There has been so much that has happened lately that my mind struggles with fitting it all into the course of the last two weeks. So many changes, some for the better with definite movement forward, others that leave me conflicted, my heart heavy, and with whispers on every bird song that bring me to tears. But all change is a step forward, even if we cannot see it. Even what feels like a step backward is still a step forward for while time may not be linear, our lives most certainly are and everything that happens to us moves us closer to who we will be in the end, influencing who we will be in the next.
10 Tips for Becoming a Magickal Herbalist
Herbalism is one of those things that is so inexorably tied up with witchcraft that it's hard, if not impossible, to imagine anyone with a magickal practice who doesn't have at least a passing interest in herbs. There are few places on our world that don't have plants, and the potential to use them to create changes in our lives, warding off the unwanted and helping us to attract what we desire, is something that has enticed humanity throughout the ages. Even within medicinal herbalism, there is still that feel of mystery and magick surrounding the herbs and the gentle results they bring about.
Herbalism, both magickal and medicinal, is a multilayered modality that accommodates both beginner and expert alike, with a simple approach being just as feasible and rewarding as more complicated clinical herbal research. There is, perhaps, a greater simplicity in magickal herbalism than medicinal herbalism, but it can still seem no less daunting of a field within which to get started and learn. In no specific order, here are ten tips to help you on your way to becoming a magickal herbalist.
Witches are, traditionally and historically, spirit workers. It is one of the fundamental, and inescapable, elements of witchcraft and gives credence to the idea that witchcraft, as we know it, is part of the indigenous shamanic practices of pre-Christian Europe and its peoples*. Spirits exist in a wide variety of forms, although most people tend to think only of the dead (i.e. ghosts, spirits of deceased humans and animals.) While necromancy (working and communicating with the dead, specifically dead humans) is a part of witchcraft and does play a significant role in many witches practice, there are other forms of spirit work that are much more benign and, thus, overlooked that do make up every witch's practice. This is due to the nature of those spirits and the fact that they are very often not considered as spirits (which they, very rightfully and truthfully, are.)
As a new witch and/or Pagan, there is a lot of information to sort through. So many people, books, and websites offering helpful advice, telling you how to do this, how to do that, everybody saying what you should do, but what about all of the things that you should not do? In no particular order, here is a list of 7 things to utterly avoid doing when you’re new to witchcraft and/or Paganism.
I break the dry, brittle pine branches and carefully place them into the fire pit my sons built this morning. Blowing gently on the embers, I soon coax flames back to life. They lick greedily at the fresh fuel and I smile, and then place a few larger sticks next to the flames and around the large cast iron cauldron –a 7 quart dutch oven. I stand up, remove the top from the pot, and fill it with snow from a white 5 gallon pail. A second pail stands next to the snow filled one, only it is half filled with water. This water we would use for washing clothes, dishes, and ourselves.
Whether you’re new to witchcraft or a seasoned practitioner, every witch encounters a time when they feel they’re not doing enough, that their practice has stagnated, or that they simply want to do witchcraft every day and are at a loss for starting points. The common suggestion is often to work on your Book of Shadows, but what if your witchcraft doesn’t swing that way or your record of practice is up to date?
Here are 13 productive and effective ideas for when you want to do witchcraft but find yourself stuck.
In earlier blog posts, I’ve hinted at a massive change happening for my family and me. In truth, it’s something that I’ve vaguely mentioned for a few years now, actually. But, somehow, hope and intention have given way to reality, and the dream is finally poised to manifest, albeit in ways that I could have never imagined.
In the four years I’ve been keeping this blog, I realize that I’ve never really discussed my personal practice too often, and certainly never done the obligatory “how I came to witchcraft and/or Paganism” post. So, grab a cup of tea, I’m going to ramble on for a bit and tell you a story. I hope you find it interesting.
There is a disturbing idea touted about within the witchcraft (and Pagan, by extension) community and by those who neither practice witchcraft nor have any interest in understanding the practice from the perspective of people who not only live and breathe this path, but have been doing so for quite some time. This idea is that belief is all you need to carry you through a religion and/or magickal practice, that magick works simply on the basis of belief. This is a bit larger a topic than merits the scope of this blog, so let’s just focus on the idea that belief is all you need to be a witch and why this is utter bullshit.
Apologies in advance that this is little more of a rant, and, as such, is going to be arranged in tidy little lists, rather than paragraphs. There have been too many statements I’ve come across lately regarding what makes a “real Pagan” and an absolutely awful blog post today about “Part-time Pagans” that basically came down to that if you’re not a vegetarian, don’t meditate, don’t worship your ancestors, smoke cigarettes, or drink alcohol then you’re a fake Pagan.
So many, many statements of what “all Pagans” do… and not a single one of them acknowledging that Paganism is not a religion and is little more than an alliance of various religions. I’m just going to toss in a link here to a previous post on What is Paganism to speed things up. tl:dr –most Pagan religions are more different than they are similar.
Now, ranty list time….
Experienced freelance writer, editor, and copy editor, specializing in: -articles -how-to's -blogs -content writing -general fiction No topics or genres are too unusual or off limits! I am also an experienced spiritual advisor, specializing in alternative and new religious movements.
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