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#126509 How to Teach Yourself

Posted by sarasuperid on 24 May 2012 - 07:30 PM

Now, there is no doubt a bunch of threads pretty much on this topic. But often those are in kinda of convoluted ways, teacher vs teaching yourself etc.

But really there are simple strategies for teaching oneself.

Okay I have in the past mentioned five major foundational areas for witchcraft. Okay they aren't everything you need, it doesn't include the characteristics you need, it doesn't include some of the soul searching. But they are skills one can learn and teach oneself to an extent.

1) Herbalist (or geologist (gems) or birdology (okay sue me I don't know the latin names) other natural craft). Get a few guidebooks for your area, go outside. Then once you have identified a few (plants, stones, birds) with your manual and taken notes, drawn pictures or taken photographs, gotten samples (a leaf or flower, a rock or a feather), look up folklore about that thing--especially local, see if there are any places named after it. Look at those. Build a relationship with the natural thing, as you are building up the other foundational areas, think how you could incorporate this natural craft into those areas.

2) Seer. Just pick up a simple divination tool, whatever draws your fancy or just whatever is cheapest, don't obsess over it: tarot, runes, playing cards, a pendulum with a pendulum with a pendulum chart, whatever. Okay now if its tarot, you can begin by just getting to know your cards, yes you can look at the white book, but primarily figure out what they mean for you. If you do runes, read the runic poems. Then just practice with your new tool. Take it to bed with you, put it under the pillow etc. You are getting to know this tool, it will take a while. Do readings for friends and family, don't feel bad if you need to pull out the meanings book while you are practicing, but try to read as much of the spread as you can without it before grabbing the book. Start thinking about how you can use your divination tool in other forms of witchery as laid out below and above.

3) Spirit Medium. Okay some may disagree with me, that's fine you could skip this one, I did it when I was a kid and I am still alive and well. "Play" with a oujii board. Alternatively, try automatic writing or drawing. Neither of these forms of spirit communication require much more than a pen and paper. You can make your own spirit board and you can automatic write draw in a notebook with a pen. You might just be talking to another part of yourself, or you might contact a spirit, either way you are doing something. Once you start having some success with it start thinking of how you can combine this with the other foundational areas.

4) Mystic. Everyone is different, some people can sit still and meditate, others can't. Some people rock, some people drum, some dance, some listen to meditation tapes, some stare at a symbol or a spot on the wall until their imagination starts wandering out. Find one that you think you will be able to do and do it. Do it for five minutes a day for a week. Then add a few minutes next week until you are spending more time day dreaming and can start getting far enough into the day dream to leave your own conciousness and go out. If you fall asleep, try getting more sleep and doing your practice at a more awake time of day for you. Start thinking about ways the other areas of foundational skills can assist you.

5) Magic User. Its this easy, get a candle a little one like about two inches tall, how about a white one. Write down what you want to happen on a piece of paper or carve it into the candle. Light it every day for an hour, just sitting by it and thinking about how great it will be when it happens. Okay after the candle burns out, wait a week and get a new candle and burn it towards another goal. Have these goals written down somewhere in a small notebook, but don't look at it unless you are doing a new spell with it. Don't think too much on it outside of when you are doing the spell. Then when you are doing like your tenth spell, look at your first, has it happened yet? Start thinking about how you could combine your other skills with the spell work.

---Now really candle spells are not the only kind of magic nor the most important. And if you cannot burn candles where you are, well then go somewhere where you can. This is magic this is witchcraft, you are going to have to get uncomfortable, try new things and get out of your comfort zone sometimes. If you can't burn candles at home, go to a small park. Are there always people at the park? Find a time to go when there aren't a lot of people, or climb a tree and light your candle in a lantern that protects it from the wind and catching other things on fire. If you are not able to climb trees or there are no parks, find another place you can go to light a candle, there is somewhere, even if you gotta take two buses to get there. Why am I saying this? Why am I pushing the candle issue? not because I think candles are all that important, but I think doing what you have to do is important. Making excuses all the time for something as minor as even lighting a candle to me means you don't have what it takes to be witch. If you cannot figure out a way that you can light a candle so that you can do a few spells, then you might not have what it takes to be a witch. Does this apply to witches who are already practicing and do other types of magic not candle magic? No, it only applies to new people who claim they want to get started and haven't yet.-- We aren't a site for teens, I am assuming you are an adult and therefore you can make decisions for yourself--your first clandestine candle spell might be to get in a situation where you can light candles whenever you want! Hey you don't even have to do what I say, you are an adult, I am just pointing something out, if you want to be a witch you gotta figure out your own power and how to make things happen for yourself.

Okay none of these methods of teaching yourself require getting a book about witchcraft or watching a video. Yes they do require you do some research, but the vast majority of it is finding your own knowing. You can start with any of these, but they all benefit each other and can be combined in bajillions of ways.
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#133890 Practicality, Tips and Tricks

Posted by Whiterose on 16 September 2012 - 10:03 PM

Being a witch is not easy, actually its alot of work. Many of us have learned the hard way the tips and tricks to make life a little easier. Since alot of us have been around the block a time or two with witchcraft, I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread on practicality, tips and tricks and have everything in one place for easier reference. I have learned valuable tips and tricks from many of you on the site and actually have figured out a few of my own the hard way. So for those of you who have random tidbits of everyday wisdom, here is place to put them.

A couple things I figured out during my 12 or so years of practising:

-Do not store salty water in a corked bottle, the salt will corrode and decay the cork and make the whole thing go to shit.

-Used dryer sheets are an easy and disposable way to clean up candle holders after spells.

-When labeling bottles and jars, use paper and scotch tape instead of fancy, expensive labels. The glue, over time on the labels with turn in to something the strength of super glue and will be a bitch to remove if you want to use the container for a different purpose. Vinegar or alohol will dissolve it, but its a pain in the ass. Paper and scotch tape is for one, cheap, and two, very easy to remove with out 15-30 minutes of scrubbing off adhesive.

-Do not burn tapers in a glass holder, it will shatter.

-Do not roll your candle in oil and herbs like it says in the Wicca books, when you light it you will have BIG fire.

-Do not put loads of an herb on a charcoal block, you will get lots of smoke, and be choking and coughing as you try to quiet the screaming smoke detectors. A little goes a long way lol.

-Cats love the energy created by spell work. Either lock them out or have the burning things away from cat tails.

-Fancy ritual capes will, inevitably, catch fire or collect spilled wax. They just get in the way, save yourself the headache and just skip the cape. If you want to be fancy and mysterious, wear a mask.

I will probaby think of more but that is all that comes to mind right now. Some one care to chime in?
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#122074 Some of us...

Posted by sarasuperid on 14 February 2012 - 09:51 PM

It seems to be the popular thing for new seekers making out their introduction to bash other ways of practice than their own, based on assumptions of what we trad witches are like. They assume they will find like minds who will join in the insults to other ways of practice. Perhaps they think their insults to their perceived outsiders and others will endear them to us. :pumpkin_rolleyes:

I'll let you in on a secret:
Some of us like dressing up
Some of us use ceremony
Some of us use tools

Here's a tip, get to know us before you come in and spout off in ways that will not endear you to the regulars.

We like new seekers, we will give you the benefit of the doubt if you give us a little credit.

A suggestion, tell us about what you are, rather than what you aren't. It is easy enough to say, I like to use soil and sticks and spices and pans, I wear my regular clothes when casting and I tend to keep things minimal with few tools and unscripted moments.

There is zero wrong with dressing in your regular clothes, using the natural things around in a simple manner--and many of us here are like that. But you could be missing your chance to get to know some awesome witches who do collect crystals, dress up for Ren faires, plan lovely ceremonies and rituals and/or have a few skulls in their collection, who may well be some of the coolest witches you might ever get to know! if you use your intro to demean such practices.

I am not one to use crystals much myself, but one of my favorite regulars on this community does and she is one hell of a witch! I like a little ceremony, but mostly keep things simple, but again there are a few witches on here who knock the pants off with their magic rituals.
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#137953 Practicality, Tips and Tricks

Posted by sarasuperid on 19 December 2012 - 12:01 AM

Its okay to be just a plain old witch if you want (versus a hedge witch, green witch, cottage witch, urban witch, white witch, sea witch, city witch etc.) you might have to move and then where are you?

I find post it notes are helpful for temporarily labeling things. I just cut along off the not sticky part and I have a nice paper tape thingy that will pull off with easy later. S

tick the label for your dry herbs inside the herb bag. That way you can reuse bags later, and the writing won't rub off. Sometimes even sharpy rubs off if it gets oil on it. This way you can see through the plastic what is in your baggy.

Funnels are good. Yes funnels are an unsung witchy tool that deserve some credit. Same goes for pipettes, eye droppers, and turkey basters.

Something being new doesn't make it bad. You can use windex or purell in a spell if it suits you. It doesn't make you less of a witch to use modern convienances. Though sometimes doing things the old fashioned way is a part of the magic. Try and know the difference rather than doing either to be reactionary or superior.

The fanciest newest all the rage thing might be dangerous. Don't just do it to be cool. You are just as cool even if you aren't rubbing poisons on yourself. But if you do decided to do it, don't feel bad for waiting a while and picking it up on the tail end of the fad--you took your time and considered the consequences and thats awesome. Did you just start including bones in your practice? even though the trailblazers are bemoaning all the posers? Well maybe you just wanted to make sure it was right for you, and hey why are they writing blogs about it if they don't think anyone else should try it?

Buy lighters and matches in 12 packs. Then you can have them everywhere, in the car, your bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, purse, pocket. You never know where you might want some fire and not having a lighter/matches is silly when they are so darned cheap!

Pick up salt packets and pepper/hot sauce packets and sugar and honey packets at restaurants. Salt is protective, pepper/hot sauce for hexing, sugar and honey for sweeting things up. Chocolates for romance and sex and mints for chance meetings where you want to make a good impression. You can keep them in your bag and always have them handy.

Rubber bands are good for bindings.
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#167716 The dangers of ignorance

Posted by Michele on 12 December 2014 - 12:47 PM

...... Comparing this situation to movie plots I find insulting I only post things when they are important to me and need an opinion. I don't post on here so I can feel like I'm being belittled. This right here is why I almost hate posting anything anymore and there has been other people on here that I've spoke to that feel the same way!


I would like to address this, as it has been something in the back of my mind since the whole "intimidation" thing among peers came up and I am not sure that it has completely gone away. This is to everyone on here, it was only prompted by the posts to Hawkind's thread, but is not to Hawkwind... it's more to what happened before but of which I still feel an undercurrent.


A long time ago when I first joined this forum, there many people on here who took no shit from anyone - some politely and some not so politely, lol - and today I can still hear them typing in giant caps OMFG, lol, and I was reminded of that the other day when I happened to see it in someone's signature. I miss those days and those people. ANd I didn't like all of them. And any number of them would and could rip a new-comers (or each others) post to shreds if they thought it was BS.  And people learned how to really look and think and decipher what was posted, and people grew and stood tall. Not screaming and having shit fits, but quietly and confidently.


ANd I think there is great danger for a person who truly feels too intimidated by mere humans to post. It implies a lack of self confidence and self respect. To worry too much about being put down. If one isn't comfortable defending and sticking up for and rationally posting their own beliefs among others of the craft - one is going to be in deep shit when the start dealing with otherworldly stuff like the thing with the board. Because that thing will be able to smell out fear and insecurity and doubt from 10 miles away.That thing will know what threads a person has or hasn't trembled in the otherworld, will be able to recognize any mark that person has made which crossed worlds and won't need to read an internet post to know who it can eat for lunch and who it can't. And it won't give a flying fuck how new the person is or isn't to the craft. It won't care that in common society it would be considered impolite, intimidating, or dangerous. It won't care if 'feelings are hurt - it may not even know what feelings are. And it sure as hell won't respond by letting one back off to a safe place where they don't feel intimidated. And to me that was a dangerous message to send out on a witchcraft forum. In the real otherworld there are no mods to mediate and no mods to create safe places. If one can't stand up for one's self (not in temper tantrum ways, but in rational, thoughtful, evaluating ways) in the presence of other witches, then one will be fucked beyond belief if they ever have to really stand up to something otherworldly that isn't moderated. 


The otherworld knows who is worthy of respect and who isn't, who has earned it and who hasn't - it can smell it and taste it. Everyone posts dumb shit sometimes, me especially, lol. Everyone has something they can learn. If anyone is afraid to post because they can't handle the input, they need to put on their big-person witch panties or stop practicing craft and merely enjoy reading about it. But they definitely for their own safety need to stop poking at the otherworld and the things in it. This forum and its arguments can also be a great opportunity - not just to learn craft, but also to realize that one isn't protected. Protection is an illusion. You either learn how to protect yourself and stand up for yourself or you walk away. And learning how to stand up for yourself on here, and how to change it your were wrong, elaborate if you were right, and doing it respectfully.... learning how to do that on here IS one step closer to knowing how to deal with the otherworld and any assholes  or otherwise who may be floating about in it. But if one can't handle that on here among mere humans, one needs to take a good look at whether or not they belong in the craft.


Sorry mods.. I know this post will probably cause you problems :-(



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#119164 the foundational basics

Posted by Marabet on 20 December 2011 - 04:29 PM

I really like what Tana had to say. I think mine are a bit similar but I will share anyway...

I would say that the very foundation of witchcraft skills is for the witch to know themselves and to have complete control over themselves. It seems like a no-brainer but really in this day and age and with so many coming into witchcraft from religions and lifestyles that had them answering to someone else this is really essential. It's essential for everyone but it's going to come easier for some and not quite so easy for others. So get to know yourself through meditation, divination, or whatever works and then take the reigns in your life. Practice your own will power, shape yourself to be who it is you feel you need to be. Only when you make peace with yourself and own yourself and your life can you start to build on your path. It's the whole sandy foundation vs. firm foundation thing. Date yourself and shape yourself. ;)

Also connecting with the magic/energy around you- in yourself, in nature, in any allies you may have. I mean this on the basic level of first acknowledging and accepting and then seeking out a relationship through meditation, divination, offerings, or whatever else may work for you. This will also help to open your eyes and self to the "enchanted world" that we live in. This is a very short explanation for something that is complex and deeper than a paragraph can convey.

Going along with all of this I would say shut your mouth. This goes along with practicing will power especially in the age of the internet and social networking but I do think that magic workings need to be kept to oneself and in "crafting the witch" turning into a bit of a figurative hermit not only builds the skills of "being silent" but also keeps you in complete ownership of yourself. When you share your journey that is precisely what you are doing- sharing. Now I am not suggesting locking yourself in your bedroom and not talking to anyone ever about this but be very aware of what it is you are speaking about and to who. Own yourself and respect yourself and your path. Think of it as a very passionate relationship. When we go around blabbing about every detail of our sex life with our lover to people it can cheapen it. We also, these days, tend to want validation and acceptance from the crowd. Keeping things to ourselves is a way of making the journey our own and not the product of someone else's influence. And when we don't concern ourselves with welcoming others into it all we have more time and energy for it as well as a deeper focus. At least that's my opinion.

So knowing one's self, opening up to the enchanted world and the "other", and keeping one's mouth shut about it.

Thanks for this thread, Sara. It's been interesting to think on this morning.
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#112050 What Witches Are and What Witches Do

Posted by Michele on 26 September 2011 - 12:05 PM

Spells, Healing, Cursing, Spirit Contact, Meditation, Grocery Shopping, Watching TV... these are all things witches do but it isn't what makes one a witch.

I suppose some would define a witch merely by her actions but that's doesn't make them a witch. Witches are, to me, witches becuase of their view and understanding and relationship with things not immediately obvious to the average human. Witches are NOT the average human, they are a breed apart due to their understanding of the world and what moves within it. In a less industrialized time the witch may have been defined by their ability to work with the unseen forces but in today's world where the accepted culture is not a village where the majority of people were even aware of these forces, the witch has actually become one who recognizes these forces (rather a step down, but an incredibly important one).

I see many witches who do spells - especially those lovely little ego-spells for personal power "No one fucks with me - I'm a tough witch", but they are clueless as to the forces that work and move the spells (if their spells even get above superstition and into spells that work). They're magicians, not witches. And when their spell is over they bask in their after-spell ego glow for a few hours or days, then go back to a mundane life looking for trouble or then next reason to do a spell so they can be "witchy" again. They rarely stay on the path becuase they just don't "get it."

One doesn't need to do physical actions to daily bring the craft into their lives, because their very world view is defined by the craft itself so each and every reaction and thought they have is defined by their view of the world/s and their interaction with it which doesn't stop - not for work, not for sleep, not for gorcery shopping. Witches see things so differently that they are akin to actually living in a different world, or certainly a different reality.

The Craft is a state of existance, a state of experiencing things, not a specific set series of actions. That's where it has to start, if one wants to walk the Path - not with spells that have no connection to anything other than wishes, but interaction with the forces that exist. (Just my view :-)

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#137978 Practicality, Tips and Tricks

Posted by Marabet on 19 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

-Fancy grimoires are pretty but really impractical. Don't try to start out filling up a huge leather bound because about 2 years down the road you will want to add stuff that just wont fit where you want it too. Use a binder or notebook or several or computer untill you have a good basis of the info you want in it. Then write it and leave "note places" to add to it for future use. A good book goes through much editing and many revisions so don't be discouraged.

- To add to this, look for Back to School sales. Wal * Mart in particular carries spiral notebooks for about $0.15 each in August. I usually buy 10 of them for myself for this purpose.

If you spend a lot of time at creeks, rivers, and lakes, take some bags or other containers with you for nature finds. I always come home from these places with snail shells, hagstones, feathers, snakeskin, etc.

- Seconding this. I went to the graveyard and was cleaning off headstones after a storm and didn't have anything to put the loads of dirt in.

Mexican or other Latin markets carry cast iron pots and pans at really low prices. I do feel the need to warn that anything imported from other countries may not have the same regulations as the US. For example, some dishware in import stores may have been painted with lead paint and shouldnt be eaten off of. I have some but I use it specifically for the lead content in workings.

- To add to the warning: sometimes something that says cast iron in these stores aren't at all. http://www.ehow.com/...t-iron-pan.html


- Saint and 7 Day Candles are sold for around $1 to $1.50 at stores like Target and Wal * Mart as well as 99 Cent stores. The latter one usually has the cheaper wax. My favorite place to buy them, as they are a bit better quality, is Target. They have primary colors and white without Saints but the Saint candles always have the best colors I find like purple, pink, and green. What I do is thank the Saint (just because I figure it's polite) and then put an inch or so of hot soapy water in a pie dish and lay the candle in it, turning it every few minutes to get the whole label wet. The label just peels right off after that without any residue, even.

- The 99 Cent store carries cheap Barbie doll knock offs that can be used for quick and easy poppets.

- Putting a bit of olive or coconut oil in a candle holder is said to help the wax pop out easier after use. I still need to try this but I wanted to share anyway.

- Tea lights are excellent. Really. And you can get a set of 25 - 50 for just a couple of bucks. They burn for roughly 2 hours. I use them in 95% of my spell work. But they are harder to carve into and the cheap ones are always white. I remove the tea light from the metal holder and put a slip of paper in it with something to do with my intent written on it and the color of my choice to align with the intent. Easy and cheap.

- Spit infused with your intent and the utterance of a charm or the like can be just as useful as any anointing oil on candles or other objects. Chant building up saliva, swish your finger in your mouth, and rub on whatever.

- Anything and everything can be used in magic. Nail polish, herbs, condoms, shit, stray hairs, bug carcasses, candles, scrap pieces of paper, etc etc etc. ANYTHING. So don't ever think that you don't have the supplies you need. Sometimes all it takes is the mind, too.

- Buy herbs in bulk (if you can't grow them, of course). It really is a ton cheaper in the long run.

- Sandwich bags are excellent for storing dirts and herbs. Not quite as glamourous but they work (I suggest getting the freezer variety as they are thicker/sturdier).

- Keep certain things on hand for quick spell work. Almost like kits. I have certain infused oils and dirts as well as candles set aside for healing, protection, prosperity, and honoring (when there is a death) so that at a moments notice if someone gets sick, for example, I have a small healing kit that can just be thrown together and put to use. I usually keep tea lights, specific herbs packaged in smaller quantities, stones, cheap cotton yarn in various colors cut into "single use" lengths, pen and paper, pouches (various colors/patterns and sizes), poppets (again, various colors and sizes), cotton balls, oils (infused, essential, and carrier), etc etc.

- If you're making your own poppets and pouches make a handful before hand so you can just grab them and use them. In the same spirit as above I like to make some for certain uses and put them in separate labeled baggies so I know which is which.

- Reusable cotton tea bags make excellent pouches and are all of a couple of bucks for a dozen.

- Baby food jars are great for storing and infusing (but remember they have metal lids). I especially like them for infusing oils because you are only making small batches which means you are more likely to use anointing oils up before they go rancid. They are also great for spells. They are super small so you can conceal it in your hand if, say, you decide to fill it with a bit of piss and throw it at some asshole's door.

- Have a game plan for sudden issues and emergencies. Like if there is an impending danger know what you are going to do for protection (of course make sure your worldly stuff is taken care of ie: call the police if you need to, lock your doors, etc etc). I have been caught with my pants down before scrambling for something to do when the shit has hit the fan. Instead of having to pause to throw something together in my mind I like to have plans worked out for various things. This goes along well with the kit thing. I also like to do drills of said plans. A made-up example: one of my kids falls and breaks their leg at a friend's house when I'm not there. I already have something in mind to bring them comfort, protection, and healing (a chant and visualization for use whenever my kids are hurt and away from me). When I am washing dishes or in a waiting room I will play out said scenario in my mind and work through the chant and visualization. Keeps me ready for it. For obvious reasons don't make these super complicated. They are on-the-fly emergency use type deals. Nothing fancy. I also plan on passing these down to my kids.
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#173384 Starting a line of communication to the unseen

Posted by Aurelian on 28 June 2015 - 03:42 AM

It took me a while to decide how best to respond to this, and I've decided we should get down to a bit of practical business, as none of our well-meant advice and wisdom will matter really if you can't actually manage to perceive and communicate with the entities in question. The first step is to actually flex and build up those muscles which will enable you to do so

Can you induce a typical, non-ecstatic trance state, by yourself? This a practice which will help you greatly, and not just with spirit communication, in your lifelong practice of the Arte.

My typical advice regarding spirit communication is to promote the practice of scrying, at least 20 minutes per session, as often as possible, preferably daily, until you are able to perceive those spirits which are already around you...and trust me, if you practice magic with any regularity, you will have attracted a number of them.

You know what, get yourself a nice bottle of Abramelin oil, acquired from someone who actually knows what they're doing, and USE it! Anoint the so-called 'third-eye' area with it, just a dab, prior to any exercises pertaining to this project. Some things, like this, are minor, but really quite helpful.

Another thing you can do, is to go outside, and practice projecting your consciousness into the air, into the wind, but only when you're well-rested, and do all your good protective juju! Not all the spirits in your local environment are likely to be wonderfully friendly, and this will attract their attention. If you can attune yourself properly, their presence will be apparent, IME. Just don't expect the sort of interaction you'd have with a human, or human spirit...you can get stream of consciousness type oddness directed your way, or the like, but that's typical of nature spirits.

Also, as Leonardo mentioned, establishing relations with ancestral spirits will get you everywhere, and will help you to attune to Other. So, as a daily practice, start leaving out glasses of water for the deceased. Light a candle when you do so, for just a little while, and call out to them whilst you're setting out this minor offering, as this will help them to perceive YOU. This is one of the great utilities of fire for a witch, it's not necessarily, or limited to, elemental concerns! If you would like to make this even more effective, go to a cemetery which feels 'friendly' to you, leave offerings of silver at the gate, and bury a simple glass-encased candle just inside the gates. Leave it there for a while...at least 13 days, for traditions sake, and if you'd like, drill some holes down into the candle and load it up with wormwood.

Also, as nobody has yet mentioned it, find yourself a nice active crossroads! You want chatty spirits...well, that's one place to find them, and if you establish relations via intent and offerings with a gatekeeper spirit(Hecate, certain mercurial spirits, angels and the like, there's quite a few of them), and this will be a less dangerous place to interact with them than wandering graveyards or haunted locales.

Be persistent, and do not give up! This really can take a while, trust me, I know. If you want relations with spirits that are worth building relationships with, this will signal to them that you are not the idiotic type of ignorant thrill-seeking dabbler that disrespects the otherworlds!

These tips are in no particular order, and I've forgotten what else I was going to say....

Edit: Oh! You need to get yourself a familiar. Having such will help to eliminate the type of bullshit problems that can crop up in these practices. Also, consider acquiring a guardian daemon, think about it! Highly recommended!

Anyone else have ideas on how to help her flex those senses that will enable communication? Book recommendations, anything? Let's do this girl right!
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#139928 Is secrecy still important to you?

Posted by Jevne on 29 January 2013 - 06:42 PM

As to what I actually do, well that I keep to myself as it would not be a mystery tradition if we told all and sundry.

Bumping this little tidbit, again, simply because it speaks to something that I was thinking on after reading a bit about World Religions Day, which I was previously unaware of. (Thanks, D.)While the premises of tolerance and peace deserve their rightful places in civilized society, I realized that I become indignant when those concepts cause any individual or group to cross the line from acknowledgement and respect to flagrant / unabashed assimilation.

I am not referring to the various individuals here, who have already said that they incorporate methods and symbolism of other Paths into their practice. I have talked with Aloe, Marabet, Sarasuperid, among others, about how they engage the energies of other Paths. I give a nod to each of them for showing that it is possible to honor something without taking it over and declaring it for your own.

For example, when I responded to Athena that I see Traditional Witchcraft and Native American Spirituality as different, I was demonstrating my profound respect for her heritage and belief system, not insinuating that one was better than the other, or that there were not recognizable similarities. I may ask Athena or others on different Paths about their ways, but I will never lay claim to their mysterious or imply that I am deserving of the full depth of knowledge that they have earned through joy and tragedy.

As we were discussing in Chat one evening, far too many new age types have taken to calling themselves "traditional", as if using the word to describe themselves somehow makes them Traditional Witches. OK, don't go all pissy on me here. I am well aware that there are many, legitimate and honorable ways to practice Traditional Witchcraft. (Not just regular, but profound, respect, after all.) I also recognize that everyone has to start somewhere, so I have no problem with those who are trying to explore the possibilities, but . . .

I resent any group or individual, who slaps the word "Traditional" on a book or website, dishonoring the Path that my Kin (here and IRL) and me have spent our entire lives learning and practicing. I enjoy sharing with and learning from others, reading and hearing about the different Paths and practices. That is why I am on the TW Forum, after all. :) I find the basic premises of World Religions Day appealing for the same reason, but I remain secretive and private for the most part, because I do not wish to be assimilated. The christians did it to the Pagans. The settlers did it to the Native Americans. Now, the wiccans are trying to do it to the Traditional Witches. It is hard to describe how angry that makes me, personally.
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#133457 Ouija/Spirit Boards

Posted by Oakbuchanan on 12 September 2012 - 12:42 PM

The Qui-ja board, much feared and much maligned..
Is there anybody there? what ya expect if you say that? Some body? or any Body?..
'Nana are you there? would you be happy to communicate with me this evening?' Then I expect Nana to turn up...

In my experience uncomfortable experiences have nothing to do with the medium, but the inexperience, fear or doubts of the practitioner...
Alot of people who start building up their psychic, etheric muscles, have what can be perceived of as negative experiences, mainly because its part of the training that makes one stronger...If something exists in spirit that can scare you to the point of running, then you better get familiar with or at least learn how to deal with that 'thing' before you kick the bucket.. and what better way than through direct experience while you have the advantage of a physical body on your side, with the ability to ground and shut down spirit.com...

The Quija board is what? A wooden board with the alphabet, a couple of words and numbers..A tool that is all..
What is there to fear in that? Well it is also a portal and should be given respect...Children should not mess with portals, meaning literally children and adults who are children when it comes to dealing with spirit...

But a witch? A witch is not afraid to hold His or Her own in the spirit world, and the spirit world expects it of the witch..Will even Kick Her ass to push her to another level, or try and and scare Him to test His metal or put them off to test His or Her desire...
The spirit world laughs at someone who calls themselves a witch but who is scared of 'ghosts' just because they are ghosts..A witch is feared by some, because, rather than piss their pants and run away, they actively seek and welcome spirit communication...and besides we are all ghosts eventually anyway...

AS Whiterose put it so well: 'Don't fear the tool, but have a healthy fear of the things that are intelligent enough to use it for their own ends.' Healthy fear being the key...

Just my thoughts...
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#32068 Traditional Craft by Startella

Posted by Startella on 29 May 2008 - 05:38 PM

Our Craft is nothing that we ally with, it is us. Our craft is what we do every minute of our waking moments, and some of our not so waking ones too. Which includes trances, deep meditations, astral travel, lucid dreaming, etc.. Most of us will add a little of our local environment and cultural background and customs, making it unique to us. That is not to say that we don’t “practice” our craft too, as you will read here.

We are drawn to it because it was born in us, some and most can find signs when we were children, some are able to follow through and continue – some have family to help, others are forced to follow what their parents tell them, some following without others knowing their secret, others as soon as they are of age to seek themselves find it coming out stronger and they then pursue it. Most of us here have not had family to guide them, or have a family line, and even if there is a family line, does not mean that they will be a witch.

For most of us, Nature is very big, most people think of nature they think of trees and animals, lakes and streams, they don't think of every single natural thing on this planet, and the rest of our solar system, galaxy and universe as well. Nature encompasses all of these things. Universal energy. We generally do not worship any entities, but we recognize the existence of them, commonly referred to as spirits. We believe in the equality of all beings in the Universe, seeing them all as different and separate but still equal. We revere and respect Nature, however we do not worship it or its representatives.

Most of us here do not call on deities, (except those that accept deities,) but many may call on spirits and their ancestors. Some of us use the “deities” energies, aspects in our workings, if it is needed. Some of us may occasionally call on the elements as well; most do not have the same belief of the 4 elements, that is taught in Wicca. When performing magic we will concentrate on our own power, or and we may call on assistance from a spirit in the spirit world or and ancestors.

Magic, that’s a big mouth full. It’s an everyday thing, we work our magic into our day to day lives, in cooking, cleaning, little spells here and there, keeping ourselves our family, and our homes even work, safe, healthy. We also work spells, doing something very specific (lack of a better word). Some of us do it in ritual style, sometimes, other times not. Some of us use tools, sometimes and sometimes not. Our spells and magic depends on our backgrounds, what we are doing at the moment, all different elements come into play here, at any given moment when it comes down to it.

I do not consider doing readings, magic. I have a natural ability but that did not make it so I can just do them. I had to find what spoke to me, and from there I had to work at it, not as hard as doing something I don’t have an natural eye for, but it is work and takes time to develop. We all do things very differently, and some here don’t do readings at all, some maybe they haven’t found the system that speaks to them, or they don’t have the time now to work at it.

Love and intent, wow, that’s wiccan…lol. You didn’t go very far in love, but yes we all do things in love, like protect our loved ones, our pets, family, friends whatever. We send each other healing energies, good thoughts, etc out of love. We will protect our cars, homes, lands, bikes, boats whatever, to protect them and the ones in and on these things, to keep them safe, running good, and healthy as best we can.

Intent that’s a whole different arena. Our intent is to do what ever it takes for most of us to get the job done, usually as quickly as we can. Does it harm someone in the process, well it might, but what were the consequences to us if we didn’t? And we take full responsibility for what we do. We don’t do things without thinking about it first.

Some of us, do hexes, jinks, and we will even do curses, if the need arises. What is the intent here, well that is obvious. I kinda think of it as tough love. Sometime you just have to do it, because it will help in the long run, no matter how hard it hurts right now. And then there are the times its just the right thing to do to someone, because of what they have done to you or yours. It maybe hate, discus, or anger as part of the intent, or because they paid me to do it, ..LOL But all in all you will find that we have very strong ethics that we follow, and each one of us has our own.

Evil spirits - none, that’s fluffy wiccan to me – just saying, no offence here, please. Please take a look at another thread here on the forum; Is ignorance truly bliss? Its in here the Discussions of Main Articles and Topics. I think you will get our ideas here very well.

When we die some of us believe we travel to the plane of existence called the spirit world. Our resting place. When we continue our journey we may be born into a new life, reincarnation being commonly believed in by many. However another alternative that some believe is that we meld with nature becoming one with it, becoming a land spirit, one of the reasons we always show respect for the spirits as they are the spirits of those that have passed before us. I think the vast majority of spirits will remain as themselves within the spirit world sometimes interacting, (or trying to,) with the living. Not all spirits are nice though.

We see all life, all nature, all space as sacred. Since we believe that everything is sacred it is perfectly acceptable to do magic or rituals and spells in our living rooms or bedroom as opposed to being outdoors. We do not need to cast any circles to make it sacred, we do not call upon the watchtowers or elements to guard us, if we need assistance we may ask a spirit or an ancestor with help or the use of the universal energies. At the same time this does not mean that we may not use a circle to do a working in, it all depends on what we are doing.

Some of us generally observe the sabbats as these days correspond to solstices and equinoxes, but I do not all relate them to a specific mythology, some do, per their tradition, background, culture and customs. I honor the seasonal changes themselves, when I see them happen in my area, rather than on a calendar. But not the lives of any Gods or Goddesses. Some or most, not sure, observe Moon phases and other natural phenomena also, with the full moon being the most significant. The Esbats (full moons) being more important than the Sabbats even. Others follow even older ways when the Sabbats were the full moons and the now called sabbats were just the festivals of their culture and customs.

For most of us things kinda flow being a witch and our craft is just who we are, and we can't imagine not being. That doesn't mean that it is easy, it can be a very hard path, is a life long journey, and well rewarding. As you see there are no hard fast rules, these are more commonalities. Each one of us is different, our craft is as individual as we are, it is the commonalities that bring us together.

(I’m being general here, because I know not everyone believes this, and it is only my view point)
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#154493 Who Am I and what's my Game?

Posted by anjeaunot on 04 February 2014 - 11:26 AM

I see you were initiated on the 30th April. Yep! That is consistent with the practice of many Trad families. Some have only several dates in the year when initiation is possible.

There are only two rites in your coven tradition. Yep! Some Trad families do this also - (including my own).

The first rite makes a witch, and the second empowers the witch to lead covens and carry on the tradition.

Please bear in mind that some Trad families confer only one initiation to make the family member a witch.

One can recognise some similarities in Trad families as well as differences.

To the best of my knowledge, few Trad families used Witch Names. Still, Trad witches have always suited themselves, done their own thing, and to hell with anybody else!

BTW. None of the English Trad families with whom I am acquainted use Celtic names for the seasons. I was somewhat puzzled because you do.

It is also my understanding that members of Trad families are greatly honoured to have a lineage. They cherish it and intend to pass it on to a suitable family member.

I must stress one important factor. None of the Trad witches personally known to me would ever imagine themselves to be better, in any sense whatsoever, than the witch who has come to the Path by his or her own efforts.

For my money, the self-made witch is the equal of the born witch. (Their gifts are often superior).

Let's face it. A witch, is a witch, is a witch!

There is no need for covens or initiations IMO.

Nobody is right and nobody is wrong in the Trad Craft. Each Trad witch creates his or her own path by trial and effort. And that is the true path for the individual!

I now come to the crux of my post, Foxman.

The Trad witches of my acquaintance accept that the Old Knowledge can never die out.

I am curious as to why you appear to see the need to reach people on the internet.

Is it because you don't want your clan knowledge to die out?
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#117236 The Craft of the Witch

Posted by Tana on 29 November 2011 - 10:20 PM

This is addressed to Jack.
I have read this thread and also the recently locked Psychology vs magic thread. Regardless of any accusations of 'trolling' etc, I have seen the type of posting behaviour you are exhibiting on many other witchcraft forums. The refusal to concede a point, the nit-picky quality, the over reliance on semantics and the statements of supposed academic validation to witchcraft are what I am specifically referring to. You also come across as elitist, with comments about knowing people and the truth etc.

I have no desire to see thread after thread of this forum fall to this style of confrontational posting. There is a difference between debate, even hotly disputed topics, and bullish grandstanding. The members here are practitioners... they do magic... simple as. We do not need to seek approval or an 'academic' validation in order to practice our craft. You clearly don't fit in here and I suspect it would be in your interest as well as everyone else's if this stops now. I am terminating your membership and wish you well on your path.

#116329 Working with Spirit and Things Going Wrong

Posted by Michele on 21 November 2011 - 01:01 PM

Due to the recent threads about spirit dolls, thought-forms, "house old ladies", servitors, sprits houses, and whatever else one wants to call them the subject came up in chat about the dangers of these things and when things go wrong and the wisdom of working that when one works alone (i.e. no teachers/elders) and I thought it prudent to address this on the forum (and for any FYI's it was a very friendly, informative and enjoyable chat, lol).

The first belief I have is that the one thing man will never be able to bottle, teach, or pass on is common sense. And I'm not claiming I have any, lol, but one can read about how to make spirit dolls, and one can read about how to drive a car. Doing either at one's own pace and with precatuion is up to the common sense of the reader. Information about anything is out there it is up to the reader to decide what to do with it and whether or not they feel comfortable working with it, and if they don't feel comfortable to decide if they are willing to take that risk. Without effort and experimentation there is no learning and no moving forward on a solitary path. Having had to walk that path alone, I am of the (possibly unusual) mindset that as long as it is not personal I usually don't mind sharing information (and no, no one told me or suggested I shouldn't, lol).

It is very true that in making anything to house a thing of a different nature, one can unintentionally "leave doors open". That has happened to me with a poppet and something I did not intend came in and started using the poppet as a portal/entrance into this world. It became a problem. I finally figured out where the problem was coming from and then got rid of it. Some people are less lucky in the magnitude of their "problem" and/or their ability to get rid of it. But in a solitary path if one does not attempt, and one does not deal with thiings that come up, one is not going anywhere.

One of the first things I would personally suggest is knowing well the energy of your own home. Know it to the point that if things are going wrong (and they may not be that obvious at first) that you can "feel"the shift. If you feel this, address it immediately. And never create something you would not be willing to destroy. If you are a die-hard animal lover then don't make the housing for your spirit in a cute little puppy teddy-bear that you would not be willing to rip to shreds, stab to death, cut to pieces, burn to a cinder, and banish. Don't feel sorry for things and don't take anythign at face value. If your soft-spot is the doe-eyed mistreated child, then that which would work it's way in may well take on that appearance. You have to work on feeling with your gut, not yor emotional associations. Doe-eyed children can have teeth and claws and other things can and do appear in whatever form we are most likely to accept them. Take nothing for granted and take nothing at face value.

Know what you want and mean what you say. "Ummm.. please go away now(I think. I mean, if you really are not what you look like.)" In a way it's like bring up a small child - if you constantly threaten "do that one more time and yo're grounded for the next 70 years" right then and there the kid knows damn well you're not grounding him for the next 70 years so you've already lost some credibility. And the phone rings and you answer and the kid does it again and you ignore him becuase you're on the phone. Kids know very well when you mean what you say and what you don't and exactly how many times you will say sotp before you loose your temper and enforce it. When working with spirits mean what you say. Do what you say. Act immediately and confidently and question yourself afterwards. Don't yell and scream bacuse like the kids, they will know it means nothing but you yelling and screaming - quiet, confident (whether you're scared or not - fear is not wrong), concise action gets results. Over-emotion gets escelation and a lot of loose energy running about to feed off of. You can't help what you personally feel. If you feel frightened (and I have been frightened and/or creeped out often) that is okay, how you choose to react to that feeling is what matters.

And this is not to say that spirits are necessarily "little mischieous (sp) kids" to control (although some can be like that). Some spirits are a lot "higher up" than I will ever be in this life and some are tons stronger than I will ever be. But you have to be able to stand your ground. Any allies you have, if you mean what you say, will know that if you say to a thing "you outta here" that you mean it and will back you up. Allies that have seen you waver and wishy-washy may well sit back and wait to see what you really do mean if you rarely say what you mean. One's word means a LOT on many different levels in the craft, besides honour and integrity. It is also a form of ccommunication and not merely by the words said, but by how you back them up.

Thought-forms are also not slaves. I do know of some people who treat them like that - treat them like shit, punish them and in my opinion actually abuse them. If you wouldn't do that to a working animal (i.e. the oxen you use to pull your plough, not as a pet) then don't treat anything else under your control like that. One can control through fear and abuse and ego, but it is a very iffy and deceptive control and breeds anger and hate - must better to control through respect and ability.

Also, know your allies. There is nothing wrong with having allies and needing allies. It is not a symptom of "a witch without her own power." Your allies can become your actual teachers, develop an interest and fondness for you, and if you prove your integrity and worth and staying power to them, they will back you up. They don't suffer fools gladly and you will be tested(or at least I have been) but they do understand actual effort. To me a spiritual life and relationship and allies is very important, more so than magic. Magic can be worked without that, but you're working alone in a void. If you don't know your spiritual beliefs and base then you don't konw what you work with. Yes spiritual beliefs have to be investigated and learned to one's own interpretation, but I would apply the same rules there. Respect, quiet strength, integrity, and honesty.

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#167831 The dangers of ignorance

Posted by RoseRed on 15 December 2014 - 05:42 PM

Just for the record, I'm not ignorant enough to completely and obliviously miss hints.  It is true that I suck at subtle (and I'm good with that - nobody else has to be)


Now it's a matter of etiquette and courtesy and very the very basics of human politeness.  Well, that and the depth of how much I loathe having to repeat myself in an extraordinarily simple request.


No one here can offer you more than an educated guess about what you're dealing with HW.  If you are UNWILLING or unable to provide a photo, then at least have the balls to say so.


You WILL NOT get the advice you are looking for without providing more information regarding what you're dealing with.  It really is that simple.


Any advice given on the very little information you have provided has the potential to blow up in your face.  But, hey - have at it.  You're a grown man- do what you want.


You ask questions, you expect advice and yet you give very little detail in return.  It's usually the smallest and seemingly most irrelevant detail that makes everything fall into place.


And while I'm being honest with you - you REALLY, REALLY need to take a look at the unintentional magic you fling when you're in your 'I'm such a nice person, I want to help everyone' mode.  Seriously, dude.  You got a problem with that and (I am  giving you the benefit of the doubt here) I believe you are totally unaware of it.


Hey, you named this thread the 'dangers of ignorance'.  Ignorance comes with many different faces.  I would hope that when the times comes and mine is showing that someone would care enough about me to point it out.


If you'd rather stay in denial - you're a full grown man.  You're fully capable and within all of your rights to do as you please and choose.

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#157970 Working with Spirits

Posted by Wexler on 05 April 2014 - 08:05 PM

Excellent post RS.


Here is some information I have heard on the forum, and some of my own experiences, put together randomly. I am not sure if this is what you are interested in but it may be helpful :smile:


If you want to work with local spirits, it pays to research local traditions. If I went to Ireland I would research Irish mythology and the lore of local Irish spirits. I believe it is respectful and advantageous to approach local spirits in the manner they are accustomed to.


There seems to be a lot of debate regarding the classifications of spirits and entities. Charles Leland Leadbeater wrote a book called The Astral Plane, Its Scenery, Inhabitants, and Phenomena. This book was published 114 years ago during the Spiritualism revival (if I have my history correctly) and has interesting concepts on the classification of spirits. It can be downloaded free and legally here: http://darkbooks.org...hp?v=1791067929


Spirits who show up on your doorstep and are very eager to please you may not be good news. It is perhaps hubris to assume that you are such a great and powerful witch that strange spirits will bend over backwards to please you. If you encounter a spirit who is willing to agree to anything or submit to every test, you may find yourself with a pest trying to worm their way in.


If you are communicating with a spirit, and it tells you everything you want to hear, be aware. If you have always wanted a red dragon familiar, and all of the sudden your pendulum is telling you that a glorious red dragon has been watching over you your entire life and is now ready to grant you amazing magical gifts, consider that you are being lied to. Make notes when you communicate with unknown spirits, and be wary if they begin to change their answers if you express dissatisfaction with what you hear. This thread is an excellent example of someone who got very excited with spirit communication, and perhaps was not as alert as they should have been to red flags. (Notice that after the OP said he thought the spirit would be Biblical in nature, whatever he was communicating with changed its story to come in line with his expectations.)


It is egocentric to assume that every spirit you meet is interested in talking to you, is there to help you, cares about you, or is able to communicate with you at all. Not every spirit is a human in ghostly form; there are entities with which humans cannot directly communicate.


Spirits live everywhere. They live in our homes, gardens, buildings, towns, and wild places. Building homes for spirits to live is common amongst all cultures and may help foster good relations with the spirits in your life. In his book Protection and Reversal Magick, Jason Miller provides a ritual of offering to spirits. He says that humans, being often out of touch with the spirit world, can offend spirits in ways we do not notice or understand. Giving incense offerings (the energy of which the spirits may use to their advantage), he says, will appease spirits and encourage good will between you and the spirit world. There seems to be a lot of useful things a person can do to earn allies amongst nature spirits, the basis of which is acknowledging them and treating them with respect.


Some people advocate a test to see whether or not a strange spirit is "good" or "bad". In this test, you simply ignore the spirit for a few weeks. If it sticks around, it is good; if it leaves, it is bad. I do not believe that this is sound advice. A spirit of ill-intent may be perfectly willing to leave you alone and come back in a month when you are suddenly willing to trust it. Likewise, a spirit of good intent may roll its eyes at being ignored and leave to find someone else willing to accept their help. Instead of tests, try speaking to spirits as you would another person and getting to know them the old-fashioned way.


When wanting to foster a relationship with ancestors, a witch can hold Dumb Suppers. I don't know much about them personally, but it is a dinner with the dead. Sometimes they are just held on Halloween, but you can do it whenever you please. You cook and set out a proper dinner, with several place settings. You invite your beloved dead to eat with you, and talk to them like family.


When you present yourself to the otherworld as a witch interested in spirit contact, it is advisable to be ready for them when they come. Spirits do not follow our earthly schedule, and they may show up at the most inopportune times. Some members on this forum have designated certain areas of their homes as 'no spirit zones' so they can get some peace and quiet. If you are not used to spirit contact, a first encounter with one can be startling or even frightening. Don't freak out and command the spirit away (how rude to invite someone in and then slam the door in their face!). Just as spirits may show up whenever it suits them, most spirits are not our servants and may not show up whenever you call them. When working with a spirit, it may be advantageous to designate a certain day and time to meet weekly.


Spirits have their own stuff to do. They are probably not hanging around and watching you constantly.


Actions by spirits can be misinterpreted. What we see as malicious or aggressive could be a spirit acting out of curiosity or simply teasing. If there is a spirit acting in apparently malicious ways, it may be best to speak to them plainly instead of whipping out the banishment kit. Addressing a spirit and saying, "this is my home and I do not want you to do X any longer" can go a long way towards solving problems.


Speaking from the perspective of a novice, I find some spirits will test me, so to speak. They will cause problems for me and wait to see how I solve it. I believe my reactions to these problems are very important, including how much I let them bully me before I take a stand. In this manner, I have found paying attention to my life is extremely important with working with spirits, because sometimes they can act in subtle ways that may not be easy to immediately notice.


Also speaking as a novice, sometimes spirits will do stuff that will plain freak you out. Being home alone and having the television turn on by itself, or coming in to a room to find stuff moved around can be distinctly unsettling if you aren't used to it. This is just something you will have to get used to and overcome. Or you could ask them to stop, but what's the fun in that? Discomfort means you are overcoming your limitations.


Regarding Guardian/Guide spirits: It has been advised to me by some very experienced members on this forum that these spirits can be very forgiving. In the past, if you believe you have sent your guide away out of ignorance or fear, there may be a possibility that your guide is still waiting for you somewhere. Do not give up on the idea that you may meet up with them again; what is the worst that could happen if you try?


It has been suggested that reaching out to any random spirit is like reaching out to any random person on the sidewalk. They may end up being a great friend, or someone you hate, but more than likely they're just average people with little connection to you. Instead of reaching out to any spirit, focus on who you would like to attract: Ancestors (both in blood and spirit), benevolent beings who are interested in helping you, a spirit who has knowledge of something specific you want to learn, and so on.


Some spirits help us out of the kindness of their hearts. Other spirits help us because they want something in return. I have been advised on this forum to be very careful with a spirit that is willing to help without apparently getting anything back, especially if they are strange spirits with no connection to you. Working with a spirit who wants something in return is not necessarily bad, just make sure the contract is clear before you get started.


Some spirits do not take kindly to being ignored, especially if you have made a big show of communicating with them regularly and wanting to form a partnership with them. If you only talk to a friend when you need something or when it suits you, you would be called at best a fair-weather friend or at worst a user. "Out of sight, out of mind" isn't an excuse to neglect your relationship with spirits. If you can't commit to maintaining a relationship even when you're not 'feeling it', it may be best to stick with casual communication and avoid trying to earn Allies for now.


It is my opinion that being able to see and "feel" spirits is a psychic talent. Working to open your psychic awareness may be advantageous if you want to see spirits. Even if you can't see them, using a tool to communicate with them should be accessible to anyone. Pendulums and spirit boards are popular. I have used tarot to communicate before as well, but that is not as optimal for me. In the past, I have used a physical alert system so a spirit could attract my attention, which sounds fancy but I really just told the spirit to knock over a small tube of medicinal ointment if it needed to talk to me. There are many clever methods for allowing a spirit to get your attention, I believe wind chimes are popular. Just as you are able to call your Allies, I believe it is germane to give your Allies a way to call you if your psychic senses are not developed enough to 'hear' or 'feel' them.


Nature spirits are not always nice, loving, and all-forgiving. This post by Michele talks about her relationship with her Elder tree, and I think it is a wonderful description of how even trees will hold you to high standards.

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