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:
16/5/2021 0 Comments
Fear and the Solar Plexus Chakra
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
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!