the same information as Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar and Witches Datebook in a monthly grid format. Per my tradition I will be discussing my favorite articles below.

“Exonerating the Warlock: A Brief History and Revision of a Misunderstood Term” by Storm Faerywolf

I love linguistics and revision, so there was no way I was going to be able to resist this article. While ‘witch’ is a catch-all term with no gender, it can feel like there’s no term for witches who identify as men. In this article Faerywolf (I can’t with the name, I’m sorry) talks about how he identifies as a Warlock. The term, which means “oath breaker” is often not used or frowned upon, and the author argues for an attempt to reclaim it. I wasn’t completely won over, but I do admit that the umbrella term ‘witch’ doesn’t work for a lot of people, including my own partner.

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A Witch’s Guide to Magickal Blogging Part 3: Tips and Tricks

Welcome to Part 3 of A Witch’s Guide to Magickal Blogging, post three in a four part series meant to help you take the steps you need to in order to start writing your magickal blog. This post will cover tips and tricks for taking your magickal blog to the next level, taken from my decade-long blogging journey. Part 1 and Part 2 can be found here.

Magickal Blogging Tips and Tricks

You can read about riding a bike, but the only way to really learn how to ride one is to actually get on a bike a pedal. Blogging is much the same way; you can theorize about it all day long, but you won’t know what you’re doing until after you’ve already started doing it. Once the basics are in place and you’ve started your blog, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty and go over some helpful hints, tips, and tricks.

Consistency: Consistency in what and how you write is huge, and this can only happen over time. The idea of consistency will trickle down to every part of your blog from your writing style and post structure, to use of categories and tags, to you posting schedule, to when and how you write. This this is rhythm that you hit as a blogger that can only happen over time.

Categories & Tags: These may seem silly, but nothing lets me know that a blog is a hot mess like a list of 500 tags. You may think the purpose of tags are to get you search results, but that is not the case: the purpose of tags is the help your reader navigate your website. When you think about tags in this way, the way you use them will change. Categories are for posts and is set while you are writing.

Drafts Posts: I have a technique that really works for me, which is having a ton of draft posts. I’ll get an idea for an article, a list, or a spell, and I will start the post and save the draft. Sometimes it has all of 100 words in it, but it’s saved. Then, during the 75% of writing sessions where I’m not inspired, I’ll open one of the incomplete drafts, re-read it quickly, and start adding to it. I’m actually adding this draft posts idea to a post that was in drafts because I woke up and had no idea what to write. This method works super well for me, and maybe it will work well for you too. Regardless, experiment until you find a system that works.

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Book Review: The Magickal Family by Monica Crosson

The Magickal Family by Monica Crosson“The Magickal Family: Pagan Living in Harmony with Nature” by Monica Crosson was published in early October 2017. It caught my eye, but I didn’t read it for a new months because I assumed there wasn’t much that I would be able to get from it. We have a teenager who is magick-curious, but that’s it. However, my coven mate will be having a witchling soon, so I decided to get her this book for Yule. Of course, book nerd that I am, I couldn’t just wrap it without looking through it first, and before you know it I had read the whole thing. Even though this book does have a lot to do with raising Pagan children, an opportunity that our magickal household has missed out on, I still found myself getting a lot out of this book. It’s an excellent read, both informative and extremely engaging, and full of good ideas. While a lot of it works for families with witchlings, this book could also easily be used by adult witches without children, since there are a lot of ceremonies and magick for adult life events too (handfasting, recipes, cottage witchery).

The book is organized into two parts and has a total of fourteen chapters. Part 1: “Family Magick” has six chapters and is more general, while Part 2: “Family Sabbat Celebrations” covers the eight Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year.

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Guide to Llewellyn’s Pagan and Witchcraft Annuals

Ever since I was a baby witch, even before I worked the counter at a local metaphysical shop, I have been a Llewellyn fan. They’ve been publishing books for our magickal community for decades, and they have their annuals perfected. Even with new magickal publishing houses brings excellents texts to the market, you cannot get away from Llewellyn. There are quite a few annuals, too, so I thought it may be helpful if I listed them and explained their contents and uses to you all.

These annuals release in the summer, usually in very early July, but there’s often a sale in June on Amazon. This list covers Llewellyn’s witchcraft and paganism annuals, not their astrological ones, which may be a separate post at some point. They are listed in alphabetical order, and all covers open larger when clicked.

Llewellyn's 2017 Herbal Almanac Llewellyn's 2018 Herbal Almanac Llewellyn's 2019 Herbal Almanac

Herbal Almanac – The annual Herbal Almanac is perfect for green and kitchen witches, or anyone who is intrigued by our plant friends. It’s a series of articles written by various authors, but all of them are about plants and herbs. Topics include planting, gardening, cooking and home remedies, and poisonous plants. This annual has been published since 2000 and the covers are very clean and attractive. Unlike the other volumes here, many non-magickal folks read this annual.

Llewellyn's 2017 Magical Almanac Llewellyn's 2017 Magical Almanac Llewellyn's 2019 Magical Almanac

Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday Living – This annual, published since 1990, is organized in sections by element: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. It’s similar to the Witches’ Companion in that in contains a series of short articles, but they are paired with specific elements (though some don’t match their element as well as others do). The articles are not connected to specific dates, so, aside from the calendar section, it can be read any time. The calendar section, located in the middle of the book, covers Full Moons, New Moons, and holidays, both modern and traditional. The vibe of this book is different than the Companion in a lot of ways, and I would say that the Almanac is more pagan and practical with its emphasis on activities and education, whereas the Companion mostly deals with philosophical issues or current debates within the witchcraft community. I find that the Magical Almanac is a lot more accessible to newcomers, as well. The covers have always featured a magickal creature of some kind, and a best-of collection was published in 2015. A list of all Magical Almanacs is on Goodreads here.
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