Brigit is a deity I have to admit, I haven't worked with much. This may seem odd as my path is hugely influenced by Celtic practices, and so I was very intrigued to give Mael Bridge's A Brigit of Ireland Devotional a read. For those of you who don't know Mael, she is the founder of a group called 'Daughters of the Flame', who since 1993 have been tending the perpetual flame of Brigit (there is more information about the significance of the perpetual flame within this book). The connection Mael obviously has with the Goddess Brigit is inspiring no matter which deity you work with.
Many who know of the Goddess Brigit will also know of Saint Brigit of Kildare, who is one of Ireland's patron saints. Many believe that Saint Brigit is associated with the Irish Goddess Brigit and that the Saint replaced the Goddess as Christianity grew in Ireland. Some even believe that Saint Brigit was a follower of the Goddess Brigit, whilst some argue that Saint Brigit never physically existed. Christianity and paganism have often had a strained relationship, and it can be hard to reconcile the two, but this is one of the strengths of this book. It takes the Irish Goddess Brigit and Saint Brigit and shows how these two aspects of the same deity can work together to create a figure who can be loved and honoured by all in the modern world.
A Brigit of Ireland Devotional is a unique view into the historically complex but well loved figure that is Brigit through poetry written by the author. It provides a great mixture between historical fact with an extended glossary, pronunciation guide, resource list and bibliography in the book, and the authors own experiences and interpretations. I can't say I've ever read any other book like it - it's honest, inspiring, and very moving.
I'm a very quick reader, and it really doesn't take me long to finish a book. Ever since I was a kid people have been amazed at how I could just devour books! But this book was different; I found it impossible to read each poem without stopping to read it again and soak up the message it delivered. The imagery Mael evokes is enchanting (I especially loved Your People in this regard). It is difficult to read them and not feel the presence of Brigit around you, even as someone who doesn't really work with her all that much (the poem Why I Tend Your Flame is another which I feel deserves a mention in this regard).
I honestly can't find the words to really convey just how beautiful this book is, and how powerful a devotional it is to Brigit. All I can say is read it for yourself - you won't be disappointed. Poignant, raw, and incredibly emotive, this is a must-read for all those who have even a passing interest in Brigit.
For more information on Mael and her work, or to purchase the book yourself, please check out the links below:
Buy the Book:
Paperback: Indiebound - Independent Bookstore Finder
Book Depository: Pre-Order
Indigo Books: Pre-Order
Barnes and Noble: Pre-Order
More From Mael:
Blogs: brigitssparklingflame.blogspot.ca/ and stonebelly.blogspot.ca/
One of the practices I incorporate into my workings is using shells in traditional crystal grids to aid in healing. As a water witch, I love using shells in place of crystals. Below is one I designed for renewal and regeneration after a particularly difficult week at work.
At the centre is a starfish which is known for regeneration. From each point outwards we have some clear quartz crystal to help direct energies, and some blue glass pebbles to help connect with water energies.
Around this we have some cockle shells, to bring contentment and also self-love, as often times difficulties can impact our sense of confidence and self-worth. We have a clam shell to represent grounding and help us find our place in the world, and a limpet shell to help us let things go so we can focus on that renewal. You will also see some more crystals dotted in there; a blue and a green aventurine crystal to bring calm, and the turquoise to again represent water energies and also bring hope.
Finally on the outside we have four small whelk shells, and these are there to help point the energies 'outwards' (or towards the self). I have heard whelks referred to as 'the bullies of the sea', and so they can also represent strength or helping us overcome adversity, as well as bring guidance and inspiration.
This grid brings a subtle yet noticeable energy. It can help us accept that we may be going through a difficult time, but this time right here, right now is for us. We can let go of our worries, let go of our fears, and just enjoy this small period of peace. As it helps us let go, it brings a message of hope; that things will get better, and that we have the strength to overcome any obstacles that life throws at us. It is quite an uplifting and inspiring energy coupled with a peaceful calm; I could have sat there for ages just soaking up its energies! This really is a great grid to help you relax and unwind, let go of negativity, and build the quiet strength you need to face these issues later on. It is definitely one of my favourite grids to use - I hope you enjoy it too!
I love guided visualisations; as some of you may know, I have taught guided visualisation before and love coming up with my own. However, good ones can be hard to find, which is why I was very excited to receive a copy of Lucya Starza's latest book Guided Visualisations.
The first thing that Lucya does is explain the difference between meditation, guided visualisation, pathworking, and journeying which is very welcomed - it can be very difficult, especially for newcomers, to work out how these differ! It is a great explanation, and really sets the practitioner up for the visualisations to come.
The majority of this book is filled with guided visualisations written by the author. I personally prefer books that just get straight into it - I'm not a big fan of pages and pages of waffle - and luckily this book does just that. In terms of value for money, this book does more than deliver with the amount of visualisations for you to try.
What really makes these visualisations great is that they actually have magical purpose. It is easy to find visualisations to help you relax and find inner-peace, but finding visualisations with a magical or pagan spin on them is surprisingly difficult. Again, this book does more than deliver. It contains a different visualisation for each of the main sabbats and the four elements among others, and are suitable no matter which path you follow. A personal favourite from this section is the Winter Solstice Eve: Past, Present and Future visualisation, which uses Dickens famous ghosts of past, present and future from 'A Christmas Carol' as inspiration.
Which leads me onto another aspect of this book which again makes it a great read - these visualisations are truly creative. Lucya herself has plenty of experience in teaching guided visualisation and writing her own visualisations for her students, and her skill and talent in doing so is obvious. Each visualisation is carefully written to ensure that the reader gets something out of it, such as 'The Magic Mirror in the Enchanted Tower' which involves questing to find a magic mirror that can be used for scrying, or 'the seeds of love' which is centered around love and the cycles of life. The amount of care and attention the author has poured into these visualisations is evident, and there is truly something for everyone in this book.
Finally, there is a whole chapter on writing your own guided visualisations which further demonstrates Lucya's skill and knowledge in this area. After reading it, I was psyched to go away and write my own again! It also helps us as practitioners recognise what a 'good' guided visualisation looks like, which is definitely appreciated.
This book is suitable for both beginners and those who have been practicing visualisation for a while. I truly believe that visualisation is an underrated skill, and I know a lot of the witches I have mentored in the past have been put off because they find it difficult. It does take some practice, and if you find that you are one of those who struggles with it then I very much recommend this book as a starting point. These visualisations are definitely a huge step up in terms of their quality and creativity than many I have come across, which is why I also believe that those more experienced in guided visualisation would get a lot out of it too. A fantastic book and great value for money!
If you want to find out more about Lucya, check out her blog here: www.badwitch.co.uk
Or her author page here: www.johnhuntpublishing.com/moon-books/authors/lucya-starza
*Note: At the time of writing, Amazon was offering this book at 15% off - click here to see if the deal is still on.
I have been lucky enough to be given the chance to review Harmonia Saille’s latest book Magic for Hedge Witches. I have read and enjoyed her previous books, so I was intrigued by the author's latest offering and keen to give this one a read too.
The first thing that struck me was just how much information there is in this book. Full of anecdotes, practical exercises, and information from a range of sources, this book is perfect for anyone who is looking for a hands-on approach. Whilst the author herself has described this as a ‘short guide or introduction’, this book feels like so much more thanks to the wealth of knowledge included. As someone who has been practicing witchcraft in one form or another for the past twenty years and has read a lot of ‘introduction to...’ books, Magic for Hedge Witches really does stand out from the rest. And yet despite all of the information in this book, it is clear that we are just scratching the surface of the author's knowledge and experience with hedge magic.
With all the different topics covered in this book it is difficult to just pick one or two to talk about. However, one section which really stood out to me was the section on sourcing old spells. One of the reasons many people are drawn to witchcraft and magic is a yearning to connect with a time where it feels like nature was more revered and magic a part of everyday life. Trying to live a magical life in the 21st century can be difficult, especially when so much of it feels so far removed from nature (it can be difficult to feel a connection to the earth when I’m sat on the 11th floor of a concrete tower block in the middle of London). But in this section Harmonia does a fantastic job of showing us how we can take spells and charms of old and rework them to make them suitable for modern magic without losing any of their connection to their origins. This blending of traditional practices and folklore with the modern is prevalent throughout the book in a way that is genuinely inspiring.
Another section which really interested me was the section on witches bottles. It includes several witch bottles you can try making yourself, including a scrying bottle As someone who practices scrying, I love the idea of a scrying bottle, and this whole section is again another example of how this book successfully blends more traditional magic with our present day.
Other topics this book touches on include the magic of trees and other ingredients which can be found in nature, candle and colour magic, runes, the elements, animal symbolism, ritual, magical space...the list goes on. And of course, a section on magic in hedge riding. I wasn’t kidding when I said this book is packed full of information!
Whilst this book is titled hedge magic, I believe that anyone who feels a connection with the natural world and uses that as a focus for their magic would benefit from this book. It is one I can see myself going back to time after time with its useful information on various correspondences, such as herbs, days of the week, and moon phases. It is expected that this book will be published in Spring 2022, so if you are interested then keep an eye open for pre-orders. As you may have guessed from my extremely positive review, I loved this book, and highly recommend it.
If you want to find out more about the author or check out her previous books (again, I highly recommend them), then follow the links below:
Links to previous books:
Not going to lie, I've had a really bad week. I made mistakes at work which I haven't made in three years of being in this profession, and it's just been....challenging.
Today I did a cleansing shower using some cleansing and purifying salt scrub I whipped up, and then listened to my favourite sound bowl meditation to help clear and align my chakras. A pretty standard routine, until I got to the solar plexus chakra. Then I felt it - this huge, stabbing feeling of fear. It was completely unexpected! Why in the solar plexus chakra?
The solar plexus chakra is the seat of our personal selves. Our personal power emanates from our solar plexus chakra. It governs our confidence, clarity, ability to take responsibility for our actions, and how comfortable we feel in ourselves and our opinions. When this chakra is firing on all cylinders it can bring self-assurance, self-discipline, and independence. The solar plexus chakra is concerned with our identity, helping us find ourselves and understand our what drives and motivates us.
Confidence in oneself is an incredible thing. It almost sounds easy to just 'be confident', in what you do, but I'm sure we've all experienced those feelings of self-doubt. The little voice that tells you that you aren't good enough at what you do, you aren't pretty enough, nobody cares what you have to say, etc. They can creep in, and if left, can fester and severely impact the way in which we view ourselves. Especially in a world where we are often judged on what we bring to it.
The fear of failure or fear of not being good enough is something that everyone experiences at some point. Whether that isn't being good enough to fulfil your parents expectations, or to find a partner, or to be successful in your chosen profession, it is almost unavoidable to most. Even when we are on top, the feeling that this can't last forever and something must go wrong at some point can be persistent.
This is the fear we feel in our solar plexus chakra. Those insecurities, that doubt, can eat away at it. The chakras are all connected, and when one is blocked it can affect the others. For example, the sacral chakra is associated with our place in the world; if we aren't even sure of our place within ourselves, how can we be sure of our place in the world outside of ourselves? The heart chakra is associated with compassion, but insecurity can keep us from feeling compassion for ourselves and the position we are in, and we can beat ourselves up over the smallest of things.
This fear can be difficult to overcome, and it can take a great amount of work, especially if you have been carrying those insecurities around for a while. Many people can go years and years without confronting or working on overcoming these feelings. As I meditated on this fear and where it came from, I realised that my bad week at work was the source of it. The mistakes I made had shaken my confidence, and I wondered if I was indeed cut out for the role I have, or if I was even any good at my job - maybe I had only got to where I was through sheer dumb luck?! Am I going to be able to deal with the fallout when I head back into the office tomorrow, to pick up where I left off before the weekend and turn it around? I seriously doubted my ability to do so.
But my meditation on the solar plexus chakra helped to reflect on it rationally. Three years without making these mistakes? That's pretty good going! They were bound to happen sometime, and mistakes always will. What matters is how we respond to them. We need to be able to pick ourselves back up and say to ourselves, 'what can I do to rectify this, and how can I ensure it doesn't happen again in the future?' Again, sometimes this can be hard as it requires us to admit that we were wrong, but the solar plexus chakra can help us find the courage and confidence we need to do this and move forward. Mistakes will happen, but let's change our perspective; yes, they can be difficult, and the fallout can be big - I'm talking fired-from-your-job or partner-breaks-up-with-you levels of fallout - but they can also be a chance to learn. If everything went perfectly all of the time, we would find it much more difficult to learn, grow, and improve ourselves. So take a deep breath, and ask yourself; what can I learn from this experience?
Ultimately, this is where the solar plexus chakra can help us. Rather than leaving all of the doubt and insecurity to settle within ourselves, we need to confront it. We need to have a dig around and find the root of these feelings so we can dispel them once and for all. When we work with our solar plexus chakra, we can find the confidence we need to accept ourselves as we are and embrace the weird, wacky, and flawed aspects of our personality. Working on these will ultimately help heal our solar plexus chakra, and through this chakra we find the strength we need to heal. Again, this isn't always easy, but below are some ways in which you can start the healing process. There are many more out there, and they may not work for everyone so don't feel disheartened. Facing our fears can be a lifelong challenge - if it is one you are about the embark on, then I wish you all the best! You've got this.
I'm sure that most of us dream of living in a house in the forest or out by the coast, and spending our days speaking to the plants and animals, whipping up potions, and generally living our best witchy lives. Unfortunately, that is a far cry from reality for many of us. The day job is a necessity - something to keep a roof over our heads, and make sure we can afford that pack of tarot cards that caught our eye as we were browsing online! For a lot of us, the 9 -5 is something we have to live with.
However, there is no reason you can't bring a little bit of magick to your workspace. Remember, witchcraft is best when it becomes a lifestyle, not something we do in the spare hour we have in the evenings. Now, I'm not saying you need to wear a pentacle in front of your office mates or tell them not to worry about that looming deadline because your animal guide told you it would all work out. But there are some things you can do to help bring witchcraft with you into the office.
Of course, it very much depends on the type of job you work and the environment you work in. I am fortunate enough to work from home. Some of the tips I'm going to write below I couldn't imagine doing in an open plan office! Some people won't use a computer in their job. So, work with what you've got, and see if you can think of anything based on the below that you could incorporate into your routine.
1. Cleanse your workspace with salt water. Work can be stressful, and negative energies can build up. Take a little bit of salt water in a spray bottle, and use it to wipe down your desk whilst affirming that all negative energies will be removed. Watch out for electricals though!
2. Keep a piece of citrine on your desk. Citrine brings abundance, whether that be more clients or more sales, etc. Citrine is also quite a joyful stone, giving you the motivation you need to deal with those difficult co-workers with a smile on your face.
3. Make yourself a 'success spray' to aid you when you have an important day. I spray it on myself as a part of my morning ritual if I have a big release coming up at work. You can find the instructions for making one if you check out one of my most recent instagram posts (@thecottagemysticwitch)
4. Write mantras, sigils, symbols, etc., on sticky notes and stick them to your computer
5. Listen to witchy themed podcasts, audiobooks, talks, etc., on your commute or as you work
6. If you're lucky enough to grab a seat on the train or bus, spend five minutes meditating to or from work
7. Keep a mini altar on your desk if you can. I have a shell and some clear quartz and blue quartz crystals on my desk as I tend to work with water energies, to remind me to connect to them throughout the day
8. Sit at your desk, or even take yourself off to the loo's for a few minutes to visualise and manifest your intent. I've successfully recovered lost items, and more, just by popping to the loo's to perform some visualisation for a couple of minutes each time at various points throughout the day!
9. Incorporate a bit of kitchen witchcraft and experiment with food or teas throughout the day which can help. For example, anything with peppermint tea or peppermint chocolates can be used as a pick-me-up, rosemary biscuits can be used to help bring focus, anything with cloves in can attract money, etc.
10. Draw symbols or sigils on yourself, or stitch them into your clothing discreetly to keep their energies with you
11. Enchant more discreet jewellery, such as a locket, and wear it at work
12. Say a prayer or an incantation before sending an email to ensure a speedy reply, something along the lines of 'I send this email to find its way, and will receive a reply by the end of the day'. Visualise whoever you have sent the email to reading it, and realising it is important, and responding with urgency
13. Make some crystal water with a crystal that suits your intent, and take it with you to drink throughout the day
I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Natalia Clarke’s new book Intuitive Magic Practice. I read it once, and then I read it again, and I can honestly say that this would make a great addition to any witches bookshelf.
Intuition is incredibly important, and you will be hard pressed to find a book on witchcraft which doesn’t mention it. It helps us connect with ourselves and with the world around us, can guide us, and help us interpret messages from the otherworld. It is something that comes naturally to us, but sometimes using it doesn’t feel that natural at all.
It is easy to think of our intuition as something that we can turn on or off. For example, if I’m out doing my weekly shop then I probably won’t even be aware of it, but if I am about to do some divination then I will make a conscious effort to engage with and listen to my intuition. An awareness of this disconnect was by far one of the biggest takeaways for me from this book. It was like a lightbulb moment! I’ve been a practicing witch for 20 years now, and I understand the importance of intuition well, but I realised that I am still guilty of ignoring my intuition. Even in those magickal moments, it can be easy to actively shut down the voice of your intuition without even realising it. When doing a tarot reading your intuition may tell you one meaning of a particular card, but because it isn’t the meaning in the book, you ignore it. You may be searching for a crystal to bring you protection and are drawn to a particular one, but discard it because your book doesn’t say that crystal is specifically associated with protection.
Another chapter of this book which was a real eye opener for me was the chapter on intuition and dreams. Now I have to admit, I don’t do much dream work as I am just awful at remembering my dreams. However, Natalia’s approach to using your intuition to interpret your dreams is one which I had never considered. The emphasis on interpreting your dreams through feeling as opposed to dutifully interpreting the specific symbols in the dream is an intriguing concept, and she provides plenty of examples from her own personal dream journal to help you on your way.
I honestly have something positive to say about every chapter, but I doubt you would make it to the end of the blog post if I wrote out every great thing about this book! It is a book full of practical workings for you to try (I particularly enjoyed delving more into spiritual writing and drawing) which is a great addition. Not only that, but Natalia touches on many commonly used aspects of witchcraft - such as grounding, and working with the moon cycles - and demonstrates how we can enhance our practices by aligning ourselves more with our intuition. Then there are some more ‘non conventional’ topics, such as intuition and the triple Goddess aspects, and intuition and sacred self-care, which are topics you don’t see in many books on witchcraft and add to this book's uniqueness.
This book is suitable for beginners, but also a great book for more experienced practitioners. It is easy to ‘forget’ the basics when you have been practicing for several years, and I found this book was a great way to remind myself the importance of our intuition, and to make a more conscious effort to pay more attention to it. In short, this was a great book, and one that I will definitely be revisiting every now and again!
For a list of publishers selling Intuitive Magic Practice please click on the link below:
You can check out more from Natalia below:
Natalia's Blog: https://rawnaturespirit.com
Author page: https://nataliaclarke.com
The Triple Goddess in the sense that I want to address here is a concept commonly found in Wicca. It ascribes three 'phases' to the Goddess - the maiden, mother, and crone.
First, we need to talk about the origins of the Triple Goddess. There have been several examples of such 'Triple Goddess' deities throughout the ancient world. The Celtic Goddess Brigid is one such example. In her three forms she is Brigid of the Forge, Brigid of the Arts, and Brigid of the Hearth. There is some debate amongst scholars as to whether these were three separate Goddesses, all named Brigid, or whether they were three aspects of the one Goddess.
In Roman mythology, the philosopher Porphyry was the first to record an explicit belief that the three aspects of Hecate represented the phases of the moon: new, waxing, and full. In his 3rd century AD work On Images, Porphyry wrote:
"The moon is Hekate, the symbol of her varying phases and of her power dependent on the phases. Wherefore her power appears in three forms, having as symbol of the new moon the figure in the white robe and golden sandals, and torches lighted: the basket, which she bears when she has mounted high, is the symbol of the cultivation of the crops, which she makes to grow up according to the increase of her light: and again the symbol of the full moon is the goddess of the brazen sandals."
As you can see from these examples, the concept of a Triple Goddess is one which has existed for thousands of years. But where did these maiden-mother-crone associations come from?
The first thing to note is that the Triple Goddess in the maiden-mother-crone form seems to begin with Jane Ellen Harrison. Of her, it is said that Ronald Hutton wrote:
"[Harrison's] work, both celebrated and controversial, posited the previous existence of a peaceful and intensely creative woman-centred civilization, in which humans, living in harmony with nature and their own emotions, worshipped a single female deity. The deity was regarded as representing the earth, and as having three aspects, of which the first two were Maiden and Mother; she did not name the third."
I would love to find the actual text which he wrote as context is everything, but I need to research this further as I haven't found the direct source. However, wherever it was first suggested or whoever first suggested the notion of the maiden, mother, and crone, it is generally accepted that Robert Groves was the man who really pushed this notion into the mainstream consciousness.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of Graves. There is very little historical accuracy in his work (don't get me started on his Celtic Tree Calendar), and I can't help but feel that the maiden-mother-crone aspects are most likely another fabrication of Graves. There is no denying the place of the Triple Goddess in history, whether that be of three aspects as Brigid was, or representing three distinct 'phases' as Hekate did the moon, but the whole maiden-mother-crone thing seems to be a very modern invention.
What exactly do these three aspects represents? The maiden represents the new moon, youth, purity, creativity, curiosity, and sensuality. She is generally a young woman. The mother represents motherhood (unsurprisingly), nurturing, patience, love, the full moon, and self-care. She generally represents women in the middle of their lives. Finally, the crone represents the waxing moon, wisdom, knowledge, and death, and is assigned to women in their older years. These represent three phases of a woman's life. Supposedly.
This is where the majority of my discomfort with the Triple Goddess aspects come into play. It cannot be denied that as we grow our focuses and our priorities change. I remember being in my early twenties and thinking 'I just want to party forever!' Now I'm nearing my mid-thirties, I can't imagine anything worse. However, the rigidness of these three aspects doesn't sit right with me. Why can't a woman be curious and creative in her older years? Why can a younger woman not be focused on learning and gaining knowledge? And why must a woman in the middle of her life be a 'mother'?
This is possibly my biggest issue with the whole concept. Not every woman wants to be a mother. Not every woman's main goal in life is to have a child. By assigning the 'mother' as one of the key phases in a woman's life - one of the three main phases of her life - it seems to assume that if you don't want to be a mother, then you can't relate to or connect with the Goddess. Even more infuriating when you consider that it is a man which has popularised this myth.
I do like the way that these aspects empower the older woman, instead of turning her into a burden or someone who is past their prime and therefore not worth paying attention to. However, this is a small 'win' compared to how I feel about the rest of this ideal. I also have to mention the whole notion of the maiden and her purity; the fact that this has to be stated as belonging to one of the phases gives the impression that once a woman becomes a mother she is no longer 'pure'. Which is...well, kind of gross. I have very little doubt that when Graves and others talks about the maiden being 'pure' he basically means 'virginial'. Women not being 'pure' and somehow dirty or lesser once they have had sex really is an idea that could do with dying out completely, and soon. I will repeat myself - it's kind of gross. However, that is just my interpretation of it.
I do like the idea of the Triple Goddess; three has long been known as the magick number. The three aspects of the Triple Goddess can provide us with inspiration, especially when we think of the Triple Goddess in the context of Goddess' such as Brigid. Having three distinct functions is a much more palatable idea. The artist, the warrior, and the sage perhaps? Or the sorceress, the healer, and the hearth woman? These are all ideas I can get behind. However, I feel that the notion of the maiden, mother, and crone is extremely outdated (and it isn't even 100 years old yet!), and really doesn't have much of a place in modern witchcraft. A lot of people I that I have spoken to feel the same, but there are also some who do work with these aspects and enjoy it! If you are one of them then more power to you. However, one of the biggest challenges those new to witchcraft face is feeling like they 'have' to believe in and worship certain parts because it is expected of them. If you are one of those who feel uncomfortable with the maiden-mother-crone associations, then it's OK to play around and find a Triple Goddess format that works for you if you wish to work with the Triple Goddess.
I don't particularly work with Greek deities, but it is something I have been researching recently. And they have some fascinating deities!
Water worship has been prevelent through most cultures and civilisations since the beginning of recorded time. I don't think I need to explain how important water is to our survival, or just how much of this earth is covered by water. So rather than launch into a spiel about the importance of water, I'll just dive into it.
Greek mythology is filled with deities associated with water. From the seas, to rivers and well, and marines, there are a wealth of deities to look at. Some deities were associated with very specific bodies of water, such as the God Asterion, who was the God of the river Argos. Others were more broad in their association. So below I have provided an overview of some of five of the most interesting. This is by no means a complete list of the Greek deities associated with water - there are plenty more I'm not touching on! This is just a small selection to get started with - maybe at some point I'll do a 'part 2'.
1. Amphitrite: Amphitrite was the consort of the sea God Poseidon, and a sea Goddess herself. She is sometimes known as the personification of the sea itself, and was said to give birth to seals, dolphins, and fearsome sea creatures, alongside her more ‘human’ children. Originally a sea Nymph, she was the eldest of fifty daughters born to Nereus and Doris. Depictions of her usually show her holding one arm up and pinching her fingers together, or surrounded by fish and other sea creatures. She is probably the most well known of the Roman water Goddesses, earning her a spot on the list.
2. Ceto: Ceto is said to be one of the most ancient of deities. The daughter of Pontis and his mother Gaia, she birthed many ‘monstrous’ children. As such, she is said to be a Goddess of sea monsters, whales, and sharks and the dangers of the sea. She is sometimes referred to in Greek texts as ‘Crataeis’. There is not much out there about her, but as the daughter of Gaia and mother of monsters she is an interesting figure.
3. Palaemon: Originally known as Melicertes, his name was later changed to Palaemon when he became a marine deity. It is said that his mother Ino was the one who had raised the infant Dionsysus. Consumed by jealousy, Hera drove Ino’s husband to insanity, resulting in him ‘pursuing’ Ino and Melicertes. Ino threw herself and Melicertes from a high rock to the waters below, and thus both became deified. Melicerte’s body was carried to the Isthmus of Corinth by a dolphin, and left under a pine tree where his uncle Sisyphus found it.
Palaemon is known as a God who protects and aids sailors when in distress. A sad story, and one of the more unique 'deity creation' stories in the Roman pantheon, I can't help but have a bit of a soft spot for this deity.
4. Thalassa: Thalassa was the primordial Goddess of the sea. It is believed that her name could even predate the Greek era. Whilst there aren't too many tales associated with her, I love primordial deities, so she couldn't not make the list!
5. The Graeae: Whilst not a deity as such, these three sisters played an important part in the slaying of Medusa. Their names were Deino (dread, or 'terrible'), Enyo (horror, or 'warlike'), and Pemphredo (alarm, or 'she who guides the way'). They were sisters to the Gorgons and daughter of Phorcys, the God of the hidden dangers of the deep, and the Goddess Ceto. They took the form of old, grey haired women, and were said to be so old that the mind of a child simply would not be able to comprehend such an age. They shared between them one tooth, and one eye which they took turns in using. It was Perseus who stole this eye and held it for ransom, until they told him the whereabouts of Medusa.
Apart from the story of Perseus, it is difficult to find any other information on them. I always feel for these types of figures; chances are they were just chilling at home, minding their own business, when some bloody-minded mortal comes and steal their possessions and demanding to know where their sisters are hiding. As such, they get a place on the list.
I posted this week on using cord magick to 'capture the wind', and there was some interest in the process, so I thought a blog post would be most suitable!
I work a lot with water and sea magick, and a part of that is weather magick. Weather magick is not something I have much knowledge or experience in, so this was very much a first foray into the world of weather magick. The element of air is one that I work the least with, so I was also keen to find ways to incorporate it into my practice.
We are at the tail end of winter here, and not that long ago we had a few nights where it was blowing a bit of a gale, so I thought it would be an ideal time to try and capture the wind.
Capturing the wind through cord magick is a practice that has been recorded as being prominent back in the days when seafaring was at its peak. It was said that witches would use these knots to catch the wind, then sell or give them to sailors embarking on a voyage. If at any time there was not enough wind to fill the sails, they would release the knots to call on the wind to help them on their way. It was said not to anger a witch, for they could call on the wind to sink ships if they wanted.
I wanted to capture the wind, but more the 'energy' of the wind rather than the wind itself. I don't have any practical need for blustery days, but the properties of the energy of air can be a boon in our workings and every day life.
The first thing to decide is exactly what it is you want to capture this essence for. The element of air is associated with creativity, communication, inspiration, and progress for example. I also associated the wind with cleansing, 'clearing the cobwebs' as such. As someone who does a lot of writing, writers block or fatigue is always on the periphery, especially when you are working on a final manuscript and just want the thing finished! So I decided I wanted to use this energy to uplift and motivate me, or to clear blockages (not necessarily creative) when needed. You may decide you want to use it for another purpose, or you may decide you want to use it to bring additional power to your workings - the more ferocious the wind you capture, the more powerful it will be. Or maybe you want to try and capture the wind itself!
You don't need to wait for it to be blowing up a storm. Even a light breeze can be captured if you are looking for more subtle energies, but it might not be quite as powerful.
The process is very simple. All you will need is cord, or ribbon, long enough to tie several knots in. I personally used a blue ribbon - yellow would have been preferable as it is the colour most associated with air, but blue was all I had. I would caution against using wool or string, as it can be difficult to until the knots - I doubled up the ribbon to make it easier to untie, so you can always do the same if you are using a finer material.
It is best if you can sit outside and experience the wind itself when you perform this, but that isn't always possible. It was pretty dark and cold when I performed this, so I opted to stay inside. Outside is necessary if you are just working with a gentle breeze, but if you are working with a stronger wind, make sure you can at least here it blowing around if you decide to perform this inside.
Get comfortable, and hold the ribbon in your hand. If you want, you could place crystals associated with air around you, or burn some incense, but I'm personally pretty minimal - you don't need these things for this working to be effective.
Focus on the wind. If you are inside, imagine what it must feel like outside. Feel it blowing around you, against your skin, whipping up your hair. It's exhilarating, full of energy! Take a moment to just experience this wind, and how it makes you feel.
Now, focus on your intent, and what it is you want to use the power of the wind for. As I said, for me personally it was to clear any blocks and speed up progress, so I kept this in mind. Merge your intent with the wind, and feel your intent blowing around you. What do you imagine will happen when you release the knots you will create in a minute? For me, I visualised releasing the knots and seeing the energy of the wind rushing in, and blowing whatever was blocking me away in one large gust. Focus on pouring this intent out through your hands and into the ribbon.
When you feel ready, you can start tying the knots. In traditional knot magick, we often use something along the lines of the below:
"With knot of one, my spell begun
With knot of two, my words speak true
With knot of three, I will it be
With knot of four, this power I store
With knot of five, this spell contrive
With knot of six, this spell I fix
With knot of seven, twixt earth and heaven
With knot of eight, is willed by fate
With knot of nine, these powers are mine"
However, we want to be a bit more specific with our intention for this magick. You can include as many knots as you want; I personally went with five, which is considered a magick number.
There is also lots of different methods for the order in which you tie the knots. I decide to stick to one of the more traditional approaches below:
As you tie each knot, focus on 'tying up' the wind in your knots. Tie them slowly, and then yank the ribbon hard to seal it, symbolising that the wind is now caught in the knot, and cannot escape until you release it. As you tie your knots, say something akin to the below:
"I tie, I knot, I capture the storm,
The power of wind to create and transform,
To blow away blockages, to bring clarity of mind
The energy of the winds to these knots I now bind!"
I prefer to repeat this for each knot, but you could spread this out as you tie all of the knots.
When you have finished, affirm what you have just done. For example;
"The wind is mine, captured in these knots
To be released when I desire,
And being me progress and clarity,
So mote it be!"
That's it! Store your cord somewhere safe. When you wish to use it, untie the knots in the reverse order you tied them (so in this example you would start with the middle knot (5), then 4, 3, etc. Revisit that visualisation we performed as to what would happen when you released the knots and see it happening - in my case, the energy of the wind being released and blowing through, removing all that blocks my path. You could say something along the lines of;
"The wind is release, and all that blocks me is now removed. Hail to the power of the wind! So mote it be."
Remember, the wind is a powerful force with the ability to destroy as well as create, so try to keep your intention positive and always thank it once it has done what you require.
The Weekly Witch:
Once I week I talk about something 'witchcraft' related I have done with my week. How we incorporate witchcraft into our every day lives is always a topic that has interested me, so I wanted to start this blog to explore it further!