GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 16-22 July 2018

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Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

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Goddess Month of Month of Kerea begins 7/11 – 8/8

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Celtic Tree Calendar: Tinne (Holly) July 8 to August 4

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon: Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days Symbolic of growth, manifestation, attainment, gravidity (heavy with child – both philosophical and literal).

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona

Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiration, Energy, Vitality, Freedom.

Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.)

Symbolic of growth, manifestation, attainment, gravidity (heavy with child – both philosophical and literal).

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Honoring the Goddess Every Day at GoddessSchool.com
So mote it be!!

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Each And Every Day A Feast Day!
Embrace It!!!

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The GoddessSchool
1goddesssisters
http://GoddessSchool.com
High Priestess Certification and Ancient Mystery Teachings
Now Taking Students!
High Priestess Mystery School Training
E-mail me ASAP for an application!
GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com
http://Goddessschool.com/

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The Goddess School Grimoire
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Hardcover: $39.45
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eBook (PDF): $6.25

The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women

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GrannyMoon is Founder and Mother High Priestess of GoddessSchool, Sisters of the Burning Branch, dedicated to the Feminine Divine. Living in the Washington, DC suburbs, she attended LDS Seminary, Former staff member and student of the Esoteric Theological Seminary, is an ordained Metaphysical Interfaith minister with doctoral degrees in Theology and Divinity, since 1999. She is a current board member of the Northern Virginia Pagan Pride Day, charter member and former counsel and board member of The Order of the White Moon. A scholar of ancient mysteries, Doula, Reiki Master, Herbalist and Lifetime Member of Herbal Healer Academy, Inc. and former VA State Representative A.R.E.N. Alternative Religions Educational Network. She has dedicated her life to the study and teaching of the Esoteric.

Join us! GrannyMoon@goddessschool.com http://goddessschool.com GrannyMoon occasionally teaches classes here, and on the last Saturday of the month she hosts the Most Excellent Order of the Black Hat – open to all – a group of solitaires who celebrate the wheel of the year.

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GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Moon Day
Energy: Female Ruler: The Moon – Rules emotions, protection, healing, and
women’s mysteries – Use for magick involving the subconscious, healing,
emotions, love, spirituality, healing wounds, children, small animals,
women’s mysteries, the female side of men, mothers, sisters, female
partners, wives, instincts
Today’s Magickal Influences: Agriculture, Domestic, Long Life, Medicine,
Travels, Visions, Theft
Today’s Goddesses: Luna, Selene, Diana, Re, Gaeleach, Ida, Artemis [Whom The
Greeks Associated With Bast], The Witches, Yemaya, Erzulie, Bast
Incense: Myrtle
Perfumes: White Poppy, White Rose, Wallflower
Monday – Wear pearl, moonstone, or crystal. Use an emerald for amulets.
Color of The Day: Silver, Grey, White
Colors for Tomorrow: Red
Candle: White
Lucky Sign: Monday Is The Lucky Day For The Sign of Cancer
Cooking on Monday will improve magics for creativity, insight, maternal
nature, and Goddess-related efforts. ~Quote from Magickal Martha

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Hail Tyr! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Tyr’s or Tiu’s Day – the day of Mars…also Ares, Tiwaz, Tiw (from whom it is named), Tuisco, and Tyr. Tuesday is ruled by Mars,
whose Magickal influences are: Passion, courage, aggression, and
protection. Tuesday comes under the influence of Mars, the planet associated
with vitality, passion, ambition, and raw, unabashed power.
Mars energy makes the mind acute, and the body restless; therefore, on
Tuesday we are likely to exert ourselves physically and take action to
achieve goals. This day is dynamic and high-spirited, and the prevailing
energies may include carelessness and destructiveness as well, so it is good
to be cautious-especially while traveling.
Tuesday – Wear a ruby, star sapphire, or emerald. Use topaz for amulets.
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Destination, War, Courage, Surgery, Physical
Strength
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Soorejnaree, Pingalla, Anna, Aine, Danu,
Yngona, Bellona, Aida Wedo, Sun Woman
Perfumes: Hellebore, Carnation, Patchouli
Incense: Lignum Aloes, Plantain
Color of The Day: Red
Colors for Tomorrow: Yellow
Lucky Sign: Tuesday Is The Lucky Day For Aries
Candle: Red
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Hail Odin! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Woden’s or Odin’s Day
Energy: Male Ruler: Mercury – Rules healings, the mind – Use for magick
involving mental issues, learning, higher education, addictions,
communications, travel, young people, messages, perception, self-expression,
artists, poets, and writers
Wednesday – Wear amethyst, star ruby, or lodestone. Use turquoise in amulets.
Today’s Magickal Influences: Conjurations, Predictions, Knowledge, Writing, EloquenceCandle: Purple
Lucky Sign: Wednesday Is The Lucky Day For Gemini And Virgo
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Demeter, Ceres, Spider Woman, Bona Dea, Oya,
Devi-Kali, Hella, Rhiannon, Coatlique, Maman Brigette, Sekhmet, Het Heret
[Hathor]

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GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Thor’s Day Hail Thor!
Energy: Male
Ruler: Jupiter
attracting more of what you have.
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Luck, Religion, Healing, Trade And Employment,Treasure, Honors, Riches, Legal Matters,
Use Growth, Expansion, Prosperity, Money, Business, Attracting More
Thursday – Wear sapphire, cat’s eye, or carnelian. Use sapphire in rituals.
Today’s Goddesses: Juno, Hera, Kwan Yin, Mary, Cybele, Tara, Mawu, Mlaba
Mwana Waresa, Ishtar, Nuit
Perfumes: Stock, Lilac, Storax, Aloes
Incense: Nutmeg, Henbane
Color of The Day: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Colors for Tomorrow: Light Blue, Pale Green
Lucky Sign: Thursday Is The Lucky Day For Sagittarius And Pisces
Candle: Blue

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GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Freya’s Day
Energy: Female Ruler: Venus – Rules lovers and pleasure, affairs of the
heart – Use for magick involving love, peace, beauty, gentleness, women’s
problems, healing, protection, lovers, ease, pleasure, affairs. Resolve
quarrels today!
Friday – Cast love spells on Fridays. Wear blue robes and use turquoise, ruby, emerald or cat’s eye.
Today’s Magickal Influences: All Love Matters, Friendships, Affection,
Partnerships, Money, Sex
Today’s Goddesses: Astarte, Aphrodite, Erzulie, Aida Wedo, Eve, Venus,
Freya, Frigg, Diana, Aset [Isis], The Witch Of Gaeta, Chalchiuhtlique
Incense: Saffron, Verbena
Perfumes: Stephanotis, Apple Blossom, Musk, Ambergris
Color of The Day: Light Blue, Pale Green
Colors for Tomorrow: Black
Lucky Sign: Friday Is The Lucky Day For Taurus And Libra
Candle: Green
Saint Jegudiel represents Friday

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GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Saturn’s Day
Day of Seatere, Seater, and Saturn and of Loki, the Norse god of tricks and
revelry. Saturday is ruled by Saturn, whose Magickal influences are:
longevity, endings, and homes. Saturday comes under the influence of Saturn.
Saturn’s influence directs our attention toward routine chores, customs, and
conventional traditions. Saturday is a good day for furthering our ambitions
through perseverance, patience, responsible action, and a sense of purpose .
Saturday – Wear turquoise, labradorite, or diamond. Use amethyst.
Saturday is a good day of the week to perform spells and rituals involving
spirit communication, meditation, psychic self-defense, binding, and
locating lost things or missing persons.
Today’s Goddesses: Ops, Rhea, Tellus Mater, Gaia, Eartha, Ge, Tonantzin,
Asherah, Anath, The Shekinah, The Matronit, Mary, Gula, Herodias, Oddudua,
Demeter
Today’s Magickal Influences: Duties, Responsibilities, Finding Families,
Works Of Magic, Buildings, Meditation, Life, Doctrines
Today’s Energies: Female – Rules obstacles, overcoming blockages – Use for
magick involving overcoming limitations, the elderly, endings, deaths,
blocks, constrictions, and those restricting you.
Incense: Pepperwort, Assodilious, Black Poppy Seeds, Henbane, Lodestone,
Myrrh
Perfumes: Hyacinth, Pansy
Color of The Day: Black
Colors for Tomorrow: Orange, Gold and Yellow
Lucky Sign: Saturday Is The Lucky Day For Capricorn And Aquarius
Candle: Black

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GrannyMoon Says Today is: Sun Day
Energy: Male
Ruler: The Sun
Rule health, prosperity, leadership, joy, and protection – Use for magick involving happiness, prosperity, joy, healing, protection, power,
leadership, ego, authority figures, fathers, husbands
Today’s Goddesses: Sunne, Frau Sonne, Aditi, Igaehindvo, Amaterasu, Arinna,
Izanami, Ochumare
Sunday’s Magickal Influences: Health, Healing, Confidence And Hope, Prosperity
Incense: Mastic, Palaginia
Perfumes: Heliotrope, Orange Blossom, Cloves, Frankincense, Ambergris, Musk,Myrrh
Sunday – wear topaz, sunstone, or diamond. Use pearl in crafting talismans.
Color of The Day: Orange, Gold
Colors for Tomorrow: Silver, Gray, White
Lucky Sign: Sunday Is The Lucky Day For Leo
Candle: Yellow

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Llewellyn’s Spell a Day

Honor the Ancestors
Spell Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018

In Eastern Japan, the Bon festival is celebrated right around this time. This is a time of honoring one’s ancestors, recognizing their sacrifices for future generations, and facilitating their most ideal and harmonious presence in the afterlife.

If you can, visit one or more of your ancestors’ graves today. Otherwise, place their pictures or heirlooms on your altar. Adorn the headstone or altar with one or more white roses, and light a white candle in their honor. Relax, center, and connect with the spirit of your ancestor (or each ancestor in turn). Imagine bright white light filling and surrounding their spirit, removing any heavy or stuck energy that you may perceive. Then see their spirit in its truest light: the light of pure wholeness and love. Laugh or dance with them and inwardly honor their path in life, seeing it as a perfect support and complement to your own life.
This post was written by Tess Whitehurst on July 15, 2018
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Kitchen Witch’s Protection Bottle
Spell Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018

Here is an easy way to create some protection magic in your kitchen using only four ingredients:

1 cup unpopped popcorn
1 cup dried beans
1 cup dry rice
1 canning jar (quart size or larger)

Layer the popcorn, beans, and rice in the jar, then hold the container, enchanting it to become a powerful protective force. Focus on protective energy and say:

“Guarded this land shall ever be, gifts
from the earth; plants of strength and
vitality, protect this home and hearth.”

Seal the jar tightly and place it in full view in your kitchen or over a fireplace mantel to serve as a protective amulet.
This post was written by Michael Furie on July 14, 2018
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Make Me a Star
Spell Date: Friday, July 13, 2018

Today in 1923, the iconic Hollywood sign was erected in the hills of Los Angeles. You don’t have to have a huge sign or be a builder to make an impact, though! You just need determination and motivation. Today’s waxing moon in Leo is the perfect time to launch a new project that will get you notoriety and attention.

You’ll need a candle and an old key, preferably one that never belonged to you ( look in thrift shops or online; they’re inexpensive enough). When the moon enters Leo today, light the candle and recite these words:

“Fire sign and candlelight,
Hear my heartfelt words tonight.
Start my plan successfully,
Then make it known, so mote it be!”

Pinch out the candle flame, and keep the key with you to remind you that you’re now on the path to achievement and recognition!
This post was written by Charlie Rainbow Wolf on July 13, 2018
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New Moon Pre-Magic Bath
Spell Date: Thursday, July 12, 2018

The new moon is a time to work magic for beginnings, and its best to do so with a cool, clear head. Make a bath sachet to cleanse yourself inside and out before you do any magical work.

Chop some cooling mint leaves, cleansing lavender, and brightening lemon balm, and mix them with a spoonful or two of coconut oil. (You should have more herbs than oil; the oil acts as a binder.) Place the mixture in the fridge to chill. When it solidifies, form it into a ball and knot it in a double layer of cheesecloth. Toss the sachet in your bath, then immerse yourself in the water and rub the sachet over your body with these words:

“New beginnings, I am ready,
cool, cleansed, and brilliant!”

Visualize the sachet cooling off any hot spots, healing any hurts, and washing away any and all distractions. Now you’re ready for magic!
This post was written by Natalie Zaman on July 12, 2018
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Thank the Electricity Fairies
Spell Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2018

We’re lucky to have electrical power, whether it’s run by natural resources or fairies. Say thank you to the elemental electrical powers by putting THANK YOU stickers on your appliances and devices. Go online or to your local craft store and buy several sheets of THANK YOU stickers in colors and designs you like.

Set Mercury on your altar and cast a circle around your home. Starting in the kitchen, attach a sticker to the fridge, the stove, the microwave, etc. Attach stickers to your lamps and clocks, to your computer, tablet, and phone, to your TV, radio, and DVD and CD players. As you attach each sticker, give thanks for electricity and batteries. You can also thank whoever gave you the appliance or device or the store where you bought it. Give thanks all the way around the circle and be grateful that everything works.
This post was written by Barbara Ardinger on July 11, 2018
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Connecting to the Warrior Within
Spell Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2018

When we are feeling attacked, we need to connect with the warrior within. Tuesday is a great day to connect with Mars to imbue your magickal working with strength and courage. Charge a piece of jewelry or a stone to create an amulet you can wear on a daily basis. Create a sacred space in which you can work. Connect to the warrior spirit and say:

“I charge this piece so
that any attacks cease.”

Wear or carry the item daily, and connect to the intention when you feel attacked.
This post was written by Charlynn Walls on July 10, 2018
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Breaking the Cycle of Addiction
Spell Date: Monday, July 9, 2018

With the Crone’s Sickle moon in Gemini today, communication and cutting ties are both highlighted, so it’s a really good time to do some soul-searching if you’re finding yourself fighting an addiction.

For this spell, take a black or dark blue pillar candle and carve it with symbols or words describing your addiction and your emotions around it. Tie one end of a black cord around the candle, and the other end around your wrist. Ground and center yourself, and open to the messages of the divine. Explore in meditation all the reasons for this addiction and all the avenues and attachments to this substance, as well as how the addiction manifests. When you’re ready, cut the thread, saying:

“Addiction, begone! (Name of
addiction), you have power over
me no longer! So mote it be!”

Follow up by finding support through a group, therapist, or friend—quitting addictions is much harder to do alone.

Make sure you rid your space of the substance, take heart, and be blessed. Repeat as needed.
This post was written by Thuri Calafia on July 09, 2018

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Heartwings Love Notes 836: The Three Bite Strategy: How Much Is Enough?

Heartwings says, “When you focus on the taste, you may eat less.”

When my children were small I used to insist they eat at least three bites of anything they thought they didn’t want to eat at all. My theory was that by my having them do that, that they would grow up to eat a broad variety of foods. I was even bold enough to insist that any visiting friends do the same. No one ever seemed to make too much of a fuss over this, nor did I get any bad feedback from my children for doing that either.

Some children use food as a kind of bargaining chip or power play. Mine didn’t thank goodness. Nor did I tell them my mother used to say to me: Eat your (beans, eggs, etc.) there are little children starving in China who would love to have what you have on your plate. I wasn’t allowed to get up from the table until I had finished whatever it was I was supposed to eat. No three bite rule for me! When it was liver, which I hated with a passion, I resorted to cutting it up in small pieces and swallowing them whole with my milk.

Working with a limited budget, my well intentioned  mother tried her best to make nourishing meals. I did grow up to be healthy, so it must have worked. However when I was eight I became chubby and stayed that way. Like many I have tried a number of different ways to slim down, slenderize, or otherwise lose weight. Some methods were more successful than others, like portion control. Success is linked to calories in, calories out. Less consumed means more taken from what is stored in the body, to make up for it. This is sensible.

In my search for dietary strategy I came across another very good suggestion. It’s called the Three Bite Rule. You can have three bites of anything highly caloric you want to eat, and you can eat anything highly caloric you wish to as long as those three bites are all you eat. It’s also true that after three bites you really do not get the same taste experience as you do from your first three. This is especially true of anything cold like ice cream, but also of sweet things. The real test though is to be able to put down your fork or spoon after the third bite and count yourself satisfied. When you do this, you’re creating a habit that allow for both pleasure and discipline, an excellent combination.

May you enjoy what you eat regardless how much or how little you have.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

P.S. I am always happy to hear from you dear readers, let me know your dietary strategies or anything else you wish to share. Tasha Halpert <tashahal@gmail.com>

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9 Myths About Witchcraft That Modern-Day Witches Like Me Are Tired of Hearing
By Sophie Saint Thomas

Are witches real? Well, have you ever had a vivid dream about someone, only for them to text you the very next day? Consider that your intuition was burning bright. When you’re overwhelmed and stressed, do you ever turn your bathtub into a cauldron by filling it with soothing salts, perhaps lighting some candles to further set the mood? That’s a self-love spell if I ever saw one. Or have you ever found yourself in an overly cluttered apartment thinking, “I just have to tidy up to change the energy in here”? Look at you, performing cleansing rituals.

Witches are real: They’re people who practice magick. Magick, which witches like to spell with a “k” to differentiate it from stage magic, is real too. The practice of magick is about raising and directing energy to fulfill your intentions, and if you haven’t noticed, witchcraft is in vogue. You may be wondering what in God’s (or the Goddess’s) name is going on, or even what you need to know if you’d like to practice witchcraft yourself. A very good place to start is by clearing up any misconceptions you may have about witches — here’s the truth about nine of the most common myths out there.

1. Witches aren’t real.

Remember the evil witch from “Hansel and Gretel” who snatches up children to eat? How about Nicole Kidman’s sexy character in Practical Magic? There are lots of different kinds of witches presented in pop culture, but witches exist outside of films and fairy tales, as well.

A witch is aware of their own power and puts that power into action.

In real life, you can be a witch and look just like yourself, no eating children required. So how do you know if you’re a witch? If you feel an urge to exert your will and get what you want (while fighting the patriarchy and practicing intersectional feminism, of course), you qualify. A witch is simply someone who is aware of their own power and puts that power into action. If that’s you, then congratulations, you’re a witch.

2. You need tons of training from established witches before you cast your first spell.

Researching and doing some homework is never a bad idea. If you’re looking for good starter resources, I recommend the website The Hoodwitch and the books Craft: How To Be a Modern Witch, by Gabriela Herstik, and Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive, by Kristen J. Sollee. However, writing a spell does not require a coven, goat’s skull, and full moon, as fun as nights involving these can be. Performing a spell just means setting an intention and then conducting a ritual — be that lighting a candle or meditating in the bathtub — to fulfill it.

For instance, let’s say you want to wake up each morning filled with more self-love. Write an intention letter affirming how much you appreciate yourself as you honor Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. You can invoke the energy of any deity you personally connect with, so long as you show proper respect, but Venus is a great go-to for love spells. You can also work with an ancestor or inspired celebrity, like David Bowie (a personal favorite) or Rihanna. Light some pink and red candles, and take a bath while meditating on how loved you are. See? You’re doing magick. Simply writing out gratitude lists or repeating a mantra is casting a spell, as it means you’re injecting reminders of your self-worth into your life. Most witches believe that the universe is filled with energy. Casting a spell is just harnessing that energy.

3. Practicing witchcraft is expensive.

The upside to witchcraft’s recent popularity is that it’s becoming more accessible, and more people understand witchcraft isn’t synonymous with evil. It’s also allowed powerful witches to make money from their craft, which is demonstrative of the power of magick on its own. Some online shops are worthy of your money if you have some extra to spend. Witch Baby Soap, for example, sells lovely, vegan, cruelty-free beauty products infused with spells.

Trending Now

However, it seems like everyone is cashing in on the witchcraft trend these days. Do you need to drop $85 on Goop’s “8 Essential Crystals Medicine Bag” in order to engage in crystal healing? Nope. Sure, tools such as crystals, tarot cards, and incense can be handy in rituals and help sharpen your practice. But all you really need is yourself. You are the witch, you practice the magick, and you are more powerful than any crystal money can buy.

You are more powerful than any crystal money can buy.

Before you blow your paycheck on overpriced accessories, simply begin sharpening your practice by adding daily meditation and learning to your life. The more you immerse yourself in witchcraft, the more you’ll notice that witchy tools are all around you: in your spice rack, your closet (hello, broomstick), and growing outside. Witches of all economic backgrounds have been practicing for centuries using the tools they have at hand.

4. All witches are female.

Whether you are male, nonbinary, trans, gender-nonconforming, or anything else, you can be a witch. It’s true that there is a beautiful history of women and witchcraft, in part because women have been historically silenced and have used witchcraft to tap into their power and subvert the system. Think of the term “kitchen witch,” which means a witch who flourishes in the kitchen: When women were told their place was the kitchen, some simply focused their magickal energy there. Ultimately, though, magick is genderless.

5. Your ancestors have to have been witches for you to be one.

Like many other communities, the occult world has problematic members who insist that to be a witch, you have to come from a magickal bloodline. Remember how messed up beliefs about “Purebloods” are in the Harry Potter series? It’s not OK to shame or exclude based on lineage in our world, either. Some people do have witches in their families, and when you’re looking for spirits to work with, magickal ancestors are a powerful choice — but so are any ancestors. If you come from a non-magickal family, aren’t close with your family, or have severed ties with them out of necessity, that has nothing to do with whether or not you can be a witch.

6. Hexes aren’t real.

Sorry if this scares you, but hexes, cast to inflict misfortune on others, are indeed real. You may have heard of “the rule of threes,” or the belief that performing magick with ill intent will come back to you three times, turning the ill intent on you. (The neo-pagan religion Wicca holds that “Three times what thou givest returns to thee,” which can be applied to positive magick as well.)

Work with the universe, not against it.

But the rule of threes doesn’t simply mean, for example, that if you cast a spell to steal someone’s man and you and said man get together, he’ll cheat on you exactly three times. Hexes like this usually entail bigger blow back: If you’re performing magick to cause harm to someone, you’re probably in a pretty nasty, dark place. You likely aren’t exuding positive, loving vibes, but swampy, malicious ones. And it doesn’t feel good to be a mean troll. Performing magick to release yourself of anger so you can move on after you’ve been harmed can be healing. Using your craft to hurt someone, meanwhile, often just ends up making you feel bad, not to mention that positive energy is simply more powerful. Work with the universe, not against it.

7. There are “black” witches, meaning evil witches, and “white” witches, meaning good witches.

Speaking of hexes, you’ve probably heard about “black magick” and “white magick.” Some people use these terms, but they probably shouldn’t. To start, they have racist undertones: Rituals that are mistakenly believed to be “bad” and therefore labeled “black magick” often come from traditions such as Hoodoo, which is traditional African folk magick. Generally speaking, magick itself isn’t simply “good” or “evil”: It’s a tool. We can all act selfish, jealous, and petty from time to time, and honestly, that’s OK. We have good sides that are loving, too.

Often, the best way to get in touch with your loving side (and then inject it into your magick) is to recognize that you’re human. Negative thoughts are normal. Instead of acting on them, perform a cleansing ritual, dance around or go to the gym, or take a long, hot bath to soothe yourself. All such acts can be magickal rituals.

8. You must join a coven to be a witch.

A coven is a group of witches that meets regularly to perform magick and rituals. A coven can be traditional, with 13 members and a highly organized initiation process, or it can be more laid-back and designed by you and your witchy friends. As witchcraft has become mainstream, covens have become more casual. Some people enjoy the responsibility and framework of performing magick with a structured group, while other people perform better as solo artists. By all means, form a coven if it’s appealing to you. But if magick is something highly personal that you do alone, that works, too.

9. Your witchcraft should be Instagram-ready.

Explore the hashtag “#witchesofinstagram” and you will see a plethora of pristine, perfect-looking altars, clothing, and crystals. Social media can offer camaraderie and inspiration, and aesthetically pleasing rituals — such as cleansing your space with herbs like sage — have value. But your practice doesn’t have to be camera-ready to be valid. In fact, many of the most powerful witches prefer to keep their practices secret and their altars private. (A note about altars: They’re basically just areas set aside for devotion. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on yours for it to yield rich rewards, and you’re allowed to be a little messy — IMO, Joanne the Scammer is totally a witch and “polished” is definitely not her brand.) It’s OK to look at photos for inspiration, but your practice only needs to reflect one thing: you.

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Black Obsidian Crystal
by Dawn Hill Designs

Also known as: Obsidian, volcanic glass, glass agate, glassy lava

Family: Amorphous Crystal System, silica with many impurities

Habit: compact nodules or layers between other volcanic rocks

Hardness: 5-5.5 Mohs

Correspondences: Black Obsidian Chakra Healing Bracelet by DHD

Element(s): Earth, Fire

Month: November

Astrological: Sagittarius

Planet(s): Pluto, Saturn

Number(s) 1

Goddess: Gaia, Pele, Sekhemet

Angel: Uriel

Chakra(s) Root (first), Third Eye (sixth)

Uses:

Health/Wellness

Arthritis, pain, helps joint issues (especially the knees), muscle tissue, eases cramping, aids digestion, depression, accelerates healing wounds, pain relief, improves circulation, helps cold hands/feet, aids detoxification, reduces enlarged prostate, reduces food cravings, releasing past hurts and trauma, clearing emotional blocks

Folklore/Magickal Uses

Business, entrepreneurs, investors, grounding, protection, powerful cleanser, cuts through illusions and glamour, fast acting. Provides a deep connection to the first chakra and the Earth’s core. Releases negative energy and emotions: i.e. resentment, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy and their root causes. Paired with quartz crystal, black obsidian can be used for the divination practice of gazing.

How to Clean: Because Obsidian is a volcanic glass it can be cleaned with soapy water and rinsed or in any manner in which you would clean glass.

Notable:

Obsidian is not a true gemstone. It is created by volcanoes when the molten mineral hardens, thus the reason it is known as volcanic glass.

Obsidian has been used in the making of tools and weapons such as knives and arrowheads, for thousands of years. It is used, even now, as a surgical scalpel in the middle east. Obsidian was also used by the Aztec warriors known as Macuahuitl for a weapon that consisted of several obsidian blades that were mounted on a wooden handle.

Obsidian was named for Obsius, who is said to have discovered it during the Roman empire, however, his “discovery” was one that had been made centuries earlier.

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10 Steps to Making Change Easier
By Madisyn Taylor

Change doesn’t have to be hard, here are 10 steps to help make it easier.

1. Begin by making small changes or break up large-scale changes into more manageable increments. This can make you feel better about handling the changes you are about to make while making you more comfortable with change in general.

2. Mentally link changes to established daily rituals. This can make changes like taking on a new habit, starting a new job, or adapting to a new home happen much more smoothly. For example, if you want to begin meditating at home, try weaving it into your morning routine.

3. Going with the flow can help you accept change instead of resisting it. If you stay flexible, you will be able to ride out change without too much turbulence.

4. When a change feels most stressful, relief can often be found in finding the good that it brings. An illness, a financial loss, or a broken relationship can seem like the end of the world, yet they also can be blessings in disguise.

5. Remember that all change involves a degree of learning. If you find change particularly stressful, try to keep in mind that after this period of transformation has passed, you will be a wiser person for it.

6. Remember that upheaval and confusion are often natural parts of change. While we can anticipate certain elements that a change might bring, it is impossible to know everything that will happen in advance. Be prepared for unexpected surprises, and the winds of change won’t easily knock you over.

7. Don’t feel like you have to cope with changing circumstances or the stress of making a change on your own. Talk about what’s going on for you with a friend or write about it in a journal. Sharing your feelings can give you a sense of relief while helping you find the strength to carry on.

8. Give yourself time to accept any changes that you face. And as change happens, recognize that you may need time to adjust to your new situation. Allow yourself a period of time to reconcile your feelings. This can make big changes feel less extreme.

9. No matter how large or difficult a change is, you will eventually adapt to these new circumstances. Remember that regardless of how great the change, all the new that it brings will eventually weave itself into the right places in your life.

10. If you’re trying to change a pattern of behavior or navigate your way through a life change, don’t assume that it has to be easy. Wanting to cry or being moody during a period of change is natural. Then again, don’t assume that making a change needs to be hard. Sometimes, changes are meant to be that easy.

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Stephen Halpert
The Snake

When he was ten, Archie used his own money to buy a six foot lifelike rubber snake at a magic shop on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. His parents, who were looking at antiques next door, weren’t happy to see their son with this frightening toy.
His father winced and his mother looked grim.
“Well,” he said reluctantly “You can keep it as long as you don’t try to scare anyone, especially Grandma. You know how frightened she is by snakes.”
Archie named his snake Caesar after the great Roman Emperor. Each day when he’d get home from school he’d lift Caesar from his nest beneath his tee shirts and socks in the second drawer of his bureau and play with him.
He loved stroking Caesar’s smooth rubbery scales, telling him that he was the most amazing of pet snakes.
“Good thing its only made of rubber,” his father would say as Archie played in the garden, uncoiling and tossing Caesar into the air. “It sure looks lifelike.” Then he smiled and said. “Why not leave him outside in the garden? Maybe Caesar could help cut down on the insect population.”
“Oh no!” Archie replied. “Caesar only wants to live in my bureau. That’s his home.”
“Hope with those fangs he doesn’t chew up your tee shirts,” his father kidded.
“He wouldn’t,” Archie said. “He only likes to eat the rubber ants I get for him at the joke shop.”
“Ants!” His mother looked upset. “You feed him ants?”
“Only rubber ants,” his father assured her. “Fret not, sooner or later he’ll outgrow this whole thing.”
Much to his parents surprise, however, Archie took Caesar with him when he left for college. There his snake continued to live in the second drawer of his bureau nested beneath his tee shirts and underwear.
Though Caesar’s colorful markings had begun to fade, nonetheless he still appeared frightening, his fangs as prominent as ever.
Archie’s roommate was Frederick Flanders from somewhere fancy on Long Island. While Archie was thrifty; watching his money and refraining from extravagance, Freddy was quite the opposite. He’d brag about his family’s wealth, especially his father’s prestigious position with a Wall Street firm.
He even assured Archie that once college was ‘out of the way’ he’d take his place in a brokerage house. Furthermore if Archie continually shared the cookies and candy he received from home, Freddy would see to it that some sort of a job was tossed his way.
Always willing to share, Archie would say, “I’m not that concerned about finding a job. Graduation’s three years away and I’d rather go to Africa and become a nature photographer.”
“It’s all about money and power,” Freddie continually assured him. Then he’d gobble even more of Archie’s cookies and sweets.
Freddie made a point of telling every girl he’d meet that his parents lived in an exclusive gated community overlooking the ocean. He’d brag about their private beach, their yacht, even their stables for racehorses.
Archie wondered if Freddie’s parents were as rich as he said they were. If so he wondered why didn’t they send him treats too.
Toward the end of the semester, while they were studying for exams two hulking upperclassmen burst into their room. One grabbed Freddie and jerked him out of his chair. “You Flanders? The richest dude around here?”
The other closed his hand into a fist and snickered. “One of those millionaires from New York? We heard all about you. Give us your money or we’ll hurt you good.”
“Me?” Freddy’s voice quivered. “Money? My parents never send me any.” He pointed at Archie. “Ask him, he gives me candy and treats he gets from home. He’s the one who’s folks are rich.”
Archie’s felt angry. These guys were bigger, tougher and no doubt more experienced fighters than either he or Freddie. He gulped. “Neither of us have any money.”
“Yeah! Prove it creep!” The taller one twisted Freddie’s arm behind him causing him to cry out in pain. Then he turned and looked hard at Archie. “Give us your money now or I’ll …”
All Archie had was the twelve dollars in his wallet. “Ok,” he said. “Take what I’ve got. Just don’t hurt Freddie.” He pointed at his bureau. “My wallet’s in the second drawer.”
The other one went to Archie’s bureau, pulled open his second drawer, stuck his hand in and started to rummage for his wallet. He felt something smooth, slippery and alive. Then he felt the fangs sink into his hand.
“Ahhhh!” He screamed and pulled his hand from the drawer. It was slashed and bleeding. “Something attacked me!” He shrieked in pain clutching his hand.
“That’s my snake,” Archie said proudly. “He guards my drawer.”
Shaken to the core both boys fled the room, stumbling over each other and down the stairs.
A short time later two campus police officers came to the boy’s room.
“We heard from the infirmary you have a dangerous snake in here. Best let us take it,” one of them said. ” A pet like that could get you expelled.”
Reluctantly Archie went to his bureau drawer, reached in and took out Caesar. Then he handed him to the campus policeman.
The officer wrinkled his nose. “You kidding me? It’s rubber!” He handed it back. Archie nodded.
Carefully both men searched his bureau. All they found in the second draw under his tee shirts was a small cluster of rubber ants intended for Caesar’s supper.

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2nd Annual Maryland Paranormal Conference A event for those curious or serious about the paranormal.

Six well known professional speakers in the field of the paranormal will be giving presentations along with having vendor tables. See them live and in person as well as being able to talk to them and seek out their services, buy their books, etc at their vendor tables .
Pre-register via Eventbrite cost is $39.95 If not pre-registered the cost is $50.00 at the door No one under 16 yrs of age will be admitted. .
Saturday August 4, 2018 Gambrills, MD
Doors Open at 09:00 a.m. Program starts at 10:00 a.m. Ends at 5:30 P.M.

Speakers :
TIM SCULLION : Presentation: The Ghostographer – (Ghost Photography) SANDY & JIM YOUNG : Presentation: Beyond The Veil ROB GUTRO: Presentation: Ghosts of England: A Medium’s Vacation Encounters UMA BEEPAT : Presentation: Spirit Communication 101 DAVID SALISBURY : Presentation: Don’t Blame the Witch HIRAM HENDERSON : Presentation: Ghosts, Poltergeists & Hauntings For more info about each speaker and their presentations and/or to buy tickets go to https://mdparaconf.eventbrite.com

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!
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