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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