Late January 2018 Magickal Link Roundup

Late January 2018 Witch Links

It’s time for another magickal link roundup wherein I have compiled this fortnight’s best resources from around the witchy web. Today is also the Full Blue Supermoon in Leo with an eclipse visible from some spots around the globe. If that seems like a lot – it is – this Full Moon is the manifestation for the August 2017 New Moon in Leo that caused solar eclipse. Thank you to everyone who has been checking out the post of the last few days!

Below you will find the my favorite links from around the magickal interweb from the latter half of January 2018. If you have a favorite witchy post/blog/product to share, please feel free to post it in the comments.

~ Late January 2018 Magickal Link Roundup ~

Astrology & Numerology

The New Age of Astrology by Julie Beck on The Atlantic – Honestly, the article was kind of cringey and hard to read for me, because it largely focused on why people (or the author) thinks astrology is nonsense. Really, though, the more I’ve learned the more about astrology, I’m surprised at how accurate it is. How we all feel so unique, special, and self-determining and … well, we aren’t, that more than you’d think is in the stars. I do think it’s good to see how the muggles feel though, and if you can get through this read, you will get some information on the current modern perspective on astrology.

Tarot & Divination

A Full Moon in Leo Tarot Spread on Labyrinthos Academy – A four-card courage themed tarot spread for the January 31st 2018 Full Moon in Leo.

What’s Old is New by Barbara Moore on Llewellyn Unbound – It starts with information on a new book, but what I like about the post is at the end: a tarot spread from a 1955 magazine. The spread is pictured and is an interesting variation on a simple yes/no reading.

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Magickal Journal Ideas for February 2018

Magickal Journal Ideas for February 2018

Below I’ve have a list of topics to pack your magickal journal, grimoire, or book of shadows over the course of February. There are both prompts and correspondences below. Happy journaling!

Activities/Prompts

Imbolc Offerings: February 2nd is Imbolc, the pagan festival honoring Brigid that became the Christian holiday Candlemas. Consider making an offering to Brigid or adding information on Imbolc or Brigid to your grimoire. Offerings include candles and milk since Imbolc means “Ewe’s milk” or “of milk” in Gaelic. Journal about your offerings and, if you asked for something from Brigid, reflect on how it manifests.

Groundhog’s Day: February 2nd 2018 is both the pagan holiday Imbolc and the secular holiday Groundhog Day. One of my personal traditions is watching the Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day” either on the 2nd or the closest day that I’m alone. The tradition of this holiday has pagan origins, and the movie itself addresses karma and reincarnation as much as a popular movie possibly could. If you choose to watch it, reflect on its spiritual meaning in your magickal journal.

Lunar New Year: Often referred to as Chinese New Year (though China is not the only place that celebrates it), the Lunar New Year is the day after the New Moon in Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac. For 2018 the Lunar New Year is on February 16th which is a Year of the Dog. I posted ideas on how pagans can celebrate the Lunar New Year a while back, but some small things that can be done are wearing red, cleaning the house, and reflecting on the previous year. If you follow a lunar calendar, this New Year may feel more ‘natural’ than the solar one on January 1st.

Resolution Reflection: If you set New Year’s Resolutions at the beginning of the year, February is a natural point to reflect on them. Ask yourself what’s working and what isn’t, consider writing a revised list, or breaking larger goals down into monthly goals.

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Cosmic Concerns: February 2018

Cosmic Concerns February 2018

This list of February 2018’s astrological events is for witches and pagans who are interested in what’s going on in the cosmos. All times listed are in EST (Eastern Standard) and should be adjusted for your own time zone. Please note that this list is not even close to being exhaustive, but compiled by me to list events that are of magickal importance. This information is great to copy into your magickal journal if you maintain one; if you are looking for something more extensive my Guide to Lunar Trackers is on the site here. I hope that you find it helpful; blessed be!

Planetary Movement, February 2018

10th: Venus enters Pisces 6:20 PM
17th: Mercury enters Pisces 11:28 PM
18th: Sun enters Pisces 12:18 PM

Moon Cycle, February 2018

13th: Moon enters Aquarius 10:11 AM
15th: New Moon in Aquarius 4:05 PM, void-of-course 4:05 PM, enters Pisces 9:42 PM

Note: There is no Full Moon in February 2018

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Simple Brigid Candle Blessing Spell for Imbolc

Burning Candle Flame

This simple candle blessing spell can be used as a part of your Imbolc ritual or as a simple Imbolc ritual in and of itself. You can bless a single candle or a large number of candles, just change the wording accordingly.

Brigid Candle Blessing Spell for Imbolc

Supplies:

  • Candle(s)

Directions:

Cleanse yourself and your candle(s) using your preferred method. If blessing a large number of candles, casting a circle is suggested. Hold the candle in your hands, or hold your hands over the candles, and say:

“Brigid bless this candle bright,
Shelter me within its light,
Home and hearth, the things I see,
Brightest blessings come to me.”

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Full Moon January 31st 2018 in Leo

Full Blue Moon in Leo January 2018

January 2018’s Full Blue Moon is on Wednesday, January 31st at 8:27 AM EST; this Full Moon ends the cycle that started on August 21st 2017 with the New Moon in Leo. If you remember that New Moon was a solar eclipse, hence this Moon is a lunar eclipse. The Moon moves into Leo at 1:53 PM on Tuesday, January 30th, and exits Leo at 5:59 AM on Thursday, February 1st. This information is also detailed in my January 2018 Cosmic Concerns post and as in list below. January’s second Full Moon is a Blue Moon, an eclipse, and a Supermoon, all which will provide an extra dose of energy to your magick.

Some people are referring to this Full Moon as a Blood Moon, but this is a bit misleading. Some people call any Moon with red hue a Blood Moon, which is going to be the case with any lunar eclipse; however, Blood Moon is the name of October’s Moon. For clarity, I don’t use the two terms interchangeably, but some do. You will find a lot of people kind of freaking out about this Full Moon, but there’s no need. There’s extra energy, yes, but these events (solar and lunar eclipses) happen every year, and are not the huge deal that some people are making them out to be.

January 2018 Full Blue Moon Timing

  • January 30th, Tuesday: Moon void-of-course 11:40 AM, enters Leo 1:53 PM
  • January 31st, Wednesday: Full Moon at 8:27 AM
  • February 1st, Thursday: Moon void-of-course 5:59 AM, enters Virgo 2:13 PM

I recommend doing your Full Moon ritual on the evening of January 31st; shortly after 8:27 AM is ideal, but any time during the day is fine. You can also do your ritual any time on January 30th after 1:53 PM as well. Regardless, to charge items, they should sit out on the night of the 30th.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to Full Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

About a Full Blue Moon

Since January already had a Full Moon on the 1st, the January 31st Full Moon is a Blue Moon. The energy of a Blue Moon combines with the energy of that’s month Full Moon – in January’s case the Cold Moon. A Blue Moon happens when a month has a second Full Moon, something that happens roughly every 30 months. What’s interesting about this year is that we will have two Blue Moons, of which this is the first. The expression “once in a Blue Moon” indicates rarity, and the second Blue Moon of 2018 really will be unusual!

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Eight Imbolc Season Celebration Ideas

Imbolc should be my favorite Sabbat because I work with Brigid, the goddess honored on Imbolc, but I have dropped the ball several times. Last year, for example, we moved right before Imbolc, and everything we owned was boxed up, including a box of handmade candles that we blessed (I hope Brigid forgives me for that mess).

Below are ideas for solitaries, pairs, families, and covens, as well as many that would work with multiple configurations. Some require a little preparation or shopping, so I wanted to post them early enough that you can incorporate them into your Imbolc preparation. Remember, though, Imbolc is a six week long season and not just one day.

Note: If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere you will be celebrating Lughnasadh.

1: Altar Decoration: White and red are traditional colors associated with Brigid, who is said to have drank the milk of a white, red-eared cow. You can also decorate your altar with a solar theme, since Brigid is a sun goddess. Animals associated with Brigid include the cow, boar/pig, and fox.

2. Brigid’s Cross: The first craft that one of my witch friends and I ever did together was make Brigid’s Crosses, so this craft will always be extra special to me. It’s a relatively simple craft to complete and can be made as inexpensively as you like; I use green pine needles that I find on the ground. They should be hung over doors for protection all year, then burned on the next Imbolc after your new ones have been made. Directions can also be found easily online (this website is one example).

3. Candles: Brigid is associated with candles, so this is a perfect time of year to make candles, bless candles, or prepare spell candles. A candle blessing that I wrote for Brigid can be read here. Red, orange, and yellow are colors associated with the sun, so they are ideal to work with. Tealights can have sigils scratched into their surface easily with a toothpick, and larger candles can be decorated solo or by a coven. Stock up on yearly chime candles, and bless them all on Imbolc. If you’re feeling crafty, Imbolc is a perfect time to learn how to make your own candles.

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Book Review: Imbolc by Carl F. Neal (Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials Series)

Imbolc Llewellyn Sabbat EssentialsLlewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials series contains eight small books, one for each Sabbat in the pagan Wheel of the Year. The author varies by Sabbat with no author having more than two books in the series. Imbolc: Rituals, Recipes, and Lore for Brigid’s Day was written by Carl F. Neal. Neal is not an author with whom I am familiar; researching him it appears that his area of expertise is incense.

The standard sections in the Sabbat Essentials books are: Old Ways, New Ways, Spells and Divination, Recipes and Crafts, Prayers and Invocations, Rituals of Celebration, Correspondences, and Further Reading. There is also a Series Introduction that is the same in all eight books, so I won’t review it aside from saying that it is worth reading over annually. It also has two really beautiful Wheel of the Year illustrations, one for the Northern Hemisphere and one for the Southern Hemisphere, which is worth copying into your Book of Shadows.

The Old Ways section is as interesting as always, and contains a lot of helpful information about the history of the Sabbat. The section discusses what winter meant to people throughout history, and why that meaning makes Imbolc so important. Roman, Egyptian, Native American, and Asian traditions are discussed, as well as Celtic traditions and the goddess Brigid. The New Ways section discusses the difficulties of the Sabbat, and Brigid’s importance to Imbolc as well as modern paganism. Secular holidays are examined, and there is a brief examination of activities that can be done during the Imbolc season. Both of these section are quick overviews.

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Weekly Witch Question #2: Spells

Welcome to week two of the (Bi)Weekly Witch Question! This feature was inspired by a massive list of questions that my dad sent me about witchcraft. The phrasing of these questions were adjusted, if they were changed at all, for clarity. Feel free to ask any questions about witchcraft that you may have, and, if the question inspires you, respond in your own magickal journal. This question is another very common one that you will get asked after revealing that you’re a witch.

Question 2: Do witches cast spells? What sort of spells? Can they hurt people by casting spells? Is casting spells dangerous?

Yes, witches cast spells, but it would probably be more accurate to say that witches work with magick. Spells are of an almost infinite variety, but can truly be ‘for’ anything. Releasing negative energy, protection (both physical and non-physical), prosperity and abundance, love and self-love are some of the larger categories. However, it can be extremely specific: a spell to help you find your perfect home at the perfect price, a spell to make sure your baby is born safe and healthy, or a spell to ensure that a loved one recovers from a hospital stay are all spells that can be performed. There’s also weather magick, herbal magick, candle magick, and pretty much magick and witchcraft for every part of life including techno magick that uses technology. Other witches exclusively perform divination, so even though they don’t cast spells, they still work with magick.

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Hematite and Carnelian Crystal Grid for Depression

Crystal Grid to Fight Depression

Depression is one of the ‘invisible’ diseases that is becoming more common every year. I’ve had multiple requests to make a depression grid, or to discuss what crystals are best for treating depression, but I’ve been hesitant to do so because what I want people to use to treat their depression is therapy, not crystals. However, I’ve had enough requests that I feel that this is a ‘call’ and that I should answer it.

This crystal grid uses carnelian, hematite-included quartz (also called harlequin quartz), and clear quartz to help dispel the effects of depression. This red grid is meant to ‘light the fire’ necessary to take the next step in treating depression. Personally, I highly recommend finding a qualified and sympathetic therapist; I say this as a person who has gone to therapy themselves, it was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. Please understand that this crystal grid is an aid meant to supplement – not a replacement for – proper treatment.

These are, by no means, the only crystals that can be used for this grid or for depression. In my research, however, I found that many of the crystals specifically assigned to depression were extremely rare. As a rule I only use/recommend crystals that I consider reasonably affordable.

Supplies:

Carnelian x4
Quartz generator crystal
Crystal grid base
Hematite included quartz points x4

Before you begin, cleanse the crystals and the grid using your preferred method.
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Early January 2018 Magickal Link Roundup

January 2018 Links for Witches and Pagans

It’s time for another magickal link roundup wherein I have compiled this fortnight’s best resources from around the witchy web. I hope that 2018 is off to a good start for you all! I’m back to work and the grading grind (I’m a community college adjunct professor), which is kind of stale even when it’s fresh. Even though I love writing materials (hence this website) and staying organized, I’m ho hum on grading, since I essentially give the same feedback all the time. Of course, no one loves 100% of any job, so c’est la vie. I definitely miss writing for this website all December long and doing nothing else!

Below you will find the my favorite links from around the magickal interweb from the first half of January 2018. If you have a favorite witchy post/blog/product to share, please feel free to post it in the comments.

~ Early January 2018 Magickal Link Roundup ~

Astrology & Numerology

2018 Numerology: Balancing the “Me” and “We” in the 11/2 Universal Year on Astrostyle – 2018 is a Year 2 in numerology, a year of patience and planting seeds. This article goes into the details of what to expect in 2018, which is both a Year 2 and an 11 Master number year (and they go into what that means). As a numerology nerd from way back I always love to read about what the numbers have in store for us.

January Numerology: A New Personal Year Number for 2018 on Astro Style – I read this post about personal year numbers (any other 6’s out there?) and was like, “Hmm, interesting,” then an hour later it was clear that this was going to be completely accurate. Definitely check it out, maybe print yours and add it to your Book of Shadows, and plan on reflecting on it at the end of the month.

Books & Publications

Sigil Witchery: A Witch’s Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols by Laura Tempest Zakroff – Released on January 8th 2018 this book is all about sigil magick, a topic that I’m interested in learning more about. I won’t be buying it until I’ve seen in it person though; I know it’s weird, but I don’t like irregularly sized books, and this one is square. For me to buy a square book that’s going to drive me crazy, it would have to be really good. Hopefully, I will see it in person soon so that I can flip through it.

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Astra Anima’s Grimoire Zine: Issue 1 Protection and Reflection

Astra Anima's Grimoire Issue I: Protection and Reflection I’m super excited to announce that I’ve released my first witchcraft zine: Astra Anima’s Grimoire.

Issue #1: Protection & Reflection is a collection of spells, tools, and research on those two topics.

I’m a zinester from way back, so for me this is a return to my roots. My dad was a pretty well known figure in zines and underground comix in the 70s, and he got me into zines as a child. I published my first zine at the age of 7 and have published probably around 70 zines in my lifetime, including a long-running zine about my personal life that I wrote in High School (so cringy now).

Some of the spells in Issue #1 are revised and updated versions of articles that appear on this blog, while others are brand new and will never be published online. All told there are 5 protection/reflection magickal spells, 3 resource lists, and a further reading section.

The contents, in order, are:

  • Tourmaline Spell to Return Negativity
  • Sage Spell for Eliminating Negativity (preview shown below)
  • Witch Tips: Crystals for Protection (preview shown below)
  • How to Make & Use Cascarilla
  • Witch Tips: Deities & Spirits for Protection
  • Pillow Spell for Ending Bad Dreams
  • Evil Eye Jewelry Enchantment
  • Witch Tips: Plants and Trees for Protection
  • Bibliography & Recommended Reading

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New Moon January 16th 2018 in Capricorn

The January 2018 New Moon in Capricorn occurs at 9:17 PM EST on Tuesday, January 16th. The Moon then goes void-of-course at 1:30 AM on the next day (you can also think of it at that evening). The good news is that the Moon is in Sagittarius all day January 15th and it enters Sagittarius at 2:42 PM on Sunday, January 14th, so it will essentially be in Sagittarius for two full days. This gives us plenty of time to work with this New Moon. This information is also detailed in my January 2018 Cosmic Concerns post and is listed below.

New Moon January 2018 Timing

  • January 14th, Sunday: Moon enters Capricorn at 2:42 PM
  • January 15th, Monday: Moon is in Capricorn all day
  • January 16th, Tuesday: Moon is in Capricorn all day; New Moon at 9:42 PM
  • January 17th, Wednesday: Moon goes void-of-course at 1:30 AM

Practically speaking, all this means you can do your New Moon ritual on the evening of the 16th (recommended), or any time on the 15th.

The two week manifestation point for this New Moon is on Wednesday, January 31st 2018 with the Full Blue Moon in Leo. The six month manifestation point is on Thursday, June 28th 2018 with the Full Moon in Capricorn.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to New Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

New Moon in Capricorn

Capricorn is the tenth sign of the zodiac, a Cardinal, and an Earth sign that is ruled by Saturn. Capricorn is associated with winter and is associated by my favorite mythological animal, the hippocampus. It is the zodiac’s hard worker, ambitious, and anxious for a project. They are goal-oriented to the point of stubbornness, and can be curmudgeonly thanks to ruling planet Saturn.

In fact, Saturn moved into Capricorn in December 2017, and will stay there until 2020, making this an excellent time to work with Capricorn energy. This sign wants to be at the top of the mountain, and this can make them come off as domineering or egotistical, but they’d say that’s just the price you pay for being the best. Capricorns can also be patient, level-headed, fair dealing, and full of common sense. Yet, they can occasionally be unforgiving, and crave recognition for their work. This is a down-to-Earth sign that, like all Earth signs, isn’t afraid of hard work; as a Cardinal sign, Capricorn initiates action.

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Review: Coloring Book of Shadows Planner for a Magical 2018 by Amy Cesari

Coloring Book of Shadows 2018 by Amy CesariColoring Book of Shadows Planner for a Magical 2018 is written and illustrated by Amy Cesari, who also self-published this planner. Getting the book I had no idea that it was not traditionally published, which was really cool. After reading it, I only had a few inklings, which deserve a mention. At one point the author makes the assumption that all witches are pagans and uses the terms interchangeably. Also, on the November page, Cesari refers to Scorpio energy as “selfish,” and as a Scorpio you can guess how I took that. A broader issue is that the reader is encouraged to “channel” various entities at different times; using channeling as a harmless or simple concept is probably something a witchcraft editor would have advised against. The Mabon “Flaming Pumpkin Sacrifice” spell seems flat out dangerous, as in, burn your house down dangerous. Those are all of my complains because I actually really like this planner, so let’s move on to the good stuff.

The Coloring Book of Shadows Planner for a Magical 2018 measures 9″ x 6″ and the cover of the book is matte black. It has a clean-yet-magical vibe to it that also fills the pages inside. While I got the bound version of the book – which was much cheaper – a spiral bound version is also available. This is very much appreciated since I love to have a planner that I can fold in half on a desk or lay completely flat for writing. It has a total of 156 pages, and there are illustrations on every page.

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A Witch’s Guide to Magickal Blogging Part 1: How and Where to Start

So you want to start a magickal blog. Great! Now the question is where to begin. You might have a lot of great ideas, but you don’t know what to do with them, or maybe no ideas, but a desire to write. A Witch’s Guide to Magickal Blogging is a four part series meant to help you take the steps you need to in order to start writing your magickal blog. I have been blogging for well over 10 years, so it’s definitely something I feel comfortable talking about. In Part 1 you will take the first three steps, finding out who you are as a writer, exploring what you want to write, and deciding where you want to host your blog. Let’s get started …

Step 1: Who Are You?

One thing that will largely influence what your magickal blog is like is who you are. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you younger or older?
  • Are you an experienced witch or new to the Craft?
  • Do you have a set path or are you finding your way?

Your age means that you will have specific experience that relates to your phase of life. A young witch in college can write study spells, whereas a parent raising magickal children could write about their witchlings. A teenaged college student wouldn’t know about being a magickal parent, nor would the adult with kids know about being a carefree college student, and you know what? That’s a good thing! Your life experiences inform your magick which, in turn, guides your witchy writing.

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Weekly Witch Question #1: The Devil

I’m am very excited to introduce a new feature this week, the Weekly Witch Question! This feature was inspired by a massive list of questions that my dad sent me about witchcraft. This will be a regular feature this year, appearing every other Friday. The phrasing of these questions were adjusted, if they were changed at all, for clarity.

Feel free to ask any questions about witchcraft that you may have, too. You will also find a question for your magickal journal at the bottom. I absolutely promise you that, if and when you come out of the ‘broom closet’, this question will be one of the first you are asked.

Question 1: Do witches worship the Devil? Do they worship nature?

The Devil Mystic Mondays Tarot

Witches do not worship the Devil, though most people seem to think that we do. The easiest way to describe it is by explaining that witches don’t worship the Devil because the Devil is something that Christians made up; it has nothing to do with us. I would feel comfortable claiming that very few people worship the Christian Devil at all. Some pagans believe that the Christian Devil is based on the Great Horned God, who, with the Goddess, moves around the cyclic Wheel of the Year. He’s born again at Yule, which is akin to the Christian Christmas. However, that’s pagan, and not witchcraft.

While ‘pagan’ is an umbrella term for people who follow an Earth Based Belief System (EBBS) that usually involves the spark of ‘divinity’ in nature; witches do not all fall under this umbrella because not all witches are pagan. Witches don’t actually ‘worship’ anything because witchcraft isn’t a religion. Rather, it’s a practice, a Craft, something you do, rather than something you follow. The only witchcraft religion that is officially recognized by the government (at this time) is Wicca, and many witches and pagans are not Wiccan, myself included. This is potentially changing since there are many types of witches and none of us are afforded with religious protections that come with being an officially recognized religion. In other words, if you’re not a religion you can’t experience religious persecution or discrimination, but many of us do. So while witchcraft isn’t a religion, it gets into a gray area very quickly.

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25 Bullet Journal Ideas for Witches

Bullet Journal Ideas for Witches and Pagans

There’s no shortage of bullet journal guides out there, but what about bullet journaling for witches? We have a specific set of needs, so below are some witchy ways to fill your bullet journal that I hope you will find inspiring.

What is a Bullet Journal (BuJo)?

In short, a bullet journal is an organizational system that favors simplicity above all else. A bullet journal can be created with nothing more than a notebook and a pen; they are a catch-all way to organize life. The bullet journal system was created by Rider Carroll. If you have never heard of bullet journaling before, the basics can be found on the BulletJournal.com website.

BuJo Page Ideas for Witches

Astrology & Moon Magick

1. Monthly Moon Phases
2. Yearly Full & New Moon Phases and/or Dates
3. Yearly or Monthly Planetary Movement (Cosmic Concerns)
4. Your Birth Chart
5. Numerology (monthly or yearly)
6. Mercury Retrogrades
7. Lunar Tracker

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Astra Anima’s 2017 Year in Review

2017 Year in Review

2017 was my second year writing here on Astra Anima; I wrote for much of the Spring, took some time off over the Summer, (thankfully) found my muse again, and returned to writing in the Fall. This year I feel like I figured out my voice, both in the sense of what I wanted to write, and how I wanted to write it.

Much of the information that I post here is information that goes straight into my own magickal diary: recipes I cook in my own kitchen, information that I’ve researched, and spells that I’ve performed myself (and that have worked). Writing here gives me a better understanding of my own path and makes me a better witch; that you want to read it too is such an honor to me.

Below you will find the eight most popular posts on the blog this year, as well as my eight personal favorites. At the bottom of the page is a look forward to 2018.

Top 8 Articles

  1. A Witch’s Guide to Starting Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows
  2. A Witch’s Guide to Organizing Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows
  3. Simple Kitchen Witch Coffee Spell
  4. Eight Samhain Season Celebration Ideas
  5. Full Moon December 3rd 2017 in Gemini
  6. Thoughts on Mercury Retrograde 4/28/16 – 5/22/16
  7. Self-Love and Acceptance Spell
  8. Crystal Closeup: Citrine

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