Sometimes You Have to Force Yourself to Have Fun

Being an adult can be stressful. It’s pretty much stressful for everyone. All of a sudden, you’re in your twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, and so on – there are bills everywhere. We pay for literal water. We pay for heating, streaming providers, we pay for someone to collect our rubbish. We pay tax. And so on.

So if you combine this daily grind and lifelong struggle to get ahead and prosper with the other sh*t that life throws at us (pain, heartache, work stress etc), it’s completely understandable that sometimes we get into a funk.

The first thing that happens to me when I’m in a funk is that I lose interest and motivation. So even though I’m obsessed with a TV show, for example, I just can’t be arsed watching it. Or, even though I know I need to hit 2,000 words a day to get my PhD thesis done, I sit and stare at the laptop screen and listen to a podcast with half of one ear and all of a sudden it’s 4pm and it doesn’t seem worth trying so I give up for the day.

What I have learned in the 15+ years since my anxiety was first officially diagnosed, is that sometimes, you just have to force yourself to have fun. Even if that means writing it on your to-do list. Even if maybe at the time you don’t feel like having fun. F*ck, you don’t even feel like putting a bra on. But if you can – even just for 2 minutes, manage to get yourself to do something that makes you smile, or laugh, or feel good – I promise you, it will take you that one step closer to clawing your way out of the funk.

So here are my Top 5 Ways To Get Out of a Funk by Forcing Yourself to do Something Fun (this title is way too long, roll with me).

1 Dance

I don’t mean like go dancing to a club or anything, although if that makes you happy, by all means. For me, this means putting on songs that make me happy and making like Cristina and Meredith and just jamming the f*ck out for the duration of said song. If I’m not exhausted by the end, I’ll do another one. Dancing is technically cardio, which means it’s good for you. And if you go hard, not only will you burn some calories, if you’re into that, but you will get the blood pumping and the brain releasing those all-important endorphins. This = getting you one step closer to getting out of the funk.

2. Take a luxurious bath in the middle of the day

A wooden tray with a handle contains a bowl filled with green bath salts, which is surrounded by small tumblestone crystals.

Is there anything more decadent than a daytime bath? I think not. For me, the act of running a bath complete with bath bombs/salts/f*ck it, throw some flowers and crystals in there, is the ultimate mood-lifter. For some reason, it feels like a bit naughty? Like you should be doing something more productive but f*ck it, this is your time. Light some candles. Play some music, or (safely) place a laptop or iPad somewhere and watch a whole movie. Keep filling up the hot water until you get pruny. Smell delicious, luxuriate, and emerge like Venus from the ocean.

3. Call your funniest friend

Two people lay on their backs on the hood of an old, rusted car, laughing and talking.

Phone calls seem to be less and less common these days, unless it’s for work, in which case the f*cking phone never stops ringing. So pick up your phone, hit the name in your contacts of the friend who cracks you up the most, and shoot the sh*t. I swear to the Universe, a proper laugh will do you a world of good. Yes, I know you don’t feel like talking to anyone. But after you spend ten minutes laughing with your hilarious mate, you will feel that fizzy inner feeling that makes you more likely to look around you and think, “right, I’d best pick up those 40 cereal bowls in my bedroom, and possibly get rid of some of them forever because who needs 40 cereal bowls in their life?”

4. Go for a walk

A person wearing a black hood walks along a beach.

I know, I know. But it kind of works. I don’t expect you to go anywhere fancy – I’m not saying you have to go hiking or traipse the moors Jane Eyre style. Just get out of the f*cking house or apartment. Like, even just walk to the shops. Walk around the block. Plan your route to include passing by houses you know have doggos in the front yards. Walk through a park, walk past the pub and think, “at least I’m not having a 9am beer!” and then pat yourself on the back but don’t feel superior, we’re talking about ourselves, here, okay? Again, adrenaline is good, and fresh air is good (your Nan was right) so get outside. I promise you don’t even have to have a shower first if you can’t manage it.

5. Animals

A white puppy wearing a neckerchief holds a stick with blossoms on it in its mouth.

Animals are the best thing on the planet and that is just a scientific fact. Dogs are heavenly, saintly creatures who love all creatures and people, and do not judge you, and also will still like you if you haven’t showered. If you are lucky enough to have a resident furred animal in your home, take some time to work on your relationship. Cuddle up. Share some food. Have a chat. You will 100% feel better. If you do not have your own pet, find a friend who does. Or alternatively, go to a park and try not to look scary so people will let you pet and cuddle their dogs.

I hope this has been helpful to you. I know that everyone’s different. If your mental health is suffering badly, please seek help. There is no shame in asking for help or taking it.

In the meantime, I’m going to go and run a daytime bath.

Blessings!

xxK

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Witchcraft Wednesday: The Easiest Ever Freezer Spell

Howdy! It’s Witchcraft Wednesday and again, I wanted to offer up a spell that anybody with access to some basic white goods can do. Alternatively, it’s winter, so I imagine you could also try chucking this into a pile of snow. Let’s get into the festive spirit by getting rid of some of the bad energy coming our way.

This Freeze-Out Spell is for when someone just won’t stop f*cking with your life. Maybe it’s an ex who won’t get the message, or a colleague who is talking sh*t about you at work, or someone who will not lose your number, no matter how hard you try, or a parent who keeps asking you when you’re going to get married. Now, I’m not an advocate of spells that harm people. This is not about hurting someone. It’s about protecting yourself and keeping the negative vibes out of your life.

A soap bubble freezes outside on a branch.

You should also know that this kind of magic originated from African cultures, so please head on over to read more about that here before you try this modern witchcraft version.

Now, let’s get started!

You will need:

  • A freezer-safe container / bag
  • A pen and paper
  • Some Moon water / consecrated water OR vinegar (literally any vinegar)
  • Some tinfoil / aluminium foil

There are slightly more hexy-cursy versions of this spell, which you are welcome to go and find, however for me, I’m just sticking with taking care of me and my family, so I won’t be touching that stuff. The point of this is to slow down (‘put on ice’) someone who is bothering you. As always, please be mindful of your use. F*ck with karma at your own risk.

A rose frozen in a jar.

First, cast your circle. This is optional, but I believe that when we do spellwork we should be really, really intentional about it. And casting a circle, calling on the spirits and the Goddess, is a great way of focusing our intentions inward.

Now that your circle is cast, take the paper and pen, and write in your very best handwriting the full name of the person/s who is/are giving you grief. And then, I write what I want to happen.

For example,

“PENELOPE SMITH will no longer gossip about me.”

or

“JEREMIAH BISCUIT will no longer use my work without attribution”

Now we’re going to cut that piece of paper small, and lay it inside the tin foil (shiny side out). Wrap it up into a tidy little package – this tin foil will act as a mirror, strengthening the magic towards the name.

Place your consecrated liquid of choice (I use Moon water or vinegar) into the vessel you will be freezing, and place the tin foil package inside.

Seal it up, and meditate on it for a while. Really envision this outcome.

Then pop it in the freezer, and voila! Freeze that bad energy the f*ck out of your life.

A lit pink candle with a pentagram carved into it.

There are so many variations on a freezer spell, and I’d love to hear yours. Get in touch, either to send me info on how you like to do your freezer spells, or just to say hi.

Blessings, Witches!

xxK

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Why I Do Feminist Friday

In almost any industry, women can experience every sexism. In my industry, the film and television industry, I sometimes feel I’ve stepped back in time. Early on in my career, I was less confident in myself and I let a lot of things slide that I wouldn’t do these days. I can remember someone more senior to me making some absurdly sexual comment, and I was absolutely mortified. I knew it was inappropriate, but I didn’t feel I could call him out on it. It tore me up inside for weeks, until the next one happened, and then my focus shifted to that.

Playing tiles spell out ‘Equality’

My PhD research is about gender disparity in television production, so I’ve done an awful lot of reading into this particular sector of the workforce. Just because I reference it more, doesn’t mean that I don’t realise it is just as bad in other industries.

In film, there are special and certain gendered things that kind of slip under the radar. For example, if you were to mention ‘The Director’, the person on the other end of the phone would almost certainly respond with, “Who is he?”. Same goes for the Director of Photography, and often the writer. Sometimes the Producer. I was once in a Production Meeting where I was one of two women out of twenty people. Afterwards, one of the producers told me he was happy to see ‘a woman in a position of authority’, like it was something completely f*cking radical. And it drove me nuts. And don’t get me started on people calling the production team, ‘the girls in the office’. Those people work longer hours than anyone else, and often for less money.

Rosie the Riveter

But a few years ago, I bought myself a feminist t-shirt with the idea that I would wear it once a week. It was kind of my little rebellion – dipping my toe into the pond of out and proud feminism. I was a strong feminist in my private life, but I had been too afraid to wear it on my sleeve at work.

In the age of #MeToo and the reckoning that is starting to come upon Hollywood, people are more aware, for the most part. Unfortunately, less than a year ago, I heard of someone on a project making a pro-rape joke to a group of crew members. He didn’t understand what was so un-funny about that. This person was shocked when he was called out on that, as well as the fact that people, women and men, felt uncomfortable working around him.

So I wore the t-shirt, and I bought more t-shirts, and I bought them for other women I worked with. The comments we would get were varied – sometimes it was just, “Nice shirt”. Sometimes it was, “Uh-oh, better watch out, the feminists are here!”

After working with one man for several weeks, he said to me, “I was going to tell you you looked pretty the other night, but, you know. I’m not allowed to do that now.”

That ‘now’ was what pissed me off the most. In what universe had it ever been okay to comment on the visual appearance of virtual strangers? We’re not here for a f*cking beauty contest. It’s great if you want to get dressed up for work. I know I feel better in myself if I wear makeup and feel like my outfit is awesome. But I’m sure as sh*t not doing it so some sexist d*cks can comment on it.

Being a Witch is an interesting position – there is still some anti-male and anti-trans sentiment among the witchcraft community in certain sectors, with this idea that the ‘Witch’ has to be a woman. I don’t subscribe to that whatsoever. I don’t think you have to dress a certain way to be a witch, and I don’t think you have to have been born a woman. Personally, I welcome witches from any background, religion, gender, race, sexual identity, gender identity, planet. As long as you don’t steal other people’s culture, or appropriate their traditions, then welcome.

And for me, I was just feeling it today. So I put on my Feminist Friday t-shirt.

The golden rule, I guess, is: just don’t be an asshole.

Blessings!

xxK

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What Does It Mean When Saturn Returns?

A lightbulb with a succulent growing inside it.

This is another post that was requested by one of my favourite people, my friend Racheal. Rach is in Australia and sends me voice notes, and sometimes those include questions or suggestions for the blog, which I love! Hi, Rach.

One of the most recent things Racheal asked about was ‘Saturn Returning’, and I have to admit, I’d never really heard of it before. But when I started reading about it, it was like a lightbulb went off, and I thought it was definitely worth sharing.

So what does it mean?

People at a concert hold their hands up in heart shapes.

So basically, the planet Saturn takes approximately 29.5 years to make a full circle and return to the position it was in when you were born. So the idea is that we experience a period of extreme personal growth and change between our late twenties and early thirties. Starting to ring a bell? This time in our lives when we start to think about what we really want, the person we want to be. When our friends are getting married and having children, or perhaps you’ve already had some kids or maybe you have six fur babies, but there’s something missing.

An illustration of a person holding their arms up in strength.

If you’re 30 or over, you’d probably say that you’re a completely different person to the person you were at 20, or 24, or even 27. I know that for me (now 33) I feel like I know who I am now. I re-embraced my Witchiness, and I now give zero f*cks what people think about that. I posted a video on Instagram the other day of myself doing a short yoga routine. I am no yogi, and I am no supermodel. But you know what? I didn’t give a sh*t. Because I don’t care what people think about how my body looks. I wanted to share a real moment of my life when my body was aching and I felt sore and tired and my fibroids were giving me grief.

Saturn brings us several traits – change, clarity, the reality of our own mortality. It is also known as the Lord of Karma – this is when we begin to reap what we’ve sown during our twenties. That can be f*cking terrifying, let’s be honest. I can’t say I spent my twenties wisely – if I had, I’d probably own a house or something. But I did work hard in my late twenties. I got my Master’s Degree, I started my PhD. I worked really hard in my career, and I did well, went far. And now that I’m 33, I’m kind of veering out of that Saturn Returning phase, which means my next one will hit sometime between the ages of 57 and 60.

A person with blonde hair and a blank face has a sign over their face reading “Confidence” with three upward pointing arrows.

If you’re in your Saturn Returning phase, now is the time to take stock of your life. What do you want? Are you in a relationship that isn’t healthy? Maybe you’re working your arse off at a job you hate. What did you want to be when you were a teenager? It might be time to start dedicating an hour each night to writing that novel or taking a course online. Meditate on it – figure out who you are now. Let go of the person you were before you ‘grew up’. You don’t have to be that person anymore. Saturn sees through your bullsh*t and will take zero excuses. If you don’t have now what you want for yourself, it’s time to start working for it. You’re still young. The race isn’t over yet, and we all deserve a fulfilling and satisfying life, filled with happiness, love, success.

Whatever your goals are, now is the time to start working for them, if you haven’t already. If you want to buy a home, start saving. If you want a promotion, start figuring out how that can happen. If you’re into planning, maybe try a vision board or a five year plan. Write that script. Paint your art. Build the home you want – maybe you just want house plants and enough money to be comfortable. That is absolutely fine – get there. Maybe you want to move so you can get a dog (okay, that’s deeply personal).

A collection of succulents and cacti on a shelf by a corner window.

I’m not saying it’s easy. Yes, the Law of Attraction is a thing, and a thing I believe in. I’m not the expert on manifestation, otherwise I’d probably be in a different position right now. But I know what I want, and I’m constantly working on the Big Plan to get there.

A dog wears a suit.

All of this does not mean you can’t have fun anymore. I really don’t want you to think that! It’s just that maybe our idea of fun is different now. If you still want to party – party! Just balance it, take care of your body, take care of your priorities and remember that hangovers get way, way worse after the age of about 26 so you need to hydrate.

Get manifesting, friends – start being a go-getter instead of a what-iffer. You have potential, and you have the power within yourself. I believe in you.

Love and blessings,

xxK

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BONUS POST: Pictures from Nature

Today we went for a walk with our friend and neighbour, Katie, and her dog, Hughbert (whom you’ve met before). All three (four?) of us were itching to get out of our apartments, even though the weather was pretty grim. I mean, it’s West Yorkshire in November, after all.

Offerings in the tree.

But once we got out there, there was no stopping us. We had a super long walk, got muddy, and Mother Nature gifted me so many treasures from fallen trees for my crafts. I also got to tuck my offerings to the ancestors in the perfect place in the nook of an old, mossy tree, which felt so magical.

We walked until it was nearly pitch dark – even the dog was straining to get back to the car!

Gifts from the woods.

I guess I just wanted to share some pictures with you all to show you what makes my heart sing – nature, its beauty, getting out of the house and the refreshed state of mind that a simple walk can offer us. I know that, for me, walking can be a lifesaver when it comes to mental health. And now I feel more ready to take on the coming week.

Blessings, Witches – I hope you’ve taken good care of yourself this weekend.

xxK

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Boss Witch Fashion Friday: The 1960s Called, they Said You Can Keep Winged Eyeliner.

HAPPY FRIDAY, Boss Witches! This week has been a toughie for me, professionally and PhD-speaking. But we all have sh*tty weeks, don’t we? And the best way to move past that is to whack on some winged eyeliner, get some volume into our hair and throw back to possibly the chic-est of decades: the 1960s.

Elizabeth Montgomery wears a Witch’s hat as Samantha Stevens in Bewitched.

Now, do the 1960s have much to do with Witches, you ask? F*CK YES, they do. Not only in the witchy vibes that were abundant during the time, but also in some modern throwbacks, like The Love Witch and even Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which is basically living in a 1960s time warp. But let us begin with the classics, and enjoy this luscious, colour-filled yet black-filled journey through psychadelic Witchery.

Bewitched

Elizabeth Montgomery wears a flowing black gown and green cape while death-staring her husband, Darrin.

Ah, Samantha. Back in the day, Bewitched was on every day in the afternoon, and I definitely enjoyed it. I knew that I wasn’t capable of wiggling my nose and flying lamps across the hallway, but I still admired Samantha, who was, let’s face it, kind of a feminist badass. We also had Endora, who was a bit of a Witch Purist, but her outfits were fabulous, weren’t they?

Agnes Moorhead as Endora in Bewitched.

There have been talks of a Bewitched remake in the works, but the series was shelved during the last pilot season. We can hold hope, though, and word on the street is that the remake will feature a Black actor as Samantha, which is f*cking awesome, so let’s hope it comes to fruition.

Key takeaways from Bewitched: bell sleeves, puffy nightgowns, set hair, epic green or blue eye makeup, winged liner, bouffants, capes, ladylike pencil skirts and, of course, a set of pearls.

Lily Munster

Okay, Lily Munster isn’t technically a Witch. She’s a vampire. So let’s get that little hiccup out of the way. But we need to pay homage to her distinctly Witchy aesthetic.

Lily was originally played by Yvonne de Carlo, and was briefly going to be resurrected (ha) by Portia de Rossi in 2012, but the reboot ultimately got canned. SHAME.

Key takeaways from The Munsters: two-toned long hair, baby pink/blue/green edged with black lace, serious f*cking eyebrow game, ribbon amulets.

Morticia Addams

Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams.

Look, I’m not sure if Morticia has ever actually been defined as a Witch, but she raised carnivorous plants and played the shamisen, so I’m going to go with, she’s a f*cking Witch.

Unlike Lily Munster, Morticia basically embodied rich-people Witch vibes, with a gothic yet sophisticated aesthetic, endless glamour and the countenance of a saint. Portrayed initially by Carolyn Jones and later by Anjelica Huston, Morticia and her offspring, Wednesday Addams, have inspired generations of Witches with their all-black-everything style.

Key takeaways from Morticia Addams: floor-length black gowns, bell/handkerchief sleeves, widow’s peak hair, luscious long black locks, strong brow game, winged eyeliner and dainty silver pendants.

The Love Witch

Samantha Robinson as Elaine in The Love Witch.

2017’s film The Love Witch is a masterpiece in the recreation of 1960s technicolour resplendence. In it, we see Elaine (played by Samantha Robinson) channeling go-go glamour as she accidentally kills her lovers when her spells go awry. Anna Biller is the director of this passion project, and I have to say, there is so much sartorial inspiration in this film it’s almost obscene. Get thee to it.

via GIPHY

Key takeaways from The Love Witch: winged eyeliner, bright blue eyeshadow, red nails, go-go miniskirts, fabulous technicolour hats, black lingerie, red gowns, casual beehives, candy-pop pink, and enormous costume jewellery.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Kiernan Shipka in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Miranda Otto in a promo picture for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

As Riverdale harks back to the 1950s glory of milkshakes, burgers and high ponies, so does Chilling Adventures of Sabrina bring us a 1960s horror-inspired witch coven. Between Sabrina’s cutesy preppy skirts and headbands and Zelda’s set hair and black widow vibes, this show gives all the vintage goods, even though it’s contemporary as f*ck. We’re talking pencil skirts, preppy vibes, and a good dose of dark Audrey Hepburn here.

Key takeaways from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: wiggle dresses, perfect waves in the hair, big sunglasses, veils and headscarves, vests, high-buttoned collars, high heels, form-fitting two-pieces and flared 1950s skirts.

In conclusion, the 1960s were a golden age for Witches. We had the makeup, the getup and the hair, and we were all kind of fabulous. Samantha Stevens could swan around in that ridiculous nightie and still be a babe. And I think we all deserve some of that glamour in our lives.

Here is another little gem: Wanda the Witch advertising hairspray. ENJOY!

So I wish you a weekend of excellent sartorial choices, Witches, and I’ll see you on Monday!

Blessings,

xxK

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Do Witches Pray?

When I was at secondary school, I was in a pretty religious environment. I went to Presbyterian and Church of England schools that brought us to chapel services weekly, had their own ministers/vicars, had compulsory religion classes and encouraged us to follow a certain doctrine. As I’ve said before, the only time I remember being really in trouble at school was when I was caught with Tarot cards and was told I was summoning the Devil.

The Empress card of the Tarot deck.

I did veer towards those churches and youth groups – all of my friends were pretty heavily involved and I got to front a (Christian) band at the weekly services at the big church. But I knew for many reasons that this religion was not for me – it wasn’t calling me, and I disagreed with too many of its principles. Despite the heavy feeling in my gut that this was wrong for me, I remained in the church (quietly, hiding who I was) for a good few years.

But as my knowledge grew and I started to discover my own faith and spirituality, which was centred deeply on nature, the Earth and the Moon, I realised that it was never the doctrine of Christianity that held me in that community. It was the idea that I was chasing, of deep peace found from prayer or belief that there was a higher power. And I found that elsewhere.

I think that ‘prayer’ is a concept that many limit to Christian churches, Synagogues, Temples and Mosques. But ultimately, what is prayer? It’s the act of quietly speaking to the higher power, sharing your fears and handing yourself over to them. So is that different from meditation? Or setting an altar to the Goddess?

A person with white hair sits in an old brick church flooded with pink and yellow light.

I’ve come to realise that ‘prayer’ is not just the act of ‘communing with God’. It’s the act of reflection, of sharing with Spirit (whoever or whatever that may be for you) and accepting that you are not alone walking in this world. Whether it’s the Goddess you pray to, or Mother Mary, or God, or just the Universe – I think we need to reclaim the concept of Prayer to mean whatever it means to us on a personal level. Some Witches are Catholic – this is a strong tradition, often passed down in a hereditary line. If we watch The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, that coven attends the Church of Night and worships the Dark Lord (tongue in cheek though that series is, and very well done). Prayer and Witchcraft are, by their very natures, intertwined.

The pentagram with candles lit at the elements of Air, Water, Earth and Fire, and a candle lit in the centre.

For me, prayer is meditation, is casting a circle and throwing myself into the hands of the Universe, gazing at the Moon (and charging crystals and jars of water underneath her), of lighting incense and practising gratitude. All of this brings me peace, tranquility, relaxation, relief from anxiety. And, ultimately, that’s what prayer should be.

Reading the Tarot will no longer get me detention. Now, I feel empowered and I enjoy using it to shed light on issues that I might not be willing to face myself. I use it to confirm suspicions, direct my path, and reassure me when I’m not 100% convinced I’ve made the right choice. And anyone who practises the Tarot will know that feeling of understanding – this is too powerful to be a coincidence. It must come from Something Else.

A person in a long dress stands with their hands in prayer towards the blue and yellow sky.

Do you pray? Or use Tarot or spellcraft as prayer?

Blessings,

xxK

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Witchcraft Wednesday: 3 Simple Spells (No Witchy Gear Required)

Happy Witchcraft Wednesday! I’ve decided that every Wednesday, I’ll post about witchcraft, whether it’s a spell, a relaxation recording, an activity or even something crafty. The whole point of this blog is to make witchcraft more accessible every day for every person – which is why today, we’re focusing on 3 simple spells that do not require you to have an altar, ten different candles, herb bundles, resins, a wand, thirty crystals or a black cat.

A person with red hair is surrounded by light in the woods, floating off the ground.

When I began on this journey, I certainly did not have the money to buy every single item that I wished I could. Even now, I don’t have that kind of capital. I’m sort of a minimalist Witch by accident for the most part. Even though I love my Witch Kit, I can’t afford to put everything in it that I would like.

The good news is, you don’t need all of those things to be a practising Witch. As I’ve said before, the main thing is your intention. You don’t have to cast spells every day, and you don’t have to have a full set of essential oils and animal bone dust and all that jazz. You just need yourself, your intention and your concentration.

So, without further ado, let’s do some spellwork.

Let’s Get Set Up

An old weather vane.

First things first: set the scene. Turn your phone off or onto Airplane mode. We don’t want any distractions during this spellwork. If you have a candle, light it, otherwise just sort out some mood lighting, even if that’s switching a lamp on and turning the big, unforgiving light off. Same goes for incense – not necessary, but by all means, make it smell good in there.

Now, face the East and say, “Spirit of the East, of the Air, I call on you. Hail and Welcome.”

Turn to the South and say, “Spirit of the South, of Fire, I call on you. Hail and Welcome.”

Turn to the West and say, “Spirit of the West, of the Water, I call on you. Hail and Welcome.”

Turn to the North and say, “Spirit of the North, of the Earth, I call on you. Hail and Welcome.”

Stay facing the North, and greet the Goddess and the God (if you like). Now your circle is cast, and you’re ready to begin your Witching.

Closing the Circle

A lit green candle.

When you’ve finished your spellwork, we’re going to thank the Spirits and close the circle. We do this in the reverse order to the opening. So:

Turn to the North and say, “Goddess and God, thank you for being with me. Hail and farewell.”

Stay facing the North: “Spirit of the North, of the Earth, thank you for your presence. Hail and farewell.”

Facing the West: “Spirit of the West, of Water, thank you for your presence. Hail and farewell.”

Facing the South: “Spirit of the South, of Fire, thank you for your presence. Hail and farewell.”

Facing the East: “Spirit of the East, of the Air, thank you for your presence. Hail and farewell.”

1. A Simple Spell for Manifestation

A fountain pen rests on paper with writing on it, along with some rose petals.

I love manifestation spells, mostly because it helps me to focus my attention towards visualisation and imagination. For this little spell, we are going to need:

  • A pen or pencil
  • A piece of paper

That’s it! Super simple kit list there, everybody.

Cast your circle, as above, and then sit down inside your circle with your pen and paper. I want you to close your eyes, and truly visualise what it is that you are manifesting. That means I want you to see yourself already having that thing. Whether it’s money, or love – feel how it would feel to be living with that. What does it feel like? What does it smell like? What does it look like? Spend some time meditating on this. I want you to live it. When you’ve got it 100% down in your mind’s eye, open your eyes and write down your manifestation on the paper:

Thank you Universe/Goddess/Spirit for the abundance you provide. I thank you for the <INSERT YOUR MANIFESTATION> that you have gifted me.

Write it three times, concentrating. Use your best, most focused handwriting.

When you’re done, fold up the paper into a neat bundle. I like using an envelope fold, but you can fold it however you wish.

Now, meditate again on that paper.

Open your eyes, and place that paper somewhere safe – into jewellery box, beside your bed, or into a bowl. Put it somewhere you’ll see it, so that you can bring it back to mind every day.

Close your circle.

2. A Cleansing Ritual

A stone bath tub in a bathroom by a window. A robe hangs on the wall.

I love baths, and cleansing rituals are a great way to meditate and clear ourselves of negative energy. This spell uses a bathtub, but if you don’t have a tub, just substitute your shower.

For this spell, you need:

  • A bath or shower
  • Some bathsalts (use whatever you have – if you have essential oils, go for it, and if you have herbs or flowers you want to add – go for it).

If you have a candle, light it – if not, don’t worry.

While you run the bath, imagine yourself cleaning away the negative energies you’ve accumulated. These could be from negative people, or stressful situations, or just general bad vibes. Think about those energies leaving your body.

Get into the bath, and close your eyes. Relax. Either out loud or in your mind, say,

“With this water I wash away the negative energies within and upon me.”

A bath caddy holding bath bombs, salts in a glass jar, a glass bottle and sponges and soaps.

Now, mindfully wash yourself with the salted water, picturing those bad vibes washing away and disappearing in the water like a bath bomb. Fizzing out.

Sit back and relax for a while – with each inhale, imagine a clean, bright light coming into your body and eating away at anything negative. With each exhale, picture those negative energies leaving your body. Maybe they’re a black mist, or maybe they are a dark red smoke. Breathe it all out.

When you feel like you’re all squeaky clean inside and out, your spell is complete. Give thanks, and go about your evening.

*Now is a great time for a meditation session or further spellwork – I often do this after a bath because my mind is in the right place*

3. Basic Kitchen Witchery – Cooking With Love

Fresh fettuccine pasta with the ingredients sit on a wooden benchtop.

Another thing I love to do is to use cooking to cast spells. I don’t mean by adding anything in particular, although I do love cooking with sage and rosemary. Once again, this is all about intention and mindful cooking.

While you prepare a meal, focus on your intention. For example, say your partner is having a bad day, and you want to fill them with ease and love. While you’re preparing the food, focus all your attention on pushing love and comfort into the food. I’m talking about every step here – while you’re washing, peeling, chopping, frying, boiling a kettle – every single step.

Cream and yellow custard desserts topped with flowers and mint leaves.

Take deep breaths and enjoy the process. Feel that love and comfort within yourself. By the time you serve that food to your partner/friend/mother – all of that beautiful energy will be infused in each bite of the meal. While you eat, give thanks, and enjoy the love.

This doesn’t have to be a fancy meal, either – it works just as well with beans on toast as it does with homemade pasta.

What are your most simple spells? I’d love to hear about them. Contact me to get in touch!

Blessings, Witches,

xxK

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Mercury Retroshade: We’re Not Out of Danger Yet

This 2019 Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio has been a doozy. Everyone I know, even non-believers, have experienced travel delays, electrical problems, technological fails, had exes pop up out of the blue after 20 years… it’s been a time. Now that we’re approaching November 20th, you might be tempted to start feeling relieved – you made it through the Retrograde! But be warned: Retroshade is a thing.

What is Retroshade?

As you may have noticed, leading up to the Mercury Retrograde there was a short period of around 2 weeks when things started to get a little sticky. Little faults, little glitches, that sort of thing. And then the Retrograde hits and everyone battens down the hatches and hides out for a few weeks, right? During the Retrograde, we are warned not to make real estate deals, or sign business contracts, or contact an ex or old friend, or anything like that. But directly after the Retrograde, we have what is known as the Retroshade, which is sort of like the cool-down period.

A white and brown art deco lampshade.

Before and after the Retrograde, we experience ‘shadowing’ periods, which are kind of like the pre and after parties of the shift. During these times we get a taster of the full-blown Retrograde effects, like slight glitches or pickles, or little hints of problems in the areas affected by the shift, like travel, communication, business and interpersonal relationships.

So what can I do?

During this two-week period, take advantage of the cooling-off of the full Retro feels to assess what you have learned from this time. Have you re-thought some business decisions that you were about to make? Has something become a little more clear in your relationship? Has something come up that you thought was resolved but actually needs a little more attention?

An old pink dial-up telephone.

During this time, it’s still not a great idea to make any huge decisions or sign legal paperwork. Additionally, you could still benefit from keeping your distance from interpersonal drama and sticky situations. But it’s a great time to review your own status in work and at home, and see if there’s anything you might work on once this Retroshade period is over. Now is the time for reflection, working on our relationships and taking good care of ourselves. We need to be mindful of our feelings and aware that we might still be a little sensitive after the bashery of Retrograde. So get out your journal, work on some self-care spells and take a little extra time to meditate and be kind to yourself.

What can I learn?

A person with red hair and freckles closes their eyes.

Leave the heavy work-lifting until early December, Witches – for now, just take care of you and yours, and pay extra attention to your feelings and the feelings of the important people in your life. It’s a good idea to take a look over any paperwork, assignments or writing you did during the Retrograde period and check it for mistakes, errors or anything that’s been missed. Double check any travel bookings you’ve made, and check in with your friends and family. Mercury Retrograde has lessons to teach us, so make the most of it. It doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom – it’s time to clear house.

Oh – and don’t answer unknown numbers.

Blessings,

xxK

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Productivity: Break It Down

One of the best pieces of advice I have in terms of productivity is to break it down. There’s nothing more confronting than a huge to-do list, especially when it includes things like, “WRITE CHAPTER”. That’s not helpful to anyone, Witches.

A person wearing pale blue trousers rests their feet.

When we have full schedules and full lists of sh*t to do, it can be incredibly overwhelming. What happens when we get overwhelmed? We panic, we don’t do any of it, and we binge watch an entire season of something on Netflix or Prime. Then it starts that awful cycle of guilt, more panic, more sh*t to do, a longer list, and more binge-watching. We stop sleeping. We start panicking. Our anxiety gets worse and nothing gets done – all while the list keeps growing.

Bite-size pieces are the key. Instead of telling yourself to write a chapter of your thesis/book/novel, break that chapter down into tasks.

Working with Pomodoro

Seven tomatoes in a triangle formation.

The Pomodoro Technique breaks tasks and working down into short bursts of around 25 minutes. It goes like this: you set the timer for 25 minutes, and you do nothing but focus on one task for that 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, you take a 5 minute break, and then you do it again. The idea is that you will get more done in these focused blocks of time without the distraction of your phone or TV or the internet. When we break things down into manageable sections of sh*t to do, we are more able to achieve those tasks. That, in turn, leads to us actually being able to tick sh*t off the list, which makes us feel like we are achieving, which then makes us feel good, which makes us more driven to do more sh*t.

A black planner reads “Productivity”. It sits on a white desk with a pink notebook, a glass bottle and a white computer keyboard.

For me, as a bullet journaller, I like to pre-plan my tasks. For example, if I need to read a book on case studies (ahem), I don’t just write, “read book” on my list. I break it down into chapters, figure out how many chapters I can read in 25 minutes, and then allocate accordingly. Then I prep some little boxes in my bujo so I can colour them in when I’ve done each Pomodoro section. See? That way, you can physically see progress.

It’s the same principle as tracking your likes on Instagram, or keeping a chart of your savings. When you can see progress, it drives you. It makes you yearn for more progress. It makes us feel accomplished and warm and fuzzy.

Exercise:

Take a big job that has been hanging over your head, something from your Fear List (more on this another day). Look at the job and break it up into its different parts. For example, say your goal was to get your driver’s licence.

A vintage pink toy car sits on a white surface with fairy lights behind it.

Task 1: find out steps to get licence (1 Pomodoro)
Task 2: Fill out paperwork (1 Pomodoro)
Task 3: Schedule driving lessons (1 Pomodoro)
Task 4: Work out cost of licence (1 Pomodoro)
Task 5: Study handbook (6 Pomodoros)

And so on.

In this way, you can see visually your progress and you can visualise yourself getting closer to having your licence. Colour in your progress blocks or tick off a list or give yourself a sweet for each Pomodoro you complete – whatever it is that works for you. Encourage yourself – make it easier for yourself.

A person’s hand sits on a laptop while the other holds a journal. A cup of coffee sits next to the laptop.

Being overwhelmed can lead to not getting anything done, and that makes you feel sh*tty about yourself. Don’t feel sh*tty. You are a badass Boss Witch, and you’ve got this.

What are your productivity hacks?

Blessings,

xxK

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