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Getting Started

Feel free to copy this information to your Book of Shadows.

Re: Getting Started

Postby SpiritTalker » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:14 pm

STOCKING A FRUGAL WITCH'S SUPPLY CUPBOARD

Some of the most useful tools are often household items you have on hand like heat-safe Pyrex bowls for the altar water/salt & small fire Magic's, a kitchen knife for focussing/directing power & cutting herbs, a mortar & pestle made from a shallow bowl & the back of a spoon. Thrift shop, dollar store & grocery store shopping plus outdoor specimen collecting can fill our spell needs. Wash & repurpose glass bottles & jars for storage. Keep expendables like candles, salt & oil on hand.

A personalized herb starter kit might include herbs that have properties of the 3-Ps: protection, prosperity & power. Often that which protects also cleanses and banishes, and what brings prosperity also heals & attracts good luck, and that which aids power maintains strength & spirituality. Choose a few Kitchen herbs or spices that have any of these 3 properties (see the Table of Correspondences, WC & Wicca 101 section complete-magickal-correspondence-t26933.html) or sense the herbal qualities for yourself by using your physical response to an herb's smell, taste or appearance to guide you.

It makes sense to choose aromas that you can tolerate so that you can comfortably use them. Scent, texture & growing conditions are used to determine a plant's magical uses. As a general guide if you like the scent the spirits will too; the Goddess is associated with florals & citrus & the God is associated with forest and spice scents. Pungent scents that sting your nose & make you draw back will cleanse and repel harmful vibes. Eye opening, refreshing scents add power. Let the plants themselves & the wisdom of your sensory experience show you their operative magical uses and you will build a working relationship quickly & won't constantly need to look things up. Herbs work with us when we have a relationship with their energies.

Magical use is not equivalent with medicinal use. Do not consume plants not found in the common grocery store.

Tip: Save money & waste less by purchasing the smallest amount available when starting out. You can buy fresh herbs & dry them yourself for the experience. Choose 5 common herbs to get to know and start using them in daily life immediately in cooking, spells and meditation. Their aromas trigger our primitive senses through which we perceive the natural world. It will jump start your practice by being familiar with how you & the herb interact.

Substitutions: when we copy a spell that calls for unavailable or questionable ingredients, we can substitute. Rosemary can be substituted for any other herb, Rose can be substituted for any other flower, Frankincense can be substituted for any gum resin, Tobacco can be substituted for any poisonous herb. Salt is the all-purpose purifier. White or clear quartz is an all-purpose stone. Your reaction can effect the spell so don't feel compelled to use costly or unsavory ingredients.

Incense: amber, copal, dragons blood, frankincense & myrrh are popular tree sap resins valued for their cleansing and spiritual properties & scents. Resin pieces need to be melted on salte-petre treated coals (from religious supply or new age shops) which need a heat-safe container with an inch of sand in the bottom to act as heat insulation; these scents are available in easy to use stick & cone forms from variety shops or on-line.

Resins burn slowly in small amounts as long as the 1-inch coal tablet lasts up to 3 hours and will provide a huge amount of smoke; cones & sticks last about 20-30 minutes with much less smoke, and smudge bundles burn only a few minutes, or longer if you fan them. Sage can be overpowering used indoors so open a window.

Oils are used to anoint yourself, ritual tools and charms, & to transfer & hold the psychic charge when setting your intention. Herbs can be added to olive oil to add properties. A simple "living" oil with no additives like olive oil will serve quite well alone. It is safe to handle "straight" undiluted & has no side effects. Distilled essential oils should not be handled during pregnancy & must be diluted for safety at any time by adding 5-7 drops of EO to a 1/2 tsp of an unscented carrier oil. A little goes a long ways.

Candles of any size, shape or color can be used. Some people use color-correspondences & scented or plain as options. The 7-day vigil candals & tea lights come in their own containers that can be written on with a permanent marker pen. The 2-inch long cake candles & 4-inch long chime candles can be stood up in a shot-glass stuck in their own wax. The 6-inch or longer taper candles really need their own snug-fitting holders for safe support. Use fire safety.

Stones: any stone you find on the ground that appeals to you can be set with an intent & will hold the psychic charge. Raw quartz is abundant &' all purpose. Uniquely marked stones can be used as their markings prompt your imagination. Find stones by hunting along graveled pathways, beside rivers where water has worn back the soil, at the beach or at landscape/garden centers, new age stores & on-line. Stones had magical uses long before tumbled semi-gem-stone & crystals became popular in the Craft. Sometimes polished stones are sold in tourist-area & museum gift shops. Rock & Gem shows are usually annual, local events.

Wild Crafting - I paraphrase a guide found in a 1960's era Farmer's Almanac: To identify magical uses of wild plants observe their shapes, scents, colors and growing conditions. Easy elemental associations are that roots represent earth, the stems are associated with water, leaves with air, flowers with fire and fruit/seeds with ether. The round, flexible stems associate with passive polarity and firm, square stems with active polarity. Add either neutral or intense color values, smooth or sharp texture, and sweet or pungent scent to detail the purposes for which it can be used magically (not medicinally!). Use your brain: Many wild plants with sticky or fuzzy parts can irritate the skin & bitter berries can cause vomiting. NEVER burn known irritants or poisonous plants as even their smoke can seriously harm.

Planetary associations: (+)Sun plants have long, strong stems with skyward lifted flowers of white, yellow or orange. (-)Moon plants are water-retaining with large leaves & 'white flowers, if any. Mercury plants grow horizontally (vines) & move with the wind. Venus plants have pastel colored & highly fragrant flowers. Mars plants are prickly with thorns or stinging hairs on the leaves or stems. Jupiter plants are large, over bearing and grow in abundant clumps. Saturn plants are survivors growing in inhospitable areas (cacti). Once you've discerned the planetary association of a plant you can determine its magical uses by consulting the short correspondence list below.

Correspondence short-list by week-day, (planet), color & purpose:

Sunday (Sun) yellow, leadership, health, advice
Monday (Moon) white, marriage, family, psychic endeavors
Tuesday (Mars) red, conflict, legal matters
Wednesday (Mercury) light blue-aqua, communication, education, divination
Thursday (Jupiter) deep blue, finances, job, prosperity, protection
Friday (Venus) green, love, allure, fertility
Saturday (Saturn) black, endings, banishing

Specimen Hunt:

Note: Plants are living beings, so ask for permission & observe it for response. Take no more than 2/3s of a plant so it regrows. Leave water, plant food or cornmeal as thanks offering. .

Bring along:
Map of area & trails
Local plant guide
Carry sack
Folding pocket knife or scissors for cutting & garden trowel for digging roots
Newspaper to wrap specimens & pen to label them (droopy plants looks alike at home)
Cornmeal &' bottled water for offerings
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Re: Getting Started

Postby Ashrend » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:16 pm

As you seem to have the fountain of information. How would you go about cutting wood from a tree as part of making an altar? I have a table top that im going to cut to my desired shape. I know how to dry out the wood and treat it with beeswax, but how do you go about actually harvesting the wood directly from the tree to avoid moisture from the ground?

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Re: Getting Started

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:05 pm

SPELLS THAT YOU CAN ADAPT

THE FOUR POWERS OF THE WITCH: mundanely speaking, knowing is having knowledge of the Craft, willing is your intention, daring is courage to practice the Craft, and silence is to never speak of the deed until it is done, nor to share with outsiders.

Magically speaking however, Knowing, with that sense of quiet assurance that a thing is thus/so, is of Air. Will is the single minded clarity of your purpose, & the determination to stay the course to see a thing done, and of Fire. Daring is sheer guts, the chutzpah to follow your inner wisdom, and is of Water. Silence is the inner solitude that let's the voice of wisdom be heard, and is of Earth. These 4 powers are what make the wheel of magic go.

These are mildly altered states of consciousness that have the power to direct the light of thought energy to acquire the Elemental substance it needs to gain physical mass & take form. It's necessary to get in the zone to cast effectively.

Simple Spell Crafting draws on the witch powers of to know, to will, to dare and to be silent. It uses local supplies that are common to the area we live in to build a relationship with our environment. Life empowers life.

.useful supplies: salt, olive oil, candles & lighter, water, 1-2 sweet herbs, burning-bowl

Our intent changes from spell to spell but the activation formula to set our intent stays the same. One simple, all-purpose formula is:

1. Belly breathe. Ground & Center to light the fire of intent in the belly.
2. Know your goal - to attract, to repel or to bind/hold something.
3. Own your intent by phrasing it in present-tense: "i have"/"it is" & not I want/it will be.
4. Exhale & push the willful intent of that desire from the fire in your belly & out thru your breath, hands & intense gaze into the item used to hold the spell.
5. Thank the Powers because you Know the thing is done. Release it.


* * * * * *

OLD RELIABLE SPELLS

Below are tried n' true, old time spells that are likely to be In every witch's repertoire. They're a basic foundation that you can adapt endlessly to suit what you have on hand to work with. They've endured and thus have accumulated success from frequent use over centuries.

Candle spells can be adapted to any need. Fire is active energy. Use any candle you have. It's best to let candles burn completely out in one setting as long as it's safe to do so. Dab olive oil onto your hand (or the top of a votive or tea-light) & then spread it to anoint the candle as you state the goal. Oil holds our intent to the candle; & the olive brings fruitful success.

Tip: dab oil in a five-spot pattern (:-:) to both represent & call the elements to your aid. The five-spot symbolizes the elemental quarters & center within a cast circle.

To prep a taper candle: dab 5 dots of olive oil in one hand, rub your palms together & roll the candle between oiled hands as you state the intent. Use positive, present-tense words. Then stand the candle in it's holder & cup both hands around it to set your intent. Deep breathe. Know your goal in your gut; exhale & push the goal into the candle thru your breath, hands and an almighty fierce Witchy gaze. The candle is ready.

The spell: Now light the wick; sit quietly & gaze into the flame. Observe the flame's many layers of color. Breathe and watch the flame until you are only aware of the flame, then with a witch's knowing, KNOW that the spell is already fulfilled upon the ethers. Give THANKS because the deed is already done. Prepping set the intent so you don't have to visualize. Let the candle burn completely; when the flame burns out is when the magic begins. Dispose of any spent stubs in the trash.

If you want to stop something already in progress then name a candle for what must be ended ("I name you X") oil it & stand it upright - stuck in it's own wax - in a bowl. Set your intention. Add water to cover the bottom of the candle & light up. Gaze at the flame for a minute or two knowing it is done & give thanks as above. When the candle burns down to water level it will be extinguished, bringing the unwanted matter to an end. This can be used to cancel a former spell.

A candle poppet can be made with five straight pins pushed into a taper candle at positions to represent the head at the top, 2 arms at the sides & lower down add 2 legs so that a taper candle resembles a human figure. Inscribe & apply oil before adding pins. If you're using a tea light, votive or jar candle the pins are placed like an upright pentagram into the top surface, like Leonardo's Vitruvian Man. Name the poppet for the target person it represents when activating your intention & burn the candle as described above. Dispose of the spent poppet pins by pushing them into the earth beneath a tree. Thank the tree for the roots' underworld connections as you "bury" the poppet (pins).

Removing a hex is a three-step process of cleanse, bless, shield. 1) do a salt-cleansing in the shower to remove energy attachments on the aura. Wash from the head downwards to ground the energy. 2) Refill the void by a candle spell with a blessing as the set intention (Biblical Psalms 7 & 8 can be used for hex removal.) 3) Shield by imagining the aura emanating from the belly in golden light to surround the body. Then see it hard as security glass.

A witch's bottle is a protection spell in which you fill a small bottle/jar with bent pins to deflect the aim of incoming bad intentions, iron nails or random rusty iron bits to protect from psychic interference, glass shards or shiny foil bits to serve as mirrors & deflect harmful intent. Add some strands of hair as a tag-lock that identifies the one's to be protected, including pets. Add pepper corns to repel & salt to protect. Top off the bottle with vinegar to mark your territory. Set your intent. Option: Prepare more bottles and bury or hide one at each corner of your land/lot & at house entrances. Adapt a witch-bottle spell to a Wish-Bottle by changing contents & using pleasant, attracting herbs & charms that are symbolic of the wish. Decorate as desired.

A Good-luck charm just for witches was the original inspiration of a "travel-altar". Miniature charm replicas of the witch's tools (originally a plow blade, broom & cauldron) and a pinch of salt are carried by the witch in a red cloth pouch that is closed with a blue bead (against the evil eye). Consecrate them as if they were the real tools & set the intent. These replicas symbolize the witch's working tools & transfer their accumulated power to you wherever you go. Old time, iron artifacts were made by a blacksmith. Hobby stores today sell jewelry making charms.

A Word Sigil is a spell made up of the letters of your written intention. Write the goal on paper in a few present tense words. Cross out the vowels and duplicate letters so only one of each consonant remains, like a text message (tx msg). Rearrange the remaining letters artfully in any way - upright, reversed, exaggerated - into a pleasing hieroglyph. Draw a containing circle around it. Cut the encircled sigil out. Set your intent. Then burn it to transform & activate it which is a key step with word sigils. Our words must be transformed to manifest. Scatter the ash into the Air or reuse it in a jar spell or charm bag.

9 Knot Spell might use a piece of natural fiber twine or woolen yarn as long as your forearm to be tied with 9 knots. Don't pull so tightly that you cannot untie the knots. Use white twine as all-purpose, red for power, black to protect. Say one line of the charm while forming a knot, then blow a breath of power through the loop, or peer at the Moon through the loop just as you pull it closed to capture the Moon in the loop. Repeat the process in sequence for all 9 knots & KNOW that the goal is done.

By knot one the spell's begun.
By knot two it comes true.
By knot three so shall it be.
By knot four the power is stored.
By knot five the spell's alive.
By knot six the goal is fixed.
By knot seven it is given.
By knot eight it is fate.
By knot nine it is mine
!

You can do the knot tying during an appropriate weekday to launch the effort & set the intention, then store the string in a safe place until the best moon phase for your goal. Then to release your intent you untie the knots to release the knot's power & then burn the untied string to transform it. You can scatter the ashes outdoors. In the days of sailing ships Sailors were known to buy a 3-knot wind spell from wharf witches & untie a knot to release a desirable wind. A knot spell is also a binding spell & as long as the knots remain tied the intent is held in place. To hold/bind permanently you would burn the string without untying the knots. The knots cannot then be undone & are thus bound. You will have changed the last line to "by knot nine (name, thing or deed) is entwined & confined".

A witch's ladder is a different chain of 5 knots for wish-fulfillment, 7 knots for good luck, or 13 knots for protection that are tied in twine with bundled twigs (oak, ash, thorn) or feathers tied into the knots. To activate it the completed chain is swung hypnotically like a pendulum. Lock on a witchy gaze while whispering your purpose 3 times & pushing the fire in the belly into the chain. Then it is hung in a tree to assist traversing the 3 realms as the trees branches reach to the celestial realm, the trunk inhabits the mundane realm, and the roots pierce the underworld. Remember to thank the tree & leave an offering. The ladder spell can be cancelled by tossing the whole chain, as-is, into a flowing water. Water is a passive element & pacifies.

Stroking Stones can be used to gently stroke across an injury to draw out pain as a healing chant is spoken, as well as used for remote healing & influencing. Choose any water-smoothed stone for healing as Water has life-giving force. Be prepared to spend an hour rocking fore 'n aft &' side-to-side as you stroke the stone while softly chanting: "Stone to stone, bone to bone, flesh to flesh, vein to vein, (name) is whole again." Keep it up until you mentally fade out or have some other indication you've reached your maximum capacity & can stop. Any stone will hold an intent until something dislodges it. Stones are the skeleton of Gaia. Wishing stones have colored bands encircling them symbolizing the Circle & cycles. They are stroked to aid manifesting desires. Map stones have lines traversing & intersecting across their surface symbolizing Ley lines & ghost-tracks & are stroked to aid spirit travel. Wash used stones between spells to clear & reset them. An exceptionally lucky stone is a holey-stone with a natural hole clear through. They are protective charms in themselves & used for scrying by peering through the hole.

Ordinary stones we find laying on the ground can have (+) active, Solar energy, or (-) passive, Lunar energy. Employ a pendulum to determine which polarity a stone has. Use the solar stones for dominance, overcoming and repelling, and short-term tasks as the Sun's cycle repeats daily; and use Lunar stones for nurturing, psychism, attraction and long-term tasks as the lunar cycle repeats monthly. Wash stones with running water to clear them after use, &' refresh them by re-placing them on the earth. Stones do need to be psychically charged & any stone will hold an intention until something dislodges it. White Quartz is abundant & in-tune with Gaia's energies so is considered all-purpose.

The witch's cord or "measure" previously described in ritual tools captures the energy signature of the person whose measure is taken with a cord or twine. A proxy-measure can be made when the target is absent from a stick figure drawn in fire pit ash (or with old incense ashes) & named for the target. Use thread to measure head-to-foot (tie knots), then measure the width of the head & tie a knot, measure from that knot to chest (tie knot), from chest to crotch (tie knot). The measure sympathetically captures ailments & injuries & is then burned &'its ash is mixed with the stick-figure-ash & disposed of in flowing water that carries away the ailment. Fire is an active element and "activates" the intent first, then water, which is a passive element, is used to pacify the condition.

The witch's own measure is worn on their person during rituals and spell crafting to reinforce their own intent. It can be wrapped around spells-in-the-works that you want to support and let "cook" while you do other things.

Potions can use a tablespoon of each herb that you choose & enough water in the pot to cover the herbs. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by 1/2, then cool & strain. Repeat if a stronger brew is desired. Add brandy or vodka equal to the remaining liquid as a preservative. Serve a teaspoon of this final brew in a cup of tea or other beverage. Add honey-to-taste. Activate the intent at the time of brewing. Use only safe kitchen herbs with the magical properties you want for brews you will drink or add to the bath. Brews used as aerosols usually are added strained & cooled to an equal amount of rubbing alcohol or witch hazel. Brews that get sprinkled across door stoops and pathways or poured around the foundation for protection usually have lots of salt, garlic and peppery "go-away" ingredients and need no preservatives. The simplest brew is a cup of tea, like chamomile to relax, mint to sooth the stomach, rosemary to aid recall after trance. (See "correspondences" in the WC and Wicca 101 section to find herb properties.)

HOW TO DESIGN A SPELL:

What do you want?
Know your general goal: prosperity (attracting abundance, good-luck, health, love); protection (purifying, repelling harm); or power to bind & hold.

When should you do it?
The Moon Phase sets the over all forces to working & each phase lasts a week. Spells for attraction, gain & increase work best as the moon grows from new-to-full (waxing moon); spells for repelling, reducing or banishing are best done when the moon diminishes after full to dark moon (waning moon). Spells for personal empowerment & success of endeavors are done at Full Moon. Full moon energy includes the day before full, the day of full, and the day after the full moon. The Moon's influence is present even in the daytime or if the night is cloudy & She can't be seen. She's still there.

Consult any media weather forecast for the current day's moon phase. Or print/purchase a moon phase calendar.

Week Day can pin down the intent's best starting time. Associations are shown by weekday, planet, associated color & purpose:

Sunday (Sun) yellow, leadership, health, advice
Monday (Moon) white, marriage, family, psychic endeavors
Tuesday (Mars) red, conflict, legal matters
Wednesday (Mercury) light blue-aqua, communication, education, divination
Thursday (Jupiter) blue, finances, job, prosperity, protection
Friday (Venus) green, love, allure, fertility
Saturday (Saturn) black, endings, banishing

Like affects like. What is simpatico with the intention?
You can beef-up a spell's effectiveness by paying attention to the element that best relates to the general category of your purpose. The elements each have properties & symbolism you can use to build your spell around. Listed below are the elements, what each is generally used for, it's direction, color & symbols.

Air - beginnings, thoughts, knowledge; East, yellow, fan, flute, smoke/scent; leaves
Fire - vitality, will-power, friendships; South, red, spice, guitar, candle, coals, sun; flowers
Water - feelings, psi; West, blue, potions, shells, citrus, rattle, mist, ice, H2O, moon; stems
Earth - endings, material needs, job, home; North, green, grains, stones, drum, cords; roots
Spirit - balance, soul travel; Center, purple, quartz crystal, bell, wings & flight; seeds

(Note: all five elements have healing properties as they are the basis of life itself. Apply Air associations to aid lung issues, Fire to aid nerves, Water to aid the blood, Earth to heal bones & tissues, Spirit to aid the emotions and soul.)

Choose your means I.e., candle, bottle/jar(wet), pouch/packet(dry), cord/knots, stone, sigil, or potion & assemble what you have on hand to hold the spell.

Set your intent by pushing the goal's fire in the belly into the the assembled items. Recite a short, repetitive chant or rhyme you have written that states the goal for fun. Rhyme helps focus the will, and repetition strengthens intent.

Relevant magical numbers: 3 represents the 3 visible Lunar phases & the Triple Moon Goddess & can be useful for blessings; 5 represents the 5 elements & can be useful for manifestations; 7 is a number of balance and good fortune; 9 is triple the triple Moon Goddess & empowers one's magical efforts; 13 represents the 12 Full Moon's in a year plus the quirky Blue Moon & offers comprehensive protection. Use spell ingredients & parts in multiples of the number related to your intention, & repeat phrases, blessings & chants likewise.

Wording: Use positive, present-tense phrasing to own the intent in the Now so your thoughts don't stay in the "wanna-be" realm. Wiccans respect the free will of others. When projecting the will for a desired outcome, state "and it harm none". You, as a witch, Know that the universe has already responded to your intention. You claim your goal in the "Present" to possess & own it in the "Future". Past, present & Future are just an illusion; they are one reality. Knowing feels like a door opens & let's in light & a refreshing breeze.

It is traditional to never discuss a spell until after it has manifested, lest you deplete and weaken the energy by drawing it back to you like a yo-yo. Also, it's not a good idea to post photos of active spells because it provokes energy scattering.

Disposal & Clean-Up: Occult literature teaches that we remain ethereally connected to a spell by tiny energy threads as long as the spell is active (that's why what we send out returns). Breaking your energy-connection to the spell and disposing of spent materials after the spell is done is as much part of the spell as creating it. It stops attachments from forming. Herbs can be buried or burned and ashes (that weren't deliberately scattered) get flushed in running water because earth/water are passive energies & therefore "pacify". (Fire/Air are activating energies.) Stones can be washed & returned to earth. Spent candle stubs can be put in the trash & removed. When dis-assembling the spell use your spoken intent to decommission the debris. "The time has come to end this spell. Your job is done and all is well."

We clean up after ourselves, neutralize energy that was summoned, and disconnect from what was accomplished. This important step keeps psychic energy from clinging to us & becoming psychic sludge that can drain our energy. The Crafter should periodically do a self-cleansing salt-scrub while showering (stroking head to feet to ground & neutralize) & remove forgotten spell links.

MAGICAL LAWS (paraphrased)

Doctrine of Signatures - The attributes without mirror the qualities within. Nature has left clues to the magical uses of an object through it's shape, texture, color, markings, smell & taste.

Law of Contagion - Once together, always together. Whenever two things touch, they leave connecting strands of energy between them. The longer the contact, the stronger the link. Witches tap into these connections as identifying tag-locks.

Law of Sympathy - In magical use, what is willed, intended, or done to the symbol or image, will also impact the material target. The symbol is as real as the thing itself.
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Re: Getting Started

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:01 pm

VOTIVES, VIGIL CANDLES, PETITIONS & PSALMS
(non-Wiccan but a highly popular practice & useful for broom-closeted folk)


Popularly the Votive candles that burn 10-15 hours in their cups or the 5 to 7-day, jar type of vigil candles can be used, but any candle will suffice. The plain, unprinted vigil candles from the dollar-store or a candle printed with a relevant image can be used. Wash or wipe down the surfaces with salt-water to remove shop handling residue & price stickers. Dress the top of the candle with your selected oil by dabbing a five-spot pattern of oil in a square of 4-corners & center to set the intent, to symbolically "call quarters" & "square the circle"; this anchors the goal into the material realm in a like manner as when circle casting. Then spread the dots of oil around the top with a finger (clockwise to attract' or reverse to repel) while you state the intent. This seals the goal to the candle. If herbs are used you might lay them around the base of the candle holder rather than sprinkling onto the wax as they can clump in the melting wax & catch fire.

The petition can be written on any clean paper that's about palm-size. Write on only the front of the paper, making layers of text. Write the goal (intention) in a few present-tense words; turn the paper 1/4-turn & over-write it with the name & birthdate of the person to benefit from the spell. By over-writing the goal with a name you are showing that they dominate over the goal; but if the spell is against someone then write their name 1st & then over-write the name with the goal to show that the goal dominates the person. Then turn the paper clockwise ( > ) 1/4 turn again & write the Psalm number & its beginning phrase showing it dominates all else. Oil is dabbed in a 5-spot pattern on the 4 corners and center of the petition paper, as explained above.

The candle is placed in a safe area & the petition is placed under it. The selected Psalm is read aloud & the candle is then lighted & allowed to burn continuously until it's done. If necessary, you can snuff the flame then re-light as able; & repeat the prayer with each re-light until the candle is fully consumed.

Here's a short list of useful Psalms from Candle Burning with the Psalms by William A. Oribello:

Disperse disturbing ghosts & spirits, both Ps 144 and 145
Dream guidance, Ps 23 or 42
Evil eye removal, Ps 91
Good fortune, Ps 65
Healing Ps 6 or 21
Help in time of need Ps 18
Hex break Ps 7 or 8
Mental clarity Ps 115
Repel all harmful conditions Ps 100
Spiritual enlightenment Ps 25
Thanksgiving Ps 30 or 116

YouTube channel Hoodoo Delish is the source I used for interpretation of the wax &' smoke residue left on the glass when the burn is complete to check the status of the spell. A clean glass with very little residue is ideal, meaning all is well with the spell. If the wick was uncentered & leaned sideways to blacken the glass, it was a mechanical issue & is not read. Otherwise, black soot indicates resistance was encountered and the sooner it stopped on the glass, the better. If the soot extends 1/2 way down the glass then rethink the spell &'repeat. White soot signifies spirit assistance was given, probably by their guides. Waxy residue like frost covering a large area shows that matters were not clearly seen before beginning & results may be less than hoped for. Waxy, unbroken rings pertain to time factors before the spell can resolve: 3-rings close together can be 3-days/weeks, or 3-months if spaced farther apart. Broken rings regardless of spacing show you weren't certain the goal was desirable so your focus was broken, & the spell results are iffy. If the wick divides so that 2 flames occur, then your spell has powerful spirit assistance. If the flame goes out right away it's a mechanical issue so just expose more wick & relight. If the flame is burning OK but goes out 1/2 way down or more then the spell is done. The magic starts when a candle is done. Interpretations vary by reader so use your own intuitive symbolism. Dispose of vigil glass containers in the trash or wash & repurpose. Votive cups get washed & reused.
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Re: Getting Started

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:18 pm

binxyhollow wrote:As you seem to have the fountain of information. How would you go about cutting wood from a tree as part of making an altar? I have a table top that im going to cut to my desired shape. I know how to dry out the wood and treat it with beeswax, but how do you go about actually harvesting the wood directly from the tree to avoid moisture from the ground?

devon

I'm sorry, but I have no idea. I imagine once a tree is felled it can be cross cut into slabs if you have the proper saw and strength. It's way beyond me. Wouldn't you think wood slabs should be dried under pressure to prevent warping? How you'd do that, I have no idea, or experience but I'd bet a lumber mill can tell you. The ends of 2x4s are stamped with info that the wood was pressure treated when dried. Go to a Home Depo or Lowes and see their set up.
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Re: Getting Started

Postby Ashrend » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:21 pm

I know how to make it. I mean more blessing the ground or tree, how to give it back what you are taking from that tree

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Re: Getting Started

Postby Hagerman420 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:52 pm

binxyhollow wrote:I know how to make it. I mean more blessing the ground or tree, how to give it back what you are taking from that tree

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Maybe plant a seed for new growth of another tree?
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Re: Getting Started

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:56 pm

Same as wand-cutting: Use a sturdy hand saw with a drop cloth on the ground to prevent it from touching the sod & losing it's virtue into the earth. Cut at dawn or in cold weather so the sap isn't running. Address the tree and explain the purpose. Express your thanks. Leave an offering of bread.

If you take the entire tree down it's possible the roots will regrow in time. You could provide a miniature habitat to replace the one you are taking. Use all of the tree as you would any living creature if you were hunting.
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Re: Getting Started

Postby Hagerman420 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:03 pm

The way the first nation people do it when they kill for food is give thanks to the spirit for allowing for them to take it's life to feed existing life.
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Re: Getting Started

Postby Ashrend » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:06 pm

Thank you thats a great set of questions. I wouldnt be killing the tree, just taking a small part of it. I dont know my gods or goddess other than arthemis yet but i know nature is integral to me. I do like the idea of making or buying a bird house to place in the tree for which im harvesting the wood from. I would take fallen branches but they get soaked and ruined easily

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Re: Getting Started

Postby Ashrend » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:13 pm

Would the tools in which i prep the tree branch need blessing or consecrating?

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Re: Getting Started

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:18 pm

No, I don't think so. Your intent will honor the life force. But you might wipe the blade down with alcohol so you don't transfer any tree diseases. I do that when pruning roses from bush to bush. Also the Land is already sacred and you are asking to take something from a living being.

I like your idea of the bird house :mrgreen:

Edit: hmm, I thought about this overnight. I did a head smack as I remembered I had consecrated my gardening tools. But I used them again and again in the same location, as you would use altar tools again and again at the location of your altar. So, I'm gonna fudge out and say it's up to you. Your intent at the occasion of a one-time pruning is sufficient for the purpose, IMO.

EDIT: and leave an offering, of course. Doh. Whenever we glean from Nature, leave an offering as apology for disturbing the spirit involved.
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Re: Getting Started

Postby Ashrend » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:38 pm

Alright thank you for the info, i think il take my time and either wait for a storm and go searching for one or wait til the time feels right to go harvest the wood. Il consecrating my gardening toola anyway as i want to grow some of my own herbs, so trimming or digging them up il need it

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Re: Getting Started

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:45 pm

THINGS THAT ARE BETWEEN

There are special times, things & places all around us that witches believe contribute to magical effectiveness. These are "between" one thing and another. They are therefore powerful in that they assist our thoughts to be "between" & thus to manifest.

Bridges - are neither this side or that side & are literally between 2 realms.
Cacoons - contain a caterpillar between stages of life, changing from larva to moth.
Caves - passageways into the Land itself, and to the underworld.
Cemeteries - are links between the mid-world and the underworld.
Chimneys - passageways between in & outdoors by way of the transforming hearth.
Church yard - is neither within the sanctuary or detached from it, but "between" both.
Circles of Stone - as with any circle, it is neither in this world or the next.
Concave shapes - bowls, cups, caves, skulls; accumulate & hold ethereal energies.
Doorways, thresholds - are neither in or out but are between.
Eggs - eggs are one thing & become another thing.
Embankments & Shorelines - are between land and water.
Ember days - between the winter solstice (or Christmas) and Epiphany, Jan 6.
Equinoxes - end of light/dark annual cycle, beginning of next.
Hill tops, mountains - are between land and sky.
Liminal hours of dawn, noon, dusk, midnight - neither today or tomorrow, morning or night.
Mirrors - show this world in reverse; as the over- & underworlds are the reverse of mundane.
Rods, beams, lines, paths - transfer & direct ethereal energies.
Solstices - the peak of light 1/2 or dark 1/2 of the annual cycle.
Spirals - ascending or descending transmute energy from this to that, and are between.
Stairs & ladders - are between one level and the other.
Swings - move between back & forth in rhythm & induce trance, as do rocking chairs.
Toads live both in the pond and on the land, crossing between them with ease.
Trees - unite the three realms of above, mundane and below, as do staffs & wands.
Trance - when out-of-body we can pass between worlds; we're not dead but "living dead".
Wells, underground springs - exist in the underworld and discharge into the mid-world.
Windows - like thresholds they are both in- & outside at the same time.
Water - transforms between solid ice/snow, liquid/rain and steam/mist; attracts energy

Well, you get the idea. Add some thoughts of your own.
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Re: Getting Started

Postby SpiritTalker » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:58 pm

BROOM CLOSET

Many beginners quite reasonably feel a need to keep their practice low key and under wraps. Exploring new beliefs can sometimes be at odds with one's established home life. I don't recommend bold face deceitfulness or deception. However, I do support safe exploration of ideas but decisions are subject to parental authority until we reach legal age. That's just the way it is. You can be discrete without being sneaky. You don't want to create drama that will injure your relationships.

You can have an altar if you want, hidden in plain sight by substituting symbolic representations of the Elements & Deity as described in the altar section, choosing flameless & smokeless methods & using household gear. Feed your altar by spending some time there every day. It's a good place to be to write in your plain, uninteresting notebook. You can do spells with household items. You can do a complete ritual in a cramped space, without a single ritual tool (see Rituals in Cramped Space, pg. 4).

Lots of Christian households use personal shrines. Perpetual lights & altar lights can be battery powered candles or strings of Yule lights as they represent spiritual light. Adapt & substitute: the four archangels do actually represent the 4 Quarters of the Universe; patron saints & guardian angels are guardian spirits. Votive & vigil candles are spell candles. Replace a pentagram with a 5-petaled flower or 4-Way God's Eye or Bridget Cross.

There's no way to disguise smoke. Replace incense with a dry, spicy potpourri (bowl, jar or dream pillow) & shake to release the aroma or make an aerosol spray with 10-15 drops of a scented perfume, aftershave or essential oil & equal parts water &'witch hazel. Instead of transformation by fire (burning) for paper petitions & sigils, use scissors to cut-up-to-transform &' scatter the confetti in the wind. Both fire & air are activating force (+) for magical intents.

Historically only the Priestly class in religious temples had fancy magical regalia and sacred vessels. The average home Crafter made do with a cooking pot & broom that have become modern icons of the witch. Repurposing isn't a new thing.

Every Snoop Sister knows about the shoe-box hidden under the bed. Sadly, ever since H. Potter the stick-wand has become a dead give away. Nothing shouts "Witch!" like a cauldron or pentegram. So don't fall for those old tricks yourself. Substitute.

Supplies from Household Items:

Altar cloth - recycle place mats, bandanas & scarves; towels
Athame - letter opener; doesn't need to be sharp or use index & middle pointing fingers
BoS - use a plain, untitled school notebook any size; go digital
Candles - flameless battery powered lights; birthday candles in a glass won't fall out
Charm bag, spell packet - Coffee Filters, folded paper/envelopes; decorate & tie closed
Chalice, candle holder, offering plate - repurpose household dishes
Cord magic - embroidery floss, yarn, twine, string, ribbon
Herbs - aid psi w/bay leaf or pumpkin spice; protect w/salt-black pepper; aid prosperity w/basil or mint; sweeten with rose petals, sugar or honey
Offerings - water, freshly brewed coffee; floral bouquets; bread; fruits & nuts; grains
Oils - olive oil represents fruitful success; traditional for anointing
Pendulum - for yes-no divination use a pendant, ring on a string, needle & thread
Pentacle - 5-petaled flower, 4-way gods eye
Potions - herbal teabags are conveniently pre-packaged, decorate the bag with sigils
Storage containers - recycled jars, coffee canisters, zip-lock bags, lidded box, picnic basket
Stones - white quartz=all purpose; water-smooth=healing, banded=wishing, lined=OOB travel
Tarot - Playing Cards https://exemplore.com/fortune-divinatio ... ying-Cards
Wand - pointing index finger will direct energy & cupped hands accumulate energy to set intent
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