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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Magickal Journal Ideas for January 2018

Magickal Journal Ideas for January 2018

Happy (almost) Solar New Year, everyone! Can we agree to call the first month of the year Plan-uary? Because I always seem to buy a new journal or planner right before the new year starts. Personally, I’m starting a BuJo this year (yes, I’m years behind on this), and I’m really excited. Below I’ve have a list of topics to pack your magickal journal, grimoire, or book of shadows over the course of January. There are both prompts and correspondences below.

Activities/Prompts

Planning Ahead: January is an excellent time to plan ahead. Even if you celebrate one of the many, many other ‘new year’ times on the calendar, the people around you will likely be observing a solar year in some form. Now is an excellent time to write down Full and New Moon dates, signs, and times; Sabbat days for the Wheel of the Year; or brainstorm a list of topics you would like to add to your magical journal over the course of 2018. This is also a great time to set up a magickal journal if you don’t already have one.

Release List: I enjoy a good gratitude list (aka my cat’s name and then a bunch of food I want to eat) just as much as the next person, but for the new solar year consider writing a list of things to release instead. What no longer serves you? What holds you back? Write them down and (try to) let them go. Burn the release list for an extra boost of GTFO.

Something New: Think of a new skill you’d like to add to your witchcraft repertoire. Have you always wanted to try a different type of scrying? Make your own oracle deck? Create charm bags? If you’re drawn to something that usually means you have a knack for it. Try out a new witchy skill and add the information to your magical journal.

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Full Moon January 1st 2018 in Cancer

Moon Magick January 2018

January 2018’s Full Moon is on Monday, January 1st at 9:24 PM EST; this Full Moon ends the cycle that started on June 23rd 2017 with the New Moon in Cancer. The Moon moves into Cancer at 3:10 AM on Monday January 1st, and exits Cancer at 5:46 PM on Tuesday January 2nd. This information is also detailed in my January 2018 Cosmic Concerns post and as in list below.

January 2018 Full Cold Moon Timing

  • January 1st, Monday: Moon enters Cancer 3:10 AM, Full Moon at 9:24 PM
  • January 2nd, Tuesday: Moon void-of-course 5:46 PM
  • January 3rd, Wednesday: Moon enters Leo 2:23 AM

I recommend doing your Full Moon ritual on the evening of January 1st, after 9:24 PM is ideal, but any time during the day is fine. You can do your ritual any time on January 2nd before 5:46 PM as well. Regardless, to charge items, they should sit out on the night of the 1st. January’s Full Moon is also a Supermoon, which will provide an extra dose of energy to your magick.

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 January’s Full Moon

The two most common names for January’s Full Moon are the Cold Moon and the Wolf Moon. The name Cold Moon comes from January being one of the coldest times of the year; the name Wolf Moon is related since this is the time of winter when food is running low and wolves are growing hungry. Another name for the January Full Moon is the Moon After Yule, since the January Full Moon always occurs after the pagan holiday Yule, but before Imbolc, the next Sabbat on the pagan calendar. This Moon is occasionally called the Snow Moon, but that title usually refers to the February Full Moon. The message of this Moon is that we are in the heart of winter and must survive. This indicates a time of patience and hibernation.

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Cosmic Concerns: January 2018

January 2018 Cosmic Information

This list of January 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, January 2018

2nd: Uranus Direct in Aries 9:13 AM
11th: Mercury enters Capricorn 12:09 AM
17th: Venus enters Aquarius 8:33 PM
19th: Sun enters Aquarius 10:09 PM
26th: Mars enters Sagittarius 7:56 AM
31st: Mercury enters Aquarius 8:39 AM

Moon Cycle, January 2018

1st: Moon enters Cancer 3:10 AM, Full Moon in Cancer 9:24 PM
2nd: Moon void-of-course 6:46 PM
14th: Moon enters Capricorn 2:42 PM
16th: New Moon in Capricorn 9:17 PM
17th: Moon void-of-course 1:30 AM, enters Aquarius 3:32 AM
30th: Moon void-of-course 11:40 AM, enters Leo 1:53 PM
31st: Full Moon in Leo 8:27 AM

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Cosmic Concerns: New and Full Moons of 2018

New and Full Moon Dates for 2018

The goal of this Cosmic Concerns masterpost is to provide you with all of the New and Full Moon dates and times for 2018 so that you can add them to your magickal journal and/or plan ahead accordingly. 2018 looks to be an interesting year for Moon magick with twelve New Moons, and thirteen Full Moon, two of which are Blue Moons (the name for the second Full Moon in a month). There are two Full Moons in Cancer and no Full Moon in the month of February. All times are in EST and should be adjusted for your time zone, this may change the date that several Moons fall on depending on where you live.

New Moon Dates 2018

  • January 16th 2018 at 9:17 PM in Capricorn
  • February 15th 2018 at 4:05 PM in Aquarius (Solar Eclipse)
  • March 17th 2018 at 9:12 AM in Pisces
  • April 15th 2018 at 9:57 PM in Aries
  • May 15th 2018 at 7:48 AM in Taurus
  • June 13th 2018 at 3:43 PM in Gemini
  • July 12th 2018 at 10:48 PM in Cancer
  • August 11th 2018 at 5:58 AM in Leo
  • September 9th 2018 at 2:01 PM in Virgo
  • October 8th 2018 at 11:47 PM in Libra
  • November 7th 2018 at 11:02 AM in Scorpio
  • December 7th 2018 at 2:20 AM in Sagittarius

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Yule by Dorothy Morrison (Llewellyn’s Holiday Series)

Yule a Celebration of Light and Warmth by Dorthy MorrisonLlewellyn’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 a while back. This was partially out of nostalgia and partially in the hopes of supplementing some of the weaker Sabbat Essentials books. “Yule: A Celebration of Light and Warmth” by Dorothy Morrison is the second book that I read in the Holiday Series, and it’s excellent. This book’s Sabbat Essentials counterpart is “Yule” by Susan Pesznecker, which is also great.

While the information in many of the Holiday books is outdated, there is still a lot of good information in them. In fact, some of the Holiday books are better than their more contemporary Essentials Series counterparts. One of the quirks of the Holiday series is that some books are titled the Christian or secular name of the holiday, which is a little odd. I think it was done so that you could read the books in public and/or give them to muggles, but it’s not consistent throughout the series. Thankfully “Yule: A Celebration of Light and Warmth” by Dorothy Morrison is not one of those.

Morrison’s “Yule” was first published in 2000 and I have a first edition, 11th printing from 2011. I absolutely love the cover, it’s so festive and pretty. A few more notable differences between the Holiday Series and the Sabbat Essentials Series are that the Holidays Series does not have consistent covers/spines (though they are all the same size), or a uniform chapter structure, and that the Holiday Series books are much larger in size than the Essentials Series books.

“Yule: A Celebration of Light and Warmth” is divided into four sections with a whopping twenty total chapters; in the interest of economy I will be review each of the four sections, rather than each sub-section, which would be tedious.

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New Moon December 18th 2017 in Sagittarius

Sagittarius Plate from Urania's Mirror

The December 2017 New Moon in Sagittarius occurs at 1:30 AM EST on Monday, December 18th. The Moon then goes void-of-course at 8:10 AM on the same day, so even though the New Moon is technically on the 18th, you will almost certainly observe it before (unless you’re a night owl). The Moon then enters Capricorn at 8:33 AM that same day. The good news is that the Moon is in Sagittarius all day December 16th and 17th, and it enters Sagittarius at 8:07 PM on Friday December 15th, 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 December 2017 Cosmic Concerns and is listed below.

New Moon December 2017 Timing

  • December 15th, Friday: Moon enters Sagittarius 8:07 PM
  • December 16th, Saturday: Moon is in Sagittarius all day
  • December 17th, Sunday: Moon is in Sagittarius all day
  • December 18th, Monday: New Moon at 1:30 AM; Moon void-of-course 8:10 AM, enters Capricorn 8:33 AM

Practically speaking, all this means you can do your New Moon ritual after 8:07 PM on the 15th, or any time on the 16th or 17th (recommended). Remember that this New Moon is also during a Mercury Retrograde, so tread lightly when it comes to putting big plans into action.

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Coven Craft: Fillable Intention Ornaments

How to Make Filled Intention Ornaments

If you’re looking for a Yule craft to do this year with your coven, magickal family, or solo, I present to you: filled intention ornaments. This is the very craft that my coven is creating for Yule 2017, and I’m very excited to share it with you.

Traditionally, an evergreen tree was brought inside the house as an act of sympathetic magick, protecting the forest throughout the harsh winter months. The tree was decorated with candles to represent the returning light, which is where the tradition of twinkle lights comes from. The round ornaments we are all familiar with represent the sun, as well, making this craft perfect for Yule. These ornaments can be made any time during the Yuletide season and can be done solo, with witchlings, or with a coven.

Below you will find a supply list, directions, and a list of correspondences that you can print for you or your group. Items can be mixed, matched, or left out as you please. The directions below make ten ornaments. The cost of each ornament is about $7 if you have to buy all the supplies, but you will probably have a lot of the supplies already on hand. My personal shopping list is in the Notes section. If you have a small coven like we do, this craft makes beautiful, personalized gifts for your friends and family.

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Eight Yule Season Celebration Ideas

Yule Season Celebration Ideas

While Samhain is the New Year for Wiccans, Yule is the New Year in the Druid tradition. My partner is Druid, and the solar new year works well for me, so we celebrate Yule as the last Sabbat in the Wheel of the Year. Below you will find a list of ideas for solitaries, partners, covens, and witch families that I hope will add a little variety to your Yule celebrations. Remember that Yule is a six week long season, not just one day! Please feel free to post suggestions in the comments, and have a beautiful Yuletide, friends.

1. DIY Garlands: Decking the halls with garlands is a fun way to decorate for the Yule season without spending a lot of money. Garlands that are made with food items can be placed outside after Yule as offerings, as well as for animals. Outdoor food offerings in winter are just as important as outdoor water offerings are in summer (I’m looking at my fellow Floridian witches). Make garlands out of cranberries, popcorn, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Garlands made from fresh ingredients should be checked for mold, but shouldn’t attract critters unless you make a chocolate bonbon garland.

2. Enchanted Ornaments: There’s a craft that I’ve been wanting to do for years that I never get around to, and it’s making witchy ornaments. This year, it’s finally happening. Specifically, I got clear plastic ball ornaments (because I will drop them) and before our coven’s Yule ritual we are going to fill them with various herbs and crystals with specific correspondences. These would make awesome coven gifts, too, and could be tailored to the recipients by addings names, symbols, or sigils with paint markers. These fillable ornaments are widely available online, and are available in many sizes as well. My directions for this craft will be up on the website early next week, too.

3. Handmade Snow Globes: A fun Yule craft is making your own snow globes; this craft can be done with witchlings too, provided they are old enough and/or responsible enough. All you need are jars, fillers (small plastic toys, tumbled crystals, or anything that’s small and won’t dissolve in water), glitter or fake snow, aquarium glue or E6000, and water. Using waterproof glue, affix items to the inside of the lid of the jar – that will be the bottom of your snow globe – to form a scene, and let dry completely. Add glitter, fake snow, snowflake confetti, or whatever you want floating around, to the bottom of the jar, and fill partially with water. Test with the lid to see how much water your items displace, then glue the lid to the jar with waterproof glue and let dry. Once it’s dry, flip the jar over, and you have a beautiful, handmade snowglobe. You can even write the year on it and make it an annual tradition in your household.

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Magickal Journal Ideas for December 2017

Magickal Journal Ideas and Prompts for December 2017

I started this feature last month and it very helpful for my own writing. I am keeping it going this month because, to me, December is the perfect time to stay indoors and work on a project. Below I’ve have a list of topics to pack your magickal journal over the course of December. There are both prompts and correspondences below.

Activities/Prompts

Brag Letter: One of my favorite holiday traditions is the brag letter. A member of my own family sends one, and it’s always highly anticipated. The brag letter gets a bad reputation because we are supposed to be ‘humble’, but what’s wrong with being proud of our accomplishments? Consider writing a brag letter of your own in your magickal journal; there’s no need to send it if that makes you uncomfortable, just write it out. It can be as serious or as sarcastic as you want, and it might even surprise you.

Guided Meditation: December, for me, is a month of introspection. Consider a guided meditation; you can find one with the audio already recorded online, or you can use a written one and record yourself reading it. If you choose the latter, add the text of the guided meditation to your magickal journal, along with your reflection.

New Year’s Divination: The Yuletide season is the perfect time for divination, especially about the coming year. Record the results of your divination, and, if you have it, reflect on your divination from the previous Yule.

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Full Moon December 3rd 2017 in Gemini

December 2017 Full Moon in Gemini

December’s Full Moon is on Sunday, December 3rd at 10:47 PM EST; this Full Moon ends the cycle that started on May 25th 2017 with the New Moon in Gemini. The Moon moves into Gemini at 4:21 PM on Saturday December 2nd, and exits Gemini at 2:13 PM on Monday December 4th. This information is also available in list form in my December 2017 Cosmic Concerns post.

Importantly, Mercury, which is Gemini’s ruling planet, goes Retrograde just before the Full Moon at 2:34 AM EST on Sunday the 3rd. Because of that, I recommend doing your Full Moon ritual on the evening of December 2nd after 4:21 PM. You can do your ritual any time on December 3rd if you choose, of course. Regardless, to charge items, they should sit out on the night of the 2nd. December’s Full Moon is also a Supermoon, so enjoy the extra close Moon time.

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 December’s Full Moon

There are many names for December’s Full Moon, but the most common is the Cold Moon and Long Nights Moon. Native Americans called it the Cold Moon for obvious reasons; the December Full Moon shines down on some chilly weather. Additionally, some Native American tribes called it the Long Nights Moon because it’s the time of the year when the night is the longest. For modern people, winter can be anywhere between somewhat inconvenient and quite enjoyable, but traditionally winter was a time of extreme danger through which survival was not guaranteed. The message of December’s Full Moon, grounded in this tradition, is that the winter has arrived and it must be endured.

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My Current Magickal Book Wishlist

One of my proudest accomplishments of 2017 (the year’s not even over yet, but whatever) is that I started reading more. I’m a teacher, so I’m reading for work constantly, which means leisure reading takes a back seat whenever school is in session. Happily, I found a place for regular reading in my day-to-day life, at the gym of all places, and I’ve been steadily working my way through my magickal book shelves ever since.

This is essentially a Top 10 list of witchcraft and paganism books that I’d like to read before the end of next year. To be on the list it has to be on my Amazon wishlist and I have to not have a copy of it yet. You could use it as a guide to bulk up your own reading list/magickal library, and if you have read any of these, I would love to know what you think of them! They are organized alphabetically by book title; clicking on images opens the cover image larger, and book title links go to Amazon.

Ancient Ways by Pauline Campanelli

Ancient Ways: Reclaiming the Pagan Tradition by Pauline Campanelli (2014) – There are two Pauline Campanelli books on my wishlist, the other is Wheel of the Year: Living a Magical Life. This book is for the whole Wheel of the Year; most of the books I have are for one Sabbat, so I’m interested in adding another book to my shelves that covers the whole year.

The Hearth Witch's Compendium by Anna Franklin

The Hearth Witch’s Compendium: Magical and Natural Living for Every Day by Anna Franklin (2017) – I am always wanting to learn more about witchcraft, especially around the home, which is where I do the majority of my magickal work. This book is an assemblage of recipes, spells, and tips and it has excellent reviews. I leafed through it at the bookstore and it looks like a really good reference to have around.

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