Greetings, witches and friends! I know, I’ve been a little lax in the publishing department, but I know you understand that things are a little hectic right now.
I feel like it’s fairly typical of me to have massive deadlines during a global pandemic AND retrograde season. F*CK THAT! But them’s the breaks.
Anyway, retrograde season is here to f*ck with us, and I’m here to offer you an easy spell to help you deal with that. Brilliant, right?
Why is Retrograde Season a Nightmare?
Okay, so here’s the situation on Retrogrades right now, everyone:
Mercury Retrograde I’ve covered before, so feel free to head over there and read those ranty-rants. Jupiter Retrograde is manifesting right now in the general clusterf*ckery of 2020, read: Covid-19, financial crisis, economic downturns etc, but it does offer us some opportunities to reflect on what we want to release, and what we want to work on going forward. Saturn Retrograde reminds us to look inward at our emotional responses, and our personal and technological boundaries. Neptune Retrograde rips off the bandaid of emotional cushioning and leaves us exposed to examine our own realities and how we interact with them. Finally, Pluto Retrograde invites us to look at our dependencies on the more material things in life – work, consumerism, capitalism, technology. So overall, it’s a good time to examine our emotional attachments and STUFF.
So, what are we going to do about it?
Glad you asked. This is Witchcraft Wednesday, after all. So we’re going to do a spell that focuses on the following key points:
What is holding me back?
What do I need to release?
What am I hiding from myself?
How can I be more present in my body and soul?
For this spell, you will need:
A black candle A purple candle A pink candle* A lighter A pen/marker 3 x bay leaves A fire-safe dish/cauldron Matches or a lighter *Of course, if you do not have access to these candle colours, remember that white subs in for anything else*
What to do:
Cast your circle, or cleanse your space. Centre and ground yourself. Call in your spiritual support system.
Now, take the marker (white would be handy in this situation, or silver/gold) and mark your black candle with a rune or words that relate to what you feel you need protection from. Negative thoughts? Temptation to take the easy option?
Do the same with the purple candle – this time, mark it with a rune or words that reflect a bad habit you want to let go of.
On the pink candle, write a message of self-love. Remind yourself how f*cking awesome you are.
Now, line your three candles up (safely) on your altar, in any order. Write a corresponding message from each candle on each of your bay leaves.
Light the candles, and reflect on those messages, in the present tense. For example, “I release the jealousy I feel over Karen’s big back garden.” Once you’re really focused in on those affirmations, light each bay leaf from its corresponding candle, and let it burn in the fireproof dish or cauldron. Once all three leaves are burnt to ash in the cauldron, wait for your candles to burn down. As always, make sure you’re safe here! Never leave candles unattended etc.
Once your candles are burned down as far as they can go, or entirely, place any remnants of them into the cauldron and mix them up with the bay leaf ashes.
Finally, pop the lid onto your cauldron, or cover the fireproof dish.
Close your circle, thanking the spirits for their help.
Take your ashes and candle remnants and bury them somewhere they won’t be disturbed. You are placing your petitions into the Earth, so be mindful of that, and don’t add anything plastic or toxic. If you don’t have a garden or a local space to safely bury, you can also throw them in the bin and take the rubbish right out of the house, or even flush ashes down the toilet (do not recommend for wax remnants, though). Do what feels right for you.
Your spell is complete! Go forth and conquer Retrograde Season, witches. If you do this spell, post a picture on Instagram or Facebook and tag me!
Greetings, witches and friends. It’s Wednesday. We’re tired. There’s a reason humpday is one of the most despised days in existence. It’s super far from the weekend (even though it’s only 2 days) and, let’s be honest, what even is a weekend anymore?
Anyway, it is my understanding, based on extensive research of myself and maybe 3 other people, that we’re feeling a bit stagnant. We’re feeling the lockdown vibes, we’re feeling the buildup of tension within the home. We’re in each other’s faces, or we’re all alone and slowly losing our minds.
Let me tell you, whatever you are experiencing, you are not alone.
Today, we are going to shake some of those negative vibes the f*ck off. For some of you, this will be pretty standard practice. Maybe you have a daily cleansing routine. Maybe you just sleep with a Selenite tower right next to your head. Maybe you burn so much sage in your place that the neighbours are about to call the authorities because the smell is so strong (let’s be honest, it does kind of smell like weed, everyone, in a way).
Regardless, let’s do this together. Let’s say F*CK NO to bad vibes in our homes.
Let’s cleanse this sh*t.
You’re going to need:
Incense (anything will do, don’t panic, but if you have it, something Sage or Palo-Santo or Frankincense based is ideal).
Our old trusty friend, the white candle. Any size, any scent, if it’s a birthday candle, that’s cool. If it’s electric orange, whatever. Work with what you’ve got.
Your altar or spell-casting space.
A pen and a piece of paper
Some string/wool/yarn/a hair elastic/actual hair/dental floss
A lighter or matches to set sh*t on fire.
Here’s what to do:
First off, let’s take a bath or shower. Let’s literally cleanse ourselves. Let’s wash that grimy, too-many-snacks feeling off of us. Let’s bask in the tub or breathe in the shower steam. Add some herbs. Sage, Rosemary, whatever you’ve got. Add some bath salts. Treat yourself. You’ve earned it.
Now that you’re all squeaky clean, let’s cast our circle. Again, you don’t have to. Just get your space ready in whichever way you like to do that. I like to light some incense first, and then cast the circle. You do you.
Right, now it’s time to address that dark, sh*tty little niggle in your mind that is making you feel like crap. There are probably a few of them. Write them down. Are you slowly losing the will to live because your neighbours are super loud and seem to drop barbells on the floor every five minutes? Are you developing an eye twitch because it’s sunny outside and you’re stuck INSIDE? Are you feeling hopeless or helpless? Are you sick of cooking and doing the dishes on repeat? Because I am. It’s making me want to stab myself in the face. I just want to eat food that doesn’t require dishes. Anyway. As usual. Back to the point. Write these things down (If you have the whole bay leaf/cauldron option available to you, it’s a great way to do it) on the paper (or the bay leaf, whatever). Be honest, be specific, and really dive in deep. We’re in Venus Retrograde, witches, shadow work all the way. I know that the person who is pissing me off the most right now is MYSELF. So I’m going to write that down.
Now that you’ve purged all of that onto the page, it’s time to wrap it up. Literally, roll the paper, fold the paper, tie it up with string. Now that those things are tightly wound up (just like you WON’T be after this ritual – wink!), place the paper on the altar next to your white candle.
Light that candle.
I cleanse this space, I cleanse this home. Cast out excess stressors grown. I cast it off, I burn away The gathered dust; reset today.
Play with it. Reword it. This is your practice – you can do whatever you want with it. I am here merely to serve you as a humble guide.
Now it’s time to – you guessed it – MEDITATE. Visualise yourself literally blowing cobwebs out – each web is a dodgy vibe you’ve been holding onto. Each spec of dust is a piece of self-doubt. Each grubby mark you mentally wipe away is a negative feeling you’re holding in your chest toward something or someone else. CLEAN IT. Do it in your mind. This is the only kind of cleaning I am any good at.
When you’re done, you have options. You can either set your little bundle of sh*t on actual fire (so long as you have a safe way of doing this, please), or you can walk outside and chuck it in the trash. Don’t keep it in your home – you want rid. If you do burn it up, bury those ashes AWAY from your home, or flush them down the toilet. Literally flush that sh*t away.
Burn your candle down, or don’t, depending on how big it is. You can always light this again tomorrow and keep the spell work going.
Close your circle – finish your practice.
Now, then – don’t you feel lighter already?
How are you doing, friends? Tell me! I want to know. Send me a DM, an email, or use this handy form. If you’re feeling brave, you can leave me a voice message on Anchor. Or, if you do this ritual, why don’t you post a little ritual pic on Instagram and tag me?
Happy Wednesday, witches and friends! It’s our favourite day of the week, when we talk about magic-making, spell-crafting and all that good sh*t.
A couple of weeks ago, I showed you how to make a magical natural cleaning spray at home, and that was cute and practical and smelled lush. This week, however, I want to delve a little into the realms of magic/kal oils – what they are, and what to do with them (and what not to do with them).
What is a Magical Oil?
Okay, yes, it’s an oil that is magical, but let’s not be pedants. It’s all about using magical oils to focus the intentions of our witchcraft. Let’s all say it together –
It’s all about intention.
Okay, teachable moment over.
Right, so nearly every civilisation has a history of using oils, herbs, plants and flowers in their religious or sacred practices. In fact, people used to use oils to wash in. How divine and yet also disgusting.
Here are some images of Strigils, which Ancient Romans used to literally scrape off the dirt, sweat and grime from their skin (See also – Spartacus: Blood and Sand for some trashy, amazing Ancient Roman gladiator action).
Anyway, we’re not talking about Strigils but it was so gross and fun I had to share. Anyone else a history buff?
Right, so MAGICAL oils.
If you search for “Magical Oils” online, you’re going to get a lot of hits for shopping, and that is great. You can buy mine on my Etsy shop, too, when I have them available. You can also brew your own, and either way, let me tell you why you should be looking into them.
Magical oils essentially harness the power of plants and minerals that have magical properties, bringing them together in a blend. Just like we meditate to focus our intentions, magical oils focus those powers of flora into a concentrated liquid that we can use to strengthen our magical petitions, to draw certain things to us, to banish other things from us and to heighten our own abilities and intrinsic powers.
Anointing your tools
So a lot of you will have some kinds of tools on your altar or in your witch-kit. I have a few things on my altar, myself – selenite wand (DO NOT put oil onto that, it doesn’t need it and selenite doesn’t like sh*t being put on it), my cauldron, a sh*t-tonne of candles, a pentagram, etc and so on and so forth, depending on the time of year and my vibes. So, to consecrate your tools, literally just get yourself all magically set up, cast a circle if you feel like it, burn some incense or cleansing herbs, and put a drop of your oil onto your tool. You can use your finger or not – some oils might be a bit irritating to sensitive skin so be careful, friends.
Yas, witch, wear the sh*t out of your oils. RICH WITCH? Dab some Prosperity Oil underneath your ears before you go to work, to a pitch, or just out. Maybe you want to feel super spiritual tonight. In that case, try a Blessing Oil or Psychic Oil, placed on the temples, forehead, under the ears or wherever you want, really. But for psychic power, I recommend whacking that stuff on the third-eye. Protection Oil is a great one to wear out and about, too.
Dressing your candles
I use a LOT of candle magic, so using oils to dress magical candles (and to make not-magical candles magical) is super helpful to me. Again, it helps to focus the intentions for the spell-work. There are a bunch of different techniques – some candles are sold with the oils already incorporated. I buy beautiful handcrafted beeswax wrapped candles from my local metaphysical shop (when we’re not in lockdown) which the proprietress makes especially for each Sabbat. You can also take a drop of your oil, dab it into the centre of the candle, then drag your finger outwards from the middle on each side to dress the candle. Say a little incantation that relates to your spell-work, or just an affirmation.
In the bath
Okay, but be careful and use your common sense here, everybody. Don’t put sh*t into the bath that is poisonous or f*cking spicy. Par example, probably don’t put Banishing Oil into the bath tub. A) You don’t want to banish yourself. Think about it. B) That sh*t often has chilli in it, and you do not want spicy, burny things anywhere near your sacred bits. Got it? HOWEVER. If we are talking about a lovely blend of herbs like Prosperity Oil, or Love Oil, something that just has herbs and essential oils and a carrier oil involved, none of which are spicy or toxic or irritating, then add 10 drops of that to your bath, and enjoy.
Same goes, use your brain. Chilli mist in the eye is probably f*cking horrible. I’ve never experienced it, but I don’t think I’ll try it, and neither should you.
You can use either a water diffuser or one of those weird stick situations. I’m not a fan of those but that’s probably because I never met a good one, and also I once knocked one over in the night at someone else’s house and woke up to discover I had taken all the paint off their windowsill, which was mortifying. Anyway, you can totally use those if you have a better relationship with them than I do.
Again, use your noggin. Don’t use toxic substances to cook with. I would recommend that for cooking with magical oils, you only use oils that you have blended yourself, or that you KNOW come from food-safe sources. A great example of cooking with magical oils might be adding some rose-based Love Oil to a cake for your sweetheart, or some Protection Oil that contains olive oil and herbs into your family meal. You see what I mean? Gentle, sensible, don’t poison anyone.
Note: it’s generally considered to be very, deeply unethical to practice magic ON someone without their permission and/or knowledge. So like please don’t put Love Oil in a cake and force-feed it to someone who’s not interested in you. You’re better than that.
I often add a magical oil into a spell jar to give it an extra oomph. You can use just plain essential oils for this, or a pre-blended oil. It really doesn’t matter, so long as you have your correspondences firmly in your mind, and your intentions are set in the right direction.
Recipe: Simple Protection Oil
Okay, so now you’ve got the Magical Oil bug, let’s make one. I’m going to assume that you might not have access right now to 67 different essential oils and carrier oils. I currently only have Sweet Almond Oil (massive fave) and Olive Oil to do my mixes with, so today we’re going to use Olive Oil because it’s something that you’re more likely to have in the kitchen right now.
INGREDIENTS Olive Oil Basil (dried or fresh) Bay Leaves Cinnamon (ground is fine) Cumin (ground) Black pepper (straight outta the grinder) Rosemary (dried or fresh, whatever you have) A glass jar with a lid A mortar and pestle
Right, here we go. I’m warning you, this is hard sh*it. JOKES, it’s a piece of piss.
Take all of your dried/ground/fresh ingredients and mash them in a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have access to one of those, you can also use a blender, a coffee grinder, or put them in some cling film and hit them with something heavy. The goal is to get everything nice and muddled. I tend to start with fresh leaves, then move on to dried because this encourages the natural oils from the fresh leaves to pick up all the nice dried bits and pieces. Play around with the amounts of ingredients – cumin is super strong and spicy, so if you prefer a sweeter smelling oil, just put a tiny bit of cumin and black pepper in, or skip one ingredient all together. Rosemary is a great all-rounder and also my favourite herb in the world, so if you feel like you’ve added too much of anything, just whack more rosemary in there.
Okay, now you’ve squashed everything, put it all into that glass jar. Now, mix it up – I love using a cinnamon stick to do this, partly because it’s magical, and also because it makes me feel like a Boss Witch. Whatever works for you – a spoon is also fine.
Finally, pour your olive oil into the jar until it covers the items in there. You don’t want to overdo it here – just cover the herbs. Now, pop that lid on and decide how patient you’re feeling.
Option 1 – Leave it in the jar for at least 2 weeks. It will pick up some nice smells, it will take its time. I like to leave mine underneath my altar so it gathers all of that magical energy, but a dark kitchen cupboard is also fine. When you can wait no longer, strain the bits and pieces out (you can use muslin, a stocking, a sieve, whatever really) and squash the goodness out of them.
Option 2 – Something to do with a slow-cooker. I’ve never used this method, so here’s what the Modern Hippie Housewife recommends:
Fill a mason jar with desired, dried, herbs or flowers. (Read this)
Cover the herbs with carrier oil of choice. e.g., olive, grape seed almond, jojoba.
Place the jars in the slow cooker with a tea towel lined on the bottom (this will prevent them from moving around.)
Fill the slow cooker half full with water so that the mason jars are about 3/4 covered.
Turn the slow cooker on low heat and leave to infuse for 10-12 hours.
Using a very fine sieve or nylon stocking, strain the infusion, making sure to squeeze every last drop of precious oil out of the herbs and petals!
Use this oil to anoint your magical tools, probably not in the bath because you might smell like dinner. It’s always nice to charge your oil under the moon – for Protection Oil, I suggest holding the bottle/jar to your third eye, focusing on your intention, and leaving it out underneath the moon. Sometimes I just leave it on/under my altar.
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’m back, with apologies for the delay. It’s been a bit busy / lockdown-y over here and, guess what? It’s okay not to be okay sometimes! Personally, I felt a bit overwhelmed with my PhD, teaching (via the Internet) and charity work, and unfortunately this little haven of mine suffered. But no more!
So. It’s literally no secret that I don’t like cleaning. I don’t like it, I’m not good at it, and sometimes I’m annoyed that it even exists. We live in a 2-bedroom apartment with giant windows which is super lucky for us, and we have gorgeous exposed brick, and I am very grateful for that. The DOWNSIDE with living in a mill conversion is that everything is dusty. All the time. Poor Jessie does a clean and approximately 2 nanoseconds later, there is another layer of dust just sitting there, being an asshole. Anyway.
What I DO like is making things, and what I also like is natural scents. I don’t particularly like putting too many chemicals in/on/around my body (unless it’s my purple shampoo because we’re in lockdown and I just don’t know when I’ll be able to get my balayage done again, and nobody’s perfect, okay?). So I tried my hand at making a general-purpose cleaner and it was glorious and smells dreamy so I thought I’d share it here, and share how we can make our simple cleaning routines MAGICAL.
Easy Homemade Magical Multi-Purpose Cleaner
You will need:
A jar An empty spray bottle At least 2 lemons Dried Juniper berries (optional) Water White/distilled vinegar Rosemary essential oil
Yep, really. That’s it. I know. The cost of this whole thing is about…mmm…I don’t know, like if you buy everything brand new except for the essential oil and the jar (because just use an old pasta sauce jar or something), maybe about £2.80? Cheap. As. F*ck.
Right, so this takes a while. Not to make, that takes 0.3 seconds, but to sit. So your cleaner is going to be ready in about 2-3 weeks.
Right! First, why don’t you use your lemons to make a nice cup of lemon/ginger/honey infusion? Delicious! Just squeeze out your halved lemons, add a teaspoon of honey, hot water and a knuckle of grated ginger. Delicious, cleansing, great for cold and flu, and also, waste not, want not.
*A note: we are trying to be magical about this, and this is a CLEANSING potion, so please spend your time while you are making it focusing all of your intentions of cleaning and keeping safe your home and family*.
Take your squeezed-out lemon halves and place them into the jar. I use 2 lemons for a regular peanut-butter sized jar, which, to be honest, is all you need because that’s going to last you a long time.
Grab about 10 juniper berries. I recommend grinding them a bit in a mortar and pestle, but if that option is not available to you, just chuck them in whole. If you can’t access juniper berries (I found them in the spice section at Sainsbury’s) then cloves will work, dried rosemary sprigs will work, cinnamon sticks will work, star anise will work – you get the point. Anyway, grab them, grind them, add them to your jar.
Fill your jar with distilled vinegar, covering the lemons fully but leaving at least 0.5-1cm of space at the top of the jar. This is because we’re going to shake it periodically, and you can’t shake a full jar.
Clean your workspace, don’t be grubby.
Leave the jar to sit in a dark place for 2-3 weeks, giving it a shake every couple of days. Each time you shake it, put that healing and cleansing intention into it.
Right, now that you’ve waited exactly 2 weeks because you’re impatient, it’s time to make your cleaning product. Open the jar. Smell the fragrant, lemony goodness. It should still smell like vinegar but the vinegar-y sharpness should have lost its edge by now.
Strain the liquid through a sieve or cheesecloth, but probably a sieve because not all of us have cheesecloth just laying around.
Add 5 drops of Rosemary essential oil (remember that intention, everyone), give it a stir.
Use that liquid to fill 50% of your spray bottle (which should obviously be clean, don’t be difficult).
Now top the spray bottle with water. I used tap water, because I refuse to pay money for distilled water to mix into my homemade spray-n-wipe. If you would like to use distilled water, please do. Otherwise, boil a kettle, let it cool down, and add it to your vinegar and lemon potion.
Add an attracted label because you’re worth it.
FINISHED! That’s literally it. The great news is that those squished up lemons you used can actually be used again in your next batch if you don’t have any more fresh ones hanging around. I WOULD recommend freshening the mixture up, though. Add new juniper berries, or whatever you used, at least 1 new lemon, and let it go again.
The finished scent is bright, fresh and not at all chemically, which is the aim of the game. The cleaner does a great job on greasy stoves and any counter/table surface, but I do find it can take a while to dry so I give the surface a buff with a tea-towel afterwards to dry and shine.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little simple spellwork for today. Don’t forget to catch the One Boss Witchcast on Friday, and sign up for the newsletter below.
Greetings, witches and friends! I bet you can’t believe it’s already Witchcraft Wednesday again. Neither can I. You lot are INSATIABLE, I tell you.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about grounding lately. That yearning that we witchy folk get when it’s just been way too long since our feet touched the dirt or the sand or flowing water that wasn’t coming out of the taps in our own house. As you are well aware because I won’t stop bitching about it, we are in a (lovely) apartment with no garden. In the UK, we are allowed to go out for one walk per day, and that walk has to be essentially from and back to our own houses. So we’re not allowed to drive anywhere to then do the walking.
In normal pre-Covid times (2019 P.C.?) Jessie and I would go a few times a week to the nature reserve in the next town, or sort of between our town and the next. It’s about a five minute drive, and it brings us to this beautiful place that is flanked by the canal on one side, the river on the other, and an assortment of woods, fields and paths in between. I’m getting teary just thinking about it. Loads of people walk their dogs there, so you always see happy puppers, sometimes ones who have just had an accidentally on purpose swim in the river, and they are endlessly joyful to behold.
BUT in these, the times of Covid-19, we have but one walk option left to us that presents any kind of nature, and that is the beginning of the canal walk in our town. Now, don’t get me wrong – this place is beautiful. There are ducks and swans and geese and sometimes even a squirrel. But no longer can we greet joyfully the pups belonging to other people. And the council hasn’t got enough staff to collect the rubbish in the parks and along the canal so… basically, it’s trashed.
I talked about this last week on the podcast with Louisa Moon. Sometimes you find yourself looking at the space and seeing the trash – and then, if you re-adjust your lens, you see the ducks, and the fishies springing back to life, and the little smiles on a couple of people’s faces because they’re out of the f*cking house.
But – when we reached the end of our last walk, Jessie asked me, “Do you want to take your shoes off and ground?” which was very, very sweet and made my heart beat a little harder. However, I looked at the ground, and it was … filthy. Like, really filthy. Empty bottles and wrappers and dog sh*t bags and all sorts. And I couldn’t look past it.
So the question of the day is:
How can I ground myself with no access to the actual ground?
I know, you must be so bored of me telling you this. Tough sh*t, meditation is the best. So for this, we’re going to do the old root chakra connection to the Earth thing.
For this one, I do want you to sit on the ground, if that option is comfortable and available to you. Otherwise, sit in a chair and try to place your feet or legs or hands on the floor. The idea is simply to have your body connected with the Earth in as close a sense as possible. If you can find a space where the sunlight will hit you, all the better.
Once you are comfortable, close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Try to still your body and your mind. Deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Try to hold those breaths for even beats. So, in for four, hold for four and exhale for eight is a favourite of mine. As you exhale, imagine those spiritual roots of yours beginning to sprout from your skin and finding their way to the Earth. Each breath brings you further into yourself, and each exhalation takes those roots further and further into the ground, towards the Earth’s core. Imagine them spreading into a solar system, connecting you to Mother Nature, to the rock and the dirt and the lava far below. Feel them flicker and move as you connect more deeply with the ground.
I like to stay here for a good ten or so minutes if I have the luxury of time, but there is no need, really, to time it. Just stay until you feel that connection growing again. When you are ready to come back into your body, reverse the process, and with each in-breath, draw those sparkly roots back towards your body, until all of that power of the Earth is fizzing through you.
Now is a great time to do some spell-work, as well – you’ve got all of that energy coursing through your veins.
Go on a treasure hunt
This is for those of us who can go for a walk but not to anywhere particularly natural. The concrete jungle-dwellers.
We are going to find some nature. Before you leave the apartment, focus on what you are trying to achieve. Open yourself to Mother Earth – you’ll see her if you’re looking, no matter where you are.
As you take your first steps out, feel your feet on the road or pavement. Pause to think about the earth that lays beneath it; the rocks, the crystals, the underground networks of water and lava. You are only a block of cement away from it all.
As you wander, just look around – a tiny plant springing out between pavers, or a pigeon cooing, or an earth worm nestling into the mud. All of these things are nature – even the pigeons, who are probably the rats of the skies. They may be terrifying, but they are still creatures of the Goddess, okay?
Just engage with the nature you do find (although I do not recommend trying to engage with city pigeons). Touch the leaves or flowers, feel their energies. Feel the sun on your face, or the wind blowing against your cheeks. Look up at the sky – notice the colour and whether there are clouds in it. If it’s raining, close your eyes and feel that rain on your skin a la Natasha Bedingfield. All of this is nature – you can find it anywhere.
If you really can’t, or if you’re not able to leave your home space because of shielding or illness, never fear. I recommend finding some beautiful pictures of natural spaces or things – flowers, bunnies, fish, whales, whatever makes you feel connected to the natural world – and put them up. Cut them out of magazines or print them out, and put them where you can see them. Look at them, think about them, imagine how they smell and feel. You can engage by using only your mind.
Adopt an un-killable house plant
This is for me, okay? I have a bad track record with house plants, mostly because we’re on the ground floor and there isn’t enough sunlight to keep them thriving. Except this one cactus. I’m pretty sure it came from IKEA about four years ago, and it’s still alive. It’s kind of outgrowing its pot, though, so I’m going to have to deal with that, but it’s faring much better than the parade of coriander/cilantro plants which have been brought home only to be thrown away when I’m not looking because Jessie knows I don’t have the heart to condemn even a very-dead plant.
So find ye a houseplant that cannot be killed. This is going to be your connection to nature. Nurture it, talk to it, whisper sweet nothings and, for the love of the Goddess, water it but only as much as it needs, okay? Whichever kind of plant you get, make sure it’s hardy and that you google the instructions to keep it alive.
Having just one living houseplant will cheer you up, I promise. Here is a list of house plants that are hard to kill:
Sansaviera / Snake plants: succulents who can adapt to just about any living condition and light availability.
Aloe Vera: these babies do best in bright sunlight and basically go to sleep when it’s not sunny enough.
Ponytail Palm: super adorable, although they do best in bright light, so this is a good one if you have a lot of natural sun in your space.
Ferns: if you want to sparkle up your bathroom, a lot of ferns will tolerate low light and high humidity, making them ideal companions for your bubble baths.
Cacti: these are my favourites because they are very forgiving. You basically give them a drenching every couple of weeks when their soil is dry, then leave them in a sunny spot. Just remember to use gloves if they are spiky.
Thus we complete this Witchcraft Wednesday. I know it’s not a spell, but it’s important, anyway.
HAPPY MONDAY, everyone! If you live in a country that still holds to Christian holidays above all else, you are probably on a long weekend right now, and usually you’d be outside, breathing in that beautiful springtime air. However, we are not doing that, unless you have a lovely garden, congratulations.
For those of us in apartments, flats, studios, bedsits and rented rooms with horrific housemates, this is a trying time. Not only are we going stir-crazy indoors, we’re also bored sh*tless, and that can manifest itself in the form of the following symptoms:
Weight gain / weight loss
Fatigue (oh BOY do I feel this one)
Feelings of uselessness
The unfightable urge to take up a stupid new hobby (see: bedazzling).
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have some suggestions for you, witches and friends, and this is where we are going to begin:
The daytime is better than the night time, so get up in the daytime.
I’ve read a LOT of comments about people becoming nocturnal during this strange time. I definitely see the appeal, everyone – the night time sucks and for some reason, it is WAY easier to sleep during the warm, encompassing light of the AM. However, we have longer days, and also, sunshine makes you happier. So, if you can, try to go to sleep earlier than 4am. I know, I know, it’s hard. Do as I say, not as I do, etc. Last night we were re-watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand until 3am (I should point out that only I am re-watching, Jessie hasn’t seen it before). Anyway, some things you could try to help you get to sleep before the birdies start singing include: taking a bath, drinking mugwort (NOT IF YOU ARE PREGNANT) or sleepy tea, taking Melatonin or Valerian Root supplements (always check with your doctor etc), listening to guided meditations or podcasts, using aromatherapy like lavender and chamomile, snacking on a banana (or if you are me, a 1am peanut butter sandwich), or reading something deeply boring.
This is a trick I started playing on myself during high-school. I would set goals and when I achieved them, I would reward myself. Basically, try to bribe yourself like you would a small child. Make a list of sh*t you need/want to do/know that you will feel better if you do it, and then figure out what’s going to motivate you to do it. No, writing, “I WILL NOT DIE FROM ANXIETY IF I GET IT DONE” does not count. Please make it something nice. Like a bubble bath or a glass of wine (drink responsibly) or some time reading a novel or re-watching Spartacus. I like to do this visually, so, for example, say I want to do 3 hours of studying, I will literally mark out 3 boxes of 4 x 15-min increments and then colour them in when I do them. This means I get to feel good about myself every 15 minutes, and the visual element really helps to kick your arse into gear if you’re getting distracted. Please note, however, that I am very much a fan of being f*cking kind to yourself, so please don’t call yourself lazy, just gently encourage yourself.
Remember that this sh*t isn’t normal, but your feelings are.
I love starting my days (when time allows) by listening to Sara Benincasa’s very excellent podcast, Well, This Isn’t Normal. And the point of it is – this isn’t normal. I KNOW, RIGHT? Like, we are in the middle of a global f*cking pandemic and guess what? It’s totally fine to be like, “Hi, what the f*ck is going on?”. So it’s absolutely fine that you are bored sh*tless, and you’re itching to go out, and all you want is to go out for a dinner that you don’t have to cook, or browse at the supermarket, or see your friends and family. It’s fine that you’re sometimes depressed, that you’re not sleeping at night or that you just want to lay in bed ALL DAY and watch Netflix / Amazon Prime / Hulu and that you have signed up for a 3-month trial of Starzplay as well as renewed your subscription to Hayu and the Discovery Channel. Okay? It’s f*cking fine, don’t be mean to yourself.
All I know is, when the world comes out the other side of this, it’s going to be different, and I don’t think it’s going to matter all that much if you didn’t write a novel during the lockdown. We’re just going to want to see and hold the people we love.
So, in conclusion, that was a rant about being nice to yourself, which is basically what all of my posts are about.
Have a beautiful week! See you on Wednesday for more lockdown-friendly witchcraft.
Happy Wednesday, witches and friends! I hope you’re all keeping very well in your isolation pods, and that your spirits are as high as they can be, given the circumstances.
As you all know, I’m a bit obsessed with poppets. I’ve written about them on this blog, and also for Witch With Me, because they gave me a SECOND opportunity to talk about the magic of poppets. But I guess the basics of poppet magic come down, as so many magical practices do, to manifestation, because when we place our energy into the creation of something, our magic literally inserts itself into that object. Our energy transfers into it.
This is why kitchen witchery is so powerful – when we cook with intention, whispering sweet nothings into a pot of soup or stew, or stirring our coffee clockwise in the morning, muttering grumpily-mumbled spells, it works. This is why we don’t have to have all of the fancy witch supplies in the world – literally anything can be magical.
So today, in this, the time of being at home, surrounded by your things and, probably, running out of ideas of things to do, I want to encourage you to be creative. Take some deep breaths and let yourself dream about making things, whether that is music (write a song! But not about Covid-19, because we are all tired of that), or, indeed, a poppet, to bring yourself and your family health and wellbeing, or perhaps you are a budding ceramicist, candle-maker, or, in my case, channeling your excess energy into making soap for the neighbours – just make something. Seriously. I dare you. Make a cup of tea and make it magical.
So, here are a few ideas about simple making-based magic you can do in the comfort of your own home, without leaving the house for supplies (because you should only do that for groceries, medical care and caring for others, and possibly exercise, although I feel like that’s going to change here in the UK any minute now).
Are you good at drawing? Or are you a bit sh*t at it, like me? IT MATTERS NOT. Grab some paper (use the back of a bill! Use the letter from the government telling you everything is cool and normal!), dig out a biro and get sketchy. Draw the things you’re looking forward to doing; or draw the things you want to create. Do a beautiful/terrible portrait of your dog or cat or tortoise family member. While you do it, pour your focus and love into it. This is art. This is your magic.
Now, put it on the fridge, or hang it on the wall. Gift it to the dog. I know she’ll appreciate it.
Bake a Cake
Hey! I bet you have a cake mix somewhere in the back of your cupboards. I know that I do. For some reason, it is gluten free (well, I know the reason for that, I thought I was gluten intolerant but it turns out I just had 850g of fibroids in my abdomen) and vegan. Again, it does not matter. Grab out that packet mix, find an egg, I bet you have one. Use whichever milk product goes in your coffee! Use juice! Anyway, I digress. Get that cake mix, and bake it. While you beat/stir/pour, whisper your intentions into the batter. Manifest a wonderful conversation with your partner. Manifest a romantic connection. State, without ambiguity, that all those who eat this masterpiece of patisserie will instantly feel calm, comforted and safe. BONUS: your home will smell like warm, fresh cake.
Are you a human with vocal chords? SING! If you have a smart phone, you can even record and mix your song on GarageBand or a similar app. Lay down the beats. Express yourself. Bare your heart and soul. Or sing a silly song. Whatever you feel, do it. Because music is so magical, and when we channel our feelings and emotions into music, it is therapeutic and cathartic. Also, use your words to cast spells. Maybe you want to keep your family and friends safe (I mean, obviously you do). So sing your intentions (in the present tense, being specific!) into your brand new opus. I am so proud of you. That takes guts.
Make a Spell Jar
As you know, I love me a spell jar. Money jar? Job jar? Health jar? I bet you have everything you need in the cupboards, and if you don’t, you can substitute. Use table salt and rosemary oil. Use a white candle. Put it in an empty peanut butter jar. F*ck it, put it in an empty baked beans tin. It does not matter.
You can check out a spell jar of mine here– but whatever you make, I bet it’s amazing. Work your jar on the daily – shake it up, or light a fresh tea-light / birthday candle atop it every day. Keep that magic manifesting.
Happy Wednesday, witches and friends! It’s my favourite day of the week to share with you, because Wednesdays we wear pink and do spells.
Very quickly: the One Boss Witchcast will be premiering on Spotify and Anchor this week! I’m so excited to bring it to you. Please make sure you check in and sign up for the newsletter so it gets delivered to you each week. And let me know what you want to hear about!
I realise that the title of this post may be initially misleading, but let’s get metaphorical for a minute. Right now the world is scary, and I know that I, for one, am feeling grubby AF, and not just when I (am forced to) leave the apartment.
Why am I feeling grubby? Well, because every time I turn on the TV, check social media, or just generally wake up in the morning, every element of my life is flooded with information about Covid-19. And, yes, that’s partly my fault for having news notifications on my phone and Sky News on speed-dial on the TV. Anyway.
When we have a constant barrage of distressing, upsetting or just bad news, it has an effect on our bodies, minds and spirits. It gets into the pores of our souls and brings our vibrations down, and that’s normal. In fact, it has been claimed that what we are experiencing is essentially a globally-shared trauma – so it’s more than normal to be feeling distressed, anxious and grubby.
Make Me Clean Again!
Don’t fear, friends, I’m here to help you cleanse, tone and moisturize your heart and soul. Let’s begin.
Time to give our souls and bodies a wash, friends. As you know, I’m a huge fan of ritual baths. They are easy and also cheap, and mostly you can manage this with things you already have in your home. Raid those kitchen cupboards and pull out any or all of the following cleansing herbs and bits and pieces:
ROSEMARY. This all-rounder works quadruple time (at least). It cleanses, it soothes, it removes negative energy, and smells like heaven. About 5-10 drops of essential oil, or just whack it in from the shaker. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about intention.
LEMONGRASS. Maybe you don’t have this one lying around, but I cook with lemongrass and I love the scent, so I do have this in two forms in my apartment right now. Lemongrass is killer for both cleansing and sharpening the mind. Feeling blurry? Lemongrass that sh*t.
SAGE. You know how we say we need to sage ourselves? It’s because sage is like the global cleansing herb 101. TBH, I buy my sage either trimmed from the supermarket (fresh) or dried in a jar. Bonus if you get it from Sainsburys who sell their herbs in little glass jars with metal lids. #zerowaste (#notanad).
EUCALYPTUS. Great for the clearing out both your sinuses and your soul.
CLOVE. Drives away negative energies/malicious forces. Just chuck some cloves into the bath, or be cute and make a pomander by sticking cloves into an orange and hanging it in the bathroom, Middle Ages plague-style.
THYME. Removes negative energies and blockages.
SALT. Look, if you only have table salt, it’s still the thought that counts. Whack a handful in the bath and soak it up.
Okay, so skin toners are basically to get rid of any dead skin cells, boost the cleanse and tighten pores, right, so that dirt can’t get back in. So now we are going to tone our souls (not to be confused with ATONE, though, okay?).
We’re basically adding a protective barrier to our freshly cleaned-out spirits.
Take some salt (again, table salt/sea salt/Himalayan fancy salt are all fine) and place a generous pour of it into a bowl. Concentrate your energy on the bowl, and if you like, wave your incense wand over it for an added boost. You can also add some cleansing crystals, like Black Tourmaline, Black Onyx, Hematite and Smokey Quartz, if you have them handy. These also act like a magnet to suck up bad vibes. Place this bowl in the most-used room of your home and leave it there. This is your added protection against negativity.
You can do as many of these bowls as you like! If you’re having a pretty negative time, consider refreshing the bowl/s every few days or once a week.
Time to get baby soft, supple soul-skin, everyone.
Now that we’re all squeaky clean from bad vibes and feeling toned by our salt bowls, it’s time to rub in the good stuff. What are we going to use as a daily moisturiser?
We’re going to meditate, of course!
Add a 10 minute cleansing meditation to your mornings or evenings. This is going to be the 10 minutes of the day you spend focusing on clearing your energies and raising your vibrations. Choose whatever you like – chakra cleansing, or a stress relief meditation. Just make sure that you are somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed; get comfy, put your headphones on, keep your toes warm, and relax.
I can’t change the fact that Covid-19 is wreaking havoc on our daily lives, but I can offer you this: I’m here with you. Together, we’ll get through this. Now, go and take a wash.
HAPPY FRIDAY, friends! We made it through another week. If you weren’t on my email list yesterday (link below, sign up!) you might not know that I announced that I will soon be releasing the One Boss Witchcast (podcast) to give back to the library of podcasts that I am tearing through myself at the moment.
It’s a funny thing being on lockdown/isolation/shielding/stay in place. For me, I know that when I’m working a lot, I just long for more than 36 hours at home to potter and rest and watch TV. Then, all of a sudden, with just about no notice, you’re suddenly confined to your home, trying to make yourself get dressed from the midsection upwards so you can appear remotely reasonable during a Zoom/Facetime/Blackboard meeting and you also can’t remember which day of the week it is or how long we’ve been in lockdown for.
Fear not, everyone. I’m here today to talk about … witchy loungewear.
LOUNGE WEAR is important in everyone’s life. It can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Myself? I have a rule. When I get up in the morning, I put on a bra and usually jeans or a dress. Basically a ‘real pants’ rule. I.e. I don’t let myself wear pyjamas or sweats all day (mostly). I do this because it helps me get my head in the game and differentiate between the parts of the day. Jeans/bra = work time. Once 5pm hits, though, I’m back into stretchy and loose fabrics, I’m not going to lie. And today is Friday so I might even do it at 4pm.
Anyway, I though I would just pop up on a Friday for the first time in a while to drop some beautiful, aspirational witchy loungewear lewks. You are, as ever, welcome.
Make It Bejewelled
First on the list is this very, very extra two-piece tracksuit situation from Bey Azura. I had not heard of this brand, but I think we can all agree that if one must wear tracky-daks (as they are called in my home country of Australia), then they ought to be absolutely dripping with golden beads. This tracky set is $99 which is steep, but cheaper than the hourly rate you would have to pay yourself to do this much beading. Ask me and @CostumierSaurus one day about beading, I dare you. Well, actually, there’s only one thing you need to hear: THERE IS NEVER TIME FOR BEADING. Unless it’s for your PhD.
Flowing Silk is a Must
Here is a picture of starlet, Ann Sheridan, wearing a stupidly silky and gorgeous robe. For what purpose? We’ll never know. No matter how many times I watch old movies, I cannot understand what possesses these people to put on such extraordinary night or loungewear and walk around like it’s comfortable. I was watching a show the other day… Mr Mercedes Season 2, actually. And this character, she’s walking around in a lacy 2-piece pyjama setup that does NOT look comfortable.
However, if you take away scratchy lace and replace it with silk, I’m not saying you SHOULD wear it to your Zoom meeting, but I am saying that it will feel really nice.
As another aside, my sister sent me the most beautiful pink (!) vintage (!!) kimono (!!!) for Christmas. Is it an appropriate garment to wear to work? NO. Is it ideal for Friday evening cocktails in self-iso? Definitely. In addition, I would like to point out that witches have almost always been presented as wearing flowing robes/cloaks and gowns. On Between The Worlds yesterday, Amanda Yates Garcia (<3) points out that, although bell-sleeves are super dramatic and attractive, they get caught in your food and on everything else so are sadly completely impractical. However, this image of Amanda by Laurel Valdez is perfect and basically sums up what a beautiful, witchy and comfortable but also very romantic loungewear interpretation should be. BRAVO. Go buy Amanda’s book, it’s outstanding.
It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere
Speaking of cocktails, let’s face it: when you work from home, sometimes you work until 10pm. Sometimes you ‘leave’ work early. And sometimes you have a cocktail while you finish up the final bits and pieces. I even worked at an office for a while where they have Prosecco on a vintage tea tray every single Thursday and Friday at 4pm. Why? Don’t know. Did I love it? Yes. Anyway, this point is basically to tell you that if you are into a 5pm whisky, and it’s a Friday (ahem) and you want to have it a bit early, I give you permission, just this once, because of isolation. Also, notice how bars are called ‘lounges’? Well, right now, the only bar you can go to is in your lounge room, so you may as well be wearing LOUNGEwear.
In conclusion? As always, wear whatever the f*ck you like. Whatever makes you feel magical, empowered and comfortable in your clothing skin. We’re all stuck inside, or at best, in our gardens (I’m not jealous of you…). That doesn’t mean you have to wear the same thing every day. Maybe you wake up and you fancy wearing your cloak inside. DO IT. Feeling glam on a Friday afternoon? Crack out the sequins.
Whatever your jam, I love it, keep doing what you’re doing. Post pics of your loungeworkwear™ on IG and tag me. I’d love to see it.
Okay, everyone, it’s been sh*tshow lately, am I right? We’re battling COVID-19, our jobs are thrown into uncertainty, we’re told not to leave our houses (except to exercise, according to our Prime Minister in the UK), and there is a general dark cloud of fear hanging over us.
So I wanted to jump back onto the bandwagon. Life is scary right now, but I want to show up for you, because the InstaCoven is real, and we are all real people behind our Avatars (witches are people, too, and sometimes we’re even human).
Today I want to bring you a simple ritual that you can enact anywhere you find yourself quarantined. Nothing fancy – just a white candle (but I give you permission to use whichever the f*ck colour you have right now in order to keep yourself at home), a writing implement (I shall use a Sharpie), a lighter, and a quiet space to spend some time (in my case, the mess that is currently the study/guest room/PhD room/room of sadness).
RIGHT. Let’s get to it.
As a reminder, you need:
A white (or any) candle
A writing implement
A lighter or matches
If you like, some cleansing crystals such as Obsidian, Black Tourmaline, Onyx, Smokey Quartz or Hematite.
If you feel like anointing your candle with a symbolic magickal oil, please do that! There are no rules, so get free with it. Make this ritual your own.
If you would like to cast a circle, please do so now. And also, if you’d like to, cleanse your space with incense or cleansing herbs.
Take your candle and write on it:
HEALTH. PEACE. CALM.
You could draw a sigil if you like. If you don’t know how to make your own sigils, you can use a sigil generator, such as the one on Chaos Tarot. Here’s one I made there, using the words ‘Health’, ‘Peace’ and ‘Calm’ and the ‘Witches Wheel’ setting.
Now that your candle is ready, light it, and say the following words three times:
I call upon the Goddess In this, my hour of need A blessing down upon our Earth From horrors we be freed. I call upon the elements, Air, Fire, Water, Earth, I ask the Goddess, bless this house East, South, West and North.
As Above, So Below. As Within, So Without.
Now spend some time quieting your mind while meditating on the candle’s flame. Imagine a bubble of safety, a blessing bubble, growing from within your heart to encompass your body, then the room, then the home, then your town, state, country, continent, and, finally, the Earth. You radiate this bubble. This is your power.
You do not have to wait for the whole candle to burn down, but don’t blow it out. Either snuff it with a snuffer, or use wet fingers to pinch it out.
I chose to use a larger candle, so that I can re-light it each night for 3 nights. This gives the added benefit of building the energy of the spell, and really training the mind into working the magic to protect your home and family. On the final night, I’ll let it burn all the way out.
If you decide to try this spell out, let me know, and post a picture on Instagram. Tag me @OneBossWitch and #OBWblessing. I’d love to see all of your different interpretations!