Book of Shadows

22. Feb, 2017

 

besoms

I thought that this would be a good time to share with you all how to craft your own Witch’s Broom, known as a Besom.

Technically speaking, a broom is the flat ended sort of object that we generally use for physical cleaning; while a Besom is a round shaped bunch of straw (or other plant material) bundled around the center handle, and is used to cleanse an area of negative energy, usually in the preparation of ritual or magickal work.

While you can buy a besom, and there are many lovely ones to choose from -it’s also pretty easy to make one of your own. The bonus of making it yourself is the addition of your own energy tied to its creation. Although the items that follow are for the more traditional style of besom, you can use nearly any types of branches and plant materials available to you. Even a wooden dowel from the Hardware Store can be used.

t is a good idea to match the materials to the type of magick to be worked with it. The traditional magical formula includes a bundle of birch twigs, a staff of ash or oak, and a binding made from willow wands. This makes for a besom that incorporates both the male energy of the God- in the oak or ash; and the female energy of the Goddess- in the willow. A besom to be used primarily in Healing Rituals might be made of birch & lavender, and one for kitchen might be made of cinnamon.
 
lavender-besoms
 
After the basic construction of the Besom, there is innumerable way to decorate it. Handles can be carved, wrapped or painted; and all sorts of embellishments can be attached to it. Things such as feathers, crystals, coins, beads, bone and other totems can adorn it and enhance the work you plan to do with the Besom itself.
 
You’ll need:
A four-foot length of ash or oak for the handle
Thin branches of birch for the bristle part (you can substitute a woody herb like mugwort or thyme for the bristles if you like. I have also seen wonderful besoms made from aromatic herbs, such as lavender or cinnamon. )
Lengths of willow or heavy cord to bind everything together
You’ll also need scissors and a bucket of warm water. Whatever you’ll be using for the bristles — whether it’s birch, a herb, or some other wood — should be soaked in the warm water overnight to make them pliable, as should the willow binding, if you’re using it.

 

FIGURE 1

~Line up your broom handle and bristles, with the bottoms of the bristles pointing towards the top of the handle.

~Lay the handle on a table or the floor and place the bristles alongside it, lined up about four inches from the bottom. Point the bottom of the bristles towards the top of the broom, because you’re going to flip the bristles in a minute (see Fig. 1).

 
FIGURE 2
Wrapping the Bristles~Tie the bristles in place around the handle.
~Use the willow branches or cording to wrap the bristles around the broom (Fig. 2). Add as many as you want to make the broom full. Make sure you tie the cording off securely so your bristles don’t come popping out later.
 
FIGURE 3
Tying the Magic in Place

~Finally, fold the bristles down over the inner tie and then tie on the outside.

~Now, take the bristles and fold them down over the willow binding or cording so that they’re pointing towards the bottom of the broom. Tie them down again at the base of the broomstick to secure them(Fig. 3).
~As you’re wrapping the cord in place, visualize your intent for this besom. Will it be strictly decorative? Are you going to hang it in place over a door? Perhaps you’ll use it ceremonially, or maybe even for physical cleaning. Focus on what you’re going to be doing it, and charge it with energy.

 

The Final Step
~Let your broom dry for a day or two, and when it’s all done, consecrate it as one of your magical tools.
~If you will be doing any decorative work on it, such as carving, painting or wrapping it with fiber this can be done either before or after the initial consecration and should be done with magickal intention.
~Then, when all decorative work is finished, you can reconsecrate it and begin working with your very own handcrafted Witch’s Besom.
22. Feb, 2017

ABC

A is Athame, the knife that we use.
B is for Broom, to sweep out gloom.
C is for Coven where we all are one.
D is for Divine, the whole of the universe.
E is for Energy, what surrounds and connects us.
F is for Fairy, the spirits that play with us.
G is for the Goddess in beauty and love.
H is the Horned One, our Father above.
I is for Invoke, when we bring in the spirit.
J is for Jack-o-lantern, to ward off ghosts.
K is for knots, to bind and release energy.
L is for Lady, the wise woman of our clan.
M is for Moon, riding way up so high!
N is for Night, the time of of witch's light.
O is for Oak, the tree chosen by the Goddess.
P is for Pentacle, the shield of magik.
Q is the Quarters, the 4 directions of our circle,
R is for Ritual, when we honor the GreatSpirits.
S is for Shaman, our wise spiritual teacher.
T is for Talisman, we wear them when we can.
U is for Unicorn, the magikal horse.
V is for visions, when spirit brings forth pictures.
W is for Witch, the seeker of knowledge.
X is Xylograph, when we carve symbols into wood.
Y is for Yggdrasill, the tree of the universe.
Z is the Zodiac, 12 signs to learn.

Now I know our ABCs Won't you come and fly with me

22. Feb, 2017

Let’s Drink to Your Health!  Making Simple Crystal Elixirs

By Sonia Acone

Since all crystals contain energy in the vibrations they give off, wouldn’t it be great if you could store that energy and just drink it in? Well, you can by making your own crystal elixir and drinking in all that wonderful, healing energy. Perhaps you’ve heard of crystal remedies, gem remedies and the like. They are all the same. And making your own is quite simple. You don’t need a host of expensive supplies. All that is really required is your intent, a glass bowl, some water and your desired crystal. Some add a bit of brandy or vodka, but we’ll get into that later.

Choosing Crystals

With so many choices out there, how is one to choose the right crystal? Do you need some energy in your life? Are you running yourself ragged and need to unwind? Do you suffer from insomnia? Is your concentration failing? Do you need bit more of a creative spark? Is there too much negativity in your life? There are crystals that can be used to alleviate these symptoms and more. A word of caution: crystal elixirs are not meant to replace any medications that you may need to take for medical reasons. There are also crystals that should not be used in elixirs, specifically those that contain harmful substances, such as lead, mercury, arsenic or aluminum. Check this list if you’re unsure about the crystal you want to use - http://www.healingcrystals.com/Crystal_Cautions_Articles_1009.html.

Some common crystals used in crystal elixirs are as follows:

Clear Quartz Crystal – An all-purpose healing crystal.

Rose Quartz – Alleviates emotional problems, increases love and compassion.

Green Aventurine – Relaxes and soothes the heart.

Malachite – Puts physical, spiritual and emotional body in harmony. Grounding. Caution: Because Malachite contains copper, it is best to place this crystal on the outside of the container.

Fluorite – Alleviates bone/joint/tooth pain; aides concentration; anti-viral.

Amethyst – Relieves mental stress, insomnia.

Amazonite – Balances metabolism.

Amber – Alleviates throat problems; antibiotic.

Bloodstone – Aides in releasing emotional stagnation; heals blood disorders.

Citrine – Mental clarity; energizes the body.

Blue Lace Agate – Soothes and relaxes the body; aides in peaceful sleep.

Making the Elixir

Simple Elixir – Place a cleansed crystal in a glass bowl. Fill the bowl with spring, distilled or filtered water. Place the bowl in direct sunlight for at least 2 hours. Note: if using Amethyst, charge by moonlight overnight instead. Pour the half the water into a dark-colored bottle (preferably with a dropper) and add brandy or vodka to fill the bottle. The alcohol acts as a preservative. The elixir can be added to bathwater, placed on chakra points, or placed in a sprayer bottle to spray a room.

So there you have it. Simple elixirs to balance mind, body and spirit. Here’s to your health!

References:

The Essential Guide to Crystals. Simon & Sue Lilly, 2010.

Crystals. Jennie Harding, 2007.

The Crystal Bible. Judy Hall, 2003.

The Crystal Healer. Philip Permutt, 2007.

22. Feb, 2017

Achieving Goals with Candles and Crystals

By Lourdes Lebron

When people think of candles, one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is using them to set an atmosphere, not setting an energetic intention. Combining crystals and candles can enhance energy work, and increase the vibrations being sent forth.  Candles work with the power of stones to manifest goals and bring intentions to fruition.

Before starting any work with candles or crystals, I like to clean them of any negative energy they may have collected. You can Reiki them, run them under cold water, put them in moonlight, or pass them through incense. Once the candles are clean and dry (when using water let them dry for a day or two away from direct sunlight) they will be ready for use. The following is a list of goals, and how you can use candles with crystals to create the reality you desire.

Success:

Take an Unscented Soy Wax Candle and lightly coat it in a clockwise fashion with cinnamon oil. As you go around the Soy Wax Candle with the oil think of your intention. Feel it in your body. If you don’t have cinnamon oil, spread powdered cinnamon on the bottom of the candle holder. Infuse eight crystals consisting of CarnelianCitrine, and Amber with your goal. On a sunny Sunday morning, light the candle (where the sunshine can hit it) and place the crystals around the candle in a circular fashion.  As you do this, focus on the success you wish to have. If possible let the candle stay lit for an hour or more. Continue doing this all week or until your candle burns out.  Afterwards, take the crystals and place them in your pocket to continue carrying the energy of the crystals and your intention with you.

Abundance:

One of the best ways to work towards increasing abundance is to create a grid. The best day for abundance energy is Thursday, particularly during a new moon. Use a Jasmine Soy Wax Candle as the center of this grid. Before establishing the grid, hold the candle in your hands and infuse it with your intention. Gather Citrine and Clear Quartz tumbled stones, and imagine filling them with your goals and dreams. Then place the Citrine crystals around the candle holder with the Clear Quartz an inch away from the Citrine, surrounding them in circular pattern. Light the Soy Wax Candle and imagine the flame spreading out and filling each crystal. As the fire expands through the crystal, picture it moving beyond the space into the world, carrying your intention out to the universe. Do this for approximately 5-20 minutes every day for a week.

Grounding:

Light a Sandalwood Soy Wax Candle. Place a piece of Tree Agate in each hand and inhale the candle's scent. With each breath in, imagine the veins (lines in your crystal), going through your arms. At the torso they extend down. With each breath imagine them being pushed further into the earth. Continue doing this until you feel the lines pushing through your feet into the ground, reaching the hot core of the planet. Once you have reached the core, feel that Tree Agate's veins (lines) have become your roots – and as you inhale, you are now pulling earth energy up to your body. The energy shoots up through your roots into your body and you feel firmly planted in the earth. You are breathing in deep green energy, and your body feels alive and strong. This flow of earth energy should continue for at least 5 minutes. Once you feel well and balanced, you can start slowly moving your hands, feet, and body. You should feel grounded and balanced.

Stress Reducer:

A wonderful way to relax is to light a scented Lavender Soy Wax Candle when you take a bath or shower.  Place some Amethyst crystals in your bath water. If you can add a drop or two of Lavender-scented oil, that would also help. Soak in the water for 5-10 minutes and let the fragrance seep into your body. If you don’t have time for a bath, place your soap on a large piece of Amethyst or surround your dry soap with Amethyst and Lepidolite crystals for up to 20 minutes. Let their energy flow into the soap and imagine it washing away the stress as you shower or bathe.

Love:

Most people think that love has to be romantic in nature; but what about loving yourself?  To do this you will need a Rose Soy Wax Candle and Rose Quartz Crystals.  On a Friday night take some time to yourself and light the candle. Sit quietly and hold the Rose Quartz in your dominant hand over your heart chakra. While quietly sitting and breathing, imagine pink light going into your heart chakra from the crystal. Imagine the light spreading from that energy center through your whole self, forming a bubble around your body.  The pink light infuses your body with love and compassion. Breathe in the pink light, and as you breathe out imagine all the unwanted emotions, feelings, and energies harbored within in your body leaving. As the breath leaves the body it becomes transmuted into pink sparkles that float around your aura. Do this for five minutes. Once you are done, imagine a pink root going from your body into the earth.  Thank the crystal for its help and let it recharge for the next couple of days.

Health:

When you come down with a cold or flu and need to get better as soon as possible, using candles and crystals may help give you the edge over your illness. The first thing to do is to light a Eucalyptus Soy Wax Candle. This scent has anti-viral properties which will start working its way through your nasal and sinus cavities. The next step is to use Carnelian to boost your immune system. If you have time to rest, place the Carnelian on your Thymus gland (approx. 2-3 inches above your heart chakra). If not, wear a pendant, necklace, or earrings that contain Carnelian to keep increasing the energetic flow to improve your resistance. At night place an Amethyst under your pillow to aid in improving your vibrational health.

Psychic Abilities:

Opening and increasing psychic abilities is something many of us strive for. An easy way to do this is to concentrate on relaxing – which is something most of us don’t do. To start, light a Vanilla Soy Wax Candle. Holding a Lapis LazuliAmethyst, or Iolite in one or both hands would be helpful. Just look at the flame and breathe, focusing on the Vanilla scent. As you watch the fire flicker, feel the flame as limber energy flowing through you. If a thought comes into your mind that is fine, let it go, and continue to breathe.  Initially, do this 5 minutes a day and work up to 15 minutes (time permitting). After learning how to relax, ask yourself one question that you would like to receive guidance on during the session. Depending on how stressed you are, it may take as short as a week, to as long as a month to start noticing that you are receiving information. Don’t force this process; it will come in its own time. The goal of this exercise is to let you relax enough to let information in. The information we seek is usually within us, but we are too tied up in knots to recognize it. By unwinding we are able to receive the guidance inside of us.

Joy:

Neroli Soy Wax Candles, along with Sunstones, can help cultivate more of this delightful emotion in your life. When using Neroli for joy, using an orange-colored candle holder will increase the energetic output of your goal. Carving a picture of the sun into your candle (while feeling joy) will infuse the candle with your intention. You can carve the candle with a long pin, nail, or even a pumpkin carver. Once this is done, place the candle in the candle holder. Collect four Sunstones and four terminated Clear Quartz Points. Infuse them with the intention to bring more joy into your life. Place the Sunstones in a North, South, East, and Westerly direction, next to your candle holder. Place the terminated points half-an-inch from the Sunstone in the same directions. Imagine the scent of the candles traveling through the candle into the Sunstones and out to the terminated points where they then travel out of your space into the world. You are now broadcasting your intention to bring more joy into your life. Sit back, breathe in the scent, and let the energy flow. Leave the candle burning for approximately 20 minutes a day. Every day when you light the candle envision a sense of joy enveloping you.

Restful Sleep:

We all need good sleep, and Chamomile and Amber Soy Wax Candles can help us. Light a Chamomile or Amber Soy Wax Candle, breathing in the scent and focusing on relaxing the body. Take 5-10 minutes to unwind from your day. Have Blue Lace Agate and Blue Calcite in your pockets, or if that is not convenient place them next to your candle. About an hour before you go to sleep, drink some Chamomile tea. While you sip your tea, imagine relaxation flowing down your throat into your torso and limbs.  Once you finish the tea, place the candle in the room where you will sleep. Before going to bed snuff the candle out and the let the scent take you back to the few minutes of relaxation you had after lighting the candle and drinking the tea.

 

Bibliography

Dugan, Ellen. Book of Witchery. Woodbury, Llewellyn, 2009                

 

11. Feb, 2017

Spiritual and Magical Properties Incense and Smudge

 
Smudge sticks are used in traditional Native American ceremonies to purify people and places. There are similar ceremonies in many cultures where herbs are burned for cleansing. Smudging can be used to counteract depression, anger or bitterness. If you would like to try smudging, it is very easy to make your own sage smudge sticks.
 
This is a list of Herbs used in Incense and Smuge 
 
 
AFRICAN VIOLET: used for spirituality and protection. 
ALOESWOOD: used for spirituality, meditation, luck, love and to strengthen other incenses.
AMBER: used in healing, meditation. 
APPLE: used in love, peace and happiness.
BAMBOO: Bamboo is the stick used to hold the herbs and resins in most stick incense. It has magical uses of its own. It is used in divination in Chinese Temples. Used in luck, protection and hex-breaking rituals.
BANANA: used for fertility, potency and prosperity rituals. 
BASIL: used for happiness, peace and money. 
BAY: used for psychic awareness and purification.
BENZOIN: used for purification, prosperity, knowledge, peace, and psychic protection 
BERGAMOT: used for peace, happiness, restful sleep. 
CAMOMILE: used for sleep, meditation and peace. 
CAMPHOR: used for purification, physical energy and celibacy.
CEDAR: used for purifying, protection and to banish bad dreams. Used by Native Americans in sweat lodges to release heavy emotional energies.
CHAMPA: used for meditation and for creating your sacred space. An auric energizer. It brings one's energies into harmonious balance.
CHERRY: used to attract love and divination.
CINNAMON: raises spiritual and protective vibrations, stimulates psychic powers, physical energy.
COPAL, BLACK: used in immunity, heart rituals, purification. An earthy, spicy Copal. Burned during "Day of the Dead" Celebrations.
CLOVE: used to drive away hostile, negative forces, a psychic enhancer. It is also used to produce spiritual vibrations and to purify the area.
CLOVE: used to drive away hostile, negative forces, a psychic enhancer. It is also used to produce spiritual vibrations and to purify the area.
DESERT SAGE: used to drive out bad spirits, feelings and influences. An important, strong, herbaceous Native American Plant. Burned for wealth, wisdom, knowledge, protection, and purification.
DRAGON'S BLOOD: Resin from the palm tree. It is used in rituals involving love, protection and exorcism. Burned for consecration, protection, good luck.
EUCALYPTUS: used in healing and to maintain good health, purification and protection.
FRANGIPANI: used for psychic work to restore peace and harmony with its soothing vibrations.
FRANKINCENSE: used as an incense for purification, spiritual growth, knowledge and meditation. Has been used for over 3,000 years and is still burned in Catholic churches. 
FRANKINCENSE & MYRRH: A powerful combination that is used for spirituality, healing, protection and exorcism. Used as an incense for purification, spiritual growth, knowledge and meditation.
GARDENIA: used in love spells and to attract good, peaceful spirits during rituals. Possesses very high spiritual vibrations. Also used for peace and love. GERANIUM: used for happiness and protection.
GINGER: Used in money and success rituals, for psychic growth, success, sex, love money and courage.
GUM ARABIC POWDER: used in protective and psychic awareness rituals. Burned for purification. 
HONEYSUCKLE: used for love, fidelity, money, protection and clairvoyance. A mental stimulant that aids intuition and psychic perception.
HYACINTH: used for love, protection, happiness and overcoming grief. Guards against nightmares.
HYSSOP LEAF: used for wealth and psychic protection 
IRIS: used for love and psychic awareness.
JASMINE: used to create prophetic and psychic dreams, love, peace, spirituality and raising vibrations.
JUNIPER: used to promote psychic powers, protection, purification and healing. Guards against evil and sickness. Used in sick rooms throughout Europe.
LAVENDER: used in love and healing rituals. Used to attract and protect relationships. Promotes sleep and peacefulness.
LEMONGRASS: used for psychic awareness and purification.
LILAC: used for love, protection, exorcism and protection. Brings peace and harmony into everyday life. 
LIME: used for purification, physical energy and protection.
LOTUS: The Lotus has been long revered in the East as a mystical symbol of life, spirituality and the center of the universe. Burned for protection and as a sacred offering to the Gods. It is said to attract good fortune and love while promoting long life. 
MACE: used for psychic awareness. 
MAGNOLIA: used for fidelity and love. 
MELON: used for healing and health. 
MIMOSA: used for psychic dreams and love. 
MUGWORT: used for psychic awareness, psychic dreams and astral projection. MUSK: used for protection, enlightenment and sexual magnetism. Stimulates self-confidence, determination and enhances extroversion. 
MYRRH: Was used in the temple of Isis. Great meditation and contemplation incense. Used or protection, spirituality, healing and stimulates crown chakra. NAG CHAMPA: A blend of costly, highly fragrant rare gums, resins & powders for meditation and for creating your sacred space. An auric energizer. It brings one's energies into harmonious balance. 
NUTMEG: used for physical energy, magical energy, psychic awareness and money. 
OSHA: A plant revered by all Native American healers for its powerful healing abilities. Used to treat respiratory and rheumatic complaints. 
ORANGE: used for beauty, luck, fidelity, love, purification, joy and physical energy.
PEPPERMINT: used for healing, protection, prosperity, growth and renewal. 
PINE: used for healing, purification, protection, grounding, physical and magical energy.
PINEAPPLE: used for luck, money and chastity.
PINION PINE: used in healing, money, exorcism and protection rituals. PLUMERIA: used for peace and love. 
ROSE: used in love, luck, grief and healing rituals. Induces thoughts of loving affection and peaceful harmonious vibrations. Used for prophetic dreams.
ROSEMARY: used as powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations. One of the oldest incenses. Used in love, healing and mental rituals. Stimulates memory and clarification.
SAFFRON: used for love, healing, happiness, lust, strength and clairvoyance.
SANDALWOOD: used for spiritual awareness, meditation and psychic development. 
 
STAR ANISE: used for psychic awareness. Sacred Japanese temple incense used to drive away negativity and to bring good luck 
STRAWBERRY: used for love and luck.
SWEETGRASS: used to purify spaces and to attract positive influences. SWEETPEA: used for happiness and courage. 
TEA, GREEN: used for money, courage and strength.
 
Tobacco: Sacred Plant of Native Americans
 the custom and belief is that when you pick sage (or receive any gift from nature) you should give the gift of tobacco to the plant first. This is a respectful way of thanking the earth, the sage plant, and the Creator for the gift you are about to receive. Just sprinkle a little tobacco on the plant first, then after your give thanks pick only as much as you need and will use.
 
 
TUBEROSE: used to ward off evil and negativity. It restores happiness, peace and harmony.
VANILLA: used for love, lust, healing, luck and mental powers.
VERBENA, LEMON: used or carried for protection and love.
WHITE SAGE: used to purify and protect objects, places and people.
White Sage is traditionally used as a cleansing plant by Native Americans for healing, ceremonies, and to remove negative energy. The belief is that it also said to be mind enhancing
 
WISTERIA: used for protection and calling higher spiritual forces.
WOOD BETONY: used in protection and reunion rituals. 
YARROW: used for psychic awareness, courage and love. 
YERBA SANTA LEAF: used to drive out negative influences and restores a guarded boundary of protection. 
YLANG-YLANG: used for peace, sex, love, calming and tension relieving'
 
 
Note: For certain Rituals and Spells you need a sage Stick made by an high Priest or high Priestess or an a Native American Medicine man/ woman  you can Find them for sale online or in new age shops or Pagan wiccan shops or native american shops or in reservations
 
You can make your own  Here is how 
 
 
Things You'll Need
 
 Cotton String yes you can use Colored String
 Garden clippers
 Herbs listed above the kind of herb depends on the Ritual or Ceremony or Spell you are doing
 
 
Cut off pieces of the plants in lengths aboutMake them about 18 inches long inches long. For more leafy plants, you can make the pieces shorter, but you may want to use a longer piece for a plant that has fewer leaves.
 
 
Cut a length of string about five feet long. Put several branches together so that the cut ends are all together, and the leafy ends are all together.
Take 4-6 sprigs and place them together, smoothing the leaves to lay down toward the stem. Take three feet (one outstretched arms length) of thread.
Find the middle of the thread, wrap a few times around the bottoms of the stems.
Wind the string tightly around the stems of the bundle, leaving two inches of loose string where you began. 
 
 
Wrap the remaining length of string around the base of the branches several times to secure it. Then, gradually, work your way along the length of branches until you reach the leafy end. Return the string back up to the stems, creating a bit of a criss-cross pattern. You'll want to wind the string tightly enough that nothing gets loose, but not so tight that it cuts off pieces of the plants.
 
When you get back to the stems, tie the remainder of the string to the 2" loose piece you left at the beginning. Trim off any excess pieces so that the ends of your smudge stick are even.
 
 
Place the bundle outside or hang it up for drying. Depending on what type of herb you used, and how humid your weather is, it may take a couple of days or as much as a week to dry out. When your sticks are dry, you can burn them in ritual for smudging by lighting one end.
 
 
 
 
How to smudge-
 
 
Light the end of your wand. After it is ignited for about 10-15 seconds, blow out the flame and direct the smoke around your body and/or the area you wish to "purify". Some prefer putting the smoking wand in a fireproof container such as an  Abalone bowl or a Clay bowl and directing the smoke with your hand or a smudge feather.