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

Continue reading

Advertisements

Simple Sage Spell for Eliminating Everyday Negativity

Simple Sage Smoke Spell

There was a time in my life when there was a lot going wrong; not anything that was significant on its own, but lots of little things that added up to a bigger picture. The ‘run of bad luck’ that magickal folks are always a little suspicious of, shall we say. I worked on protecting my home multiple ways, which worked very well, but I also needed to work on myself.

While I believe there is absolutely a time and place for healthy negativity, I found myself thinking negative thoughts almost constantly, dwelling on things long after they were resolved, and finding a lot of negative things being attracted to my life. Along with a serious energy cleaning and protection work on my home, I started using this daily sage spell, and it worked wonders. Eventually the odd ‘coincidences’ went away, and the run of ‘bad luck’ ended. I hope that you will find it helpful as well!

Simple Sage Spell for Eliminating Everyday Negativity

Supplies:

  • Cauldron or fire-proof container
  • Lighter or matches
  • Sage bundle or loose leaves

Continue reading

Book Review: Practical Protection Magick by Ellen Dugan

Practical Protection Magick by Ellen DuganI picked up Ellen Dugan’s book, Practical Protection Magick: Guarding & Reclaiming Your Power, over a year before I read it, then once I did read it, months passed before I wrote this review of it. I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to reviewing this book because my views of it are, on the whole, quite positive (you all know how critical I can be of witchcraft books), and I think it deserves a spot in the library of anyone who is interested in the subject of protection magick.

Practical Protection Magick was published by Llewellyn in 2011 and has kind of a ‘look how witchy I am’ style cover, which I hope won’t deter you from reading it. In the introduction Dugan explains that this book on protection magick and psychic self defense exists in the ‘middle ground’ between so-called white and black magick. A lot of purists don’t believe in protection/defense magick, while others don’t feel comfortable with this, shall we say, shadier side of the magickal path. That’s partially because, as Dugan points out, witches either like to consider themselves invulnerable, or pretend that no one in our community is sketchy (yeah, right). The book contains information, spells, and exercises divided into nine chapters that include four elemental-themed (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water) chapters, amongst others. The level of this book is definitely intermediate, though there are things in here that both beginning and advanced witches should find helpful.

I really enjoyed Chapter 1: “Psychic Awareness and Witchery,” which includes a self-assessment to help one determine what their psychic strengths (and, by association, their weaknesses) are. The four types of psychic strengths analyzed are clairvoyance, clairaudience, empathy, and intuition. Most witches consider themselves to be one or more of these things, but having a survey to take and analyze was very helpful. The results that I got provided me with some interesting insights. The section that follows discusses strengths and weaknesses of each type, which I found extremely informative. Chapter 2: “Knowledge is Power (Air)” also begins with a self-reflection; a series of questions to help the reader understand their own magickal background. This is followed by an exploration of psychic attack, including how to notice it, symptoms of it, how to deal with it, and a section on different types of hauntings.

Continue reading

Crystal Closeup: Carnelian

Carnelian, also called red carnelian, is one of my absolutely favorite crystals to work with. It’s a variety of chalcedony that is translucent and ranges from orange-red to very red, generally with streaks. Carnelian is one of the birthstones of May. If the bands are strong it is called carnelian agate; dark reddish-brown varieties are known as sard. Carnelian works to calm the blood, and I’ve found wearing a carnelian ring to be especially effective during my ‘moon time’ when pretty much nothing else calms me down even a little bit. My partner also knows that when I swap my rose quartz ring for the carnelian one, it’s ‘that time’ again.

Below is a breakdown of some of the important information about carnelian, which you can copy into your grimoire, and some suggested magickal activities.

Crystal: Carnelian

Astrology: Cancer, Leo, Taurus

Element: Fire

Family: Chalcedony

Mohs: 7

Magickal Uses: Cleansing, Protection

Metaphysical Properties: Assists with analysis, perception, memory, and precision, as it keeps the mind alert. Its calming, stabilizing energy also protects against anger, aggression, fear, and rage. Helps get rid of sadness, shyness, grief, and jealousy. It awakens inner talent and motivates work on that talent. Provides energy for emotionally stabilizing the home while encouraging harmony and love. Additionally, it cleanses negative energy from other crystals. Works well with other crystals for protection from negative energy and psychic attack.

Continue reading

How to Make and Use Cascarilla Powder

Cascarilla (kas-kuh-ree-uh) is powered eggshell that can be used in a wide variety of spells and charms. It is especially useful cleansing and protection magick; however, don’t confuse it with the plant of the same name. This wonderfully useful substance is easy to make and use. In fact, it’s so easy to make at home that I don’t see any point in buying it from someone else, though plenty of places sell it. Chicken egg cascarilla is the most common, by far, but theoretically any egg could be used.

Cascarilla is made from eggshells, so it’s not vegan, but with a little effort you can easily make sure it’s cruelty free. Another reason that I simply will not buy cascarilla is that there’s no way to know how the eggs were obtained and how the chickens that created those eggs were treated. If a chicken is tormented in a factory farm, how could that misery not infuse its egg? What energy does that then transfer to your space or magickal workings?

How to Make Cascarilla Powder

Supplies:

  • Airtight bottle or container
  • Eggshells
  • Mortar and pestle

Directions:

Begin by removing the membrane from the egg shells. Place the eggshells into a mortar and grind with the pestle using circular motions in a sunwise (clockwise) direction. Continue to grind until the egg shells are the desired texture. Store in airtight bottle or container.

Continue reading

Eight Beltane Season Celebration Ideas

The Beltane season is upon us! Whether you celebrate on May Day Eve (April 30th) or May Day (May 1st) the light half of the year has officially begun. Beltane is generally treated as a fertility festival with a heavy emphasis on sexuality. That’s not my interest in this Sabbat, however. In fact, fertility in the traditional sense is about the last thing that this Pagan couple wants. Additionally, I wanted to come up with a list that works for families with kids and LGBTQ folks who (must) feel excluded from traditionally hetero/Wiccan celebrations, especially Beltane. Witchcraft and paganism is for everyone folks, not just heterosexuals. I know a lot of people celebrate Beltane without the kids, as well, but we try to include them in some type of seasonal activity for every Sabbat.

Regardless of how you choose to observe the Sabbats, below are eight ideas for Beltane celebrations to add to your seasonal activities, be they solitary, in pairs, with kids, in a coven, or conducted from inside the “broom closet.” Remember that Beltane is a season and not just one day; these activities can be done any time in the six weeks between Beltane and Midsummer.

1. Ancestor Work: When you think of ancestor work you are probably going to think of Samhain. However, in the southern hemisphere, Beltane is Samhain. The veil is just as thin on Beltane as it is on Samhain, and each kicks off their respective halves of the year (Beltane for light and Samhain for dark). Because of this you can still communicate with the departed, ask for their blessing, or give them an offering. It’s a nice time to check in and update your ancestors on how you’ve been doing over the last six months. One way to do this is to write them a letter, address the envelope with their name(s), and then burn it in your cauldron or a fire safe container. Offerings to the deceased are traditionally burned as burning items releases it into the ether.

2. Aromatherapy: When you live in a place where the seasons don’t change much, using seasonal fragrances can make it feel like the Wheel of the Year is still turning. We aren’t super strict about it, but generally lavender is a spring/Imbolc scent whereas patchouli is used in the fall/Samhain season. Some suggested scents for Beltane include gardenia, honeysuckle, jasmine, lilac, lily, rose, and any other floral that you enjoy.

Continue reading

Crystal Closeup: Topaz

Growing up as a November baby I must confess that I thought that I had lamest birthstone imaginable: topaz. It was just so yellow and I always longed for my sister’s birthstone (amethyst) to be mine instead. I felt like it was some cosmic mix-up where she got a cool birthstone and I got an uncool one. Happily, as an adult I made peace with my birthstone, and discovered that topaz and amethyst can be used in conjunction to create powerful, healing energy.

Topaz comes in a variety of colors including blue, brown, colorless, green, orange, and pink. The classic, yellow variety is the most common and is one of November’s birthstones. A lot of the topaz on the market has been treated in some way: much of blue topaz is heat-treated colorless topaz, and all ‘mystic topaz’ has been treated. Some of the most well-known natural topaz comes from Brazil, specifically the Ouro Preto deposit. The label ‘topaz’ was used for hundreds of years to indicate a yellow crystal, but in the 1800s the meaning of ‘topaz’ was refined, and many other colors of the gem were discovered.

Below is a breakdown of some of the important information about topaz, which you can copy into your grimoire, and some suggested magickal activities.

Continue reading