Showing posts with label spirit communication. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spirit communication. Show all posts

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Spirit Work for Yule

Spirits, spirit communication, yule, winter solstice, spirit work, shadow work, wassail, tarot

Yule falls on December 22nd this year, which is throwing me off big time! This solstice is the opposite of the Summer Solstice, making it the longest night of the year. It is a time of rebirth, reflection, new beginnings, and transformation, making it the perfect time for shadow work and goal setting. It is also a time of merriment and joy, so why not spread some this holiday season by sharing some Wassail?

1. Create a New Year's tarot spread

Tarot is a great way to communicate with spirits, and because Yule is the longest night of the year, it is deeply associated with release and reflection. This is the perfect time to do a year in review and reflect upon the previous 12 months and set intentions for the next 12. To create a New Year's tarot spread, begin by lighting a white candle. Focus on the candle's flame and ask the spirits for guidance in the New Year. Shuffle your deck and begin drawing 12 cards, one for each month of the year. Lay them out in a row and turn them over, one at a time. Reflect upon the meaning of each card. Be sure to write down any messages, thoughts, or meanings that pop into your mind. After reviewing the first card, which is associated with January, close your eyes and open your consciousness to any other messages the spirits may have for you regarding January. Repeat this step for the remaining 11 cards. If you need to, light some mugwort incense or drink some mugwort tea prior to partaking in this ritual. Mugwort opens the mind and makes you more preceptive to receive messages from beyond.

2. Drink Wassail

Okay, on the surface it probably isn't the most magical thing you can think of, but drinking wassail can be. Wassail is a spiced cider that contains port and sherry, although there are nonalcoholic versions available. The word wassail is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words waes hael which means "to your health." Historically, this hot alcoholic drink was served during the holiday season, especially to visitors and family, from a large wooden bowl decorated with holly and ivy. Wassail is a great way to honor the changing seasons, the triumph of the Holly King, the end of the year, and to drink to the health of yourself and your loved ones. Furthermore, it is extremely grounding. Brew up a batch of wassail in your crockpot, step outside into the snow or cold, and drink deeply. Express gratitude to the spirits and the Earth around you. Be sure to share a little wassail with the local land spirits. They will appreciate the warm drink. Looking for a recipe? Try this traditional recipe.

3. Perform shadow work.

Being the longest night of the year, this is a great time to focus on yourself and your "shadow" side. We all have something we need to heal, improve upon, or reconcile. This is the perfect time to do so. The first step in performing shadow work is deep self-reflection. I like to meditate and hedge ride when I do this. I begin by digging deep and reflecting on all that has happened, what is still bothering me, how I respond to stress and changes, and how I would like to improve upon those things. I follow it up with a hedge riding session where I discuss other potential issues with my guides because, let's be honest, they often see more than we do, and potential ways to respond to these issues. During the process, take extensive notes. Use these notes, along with the tarot spread mentioned above, to set goals and plan for 2020. Remember, the best goals are specific, attainable, and measurable. I like to plan 3 months at a time so I can see progress, but use whatever goal-setting method works best for you.

And there you have it, a full year of ideas for spirit work. Working with spirits, whether they be your guides, local spirits, or our ancestors, can be amazingly fulfilling. Furthermore, building these relationships helps strengthen our bond with the unknown and enhances the efficacy of our magical practice. My spells are significantly more successful with the help of spirits, and I hope you find the same to be true in your practice. So what are your plans for this Yule? Do you have any magic already scheduled? Myself? I'm going to spend the holiday out of town enjoying a new city, hiking, and honoring the spirits of the season. I hope you enjoy the holiday as much as myself.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fruit of the Underworld Ritual: A Ritual to Connect with Your Ancestors

Fruit of the Underworld Ritual: A Ritual to Connect with Your Ancestors

I'm sure you are feeling the veil between worlds thinning as Samhain approaches. This is the perfect time to work with spirits and travel between realms. This ritual is designed to open the doors between our realm and the realm of our ancestors to communicate with them this Samhain.

What You'll Need

  • Pomegranate (sliced open)
  • Black Candle
  • White Candles
  • Obsidian
  • Mugwort
  • Charcoal
  • Hot Plate (for charcoal)
  • Lighter/Match
  • Notebook/BOS

What to Do

Begin by cleansing your working area with the method of your choice. For this ritual, I chose to use cedar because it works to remove negativity but also invites good spirits. This step is very important this time as you will be inviting spirits into your sacred space and its only proper (and smart) to invite them into a clean home. After you are certain your sacred space is cleansed, feel free to call quarters and cast a magical circle. I encourage you to take the necessary precautions and protect yourself in whatever way you see fit during this ritual.

Fruit of the Underworld Ritual: A Ritual to Connect with Your Ancestors

After you are certain your space is clean, charge the obsidian with your intent. Hold it in your hand, close your eyes and say,

"I charge this obsidian to bridge the gap between our realm and those of my ancestors. May it act as a conduit so my ancestors may speak their truth on this night. May it act as a door and a guiding light for those I seek. Aid in my message so they may understand me and that I may understand them in return."
Fruit of the Underworld Ritual: A Ritual to Connect with Your Ancestors

Put the black obsidian directly in front of you or hold it during the ritual. Extract three pomegranate seeds and eat them while saying,

"Fruit of the Underworld and blood of my ancestors, help bridge this realm with the Land of the Dead. May the living and deceased freely communicate this night."

Next, place the black candle on the left of your altar or work surface, the white candle on the right, and the remaining pomegranate halves in between them (black candle, pomegranate, white candle). Light the charcoal and when the coal is hot, place some mugwort on it. Then light the black candle and the white candle. Move the black candle to the right of the white candle while saying,

"On this Samhain night, when the veil is thin and the spirits come forth, I call upon my ancestors. I seek guidance as the Wheel of the Year comes full circle and the Earth rests. I call to thee, the honored and well-intended ancestors of my family line, to join me here and now at my altar to guide me on my path. Accept this offering of fruit along with my love and deepest gratitude. May it please you."

Bow your head and allow them to partake in the offering. Sit quietly and listen for any messages they may have for you. You can do this by closing your eyes or staring into the flame of the black candle. Write down anything you see or hear during this time. Some things may not make sense right now, but write them down anyway.

To close the ritual, thank your ancestors for coming and ask them to leave by saying,

"Thank you, ancestors, who came to commune with me this Samhain night. I offer my sincerest thanks and hope the offering was to your liking. You may depart and return to your resting places. Do not linger. Obsidian, black as night, guide the souls who were called today back home. This Rite is now closed."

Snuff out the candles and leave the offering on your altar overnight. The following morning place the pomegranate outside for the wildlife. They will appreciate your gift. You may feel exhausted after this ritual. Ground and center yourself and eat something before taking a shower. Dead spirits often leave behind a "heaviness" that should be washed away. Cleanse your space with your preferred method then shower to remove anything remaining on your person. After our shower or bath, spend some time analyzing what you wrote down during the ritual.

Why You Did It

Understanding the why's of a ritual are just as important as performing it. It helps you understand the process so you can modify the spell or ritual to suit your needs and helps guide you to write your own.

Let's start with the first step, the obsidian. Obsidian is a volcanic glass that has cooled so quickly crystallization is unable to occur. It has a long and rich history throughout a number of cultures around the world, but one thing it has in common is its association with the Underworld. Because of its shiny appearance which reflects the shadows of the objects and people that stand before it, the peoples of ancient Mexico named it ixtli after the god Tezcatlipoca ("smoking mirror"), believing the shadowy reflections were connected to the afterlife and second sight. Furthermore, it originates from magma deep within the Earth, further connecting it to the Underworld. Because of these features, obsidian is the perfect crystal to act as a bridge between our realm and the Land of the Dead, as it is naturally and magically connected to the Underworld. To add to this, obsidian is also associated with protection. Historically, obsidian was used as spearheads and arrowheads as it is relatively brittle and therefore easy to shape. And being black, a color traditionally associated with protection, grounding, and banishment, adds to its use in this ritual as the obsidian is not only used to pull spirits to our realm, but also to banish them back to their's at the end of the ritual. All in all, it is the perfect crystal for the job!

Fruit of the Underworld Ritual: A Ritual to Connect with Your Ancestors

Next, we come to the star of the show from which this ritual is named, the pomegranate. It doesn't play a super big part in this ritual, but it is essential as it helps open you to receive messages. You are probably aware of the story of Persephone and Hades, but if you are not, I encourage you to go read it. To give you a brief summary, Hades steals Persephone away to the Underworld where he finally convinces her to eat some pomegranate seeds. This binds her to the Underworld until Zeus is able to strike a deal between Hades and Demeter, Persephone's mother so that Persephone will spend half the year with her mother and half the year with Hades. As a result, pomegranates are strongly associated with being the fruit of the Underworld, and eating them is said to connect you to that realm and aid in spirit communication. They are also associated with blood and therefore death because the fruit "bleeds" when you cut into it. In general, it makes for an excellent offering to the dead as well.

Mugwort is a traditional herb associated with spirit communication. The smoke is a mild entheogen and helps induce a trance-like state. As such, it's the perfect herbal incense to use during spirit communication and won't cause a traditional "high" that could make communication difficult. Furthermore, smoke is associated with air and communication so that your messages can travel to your ancestors and their messages to you.

Fruit of the Underworld Ritual: A Ritual to Connect with Your Ancestors

The black and white candles represent the Underworld (black) and our world (white). This is a symbolic representation as black is associated with death and white with life. When you move the black candle to the right of the white candle, you are pulling the Land of the Dead to the present realm and bridging that connection.

Looking to break this spell? Unfortunately, this isn't a spell to be broken. There is nothing to break. However, if spirits linger, ask them to leave and cleanse the space again.

Remember to record this ritual on your ritual/spell worksheet and have a wonderful Samhain! How do you plan to celebrate this year?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Spirit Work for Samhain

Spirit Work for Samhain

Samhain is the perfect time for spirit work. Like, is it even a question?! Like Beltane, the veil is super thin during Samhain and the days leading up to it and the days right after. This thinning of the veil makes it a perfect time to communicate with spirits. Here are three fantastic ways you can work with spirits this Samhain.

1. Work with your ancestors.

Communicating and working with your ancestors is the perfect activity for Samhain, and there are several ways you can do this. Set up an ancestor altar, hold a Dumb Supper, or invite them into your Samhain ritual. Here are three ways you can honor your ancestors this Samhain. Whatever you decide to do, they will appreciate that you have remembered them. In many traditions, it is believed this is the only time our ancestors can return to Earth, so if you have burning questions this is the best time to discuss it with them. To simply commune with your ancestors, light a black candle, and meditate on your question for your ancestors. If you would like to ask a specific question or a specific ancestor, include this in your question. Sit quietly with your eye closed or stare into the flame. Jot down any messages you receive including flashes of images, voices or whispers, and gut feelings. You can test the validity of what you have seen or heard or felt by using a pendulum to confirm.

2. Practice hedge riding.

As a hedgewitch, hedge riding is at the center of my practice. Since the veil between realms is already thin, Samhain is a great time to travel and is generally easier to do than other times of the year. If you still haven't worked up the courage to hedge ride yet, there is really no better time. I strongly encourage you to give it a shot, even if you are nervous. We all have to start somewhere. If this is your first journey, or you are seasoned in the art of hedge crossing, set your intention to meet with your spirit guides, whether for the first time or the hundredth, and discuss your successes and failures over the past year. While not the New Year per the modern calendar, Samhain is the witch's new year, a time when death sets in so that new life may come forth. This journey is not about performing magical workings or setting goals necessarily. Instead, the purpose of this journey is self-reflection and rest. After you have spoken with your guides, sit quietly within your garden or wherever you have traveled to and take in the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Let it be a relaxing and healing time for you as your process all you and your guides have discussed. New to hedge riding or not sure where to begin? Read my complete guide to hedge riding!

3. Speak with spirits using a spirit board.

Often called an Ouiji board, spirit boards are a great way to speak with spirits without astral travel. I am sure there are going to be witches out there who freak out at this suggestion, but let me clear a few things up. First, spirit boards are NOT portals. They do not summon demons and evil spirits from the depths of hell. This idea was perpetuated by Christianity and the media. Furthermore, up until 1970, with the release of the Hollywood film The Exorcist, there was not a single report of a demonic or evil entity engagement. Spirit boards are simply another tool to communicate with spirits, much like runes, oracle, and pendulums. How do you think divination works? Spirits! If you happen to believe in demons, it's going to take a whole lot more than some wood with letters painted on it to get their attention. If you are worried, simply cleanse and bless your board, just like you would any other tool used in our magical practice.

Spirit Work for Samhain

Using a spirit board is relatively simple. If you wish, cast a circle and call quarters. Sit in a comfortable chair and place the board on a hard, flat surface. Its ideal with the board is just above our waist so that your elbows can rest comfortably on the surface. You don't want any bodily movements to give you a false reading. Knock on the board three times, stating your intention. Then place both index and middle fingers on the planchette in the middle of the board and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and slowly until you reach a solid trance state. Tune into the spirit you want to communicate with by thinking about them and our connection with them, then allowing your consciousness to drift toward it. Once you feel the connection between you and spirit, confirm you are working with the correct spirit by asking its name, where it comes from, and how you know it. If it's the correct spirit, release the tension in your hands and allow your hands to move the planchette in whatever direction feels natural. Do not try to control it; let it glide as needed. Once it stops, check the letter and make a not of it. Continue letting it move until it is done and the question has been answered. Sometimes the answer may make sense, sometimes it won't and you'll have to do a little interpreting. When you are done, move the planchette to "Good Bye" and knock on the board 3 times to close it. I plan on writing an entire post about spirit boards another time, so keep an eye out for more.

And there you have it, three ways to work with spirits this Samhain! Keep an eye out for my Fruit of the Underworld Ritual: A Pomegranate Ritual to Connect with Your Ancestors later this week. Do you have any spirit work planned for Samhain? What about general spell work? Please share in the comments below!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Spirit Work for Mabon

Spirit Work for Mabon

Mabon, also called the Autumn Equinox, is often referred to as the pagan Thanksgiving. The crops are being harvested in full force and stored away for the winter months. Celebrations and feasts abound, along with corn mazes, apple picking, and bonfires! I am so ready for cool evenings, warm apple cider, and pumpkin carving. I already have fall decor up and fall candles burning around the clock. Yum! Like every sabbat, Mabon is no different in that there is spirit work to be done! My personal favorite is apple divination, but there are a couple other activities you and yours will enjoy doing this holiday!

1. Practice apple divination.

I love apple divination, probably because I love apples. Going out and picking fresh apples from an orchard is one of the best fall activities, hands down. If you've never done it, I strongly encourage you to find a local orchard and take the whole family. When you come back with your apples, there are several different divination activities you can do before you cook them up into a Dutch Apple Pie!

One of the most famous forms of apple divination uses the peel. Peel the apple in one long piece. When the peel comes off, drop it on the floor or throw it over your shoulder. The letter it forms is the first initial of your true love! If you break the peel before it is completely removed from the apple, you have to start over. Sometimes this is seen as an omen of death prior to meeting your true love. This form of divination is famously portrayed in Alias Grace by Margret Atwood. I adored this book as a teen. The pagan imagery in the book is fascinating. In fact, in tenth grade, I wrote a paper discussing the use of pagan imagery in the book. But I digress.

Another form of apple divination involves cutting the apple into nine pieces at midnight. Once cut, place the pieces in a dark room with a mirror. Begin eating the pieces of the apple while looking into the mirror. When you get to the ninth piece throw it over your shoulder and the face of your lover will appear in the mirror.

And finally, if you have multiple lovers, place an apple seed on your cheek for each person. The last one to remain stuck to your face represents the suitor who is your true love. A lot of future lover magic here! You can read more about the properties of apples here.

2. Thank your household spirits by putting out an offering.

At Imbolc I suggested you introduce yourself to your house spirits and get to know them. Hopefully, you've been attempting to work with them or have at least acknowledged them since your initial meeting. Either way, the spirits of your home keep you and yours safe all while ensuring that you never run out of food. Mabon is a time for giving thanks, and its a great time to thank the spirits of your home for all that they do. If you throw a Mabon Thanksgiving feast, be sure to set out a plate on your stove or hearth for your house spirits to enjoy. You can also offer them milk, honey, beer, ale, wine, apples, nuts, bread, or other traditional fruits and vegetables of the season. Leave the offering out as long as you can; overnight is best. In the morning, bury the offering in your yard. While the food likely looks untouched, unless your cats decided it belonged to them to like mine are often apt to do, the house spirits have absorbed and fed off the energy of the offering, leaving it energetically depleted. It's good to thank your house spirits often, but you certainly should on Mabon.

3. Create a Thankful Tree.

I know this doesn't seem like spirit work on the surface, but it most certainly is. When we express gratitude, we let the Universe and the spirits around us know we are thankful for all they have done, whether we know they have helped or not. It also changes your brain chemistry. Several studies have shown that people who express gratitude often are generally happier and more satisfied with their lives. Happy, satisfied people make better witches. It will change your entire magical practice and help you become more intuned with the world around you. When you feel good, you are often more open to receiving messages so start being grateful!

To create a Thankful Tree, find a fallen branch to turn into a "tree" in your home. Be sure to thank the tree for gifting you with the branch. This is a thankful tree after all. You can't go around stealing branches without thanking the plant it came from. That's a good way for this to backfire! Place some floral foam into the bottom of a decorative pot and place the branch into the foam. Cover the foam with some greenery or craft moss. Now you're ready to start decorating the tree with what you are thankful for. Write what you are thankful for on small strips of paper, fallen leaves, or cutouts of leaves. Using a hole punch, punch a hole into each note and thread a piece of yarn through it to create a hook. Hang your paper or leaves on your tree, I've also seen people do this on a wall by creating a paper tree and taping it to a door, wall, or window and slowly adding leaves over several days to fill in the tree with what they are thankful for. Rhythms of Play and HGTV have some great ideas on making your own Thankful Tree. However you set up your tree, it is sure to bring you happiness. Plus, the whole family can get involved, especially those little witchlings!

And there you have it! Three fun ways to do some spirit work this Mabon. How do you work with the spirits this time of year?

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Guest Post: 3 Ways To Develop & Deepen Your Psychic Abilities

3 Ways To Develop & Deepen Your Psychic Abilities

Guest post by Shale Green from Witchcraft Way.

Intuition is a strong ally in connecting with the physical world around you. It's possible to deepen that connection and branch into the metaphysical world as well by opening up your psychic abilities even more.

It's important to exercise your third eye just like you would any other part of your body in order to keep it in tip-top shape. In order to further develop your connection to your sixth sense, you have to give yourself time to focus your energy on it.

Here are 3 effective methods that will help you to develop your psychic abilities on a daily basis. These will work for those who are walking a new path as well as you seasoned witchy goddesses alike.

1. Meditate

Meditation is a key part of keeping yourself grounded and deepening your connection to your psychic abilities. You may want to spend 15 minutes a day meditating to help raise your body's natural vibration. These periods of meditation can be done solo or you can use guided meditations to help you better set your mind on your goals.

Another effective way to meditate is to take a walk through nature. Being surrounded by nature will aid in relaxing your body and mind. You can employ some practices of mindfulness meditation by focusing on the way your body moves when you walk or by counting your breaths.

Spending a few minutes each day focusing on your third eye can do wonders for deepening your connection to it and even help it open more. Focus your mind and energy on the spot just above where your eyebrows meet and imagine your third eye opening up. It's natural to feel a tingling sensation when you put so much concentration into it.

2. Journal Writing 

Writing things down is a good way to better connect to them and put them in the forefront of your mind. When you spend the time to handwrite, you can better focus on what it is you need to focus on. By writing down things you need help finding clarity on, you put more energy into those things. This can result in bringing you the answers you seek.

A good practice in developing your psychic abilities is to keep a journal or list of the symbols you are given. By recording what a symbol means to you when you see it, you can more easily understand messages.

You can also ask your spirit guides to give you certain symbols, such as what you might receive if love is involved. Maybe it's the image of a heart or a warm tingling in your chest. By learning about how things are communicated to you, it will be easier for you to interpret what you receive.

A dream journal is another good way to help deepen your psychic abilities. Messages can easily come through your dreams, so you should write down any significant ones you have. You can also write down how you would interpret it before seeking other sources to find out what it means.

3. Practice 

As with anything, practice makes perfect. The more you use your psychic abilities, the better you'll be at utilizing them. Don't be afraid to get things wrong every now and then, you probably just don't know what something means yet. Practice regularly on willing friends and family to give your abilities a stretch.

You can spend some time in an antique store or somewhere similar where a lot of pre-owned objects are present. Walk around the store and focus on how you're feeling. What energies are around you? You may be drawn to certain objects and be able to find out more about them or the person that owned them.

Using old photographs is a good way to exercise your abilities as well. Find pictures of people you know little or nothing about. Spend some time with each picture and try to feel out anything you can about the people in them. Write down whatever you receive in case you can have someone verify it later.

Don't Get Discouraged 

Just like any skill, getting more in tune with your psychic abilities takes time and effort on your part. You should do your best to devote a little bit of time each day to deepen your connection to any ability you’re trying to enhance.

Don’t give up on yourself easily. You may not see the small changes as they happen, but when you look back you will start to notice how far you’ve come. The energy you spend on yourself will pay off in the end.

Shale Green is a green witch, born under Pisces, and a seeker of the mysteries of nature. He currently spends his time writing and being in the woods. Find more from Shale at and on Instagram

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Spirit Work for Lammas

Spirit Work for Lammas

Lammas secularly falls on August 1st, which is quickly approaching. I should know...I go back to work on August 1st for preplanning. Can I please have another month? Anyway, like every sabbat, there is spirit work to be done on Lammas, if you wish to. Being the first of the harvest festivals, this is a good time to start thanking Mother Earth and the Sun for all they have provided for us as well as the spirits of the plants that produced the foods we are harvesting. The Sun is still strong at Lammas, but we are beginning to see the shift toward darkness. The nights are getting cooler and the days shorter, but there is still summer fun yet to be had...unless you are going to back school August-freaking-first...

1. Eat a fortune cookie. 

I know this sounds so cliche, but fortune cookies are a modern-day example of aleuromancy or wheat-flour divination. Aleuromancy comes from the Greek words aleuron (flour) and manteia (divination) and was a form of divination presided over by Apollo. Historically, handwritten messages were baked into bread, cakes, or cookies. The balls of dough were mixed up 9 times before being distributed to those waiting to divine their futures. Modern-day fortune cookies are a form of aleuromancy. However, instead of simply cracking open the cookie and reading the note inside, ask the spirits a question first. Shuffle a bag of fortune cookies nine times then select a cookie to open using your intuition as your guide. The fortune on the paper may not exactly answer your question, and if it doesn't try interpreting the "lucky" numbers on the back. This is a fun, secretly witchy activity to do with friends and family to celebrate Lammas or whenever you have a gathering!

2. Reflect on your spiritual practice. 

Lammas is a sort of in-between time. Summer is ending but it's not quite Fall. Mabon is traditionally the time for giving thanks, so why not spend Lammas reflecting on your spiritual practice and figuring out how you can improve? Begin by lighting a silver candle. Silver is associated with the Moon and feminine energy and is often used like a mirror to help with reflecting magic and illuminating changes that must occur to continue to move forward. Essentially, silver is a great color for self-reflecting. If you don't have a silver candle, white will work just as well. Ask the spirits to help guide you as you reflect on your spiritual practice and how you can continue to grow as a witch. You can close your eyes to receive images or stare into the flame and/or smoke and interpret the pattern. As you meditate, write down any messages you receive or thoughts you have. Spend some time thinking about your strengths, weakness, how you can improve, and how you can help others. Be sure to write down everything in your BOS or journal. Once you have finished, devise an action plan. How are you going to improve your weaknesses? Are you going to read more books on the subject, take a class, or practice? How are you going to share your gifts with others so they may grow as well? The next Full Moon, reflect on how well you are moving toward your goals. Continue this reflection for at least 3 moon cycles.

3. Thank the plant spirits for their bountiful harvest.

Honoring the plants that provide us with food and nourishment is important, especially during the first harvest. If you are growing fruits, vegetables, or herbs in your yard leave them an offering of some sort. It can be a simple as an extra bit of water, a beautiful crystal, a piece of bread, or some compost/manure/fertilizer. If you want to have a more elaborate ritual to thank you plants for all they have provided you with, hold it on Lammas with candles, offerings, music, and some written lines thanking them for what they have done for you this year. Even if you aren't growing fruits, vegetables, or herbs, you can thank the spirits of the local plants and trees in your area as well. They have provided you with oxygen, shade, and are helping to reduce the amount of CO2 in the environment. That is pretty awesome too.

Spirit work doesn't always have to be intricate or involve traveling to the Otherworld. Sometimes its as easy as honoring the life around us, reflecting, and opening a fortune cookie. However you decide to practice spirit work this sabbat, be sure you are also respectful and kind. What spirit work do you like to perform on Lammas?

Monday, July 1, 2019

Questioning Spirits: Is This Spirit My Guide?

Questioning Spirits: Is This Spirit My Guide?

When hedge riding, I often encounter any number of spirits. Honestly, I prefer to work alone or with a select few spirits when I am hedge riding, but there are times that spirits specifically seek me out. Sometimes these spirits have a message for me for someone else, although this is rare in my case. I've made it pretty well known to the spirits of the Otherworld that I have no desire to be their medium, at least not at this time in my life. Most of the time, however, the spirits are coming to work directly with me, some asking to stay in my life longer than one journey. It's important that we are critical of these interactions. Not every spirit we encounter is benevolent and not every spirit has your best interest in mind. For example, the spirit attached to my ex-husband. I made the mistake of trying to steal my heart piece back from this spirit instead of doing it the proper way and ended up being stalked by the creature every time I crossed the veil. It was terrifying and extremely dangerous and reckless of me, but I desperately wanted to feel better. Up until the beginning of this year, the creature had hung out just outside my Garden gate, waiting. However, with the help of three new spirits, I was able to banish this creature and have felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. When I first met these new spirits, however, I was hesitant and skeptical. The only reason I even allowed myself to work with them is because Meka, my fox guide, trusted them. If Meka trusts you, I trust you. Despite her trust, I still sat down and recorded everything I could about these new spirits and how I felt working with them. Each time since that I have encountered them, I have expanded on my notes. I want to be sure these spirits are really there to help me and not trying to trick me. So far so good.

It's extremely important that we judge the spirits we work with in the same way we judge strangers. Always be cautious and wary, especially of eager spirits. Most spirits are not pushy and overbearing. A benevolent spirit will leave if you are uncomfortable and ask them too. If a spirit is too eager to hang around you, be mindful of their behavior and tread carefully. That isn't to say all eager spirits are out to get you! Child-like spirits and those who passed before their time tend to be immature and pushy, just like little kids. Just use your best judgment and always trust your gut. Keep a detailed record of your interactions with these spirits to help you decide if the spirit is really a guide or partner, or if they are just trying to use you.

Devin Hunter in his book The Witches Book of Spirits has a really great outline of questions you should consider and statements you can rank to help you determine whether or not the spirit is truly a spirit guide, familiar, helpful spirit, or something else. When you first meet a spirit you suspect may be a guide or otherwise helpful spirit, begin by asking the following questions:

What is your name?
Do you come to work with me?
Have we worked together before? When?
What are you capable of doing for me?
What do you want in return for your assistance?
What shape do you most often take?
How will you present yourself to me when you want to make yourself known?
What can I do to immediately feel connected to you?
What messages do you have for me? Where do you come from?
Were you once human?
What are your interests?
What are you here to teach me?

I've modified or left out some of his suggestions because I personally don't feel they are pertinent questions, but that's just me. And of course, these are just basic questions to get you started. When conversing with a spirit, you'll often know intuitively which questions to ask. Spend time getting to know them during your journey for as long as it takes. Once you have returned, Hunter suggests using his Spirit Guide Profiler to rate your interactions with the spirit. I absolutely love this idea and have started using it in my own practice. Each statement is ranked 1-5, 1 being strongly disagree and 5 strongly agree. Rate each statement below when you encounter a new spirit that may be a guide:
I feel a vibrational or energy change when actively communicated with this spirit.
I feel safe when this spirit is around.
I feel calm when this spirit is around.
This spirit is easy for me to communicate with.
I feel that the information exchanged between us betters me.
This spirit is direct when it communicates with me.
This information comes to me easily.
The information is easily integrated or used.
This spirit has accurately informed me of future trends in my life.
When I finish my work with this spirit, I am left feeling empowered.
This spirit assists me in my life.
This spirit and I have a deep connection.
The spirit feels like it might be a potential familiar spirit.
This spirit is will to journey through the Otherworld.

Again, I have modified several of these and excluded one statement: Since meeting this guide I have been able to help and encourage others. This isn't an important factor to me because I am selfish and journey for me alone, not others. However, you may feel the need to add it to your list. If your score is low (15-30) this spirit probably isn't a guide. Cleanse and release yourself from this spirit. If your score is between 31 and 45, this may be a spirit guide, but they are most definitely worth continuing to work with, even if they aren't a guide. They are at least helpful to you but take proper precautions. They could also be a spirit guide that is not yet ready to become a full guide as some of the pieces or connections between you two are missing. If the score is 46-60, the spirit is likely a guide and you should continue working with them until the day comes that the lesson they had for you is taught. Remember, guides come and go, so we open to change. No matter what, keep a record of these answers and ranked statements and revisit them as information changes. A spirit may make you feel comfortable one day and really uncomfortable the next. You will not always know after one meeting whether or not a spirit is helpful, but keeping detailed records will help you sort it out down the road.

When you encounter a new spirit, how do you determine if they are a guide, familiar, helpful spirit, or something else entirely?

Monday, June 17, 2019

Spirit Work for Litha

Spirit Work for Litha

Litha, also known as Midsummer or the Summer Solstice, is one of my favorite sabbats. It is the longest day of the year and a perfect time to incorporate the Sun into your magical practice and thank our beautiful Mother Earth for the bountiful fruits she and the Sun are producing for us to eat. This is also a great time for dream magic, recharging, and using St. John's Wort for divination and protection purposes. Below are three ways to conduct spirit work on Litha.

1. Seek spiritual guidance by interpreting your dreams.

Litha is a perfect time for dream magic and interpretation. Prior to going to bed place amethyst by your bed to increase prophetic dreaming and open you to spirits and tell the spirits you are open to receiving their message this night. If you'd like, drink a dream stimulating tea, like chamomile or mugwort. Be sure you have a journal by your bed to record everything when you awake. About every 3-4 hours you cycle through REM sleep. It is during this time that you are most likely to dream. If you are particularly keen on recording as many dreams as possible, you may want to set an alarm, otherwise, sleep through the night and record everything the moment you wake. The longer you wait to record your dreams, the less you will remember. Once you have recorded everything you remember, you can begin interpreting the meaning. I find that this usually takes me a day or two, and I don't often rely on dream books or online sources to tell me what they mean. Instead, I compare what I dreamed with my personal life and personal correspondences to figure out what the spirits are trying to tell me. They speak the same language as you, so pay attention to your own intuition. Looking for other ways to stimulate prophetic dreaming? I wrote two articles about the topic here and here.

2. Recharge your inner spirit by soaking drawing in the Sun.

I know this isn't speaking with spirits directly or seeking advice, but this is a really great thing to do for yourself to increase your personal power and recharge. The more inner power you possess, the easier it is to communicate with the spirit world as spirits will naturally be attracted to you. This is one of the simplest rituals you could ever do. Just go outside at high noon with as little clothing on as possible and soak in the Sun. I like to stand, arms spread wide, face toward the sun with my eyes closed, and feel the warmth enter into my body. I see my personal energy growing and glowing bright golden yellow, filling with the Sun's radiance and power. If you can, do this on a beach. It is a truly magical experience!

3. Harvest St. John's Wort for divination and protection.

A historical tradition on Midsummer Eve or Litha is to pick St. John's Wort and hang it above each sleeping person in the house. It was believed that the plant that wilted first symbolized who would be the first to die. A little morbid, but a fun tradition nonetheless. St. John's Wort also brings protection against spirits that wish you harm and can be burned in the Midsummer bonfire or hung above the door to bring said protection. It can also be used to exorcise spirits and banish them from your home, so if you are feeling like something unwanted is hanging around you or your home, you can use St. John's Wort to force it out.

And there you have it, three easy ways to perform spirit work on Litha! I also strongly encourage you to honor the Earth and plant spirits at this time by leaving out offerings. The Earth and Sun are working hard together, producing magnificent crops that will last through the winter. Do you have a special way you like to honor spirits or work with spirits during Litha? Please share in the comments below!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Spirit Work for Beltane

Spirit Work for Beltane

Beltane, also referred to as May Day, falls on the first of May. This sabbat is characterized by fertility rituals, phallic symbols such as the Maypole, dancing, flowers, and fires.  Like Samhain, the veil between worlds is very thin, making this the perfect time to contact spirits, more specifically the fae folk. There are tons of ways to connect with spirits during this sabbat, similar to those most people perform at Samhain, but here are three ways to work with spirits on or around Beltane if you're not sure where to start or looking to try something new.

1. Light a bonfire and practice pyromancy. 

Beltane is a fire festival after all! Pyromancy is the ancient art of divination using the flames of a fire, whether it be a candle flame or bonfire. Once the fire is lit, fix a question firmly in your mind and stare into the flames, allowing your focus to shift slightly. As you watch the flames flicker, jot down any images you see. Do this for about 10 to 15 minutes or until you believe your question has been answered adequately. A single symbol or set of similar symbols are what you should focus on, as they are the message the spirits are trying to convey to you. The symbols can be interpreted according to whatever set of traditional meanings you follow. For example, some view windmills and water fountains as signs of good changes to come, while flowers are believed to represent disappointment. Don't forget to listen to your intuition. Just because a book says one thing, it doesn't mean you are wrong. If your gut is telling you a different story, listen to it. You can find a simple fire scrying ritual here.

2. Speak with your spiritual guides.

Because the veil is thin, you can easily travel to the Otherworld and communicate with your spiritual guides during this time. I like to meet up with my animal guides during Beltane to perform magic within the Otherworld. Again, because the veil is thin, the magic quickly seeps through to our realm where it will manifest, without you having to practice the work within our realm. This is a great way to perform magic cheaply and effectively because you can will the items you need into existence or ask your guides to track them down for you. They likely already have everything you need before you know it yourself. Focus on fertility magic and prosperity during this sabbat. Think along the lines of a bountiful harvest. You can also focus on love magic, whether you are looking for a relationship or strengthening one. If you aren't up to trying magic in the Otherworld, just spend some time talking with them. There are likely other spirits who will wish to meet up with you at this time, so be open to speaking with them.

3. Invite the fae into your garden.

There are a variety of ways to do this. One is to plant their favorite flowers, as outlined in my post Inviting Fairies into Your Garden. Set out offerings of milk, honey, small cakes, shiny coins, special trinkets, or other items you think the fae would like. Remember to avoid iron as the fae hate iron. If you wish, perform a small ritual inviting them to your garden. Make sure you build in a failsafe in case you wish to remove the fae if they become rowdy or otherwise unwanted. Sometimes the fae can become a nuisance, so you want to make sure you have a way to get rid of them. During your ritual, end it by saying "Until there comes a time that I ask you to leave." You have to be very specific when working with the fae. If you are not specific enough, they will find a loophole to trick you. From my experiences, however, I have found they are pretty cooperative when you ask them to leave, as long as you are nice about it. Keep them happy and they will keep your home safe in return, albeit they may make a little mischief themselves.

And there you have it, three easy ways to perform spirit work on Beltane! Do you have a special way you like to honor spirits or work with spirits during Beltane? Please share in the comments below!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Spirit Work for Ostara

Spirit Work for Ostara

Ostara falls on March 20th this year, marking the first day of Spring. I can't wait! I hope with it comes sunnier days, moderate temperatures, and less rain. I am so over the rain, as is most of North Georgia due to flooding. Ostara is by far a fertility Sabbat, focusing on new life and Spring begins and the Wheel of the Year turns once more. Eggs, rabbits, and seed sowing are characteristic symbols of this Sabbat. With these symbols and themes in mind, here are three ways to communicate with spirits on or around Ostara.

1. Perform egg divination. 

Egg divination is commonly referred to as oomancy, and since Ostara's main symbol is the egg, what better way to commune with spirits during Ostara than using an egg to predict future events? My favorite oomancy tradition comes from Nordic traditions where only the egg white is used. Focus on your question and once the question is firmly in your mind, carefully pierce a fresh egg and blow the egg white into a clean glass of water. If you don't know how to blow an egg, simply crack the egg and separate the yolk and white before pouring the white into the glass of water. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for until the following day. The egg white will have formed patterns in the water that can be interpreted.

2. Build a relationship with a plant spirit.

If you have ever tried to grow plants, you may have noticed you are really good at growing certain plants, but not so much others. For example, I can grow rosemary, lavender, sage, tomatoes, and salvia without problems, but basil and larkspur?....Basil and larkspur hate my guts. I don't know why! I've done everything to grow them, but nothing works. I have tried communicating spiritually, tending to them, singing, leaving them alone completely, trimming them, not trimming them, planting them with companion plants, watering them, not watering them...Nothing works and I have yet to truly figure out why. They aren't my plants I guess. But the others I have a very strong relationship with. Spring is planting time, so why not get to know the plants in your garden or try to figure out which plant is your plant ally?

Spirit Work for Ostara

With a journal or you BOS in hand, sit near the plant you wish you communicate with. Ground and center then close your eyes and reach your energy out toward the plant. See if you can feel it's energy. Make note of any sensations you feel and images or colors you may see. Continuing with your eyes closed, say the plant's name three times. This is essentially like knocking on the plant's door and letting it know you want to communicate. Then introduce yourself and state your purpose. After you have gotten the plants attention and introduced yourself, you can begin trying to communicate with it. Here are some examples of questions you may wish to ask to open up a line of communication easily:
  • How are you?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you need to be healthier? Do you need more or less water? What is your favorite type of nourishment?
  • Are you receiving too much or too little sunlight?
  • Do you have any pests? If so, what can I do to get rid of them?
  • Do you like music? If so, what kind of music do you like?
  • Is there anything else you would like to tell me?
Be sure to ask one question at a time and be patient when waiting for a response. The plant may answer by speaking to you in your mind, showing you images or colors, or through feelings. Continue speaking with the plant until the conversation ends normally. Give the plant thanks for speaking with you. Ask if there is an offering it would like for the time it has spent working with you and close the door. If it asks for an offering, be sure to give it what it asked for to the best of your ability. Usually, they are for water or maybe even a precious stone. You never know! Continue to communicate with the plant regularly to build a strong relationship with it. Not only will you benefit by having a happy plant in your garden, but you will likely gain a powerful plant ally, willing to protect or assist you in magical workings.

3. Connect with the Earth through earthing.

Earthing has become increasingly common in the witch community. There is a lot of confusion as to exactly what it is, but simply put, earthing is connecting with Mother Earth. Grounding is centering and balancing your energy as in bringing it back to Earth. It is not a direct form of communication with her. Earthing will help ground you, but the purpose isn't just to ground, but also open a line of communication between you and our Mother Earth, whether it be to receive healing energy or ask questions. Furthermore, grounding can occur anywhere, whether you are in contact with Earth (soil, grass, rock, etc) or not. Earthing, however, can only occur if the person is directly touching the Earth, as in the soil or grass outside. Spring is a great time to get outside and reconnect with our Mother Earth after a long winter indoors. Find a safe place to walk barefoot and spend time feeling Her energy flow into you. I honestly prefer somewhere muddy. I like my feet to sink into Her as I concentrate on soaking in Her loving energy. If you can't find a safe place outdoors to go barefoot, untreated topsoil works just as well.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Spirit Work for Imbolc

Spirit Work for Imbolc

All the sabbats, contrary to popular belief, are great for working and connecting with the Otherworld. Imbolc, one of the fire festivals, celebrates the coming of Spring and the return of the Sun. With these themes in mind, here are 3 ways to connect and work with spirits on Imbolc.

1. Meet and greet your house spirits.

Every home has a spirit of its own as well as house spirits that you may or may not be aware of. Imbolc is a great time to meet and get to know them, as this is a time for new beginnings. This is also the time for "spring cleaning," and it is important that you work with the spirits of your home during any such deep cleaning or purging to avoid upsetting them. You may even end up finding them extremely helpful in the process as well! Examples of such spirits include Brownies, Hobs, Kobolds, Hobgoblins, Domovoy, and Tomtes. I grew up hearing about Tomtes, especially when something that was missing was suddenly found in plain sight, so this is often the name I use when I refer to my household spirit and guardian. With your Grimoire or Book of Shadows close at hand, sit on the floor in a central location of your home. Begin by closing your eyes and trying to sense your home's spirit, not your guardian spirit. What does your home feel like to you? Does it have an aura? If so, what color is it? Does it have a voice? Spend roughly 5 to 10 minutes sensing your home and gathering as much information as you can. When you are done, thank your house for providing you with warmth and shelter, and jot down any notes regarding your experience.

Spirit Work for Imbolc: House Spirits

After you have met your house's spirit, its time to see if you have a home guardian spirit. The best place for this type of work is in the kitchen. Close your eyes and search your home's energy for anything unusual, especially around the stove. Since you have already met your home's spirit, you will be able to distinguish its energy from any other presence that may be residing there. Don't be upset if you can't find anything. It doesn't necessarily mean you don't have a household guardian, it may be that they are hiding from you. If you are able to sense something, greet it, and ask what it is and if it has a name it would like you to call it. Household spirits will generally identify themselves if you ask them directly, as they are there to keep you and the home safe. Make sure to thank them before you are done with a small offering. Milk, honey, or some bread work nicely. Write down anything you experienced. If you are unable to sense the spirit, leave an offering all the same on top of the stove. Continue to try to sense your household spirit for up to 3 days. If you are still unable to make a connection, you may not have a home guardian spirit and should consider inviting one in.

2. Cleanse your spirit.

As I mentioned before, spring cleaning starts around Imbolc, so why not cleanse your own spirit? I know witches are more likely to ritualistically cleanse themselves, but when was the last time you truly practiced self-care instead of just saging yourself? Yeah, that's what I thought. To cleanse your spirit, why not take a white bath? This recipe is adapted from Devin Hunter's recipe in his book The Witch's Book of Spirit. I have tried a lot of bath recipes, but this one is by far the best at deep cleaning your spirit. It is inspired by a New Orleans-style Voodoo recipe to cleanse you both spiritually, mentally, and physically.

2 cups sea salt
2 cups Epsom salt
3 tablespoons cascarilla (powdered egg shell)
13 drops sage essential oil or 1/4 fresh sage that has been ripped or cut to release the aroma
2 cups milk (any variety)

Begin by drawing a bath. While the bath is still filling, mix the salts, egg shells, and sage together in a white bowl (white symbolizing purity here). As you do so, empower the mixture with your intent. Place the bowl under the running water and allow the mixture to swirl around until the bowl overflows. Dump the contents into the bath and finish filling the tub. Once the tub is filled, draw a pentacle with your hand above the water and pour the milk through the center of it. In your mind's eye, push the pentacle into the water. If you wish, you can cast a spell over the bathwater or simply state your intention. Hunter has a beautifully written spell that you can find on page 89 and 90 of his book.

Once the milk has been added, you have roughly 30 minutes before the milk sours. The combination of sage and hot water causes this reaction, but you may notice that the worse off you are energetically, the stinker the bath gets. When you are done, drain the water counterclockwise (you can do this by swirling the water counterclockwise a couple of times), seeing all negatively wash away with it. Remember to shower afterwards, allowing the running water to wash away anything that may remain. Do not wash with soap For this particular bath, you should dry off with a white towel to remain pure. Afterward, spend some time in silence, meditating and clearing your mind.

This is a really great way to prepare for hedge riding or to unwind after a particularly stressful day. It's also a great way to cleanse yourself after you have done a deep space clearing in your home. When you deep clean your house and spiritually cleanse it, sometimes stale or negative energies get stuck to you. This bath is a surefire way to flush them away.

Spirit Work for Imbolc

3. Practice weather divination, such as nephomancy and chiromancy.

Any form of divination is spirit work, as the messages we receive and interpret come from the spirit world. Every year, cities around the world release a groundhog to predict the coming of Spring. I doubt many of you have access to a groundhog, but there are other forms of weather divination you can practice this time of year. Nephomancy is the art of studying the size and shape of clouds while chiromancy is interpreting the pictures we see in the clouds. On a sunny day, spend some time seeking messages from the clouds. Begin by meditating for a moment or two on your question. Ask your guides to provide you an answer through the clouds. After you are sure your guides have heard you, begin watching those white, fluffy masses move across the sky. Write down what you see and predict in your Grimoire or Book of Shadows. Nephomancy and chiromancy are great ways to hone your divination skills. It will make you a better hedge rider and diviner in the long run, plus who doesn't like watching the clouds. It is so relaxing.

What ways do you connect with the spirit world on Imbolc? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Monday, January 14, 2019

5 Crystals for Hedge Riding

5 Crystals for Hedge Riding

If you haven't noticed yet, I kind of have a thing for crystals, with that background in paleontology and all, so it should come as no surprise that there are some crystals I love to use during hedge riding. I mentioned during my Hedge Riding Series that I have a hedge riding sachet, a small bag that contains a series of items that helps me during my hedge riding journeys. I mentioned some of the crystals I keep in that sachet, and I would like to expand on that topic today. My hedge riding sachet is ever changing; I add and remove items frequently based on what I am trying to do, but it always contains crystals.

Usually, I preface articles like this with a statement that you don't need any items but yourself to hedge ride or perform magic. This is the one time where I am not going to say that because crystals are an important aspect of hedge riding. Not only can they help you reach an altered state of consciousness, but they also help ground your body and soul to our plane before, during, and after hedge riding. Now, you don't have to have every crystal on this list, nor do the crystals you choose have to be limited to this list. There are dozens of crystals that can help you on your flights, and you should always pick crystals that speak to you, even if a book doesn't mention they can be used for traveling between the realms. Correspondences should partly be based off your intuition, not just what some book or online article says. This list contains the five crystals I work with the most during hedge riding, in no particular order.

1. Labradorite: Until polished, labradorite is a fairly dull, unsuspecting crystal, but once polished it takes on a rainbow of colors. Labradorite was once believed to be frozen fire that fell from Aurora Borealis, thus associating it with the heavens and astral travel. It acts similarly to amethyst in that it can open you to psychic visions, but unlike amethyst, it can be used as a gateway to past lives as well. In Norse mythology, the rainbow bridge, Bifrost, was the gateway to Valhalla, which is sometimes symbolized by this crystal with rainbow hue, thus allowing you to travel between lives while hedge riding. I use this crystal when I am seeking answers from my past to gain insights into my future.

2. Amethyst: So I talk about amethyst a lot too...I know, but this stone is so versatile, plentiful, and cheap! I'm all for saving money when it comes to witchcraft. Amethyst is a great stone for hedge riding and has been regarded for hundreds of years as the crystal of psychics. I place amethyst on my forehead during hedge riding to help open my mind to psychic visions during my journeys. This crystal is commonly found in my hedge riding sachet, especially on days where I am finding it difficult to concentrate enough to hedge ride.

3. Selenite: I'm sure many of you have this crystal laying around, as it's commonly used to make crystal wands. Selenite is clear, striated gypsum named after Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon. Due to this connection to the moon, selenite can be used during hedge riding to "reach the stars," particularly when traveling to the Upper Realm of the Otherworld. Furthermore, selenite is known for its calming properties, allowing you to reach an altered state of consciousness by quieting the mind. Even better, selenite filters messages, due to its striated nature, thus allowing you to connect to your higher self and the spirit realm, especially angels. I use selenite when I am traveling to the Upper Realms or when I am having trouble hearing the messages the spirits are trying to send me. Sometimes I even use selenite after hedge riding to help me make sense of the messages I received. This isn't found in my hedge riding sachet too often, but it is almost always on my altar waiting for me to get back from a journey to aid in my understanding of the things I saw and heard while away.

4. Iolite: This deep violet crystal was commonly used by the Vikings as a navigational tool because it could be used to filter sunlight, allowing them to look at the sun without damaging their eyes. Because of this and its brilliant color, Iolite is a great stone for hedge riding. You can use it as a navigational tool on your spiritual journeys and facilitate spiritual visions. Depending on how it is cut, Iolite can appear yellow or clear as well, so don't worry if you find it in colors other than blue-violet. I use Iolite when I am seeking to travel to new places during a journey. I tend to stick close to "home," but there are times I wish to explore deeper into the Otherworld so I make sure to take this crystal with me to help me navigate uncharted territories.

5. Black Tourmaline: I talk about this crystal the most, probably because it is my favorite crystal of all time. I really should modify my 10 Crystals Every Witch Should Have post to include black tourmaline instead of obsidian. When I first got this crystal, the moment I touched it I felt an instant connection. The love and protection that radiated from it were overwhelming. I often find myself looking for it in times of stress because it's so calming. While I know it sounds strange to some, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this crystal loves me deeply. But I digress. My black tourmaline is the one thing in my hedge riding sachet that never changes; it is always in my bag. Before I ride I take it out and ask it to keep me safe while I hedge ride. I place it on my chest during my journeys and when I come back its the first thing I touch to ground myself. Black tourmaline is known for keeping you safe physically, emotionally, and spiritually, making it an amazing hedge riding companion crystal. There are other crystals that you can use for protection and grounding during hedge riding, so if black tourmaline doesn't speak to you like it speaks to me, find one that does. Other great options include jet, onyx, obsidian, and hematite.

As I mentioned before, this is by no means a complete list, just my five favorites for hedge riding. For those of you who hedge ride, what crystals do you like to bring with you? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below so we can grow this list to help other witches on their journeys!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Hedge Riding Series: My Hedge Riding Experiences

Hedge Riding Series: My Hedge Riding Experiences

As I mentioned in the last post, I considered leaving this post out of the series altogether. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized many of you may actually need to hear about my experiences to help you validate your own. Many times witches think that what they are experiencing isn't real or just all in their head. One of my favorite lines from Harry Potter is part of the conversation that occurs after Harry is "killed" by Voldemort and is talking to Dumbledore at King's Cross purgatory.

"Tell me one last thing," said Harry. "Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"
Dumbledore beamed at him, "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

There is a reason this is one of my favorite lines because, for anyone who travels astrally or communicates with spirits, we sometimes doubt our abilities. Even if it is just happening in your head, it is still very real. Doubt is a plague that will destroy your magic; don't let it rule you or your magical abilities.

I'd like to briefly share two of my hedge riding journies with you guys today. Please be aware there was much more that occurred during this journies then what I am sharing. I want to keep some aspects of my travels private, as the messages I received were for me and me alone. However, the gist of the journey is still there and should help you get an idea of what to expect.

Journey 1:

This journey occurred on June 15, 2017. I followed my normal route to enter the Lower Realm, walking the dark, earthy steps down until I reached the cave floor below. The cave is always cold and smells of damp earth, but it feels like coming home every time I enter. I make my way through the tunnel and push aside the vines that cover the opening, protecting this entry into our world from prying eyes. From the outside you can't tell there is even a cave here, making me feel even more comfortable that my passage to and from the Lower Realm will be safe. I've asked Meka and Rocar to meet me outside the cave and sure enough, they are waiting. Rocar has an expression that says I kept him waiting too long. Meka is overjoyed to see me, rubbing up against my leg and nuzzling me softly. She is always happy to see me. I asked them to meet me here to ask them if they have any messages for me. Meka says we would be more comfortable in my garden, so we travel through the woods, upwards toward the Middle Realm where my garden gate is located. This is essentially my astral office, but much more enjoyable.

Upon entering we make our way to the lake and stump I like to sit on when we converse together. Rocar takes off ahead of us, soaring through the trees impatiently. Meka walks slowly beside me, silent the entire way. When we make it to the stump, I sit down and wait. I've found sometimes the best way to ask a question, is not to ask at all. Suddenly I begin seeing a series of images, all showing turmoil. I'm taken aback by these images and my anxiety grows. I can feel myself wanting to return to our realm and leave these disturbing images behind. But just as quickly as they began, they were gone. I was breathing heavily and Meka and, surprisingly, Rocar looks concerned. Meka explained these images are how I feel about myself and my depression, and she's right. I often feel in constant turmoil, not just from depression, but anxiety as well. Rocard explains the self-hatred I feel is not a true reflection of who I really am and my loneliness is about to get much worse, but it is unjustified. Meka rubs up against me again and Rocar nuzzles my cheek, a rare sign of love from the stubborn, sassy bird. I am loved, they both chime in unison. Meka explains that we will tackle my depression in the future, but first I need time to heal physically (I was suffering from an infection at the time). I thank them both for the reassurance and the lesson and make my way back home.

At first, this journey was very upsetting, yet comforting at the same time. What I didn't understand, and what Rocar was trying to gently tell me, was that soon I was going to be faced with extreme turmoil that was going to set my depression into a tailspin. He mentioned things were about to get worse, and boy was he right. A month later my now ex-husband walked out on me. My guides knew this well before it happened, and were trying to tell me to prepare for the worst in their own way. Spirits, even our guides, often speak to us indirectly. Sometimes they can't express themselves in a clear manner we will understand. Instead, it is up to us to decipher the message. Thankfully when the time came, I was prepared and while I was still caught off guard, I managed to navigate my way through a really tough time in my life gracefully.

Journey 2:

This journey is more recent, occurring on July 12, 2018. The purpose of this journey was to see what my New Moon intentions should be. I began my journey as always, traveling to the Lower Realm to meet my guides. Upon arrival, Meka and Rocar were there to greet me. I asked them both what I should set as my New Moon intentions and before I could finish asking, Meka took off running through the forests and fields for what seems like miles until she reached a lake where she laid down to rest. I cooled myself in the lake, enjoying the cool water on my sore muscles. After a while, we were all well rested and Meka set off again. She led me to the House on the Shore. I told her I was not ready to enter today. The place still fills me with a sense of dread. Whatever is in there is not friendly, at least not toward me. Meka has brought me to this house several times. Obviously, I'm meant to enter, but today was not the day.

The next thing I know I am riding on a dappled horse through the plains. I hear a cry to my left. I am surrounded by Native Americans. I feel a weight on my back. I'm carrying arrows. I'm one of them are we are hunting buffalo. My tribe manages to isolate one and bring it down. I sit on my horse watching as it dies. I see the buffalo's spirit rise from its body and dance away into the heaves. The carcass is cleansed and the animal thanked for its sacrifice. We begin carving the animal, bringing its remains back to camp. That night a meat stew is severed and the elders smoke pipes and tell stories. I am tired so I retire to my bed for the night. When I awake it is morning and my hands are stained with red. Blood? I stumble outside my abode, confused and concerned but Meka is there to calm me. Its just the paint I used to mark myself, she assures me but says it is time to go before she takes off quick as the wind through the fields.

I begin to feel my time is short. When I look up I am surrounded by unfamiliar faces. I spin around and around trying to take it all in, but they are endless. Their voices grow louder, hurting my ears until I am forced to cover them and close my eyes. I scream "Enough!" and the voices stop. Are these my ancestors or past lives? I saw faces from all races and nationalities, mostly women, but a few men thrown in as well. I feel Meka between my legs calling me back. I open my eyes and they are gone. She smiles at me and says, "Next time." in her all-knowing tone. I can hear the drums calling me back, so I find the cave entrance and make my way back up the stairs and back to our realm safely.

There were several other things that happened during this journey that I do not wish to discuss openly, but this particular journey still sticks out to this day. If I'm being honest, I still haven't entered the House on the Shore, nor explored the people I saw any further. Every time I journey there is something else that must be tended too. Meka and Rocar often give me little nudges in the right direction, letting me know that the time will come to face my demons and those of others I have brought along with me. Your guides will likely do the same. I went to set New Moon intentions and came back with much more than I bargained for. There was a lot to think about from this journey, and I am still working on the intentions set during the New Moon in July. You will likely find yourself doing the same.


I sincerely hope that this series has been helpful for those of you interested in hedgecraft and hedge riding. This guide is nowhere near complete but is enough to get you started on your journey into the Otherworld. I will continue to post about hedge riding and my experiences in the future, especially regarding shapeshifting and setting up your own astral office or garden. I'm even planning to discuss summoning your guides to our realm, if they are willing, and how to bind them so they may aid in your magical workings on our plane. Until then, happy travels!

Interest in the rest of the series? Make sure to keep an eye out for upcoming posts!

Hedge Riding Series

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Hedge Riding Series: After You Hedge Ride: Coming Back to Earth

Hedge Riding Series: After You Hedge Ride: Coming Back to Earth

Once you have crossed the hedge, met with your guides, and begun to develop relationships with them, it is time to come home. If you are listening to shamanic drumming, there is always a signal to let the listener know the drumming will soon end. This signal is designed to pull your soul back to you and give you time to slowly come back to earth. But how does one do this?

Depending on the method you used to get into the Otherworld, your method of coming home will vary as well. For me, I always cross the hedge in the same way. I start at the same location at my childhood home, find the same fallen tree, and either walk down or up the stairs to reach the realm I am looking for. I take the same route home. If I am in the Lower Realm, I find the cave covered in vines and walk back up the steps, through the tree, and back to my childhood home. Each of us enters the Otherworld differently, so whatever path you originally took to get there, you should retrace your steps to get back. Make sure you take the same path every time. This makes it easy to travel to and from the Otherworld, but also ensures your soul makes it back in one piece. Once you have made it back to your original starting location, send out a pulse of energy through the Universe. I do this by outstretching my arms, looking up, and forcing energy out of myself. This energy pulse acts as a beacon, allowing any missing fragments of yourself to return to you. Sometimes pieces of us get left behind in the Otherworld without us realizing it. This pulse will call those pieces back to you so you return to our plane completely. After sending out the pulse, check yourself over. Do any areas feel less solid or colder than in other places? If so, you may still be missing parts of yourself. Send another pulse and wait a moment or two. If the piece(s) still do not return, you will need to extend your journey. Travel to the Middle Realm and summon your animal guides to assist you in locating the missing pieces. This is an extremely rare occurrence for well-trained witches. Usually, one pulse is more than enough to ensure you return whole. If you have taken the proper precautions, you shouldn't have to worry about losing parts of you in the Otherworld.

Once you have ensured all of you has returned, slowly open your eyes. If you are laying down, I suggest you remain laying for at least 2-3 minutes to readjust to the physical world. The same if you are sitting. Don't get up right away or try to immediately begin processing your journey. You may feel groggy or tired when you return. This is normal, especially if you have done a lot of work on your journey. Remember, time is different within the Otherworld and our world. While you may have only been gone for 30 minutes on Earth, you could have been in the Otherworld for a week. Its okay if you are tired afterward. Flying is hard work! You may even notice everything is slightly out of focus. Give yourself time to adjust and fully come home. While you are adjusting, reach out and feel the Earth around you. Even if you are inside on your bed, send your energy down until it touches the Earth. Feel the cool, damp soil surround your body and ground you. If you are too drained to do this or unable to ground this way, hold some black tourmaline. This is my favorite method of grounding. Black tourmaline and I have a pretty awesome relationship. I rely on my beautiful crystal A LOT. I always keep it next to me when I hedge ride so I can easily reach over when I am finished to quickly ground myself. Grounding after flying is incredibly important. It brings your mind and soul mentally back to our plane and will allow you to get rid of that tired feeling you may have.

When you are positive you have returned completely, cleanse yourself with sage or another cleansing herb blend. This gets rid of anything that may have hitched a ride back with you. Spirit parasites are common so a cleanse is necessary. If you want and feel it will help, take a cleansing shower. Wash with a sage soup or hang some fresh sage in your shower to help remove any parasitic spirits from yourself.

It is only after you have grounded and cleansed yourself that you should begin trying to process what messages you saw and received. Be sure to write everything

It is important to note that your guides if they are really your guides, won't lie to you. If you are concerned about the information you have received, go back and ask again. If you receive inconsistent information, the spirit you are talking to may not be your guide, or at least not yet. Not everyone you meet is out to help you.

There is a lot more to hedge riding than what I have mentioned in this series. Over the course of the next year, I will expand on some of these topics, but honestly, it would take a book to completely explain everything involved in hedge riding, from building your garden to shapeshifting, to summoning and binding spirits. The list is pretty endless. Good news for you, I am currently writing a book! Maybe I'll get around to finishing it within the next year. Until then, keep an eye out on the blog to related posts! I promise I will delve into many of these topics soon. My final post of this series will include some of my journeys. I thought about leaving this final post off, but I recognize some of you may need to see what I have experienced to validate your own. I'm right there with you. Besides, reading about the experiences of others is so intriguing! It's like reading a really good book, don't you think? Within the next couple of weeks, I'll share some of my most memorable journeys with you!

Interest in the rest of the series? Make sure to keep an eye out for upcoming posts!

Hedge Riding Series

Looking for more information on hedge witches? Check out my posts on the topic: