I was interviewed for the Boston Globe about Witchcraft’s popularity with Millennial and Gen Z folks while working in Salem, Massachusetts.
“There’s a sense of wanting to be empowered and have control of one’s life and one’s destiny in a political climate where things feel very grim and hopeless,” said Mat Auryn, a 32-year-old witch from Leominster and author of the forthcoming book, “Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick & Manifestation.” “For me, witchcraft partially is a path of empowerment, so honestly that’s what I feel that gravitation is.”
“Witchcraft has always been a practice of the marginalized,” Auryn said. “We see a lot of queer people, a lot of people of color, disabled people. It tends to be people that witchcraft attracts that aren’t already embraced by our larger patriarchy, for lack of a better word.”
Read the full article here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2019/10/30/millennials-and-gen-embrace-witchy-new-age-spiritualism/ojetIu5fYahXu4dxa2IF6I/story.html
I have chosen (arguably) the ten most popular carrier oils for magickal oils and researched their correspondences.
Deep in trance Hekate appeared before me. I’m always delighted and honored when Hekate appears to me. As a devotee of hers in my personal practice, I have found this is not always the case. She usually appears to me, bestowing revelations yet speaking in very few but very powerful yet stoic words. Then she stands back.
When we start out on our path of Witchcraft we tend to learn Wiccan ideology, whether we’re Wiccan or not. Within Wicca there’s a piece of wisdom that is passed on called the Wiccan Rede, which basically boils down to “an it harm none do as you will”. As we continue down on our path, many of us start seeing the flaw of fulfilling the Rede as we meditate upon it. The act of existence is harmful by nature. The act of eating kills something, regardless of our dietary choices. The body itself tends to be constantly breaking down and destroying life as it exists.
There’s a lot of magickal self-defense books out there. Some are better than others but this book is my hands-down favorite. Jason Miller’s Protection and Reversal Magick: A Witch’s Defense Manual is exactly what it claims to be and more. While this may not be the best book for anyone who half-heartedly dabbles in the magickal arts, it’s a fantastic book for the more serious practitioner. Jason Miller himself is one of the occultists that I’m a huge fan of and whose work I deeply admire.
The book itself is heavily Hekate-centric, which I love. In fact, she’s essentially the main spirit worked with in this book. I particularly love that Jason doesn’t have a light understanding – or as is more common – a huge misunderstanding of Hekate. He focuses on her evolution as a more chthonic deity which occurred sometime around the 5th Century BCE, becoming one of the main spirits invoked in the Greek Magical Papyri and Curse Tablets around that time. Jason writes that “she has been identified as a goddess used in both defensive and offensive magick; a goddess both of darkness and of light. Her image, called a Hekataion, was once so prevalent as a defensive amulet that it was mentioned by Aristophanes in the Wasps as being on every door in Athens, thus making her an excellent choice as a protector. Her darker and more sinister aspects were often invoked by those seeking justice, and thus she makes an ideal goddess for reversing and counter-magick work.”
While Jason does have a great understanding of the importance of the historical Hekate throughout the ages, this doesn’t stop him from also providing some of his personal gnosis. He shares the name of four protective spirits related to Hekate that he personally received, each having the head of an animal sacred to her. These spirits are used as a protective guardian of each quarter. That being said, despite being personal unverified gnosis, they definitely come when called. I have found that these names, just as everything else in the book, work – and well at that.
Throughout the book Jason provides advice not only on protection but also on recognizing the symptoms of attack and creating early warning systems to alert you of magickal attacks. He provides methods of reversal, counter-attack, exorcism and healing. My favorite technique is “The Sphere of Hekas” which is an amazing Hekatean alternative to the more common LBRP techniques done by ceremonial magician traditions like the Golden Dawn, which is great for those like me who have a bit of a hard time or resistance connecting to the Hebrew and chanting his names. This book is not only one of my favorite books on “defense against the dark arts”, but is actually one of my favorite books in my whole library.
Harold Roth of Alchemy Works is pretty well known amongst serious magickal practitioners as THE expert when it comes to plants. Known for not only his wisdom of plant magick, but also his knowledge when it comes to planting, growing, taking care of and harvesting plants. When I heard he was writing a book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, because I knew it would be fantastic. As soon as you open the book you see the high praise of experts in the field of plant witchery such as Daniel Schulke, Christopher Penczak, Judika Illes, Ellen Evert Hopman, Jason Miller, Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold and more. So that should be the very first indication that this book is going to be amazing, if Harold Roth’s name didn’t already sell you.
The Witching Herbs: 13 Essential Plants and Herbs for Your Magical Garden definitely does not disappoint. His explanation of the Doctrine of Signature and plant correspondences is perhaps the clearest and best that I’ve ever come across. Harold provides expert advice from planting seeds to working with the plant spirits themselves. The 13 plants were chosen in honor of the thirteen full moons of the year. Harold provides the lore, history, uses, formulas and recipes for these thirteen plants. These particular plants have a long history in witchcraft and magick – poppy, clary sage, yarrow, rue, hyssop, vervain, mugwort, wormwood, thornapple, wild tobacco, henbane, belladonna and mandrake.
I would definitely read this book once through cover to cover before using it as a reference book, since some of the information on caring for plants builds on information given in a previous chapter regarding another plant. The writing style is clear, concise and easy to follow. The content is the perfect blend of down to earth practical and fascinating esotericism. While there are several books on witchcraft and plants, do not kid yourself, there is information in this book that you will absolutely not find in any other book. Any witch who works with plants needs this book in their library.
We’ve all come across this at some point, people saying what real witches do and don’t do. The irony is that you’ll see the same statements interchanged with whether or not witches do it, based on the witch saying it.
The term “witchsplaining” is derived from other terms such as “mansplaining” and “whitesplaining”. While some may not like this term, it’s definitely being used in the Witchcraft community for a few years now and doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere.
Melusine Draco’s latest book By Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root: The Shadow World Of Plants And Their Poisons is a great introduction into the world of baneful plants. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about this subject. Coming in at only 96 pages, the book is brief and to the point. She starts the book off by giving a fairly thorough introduction into the historical, mythological and fictional worlds of poisons. This section is full of interesting information; from political assassinations, the Gospel of Aradia, Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling, women poisoning their husbands, the flying ointment of witches and much more. As a traditional witch she places emphasis on the connection of poisons with that of witchcraft, sorcery and cunning folk traditions.
The second part of the book discusses historical methods of detecting poison and trying to counteract it. The information about how people would use stones to detect poisons was really interesting. Some gemstones were believed to neutralize poisons and were placed on the goblets of Royalty as a protective measure. Other stones were believed to ward off poisoning just by wearing them or having them on your person. Certain imagery and amulets as well as prayers and incantations were also used to help ward off poisoning. The historical use herbs to combat poisoning is also examined – most being herbs that induce vomiting.
The third section of the book is a very well researched encyclopedic list of baneful plants and fungi including every day plants and herbs around us that aren’t normally discussed or thought of as such. The magickal uses of these plants are only briefly mentioned afterwards.
The last chapter of the book discusses using these plants for cursing or bottling. Melusine has one of the most balanced views I’ve seen on cursing. She does not dismiss cursing as ethically wrong while placing emphasis on the seriousness of doing so and the magickal coin that such a working may cost the witch in the long run. She also warns that a curse cannot be undone by the one who’s cast it. Her preferred method is bottling, which seems to be somewhere between a curse and a binding which she believes can be undone by unbottling the spell itself. She then concludes the book by giving a good number of her bottling spells to stop various forms of harassment, incorporating the use of baneful plants.
Time to pick up that besom and sweep that stale and negative energy out of your life! Many occult books discuss cleansing and clearing briefly but few if any are dedicated solely to the topic from a Pagan perspective.