Tag Archives: advice

Simple Witchcraft: Magical Self-Care To Get You Through The Holi-Daze

As published on Medium.


Unless you’ve been living alone on a desert island, you’ve probably noticed that witchcraft is a thing. What you may not know, is that you don’t have to be a witch to stir up a little practical magic, you just need to activate your own personal mojo.

Witch or not, everybody has tried a little magic. When you will the traffic light to turn green as you approach, carry around an image of that boat you want to own some day, or plan the details of a trip you yearn to take, you’re focusing your intention and directing your energy to manifest a desired outcome.

You’ve got the power in you—that’s what witchcrafting is all about. Which is exactly why it’s so important to keep your battery charged. Energy begets energy; you have to have it before you can use it.

Easier said than done with the secular holiday season upon us. There’s shopping, cooking, baking, cleaning, planning, more shopping, more cooking, more baking, then gathering and gifting to be done. How’s a witchy gal supposed to find time for a little R&R—Respite & Ritual?

  • What do we need?
  • Self Care
  • Why?
  • Personal power.
  • When do we need it?
  • Now.
  • How do we get it?

Good question. It’s tough to squeeze in personal care when we’re already pressed for time. If only there was a way to get more hours into the day. Oh wait—there is. Lucky for us, this is the perfect season to harness the energy of time and stretch it out.

Yule is a time of transition. It marks the ending of the dark half of the year and the beginning of the light half. Within that transition is a moment when the hours of night and day are equal and time seems to stand still. Mythologically speaking, the Goddess, having descended into the dark underworld at Samhain, is awaiting the rebirth of the God. She is biding her time.

Time Stretching Spell
You can tap into the energies of Yule to cast a simple spell for stretching time to your advantage. You’ll need popcorn, string (dental floss works well) and a needle with an eye large enough to thread the string through. Before you start popping the corn, take a moment to ground and center yourself. Invite the properties and energy of time to combine with your intent. Pop the corn in a microwave, electric popper or on the stove (Jiffy Pop is perfect for this spell).

As the popcorn expands in it’s container, imagine time expanding within the container of a day. If you think of time as linear, see a straight line between two points begin to curve, waving up and down, making mountains and valleys, getting longer while still beginning and ending at the same points. If you see time on a daily calendar, envision the number of squares increasing on the same page. Or, imagine the face of a clock with extra numbers around the dial.

When the corn is popped, put some on a plate as an offering to Spirit, the deitie(s), ancestors, nature, or the universe, as thanks for their help. Place the offering outdoors. Eat some some of the popcorn yourself, with the intention that you are combining this energy of time expansion with your own personal energy. String the rest to decorate your Yule/Christmas tree, or treat your neighborhood birds by decorating a small tree outside. No hurry though, you have all the time you need and stale popcorn is easier to string.

So now that time is on your side, use it to try these simple, witchy, self-care tips to power through the busy days ahead.

Create a Daily Ritual
Set aside a little time and space just for you. Whether it’s a quiet moment of meditation or prayer in the morning, or a few moments of R&R at the end of the day. Brew a cup of your favorite coffee or tea, stirring in your intentions to feel calm and at ease. You can use sugar to add sweetness to your day, and cream to enrich your experiences. Light a candle while thinking of seeing your way throughout the day.

In the morning, listen to uplifting music; at night choose soothing tunes. You can take the time to read inspirational stories or poems or simply close your eyes and let your thoughts go inward. You can also try listening to a guided visualization for a few minutes.

Take Five
For this one, I like to think of my body as the vessel of the Goddess (God, Spirit, chosen deity. etc.). What I do for my own wellbeing or pleasure, is an offering , something that can be experienced through my flesh and blood. So I remind myself to take short breaks at regular intervals during the day, standing and stretching to relieve tension in my body. I take three to five slow, deep breath, breathing in calmness and contentment. then I exhale stress, anxiety and disappointment. I finish by drinking a glass of water before returning to the work at hand.

A New Twist on the Gratitude List
It’s easy to forget all the good things in our lives when we’re feeling rushed and overwhelmed with responsibility, but you can toss the tedious gratitude list out with the trash. Instead manifest some positive energy using a platform like Pinterest or Instagram to curate images of favorite things you’re grateful for. Include pictures of loved ones, vacation spots, pets, and hobbies (you can make it a secret board on Pinterest so you won’t be sharing personal images with the whole world). When you’re feeling down, take a moment to swipe through this visual reminder of all you have to be thankful for.

Give Your To-Do List a Magical Boost
Take your To Do lists to the next level with my Ta Done! list. Early in December I write down everything I have to accomplish for the holidays— things like baking cookies for the exchange, decorating the tree, shopping for gifts, planning a Solstice ritual. I’m a bit of an artsy-fartsy sorta witch, so I jazz my list up with colored markers, and doodles. I draw a check box alongside each task on the list and X it out when completed. Sometimes, I draw a hash-line through the box if I’m making progress but not quite done. If a task becomes urgent (code for I’ve procrastinated too long), I circle the box in red. When I complete tasks I shout, “Ta Done!” and do a little dance. Shouting and dancing, or chanting, clapping, and ringing of bells is the magical part. You’ll find if you do this your lists become easier and easier to complete.

And don’t throw your Ta Da! lists out when you’re done. I clip mine together and save them. Anytime I want to feel a sense of accomplishment, I just get out my lists and pat myself on the back for all I’ve accomplished.

Give and Take
Even if a witch could be all things to all people, she’s wise enough to know it’s not worth it. Honor your limitations, ask for help, and learn to say, “No thank you.” Don’t place crazy expectations on yourself during the holiday madness, or waste time worrying about everything that has to be done (does it really?). Take time to enjoy the moments and give the gift of your presence.

Joyous Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to you.
Blessed Be and Journey Well!



Ghourls’ Night In

We all remember the witches from the fairy tales of our youth, or the movies we watched as teenagers. They were generally a pretty frightening bunch of ladies, all seeming to have a score to settle.

Dark and a little bitter might be okay for chocolate but whose got time for the whole bitch-on-a-broomstick thing when there are parties to attend? And what better time to kick up your witchy heels with your like minded ghourl friends than Samhain?

The witching hour is nigh, but have no fear—there’s still time to conjure up these simple party tricks and treats for a covenly night of witchy fun—almost as easily as waving your magic wand.

Calling All Witches

Every good party starts with a great invitation. Choose from dozens of Halloween themed layouts like this one at Punchbowl. Customize with the who, what, where, and when then send by email or social media. POOF — all your friends have the deets.

Where The Witches Live

Witches live in scary houses, so be sure to set the theme for your party beginning at the front door. You could carve up a Jack-o-lanter or two and call it good, but—really? This is the time to show off all your practical magic by creating a truly dramatic entrance.

These witch hat luminaries styled by Melissa at Polkadot Chair will impress your guests right off the bat.

And speaking of bats . . .

Don’t forget to hang a few of these from the rafters, along with glow in the dark spider webs and lots of creepy plastic spiders.

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Finally, add to the sinister ambience by dimming or turning off bright lights. Instead, use plenty of candles (electric versions for safety!) and strings of colorful lights like these, reminiscent of Dios De Le Muerte. Check out the Halloween isle at your local dollar store for all the decorations you’ll need in a hurry.

Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble
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Start the cackling good time off by providing themed cocktails like this Poison Apple.  Or keep it simple by featuring a punchbowl as the centerpiece of your buffet spread. Check out Pinterest for more tasty concoctions.

You might consider going strictly with mocktails or an alcohol free punch to accommodate the tea-totaling witches. You can always offer alcohol on the side for those who wish to imbibe. Use these free printables from Suzy Homemaker to label your booze with a grave warning.

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Setting the Feast Table

What’s a party of witches without a feast? Justina Blakenley at Jungalow shows you step by step how to lay your dark side on the table for all to see. Best of all, she pulls it off without breaking the bank by using thrift and dollar store finds.

Ladies Fingers

Of course you don’t have to limit your feast to finger foods, but it doesn’t hurt to have some on the menu . . . fingers that is.

These delicious digits are my all time favorite witches’ party treat from Martha Stewart. Making them requires some baking experience and the prep is a bit fussy, but they are so worth it. Your ghourl friends won’t be able to stop licking their fingers. Find more frighteningly fun partie foods, made with every day ingredients at Pinterest.

Sound Effects

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Make sure your witchy guests are feeling your vibe with a chilling play list. No time to curate your favorites? Tune into year-round spooky tunes on Halloween Radio. You can listen live or download for free.

Fun and Games

Where’s that Magic 8 Ball you had as a kid when you need it? Why didn’t you buy that tarot deck you’ve been wanting? What self respecting witch worth her salt can’t provide a little divination for her guests?

tarot-2414239_640

Relax, you don’t have to have a Tarot deck to peer into the fortunes of your guests, a plain deck or a roll of the dice will do. You can also try your hand at reading tea leaves, or scrying. Everything you need is right in your kitchen cupboard.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet Again

When it’s time to say good bye to your witchy sisters, be sure to send them off with a parting gift. Whether a little favor that sits in the palm of their hand, or a bag full ‘O goodies, they’ll know you (s)care a lot.

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Some Days You Just Gotta Laugh

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Source: Pixababy

It’s been a bit of a tiring (yes, tiring – not trying) week for me. I want to say I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, because I want to believe there might be some good in being this exhausted. The good part would be that I’m kind of surprised it’s already Thursday—like really, the whole week is almost gone? That went fast.

Of course, other than dragging my ass out to do two interviews for a feature I’m writing on deadline, I slept all but four hours of Wednesday. So there’s a whole lost day vibe going on.

Anyway, I needed a break. Tomorrow I’ll kick it in gear and get my feature written, or at least get a first draft. Tonight, I needed to laugh. And when I need to laugh out loud, belly grabbing, tears running down my leg kind of laughing, there are a few go-to blogs I can pop in on for some good guffaws.

One of my favorites, The Bloggess never disappoints. Her latest post got me thinking about the weirdest advice my mother ever gave me. It was hard to come up with something. Not that she didn’t give me tons—megatons even—of advice, but most of it was good.

I know, it turns out mother are always right.

Then I remembered the weirdest of some pretty not weird words my mother shared with me. She told me, “Any time you think about marrying a man, ask yourself if you can stand to smell his dirty sox and underwear.”

It still makes me laugh. I can’t help conjuring a picture of literally nose sucking stinking foot and butt clothing. I don’t even want to go into the situations where this might arise.

mom-1364496_1280Some kind of kinky foreplay?

Honestly, though, I knew what she meant because at the time she was emptying my father’s clothes hamper to do the laundry. So not only did she have to sniff these smelly items retrieving them from the bottom of the hamper, she had to handle them, launder them and fold them.

As it turned out, it might have been the best advice my mother ever gave me. Many times when my stomach was executing back flips and my heart was going pit-a-pat over some Studley Do-Right ( do me right, do me wrong, who cares just do me now), I’d hear my mother’s words and immediately the image of his smelly unmentionables would pop into my head. The steamy moment was murdered; talk about your birth control.

Bottom line, you really, really have to love somebody (man or woman) to be willing to get that up close and personal with their smelliest laundry. So, thank you Mom, for the weirdest, best advice you ever gave me.

Oh, and btw, I married a man who does all his own laundry.

Drop a comment on me and share the funniest, weirdest or worst advice your mother ever gave you.

 

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