Tag Archives: MadGoddess

Here . . . Hold My Brew

 A post in a witchy ways social media group I belong to called my attention to an intriguing proposition. The Witch Kit Challenge was issued by Fire Lyte on her blog, Inciting a Riot.

The challenge to those who choose to accept it, is to pull together a witch kit containing everything necessary for a basic ritual, on a budget of $50 or less, all purchased from one store  accessible to most people. The choice of stores includes:

      • WalMart
      • Target
      • Goodwill
      • Dollar Tree
      • Dollar General
      • Home Depot
      • Lowe’s
      • HomeGoods
      • Ross
      • Michael’s
      • TJ Maxx

The contents of the kit is open to personal interpretation and imagination, but must include a representation for each of the four elements, a representation of spirit or deity, a knife or carving implement, an offering dish, a blank book and a magical activity.

Fifty dollars? Here, hold my brew!

I was confident I could pull together a fabulous kit with less than half that amount. With list in hand I headed to Dollar General.

I knew I’d be buying candles, and there’d be plenty of choices for an offering dish. As I expected, the most difficult was finding representations for the elementals. Then in the craft isle I found thin, 3-inch wooden letter cut outs. I envisioned painting and decorating the initial of each direction, north, east, south, west, to reflect earth, air, fire, and water. And bonus—that could be the magical activity part of the requirement.


Unfortunately, there was not and E or W to be found. I moved on to wooden tags, and then found black cut-out letters that I thought were cardboard. When I got them home, it turned out they were paper, three of each letter of the alphabet, stuck together like a sticky-note pad. It worked, but I doubted it would last long. Still the wooden tags were a great blank canvas.

I ended up using my alphabet stamps to print each element on one side, and the cardinal directions on the reverse side. As I recall, I bought the stamps in the dollar bin at Target, an approved store. Personally, I’d also add a bead that corresponds to each element using ribbon looped through the tag hole. But hey, that could be another activity for ritual.

The dollar store offered several blank books to choose from. I nearly bought a three pack of tiny composition notebooks, the size to tuck in your pocket or purse, because—hello—I’m obsessed with them. Instead I chose a Jumbo Little Book, with a rigid plastic cover that could be painted or decorated with tape or stickers for a mini BOS. I couldn’t resist the cool green pen at the check out counter, it has a sort of cosmic vibe to it.

Witch KitTo represent spirit or deity, I choose a mandala magnet that can be left as is, or colored in with markers—yet again an activity. To me, the mandala represents the cosmic circle, the cauldron of of creation as the source of all life. As a meditative practice, creating or coloring a mandala accesses inner knowing and higher consciousness, so it covers secular witches too.

I was on such roll I wanted to include an activity that stood on it’s own, apart from being used as another item from the list. I went for a bag of paper clay, perfect to make a little poppet or a classic Goddess form.

The rules for the challenge prohibited using seasonal items, specifically mining the halloween isle. But with all the requirements met, I couldn’t resist a little Samhain booty. I chose a Day of the Dead tattoo sheet because—just too cool to pass up (please, don’t inundate me with your thoughts on cultural appropriation—if it’s not for you, just pass on by).

Finally, I purchased a sturdy wooden box to hold the kit.


Here’s my breakdown:

  • Wooden Tags. There were 8 in the $1.50 package/used 4  = .75
  • Stamp set (previously purchased) 1.00
  • Tea Lights 1.00
  • Notebook 1.00
  • Pen 1.00
  • Bowl 1.50
  • Knife 1.00
  • Paper clay 1.00
  • Mandala. Two in $1 package/used 1   .50
  • DOD tattoos 1.00
  • Wooden Box 3.00

That gives me a sub total, before tax of 12.75

I’m stoked. I think this is a kick-ass witch’s kit if I do say so myself, and I’ve decided to give it away to one of my readers. FOR EASE OF SHIPPING, THE KIT BEING GIVEN AWAY WILL NOT INCLUDE THE OFFERING DISH. It doesn’t fit in the kit box and you can purchase an inexpensive dish or use something you already have.

The winner will receive these items:

  • Wooden box, stained and waxed, with pentacle burned on the lid and colored with gold permanent ink.
  • 6 tea light candles
  • Mandala for coloring
  • DOD Tattoos
  • Blank Book and Pen
  • Wooden tags with elements and cardinal directions.

This was all such fun I got carried away and added these awesome bonuses from my personal stash:

  • Multi-purpose tool (instead of a a dollar store paring knife.). The multipurpose tool is small enough to fit in pocket or purse. It’s great for cutting stems, plants etc, when foraging. It also has a small screw driver, a knife blade, scissors and a bottle opener.
  • Small mirror for scrying, and use in deflection spells
  • Clear quartz crystal point to increase or hold energy
  • Ritual Oil to dress candles or ritual tools
  • Lavender balm (handcrafted by me) – because it smells nice and feels good 
  • Sage wand (organically grown in my back yard) – for cleansing and purifying space
  • Dragon’s Blood incense – also for cleansing and purifying, or simply as fragrance to enhance your rituals.


To qualify for the drawing: You must have a Facebook account and a U.S. shipping address, and do the following three things:

  1. Share this post on your Facebook account and leave a comment below.
  2. Go the MAD Goddess Facebook Page and leave a comment in the pinned post (the one about the witch kit), telling me why you’d like to win the witch kit box. This is the important part, it’s how I’ll contact you if you win.
  3. Visit my Patreon site, read the free post you’ll find there and comment “sharing link”. Then be sure to share my Patreon site on at least one of your social media accounts and include the hashtag #SimpleWitchery. (Again, the hashtag is important, it’s how I’ll know you shared the link. Best practice is to copy and paste for accuracy).

To repeat, share to your Facebook account and comment here, go the the MAD Goddess pinned post and comment there, visit Patreon sit and share the link site on at least one social media account using #SimpleWitchery hash tag.

When you do all three of these things, your name will be entered into a drawing to be held on October 30.  And as long as you’ll be at my Patreon site, take a moment to look around there—there are free posts!


May luck be yours!


What’s Brewing at MAD Goddess?

Greetings followers. You may have noticed that there are new posts requiring a password to access the content. It’s related to my new Patreon Page – which will be launching in the next few days.  I’m still working out kinks (sigh).

I will provide more information in the coming days. The Patreon page will become a “Compendium of simple witchery for the wise and curious alike.” Just my attempt to pass on the ways of everyday witching in the kitchen, garden and community.

Visit the new, Simple Witchery page for more information!

Soul Food: Self Care for Harsh Times


I’m thinking about self care today for a couple of reasons. Mostly because, despite my best efforts at taking care not to acerbate my chronic back pain, it’s been sporting a big ol’ frowny face on the pain scale for the last several days.

This physical pain has been my constant companion, at some level, for more than thirty years now. I keep it at a tolerable level with mindful bending, proper lifting, and yoga practice. When I feel that first twinge of increasing pain level, I get ahead of it with OTC pain relievers, ice and heat compresses, and self imposed rest. Most times I can stave off the hot throbbing pain that is the worst of it.

In the last few years, these intense flare-ups come more often and last much longer. I have to concede that I’m losing the battle. One of the pearls of wisdom that came with my age is an understanding that it’s good to know my limits, and accept them. I’m more than ready to admit that self care isn’t going to cut it for me any longer. Next steps will involve some level of medical intervention.

Physical first aid is pretty much common knowledge. If you’re bleeding, put a bandage of the wound. If you can’t stop the blood flow, you’ll need stitches. If you sprain your ankle, ice it, wrap it and elevate it. If it doesn’t get better, see a doctor.

Quick—what are the similar steps for emotional self care?

You’re probably thinking a soothing cup of tea, or an adult beverage, maybe a bubble bath, a massage, a day off or a vacation—change your environment, get out in nature. Maybe you include meditation, prayer, or other spiritual activity. Even a brisk walk, a round of golf, shooting some hoops; any good cardio workout helps burn off stress and falls under self care. I know I’m not alone when I indulge in any of these prescriptions to lift my spirits.

But I’m wondering, why do we think of emotional self care the same way we think of physical triage—notice the bleeding and determine if a bandage will do or are stitches necessary? Or more to the point, wait until we are feeling burned out, on edge, irritable or weepy before deciding whether a day off will be enough, or if it’s it going to take an extended vacation in a far away location.

I think self care works much better when modeled after preventative wellness, especially in times of social upheaval when we are bombarded by daily assaults on our state of grace.

I’m thinking about a self care reminder APP. No, not something to download to my smart phone, although there are several of those apps available that might be helpful. I’m talking about downloading the acronym to my brain—APP or Awareness, Prevention and Planning, to help me stay on top of my emotional wellness.

I figure being Aware of my environment, not just the spaces I occupy but the people who occupy them with me, is a good start. Social media is pressing all my buttons lately and the news cycle just keeps feeding in with more grist for the mill.

This is kind of a no-brainer, but it follows that if the news and social media are frying my nerves, the best self care is to Prevent the assault in the first place. In other words, stay off of social media and turn off the news. The world isn’t going to fall apart if I stick my head in the sand for a while. Come to think of it, the world was a much happier place when we didn’t have 24/7 global news cycles and memes to help spread the sorry state of the day.

Of course, I don’t want to be an uninformed ignoramus, so I can Plan my exposure to the interwebs and news cycles in small doses that don’t leave me praying for a speedy arrival of the global warming tsunamis that will wipe out both coastlines, and a cyclone to take out D.C.

But what about real life? I can’t just turn off the day-to-day situations and unpleasant encounters of my actual life. Even though some of the people in my real world are getting on my last nerve I’m not a fan of severing relationships, especially with family members.

Boundaries are good. Guess what, it’s okay to say I’m not interested in hearing your politics because if I do I’ll really just want to punch you in the face, and I’m trying to avoid those unhealthy feelings.

Sometimes, the things that get me down just can’t be avoided. When I’ve reached the end of all my ropes and there’s not enough left to tie a knot and hang on, when I start thinking I’d sooner serve up a plate of vipers than engage with anybody who dares to approach me, I give myself a time out in my She Room.


Of course, I can’t lock myself up forever and it’s not a good idea to let the she-dragon loose, no matter how satisfying it feels in the moment. Better that I build uplifting, soul feeding activities into my routine, a supplement for my emotional immune system. Nourishing my physical body with healthy food choices, getting enough sleep and some physical activity every day, and then indulging in a little bit of what feeds my soul to keep me from falling down the dark well.

Also, focusing on what I can change instead of obsessing over what I cannot change keeps me grounded in purpose and hope. I can gripe and moan all day long on social media, even puff up my feathers and make impassioned, resounding speeches. It’s like pouring a pitcher of clean water into a polluted lake. But finding what I can do outside my own front door to make a difference in my community, and doing it, helps me feel more hopeful and less defeated.

If there is any social media trend I could start, I’d like it to be just that—instead of putting so much energy into sharing memes and righteous indignation, go out and make one small difference in your community. It can be anything, helping a charity, collecting or distributing food shelf items, cleaning up litter, volunteering for an event—whether for a cause or just for fun and entertainment. It all contributes to a healthy, thriving community, and added up, it’s the small efforts that will bring about the biggest changes.


Not that I’m going to stop taking bubble baths with candles and glass of wine. Or treating myself to the good chocolate, a date with a friend, a walk in the woods, or wading along a shoreline. I’m not going to stop indulging in the feel good things or waiting until I think I need cheering up. It’s like medicating chronic pain; If I wait until I think I really need it, I’ve waited too long.





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