*blows dust off the web site*

Hello all. Ivy here. I am sure some of you may have noticed that things have gotten dusty over here. Ristoria and I have been overwhelmed with life in general and as a result, this blog has taken a back seat. I just wanted to pop in and say we are figuring it all out and will be back with updates. I hope you’re all enjoying the lunar eclipse right now and blessed be. ❤

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PC Magick Spell – Captain America Determination

I can do this alld ay

I came up with a Steve Rogers inspired spell! Add or subtract whatever you want to make it work for you. Cast, don’t cast, totally up to you on how many bells and whistles you want to add.

This one is for when the world is kicking your rear and you need to act like a BAMF.

You’ll Need

  • Red Candle – Passion
  • White Candle – Purity
  • Blue Candle – Loyalty and a bit of Healing.
  • Your will and determination.

Now, for those of you that have seen this movie (if not this may be spoiler-y, you have been warned) you know that Pre-Serum Steve has an issue with walking away from a fight – he just can’t do it. Every now and then we need to call up on that courage and fury and determination to get through a crappy time in our lives.

We’re going to be using Steve’s energy to get through it.  No, it may not be glamorous, or polished, but we’ll get the job done.

Light your candles and sit for a moment, thinking about Steve Rogers and his ability to keep going even though he’s always perceived as weak. This is the man that is able to become Captain America, who goes on to save hundreds and hundreds of men. Who has a heart of gold, and a determination to keep going no matter what.

He started out on the bottom, like you may be feeling right now.  Think of whatever situation is getting you down, kicking your butt right now and try to smile. Smirk even. Stare it in the face and tell it “I can do this all day.”

Because you can. You can get through this and you will make it out even better than before. When you’re ready stand up and walk away, leaving whatever funk behind it the dust. You have taken your serum, in the glow of the red, white and blue candles and you are strong.

Go forth and conquer.

Love and Light,

Ristoria

*first published on ristoria.tumblr.com – edited here for language.

Wiccan Wednesday: Ethics Part 3

8-03-5Howdy. I failed, this was supposed to be last weeks post and…I failed. Anyway – here you go!

Today is probably the last part I’m going to do on Ethics, since I think I’ve hit on the three biggest topics that Wiccans deal with. The third being The Wiccan Rede.

The biggest “mistake” I see people making is treating the Rede (first recorded in 1964 in a speech made by Doreen Valiente) like it is set in stone: LAW.

It’s not. Many of you  may be gasping in horror over such blasphemy. I’ll write it again. The Rede is not law. The word “rede” itself means “advice.”

That’s all it is. It’s simple advice to Wiccans on how to live their lives according to what Doreen thought would make for happy Wiccans. It’s just like the Golden Rule, only written in a fancy, rhyming format.

Rhymes are easier to remember and the rede was probably written in that way so that memorization would be easier.

In all seriousness though, I see a lot of people freaking out over the Rede for no reason. You don’t have to adhere to it. You can still call yourself Wiccan if you don’t follow one poem full of advice. A lot of it is common sense. To me, it just seems like busy work for Wiccans, much like I had to do in Sunday School when I was forced to go to church. We memorized a bunch of verses that were picked out to teach us lessons and that was that.

The main tenant I think we need to come away from is the most famous part, which is written in a few different ways but basically “as long as it harms none, do what you will.” If you live your life in a way that harms as few beings as possible, then rock it out. You do you boo. If, however, you’re living life in a way that isn’t so nice to others then you might want to take a look, re-prioritize and make some changes.

That’s it! Nothing totally crazy right? Some advice, fancy Wiccan Golden Rule: don’t be a jerk to others and live life as your true self.

Love and Light,

Ristoria

Magick Monday: Healing Spells

crystalSo, you’re sick. You have a sore throat. Your stomach hurts. You have a cut that just won’t heal. You have a headache that won’t quit.

These happen to us every day and most of the time you probably just deal with it, sometimes pop a pain reliever.  But as a witch, you have the power to do something about it.

Small healing spells can help speed up the healing process, but remember that this is only intended for common, everyday ailments.

Magic can do amazing things, but it is never a substitute for medical care. Think of healing spells as  cough drops rather than an antibiotics.

Now, when I don’t feel good I’m not in the mood to do a lot of magic or perform a ritual. So if I’m going
to do a spell for healing I want it to be quick and easy. There’s two spells I go to, depending on what’s
wrong with me. The thing they have in common is positive thinking, and water.

Water is the element that heals and cleanses. It only makes sense to drink water when you don’t feel good. And positive
thoughts go hand in hand with magic. You can’t expect to feel better if you’re letting yourself feel
miserable.

My first spell is best for when you have a cold, a stomach ache, or anything of the like. You probably know that if you’re sick you should drink warm, clear liquids. Herbal tea is good to drink because it will soothe your throat and stomach. Peppermint tea is good for a sour stomach. Raspberry tea is good for woman who are having cramps. Chamomile tea will help you relax. You can also add in honey or lemon for their anti-bacterial properties.

To perform this spell all you have to do is bring your water to a boil and let it boil for a few minutes. This will ensure that your water is clean. Pour your water into a mug and put in the tea to steep. As it’s steeping, visualize a calming, clean energy that is coming from the tea and infusing the water with healing properties. Once it’s finished steeping, sit and drink the tea slowly (but don’t burn yourself). Feel the energy of the tea flow through your body and visualize a white or blue
light around you. Let this light fill you up, allowing it to heal you.

My second spell is best for body aches, cuts, and bruising. All you need is water and a clear quartz crystal. Clear quartz are great for directing energy and handy for healing spells. There are several methods to perform this spell. If you have a bath tub, take a bath with the crystal and visualize the same calming, clean energy as in the first spell coming from the crystal and filling you with a white or blue light. If you don’t have a bath tub, try a foot soak.

If your pain is more internal, take a small glass of drinking water and dip the crystal in for just a few seconds. Do the same visualization as the tea and drink the water slowly. Do not leave the crystal in the water, because you might accidentally swallow it if it’s small.
Remember to take care of yourself when you don’t feel good. If you think you need it, take medicine.
Drink plenty of water and eat something every 4-5 hours. A nap can go a long way in making you feel
better. Make sure you take time and relax – read a book, listen to music, or do a craft. And if you truly do
not feel well, or are seriously injured, do not hesitate to see a doctor.
Hope you’re feeling better!

Love and Light,

Ristoria

*Disclaimer: Again, these spells are not and can not be a substitute for professional medical help. Ristoria, Ivy, and The Samhains Sisters are released from any and all liability.

Magick Monday: Blood Magick

Hi everyone! Today I am sharing, with permission, an essay on blood magick. Be warned, this down talk about blood, so if you’re squeamish, this might not be the best article for you to read.

Love and Light,

Ristoria

Magic Theory and Associations in Blood Magic
By Pomegranate&Ivy http://pomegranateandivy.tumblr.com/

Everyone who even dabbles in magic knows there are different associations for different items used in spells. Basil for protection, garlic for health, quartz for cleansing, things like that. There are generic associations for blood, associations for how you get it, where it’s from, and personal associations that can be used in your spellwork as well.

I mentioned paradigms before, but didn’t get to deep into what that means. A paradigm is actually defined as a typical example, pattern, or model. They’re typically referred to in the scientific community, when talking about assumptions, or a ruling theory. Paradigm shifts can occur, where the total consensus changes in light of evolved thought and understanding, new knowledge, or changes in the application of something.  So the current paradigm is that blood magic is powerful and blood magic attracts spirits. Blood magic is easily worked and the idea that blood magic isn’t binding are personal philosophies. There’s a cognitive dissonance between the paradigm and the personal. Which is fine. When we’re working with a personal concept that applies to blood magic and doesn’t counteract the paradigm, then you’re working in essentially untouched ground. Your belief starts building energy for you to work with, simply because of your ideas.

When you’re working against a paradigm, you’re working against all the energy already built in that direction. That’s not to say that it’s impossible, pointless, or unnecessary to work against paradigms. By the contrary, it can be necessary and rewarding to work against paradigms. The spread of knowledge and personal practices shifted the paradigm of blood magic from ‘evil’ and strictly for dealing with demons, summoning, and curses, to a much more versatile and neutral form of magic. Obviously people had been using blood magic for things beyond ‘the dark arts’ for quiet some time, but they still had to fight the naturally occurring energy surrounding the magic form, due to the collective belief of the many. As that shifted though, and people came to understand that blood magic isn’t evil, it’s a tool like any other form of magic, you started hearing more stories of people working with blood magic successfully. The removal of the stigma, and the applied energies from that stigma, made blood magic an easier and safer form of magic. Less people were expecting something bad to happen, so less bad things were happening.

Think of it the same way you’d approach a ouija board. If you’re expecting something bad to come of this, then something bad will happen, just because of the energy you’re creating and putting into it. Now, think of one person using a ouija board in a room full of bystanders. If most people are skeptical, they’re putting off warding energy without even trying, because they don’t believe, and don’t want a reason to believe. That’s going to keep most every spirit away, so in all likelihood, nothing will happen unless the practitioner using the board is skilled, focused, and stronger at calling in spirits than the rest of the people in the room are at keeping them passively away. If you’re room is full of people who are afraid of something going wrong, then they’re generating energy that will call more malicious spirits in, even though they aren’t using the board at all. Their belief creates actual energy that affects the world around them, and can be used by others. That is exactly how paradigms work in regards to magic. Removing those people from the room lessens the effect they have on the ouija board. It’s still there, vaguely floating energy that ebbs and flows through existence, or even as a kernel of thought in the back of your mind. If that thought holds any ground in your mind, you’re giving the paradigm room, and that energy can work its way into your own practices and workings. If it doesn’t, then the chance the paradigm has of altering your spell work is greatly reduced, because there is no active outlet for it. Then you only have to deal with the ebb and flow of energy around everything.

Note though, how the ouija is still affected most strongly by the person using it. That person has means of preventing the outside energies from changing the outcome of working with the ouija board. Their belief and experience may be strong enough that they drown out the dissenting voices. Also, since they are the one directly working with the ouija board, their energy is strongest in relation to the current working. There’s still all that other energy in the room, but their energy is closest to the item in question, and has more influence than any of the other single opinions do. The question becomes if that has more influence than the collective. That’s why it is important to know how to work against a paradigm when casting.

It’s not impossible to counteract or negate that energy. It just takes focus, and strong belief and will. If you think that blood magic isn’t any more powerful than herb magic, then the easiest way to ensure that, is to not cast blood magic around others who may believe differently, and don’t inform anyone that a particular spell is done with blood magic. This is because once they are aware of it, they unconsciously start putting energy into it. That energy can even change previously worked spells. Setting circles while casting can also help prevent energy from outside forces effecting your work. Part of the purpose of a circle is to keep outside energies, spirits, and forces…on the outside. If we’re treating paradigms as the collective of energy floating through the world that is released when people express personal beliefs and therefore release energy into the world, then warding against that energy can be an affective way of preventing a paradigm from effecting your work. While direct energy, such as a person inadvertently adding more power to a necklace enchanted with blood magic, can change a spell after it’s been cast, it’s harder for free-floating energy to change things once they’re done. Imagine an artist. When they are drawing around other people, those people can look over the artists shoulder, say this doesn’t look right, that should be different, and so on and so forth. The artist may make changes to their drawing based on the ideas of others. If that same artist works on something without showing anyone until they’re done, then what happens? The work is finished, the artist won’t go back and change it, even when people stand there and critique it. It may change future works the artist does, but not that one. Those critiques are free-floating energy. It’s easy for the critiques to shape a work in progress.

The person changing the meaning of the spell when they learn how it was made, is that person who sees the Mona Lisa as smiling, not stoic or frowning. For them, that painting is of a smiling woman, and no one can tell them otherwise, even though they know other people can see it differently. Their view point limits their interpretation, changes the meaning for themselves, and affects how others look at it from then on, because new people walking up will look for the smile in the painting.

The strength of your belief will also change how effective it is. If you normally treat blood magic like it’s more powerful than other forms of magic, then simply trying to cast a spell one day using blood magic, that you treat as being a less powerful form of magic, won’t be very effective. If you consistently work off the theory that magic is as powerful as what you put into it, then it’s much easier to change the level of power from one spell to the next, simply by how much energy and intent you put into it.

Now, if you’re like me, you don’t want to just take the paradigms at surface value. You want to know why. Why is blood magic considered powerful? Why is it long lasting? Why are sangomancy spells difficult to break? When I start to think about why blood magic is thought of this way, I think about the significance of blood. Every mammal, every bird, reptiles, fish, and bugs all have blood. Blood is often considered our life force, since we can’t live without it. By that token then, blood can hold all the power of a life. If you think of it from an individual stand point, then blood magic can hold all the energy of a whole life, and can last en entire lifetime, or longer. If you look at it from a more universal point of view, then it can hold an insignificant amount of energy, as a single person is only a drop in the entirety of existence; and can last on the short term, as a lifetime is just a blink in the span of eternity. So then, even in understanding the reasoning behind popular opinions behind the workings of blood magic, your stand point on it can drastically change the outcome of those ideas when applied to spell craft.

Now that we have a bit of a general understanding of blood in magic, we can begin to look at more specific uses. Can blood drawn from different areas of the body be used for different things? Can blood be used to represent other people or items? What are the different things blood can be used for in spells?

The most well known association with blood magic is probably in reference to menstrual blood. Globally, menstrual blood is associated with fertility. That’s because a period usually indicates you’re of an age (physical if not necessarily legal), health, and body to bear children. That’s a pretty clear and easily understood association. Except, menstrual blood can also be used or warding against pregnancy since a period means you aren’t pregnant. Also, if you start to take into account the fact that not all people who get periods are capable of having children, that association can shift over to include additional meanings. Fertility, birth, infertility, cycles of growth and death, pain, and personal power. If you get painful cramps, then menstrual blood can represent pain, and be used either to prevent or inflict it. If you’re infertile, then menstrual blood can be a reminder of that, and can be used to make charms preventing pregnancy for others. You can also build on the typical association of fertility to increase your or anothers’ chances of becoming pregnant. The menstrual cycle is just that, a cycle. It’s about growth, death, and then starting all over again. Menstrual blood can be used in spells or ceremonies for rebirth, change, and new beginnings. By the same token though, it can be used for stability and reliability. Use it in a spell to promote stability in your life, work, or a specific situation. You know every month you’ll get a period, with a few exceptions that either stop or throw off your cycle.

In addition to menstrual blood, we can look at the associations for blood from spotting during pregnancy or miscarriage. This is a lot of personal associations. There isn’t much wide-spread ideas for miscarriage blood, beyond death. Blood from spotting during pregnancy could be used for cursing, sickness, loss, fear, and death if you’re so inclined, in addition to warding against pregnancy. While you may not be wanting to ward against pregnancy for yourself at that point, it can be used in a spell for use later on, or for someone else. It can also be used to ward against any of those aspects, by making it the target of a ward, after clarifying the intent you’re focusing on. Such as charging it specifically for loss, and then making a ward, targeting the charged blood.

Another well known type of blood used for sangomancy, is blood from sex. This can include “virgin blood” from when a hymen is damaged, spotting from particularly rough sex, from scratches during sex, from love bites, or any form of blood play kink. This type of blood would obviously hold the intent that you or your partner felt during the sex acts. This can be anything from anger (think angry make-up sex), love, passion, or fear (referring here to fear from possibly your first time, or first time with a new partner, fear due to kink and BDSM play where that is the desired and agreed upon goal, or any other natural amount of fear that can be experienced during CONSENSUAL sex), among other emotions as well. It also tends to hold the very typical and effective connotations of love and fertility, as sex can represent fertility, since one of the reasons many people have sex is to try and become pregnant. Blood from sexual acts can also be used for pleasure though. It can also be used for beauty, because I don’t know about you, but I feel absolutely gorgeous when I am engaging in mutually pleasurable acts of intimacy with someone whom I trust and care for. When you think about how things tend to shift for some people during orgasm, and they either feel more aware of their surroundings or less aware of their body, there’s also potential application for blood from this source to be used to heighten awareness or ease transition to the astral. For me, everything goes soft, I become less aware of my body, and it feels like my energy bleeds into the surrounding energy more easily. For my significant other, he feels energized, and keenly aware of his body and surroundings. The difference in experience allows for the two of us to use blood magic in different ways.

Fighting is probably the next most distinguishable type of blood for spell use. There are so many reasons to fight, and so many things that blood drawn from a fight can be used for. Anger, violence, pain, sorrow, protection, justice, and more. The reason for the fight charges your blood with that intent, before it’s ever drawn. All the excitement, the adrenaline and fear before the fight, that is a part of you, so it carries in your blood. If you fight to hurt someone, that rage and intent to do harm can be used for cursing, to ward against anything you want, or even just using that for strength and energy. If you fight to defend something, to protect someone, then any blood drawn during that fight makes for some mighty powerful protection magic.

Anyone who’s ever worn a new pair of heels all day long can understand this next one. Blood drawn from an act of determination. Think of walking in those new heels all day, rather than only wearing them for a bit at a time until you break them in. Ever walked until your feet bled? That’s an act of determination, of strength and willpower. This can be used to seal a spell and make sure it lasts. This can be used to make sure a spell can’t be broken by outside forces. It can be used for binding, where you need to add your own strength and willpower to make sure it’s strong enough. It can be used for protection magic, where you’re pushing all that determination to complete a goal into the spell, with the goal then being aimed at keeping something or someone safe. The possibilities are endless. If you have the will, then you really do have the way, and the power to complete your goal.

Now, there’s a couple different opinions on where in the body you get blood from, and how it affects the blood as a component. On one hand, blood is blood, and it can hold the same intent, regardless of where or how you draw it. On the other hand, it can also gain the intent from the area you drew the blood from; hands for work, feet for travel, mouths for communication. So I’m going to talk a bit about intent that is added from where you draw the blood.

Since hands are the most common place for getting blood, lets talk about hands first. I associate hands with work, creation, healing, and destruction. Everything we do, we do with our hands. We build nations and destroy mountains, with the push of a button, the signing of a paper, or the flip of a switch. The essence of action for us, is in our hands. And while the blood draw from your hands is the same blood that flows through the rest of your body, you can focus on those attributes you associate with your hands as well, to further charge your blood, and therefore your spell work. Want to power up a healing spell? We heal with our hands. A curse? We destroy with our hands too.

Feet are another area that have a strong connotation for me. Anyone who’s ever had to wear a new pair of shoes for an entire day, and has rubbed part of their foot raw, will understand this connotation. Blood drawn from feet has a strong connection to determination and attaining goals, no matter the difficulties. There’s also the more obvious connotations of journeys, travel, and wandering. Use blood from the soles of your feet to aid in finding your way, or to make someone feel lost.

Mouths are the other big one for me. Communication, truths, lies, knowledge…these are just a few of the things blood from your mouth or tongue can be used for. Charisma and persuasion are easy connections as well. Drops of blood from your tongue in a spell before you have a presentation, a speech, or have to deal with social situations if you aren’t particularly comfortable dealing with people. Use it in a truth spell to make someone be honest with you. Use it to curse someone every time they lie. The bulk of all communication comes from language, so from our mouths.

And this is really just the beginning. These are my own views and experiences working with blood in magic. Once you start getting into blood magic it’s beyond easy to create your own meaningful associations that you can bring into your witchcraft.

Wiccan Wednesday: Ethics Part 2

Hello everyone! Welcome to the next Wiccan Wednesday – the place where we chat about all things Wicca! *cue crappy infomercialimage music*

Today we’re going to be chatting about the whole “perfect love and perfect trust” thing that gets thrown around a lot, but a lot of people don’t really know what the heck it means, or they don’t actually believe in it and they just say it.

I feel like it’s a “sorry.” You know, that knee jerk reaction “sorry.” Bump into someone and it’s totally their fault? “Sorry.” Step on someone? “Sorry.” We say it all the time, but do we really mean it?

Many times when entering a circle the HPS (High Priestess) or HP (High Priest) will say something along the lines of  “whoever enters the circle, must enter with perfect love and perfect trust.”

What if you’re a newb and you have no idea what the heck it means?

To me, perfect love and perfect trust is having absolute faith in those you’re circling with. It’s being able to share that sacred, spiritual part of yourself, to open up and share magickal moments. I don’t circle with other people lightly. When I am in circle, I am entering a sacred space, sharing a part of my soul with my circle mates, and together we are either working magick (where there is a strong need and I need to trust them and their intentions), honoring Deity (not something that is to be taken lightly in my book) or honoring nature (again, important to me.)

So, this is heavy stuff. Yup. Many new Wiccans fail to realize that this is a serious religious path. If you just want to practice witchcraft and don’t want to honor Deities, then do that. If you want to honor a God and a Goddess, the 8 Sabbats and 13 Esbats, then look into Wicca further, which is what these weekly lessons will be.

So, if you’re new, how do you know when to trust someone? When should you trust someone and when should you maintain secrecy about your spirituality? What do you do if you’re trying to find a group to circle with?

Practice and Interview.

First, practice circling on your own so you can get the hang of it. You need to have your own foundation before you join a group. If you want to try out a group setting without any big ties then try public circles. Check out WitchVox and see if there are any public or “open” circles in your area. A lot of times they’ll be put on by the local Pagan council and usually they are free. Check around Sabbats especially.

After that, make sure you talk to the people you want to circle with if it’s for a private circle. Become friends first. When it was more than Ivy and I for The Coven of the Winding Willow we used to have weekly meetings with a few other girls. We chatted, became friends, and then circled. 2 years or so later and Ivy is my best friend in the whooooole wide world.

Basically there’s no one set way to know when to trust someone, or when to know that you love them (usually platonically.) You just have to hang out with them, see if you’re beliefs align and go from there.

Be safe. If you are under 18 then just chill solo until you are of legal age, or get a parent or guardian involved, if it is safe to do so.

Next Wednesday we tackle the Wiccan Rede!

Love and Light,

Ristoria

Magick Monday: Summer Magick

Hi everyonefile1121296300929!

Sorry for being MIA for a while as per usual the minute I try to start a new blogging endeavor things get wonky in real life.

Today’s Magick Monday is going to be all about summertime activities with a magickal twist inspired by my bubble blowing daily ritual.

There are certain things I do in the summer that I don’t really do at any other time of the year. One of those things is blowing bubbles. For the past week or so if I’m feeling down (which happens often with my anxiety disorder) I go outside and blow bubbles. I’m lucky enough to have my own yard so I stand right in the middle of the grass, barefoot and I blow bubbles.

I get some strange looks, but who the heck cares. Life is too short to not blow bubbles. Now bubbles are related to both Air (for which they float on) and water (for the bubbles solution.) These are both comforting to me during an anxiety filled day.

For me I like to imagine clean hair entering my lungs, and gathering up all the funk. Then as I blow out the gunky air into the bubble the watery solution is cleaning it, and the bubbles floats on the air, carrying the gunk-filled bubbles away from me. When the bubbles pop the negative energy is dispelled.

However, I don’t see why you can use this technique for other things. Want prosperity? Add a drop of green food coloring and think happy, prosperous thoughts into the bubbles.  Whistle as you fill the bubbles with air. Add a touch of glitter to make your words sparkly.

For other summer time activities you could grab some sidewalk chalk and write sigils everywhere. When the next rain comes they’ll be washed away and absorbed into the Earth. Use chalk to write on doors, walls and trees as long as it’ll wash off.

Take incense sticks and shove them into the dirt in your yard to create a circle of peace. Keep water nearby to put out any potential fires.

Enjoy the summer.

Love and Light,

Ristoria