29/11/2020 0 Comments
A Beauty Ritual
We all get those days/weeks/months where we just don't feel that confident or happy in ourselves. It can stem from many things; weight gain or loss, a flare up of skin conditions, lethargy, etc. We are currently in lockdown because of the Coronavirus, and I've been working at home for the past 9 months. I've always been more of a t-shirt and jeans kind of person, but not leaving the house and having no reason to 'dress up' has just left me feeling a bit...well, slobbish.
I designed this ritual as a bit of a pick-me-up. It is fairly quick and simple, and so can be done in a spare 10/15 minutes if you are short on time. However, despite its ease, it can help you take a look inside of yourself, find your inner beauty, and appreciate yourself more.
For this little ritual I called upon the Goddess Cliodhna, the Celtic sea Goddess, who is also known for her beauty. Other deities you could call upon include Venus, Aphrodite, Inanna, or any other deity associated with love and/or femininity. If you do not feel comfortable working with a specific deity, then you can just use The Goddess in your ritual.
The ritual is also light on tools. All you need is a mug/small bowl/small cauldron, some warm water, some rose petals (or you can substitute these for any sort of flower petal), and a cloth/flannel/sponge. I also surround myself with some shells, to represent Cliodhna, so you could also include representations of the deity you are using. You could also surround yourself with other symbols of love, beauty, and femininity, such as rose quartz, moonstone, pearl, apple, hearts, etc., or maybe even burn incense of rose, apple, jasmine, etc.
Place your petals into the vessel you are using, and pour in the warm water. Make sure that the water isn't hot, as you don't want it to burn you.
Wrap your hands around the vessel, and connect with the deity you are using. Dedicate the water to this deity, and ask for their blessings upon your ritual - for example:
"Oh great Goddess Cliodhna, I offer this water in your honour. Please accept it as a token of the love that I bear for you, and please bless this ritual. So mote it be."
Now, meditate on what beauty and self-love means to you; you want to focus on inner beauty, not just outer beauty. Is it someone who is kind? Who is honest, or who puts others before themselves? See yourself exemplifying these qualities, living your life by these values, shining with a pink, loving light.
When you feel ready, take the cloth/sponge/flannel, and dip it in the water so it is damp. Was your face, neck, and hands with it, whilst you say:
"I am beautiful on the inside, and beautiful on the outside.
Light shines through me,
Love from within me,
I radiate the beauty of the Goddess"
Repeat this as many times as you feel necessary, as you take this beauty into yourself. Feel yourself as the person you want to be, full of love for yourself and others. Enjoy this feeling.
When you feel ready, thank your deity, finish the ritual, and pour the remaining water onto the ground outside.
20/11/2020 0 Comments
Your Mental Sacred Space
I've had real trouble getting to sleep this week; I'll be tired all day, and then the minute I decide it's time to go to sleep, my brain goes 'hey, I wonder how many t-shirts you own? Let's list them all!' Which has meant for the first part of the week, I have had zero motivation for anything - I was just so tired!
The 'mental sacred space' was a meditation I performed whilst falling asleep for quite a while a few months ago (as well as at other points), but I had kind of neglected it recently. This seemed like the ideal time to bring it back, and see if it would help again.
You could call it your mental sacred space, or your internal sacred space; I've heard to it referred as an 'astral sacred space', which I think depends on what your view of the astral is. Whatever you want to call it, building up this sacred space has many benefits; it can help relax and calm you, can help you focus, will help you practice your meditation and visualisation - once you have become proficient in it, you can even use it to cast little spells, which is great if you struggle for physical space or privacy!
In witchcraft we talk about our sacred space quite often; it is an area in which you practice your magick, meditation, deity worship, etc. It is quite literally a sacred space. However, we often mean physical space. Here, we are creating and visualising this space in our minds, as opposed to a physical space.
Think of an environment where you feel safe and relaxed. Mine is a secluded space within a forest with a large pond in the centre, underneath some cliffs and surrounded by trees. Yours might be a mountain, a beach, or even a small townhouse in the middle of a busy city! There is no wrong or right way to do it; it should be personal to you.
You should start small. When I first started, I visualised myself sat on a large rock that overlooked the waters of the pond. The rock was large and flat, so that I could sit on it, lie on it, and also use it as an altar. Focus on your immediate surroundings; once you have these built up in your mind, you can start adding details. Candles on the altar, representations of the elements, etc. Once you have your immediate surroundings built, you can start to expand it; what can you see in the distance? You may wish to go for a walk, and see what else you find in your own mental space.
Over time, my space has really grown; not only is there the pond and this large altar stone, but trees, a waterfall, and a cave up in the cliff face which acts as an 'inside' space, with a bed, wood stove, etc. When I go to my internal sacred space, sometimes I will visualise it as if I'm sat on the stone, staring across the pond or up at the stars in the nights sky, and sometimes I will visualise it as if I'm curled up in my cave, covered in blankets next to the warmth of the fire, cup of tea in hand.
Remember, this space is fluid, and can change as and when you need it. For example, if you are looking for comfort, you may find yourself sat in front of a warming fire. If it is sleep, you may find yourself there at night, staring up at the starry sky. When you visit, you may find elements that you weren't expecting. Pay attention to these; they could provide an insight as to how your subconscious is doing, or it could be sending you a message.
Try to visit your space regularly. The more you visit, the more 'real' it will become, and the more you will be able to do with it. As I said, it can be a great place to work magick if you are struggling for physical space. Simply, do everything you would do physically, but in your mental space. Light your candles, pray to your deities, raise energy by chanting in your head, and release that magick into the universe.
It sounds like such a simple thing, and something which many may not consider 'magickal' (the concept of a 'happy place' isn't exactly a new one). However, practicing it regularly is quick, easy, and can have a great impact on our magickal abilities and mental health (which in turn can improve our practices).
15/11/2020 1 Comment
This week I had a project release - not necessarily a big one, but all eyes were still on us. This project had been a little bit chaotic; issues outside of my control has caused delays to an already ambitious deadline, dependencies had meant we had to push back further, etc. Considering all of this, I wasn't exactly feeling optimistic. Project releases make me nervous anyway, but this one felt like if it could go wrong, it would go wrong.
I have had success in the past creating sigils for successful releases, but decided to try something a bit different this time - a charm bag.
The beauty of charm bags is that there is no wrong or right way of making them! You can put in whatever you want, so long as it is symbolic of your intent. For example, if you are creating one for love, then putting in rusted nails may not have any effect at all.
Charm bags are known by many different names, but as always, one needs to be mindful when subscribing certain names to things. One term I hear used is 'mojo bags', a term from African - American culture stemming from hoodoo. These are also known as a gris-gris bag, root bag, conjure bag, conjure hand, lucky hand, mojo hand, trick bag, a toby, or a jomo. I'm from the UK and have absolutely zero ties to that culture, so I will always use the term 'charm bag'.
The idea of a charm bag is to fill it with symbolic representatives of your intent. You can absolutely anything in it, providing it is small enough to fit in a bag! Some ideas include:
I'm quite into sea witchcraft, so in this charm bag I used shells:
Limpet Shell - Confidence, Courage, and Tenacity
Mussel Shell - Community/Teamwork, Stability, and enduring hardships (should anything go wrong)
Starfish - Good Luck, Strength
Whelk Shell - Good Fortune, Wisdom, and Guidance
I also included a herbal mixture which I have made to honour the Celtic sea Goddess Cliodhna.
To create the charm bag, I meditated with each item, charging it with the specific intent for each shell, before placing everything in the pouch. Then I said a little prayer to Cliodhna, asking her to bless the charm bag for a successful project release in the morning, and then left it to charge overnight in the crystal grid I usually keep my Reiki crystal in the centre of.
The next morning the release went smoothly, nothing went wrong (well, nothing that couldn't be corrected right away), and all in all it was one of the easiest releases I had managed.
Charm bags are great because they are cheap, quick and easy to create with whatever you have around you, and effective.
So, what could you create a charm bag for this week? Better sleep, happiness, success at work?
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!