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Getting Started

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Re: Getting Started

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

STOCKING A WITCH'S SUPPLY CUPBOARD

The most useful mundane tools are often household items you have on hand. Thrift store shopping, browsing the grocery store baking & international food isles, and outdoor specimen collecting can meet most needs.

A simple starter kit for an herb-oil-stone collection would include things that have properties of the 3-Ps: protection, prosperity & power. Protection includes both cleansing & banishing functions which often are shared by the same item, while prosperity includes attracting health, love & abundance that often run together. Power is for extra spiritual oomph. To cover the bases, choose at least one herb or spice, essential oil & stone that will do one of these 3 tasks. (See the Table of Correspondences, Wicca 101 section). You may also find one item related to each element to be an advantage, and these will be part of the Multi tasking 3-Ps. This reduces what you need to start & still get the job done.

It makes sense to choose appealing aromas that you can tolerate so that you can comfortably use them. Scent is very useful in determining a plant's magical uses. As a general guide, if you like the scent the spirits will too; the God is associated with forest and spice scents, and the Goddess with florals & citrus. Pungent scents that wrinkle your nose will cleanse and repel negative vibes. Head clearing scents add power.

Incense: frankincense, myrrh, copal and dragons blood are tree sap resins valued for their cleansing and spiritual properties. Resin pieces need to be melted on salte-petre treated coals which need a fire-safe container & heat insulation; these scents are available in stick/cone form as well. The aroma of smoldering incense is used as an offering and to attract the spiritual forces you want.

Resins burn slowly in small amounts as long as the coal lasts up to 2 hours and provide a huge amount of smoke; sticks last about 20-30 minutes, and smudge bundles of sage, cedar & pine, or wood slats of palo santo or cinnamon bark burn only a minute or two.

Oils are used to anoint yourself, your tools and charms, that is, to transfer or hold a psychic charge. Herbs can be added to make an oil compatible with an elemental function. A simple "living" oil that is unprocessed, like olive or almond oil, will serve quite well to attract and hold orgone energy.

Stones have (+) active, Solar, male energy, or (-) passive, Lunar, female energy. Use a pendulum to determine which polarity a stone has. Use the solar stones for dominance, overcoming and repelling, short-term tasks; and use Lunar stones for nurturing, psi, attraction and long-term tasks. Cleanse stones by re-placing them on the earth, or covering them with dry herbs indoors. Cleansing serves to clear a stone and reset it's polarity when it has completed it's task.

Color indicates how something will work for magic. The bare minimum of white can be used as all-purpose (& to purify), and red (empower), & black (protect). These 3 are the colors associated with the triple Moon Goddess as maid, mother & crone. Green is associated with the forest God of the Hunt, and the Earth Mother. Spiritual assistance generally comes under purple. The four elements associations are yellow-Air, red-Fire, blue-Water, green/brown- Earth, white/gold/silver-Spirit. Color interpretation is very flexible and adaptable to personal preferences.

LISTS OF MISC STUFF

Altar &' Spells:
Flat surface, table top or tray (fire safety is your first priority)
Matches or lighter (or spare batteries, if you go flameless)
Candles & holders (or flameless substitute)
Incense & holder (or flameless, scented substitute)
Anointing oil (if used)
Corn meal, oat meal or rice for offerings
Bowl/bottle of water and full salt shaker
Your choice of tools: athame, wand, bowl/cup, bell, pentacle &/or stone; Stang, cauldron
Divination method: scrying bowl or crystal, Tarot cards, pendulum, runes, Story Cubes
Colored cords for your Measure or cord magic
Assorted color altar cloths, scarves, bandanas, handkerchiefs (as altar cloths & pouches)
Found bits: bent pins, rusty nails, buttons, thread tangles, heart-shaped & holey-stones
Dirt collected from ancestors graves, power centers, home-stead
Quartz stone, raw or polished
Notebook & pen, red pen/cil

Brewing:
Heat source (electric hot pot or kettle, crock pot, kitchen stove, BBQ)
Olive or almond oil
Common cooking herbs & spices, Salt
Common tea leaves (the easiest brew is a cuppa tea)
Teapot or tea mug with infuser, or lidded pot
Spoons for stirring & measuring
Paring knife & cutting board (or use a plate)
Mixing bowl
Mortar & pestle (or use a bowl and the back of a spoon)
Storage containers (recycle small jars & bottles)

Specimen Hunt:
Map of nature trails (if applicable)
Plant guide, or use your mobil phone/Internet
Small flashlight, or mobil phone
Carry sack
Folding knife or scissors
Hand trowel for digging roots
Baggies to separate specimens, & marker pen (one droopy plant looks like another at home)
Bottled water, for drinking and offering, or cornmeal
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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

SPELL FORMAT

It's a good idea to use a pendulum or some other divination to ask if it is appropriate to do a spell you have in mind. If the response is negative, respect that. If it's OK and good to go, here are some aids. In essence, casting a simple circle and a spell both use the same processes: raise energy, visualize the goal, and charge something to hold the power. Timing, wording and compatible ingredients are used to synchronize your mind to the goal. Magic is not something that is turned on and off, it is always there, ever and constantly flowing within all-that-is.

1. Know your general goal: health, love, prosperity, protection, wisdom

2. What's your purpose? attracting/gain, repelling/release, empowering

3. Moon: attraction/gain works best as the moon grows (waxing moon); repelling/release is best done when the moon diminishes (waning moon). Personal empowerment & success of endeavors is done at Full Moon. Set a time limit so the spell concludes. (Optional).

4. Which of the Elements best serves your goal? They each have general properties & symbolism. These are some standard suggestions, and of course there are variations in traditions.

Air - beginnings, thoughts, knowledge, East Quarter, yellow, feathers, sounds, smoke/scent
Fire - vitality, will-power, friendships, South Quarter, red, spice, candle, flame, coals, sun
Water - fertility, psychism, West Qtr, blue, potions, shells, citrus, mist, ice-snow, H2O, moon
Earth - endings, practical changes, North Quarter, green, grains, sod, stones, cords, coins
Spirit - balance, soul travel, mysticism, Center, purple, quartz crystal, bell, wings & flight

5. Like aids like. Correspondences are in sympathy with the same goal. What do you have on hand that matches the Elemental associations with the goal?These are the spell materials you will charge with your energized intention. Ex: starting a new project has Air connections so choose spell materials with the same associations to strengthen the link to this power. It is traditional to use an odd number of total ingredients, 1-13.

6. Chant or rhyme to recite for drawing power and stating the goal. Rhyme helps focus the will, and repetition strengthens intent.

7. Know your method, & assemble what you have on hand to hold the spell. Charge the assembled materials with your psychic energy, visualizing the fulfilled intention. Here are 13 examples:

Bottle/jar: holds a potion, herbs, stones infused with intent, can be displayed or hidden
Candle: loaded with willpower and is burned to release the intent while you gaze at the flame
Charm Bag: herb and charm-filled pouch worn next to the skin for luck
Crystal Grids: template layouts of stones to enforce thought forms
Dream Pillow: herb and stone filled pouch to induce dreams, astral travel, or sleep
Knot Charm: cord tied with conjured knots to hold the spell until untied to release the power
Mandalas: concentric circle designs drawn or using items to reinforce intention
Potions: cooking herbs & spices simmered in moon water is sprinkled, dabbed-on or drank
Poppet: cloth, wax, or bread dolly filled with herbs & conjured for intent, buried or shared
Sigils: artful combining of consonants of words stating the goal; display, burn, add to charm
Stones: psychically charged with intent, will hold the charge until dislodged or cleansed
Talisman: empowered luck piece, worn or carried
Witch's Ladder: string together feathers, twigs, herb bundles, charms, holey-stone for goal

8. It is traditional to not discuss a spell until after it has manifested, lest you deplete and weaken the energy by drawing it back to you.

9. We remain ethericly connected to a spell as long as it is active (that's why what we send out returns). Breaking your connection to the spell and disposing of spent materials after the spell is fulfilled is as much part of the spell as creating it. Botanicals can be composted or burned, and ashes scattered. Stones can be cleansed & reused or returned to earth. Spent candle stubs can be put in the trash. When dis-assembling the spell, use your spoken intent to decommission and end the spell. Remember we clean up after ourselves, dismiss what was summoned, and end what was begun. This important step keeps psychic energy from clinging to us & becoming psychic sludge that attracts negativity & drains our power. A Caster should periodically do a self-cleansing salt scrub to remove forgotten 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.

Law of Sympathy - The finite mirrors the infinite; or this represents that. 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

DAYS OF POWER

The days of power vary by traditions. Not all standard 8 Sabbats have to be observed because we all live in environmentally different areas. There's a heap of difference between weather and seasonal patterns in the desert, the tropics, the midlands and mountains, and snow fields. We are free to choose to observe the dates that best suit our location, & not rigidly follow a calendar.

The so-called lesser days are when the seasonal power is beginning. Generally they are of Norse origin. These solar dates are the summer and winter solstices when the Sun appears as if it crosses the Earth's equator, lengthening and shortening daylight hours; and the spring and autumn equinoxes when day and night hours are equal. Sunrise & sunset are the liminal, magical times between one season and the next. Times of transition summon power. It takes a bit over 365 days for the Earth to circle the Sun, so the dates vary from the 20th to 23rd of every December, March, June and September.

The greater days are when the season's energies crest. The names differ by regional languages, and generally are Celtic. The dates are October 31/November 1, February 1-2, April 30/May 1, July 31/August 1. Midnight is the magic hour, the crest of the wave when the natural force breaks free.

Full Moons (Esbats) occur every 29.5 days which is how long it takes the moon to go around the earth, and get out of the Earth's shadow, to reflect the sunlight as full moon. The Moon's pull affects ocean tides, sap rising and falling, female menstrual cycles & male testosterone. It is a very real force. There are 13 full Moon's annually.

CONTINUING YOUR DEVELOPMENT

Okay, that's enough already! An interested person's studies will be self directed, and guided by your intuition and abilities. Explore your intuition. You can continue with what appeals to you most. Some suggestions: get your hands dirty by making your own candles, collecting rocks or planting an herb garden; explore & experience each Element and it's correspondences; develop divination methods; study hands-on or distant healing; learn herbalism and earn certification, or learn the safe, wild plants in your locale; make a prayer garden; explore necromancy & contact your ancestors; learn basic astrology and planetary influences; respectfully meet the Fae; learn about your power animals and spirit guides; develop your psychic abilities; learn astral travel; learn Yoga; learn Feng Shui; learn Reiki. Attend classes offered through a witch supply shop or Botanica, the local library, museum, nature center or public garden. Never stop journaling.

In time, you will know your own strengths and special talents. Follow what draws you. Learn what you can do for yourself and keep adding on. It never ends, but we are allowed to rest now and then. We can expect occasional dry seasons when we feel like everything is meaningless. This is normal. Nature is cyclical & we are part of Nature. It just means that one learning cycle has concluded, and the next has not yet begun. It passes in time, and new opportunities arrive.
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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

devon



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

If you were a hunter and killed a deer, how would you honor and give thanks for the gift of it's life force? Cutting down a tree is killing it, taking it's life force, & removing it as a habitat from the forest. Consider how to honor that and provide temporary shelter for the homeless and dispossessed land spirit dwelling within. It needs a place to move into, like a temporary spirit house. The likely place is if a portion of the tree is left intact, probably the roots will remain, but will eventually die. But a bundle of the twigs may be a possibility, or a fairy house.

I'm thinking of the corn dollies, made from the last sheafs of grain in to which the spirit of the harvest has fled. The dolls, like the Yule log, hold the spirit and are over-wintered and then burned and the ashes returned to the field, sort of shoving the spirit out and back into the soil.

A symbolic act is a real act in magic, so fashion a temporary home for the spirit. explain how the tree's sacrifice will be put to use, use up all of the tree eventually, as you would a deer carcass.

If the concept makes you feel foolish, ask yourself why you need to cut the tree down, for an altar of your religion. How will your altar serve the spirit of the tree? And will it serve the Deity with whom you commune? People used to worship trees at one time in history. Can you work with that?

Planting a new seed is a way of providing for the living essence of the tree you cut down.
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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.

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.

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 & locations all around us that witches believe contribute to their magical effectiveness. These are places that are "between" one thing and another. They are therefore magical in themselves.

Bridges - cross living water and are neither this side or that side.
Cacoons - contain a caterpillar changing to moth or butterfly.
Caves - passageways into the Land itself, and to the underworld.
Cemeteries - are links between the mid-world and the underworld.
Chimneys - tunnel-like passageways between indoors and outdoors.
Church yard - as 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..
Doorways, thresholds - are neither in or out, or in one room or the other.
Eggs - of any air, land or water creature; 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.
Hill tops, mountains - are between land and sky.
Liminal hours of dawn, noon, dusk, midnight - neither today or tomorrow, morning or night.
Mirrors, reflective surfaces - the world in reverse; the underworld is the reverse of mundane.
Solstices - marking the end of one and beginning of the next half of the annual cycle.
Stairs & ladders - are between one level and the other.
Trees - unite the three worlds above, mundane and below.
Tadpoles change to frogs. Toads look like water frogs but live on dry land.
Vortex - nature is full of energy vortices that are doorways between realms.
Wells, underground springs - exist in the underworld and discharge into the mid-land.
Windows - are both inside and outside at the same time & let us see other worlds.
Water transforms between solid ice/snow, liquid/rain and steam/mist.

Trance is mysterious as the out-of-body "traveler" assumes a spirit body like the spirits of the dead, and can travel between the 3 worlds, but does not die.

Well, you get the idea.
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Re: Getting Started

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

BROOM CLOSET

Many beginners feel a need to keep their practice low key and under wraps. Exploring new beliefs can sometimes be at odds with one's home life. I don't recommend bold face deceitfulness or deception. However, I do support free-thinking & exploring, 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.

If you are going to be on this Wiccan path, there is no room for "I can't..." thinking. Magical living is all about getting around obstacles and making your goals happen. There is always a way. It's up to you to be up to the challenge and to find it.

You can have an altar if you want, hidden in plain sight by substituting symbolic representations of the Elements & Deity and choosing flameless methods (see Altar Pictures section in ETUM forum index). 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, within a subtle circle, using household items. You can do a complete ritual in a cramped space, without the encumbrance of a single tool (see Rituals in Cramped Space, this article, pg. 4).

Any household item can be repurposed for supplies & tools, if you want them. It's fun & it is traditional to use your witchy power to discover magical uses for ordinary items. It's what all witches have done throughout history. Only Priests and Priestesses in religious temples had fancy magical regalia and sacred vessels. The average Crafter made do.

Ordinary things have magical uses:
Bowls, Cups & Saucers - hold incense, candles & offerings, or use as mortar & a spoon as pestle
Coffee Filters - use to strain potions, use as charm bags, decorate with a marking pen
Needles, pins, staples - use as charm bag fasteners
Perfume - subs as incense, represents air
Psalms, Book of - specific psalms are used for spell work
Salt, Pepper, Sugar Packets - use to purify, banish and sweeten situations respectively
Stones - hold an intent according to solar or lunar charge, white quartz is all purpose
String, Yarn - use for cord magic, use saved gift wrap ribbon for extra power from gifting
Tea bags - use as charms in and of themselves, or as sources of spell herbs
Weeds, flowers - roots rep. earth, stems-water, leaves-air, flower-fire, seeds-spirit; Make poppets, God's Eye or Bridget crosses

Drawing and coloring paper mandalas with artists templates and making sigils in different alphabets can get the creative juices flowing. Add these sketches to your notebook. Keep a record. This will someday become your Book or grimoire. Your notebook will be your most useful textbook.
Last edited by SpiritTalker on Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:12 pm, edited 46 times in total.
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