Monthly Archives: February 2012

Beat the Clutter Magically

Merry Meet All,

It begins innocently enough. You drag home cartloads full of amethyst crystals, magical candles and tarot bags. But soon the question becomes how did I acquire all this and where do I put it? Before your pile of magical spell books becomes as high as a Maypole, read this post for some suggestions on how to better organize your tools and other paraphernalia.

When it comes time to perform a ritual, rite or handfasting, and you waste three hours searching for the perfect quarter candle or dish for salt, having everything organized and at your fingertips is a real help. We know your animal familiar/ pet cat winds herself by your feet but tripping over clutter that resides on the floor leaves you with no space to perform your daily devotionals.

Consider putting a carpet in a corresponding color beneath your altar if you keep your altar on the floor. The carpet blocks the stale chi from the floor and alleviates the dust. Every once in a while, vacuum the carpet and wash the floor below it. Wash your altar with a light infusion of spring water and mugwort. This releases the stagnant chi and refreshes your altar space. This is good to do on or near a major Sabbat.

Bookcases are a great place to store spell books or other texts. Set a space aside and clean it. Reserve a section for your books of spells and related books. Buy ornamental bookends to help store your books and magazines. I use dragon bookends.

Baskets, especially when made from natural fibers, are ideal for storing tarot decks in their tarot bags. Store candleholders, crystals, candles and altar cloths in the baskets and empty sachets and tarot bags. Hand wash the sachets and tarot bags. Let nature dry the cloths, bags and sachets, especially if they are handmade or embroidered. That way, the delicate embroidery remains undamaged. If the baskets are maintained, they will last a long time.

When baskets are dirty, soak them in the tub in tepid water. Open the window to allow the air to circulate and allow the baskets to air dry. Muslin cloth lining in the baskets increases a basket’s longevity and help protect it from damage. If baskets are so damaged that they are beyond repair, replace with new ones.

Out of season pagan decorations can be put in baskets and trunks and stored in a closet. When Samhain comes, decorate your apartment and when it ends, put it away till the season returns. Your items will last longer that way.

Look for baskets in thrift stores or specialty stores such as Wicker Emporium. Sometimes you can find beautiful baskets on sale. Small trunks can be painted and are great for holding larger out of season items. Use hooks to hang pendulums, candlesnuffers, and ornamental pentacles. It is better when the pendulums and candlesnuffers beautify your living space.

Hang up that witch hat! Place on both sides of the doorway to your bedroom for a theatrical feel. Broomsticks can be hung up off the ground too and hung near your witch hats. Goddess shawls can be hung up too thought where you choose to hang them is up to you. It gets them off the ground and out of your way and makes your place look cool.

Store tiaras, crowns, and circlets in cardboard boxes to protect them. Leaving them in open sight greatly increases the chance they might get damaged. Keeping them in boxes ensures the circlets are ready for the next faerie festival.

I was gifted with a gold star shaped box one Yule from a friend. The star shaped box has silver decorations on it and I use it to hold candles of varying sizes, shapes and colors. It is deep and has high sides. The scented candles release a lovely scent each time I open the box.

Consider using an attractive ceramic mug to hold pens, letter openers, wands or witch pens. Jewelry trays are perfect for storing crystals. The slots make it easy to store crystals of different size or kind and the trays are clear for easy identification. Tuck labels of the crystals in the slots.

At Imbolc or another major Sabbat, when you perform a major cleansing, consider doing a swap of magical implements with a friend of items you may no longer need or have use of. One witch’s trash is another witch’s treasure. I gave away a silver wand I made myself but never used. She may be inspired to use it for a Full Moon ritual.

Try to keep electrical cords away from your altar. The energy of the cords interferes and negatively affects your altar. I have a computer desk near my altar but the cords are on the far side of my desk and are nowhere near my altar space. This too can protect your altar from negative space.

Use your tools to make your own incenses, oils, brews and candles right in your own kitchen. That is part of what true earth-friendly herbalism is about. You put your intent and energy into what you wish to create. If you are performing a healing spell, for example, it can be simple as using a rose quartz stone and a pink candle on a white plate with scattered rose petals around the base of the candle. The power comes from within you, which is directed into the tool or the dishes you prepare.

Tools collect dust, old wax and ashes. Use mugwort, lavender, tea tree oil, and lemon to clean your tools and altar. Your tools also absorb and sustain the energies you put into them and will work for you during rituals and spell workings. You will soon find you can’t live without them. Every living thing has energy. The tools grow stronger because they absorb your energy and intent. It is worth taking good care of them.

Your magical implements deserve the best of care. Use the above suggestions to make your magical tools last longer and they will last for many rituals and spells. Your witchy friends might be so inspired by your living space and refresh their own witchy abodes.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch



Filed under abode, clutter, magick, witchy

Extra-Ordinary Characters

Merry Meet All,

I had an upsetting conversation with my older brother a while ago and had to blog about it. I was telling him about my paranormal novel, which he was helping me with. Until now. Once I mentioned my main character was a regular cauldron gazing, earth loving Witch, or regular to me, he said something that blew me away. He told me that I should cast an ordinary character that readers can relate to. While I see what he meant, I was blown away by his response. My character is normal and relatable. He did not read my story and obviously had no respect for my story. Wicca and witchcraft is hugely popular today. Never judge a story till you have read it, is my belief.

He proceeded to tell me after that I should have nothing to do with the occult and arcane. I am a Witch myself. He told me that demons were terrorizing people who were practicing incantations. I have to ask what type of incantations are people uttering to attract such evil? I know for myself that I have never had anything come after me, ever, while practicing my magick and I know that is not just because I ask for energy from the Higher Source. If you want negativity, you will get it. If you want positive energy, you will get it. Ever obey the Rule of Three.

He told me that if something were in my apartment, my cat would alarm me. I do not need my cat to tell me if something evil is in my abode. I would judge for myself. I am sure my cat would inform me but my home is warded and I don’t believe I would attempt to attract that energy nor allow it in my home. Sheesh. I would thank my cat anyway!!! Meow.

He attends church and he is clearly not in touch with the modern world. Kelley Armstrong’s novels are successful and her characters are Witches. I was visibly upset that night and my family criticized me for the types of novels I read, the types of stories I write and so on. I had to face a difficult decision as I felt like I was practically excommunicated from my family. If I have dinner with them and try to be true to myself, it will be hard. How can I be anything other than what I am? I am me and I am what I am. He made me feel like there is something seriously wrong with that. I cannot go to dinner with them again or risk being exposed to the narrow mindedness and prejudice and witch bashing all over again. My bro should visit my apartment at Samhain. He would really see something then.

My older brother has read scarier horror novels than I do and they have watched scarier horror movies that I would not go near yet they are not criticized for it. No, no, only me. Of course. It comes down to a hard decision. I must walk my own Path alone. I am not alone, of course, as there are many Witches enduring the same thing as I write this, I am sure. It seems to me, that my older brother is stuck in the Dark Ages. Now I understand how other Witches felt about not coming out to their near and dear that they are Witches. Must we walk eternally in the shadows? We are in the Light and yet this narrow mindedness has cast a long shadow.

It dismays me that my older brother believes what he does. I have been made to feel this way for being a Witch before by others. People fear what they do not understand. Let us pray to the Goddess that one day we all understand and respect one another.

On a positive note, my snowdrops and crocuses are popping up!!
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under horror, novels., witches

Poetry Readings Good or Bad?

Merry Meet All,

I posted something about poetry readings and deleted it. But now I am here to write my thoughts again on the matter. There are two types of poetry readings. There are the genuine readings populated by those who actually work hard at their writing and get published in actual literary journals and those who self-publish and see it as the only way out. They are weak and honestly aren’t trying that hard. I admit that I published a thin volume of poetry myself. However, it is still in bookstores six years later, earned a stellar review from George Elliott Clarke and sold like crazy when it came out in print.

I prefer the actual readings by people getting their poetry published in journals and books. The readings are worth your time and you may be surprised that the poets are nice people. They may be open-minded about your work.

The other kind of poetry readings, while local and supporting local authors, tend to the ephemeral and transient type of authors. I would not continue to self-publish. You do not earn the same kind of recognition, can’t publish something with a traditional publisher once it is in print and thereby severely limit your literary career and reputation, and you have to pay. A writer deserves to be paid. The author is always paid, not the other way around. Ask yourself if that is what you really want for yourself.

If you agree to have something get published with a good magazine and they do print it or even reprint your article, and not get paid, even that is not as bad. You are creating a track record that you can have to impress an editor with later. I did say it is good to be paid. However, writing voluntarily has also opened doors for me in my career. Never doubt yourself or the value of your writing. Keep working hard and you will get there, believe me. I have published several articles with Circle Magazine. I am paid a token fee with The Source Journal. It starts small and once you have an article published, it is blissfully uphill in your career from there. So never turn down an opportunity. You may develop a long-lasting positive relationship with an editor.

If you have an editor who insults you in front of people, changes your words without telling you, is not reputable, or won’t pay you, just end your relationship with that editor no matter how painful and move on. There are tons of markets out there. Soon you will find your Zelda!! Ask the Goddess for literary inspiration. Try writing poetry at your altar. You may be surprised.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under career, literary, poetry, readings, reputation


Merry Meet All,

If any of you live within the Halifax Metro area, then I am sure you are all too familiar with the issue of the Metro Transit strike and its effect on the former 96,000 passengers. If not, then you can read this blog and read online to learn more about it.

Yesterday I walked all the way downtown to buy pet food for my cat. I walked a long long way. I had to walk back home. I left before 10 am and came home by 1 pm. I was exhausted and my feet hurt. The strikers want to be able to select their hours and the City Council wants to change the way that things have been run for a long time. The last metro transit strike was fourteen years ago. The strike is unfair to all the people of Halifax, including me, who lives on a low-income and was forced to pay a hefty $70 fee for a bus pass. It is cheaper in Vancouver. A bus pass costs $40. We are being charged way too much money for a bus pass for the quality of service that was received.

It is hard for people who are disabled, who relied on it to get to work. That is why I think that Metro Transit should stop whining and remember there are less fortunate people out there who make much less money. I believe that the City Council wants to force people to use cars, not the bus, to profit off of it. I bet that is why they voted no to arbitration, which would have had the buses up and running within twenty-four hours. That is disgusting. I see no reason why they cannot behave like mature adults and reach a reasonable agreement by now. But they are not being mature and only selfish. I have to rely on rides. If they raise the price of the bus passes, I hope there is an uproar.

The strike is a waking nightmare. I am certain there are people who would love to be working for Metro Transit. I think that the strike is terrible and ridiculous and unnecessary. The City Council and Metro Transit are both only thinking of themselves and practically robbing 96,000 people of a quality of life. They are running the Access A Buses for now but what about the rest of us? What are we supposed to do? The City Council is assuming we have the money to afford cab fare. Not so. I don’t. I never take a cab or barely buy wine or go to an expensive department store. How many of you out there can relate to that? I am sure there are many.

Let’s hope the strike ends so we can all get on with Life.
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under metro transit strike sucks

Writing to starve and starving to write

Merry meet All,

I am blogging tonight about something different. I am a writer and I have a nonverbal learning disability. I survive on a meager income and have to pay my utilities, buy food and a bus pass with it. Like many, I struggle to make ends meet.

I am still trying. These ends are elastic and stretch on forever. I believe that there are some things that should be in place for someone on a meager low-income to survive. One is a support system, even if it does not seem like the greatest support system. The next thing if you are on income assistance is to cooperate and play by the rules. It can open doors for you later. Make a monthly budget with the money you receive. I pay my bills as soon as I can and then know that I have that taken care of.

I love to write. I love to write. I write a lot as a result. I suppose you are wondering how I manage to write, find the time to write and have twenty published magazine articles. I wrote magazine articles which were easier than starting with a novel. Sometimes you can email articles to editors which is better than mailing because you save on spending postage. I wrote for free as well to establish some credits. After a while, they add up. This looks good when you want to sell your stories or articles to editors. I studied the craft and studied how others did it. I took courses. I am a member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia. I get a discount on writing courses. I get the articles in the magazines I am published in. That is how I have built up a track record.

If you are feeling depressed when you live on a low income, then finding your passion as you eke out an existence in your garret can turn things around. It gives you a focus other than your stress and worry. I fancy creative Celtic embroidery, art, sewing, photography, gardening and my pet cat Shadow. I have many talents and focuses. I could not live without the above and be on a low income. It would be so depressing. Variety is the spice of life.

Attend local poetry readings. Attend book launches and local writing oriented parties. They are a great way to meet people with the same interests. That can be a great support system too. It is nice to meet others like you. Poetry readings and writing for them are great ways to hone your writing skills. It is inexpensive or free to keep a blog. I have had a blog for a long time. I have expanded it to include many posts and found a signature style. I am trying to post more often.

I hope this information was useful to you. I will post more on this topic soon.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under articles, living, starving artist, writing

Merry Imbolc

Merry Meet All,

Imbolc is almost here. It is the first of the three spring Sabbats. Winter is slowly grinding to a halt and spring is ready to take the reins. Soon the crocuses and snowdrops will push from the earth and thumb their noses at Old Man Winter.

The Goddess Brighid is honored at Imbolc. Brighid is the goddess of poetry, smithcraft and healing. Imbolc occurs on February 2nd in the Northern Hemisphere. It is known as Candlemas, Imbolg, Brigit’s Eve. The light returns and brings hope of spring. The ewes swell with new life. THe other name for this holiday is Oimelc (“oy-meil”), ewe’s milk. The ewes were lactating for their lambs. Imbolg is one of the four great Celtic fire festivals.

The light returns and each day the light lasts longer. The Crone turns to the Maiden with the first signs of spring. Farmers check their grain supply and their wives check the pantry. Brighid is a fire goddess. She is a fertility goddess and connected to the fire of creation in the spring.

It is a good time to perform a ritual to honor Brighid and Imbolc. Make a corn dolly and decorate your altar. Make Brigid’s crosses and dedicate them on your altar. Light white candles and perform a house cleansing ceremony. The animals, plants and symbols sacred to Brigit are the cow: a white cow with red ears, fish, sheep since it is the season when sheep give birth, a snake and wolves, bears and badgers. The swan was sometimes a deity in disguise. Plants like blackberry is associated with the Goddess for its healing powers. Early spring flowers such as crocuses and snowdrops and primroses are sacred to Brigit. Grains and hops, hazel, oak, rowan and willow are sacred to her. The symbols sacred to her are iron, the flame, the Brighid’s Cross, the moon, nine white stones, the trinity of the maiden, mother and crone, two crescents and water. The triskellion, or three-armed cross, relates to her triple nature. Water represents both healing and divination.

Imbolc is a perfect time to cleanse and cast off winter’s heavy cloak of stale energy or whatever you are harboring internally that you wish to be rid of. Take a long hot soak and at your altar, perform a self-cleansing ceremony and get it all out of your system. You might feel revived at the end of it. Get rid of clutter or donate items. Clean your house and do a cleansing and house blessing ceremony. Perform a re-dedication and re-consecration of your tools. would have good information on Imbolg. If you are quick, you may find a good book on Imbolc and Brigid at your local metaphysical store. May you enjoy Imbolg and be blessed by the Goddess.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch


Filed under ewe's milk. fertility, fire, Imbolg