Magical Scribbles

Merry meet all,

Magical Scribbles

Writing about witchcraft is magical and hard work. Yes you can become a popular witchy writer. Establish a sacred writing space. Burn essential oils or incense as you write. Play soft music.

If you want to write about cauldrons, focus on its’ purpose, the significance of cauldrons, the lore of cauldrons. Write about how to clean a cast iron cauldron and how to burn incense, bark or resin in it. Or write about resin, incense and charcoal discs. Or the issue of safety and setting off smoke alarms.

Once you have polished the article, you need a market. I recommend reading the two books How to write for the New Age Market by Richard Webster and The Pagan Writers’ Guide by Melusine Draco. These books show you what to write and where to send your magical words. Some markets to write for are Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine, Sagewoman magazine and Witches and Pagans magazine.

The editors are swamped with writing related tasks. Write something basic to start with until you get a feel of how to write for them. My writing has appeared in anthologies and Ezines. Witchcraft is a mystery religion and the best way to know it is to live it. That is why many authors in this field get published in these types of markets.

The witchcraft and mind/body/spirit writing market mostly centers around non-fiction. The majority of the markets are in the United States and prefer non-fiction. An important question is what to write, why and for what audience. You are expected to know the difference between an athame and a besom, the Sabbats of Samhain and Beltane. In depth writing will grant you that coveted byline. They prefer that you share your research sources.

If you are aspiring to write a book on witchcraft, the best publishing companies are Llewellyn, Moon Books, Weiser Books and Avalonia Books. Avalonia publishes scholarly material like New Page books, Immanion Press and Inner Traditions. The best way to familiarize yourself is by reading what they publish. The pagan/ witchcraft publishing world is small. The editors are acquainted with each other. It is wise to cultivate a positive rapport with them.

Decide on the angle with your book or article. The market is replete with Wicca 101 books, witchcraft. Many authors are accomplished and have covered many subjects such as Christopher Penczak, Raven Grimassi, Laurie Cabot and Deborah Blake. Make your book unique and inspiring. They live what they write and lead magical lives. They have proven themselves to be authorities on what they write. If you do the same, you can achieve your dreams.

Keep track of where you send your writing and never give up. The most successful people are the ones who kept trying. When an editor expresses an interest in your writing, be ready.

The last stop on our broomstick ride is your perspective of witchcraft. To succeed in this market, have a reverence for witchcraft. To write for this market, you need to have an awareness for it and live it. Most of the editors and writers have a lot of experience and practice it regularly. They not only write it but live it fully and deeply.

Good luck with your efforts. Below is an example of an article for an Ezine. It demonstrates what type of article is accepted for publication. This article appeared in Crone Ezine in October 2012.

Grab your quills and magickal ink!! Get writing!!

Samhain is here. The last of the harvest is gleaned from the fields and frost glistens on ripe pumpkins. It is the time of year when the veil between the worlds is thinnest. Samhain is the Witches’ New Year and the time of the Crone.

Hekate is a crone goddess, one of the Triple Goddesses (Maiden, Mother and Crone.) She is the elder wise one who is relied on for her knowledge, wisdom and healing. Hekate is a guardian of the three-way crossroads and is portrayed as bearing the keys to the underworld, joined by a three-headed dog and surrounded by lit torches. She is associated with ghosts, the dark moon and magic. Animals that are sacred to her are black cats, ravens, owls, and wolves. This ritual is best done on any of the three nights of Samhain: October 30-November 1. (If you celebrate a “traditional” Halloween with trick-or-treaters or a party, November 1 is probably the best day for this solitary ritual.)

Prepare yourself by physically cleaning and purifying your home. Wash the dishes and sweep the floors, put the laundry away, and remove clutter and negative stale chi from your living space by smudging it with sage. Have a meditation bath to purify and prepare you, adding soothing essential oils such as lavender or frankincense to your bath.

Assemble your altar (if you don’t have a standing altar, you can prepare one on any flat space such as a chest of drawers or a table that you clear, clean and can decorate as you like. If you are expecting guests on Halloween you might want your altar to be in a private location such as a bedroom.) Decorate your altar area with items that correspond to Samhain such as chrysanthemums, mugwort, pomegranates, and pumpkins. Your altar cloth can be black and orange. Place pictures of departed loved ones on your altar. You will need four candles (black or orange), one placed at each cardinal direction (east, south, west, and north) of your altar.

You will also need a central candle to represent the Crone, a cup of liquid (ale is traditional, but apple cider will do) a cake, cookie, or other suitable food offering, and a bowl to put your offering in. If you like, carve a pumpkin and set it at a window to ward off the dark spirits, and to guide the spirits of the departed to your door. You may also want to burn spicy cinnamon, clove, rosemary, and/ or allspice incense.

Prepare a meal which you will eat (and share with your ancestors) during the ritual. If you will be honoring specific family members or friends that have passed over, it is appropriate to include a dish that that person particularly enjoyed in life in your meal). Foods that are seasonal in October (root vegetables, apples, nuts) are also appropriate, as is meat (if you are an omnivore) because Samhain marks the time when Celtic people traditionally slaughtered their excess livestock for food that could be preserved for the winter when plant life is dormant. Put a plate of food near (or on) your altar.

Now, be sure you will not be disturbed (put away your phone, lock your door) during the ritual and focus on centering yourself and maintaining a meditative attitude. Light the four black and orange candles (starting with the candle on the east corner and moving clockwise). Say aloud: “Hekate, goddess of death and renewal, on this Samhain eve, I do honor you, goddess of cronehood, the moon and the underworld. I implore you to hear my call. I need your guidance as I reach for spiritual growth.” State what you request whether that be a positive change in your life, a transition from a bad situation to a positive one or protection.

Light the central candle and put it near the offering bowl. Say: “I offer this flame to light our ancestors’ paths.” Dip the cake into the ale and put it in the offering bowl. Say: “I offer this food and drink to our ancestors tonight. May this food sustain you. Blessed be.”

Now sit down and eat your meal, putting some of it into the offering bowl for your ancestors. It is traditional to remain silent during this meal, listening in a meditative way so that the Crone goddess or ancestors can speak to you. (Meditating on the ancestor candle can help.) Be open to the messages that you may receive.

Once you have finished, thank your ancestors and the Goddess for their presence and blow out each of the candles one at a time, starting with the central candle and proceding counter-clockwise (the last quarter candle lit should be the first one extinguished.) Leave the offering bowl outdoors for the spirits and wildlife.

Blessings, Spiderwitch )O(

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The Dark side of November

Merry meet all,

I sat outside on this windy November morning in my backyard.  My cat is perched lazily on her scratching post, spying on everything that moves. The wind blows the leaves in a symphony, signaling that the dark season is here. I felt coaxed outside by the wind. I heard it as I slept. I love listening to the wind. If you listen hard enough, it will whisper secrets to you.

It is still Samhain. The energy is still strong in the air. I notice it even more when the skies are overcast and the trees sway in the wind. I love this time of year. I plan to work through the book Walking the Twilight Path by Belanger finally. I bought a new notebook and look forward to this project.

As I read her book, I viscerally felt the energy of the words. I felt everything she wrote so I think I will have a good and maybe morbid time working through it. But today the wind blows hard and the rain splatters my window. I can’t write in a graveyard today. I live near a graveyard and it is within easy walking distance.

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those that fear death and cemeteries and everything associated with it. Then there is me who practically embraces all that and worships it. I don’t fit in with most people. I try hard to be anything but normal. I don’t care. I am what I am. Ok I could use a longterm love partner- who accepted my weirdness- and a better income. I am working on that. I believe that to develop fully as a Witch and a person, it helps to embrace all aspects  of yourself- the good and the bad. But it is good to improve your shadow side, the side you don’t like to admit. Then you become more powerful once you take that step.

I love this time of year. It is so close to my heart. I hope you all had a magical Samhain.

Blessings, Spiderwitch

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Samhain Ancestors

Merry meet all,

Whew. Samhain has come but is not gone. The New Year is here. I am tired but content with the holiday events. I performed two rituals, one to welcome in the new year by banishing bad energy. The other was a solitary Samhain ritual.

I also completed my ancestor altar cloth. I posted in the past about the altar cloth. This year I created an ancestor altar doll. I was inspired by another website and set out to make my own doll.

I printed out the template. I traced the template onto black knit fabric. I stitched the doll together and stuffed her with cotton batting. Then I added herbs that correspond to ancestor worship such as mugwort, wormwood and rosemary and a black hematite stone. I filled the head section with more cotton batting and stitched the opening closed. I added a patch of white fabric for the face. I marked her face on using a sharpie pen.

I made her a witch hat. I traced out a cone hat on black fabric and stuffed it with cotton batting. I found a weird thing of orange and black hair at the thrift store. It had a clip on it so I clipped the hair thing to her head. I even braided a section of her hair. I had a hard time making her a dress. I have LOTS of black lace. But finding the perfect fabric was hard. I finally made her a dress and stitched it on by hand. I stitched the collar of the dress to the black fabric of the doll. I added black and white striped socks to the legs and feet. I hemmed the dress and added lace cuffs to the sleeves. I sewed her a black lace over skirt and made her a shawl from the black and white spider print fabric left over from another sewing project. Now for the fun part.

She is an ancestor doll. I glued on a rune to the front of the doll, beorc- the closest rune to ancestor. Beorc means family. I also ironed an appliqué of a black spider to the front of the doll. I fashioned her a broom from a branch and straw outside. I painted the branch black and bound the straw using an elastic. I glued the broom and her hands to the broom. It looks like her hands are clasping the broom. I added sprigs of lavender to the broom.

I hate covering the tiny minute details but it is those very details that make such a project last a long time. I had to hand stitch most of the clothing to the doll. I had a hard time stitching the brim of the hat to the doll’s head. I did and in the back of the doll’s head, the glue adhered the hat to the head. I secured the collar of the dress to the doll which was more work but worth it.

She has a pentacle necklace. I named her Helga, The name Helga, in Old Norse, means “Holy”. As in “Helgafjell”, the “Holy Mountain”, the afterlife for those who were not warriors, but still lived good, honest, and honourable lives, and contributed positively to their society. It was said that Helgafjell was so beautiful, that one could not gaze upon it without shielding their eyes. Hardened, brave, and proud Valhalla-bound warriors and Valkyries would even weep at its beauty. Helga, meaning “Holy” (or “Sacred”/”Hallowed”.

Here is a photo:

I shall add to the doll to make her a true ancestor doll as time goes on. But I wanted to tell you how it was done if this post inspires you to make your own doll for whatever reason. I dedicated her on my altar and she now has a perch to hang from and oversee all activities.

Merry Samhain

Blessings, Spiderwitch )O(

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“Friendly Neighborhood Spooky Cemetery” By Heddy Johannesen

Source: “Friendly Neighborhood Spooky Cemetery” By Heddy Johannesen

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Costumes

 

Merry meet all,

Are you all thinking of the perfect costume for that soiree or seance? The store aisles are full of costumes. It is still early while you chow down on candy corn or roasted pumpkin seeds to get a costume. The stores such as Value Village, a thrift store, carries an array of costumes, perfect for whatever strikes your fancy.

I have never worn a plastic costume for as long as I can recall. Samhain is a special time of year so your costume should be too. My Mother was a seamstress and was always sewing a costume at the last minute. I still own the spider web cape. That’s a good thing because that type of fabric is very hard to find. The spider web design on the black chiffon type fabric is hard to see but it is there. I attached the tiny black plastic spiders to the cape. It is still in great shape.

I know my dear readers know I am a seamstress. But if you choose to make your own costume, bear a few points in mind. Start now if you want enough time to make the costume and make any final changes/ repairs to the costume. Don’t go into too much detail of the costume, Do keep it simple. Some of my sewing projects took longer to make than I initially anticipated. Be sure you have all the materials and tools you need plus a friend’s assistance. Stock up on thread and other supplies so you aren’t racing to the fabric store 5 minutes before closing time.

The easiest choice is buy a costume. It may initially cost a lot but sewing is so complicated, the best solution is to buy it. But that doesn’t have to mean going cheap. A great costume at a decent price can still be found. I hope you all find the perfect costume. Don’t think that buying one is not as great as making your own. Sewing a costume is tedious and can result easily in frustration.

If you have costumes left over from your younger days, donate them or give them to someone younger like your  sibling. It is one night and the point of the festive holiday is to have fun. That brings to my next point. Make sure you are comfortable and safe in your costume. Make sure you can see where you are going and flame retardant can be kept in mind too. You should be able to move freely and feel good in it. It couldn’t hurt to check on your sibling’s costumes too. Masks shouldn’t hinder your visibility.  I’d much prefer to stock up on costume makeup than costumes.

The trick with costumes when buying one is asking yourself if you will wear it more than once. That way you get your money out of it. And not to sound vain here but compliments can help you earn your buck with your garment.

Good luck finding  that perfect Chewbacca or Spiderman or Wolfman costume!!

Blessings, Spiderwitch )O(

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Haunting

Merry meet all,

Samhain creeps closer and closer. This time of year is renowned for the veil becoming thin and spirits roaming the earth. Some of them may even be our ancestors. A special book is on hold for me entitled 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die by Lorren Rhodes. I can’t wait to read it and learn more about different cemeteries around the world.

Recently I was approached by someone to perform a house cleansing for them. I prepared a kit for the house cleansing last night. I included candles, sage smudge sticks, palo santo, a charcoal disc, resin, an altar cloth, a black cloth, cauldron ash, blood moon oil, a feather, charcoal disc tongs, a skull spoon, a seashell to hold the smudge, a pouch to hold my special recipe of protective salt, a protection potion, a vial of black salt and a vial of garden sage. I also included a brown candle to banish spirits and a purple candle for psychic development as he is quite intuitive.

All of these items have a purpose. I magically empowered them and put my intention in them. My special salt recipe is table salt with ground rosemary and a few drops of clary sage essential oil. I sprinkled blood moon oil  on everything. I stored the salt in vials and small jars. I selected and empowered special gemstones for the house cleansing too.

I created a protective talisman for him. I fashioned a pentacle from clay and dried it in the oven. It will hang from jewelry wire and a small crystal quartz gem hangs from the pentacle. It is empowered with the intention of protection. I empowered it by leaving it on my altar to charge it with energy.

I stirred the salt, clay sage essential oil  and rosemary together with the skull spoon. It is stored in a jar. I shook the jar too to evenly distribute the ingredients. Sage can clear a room of negative energy. Palo santo clears a room of spirits more potently. The feather will be used to wave the smudge around the room.

The rosemary, clary sage and salt mix can be used in a cleansing bath, and to protect the home. I am all prepared to perform the house cleansing. I can’t wait for Friday.

The Horror Writers Association is once again hosting the annual Hallloween Haunts blog event. I am happy to be participating in it again. I shall post more about that later.

If any of my dear readers here are doing séances or cleansing their own homes of unwanted energies. consider using the same tools I listed above to aid you. Good luck to you all and have a magickal fall season. 

Blessings, Spiderwitch )O(

 

 

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Skulls

 

Merry meet all,

October has come with magick and the changing of the seasons. Pumpkins fill store shelves and bask on decks of houses. Today the sky is overcast, birds fly to my feeder and leaves fall to the earth.

I bought a cool skull ornament from Pier 1 imports. I bought the last one the store carried. It is decorated with jewels and there is a pearl in the eye. I named her Tiamat. I also found a cool dark black spiderweb fabric tablecloth. I love spiders so finding that was a definite bonus. I won’t decorate my house too much for Samhain because it looks like that all year in here.

I bought the skull because I like them, I’m not scared by them and I am drawn to the morbid and macabre. Or I wouldn’t be writing this blog. Today I am having a nice dinner with my Mom for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to dine on some good home cooked food. I think I will get some herbs for the garden. My garden is dying back for winter.

Skulls symbolize death and to me, something eternal. They scare people because they remind them of their mortality. Skulls adorn cathedrals and catacombs. They are popular for their cool appearance.

I hope you all find a cool object to help you celebrate Samhain this month. The stores are now all full of decorations.

My blog post for the Horror Writers Association about cemeteries is scheduled for October 25th. I will be promoting and posting it here when the time comes.

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Thrifty Shopping for Samhain )O(

 

Merry meet all,

Are you spying pumpkins and sunflowers on store shelves yet? The local stores here are now carrying their range of ghoulish and witchy Halloween items. I scored a stunning dress yesterday. Its the perfect time to stock up on items for Samhain. I believe that the best witchy items aren’t found at witchy shops but at thrift shops.

You don’t have to blow the bank to stock up on Samhain provisions. I can’t afford to though I wish I could. Candles, incense and gemstones can be purchased on a budget. While you are shopping, ask yourself if you will use it and if you really need it. Buy something that has more than one purpose. A gown that you will wear once shouldn’t be bought at full price. The Halloween trinket that looks cool now may end up collecting dust on a shelf. Think hard about your purchases. I have spider stickers on my walls but I left them up all year. If I ever took them down, I would store them in a bag or folder for future use.

If you want to buy pumpkins, again think about how you will use it. Pumpkins are good in soups, bread and of course, roasted seeds. Use small pumpkins for cooking and the large ones for decorating. Soak the pumpkin in bleach water and it will last longer, giving you more bang for your buck. Save some seeds to sprout for next year’s pumpkin patch.

Here are some ideas for you to save on money and witch up your pad: Corn cobs with black kernels can hang on a side of a kitchen cabinet all year. Paint a small plant pot black. You may need to add a few coats of paint. Store the graveyard dirt in the now transformed urn. It is so cheap and such a cool way to decorate for Samhain. I leave my ‘urn’ out all year. I taped black cardboard bats to my walls and left them up. Hang braided garlic up for protection in your kitchen.

Buy candles and candlesticks at thrift shops. You can program your intentions into the candle once you get home. If you are bolder to make your own, and you’re like  me, create your candle making tools over time. Do not buy it all at once. But don’t be discouraged from making your own candles either. It is fun and rewarding once you know how to. I love it. I just need to invest in some fancy candle molds.

 I hope this was helpful. Have a wonderful autumn season,

Blessed be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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In the autumn spirit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry meet all,

The dark time of year is nearly here. I love Mabon. You can read more about Mabon on my other page. Mabon is the autumn equinox. Mabon is a time of balance.

I harvested my garlic. I unearthed the garlic with a trowel. I didn’t think it out enough the spot where I planted the garlic. There were roots and rocks. I will grow the garlic somewhere less tricky next time. The earth smelled good. The white stems were brittle. I collected the garlic from the earth. Then I cut the cloves/ bulbs from the stems. I will let the bulbs and cloves dry out for a few weeks. I will then brush the dirt off. Mmm my own garden grown home made garlic. I can’t wait to taste it.

I saw pumpkins in the local grocery store. The day feels a little cool and its overcast. These are the autumn days I love. The spirit world is closer to us now too. Working in the garden  is one way to develop a relationship with spirits. When I harvested the garlic, I left some gemstones in the soil. It is a way of thanking the spirits for their help with the garlic.

This fall, before the frost, I will leave an offering of milk, honey or wine for the spirits for their help during the whole growing season. This act makes the spirits feel appreciated. If they feel that way, They want to help when they see that.

I’ll post more about that in the future.

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch

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Spooky News

Merry meet all,

I have spooky good news!! You have heard some of this already but I have been on a lucky streak.  FunDead publications is publishing my short story, The Grimm Pumpkin, in their anthology this summer. My poem is published in the whimsical anthology Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things by Nimbus. And– my horror poem, Encounter with Death will be published by Lycan Valley Press in a dark verse anthology of poetry this fall.

So this is great news and even more reason to celebrate autumn. I have a million reasons to do that anyway but this is one more. If you go to my Published Works page, you can hover over the image of the book which will take you directly to the publishers website. I hope you all do stroll over there or to a local bookstore and consider buying these books.

Fall is coming. I love the season of autumn. It awakens the paranormal lover within me. Well I love the paranormal anyway. My favorite color is autumn. My other favorite color is October. I want to plan early this time how I shall celebrate Samhain instead of running around like a jack o lantern with its head cut off. Well you know what I mean. I will bake early and prepare early. I find it too stressful to leave things to the last minute. I also plan to perform the ancestral supper, my tradition, alone. It is too awkward to do that with other people. Besides I see it a certain way and I have to perform alone. It makes sense to me. That’s ok with me.

I am still editing my novel. I am making headway. I’ve completed the short story edits and signed the contract. I can’t wait to read One Night in Salem, where I’ve never been. I hope to visit there one day.

Lots to look forward to !!

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )0(

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