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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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#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.

M
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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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#170877 Magick and Spell Casting: an uncomfortable thought

Posted by ArcticWitch on 29 April 2015 - 04:25 PM

Got ya thinking and engaged in a productive chat and showing true colors.

----
We have been showing our true colors for much, much longer than you have been a member. The issue of ethics, personal paradigms, and magical cause-and-effect has been discussed ad nauseum over the years. Use the search box: it's your friend.

Why would one desire to be "feared"?

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​I can think of dozens of reasons, but here's a few. A person with an abusive spouse who needs to extricate themselves from a volatile, worsening situation- and can only do so by instilling a fear in their abuser. The family who lived in a formerly nice neighborhood, only to have their street overrun with heroin junkies and meth labs; there are few options to protect the kids and parents other than inspiring a primal fear in the equally primal ne'er-do-wells. The patient whose life was irrevocably damaged by a negligent doctor, and feels that they need to be seen as intimidating by future doctors to elicit the most beneficial healthcare.

There are countless practical, "real life" reasons why someone would want to be feared, but there are also motivations that you wouldn't "approve". Personally, I've taken pernicious magical actions based solely on visions and precognitive dreams, despite not knowing all of the details. Using esoteric data to enact "dark" magic may be unacceptable to followers of the Rede, but guess what? Every time, following those intuitions turned out to be the right thing to do. I'd much rather be feared than be liked, because being regarded with fear inspires a hell of a lot more honesty from people and non-humans than being "likable and approachable" does. Does this mean I want to be feared by everyone? Of course not. But fear certainly has its place, and can be a very useful tool.

If an all powerful being looked at you with malice In mind, that would not be a good thing for your welfare and you would not enjoy the fear. This in my mind would be unacceptable behavior on behalf of a superior being. This is the attitude that prevents most intelligent civilizations from surviving themselves.

----
What makes you think that members of this forum haven't been the target of malicious and powerful beings? Why do you have the opinion that we haven't felt that all-encompassing, mind-numbing fear when in the presence of something much, much bigger and older and powerful than us? Did it ever occur to you that encounters with malicious, powerful beings could be the very reason why some of us got involved in witchcraft in the first place?

As far as "you would not enjoy the fear"- in life, some of the most enlightening experiences also happen to be the most scary, and subsequently the least "enjoyable". I know I'm not the only one here who is willing to endure some really unpleasant stuff just to gain knowledge.

Why are you applying your own set of ethics to what is and isn't "acceptable" behavior from a "superior being"? Don't you think it's myopic to hold non-human entities to the same standard of breathtakingly dynamic morals that permeate the culture of first-world, well-developed countries? In my experience, the Other have their own way of doing things, and I'm not insular enough to expect them to act the way I expect them to.

Addressing the comment that there is "no proof of a spirit realm" I beg to differ.

----
I can't speak for the member who posted the "no proof" comment, but I inferred it to mean that the scientific community (and mainstream society, by proxy) has not officially proffered evidence and theories about astral dimensions, the Veil, etc.

We primitives have no idea of the reality we are immersed in. A Witch who successfully casts a magick circle is, in effect, creating a star gate and should be able to experience walking between worlds and cavorting in the realm of spirit.

----
Some of us here have been a ways down the rabbit hole- so to speak- although I don't feel that any human has the capacity to absorb all of the Truths of our reality during the relatively short lifetime of a human.

Also, not all of us here cast circles: some do, some don't. This is a diverse, international community populated with people from all over the world, practicing all sorts of witchcraft traditions.
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#146764 "Witchy" Names

Posted by anjeaunot on 04 August 2013 - 12:05 PM

There are no hard and fast rules in the Trad Craft.

 

Trad witches are free to do whatever they choose to do with their own skills and abilities.  Nobody has the right to gainsay them.

Evidence is lacking for witch names in the British Isles prior to the 16th century.

 

It does appear that the Protestant leaders who fled England and Scotland in the 16th century returned with the views of the continental witch-hunters:  witches were baptized by Satan, and every witch had a Satanic baptismal name!

 

IMO very few of the old families or old covines used witch names.  Of course, there could have been some exceptions.  Trad witches have always gone their own way and devised their own formats.

 

IMO there was an upsurged interest in witch names during the 20th century.  Gardner was a member of an Order – run by Michael Juste – which celebrated Golden Dawn rituals.  Gardner was frustrated that he couldn’t establish the O.T.O. in England, and resurrected witchcraft instead.

 

Gardner adopted the arm gestures used by a magical order founded by one of Crowley’s disciples.  Indeed, Wicca is the fulfillment of Crowley’s dream for a new world religion which honoured the Great Mother and the Solar Phalus!  Wiccan “names” are similar to magical names.  The strict rules and observances of Wicca owe more to magic than witchcraft.

 

It’s entirely up to the individual witch whether she/he opts to use a witch name.  IMO it was never mandatory.


  • 9


#89051 Laying a Compass v. Casting a Circle

Posted by Michele on 05 December 2010 - 04:21 PM

This is an essay I wrote and is solely my opinion at this time and does not necessarily reflect the views of this forum, its members (besides me!) and/or its affiliates.

Laying the Compass/Casting the Circle

One can find many instructions for circle casting in books, but few, if any, examples of laying a compass. The difference in meaning between the Compass and the Circle is, to me, is one of the fundamental differences between Wicca and Traditional Craft – even more so than the “an it harm none.”

In Wicca the Circle Ritual is derived from Ceremonial Magic and the circle is usually erected to create a sacred and protected space and to keep the energy raised contained until the time is ripe to send the energy. It is also raised to protect the witch. The actual understanding of the circle quarters and keys may even differ from one Wiccan to another depending on the tradition and how far removed and eclectic it has become from the original teachings. The original teachings are not necessarily “correct” they are merely the original teachings. The craft, whether Traditional or Wiccan, is a living, breathing tradition and must change or die slowly the death of the lost mythologies and mysteries.

The Traditional Witch’s compass, like the physical navigational object, is a tool to help one navigate one’s path. Depending on the tradition and/or the witch, there are many different ways of constructing a compass. It can be done as ritualistically as you like, or it can be done with extreme simplicity. There are deities and mythologies of Paganism which “rule” over the quarters and cross-quarters of the compass. These are not “gods” in the Judeo-Xtian definition and reasoning, but are “man-made” (yet no less valid and alive) gods whose mythos are used by some as keys to understanding the Path.

The compass is walked in a year (the well known Sabbats), it is walked in an hour or so (the specific working one is doing in the compass), and it is walked in a life-time (birth to death to rebirth), and deep within the compass itself is the key to understanding who and what we are as humans.

Many Traditional Witches will say they don’t need to work in a compass, and they are right. The witch (and any other human for that matter) is already in the center so there is no need to lay the compass or call the land to place one’s self there; however, to gain true understanding of the center, what the center is, and what the human’s relationship is with the center, the keys are within the compass and must be worked to be understood. The center is the Center – it is the World Tree, it is the Point in the Circle, it is the Pole Star around which everything revolves. And many witches will say they already know this – and they do. However, few actually “know” this on the deeper level. The knowledge of the compass is a bit like having your first child. You plan to get pregnant, you have taken your vitamins and prepare, you’re read every book and watched every documentary and attended every birthing class. You know that birth and parenthood will be the biggest endeavor of your life and that nothing will ever compare to what you will feel for this child. Fine – you know this, but you know it intellectually. No matter how much you truly REALIZE this, everything you thought you understood about parenthood is reduced to trivial dust beneath your heels the moment your child arrives and you actually see it and touch it. You won’t even be able to put it into words what you feel because it doesn’t translate into something so trivial as language. Suddenly intellect falls to the bottom of the barrel of understanding. You knew intellectually that you would love this child but that knowledge was completely insufficient to prepare you for what you would feel. This is the difference between intellectually knowing the meaning of the compass and the fact that we are already at center of the compass and actually “becoming” a part of the compass. Actually “knowing” this truth in every fiber of our soul, not simply in the brain which is a physical manifestation and will be reduced to bone and dust upon our demise.

I rarely do magic in a compass unless I am doing the magic with and for someone who is unfamiliar with the process. I use the compass in my spiritual practice; I use it to connect, to understand, to devote, to mingle self with the ancestors, to work the Sabbat – the meeting of the witches out of time; time past and time yet to come – and to work the Sabbats. The compass is an elaborate illusion that is necessary in our current state of evolution. The reality is deceptively simple.

So how does one lay a compass? Really, however one wants to. If outside one can actually plow the ground (make a trench or furrow). This alone is steeped in lore and symbolism and if one delves into plough-lore one can find much of value in the simple act. One can mark the compass with anything one wishes from leaves and stones to candles or a pre-cut cord. You could mark it with chalk. I once marked one in a woods with Cheerios. Outside in the land the space is sacred already. If you do work indoors you may want to do a cleaning simply to remove the human emotional ups and downs that often collect in the dusty corners of one’s home. Once one has marked out the compass (and you don’t actually have to physically mark it although it is advisable) one “raises” energy by whatever means one uses. This energy raised is conducive to realizing the difference of the space. Technically it is not different, but also, on a much deeper level, it is very different. Form here on almost everything is oxymoronic and paradoxal – it is different but it isn’t different, fair is foul and the sun shines brightly at midnight, dreams are reality and reality is sleeping. The circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is no where. Once you have achieved this, have raised this cone, you will feel a “heaviness” to the air. You can raise this cone by chanting, by curcumambulating (sp?) the space, by dance, by song… the correct way is the way which achieves results for the witch. Now one can do one’s work, devote, tread the Mill, mingle, or work the mythologies, keys and mysteries of the Compass.

Does the Compass need to be “taken down”? Probably not – outside the land is sacred and the space is not changed, so I would just leave something behind (an offering, thank you, or paying of the Keeper – whatever one wants to call it). Inside, as I do most of my work in the kitchen or living room I do take it down. I have affected the energy of that environment. I do not “negate” the Compass by totally deconstructing it, but simply make clear that I am finished, the work is over, and the area is going back to being my kitchen. Is this absolutely necessarily? Probably not. If you have, whether outside or inside, opened any door or portal during your workings you definitely want to close that prior to leaving your space.

So is the Compass necessary to work as a witch? No. Is it necessary to work and understand the mysteries? In my opinion, yes. The mythologies and the rituals themselves are not what is important – it is the mysteries hidden within the rituals, and the mystery hidden within the Compass which are waiting to be re-lived by the witch. These mysteries may not be important to the witch who is solely practioner of magic, but to the witch of a spiritual practice the Compass is one of the keys of discovery. It is a key which is used to work the rituals in which are hidden the keys to unlock the doors to that which has been forgotten and hidden. It is but part of the layers and veils that shroud the mysteries from the eyes of the profane (not meant in a negative sense, but more as "unawakened"). These are simply my truths at this time. Each witch must find her own truths and her own answers to the mystery of the Compass.

M
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#170881 Magick and Spell Casting: an uncomfortable thought

Posted by ArcticWitch on 29 April 2015 - 05:45 PM

Hmmm, A rather hostile gathering not at all interested in a friendly exchange of personal practices and experiences .

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For someone who purports to place consequences as a priority, I find it amusing that you seem to be shirking accountability for the provocative nature of your previous comments. :)

Since when are pointed questions perceived as "hostile"? I've also noticed that you haven't answered any of the questions I posed in my first response.

Unfortunate that some "Witches" respond like a coven of vultures to pick the bones of anyone not on their personal path.

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It is unfortunate indeed. So why did you write a post that disrespects traditions that do not espouse the "Harm ye none" philosophy? ;)

Looks like some here enjoy confrontation for the sake of confrontation,

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...says the person who made the first confrontational post. :rofl:

If your goal was to stir the pot to get an emotional reaction, I have to admit that I'm engaging in this discussion for pure entertainment. If you're willing to actually answer the questions posed in response to your posts, then I'll take you seriously and extend a little more respect. You haven't given me a reason to do that yet.

I don't see any impressive credentials among any of the rant raisers.

----
I don't have any credentials, nor was I aware that I was apparently supposed to have an impressive "magical resumè" to engage in dialogue in this community. I'm just a simple country bumpkin who uses witchcraft for practical purposes.

(On a side note, I just had a hilarious mental image of how some entities would act if they approached me and I squawked "You can't do that to me! I have CREDENTIALS!")
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#164047 Bone casting

Posted by Caps on 28 September 2014 - 01:07 AM

I have had a few people ask me about this since I mentioned it in chat a couple of times.  I learned this in the Spring of 2005 from an old Priestess who was rather vile and rude but full of knowledge.  The events and circumstances leading up to me meeting her and her son spell out quite a tale unto themselves and perhaps I can elaborate on that at another time.  Unfortunately I have gotten lax about practicing this as of late and have lost some bones to my set but I intend to rebuild it and continue, especially after the next hunting season.

 

 

What is bone casting?

 

Many of you are familiar with or practice the use of runes, Tarot, tea reading, entrails, etc. and this is just another similar form of divination or seeing.  You sit in a predetermined location and direction, North, South, East, or West depending on what the circumstances call for...the bones which are kept in a small pouch are tossed onto the ground or altar.  The directions they land and their location within a circle drawn into the dirt represent the answers sought.  

I honestly have never researched its origins but the Priestess learned it from her family who came from Belgium...I guess it's not a wild assumption to think it is Germanic or Celtic in origin.

 

Choosing a set of bones is entirely your choice, and the association of each bone or bone fragment is customizable.  I have three of each in my pouch and each has an association that is identified by me and only me.

 

Deer teeth

Deer antler tips

Poultry spurs

Opossum fingers

Shark teeth

Raccoon baculums

Fox vertebrae

 

For my own purposes I use the following associations with the directions:

North --knowledge, discovery, wisdom, exploration

South --emotions, familial connections, unity, trust

East --awakening, beginnings, spiritual advancement

West --dreaming, goals, travel, endings

 

When casting while say, facing North (casting to divine from the spirit of knowledge or discovery) and 2/3 or 3/3 of the bone that I associate with the unseen or the hidden (opossum fingers) lands pointing West or within the Western quadrant of the circle (spirit of goals and achievements) I will be able to use this to make a reading. 

 

There are similar methods of divination such as reading twigs or reading frost but I personally like this one because it has a lot of character because of the animals involved and has a lot of customization involved based on bone choices and their associated meanings.  I wouldn't be surprised if some of the witches of the old ways may have even done this with human bones. :cauldron04:

 

 

Maybe someone can use this, if anyone wants to add anything that would be great, especially if you know any history of the practice.  I'm always open to other peoples interpretations of this as well.

 

 

 




#161564 Keeping records

Posted by Wexler on 18 July 2014 - 08:38 PM

I have had an impressive amount of coffee this morning, and I am trying to burn off some excess energy so I can work on a project without my eye twitching. So I thought I would try to channel some of that energy in to a post :biggrin:
 
I know there are a lot of new/curious/interested people who read TW, who don't have accounts. I know I lurked on TW for about two years I think before I made my account. (P.S., guys: making an account is really great. Give it a try, talking to these folks is a lot more fun than just reading what they have to say!) Anyway, since I am hardly in a position to speak to the experienced, I wanted to share my thoughts about record-keeping with folks like myself who are still in the beginning stages of their Path.
 

Here is my point of view: Record keeping is a vital aspect of witchcraft, especially for people who are starting on a traditional path. The rest of this giant post is going to try and explain my position.

 

The thing about witchcraft is that for many of us, it lacks the physical input we usually need to make decisions. Did I leave my bedroom door open? I just have to glance over my shoulder and I can tell you yes or no. Did I leave a doorway in my mind open? That may take a bit more work. That will especially take more work if I am not adept at "feeling" these kinds of things. Magic is often subtle, and sometimes you can't feel the water rising until you are almost drowning. Sometimes it isn't enough to say, "well I don't think anything is happening, so everything must be fine." Sometimes you don't realize you left a door open, or a spell unattended, until the undertow rips you off your feet and sucks you under. In hindsight it may seem obvious, but by then it will be too late. There has to be a way for us to keep track of all the taps we've turned on so we don't get flooded.

 

That way is positively mundane; you need to write down what you do.

 

As a side-note, it doesn't matter if you think you have power or not. It doesn't matter if you believe your spell can't possibly have that kind of effect. To be fair, if you are a beginner, you are not experienced enough to make those kinds of judgment calls. Nor does it matter if you are just messing around, or you aren't sure you want to be a witch. You need to keep track of your business.

 

I have learned a few lessons about magic in my recent adventures, and here are two important ones:

  • Every detail matters
  • By the time something happens, you will probably have forgotten what you did to cause it

Magic, being the fair mistress that she is, takes you at your word. When you say something, it is done. Your spell does not have a mind of it's own. It does not say, "well, Wexler told us to do A, but I think she intended for us to do B, so we'd better do B instead." This means that it is possible for you to think you are casting a spell for one thing, when in reality you are casting for another thing altogether. When your spell starts doing freaky stuff and you have no idea why, you need to be able to have a copy of the original spell so you can go back and say, "wow, the wording of this could actually make us drift apart for our greater happiness, not come closer together." If you don't have those notes to figure out exactly what the heck you actually set in to motion, you are going to be confused and upset in a bad way.
 
Keeping notes is especially important for us beginners, because it is how we learn. Suppose you are doing a spell to help your boss see the error of his ways, are you going to say "hit him with understanding like a bolt of lightening," or, "grace him with understanding like the dawning of the sun"? This stuff is metaphor, but it has real effect. Do you want to blast out someone's mind with an LSD-level epiphany, or do you want to gently grow the idea on them until it rises beautifully in to their conscious mind? If your boss starts freaking out and behaving really oddly, you are going to have to remember exactly what you put in his mind, and exactly how it was delivered. If it looks like your boss is having a psychotic break and going in to a tailspin, you may have walloped him just a little too hard. To fix that, you will need to know what happened in your original spell. And if you don't have your notes, you will have just stalled your learning process. "Why is my boss acting out? What did I do wrong?" You will never be able to figure that out unless you remember what happened. If you have your notes it is infinitely easier to say, "he's probably acting oddly because I just cleaved his mind in half, I should avoid doing that in the future."
 
If you have your original notes, it is also much easier to send clean-up spells after your original working to help reduce collateral damage. Now that we know why your boss is losing his mind, we can send gentle spells after him to reduce the damage we did and help bring his sanity back. If you know why you and your friend are drifting apart, you can work to end that spell and create a new one that will actually bring you together. If you do not understand what you originally did to mess things up, all you can do is blindly guess what the issue is and pile more and more magic on top, which may just make things worse. (If you didn't know your original spell was forcing you and your friend apart, for example, you may think you didn't cast it strongly enough and cast the same spell again with more power, assuming that will fix things.)
 
Now the tricky thing about magic is that it isn't always instantaneous. Like leaving the water tap on, sometimes it takes a while to see the effects of what you have done. Suppose I cast a money spell, and a month later I see fabulous returns. Well, excellent - I'd love to cast that spell again... if I could remember what it was. Or say I am trying to perfect a spell that makes people tell me the truth. I cast a different version on four people I know. And one of them works! Great, now, which version was that again? Was it the one where I said 'Let ye speak no untruth to me' [I don't actually cast spells with Olde English wording, but ye rhymes with me, okay] or the one where I said 'Speak no untruth to me; when you see me your heart is filled only with honesty'? By the time my magical truth serum starts working, I may have forgotten. Experiment ruined.

 

Lastly, I have noticed a pattern in my own life, where I do something and then I'm amazed that it actually had an effect. I can "feel" things a little better now, but before I would do something and not "feel" it, then assume it was a dud. Two weeks later when shit got crazy, I would have no idea what happened... until I looked back and said, "oh, duh, that was me." If you do stuff involving magic or your power, whether or not you think it 'took', make a note of it. The most incidental things can become pivotal down the road.

 

 

 

All that being said, how can you keep good and accurate notes? What do you need to write down? I think that as beginners, we need to write down more than the experienced. Specifically I would say, if you journal, do it often even when it seems like nothing is going on. Be brutally honest with yourself, and don't avoid writing things down because you don't want to admit what you have just done, what you really think, or what you have seen. Don't get bogged down with fancy inks and expensive journals when a fifty cent composition book and a ten cent Bic pen from Wal-Mart will do. When it comes to spellwork, being very detailed and specific may really help you out a lot, especially when you can look back and see where your strengths and abilities lay.

 

[A random note: If you buy bound paper journals, get one where the pages lay flat when the book is opened. I bought a cute paperback journal a while ago, but it doesn't lay flat and it is a pain in the ass to write in, because to keep it open you have to constantly hold one side down. Never again.]

 

 

 

Some people will agree or disagree with my opinions here. They are not fact, just my thoughts stemming from my experiences. I hope this post did not come off as too teachy or preachy, I know I kind of have a problem with that.

 

Some people don't need to take a lot of notes. The more experience we get, likely the less we will need to keep track of. I think sooner or later, people begin to develop a sense for what is important and what is not. Until then I think it is best to err on the side of caution.

 

They call it the Crooked Path for a reason. Keeping notes is like creating a map for yourself, so when you get lost you can find your way home. No matter how you get around to it, I think it is a very good idea to keep a record of where you have been and what you are doing.

 

Finally, do not underestimate the effects of a single spell. As they say, every gun is loaded; every action a witch takes has power. Don't get it in your head that the dabbling you do now will have little or no consequence. People are taught to respect the power of guns before they learn how to shoot. Respect your own power before you cast spells. Whether or not you can see or feel it, you will send invisible bullets flying. So make note of which direction you fire the damn gun.


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#144104 Symbolism of the ritual knife

Posted by Jevne on 03 May 2013 - 08:49 PM

I have an idea. How about we stop talking about wicca shit on the Trad witchcraft forum?
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#133893 Practicality, Tips and Tricks

Posted by The Exile on 16 September 2012 - 10:30 PM

.

Never let a busybody woman near your house. Had to kick one out that barged into the house.

.

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#133892 Practicality, Tips and Tricks

Posted by Michele on 16 September 2012 - 10:24 PM

After Xmas sales at craft stores have great clear glass Xmas-tree balls on sale real cheap. Wonderful to fill with your choice of things and hang over windows and doors as protections. Halloween craft store stuff is great, too.

Protect your entrances (including mirrors). Don't wait until you find out WHY it's suggested.

If it's creeping you out, stop. It's not you being chicken; there's a problem.

Label all things containing body fluids you wouldn't want your teenager to drink. Label anything you make becuase 6 months later you won't remember what you put in it. Label teeth and hair and birthday candles, too (whose they are).

Keep your children's birthday candles for workings and mark the age and name (if you have more than one kid).

M
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#126850 How to Teach Yourself

Posted by CelticGypsy on 01 June 2012 - 02:33 PM

What ever happened to just getting off one's behind and just doing ?

Example : Take one native plant to your area, and learning all there is to know about that certain plant, and the whys of it, most animists believe if not all of them that, that particular plant has a soul, and offers a dualistic approach to a Path and or The Craft.

Example : Take one Tarot card and study it throughly, take that Tarot card and put it up to another in a different Deck, examine the symbolism, the colors used, find the interpretation.

Example : Study a local tree in your area, look into it's lore what plants are this tree's allies, what grows around it.

Example : Take one herb like Bay Leaf, why is it attached to the Craft, if your path is aligned with the Divinities, what God or Goddess benefits the Witch by the usage of this pantry herb ? Study the herb and it's otherworldly meaning.

Once one has exhausted all measures of ascribing the knowledge one has learned by a particular method or application, write it down, for reference for future exploration. Take the initiative to challange oneself. One will not succeed if one doesn't attempt.

Personally, I'm endeavoring to create by my hands a special healing candle, made entirely from materials that are Bee related. I've not worked much with insects or their attachment to the Craft, but I do know from what I'm studying that, that particular Kingdom of Insects for me, offers illumination for my individual Journey. I'm using everything at my disposal for this, books, my Peer's council and wisdom, the internet, and now a simple telephone call. I won't rest untill I have all that I acquire by my own activity in my quest for this, as I strongly believe that outcomes are important keys to the Witch.

Regards,
Gypsy

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#191782 Basic Spells to Get Started

Posted by Zombee on 26 May 2018 - 08:15 PM

For new comers making a cold start into any witch crafting, these traditional folk magic spell basics are adaptable to any need for anyone with a little bit of imagination. There's no need to distract ourselves by making things complicated. They just sound that way when explaining the why's & wherefores. Edit: it shouldn't need saying that these are just start-up suggestions and not mandatory.

FOUR POWERS OF THE WITCH

Four compass quarters, four ways of the cross roads...it just keeps repeating. Spells draw on the four ways. Mundanely speaking, to-know is having knowledge of your craft, to-will is mindful intention, to-dare requires fearless pursuit of your craft, and to-be-silent is not discussing your craft with outsiders.

Insiders will soon learn the energetic force behind these witch's powers. Knowing becomes a force of the quiet air of assurance that a thing is thus/so; Will acts as a force of single-minded intention, a fire in the belly to see a thing done; Daring serves as a force of sheer guts & the chutzpah to follow your fluid inner wisdom despite nay-sayers, & Silence grounds & sustains the force of inner solitude that let's our voice of wisdom be heard.

These altered states of consciousness have the power to transform thought energy into physical substance & form. It's necessary to put ourselves in the zone to cast effectively.

Our intent changes but the activation method stays the same. This is just one example of a simple, all-purpose method to charge with intent:

1. Warm up by swinging your arms fore & aft 1 minute. Belly-breathe & center to light the fire in the belly.
2. Know your goal - to attract something, to repel something or to bind & hold something in place.
3. Claim your intent by speaking it in present-tense phrases like "I have x"instead of "I need"/ "I want."
4. Rub your hands together so they tingle; push the willful intent of that desire from the fire in your belly & out thru your hands & your intense gaze, & into the item used to hold the spell.

Belly-breathing is inhaling to inflate the lower abdomen first & then the upper chest; then exhale fully. It wakens the brain. Centering is pulling your power into your gut. The fire in the belly is willful intent to see a goal met.
- --------- -

CANDLE spells suit any goal. Fire transforms & changes. Preparation: Use any candle you have on hand. Etch the purpose or target's name on the candle. Dab olive oil on your palms then roll the candle between your oiled hands as you state your intent 3 times. The oil seals your energy & intention to the candle & olive lends properties of "fruitful" success. Stand the candle in it's holder. Cup your hands around the candle & focus your intense witchy gaze on it. Push the fire in the belly into the candle to load it with your willful intent.

The Spell: After prepping, light the candle and sit quietly while softly gazing at the flame for a few minutes until the flame's all that's on your mind. Then give THANKS to the Powers because the spell is already fulfilled upon the Ethers and you KNOW this with a certainty. When you know you don't have to visualize. It' feels like a hunch. This is the heart of the spell. Just let the candle burn completely while you do other things yet keep an eye on it for safety. If you can't hang around then use a 10-minute birthday cake candle standing in softened wax on a plate. You can dispose of candle stubs, if any, in the trash.

A candle can serve as a poppet by using pins to mark the 3rd eye & 2 arms and legs on the sides so the candle resembles a human figure. Name the candle for the target person it represents. What is done to the poppet is done to the target. Proceed as above. Spent poppet-pins should be disposed of by "burial" by pushing them into the ground under a tree. The tree roots are links to the underworld realm. Leave a bread offering to thank the tree.

If you want to stop a spell already in progress (yours or someone else's) name a candle for the spell that must be cancelled ("I name you x"), oil it & stand it upright - stuck in it's own wax - in a bowl. Add a bit of water to cover the bottom of the candle. Activate your willful intent & light up. Gaze at the flame for a minute or two knowing it's job is done & give thanks as above. When the candle burns down to water level it will be extinguished, thus bringing the unwanted spell or condition to an end.

A WITCH's BOTTLE is a protection spell in which you fill a small bottle/jar with bent pins to deflect the aim of incoming bad intentions, iron nails or random rusty iron bits to disrupt psychic interference, and shiny foil bits to serve as mirrors that reflect harmful intent back to the sender. Add some strands of the resident's hair as a tag-lock that identifies the one's being protected. Add pepper & salt to repel & protect. Top off the bottle with vinegar to repel harm or urine to mark your territory. Cap it. Activate your willful intent. Option: Prepare more bottles and bury or hide one at each corner of your property & definitely 1 at the most used entrance. Bottle spells are adaptable to any purpose by changing what you put into them. A decorative "wish-bottle" would use attractive, pleasant ingredients related to your intent, and can be decorated & displayed to attract the goal. Dismantle & dispose of the contents when the deed is fulfilled.

A WITCH's LADDER is a chain of knots tied in twine that might use 5 knots for wish-fulfillment, 7 knots for good luck, or 13 knots for protection or hexing. Knots are tied in twine with bundled twigs (Oak, Rowan or Thorn respectively), or feathers & hag-stones tied into the knots. To activate it swing the completed chain hypnotically like a pendulum. Lock on a witchy gaze while whispering your purpose 3 times & pushing the fire in the belly into the chain. Then hang it in a tree to aid the intention's travel through the 3 realms as tree branches reach the realm of the gods above, their trunks are in mid-earth & roots pierce the underworld. Thank the tree & let the weather naturally dismantle the chain over time. A thing is bound until the knot's undone. Dropping the whole thing as-is into flowing water will cancel the spell.

A KNOT SPELL is a little different. It uses a piece of twine as long as your forearm to be tied with 9 knots. Don't pull so tightly that you cannot untie these knots. Say one line of the charm while forming a knot, then blow a breath of power through the loop, or peer through the loop at the moon just as you pull the knot closed to capture the Moon's power in the loop, or adapt to modern technology & peer thru the loop at a photo of your specific target & capture it as you pull the knot closed. Repeat the process in sequence for all 9 knots & use your witch's power of KNOWING that the goal is done.

By knot one the spell's begun.
By knot two it comes true.
By knot three so shall it be.
By knot four the power is stored.
By knot five the spell's alive.
By knot six the goal is fixed.
By knot seven it is given.
By knot eight it is fate.
By knot nine it is mine!

It's entirely optional to do the knot tying during an appropriate weekday to set the intention; then store the string in a safe place until the best moon phase for manifesting your goal. However to acquire your desire you untie the knots while repeating the same rhyme (one line of the charm per one knot) to release the knot's power. Then burn the untied string to transform it. You can scatter the ashes or flush them in flowing water. In the days of sailing ships Sailors were known to buy a 3-knot wind spell from wharf witches & untie a knot to release a desirable wind. A knot spell is also a binding spell & as long as the knots remain tied the intent is held in place. To bind someone rephrase the last line to "by knot nine (name, thing or deed) is confined". To hold/bind permanently you would burn the string without untying the knots. The knots cannot then be undone & are thus permanently bound. Binding is used to prevent someone from doing harm.

STROKING STONES can be used to gently air-stroke across an injury drawing out pain while a healing chant is spoken, as well as be used for remote healing & influencing. Choose any water-smoothed stone for water's associations to healing. For remote workings be prepared to spend an hour rocking fore 'n aft & side-to-side as you stroke the stone while softly chanting: "Stone to stone, bone to bone, flesh to flesh, vein to vein, (name) is whole again." Keep stroking, rocking & chanting until you mentally fade out or have some other indication you've reached your maximum capacity & can stop. Any stone will hold an intent until something dislodges it. Best to not use the same stone for healing as hexing. Stones are the skeleton of Gaia & have appropriate stone & bone sympathies. Wash stones to clear them between spells & reuse them. Wishing stones have colored bands encircling them which symbolize the compass many layered meanings & are stroked for wish-fullfilment. Map stones have intersecting lines traversing their surface symbolizing Ley lines & ghost-tracks & can be stroked to aid spirit travel. Holey stones or hag stomes are protective luck-charms & peered thru for scrying.

The WITCH's CORD or "measure" is used to capture the energy signature of the person whose measure is taken with a cord. Tie a knot on one end & place it at the bridge of the nose; then run the cord over the crown and down the spine to the heels and tie an ending knot. Then from the starting knot wrap the cord around the head and tie a knot to mark the length. From that knot measure around the chest and tie a knot, and from there measure around the groin and tie a knot. This captures the visionary force of the 3rd eye, the passion of heart and the regenerative "sex" force and thus the energy signature of the person. If the intended person isn't present then their essence is captured by proxy by drawing a stick figure with used incense ash or in fireplace ashes. A piece of sewing thread can be used as the cord to take the measure. Tie crown-to-heel knots, then measure lengthwise between them tieing knots at intervals relevant to 3rd eye, heart &'groin. Then wipe away the figure-ashes but you will combine them with the thread's ash when it's burned; then scatter the combined ashes on the wind. Air is as activating as fire. Note: The witch's own measure-cord is worn on their person during rituals and spell crafting to reinforce their own willful intent, and should be stored when not being used. It can be wrapped around spells-in-the-works to stand-in for the Crafter to keep a spell "cooking" while you do other things.

occult theory suggests that we remain linked to active spells by threads of psychic energy. We should therefore decommission our completed spells as we dismantle them: "The time has come to end this spell. The job is done and all is well." Then dispose of the debris & recycle reusable items. Periodically Crafters should remove forgotten links with a grounding, head-to-toe wash using vinegar or salt-water. This prevents psychic energy clinging like sludge which attracts bad luck like static attracts lint in the dryer.

MAGICAL LAWS (paraphrased):

Doctrine of Signatures - The attributes without mirror the qualities within. Nature has left clues to the magical uses of an object through it's shape, texture, color, markings, smell & taste.

Law of Contagion - Once together, always together. Whenever two things touch, they leave connecting strands of energy between them. The longer the contact, the stronger the link. Witches tap into these connections as identifying tag-locks.

Law of Sympathy - In magical use, what is willed, intended, or done to the symbol or image, will also impact the material target. The symbol is as real as the thing itself.

WITCHES SUPPLY CABINET

When stocking your supply cabinet it simplifies things to accumulate items with a focus on protection,
prosperity and power. That which protects will also cleanse and purify. That which attracts prosperity will also aid love & health. Power sustains and maintains.

Basic Starter Kit Example:

basil to prosper & protect (particularly during underworld descents)
candles (white-all purpose; red-extra life-force power; black-protective and baneful uses)
cinnamon for success, psychism; cocoa & coffee repel the evil eye; mix & use as incense
dragons blood resin adds power to spells; represents blood offerings
olive oil used for anointing to transfer & hold psychic charge
rosemary for remembrance (make a tea to aid trance recall)
salt to protect & cleanse; black peppercorn to repel; sugar to sweeten tempers
vinegar as a cleanser; use to sour tempers
useful found items: unique or water-smooth stones, rusty nails, shed snake skin or deer antlers, bones

POPULAR MOON TIMING (optional - not everyone's a lunatic)

Use the growing energy of the waxing moon for increasing & attracting purposes; the full moon for completion and maximum energy (full moon includes the day day before, day of & day after complete fullness); the diminishing waning phase for decrease & repelling purposes. If you're by the ocean you might include incoming tides to draw something towards you & out going tides to send something away.

CORRESPONDENCES (influenced by ceremonial magic) - short list:

Sunday (Sun) yellow, leadership, health, advice
Monday (Moon) white, marriage, family, psychic endeavors
Tuesday (Mars) red, conflict, legal matters
Wednesday (Mercury) light blue-aqua, communication, education, divination
Thursday (Jupiter) blue, finances, job, prosperity, protection
Friday (Venus) green, love, allure, fertility
Saturday (Saturn) black, endings, banishing

THINGS THAT ARE BETWEEN

There are special times, things & places that witches know can contribute to magical effectiveness. These are "between" one thing and another. They are therefore powerful in that they assist our thoughts to be "between" & thus to manifest.

Bridges - cross living water and are neither this side or that side.
Cacoons - contain a caterpillar changing to moth or butterfly.
Cemeteries - are links between the mid-world and the underworld.
Chimneys - passageways connected to the transforming hearth.
Church yard - is neither within the sanctuary or detached from it, but "between" both.
Circles of Stone - circles connect the three realms & contain energy
Cross Roads - intersecting directions & realms, neither here nor there but between locations
Doorways, thresholds - are neither in or out, not in one room or the other.
Eggs - are one thing & become another thing; symbolize unmanifest potential
Embankments & Shorelines - are between land and water.
Ember days - between the winter solstice (or Christmas) and Epiphany
Hill tops, mountains - are between land and sky.
Liminal hours of dawn, noon, dusk, midnight - neither today or tomorrow, morning or night.
Mirrors, reflective surfaces - show the world in reverse; the underworld is the reverse of mundane
Solstices - marking the end of one and beginning of the next half of the annual cycle.
Spirals - ascending or descending, they transmute energy from this to that, and are doorways.
Stairs - are between one level and the other; ghosts often appear on stairs & other places between
Swings - move back & forth repeating a rhythm & induce trance, as do rocking chairs.
Toads - live between water and land realms & secrete a hallucinogen; have their own mystery
Trance - the spirit-body can pass between worlds; the traveler isn't dead, but "living dead"
Trees - unite the three realms of above, mundane and below, as does the Stang/Staff
Water - transforms between solid ice/snow, liquid/rain and steam/mist; retains memory
Wells, underground springs - flow between underworld & surface Land
Windows - are both inside and outside at the same time & let us see other worlds

Well, you get the idea. Add some ideas of your own
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