I am still working on my Book of Shadows binder. I am happy with how it turned out. I love it now that I painted a sealant over the binder covers. It looks beautiful and aged, which is just the way I wanted it. I promise to post a photo soon.
I am so happy that Paranormal Chronicles is publishing my article on my phantom encounter in their next issue. I guess that the encounter paid off. Paranormal Chronicles is a new free digital magazine. The issue launches in mid-June. I can’t wait!!! The first issue had 3000 readers. Issue 2 will have surpassed 1000 unique readers in its first week! It’s a way to connect the paranormal enthusiasts all over the world. I am thrilled to get to write for Paranormal Chronicles. Next, I want to write about the spooky maritime history that my hometown of Halifax is so famous for. Here is the link to the magazine- https://theparanormalchronicles.com/
I am working on Lesson 20 at Sacred Mists. I have almost finished my First Degree in Witchcraft. I am so proud to have made it this far. I hope I advance to Second Degree, because I can’t wait to and even Third Degree. Yups. I look forward to working on my garden too and helping Pamela at the witch shop with her garden.
I embarked on a Book of Shadows Binder DYI project recently. I found a thick binder that could fit like 300-600 pages. I removed the plastic which was a chore in itself and assembled all my necessary supplies.
I used a glue gun with new glue sticks, paper towels, black tissue paper, glittery letter stickers, scissors, a plastic bag surface for the binder to dry on, white glue, a spider web iron on decoration for the front of the binder and the binder itself.
I cut up the black tissue paper and glued it to the surface of the binder. This is why I removed the clear plastic first. It is not easy to glue the paper to the binder. I applied 3 layers of the tissue paper and smoothed the glue to prevent bad wrinkles or air bubbles. I have to let it dry maybe even overnight.
Then once I had the tissue paper secure on the front and back of the binder and on the spine, I smoothed the glue again and worked it over the top and bottom edges of the binder. It looks real cool. I then added the silver glitter letters. The front of the binder reads: Hexes and Spells. The spine of the binder on the side reads: Grimoire.
I love how it looks. I glued the spider iron on decoration with a glue gun to the front of the binder between the words. I added a lot of hot glue. A tip to make the glue stick adhere in the glue gun: add a drop of the hot melted glue to the glue stick then stick it in. It won’t fall out. Be careful with glue guns. I was badly burned once.
I want to add some paint to the black tissue paper to give it that aged antique look. I also plan to soak the pages for the binder in hot coffee/ tea and let the pages dry. Then I will write on them in black ink-with a witchy pen. Oh yeah I know I will have fun with it. I want to add photos but if anyone has friended me on facecrack, you can see the pics there. The tea stained pages will add that antique look too.
This can be a messy craft. Plan on using up a lot of glue and either peeling the glue off your fingers (like we did when we were kids) or washing your hands. I can’t wait to add halloween/ witchy themed stickers and illustrations, dried herbs, artwork. A Book of Shadows/ Grimoire should never be mediocre. It should be magickal. I would like it if it rattled the china when it opened but I can settle for fairy dust rising from my tome. On the Grimm shows, blood had to be offered to open the Hexenbeist spellbooks. I don’t know if I can go that far with my tome.
This is a fun and affordable project that can be done within a few days. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune and can lead to good memories. I will add spells, potions, moon spells, etc to the binder. I can’t wait to get back to work on it. I will also add illustrations, runes, the moon phases, and whatever I conjure or bewitch in the future.
Today the paint on the binder was dry. I then began the next step of creating my Book of Shadows binder. I first painted with gold and a lighter brown paint all over the binder covers. I didn’t like it. Then by some accident I tried a darker brown acrylic paint, painting carefully over the wrinkles to avoid any tearing of the tissue paper. I found the perfect color! I love the brown paint. F I painted the brown all over in 1 or 2 coats. I also added small strips of brown cardboard rectangles to give it more definition. I love how the binder looks.
I painted over the letters that spelled out Hexes and Spells on the front of the binder and the letters on the side of the binder that spelled Grimoire. That is exactly what I intend for this BOS to be.
I have pockets already on the insides of the binder. I can store little spell papers in the pockets.
I am so happy. I still have to tea stain 500 pages, a task in itself. I hope this inspires others to try it themselves.
Here is an interesting article about the changing face of witchcraft in Canada. Happy new Year everyone!!!
‘Psychic’ charged with being a fake fights case after Canada decriminalises witchcraft
Canada recently passed legislation that says pretending to be a witch to dupe people into paying, a seemingly unusual crime, is no longer a crime.
Critics said criminalising witchcraft-related activities was not only archaic, but also redundant because fraud, in general, is already a crime. The witchcraft law yielded a paltry number of prosecutions, and offences rarely resulted in convictions. So Canada voted to remove the law from the books.
But Parliament did not take action soon enough for Tiffany Butch, who goes by the alias “the white witch of the north.”
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Authorities have charged Ms Butch, 33, with pretending to practice witchcraft over an incident that allegedly occurred in October, before the law was scrapped last week.
Police in Timmins, in northeastern Ontario, described Ms Butch as a “self-proclaimed spiritualist, medium and clairvoyant.” They say she promised to protect a client from “some form of potential danger” to her family and tried to elicit payments in return.
Ms Butch contends she is not a witch, but a psychic, and says she has been one since she was 11. Her alias was merely a “cute name” her friends and family called her, she said. She said she never advertised herself as someone who practices witchcraft.
The charges against her are false, she said, and fellow psychics – her rivals – have conspired to frame her, though she declined to name anyone. She said sometime in October, a woman came to her office in Timmins and asked for a crystal ball reading. But, Ms Butch said, she told her she was not in business at that time.
“I don’t believe that I even read for her,” Ms Butch said. “I don’t believe I even provided this woman a reading.”
Before the witchcraft law was scrapped, it led to criminal charges against women accused of advertising themselves as fortune tellers and telling unsuspecting clients they could ward off evil spirits. In October, a 32-year-old fortune teller from Milton, Ontario, was accused of swindling more than $60,000 (£47,000) out of one of her clients. The same month, police say, a 27-year-old woman from Toronto conned an elderly man out of $600,000 in an “evil blessing scam.”
Those women, and Ms Butch, were charged under Section 365 of Canada’s criminal code. It says anyone who pretends to exercise witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, conjuration or fortune telling, or claims to have the ability to find lost or stolen objects, has committed a crime. Punishment can be up to six months in prison, a $2,000 fine or both.
The witchcraft law was in place in Canada since the late 1800s and largely remained unchanged. It originated from a 1735 British law under which those who pretended to practice witchcraft would be subjected to a minor punishment. Previously, the British law classified witchcraft as a felony.
In 2017, lawmakers introduced expansive legislation to scrap what they consider antiquated laws. These included laws that criminalise pretending to be a witch, challenging someone to a duel, possessing comic books that depict crime and advertising a drug that claims to enhance sexual virility.
“Canadians are far better served by a criminal code that is focused on conduct that actually causes harms or risks causing harms to Canadians and our fundamental values,” Marco Mendicino, a Liberal member of the House of Commons, said during a speech last year.
The bill also amended sexual assault laws by, among other things, clarifying the definition of “consent” and creating stricter rules about admitting an alleged rape victim’s sexual history as evidence in court.
Critics of the witchcraft law say it hardly resulted in convictions because charges were usually dropped after defendants agreed to reimburse their clients, said Christine Moore, a House of Commons member from the New Democratic Party.
Peter Van Loan, a Conservative member of the House of Commons, however, opposed removing the provision, saying it protected people from those wanting to use “fraudulent witchcraft powers.”
“These things really happen in our society, even in this day and age. Does that provision, as it exists right now, cause any harm? No. Does it give the police an avenue or resource in the case of those particular unusual offences? Yes, it does,” he said.
Ms Butch, a mother of two, praised the scrapping of the witchcraft law. She said she plans to hire a lawyer.
“I feel hurt, but I feel like there’s victory for me as a psychic,” she said.
How the medieval witch image has evolved over centuries
Flying through the skies on a broomstick, the popular image of a witch is as a predominantly female figure – so much so that the costume has become the go-to Halloween outfit for women and girls alike. But where did this gendered stereotype come from? Part of the answer comes from medieval attitudes towards magic, and the particular behaviours attributed to men and women within the “crime” of witchcraft.
Taking one aspect of the witch’s characterization in popular culture – her association with flight – we can see a transformation in attitudes between the early and later middle ages. In the 11th century, Bishop Burchard of Worms said of certain sinful beliefs:
“Some wicked women, turning back to Satan and seduced by the illusions and phantasms of demons, believe that in the night hours they ride on certain animals with the pagan goddess Diana and a countless multitude of women, and they cross a great span of the world in the stillness of the dead of night.”
According to Burchard, these women were actually asleep, but were held captive by the devil who deceived their minds in dreams. He also believed that none but the very “stupid and dim witted” could think that these flights had actually taken place.
But by the end of the 15th century views of magic had changed considerably. While many beliefs about women flying through the skies persisted, the perception of them had transformed from one of skepticism to one of fear. The magic night flight became associated with secret gatherings known as “the witches’ sabbath”, involving nefarious acts such as killing babies, taking part in orgies and worshiping the devil.
This suggests that what was originally considered to be a belief held only by women and foolish men was now being taken much more seriously. So what happened to cause such a transformation?
One explanation offered by historian Michael D Bailey is that at some point during the 14th and 15th centuries, religious officials perhaps unwittingly conflated two distinct traditions: “learned” magic and “common” magic. The common kind of magic required no formal training, was widely known, could be practiced by both men and women and was usually associated with love, sex and healing.
By contrast, learned magic came to Europe from the east and featured in the “magic manuals” that circulated among educated men whom American medievalist Richard Kieckhefer described as members of a “clerical underworld”.
Interestingly, descriptions of humans in flight do appear in these manuals – but in relation to men rather than women. One example is found in a 15th century notebook in which the male author describes riding through the skies on a magically conjured “demon horse”.
Two key differences between this account and the ones associated with women are that the person flying is an educated male and demons are now explicitly involved in the act. By conflating popular beliefs about the night flights of women with the demon-conjuring magic of the clerical underworld, medieval inquisitors began to fear that women would fall prey to the corruption of demons they could not control.
Witchcraft and women
While men also feature in the infamous 15th century witch-hunting manual Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of the Witches), the work has long been recognized as deeply misogynistic. It suggests that women’s perceived lack of intelligence made them submissive to demons. One section reads:
“Just as through the first defect in their [women’s] intelligence they are more prone to abjure the faith; so through their second defect of inordinate passions … they inflict various vengeances through witchcraft. Wherefore it is no wonder that so great a number of witches exist in this sex.”
By the end of the middle ages, a view of women as especially susceptible to witchcraft had emerged. The notion that a witch might travel by broomstick (especially when contrasted with the male who conjures a demon horse on which to ride) underscores the domestic sphere to which women belonged.
The perceived threat to established norms inherent in the idea that women were moving beyond their expected societal roles is also mirrored in a number of the accusations leveled against male witches.
One example, a 13th-century letter by Pope Gregory IX, described a gathering of heretics which was very similar to the later descriptions of the witches’ sabbath. It stated that at orgies, if there were not enough women, men would engage in “depravity” with other men. In doing so, they were seen to become effeminate, subverting the natural laws believed to govern sexuality.
Magic was then, in many ways, viewed by the church as an expression of rebellion against established norms and institutions, including gendered identities.
The idea that women might have been dabbling with the demonic magic previously associated with educated males, however inaccurate it may have been, was frightening. Neither men nor women were allowed to engage with demons, but while men stood a chance at resisting demonic control because of their education, women did not.
Their perceived lack of intelligence, together with contemporary notions regarding their “passions”, meant that they were understood as more likely to make pacts of “fidelity to devils” whom they could not control – so in the eyes of the medieval church, women were more easily disposed to witchcraft than men.
Jennifer Farrell is a lecturer in medieval history at the University of Exeter. This article first appeared on The Conversation (theconversation.com)”
Good thing those days are over. The Church truly does hate women. I hate to ask why though compelled to do so at the same time. I like to think women are more disposed to witchcraft than men because we are more suited for it. Men are not in touch with their intuition at all. Witchcraft requires that in order for it to work. It requires a certain je ne sais quoi, n’est pas? Witchcraft makes sense to women. We can get that job done- whether it’s a healing or love spell. There is a good reason why so many gay people flock to witchcraft that goes way beyond them wanting magic in their lives. They could be more disposed for it, and are in touch with a certain side of themselves that makes them successful at it.
Regardless of who you are, or your personal background, allow magic into your life. Never miss or deny yourself a moment of it.
Fall is in the air. Soon the leaves shall turn and pumpkins will adorn front porches. I love this time of year which I am sure you dear readers already know. I am sure you share my enthusiasm. My garden is already showing signs of being finished for the season.
While I recover from my injury, some projects in my life have been put on hold. I can’t wait to be fully healed and be back to all the projects I used to do, such as writing poetry in my fave cemetery. It’s not the same trying to write at home. I guess the cemetery’s atmosphere inspires me to create and write and muse, which is part of what writing is about.
I like to write dark verse. I am even now wondering how I get to a cemetery while I am using crutches. Once I am healed, everything will be fine. I do look forward to becoming more active.
The idea of writing poetry in a cemetery and the environment there inspiring me is part of why I go. I do get inspired there. I observe more the nature surrounding the graves. I see the crows flying overhead, the crumbling stones, the bushes and grass. I like to notice if the grass is fresh or waning in the fall season. I do notice the season changes.
I get inspired by what I try to feel there. I like to take my time while I am there. I need time to write and notice what I feel there. It is a cemetery so the energies and feelings are still there. I notice the time of day or the evening. I don’t stay late at night for obvious safety reasons.
It may seem like this is a lot to take in but I manage. I was gifted an oak leaf one time. I like to leave offerings to the spirits I work with there. I was seated on a large rock and I noticed this oak leaf kept blowing up to me. I left and bought a coffee and when I returned, the oak leaf kept coming up to me. I do work with the spirits by being respectful and leaving offerings to the spirits. They may sense I am a clairvoyant and that I can sense them. I was now given a gift. I haven’t been to the cemetery all summer. I hope they don’t think I have forgotten them now that they can trust me. I saved the leaf in my journal.
When I am healed, I shall return. Now anyone who wants to do this needs to learn a few important things. When I leave, I feel the spirits want to come with me. Only that is not good. I nicely and firmly tell the spirits (while trying to not appear crazy to passerby) that they have to remain there. Having a spirit/ ghost follow you home is not beneficial for the ghost/ spirit. They will do what they want and may even create havoc. It won’t work as a benefit for either the person or the ghost. The dead deserve respect and for their realm of death to be acknowledged. The cemetery is where they should be. They can’t control your life. We are in the mortal realm. Our two realms can interact but to a point. After that point, a boundary has to be drawn.
IF I feel like someone is dancing over my grave when I leave, I know they want to come with me. I have serious compassion. I usually promise that I will return and they are for the most part content with that. And I honor that agreement. They need some understanding. They were once us and we will one day be them. How would you like to be treated when you cross over and someone senses you? Wouldn’t you want compassion? I would.
When I go hone, then I edit what I wrote and analyze what I wrote. I have not yet observed spirits/ ghosts in the cemetery. I have felt them around me. I have yet to see them. But I would not have it any other way. I am trying to complete a book of dark verse. It is a slow going project. The best projects do take the longest time or are hard to do but it can feel good once done.
The long-awaited release of the book of poetry I am published in is here. I am so proud to be a part of this opportunity. I can’t wait to read the book and hold it in my eager mitts. I am actually professionally published in a book of poetry.
‘The beauty and sadness of words clutches at the heart like the cold hand of Death. Images of darkness close in on us as we feel the anguish of life’s final moments. The darkness is beautiful and yet terrifying, calling on the strongest emotions for survival. This collection of poetry combines words of beauty, of despair, of darkness, of mortality that reach out and chill the soul like an Untimely Frost.’
I encourage you all to skip over to Amazon and buy this spooky poetic book of poetry. I am so honored to participate and to be published in it. I can’t wait to see the Amazon reviews. I love the cover of the book. I love it that they were impressed enough by my poem to have included it. I do believe the majority of the authors are from all over the world.
I shall keep writing and blogging!!! If you live in Halifax and buy a copy, I will sign it for you. Support poets and authors by buying their books, reviewing them on your own blogs and reading the works of poets – like me- that you like. I can’t wait to read this.
I don’t believe in dolls being possessed. I saw a clip from the movie Annabelle. I don’t have the courage to watch that movie. The clip was a scary sewing scene. Well if anyone has paid attention to my previous posts, I do a lot of sewing. It is hard enough not to stitch my fingers. Quite often, the pins stab my fingers. See? So I don’t need that movie scene adding to my fears. Thimbles were invented for a reason.
But I digress. I have read about possessed dolls. I thought I would try writing my own story. I read a fascinating yet morbid story online about an ancient doll that had a human tongue. Ew. If that doesn’t irk you, what will eh? I was intrigued. I had to keep reading the story. It was fiction of course. There is no way that tale can be true… I hope. The doll suckled on the poor young man. The doll gained his human skin. The man got the doll’s skin. It hurt. It itched. It glowed. He could do nothing about it. He returned to finish the doll off and then he figured out the reason why his grandmother never spoke a word to him. The doll had his grandmother’s tongue. The doll was locked away in the attic. Eerie.
The other famous possessed doll is Robert the doll. Even that story gave me shivers. I find it eerie that a doll can move on its own and have such an effect on a person. But the idea still interests me. A doll can be so unassuming, so innocent and possibly harmless. Who would suspect a doll? The trick to a good story is to involve an object that has no menace in it and make it Stephen King-esque menacing.
Sometimes when I am working out story ideas, I work it out in my head, not on paper. Then I type at the keyboard. That is the phase I am in currently. A story needs to have more than a doll terrorizing a family. It has to have the depth, fear, and heaps of reality. A realistic story is going to give your readers the royal chills more than anything else. A reader should be able to say ‘yes, I can see this happening.
I hope I’ve encouraged all you secretive Mary Wollsteonecrafts and aspiring Edgar Allan Poes out there to pen your own horrifying tales.
Now for my account of a memorable experience in Pleasant Bay!!
One summer starry night, I saw the Northern Lights in Pleasant Bay. The dark sky was glowing with streaks of fiery mauves, purples and oranges. It was amazing to behold. I hope you get to see the Nothern Lights someday!!!!