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Posts posted by woodwitchofthewest

  1. This sounds interesting!  How do you make incense paper?  That would give your sigils and extra layer of majick.


    Hi Onyx - well, you dissolve some saltpeter in a small cup of water, and briefly soak the paper you want to make incense from in the water, and let it dry. (Sometimes people paint the saltpeter solution on the paper - more than once, usually, and let it dry in between.  Probably works better than soaking if the paper is thin or easily dissolved.) Then you add fragrance to the paper, let it dry again, and then you can write or paint on it (if you paint on it, let it dry again!) and then burn it.  Depending on the paper, you can often light it, blow it gently out, then let it finish smouldering and turning to ash on a censer.  

  2. On the subject of words - I personally try to keep mine as succinct as I can.  Sometimes that's not possible or desirable, for example when storytelling, but when it is possible, that is my goal.  There are reasons behind that. 


    First, it's a matter of style.  I try to be clear and simple in most of what I write because in a world that constantly bombards us with noise, you risk losing people's attention if you are not.  Second, it's a matter of energy.  Writing takes energy from the author to write, and for the reader to absorb, so a high signal-to-noise ratio is helpful for all.  Third, I have found that the more I talk, the easier it is to accidentally say something I didn't really mean to say.  Editing for conciseness helps me stick to that which I intended to convey.  


    Edited to add:


    Fourth, focus and intent is something that can be practiced outside of ritual and spellwork.  The more areas of your life in which you practice being concise and focused in what you do, the more that focus will feed into the quality and effectiveness of your craft work.  

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  3. In a world where it often seems to be more common to wish others ill than to wish them well, I think sincere "blessings" in any form are a nice, gentle kind of low magic that has the ability to make at least one person's life better in that moment.  Two, if you count the "bless-er" along with the "bless-ee."  


    The only problem I can see with the practice in general is that some people use it as a foil for their bad intent (for example, the common southernism "well, bless your heart!" :D ) , and some others use it so indiscriminately that the practice becomes essentially meaningless.  In those cases I think discernment is called for, and so that's why I say I accept blessings in the manner in which they were intended, because blessings come in all sorts of forms (a plate of homemade cookies given to a friend who is having a tough time of it could actually be taken as a non-verbal blessing) so IMO, intent is pretty much the only important thing to keep in mind about the practice.  


    All of the "blessings" I've seen here so far appear to have had good intent behind them so I acknowledge them with gratitude.  

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  4. I usually carve Sigils onto my spell candles.  Mostly I write them on Mulberry paper and burn them.


    That reminds me, I have been meaning to make more "incense papers" for sigil magic.  I'm going to try mulberry paper this time, thank you for the idea!  

  5. I have a niece who is autistic and was born with other genetic anomalies.  My sister had her DNA and her daughter's DNA tested to see what sort of health issues they might need to keep a look out for, and asked that I and another family member do the same.  So we did.  The ancestry stuff was just kind of an interesting sideline from the other testing, but I was able at last to put to rest a family myth that we had a significant amount of Cherokee on my mom's side.  I could never find any evidence in the genealogy, but some family members insisted it was so!  (Hint:  DNA results basically say "not one drop." I was actually a bit disappointed, but that's the way it goes.)


    So, if the tests are to be believed, I'm 99.9% European - 38% Irish, 32% French and German, a little Scandinavian, the rest a mix of other European ethnicities.  Basically, looking at the map, it seems that the Celts roamed and left some offspring in lots of places who later became woven into my family tree.  

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  6. I’m sorry for how you lost her, my dad lost his dad a couple weeks ago, who also had severe dementia. 


    I'm sorry for your family's loss as well.  Dementia is a really hard way for someone to go, not only for the family, but the person themselves.  


     Often a very tell-tale sign that you’re communicating with a spirit is that you’ll realize or wonder if you’re talking to a dead person or spirit during the dream.



    That makes sense.  And I guess that means I talk to dead relatives and interact with dead pets more often than I realized, because when I see them in dreams, I am almost always conscious of the fact that they are gone, and that it is a dream and not reality which I'm experiencing.  

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  7. I’ve also talked to a dead relative in a dream before. And what I saw of them in the dream was described perfectly to a T by my best friend who is a reluctant psychic medium. She even described the family member she saw said deceased relative hanging around, which again matched what I saw. She also talks to spirits in her sleep as you described.


    I very much believe that you were talking to the spirits of your deceased relatives.


    It did feel very, very real.  Especially the time where I dreamed I was talking on the phone to my late mother.  She was talking like she did a few months before she died (demented, a lot of "word salad" and paranoia...)


    Now that I recall it here, I have realized this was actually a very vivid lucid dream.   I realized during the dream that I was dreaming, but on the chance that something I could say might get through to her, I deliberately chose to not "follow the dream script" and instead just started telling her that I loved her, that everything would be alright, and I really missed her.  So, maybe you are right. 


    I am just sad to think that even months after her death, her spirit is still so confused and upset.  Or, maybe time as we know it just doesn't figure in here and how she was "on the phone" that early morning is not really an indication of how she actually is now, wherever she is.  


    Anyway, thank you for your response. It is sad but also comforting. 

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  8. Woodwitchofthewest, that's interesting. I definitely find spirits can affect my emotions, so the tension makes sense. 


    Thank you for the validation on that, BlackbirdSong.  It was definitely an interesting experience.  I was shocked that my mother could also see it, because that meant I couldn't easily explain it away as just my imagination.  I can't readily think of any other time I've felt or seen anything that could be described as a "spirit."  I have talked to dead relatives in dreams, though, but I don't think that's the same.  

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  9. I remember one day that my mother and I were having a lot of anger and arguments.  We ended up working together some time that afternoon trying to get our dining table to come apart so we could get the extra middle leaf out.  We were still arguing, tugging on the table, and then suddenly, it finally gave and the two halves just flew apart.  And as it did, up from the middle, rose a black plume of dense "smoke."  I saw it, my mother saw it, too.  We were both in shock.  It rose up from the middle of the table and then dissipated before it reached the ceiling.  I don't know if that was a dark spirit causing some of the anger and strife in the house that day, but I do know that after it left, we stopped arguing.  Could have just been the shock, though.  

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  10. I've dropped a lot of things that just didn't work for me, like complex rituals. The things that do work for me, I've tried to make simpler as time goes on.  

    I don't feel so rushed to do a ritual within a certain frame of time.  Sometimes I take MONTHS to get ready to do something, doing a little bit here and there, sort of letting it "cook" for a while until I'm ready. 

    I've also integrated more of my craft into my every day life and into my art.  

    I'm also more open about what I believe with people I trust.  

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  11. This is an interesting point.  It would stand to reason that the abuser would continue to shadow it's victim after leaving this plane.  I think I shall do some research on this...


    I wonder now if that is what happened to me when my mom passed this summer.  As I mentioned, I was pretty sure I felt her trying to "settle into me" within a few minutes of her passing.  She was quite ill, mentally, abusive for my entire life, and also towards the end very tormented and psychotic and living in a memory care facility.  It makes sense to me that those sort of places would attract negative energies, whatever they might be.  

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  12. I use the word "tradition" as an alternative to the word "path."  I don't use it in the sense that it means passed down through the generations, although I believe being "traditional" requires some adherence to the older ways. (Having knowledge passed down through the generations would be cool, but from what I can see, very few actually have that sort of resource to draw upon.)


    I also use the label "tradition" as a way of differentiating what I do and believe from what Wiccans do and believe.  Common usage in many places seems to say that Wicca is Wicca, and other paths that honor older ways are called "Trads" - so that seems to be an acceptable way to communicate my non-Wiccan-ness to other folks.  


    Is it correct?  Heck if I know.  But it is the best label I've found for what I do.  

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  13. I wear whatever is comfortable, generally whatever it is that I'm wearing that day.  I do have a few more "witchy" pieces in my wardrobe that I have worn when in a group, and a woolen cloak with a hood as well.  But mostly it's jeans and a casual blouse or Tshirt for me.  


    Edited to add:  I forgot, I do wear a fair bit of semi-precious gemstone jewelry, most of which I make myself!  That's my main type of "ritual wear."

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  14. I’m a bit late in this but I finished up a red and grey herringbone wool cape on winter solstice. I found the luxury fabric for $8 at goodwill and it was just enough to make a full circle below-the-knee hooded cloak. I drafted the pattern myself but it was fairly easy and the whole project was 4-5 hours work, spread out over a few weeks.


    That's beautiful, nellopea!  

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  15. Well that is a good idea, I am sure your old garden will sadly miss you and I really hope that the new owners will continue to love the garden.

    Some of the plants that you are taking with you will miss the old garden too.


    It's actually a better environment for most of the things I brought with me.  The hostas are HUGE now, the sweet woodruff has taken over both of the shade beds, the mint is running wild under the cherry trees, the Labrador violets are spreading all over the yard, and my speckled violets are getting to be a foot tall every year.  So nobody's complaining.  :-D

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  16. When we moved from our last house, I took specific rocks from the garden area that I had enjoyed having around, and also took cuttings or divisions of most of my plants.  I talked to the garden and told it we were leaving, and thanked it for its bounty of flowers, fruit and veggies, and said my goodbyes.  I also said goodbye to the house, especially the areas I'd most been happy in.  When we moved in here, I planted the divisions and cuttings, and put the rocks into places where I would see them and be able to enjoy them.  I felt like I'd made a bit of an emotional bridge from my old place to my new one.  Especially when it came to the garden - it's always hardest for me to leave my gardens.  

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