Boss Witch Fashion Friday: Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtower of the ’90s.

HAPPY FRIDAY, WITCHES!

It’s been a WEEK and then some, so it’s time to kick back, relax and talk about the thing that really brought us all here: the witch movies/shows of the 1990s.

Once upon a time, a little film called The Craft premiered and turned every teenaged and tweenaged girl into a choker-wearing, miniskirt and white t-shirt sporting wannabe WitchyPoo. While the ’90s aren’t generally like the pinnacle of fashion, there was a certain charm to them that certainly, as I have aged, I have begun to appreciate. Apart from anything else, it brought us this goth-chick, maroon lipstick situation that a lot of us still feel and wear to this day (guilty).

And then we had the Sisters Halliwell, of Charmed fame, who brought us everyday Witch realness in the form of conservatie Piper, Prue of the endless chokers (RIP Prue), rebellious Phoebe and newcomer, Paige, who, let’s face it, really rocked the whole satin cami situation that plagued us for so long.

I’m going to skirt over Sabrina the Teenage Witch for our purposes here because nobody wants to relive those costumes, everybody.

Then of course we have Practical Magic, which I just realised deserves a serious re-watch, because Nicole and Sandra is kind of an amazing combination. Also, we can’t forget Willow of Buffy, because even though she didn’t have a big coven, she still stuck to the RULES.

Let’s break down the basics of ’90s Witch Fashion. You’re welcome.

The Choker

Everybody needs a choker to be a ’90s Witch. It can be made of velvet, satin, cord, lace – basically anything so long as it’s black, dark red or dark purple. Maybe dark green. But don’t be bringing blue into it. Don’t try for white, either – we’re dark, serious Witches, okay?

Miniskirts

We’re talking plaid, we’re talking tartan, we’re talking plain black, we’re talking wearing them with thigh-high boots or socks, and we’re talking wearing them on our waists, not on our hips. They are short, they are pleated, or they are straight, or they are A-line. There are not really any rules on shape here – we’re just talking short and high and dark.

Velvet and Satin

We’re loving our tactile textiles in the ’90s, Witches. Satin camisoles (the type with boob holders built in and spaghetti straps), velvet dresses in green, black, red, purple (DARK), lace edging on everything (black only, thank you). Belly tops. Velvet jackets. So much velvet.

<< Here we have Alyson Hannigan sporting a red velvet dress, because of course.

Here is Nicole Kidman rocking a green velvet dress>>

All Leather Everything

A leather jacket is a Very Important Item in any ’90s Witch’s closet. It can be in just about any colour so long as it’s black, brown or red. BUT we cannot forget that this is the ’90s, so we also wear leather trousers, skirts, and maybe even dresses. Jackets can be long or short. They are probably not actually leather.

Floral Dresses

Maybe you’re not into the leather and darkness look. That’s okay – you can still be a ’90s Witch. We’re going to do the long, floral dress. It’s billowy, it’s probably too long or just not long enough, stuck at a weird in-between phase before midi dresses were a thing. We might do buttons all the way down the front – almost certainly we’re going to do spaghetti straps or those weird straps that aren’t actually spaghetti straps but also are not a tank top strap.

We’re going to layer the sh*t out of this dress, whether it needs it or not. We’re going to do jackets and boots and probably tights, maybe a t-shirt underneath it. Enjoy – this is the most comfortable of the ’90s Boss Witch items.

The Boots

We’ve got to finish this outfit off, and we’re going to do it with boots. Whether it’s summer, spring, autumn or winter, we are wearing boots. Chunky boots, with buckles or big block heels, up to our ankles or maybe above the knee. Or pointy and Victorian – with loads of buttons or laces. Here is an image from our seminal film, The Craft:

In conclusion, the ’90s were very excellent for Witches. The fashion trends that emerged during that glorious, golden period of Witch films and television are still with us today. I know we still all love a blood-red lip and who doesn’t love chucking on a billowing cotton dress? And the best thing about layering t-shirts under tank tops is, you don’t have to shave your armpits (not that you have to anyway, I haven’t in weeks and I’m owning the sh*t out of it).

Have a dark and twisty weekend, Witches.

Blessings,

xxK

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What is Magic to You?

I’ve had people make fun of me for believing in magic. Anyone who believes in magic will experience that at some point – it’s the same as the clash between religion and science – how can two things exist that are counter-intuitive?

Last night someone said to me that, “Science is magic that has been proven, and magic is science that hasn’t.” Or something along those lines. It makes sense, though – think of all the things that have been ‘discovered’ scientifically in just the past 50 years. Those things would have been considered magical a time ago.

A person with long, blonde hair reads a book in a field. Magical sparks fly from the book.

I’ve always believed that magic was possible, and that it exists. We know that, as humans, there are parts of our brains that we don’t necessarily access or use to the heights of their ability. And if you have ever practised meditation, you’ll understand me when I say that that moment, that first time when you ‘get it’, it feels like magic. For the first time, your brain has experienced true stillness. Of course, then you realise you’re ‘doing’ it, and then it’s broken. But that first moment is still special.

Other forms of magic could be things like the fact that I ran Jessie a bath last night and I put full moon water and essential oils in it, spoke some words over it, and didn’t tell her. So when she came out of the bath and her injury was feeling a lot better, we couldn’t explain it. Is it just the thought of magic, the sort of placebo effect? Well, I’d ask – does it actually matter?

A glass jar with a cork in it sits amid purple wildflowers in the grass. Some flowers are also inside the bottle.

What does ‘magic’ mean? Is it just something we can’t explain? Or is it something otherworldly? I would argue that magic is perhaps just using the power of the mind. If we look at anything – manifestation, meditation, abundance mindsets, even holistic remedies – isn’t that magic? But isn’t it also science?

Meditation makes me calmer, clearer and happier. That’s science, and it’s magic. I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive. Casting a spell is not that far off from using an abundance mindset to achieve your goals and dreams. We are using our brains and minds to essentially will something into or out of existence/presence.

Personally, I believe that there is Something that is bigger than us. The Universe, or Spirit, or God/dess – whatever you want to call it. I think that the fact that our planet sustains such complex ecosystems and sprouts flowers in spring is magical. I think the fact that two people can be thinking of each other at the same exact second is magical. I believe that the Universe plays jokes on us (like teaching us to be specific when we are manifesting), and that sometimes things that are meant for us will find us, no matter what. Kismet, serendipity – what Pam Grossman calls, ‘the trail of cosmic breadcrumbs’ – it’s all magical to me, and it works in conjunction with the scientific basis for our existence. Do I believe that the Christian God created the Earth? No. Do I believe that something did, and for a reason? Absolutely.

An artistic black and white photograph of a person with long dark hair leaning backwards on a sofa. Repeated images of the person fade in their wake.

When we are children, we believe in Santa Claus, and fairies, and that our stuffed animals have feelings and are listening to us. I still think my stuffed rabbit has a soul, and that’s just how I feel about it. What happens to us that plants that cynicism within our minds, that tells us that science and magic are mutually exclusive?

I don’t know that I’ll ever have all the answers on this one, but I want to hear from you:

What does Magic mean to you?

Blessings,

xxK

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Being a Solitary Witch

I’ve never been part of a coven. I’ve never even had anyone to practise with, apart from my very forgiving partner who participates with me on occasion. I can remember being a young woman of about 16, drawn completely towards witchcraft, but without any kind of access to information about it. I went to high school in a small city of about 20,000 people, where we had one bookshop which most certainly did not carry books on the occult.

I was in there one day, desperately perusing the one shelf of vaguely spiritual books, when a complete stranger walked up to me and said, “Something is telling me that you need to read Scott Cunningham.” I thanked her, and went home and booted up the old dial-up internet and googled it. There it was, sure enough – Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. And the price tag on it was eye-watering. I didn’t have a job or anything – I made $30 a week teaching music and sold some jewellery occasionally, but this was a whole new level. Books are really expensive in Australia, or at least, they were back then.

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by [Cunningham, Scott]
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wicca-Solitary-Practitioner-Scott-Cunningham/dp/0875421180/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=onebosswitch-21&linkCode=w00&linkId=a671eb74ab95224e06fa98430f0ac44f&creativeASIN=0875421180

It was over a year until I got my hands on that book. I was in Melbourne, where there was a witchy shop in the city. I was so excited to go, and I was not disappointed. I did feel a bit out of place – it was super shiny and lush in the store, and I was a 17 year old hippie with long hair. I wanted just about everything in that shop but I had just enough money to cover that book. I got home and I completely devoured it, cover to cover, many times. And you know what? I was overwhelmed. I thought I didn’t have the access I needed or the information or support system to ‘do this’ properly. I did always refer back to that book, but to be honest, I drifted away from it a little bit out of fear. I carried it every time I moved (which was a lot) and always saw that book calling out to me.

Now, we’re talking about 2004 here. The internet existed but it was nothing like the internet we have and know now. There weren’t so many opportunities to connect with people and see how others practise and live as Witches. I learned how to cast a circle, and I learned how to do basic things, but I will admit that I gave up, essentially.

Throughout my adulthood since, I’ve always identified as ‘a bit Witchy’. And I have always loved candles and crystals and incense. I meditated, I used aromatherapy and I believed wholeheartedly in holistic remedies and healing. I got into gut health. But it wasn’t until the last couple of years that I realised the only person holding me back from living as fully as I wanted to, as a practising Witch, was myself.

A person lights a piece of paper on fire. A candle burns next to it.

These days, being a solitary Witch is much easier, because we’re not really alone. We can connect with other people on Instagram and Facebook, and there are millions of websites out there. I can quickly google a herb if I don’t know what to use, and there are hundreds of spells and incantations, rituals and meditations that I can access for free. And I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with googling things. That’s what it’s there for. And there is no ‘wrong’ way to Witch.

These days, I have no idea where my Scott Cunningham book is, but I think I’ll buy another copy for the good old days.

A person in a white dress stands under an open sky.

And to anyone out there scraping their pennies together for a paperback – do it. You’ll love it. But also make the most of the beauties of the worldwide web and the fact that you can access information with a click and a type for free.

Reach out to other practitioners – let’s build this community and make it more readily accessible to everyone. I know I love my spirituality, and I find a lot of comfort and strength and empowerment in it. You can, too.

Blessings,

xxK

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PhDs and Calming Teas: Practical Self-Care Tips for People Who Have Way Too Much Sh*t On Their Plates

Don’t worry, this isn’t a poem. Despite working a bit with rhyming when it comes to my own spellwork, I’m not really into writing poetry on the whole. I like reading (some of) it.

I realised that I haven’t touched much on what it’s like to be doing a PhD, which I’m sure a lot of you will be familiar with. A lot of PhDs are in the science and mathematical fields, but mine is pure research and writing. Since it’s sociological, there’s no lab work. I did my interviews in LA last year and the data collection phase was over just like that. Now it’s time for the write-up and I wanted to address the physical/mental/emotional side of PhD research life.

A white notepad covered in flower petals next to a teacup filled with coffee beans.

It’s a lonely business writing a PhD thesis. I see my supervisors once or twice a month, and apart from that, I’m mostly by myself. That means that apart from the deadlines, I don’t really have anyone to be accountable to, and that makes it difficult to get sh*t done. Add into the mix a fairly difficult year health-wise and Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and you’ve got a tricky mix.

But that doesn’t mean it’s all a nightmare. I love my PhD research – that’s why I’m doing it. Lots of people have suggested to me that I give it up, and I know I don’t have to finish it. Trust me. But there’s a reason I started it, a reason I chose my research subject and a reason I’m still here, trying to finish it despite a sh*tty year and, if I’m honest, often losing the will to get it done and dusted. I’m passionate about it.

But doing a PhD is not easy, and if you also work or have other projects going on, it is a LOT to manage in one lifetime. So this is my little segway into a little something I like to call:

Practical Self-Care Tips for People Who Have Way Too Much Sh*t On Their Plates

A pile of opened books in the grass.

There are a lot of self-care guides for PhD researchers, and that is wonderful. But most of them say sh*t like, ‘go for a walk’ and ‘eat a healthy diet’. Those things are wonderful and super helpful in general, but when the earth feels like it’s closing in on you and you’re never, ever going to get this sh*t done, and maybe you should have become an accountant instead, or a salesperson, going for a walk is not the be-all and end-all answer.

Instead, I propose the Witchy version.

1. Acknowledge how much you have achieved already

It’s so easy to get sucked into looking only at what you need to achieve, and not what you have already ticked off your never-ending to-do list. So take a few minutes to reward yourself with a hot bath and some Me Time, and congratulate yourself on all the kickass things you have done. You are a fucking badass Witch.

2. Take a f*cking day off

A collection of white, pink and green bath bombs filled with flower petals.

It’s not a competition, everyone. If you’re like me, your list of sh*t to get done is epic, which means that you can easily spread it out over days and days, and before you know it, you’ve assigned yourself an academic book to read ON A SUNDAY. Take at least one day each week OFF. Like, off-off. Schedule nothing to do with your job, your PhD/other commitments or literally anything that feels like “should do” stuff instead of “want to do” stuff. Give yourself a day of “want to do”, even if that’s sleeping and watching reality television shows and eating chips. Cast some spells. Knit. Do whatever the f*ck you want. It’s your day.

3. Find other people who understand what you’re going through

A white marble table. Two people’s hands clasp their cups of tea.

Some people have really connected departments where all the postgraduate students know and support each other and keep in touch and have activities to do together. Some people don’t. I made some lovely friends in the first couple of years of my PhD research, and then they graduated. Because I don’t like driving 2 hours round-trip to work from my laptop in the PGR office instead of just saving the 2 hours and doing the same thing at home, I don’t really go in anymore, which means I don’t know any of the other PGRs. As a solution to this problem, I took myself to a postgraduate symposium day in another city, where I met other people researching similar things to my own research. And that not only rekindled my passion for my work, it also gave me a connection to new people who understand what it’s like to do a PhD, and to whom I could talk about this sh*t. De-isolate yourself.

4. Don’t beat yourself up

A person raises their hands above their head.

There seems to be a culture in academia of out-shaming ourselves and others. Like this whole “I should be writing” thing. Yeah, of course – we ‘should’ all be doing lots of things. But if you spend the whole day panicking about what a sh*t job you’re doing, guess what? You’re not going to write anything good, anyway, so it’s a f*cking bust all around. Be kind to yourself, FFS. Have a cup of calming tea. Drink some wine. Meditate, get some sleep, and then get up tomorrow and try again.

5. Reward yourself

I touched on this up in point 2, but this is on another level. You know how, at work, you get rewards if you do good stuff? Like promotions or pay rises or work parties or whatever? Give yourself a party. Whether that’s an actual party, or just going to dinner with your best friend, or taking a weekend to go away, or even just cooking your favourite meal and enjoying a lush bottle of wine with your partner – reward yourself. Even when you haven’t achieved the ticking off of every single item on your to-do list. Set achievable milestones for yourself that you know are possible – that way, you’re not setting yourself up to fail.

A large platter of fruit, crackers and dips on a table surrounded by other plates of food and bottles.

Obviously, I’m not the perfect PhD student. I’m not the perfect anything. I am better at giving advice than taking it. But these are the things I know to be true and helpful. For me, I also find my Witchcraft Practice to be a welcome relief, as well.

If there are any other Boss Witches out there on their PhD journey, I’d love to hear about it.

Have a wonderful full moon tonight!

Blessings,

xxK

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November Snow Moon: What Does it Mean?

Beavers are very cute, do not set traps for them. Two beavers emerge from the water.

What do Witches do on a full moon? You might know that we have one coming up (Tuesday 12th November). This time around, we have the ‘Frost’, ‘Snow’ or ‘Beaver’s’ Moon. That sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? But traditionally, this was the time to set beaver traps. Please don’t do that. Beavers are beautiful, wonderful creatures and, although I don’t know you, I don’t think you know how to use their fur to make clothes to protect your naked body from the snow. So please, just don’t.

Anyway, what does the Frost Moon bring us?

Image by Mario Aranda from Pixabay
A skull, a dagger and a key and ring sit by old leatherbound books, lit by a candle.

This is a time for protection spells. I love me a protection spell. You can stick it in a jar, you can manifest some protection or ask your spirit guides for some extra guidance. Use candle magic/k, run a special bath and get your crystals charging, Witches.

The November Snow Moon is, as Sacred Wicca states, “a time of grounding, preparation and transformation. Work magick that will strengthen your communication with the Goddess or God that seems closest to you.” I know that a lot of Witches feel connected to one particular Goddess or God, but don’t panic if you’re not feeling that. I just work with the Goddess, mostly – by which I mean Mother Earth / Gaia, the world that I can see and feel. I’m doing more research and I would love to write a blog on the Norse Goddess Freyja one day, but for now, I’m happy just to commune with the generic Goddess that is the World.

Two glass bottles sit in front of a fireplace. They have a handwritten label that says, ‘sloe and vanilla gin’.

So, this is a time to prepare ourselves for Winter. It’s going to be a cold one (unless you’re in my motherland, Australia, in which case you’re preparing for Summer, lucky Witches). It’s time to remind ourselves that, despite the Mercury Retrograde that has been running amuck, we are babies of the Earth, and we need to connect with that. Ground yourself, feel connected – protect yourself from harmful entities, feelings, vibrations, energies and people. Now is a time to cleanse and start getting ready for the colder months so we can go into them, eyes wide open, ready for the dark period before Spring comes back to warm us again. In the meantime, get cosy and warm, start those winter stews and try to enjoy this cuddly time of year.

I’m loving this blog and sharing this journey with you all. I’d love to hear from you, so please contact me if you have any post requests or questions. I also welcome pointers and advice from more experienced Witches because we are always learning.

What do you have prepared for the Snow Moon?

Blessings

xxK

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Boss Witch: Fashion Friday

Greetings, Witches! We made it to the weekend again. What a week it’s been.

Post-Samhain blues, the winding down of Halloween celebrations… and the commencement of Christmas carols playing in every store, as well as the appearance of an inexplicably enormous amount of mince pies being stocked in the supermarket. Why? Nobody even likes them.

BUT with the cooler weather and the setting in of the wintry months comes the very best thing: cape season.

Emma Roberts, Sarah Paulson and Frances Conroy all wear capes in American Horror Story: Apocalypse.

Why are capes so great?

My good friend, Lindsey, and I have discussed this quit a bit, but never actually got to the point about what makes capes so great. I mean, we talk about how we need capes, and what great capes could be made from various fabrics, but we’ve never addressed the reasons. I propose the following justifications for my argument:

  1. Capes are fun
  2. They are swishy
  3. They are stylish
  4. They hide your face if you need them to
  5. They can be warm (made of wool) or cool (made of silk)
  6. They are historically accurate for many different eras, making historical cosplay a breeze
  7. Now you can get blazers that are capes, and capes that are blazers, which means that capes are officially in the realm of acceptable workwear.
  8. They can be made with pockets.

You don’t have to retire your cape game just because Samhain is over. You’re welcome.

Traditional Witch Cape

Bela Lugosi wears a cape as Dracula in 1931.

According to this very detailed write-up on the history of capes over at CR Fashion Book, the first cape sighting is from 1066. That’s a long, long time of people wearing capes, my friends. So yes, it makes sense that witches also wore capes.

Now, I think we can all agree that capes and dark culture in general have had more than their fair share of moments. Vampires, witches, general baddies – all wearing capes for a long time. In many pagan circles, members still wear capes. In many cultures, in fact, people wear capes. In many religions, people wear capes. And I feel that if you want to wear a cape, you should. However, the old-fashioned sort of circle-cape sweeping the floor and billowing around you as you stand in the gentle winds of fantasy land may not do you so well on the run to the supermarket. So let’s look at some more modern and/or fashion-forward options.

Fashion Capes

Gigi Hadid wears a black cape out and about.

I already mentioned the blazer cape which I think is possibly the best fashion invention ever. But capes made a massive comeback in terms of tailoring in like the 1940s and, to be honest, I’ve always been a fan. And then once you take American Horror Story and mix Victorian capes with modern fashion? LUSH.

However, in the last few years we have definitely seen an increase in the wearing of capes in public, in the form of gowns, jackets, general cape-age, and I theorise that many of those people who wear these capes are, in fact, Witches, in some way or another.

I feel like I’ve made my point now. These strong evidential provisions should leave no doubt in your mind. I doubt this is the last time I’ll bring capes up.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and pour myself a whisky because it’s Friday night. I might light a candle and pray to Amal Clooney or Lupita Nyong’o.

Blessings,

xxK

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Being a ‘Good’ Witch

It’s the human condition. We all want to be the best at what we do, whether that’s work, or hobbies, or family, or just being the best cook in the family (I’m not). This idea of having to ‘do’ things properly – i.e., you can’t be a real painter unless you’ve taken classes, or you can’t be a singer because you don’t get paid to sing – is damaging. It’s damaging to creativity, it’s damaging to self-worth, and it’s damaging to the very core of what spirituality and passion, and loving what we do.

A tea-light candle lit amongst some roses.

I’ve been beating myself up for the last few days because I’ve been ill. I’ve been in bed, unable to work or write or do much at all except complain. But despite literally writing about this sh*t, I still wasn’t able to acknowledge the fact that I was ignoring my own advice. Being a Witch isn’t a job, and it’s not a hobby – it’s just who I am. So it doesn’t matter that I haven’t taken the stuff off of the Samhain ancestor altar to bury it in the woods; it’s pissing down rain out there and I have a dodgy chest right now. It would be stupid to do that. It doesn’t mean that the earth is going to crack open and I’m going to get swallowed whole. It doesn’t mean I’ll be haunted forevermore by dodgy spirits because I haven’t taken the apples to the woods yet.

This idea that we have to be the best is problematic. Being spiritual and taking part in rituals and practising Magic/k should be rewarding and enjoyable, not stressful.

There’s been a bit going around lately in the form of memes and graphics on Instagram decrying the idea that you have to be perfect or spend loads of money to be a ‘good’ Witch. So f*ck being good, everybody. Let’s just be us.

Don’t break the bank to buy supplies

A selection of coloured and lit beeswax candles.

This is one of the things I love about the online Witch community. Even though we love pretty things and it’s nice to have nice things, we all understand that it’s not always possible to splash out on top-end products for our practice. White candles (tea-lights, everyone) work for any spell. You don’t have to have special colours for special things. I bought 20 white votives at my local B&M store for £3. That’ll do me for a while. Rosemary can be switched in for any herb, and you know what? I usually buy my sage DRIED and in a bottle from the supermarket. So there.

When I went to my local Witchy shop, of course I was dazzled and excited – I was also on a budget. I went in looking for a knife or a dagger for my altar, but I came out with something better. The owner of the shop gave me a piece of oak to use as a wand. Because she chose it and gifted it to me, it felt more special, and I didn’t have to fork out £20 for a knife. Please note that I still dropped coin that day – just not more than I could afford.

Intent is the key

Purple cut crystal.

One of the Facebook groups I’m in always hits this home, and I love that about it. Whenever you are practising Magic, it is your intention that counts. More than which crystals you have or which herbs, or a knife versus a wand. You can make Magic with a pen and paper. You can make Magic with a birthday candle. You don’t need 10 ingredients to make a spell jar. Yeah, it’s nice to have those things sometimes. But please, please remember that it’s you that is the secret ingredient here. You’re the Witch/Magic.

If you don’t ‘practise’ every day, you’re still a Witch

If you take a few days ‘off’, you’re still you. And just because you’re not writing in a leatherbound Grimoire with a quill and ink and casting spells doesn’t mean you’re not working Magic. Meditating is Magic. Setting an intention for the day is Magic. Performing a kind deed is Magic. You are the Magic, Boss Witch, and don’t ever forget it.

We’re always learning

Tarot cards spread out on a purple velvet bag.

I have never claimed to be a fully knowledgeable Witch. There are approximately a bajillion* Witches out there who know quadruple and more than what I know. That’s the beauty of Witchcraft, and it’s the beauty of the community. We learn from each other, we’re always learning, and we never stop learning and sharing. That’s how we get better, stronger and more powerful. Right now, I’m re-learning Tarot. I used to be pretty nifty, but that was over 15 years ago, and I can’t remember the textbook meanings for each card. So each time I do a reading, I have my book with me, and I write down the spreads so I can learn from each one. And slowly but surely, I will.

Anyway, I’m back, I’m getting back into the swing of things, and you know what? I am far from a perfect Witch. And no such thing exists.

Blessings,

xxK

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Self Care and Illness: Sometimes You Have to Rest.

Blessings, Witches! I’ve been off the grid (although still trying to keep up with you all on Instagram) for a few days as I’ve had a pretty nasty cold/flu bug. Apparently it’s a particularly gruesome one that doesn’t like to f*ck off, and I’ve been up and down for over 2 weeks. I managed to rally for Samhain, and then absolutely collapsed for a few days.

I know I harp on about Mercury Retrograde a lot, but I think it’s important to acknowledge all the factors when it comes to our physical and mental health. After Samhain, when we went into M.R., I felt completely drained of energy. It was like my legs were filled with lead and I was just exhausted. Even mentally, I could barely sit and write a blog (which is why I’ve been off grid). I know a lot of you have felt the same way since Thursday evening, and it left me thinking about taking care of ourselves and how hard we are on ourselves sometimes.

Sunlight pours in through a window onto an iron bed with white covers.

I’ve talked before about doing my PhD and working and running all sorts of sh*t on top of a normal workload, and I’m sure you can relate. That’s why we sometimes have to say no to things, even if we’d like to do them. But there does come a point where we just have to stop and try to call our energies back in and allow our bodies and minds to recuperate.

So for the past few days, I’ve been in bed. I mean, I managed to go to the supermarket and the chemist, but apart from that, I had to accept the fact that my head was banging too much to sit at the computer, even for an hour. I had to accept the fact that my body needed extra rest and sleep, and I had to try to quell the overwhelming anxiety that comes when a Virgo/Workaholic/Overachiever physically cannot work. I’m not going to lie – it’s tough. I’m not easily able to switch off and watch TV or read a book without feeling the bubbling panic. I also have some pretty serious fibroids to contend with, which makes life even more difficult, but more on that another day.

A spoon holds letters spelling ‘love’ over a pink bowl.

On top of all of this physical sh*t, I’ve been finding it hard to stay positive, which, if you’ve been following along here, is not really my style at all. But sometimes we get into a funk, and that’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect and peppy all the time. Nobody is is, and if they appear that they are, it’s probably bullsh*t.

So last night, finally, I treated myself to 3 back to back meditations of kindness, rest and relaxation. And, you know what? I actually slept, without nightmares, for the first time in weeks.

A glass bottle sits on a muslin cloth surrounded by herbs.

I’m still tired, I’m still not 100% better, but I feel so much clearer today. And I finally have a little bit of energy back to put into the things I care about.

So the blog is back as of right now, and the newsletter will be out again on Thursday, as planned.

In the meantime, rug up, drink hot toddies and be kind to yourselves.

Blessings,

xxK

Samhain Blessings!

Blessings, Boss Witches and friends! It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Samhain, or Wiccan New Year. It’s a time to celebrate and honour our ancestors and make use of the thinned veil to enhance divination, communication with the other side and consider our practices in general.

For me, I’ll be conducting a few different rituals that I wanted to share with you.

Cleansing & Blessings

First off, I’ll be cleansing all my Witching tools, spaces and objects to prepare for the Samhain rituals. There is going to be a lot of incense in my home. A lot. But it’s not just incense and smoking out a space that helps us to cleanse.

My Protection Spell Jar

I’ll take a ritual bath, using some salts and a spell jar mixture that I prepared last week for additional protection and to make sure I’m feeling fresh as a daisy to meet with the Spirits.

I’ll take the spell jar I made for protection last week and I’ll use it in my special Samhain altar tonight when I cast a circle and conduct my Samhain practice.

Ritual

Everyone’s ritual at Samhain is different. Today I met some local likeminded folk, and I’ll be joining them on Sunday for an outdoor ritual, which is really exciting.

But tonight, I’ll set my altar, cast a circle and honour and communicate with my ancestors.

An altar is lit by two candles, with crystals, a herb bundle, a wand, a jar, a candle and two leatherbound books, one bearing a pentagram.

Not before my partner and I share a lovely vegetarian Autumn veggie pie as a Samhain feast – it’s cooking now and I can smell it – it smells amazing. It’s full of rosemary, parsnip, sweet potato, potato, carrot, mushroom and, of course, a dash of red wine. If it works out, I’ll post the recipe…

Mindfulness

I think this is the biggest one. Anyone can practise at Samhain – it’s about being mindful of the time of year, thinking about and loving on your ancestors and those we’ve lost, and setting intentions for the year to come.

A collection of pumpkins in a wooden barrel.

I don’t want to go too deep today, because I have a LOT to do and I want to get into the Samhain mindset and begin my rituals and meditations. The newsletter is coming out and I just want to thank everyone for your support, and for reading this little blog of mine. I feel you with me.

Blessings to you and yours,

xxK

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Saying NO to Sh*t You Don’t Need

Blessings, Boss Witches!

Today I wanted to do a little extension on my post about releasing what no longer serves you. It’s all very well to say to let go of the sh*t in your life that you don’t need, right? Like toxic people – BYEEEE.

A person in red trousers and a black and white striped shirt dances on an empty road with a red scarf.

But what about when opportunities come up and it doesn’t feel quite right, but you’re tempted anyway? This happens a lot to me with work stuff. I’ve always had trouble saying no to work opportunities or exciting projects or anything to do with puppies or fashion or costumes. But there does come a time when we have to assess the ins and outs of opportunities and figure out whether it’s worth our precious time.

EXAMPLE 1: EXPOSURE

In the film industry we joke about this a lot, but it’s not very funny. Basically, in all creative endeavours, people will try to take the p*ss by asking you to work for ‘exposure’. As in, “this is an unpaid position, but great exposure”. As we say, exposure doesn’t pay the rent. The phone company? Does not accept exposure.

There is a fine line between that point at the beginning of your career when you perhaps are new to your field and looking at work experience and internships and that kind of thing. That sort of experience can be great for your CV and for your knowledge. But after you’re qualified, there is only ONE reason to work for free, and that is if you WANT to do the project for the right reasons (it’s a charity project you’re passionate about, you’re saving puppies, you have a blast with your friends making short films, you’re collaborating with a fellow creative on something for fun).

EXAMPLE 2: Spreading yourself too thin

A person sits on a park bench with a laptop, a pile of books, a lamp and a cup of coffee.

THIS is my Achilles heel, everybody. I say yes to everything I’m asked to do because I panic that I’ll never get another opportunity like it, or I don’t want to upset someone by saying no. Well, that used to be me. I am slowly, slowly learning that sometimes you really have to say no to things. Even if the money is good. Even if it sounds fun. Because sometimes, you cannot work 7 days a week, 15 hours a day for months on end and not end up putting yourself to bed being miserable for a week. I imagine. Not a personal experience at all, that one.

EXAMPLE 3: Mate’s Rates

A hand reaches out of the water.

Right, here is where things get tricky. I am often happy to work for ‘mates’ rates’ for certain clients or for friends who need help. But this has GOT to be give and take. For example, do NOT work for a reduced rate for a company who does not pay you on time, or does not respect you at work, or treats you like sh*t. DO work for a reduced rate for a friend/colleague/collaborator whose work and energy you admire, and who you KNOW would do the same for you.

EXAMPLE 4: Party season

A person wearing a cardigan holds a lit sparkler.

Literally like 4 years ago, I loved a party. I loved going out, going for drinks, going for dinner, and being out every night of the week somewhere, even if it was just at a friend’s house for a glass of wine. Well, my friends, my body and taking my mental health seriously put an end to that. I no longer want to go to a party. Almost any party. Exceptions I will make: friends’ weddings, things to do with babies (e.g. baptisms or similar), coven gatherings (if anyone wants to invite me), tasteful dinner/lunch parties with people I love and care about, the ballet/opera, industry events which will be beneficial to me (I will meet interesting/helpful people, I will network, I will further my business), and celebrations for close friends like birthdays and things.

A person swims in a glass of wine.

Things I will not go to: a night out for a hen do / bachelorette party. Ten Christmas parties. A work party I don’t want to attend. A friend’s friend’s friend’s sister’s cousin’s house party. A band I don’t want to see. A night out where the only point is to get f*cked up.

A Conclusion

A lightbulb is burned out.

There are so many reasons for this, but the main one is BURNOUT. And burnout is the whole point of this post. You need to make a decision on every single thing that you take on and ask yourself these questions:

A dog wears a suit.
  1. Do I want to do this?
  2. Why do I want to do this?
  3. Will I feel good for doing this?
  4. Will my career benefit from doing this?
  5. What will doing this do to my bank account?
  6. What will doing this do to my mental health?
  7. What will doing this do to my physical health?
  8. Will there be puppies?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you will have a better idea of whether or not you should do the thing, say yes to the thing, and whether or not the thing is worth your precious f*cking time.

One more thing

A person wearing a hoodie takes a picture of a dog.

Sometimes, and especially in creative work, we commit to things that seem like they are worthwhile and then end up taking over our entire lives. So when you consider committing to a project, I want you to figure out your hourly rate, your materials, your fuel costs, your food costs if you have to go away, and the impact it will have on you emotionally, mentally, physically and financially. Weigh those things up before you say yes. If it looks like a sh*tstorm, SAY NO. Reject that shady, bloodsucking sh*t from your fabulous, abundant and well-balanced life.

Blessings,

xxK

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