Making Your Home a Magickal Haven

inallyfoundmy newhome! (1)

The home is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life, but many forget the significant role it plays in our lives. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a pyramid used to illustrate what people need in order to be fulfilled and satisfied in their life. The first four sections of the pyramid are what Maslow referred to as “deficiency needs” because they are fundamental. Shelter resides in the largest section, Psychological needs, but can also be considered part of the second section, Safety needs.maslow

Creating a safe, warm environment where I live is essential to my mental health and spiritual practice. I focus my magickal efforts towards the betterment of my hearthcult. Protection spells, kitchen magick, and maintaining a healthy happy home is the majority of what I do (in various forms). Since becoming a witch I’ve lived in a dorm room and then several apartments which made it difficult to set up a magickal inner sanctum. But I realized after a year or two of constant moving that no matter where you live you can still make it a sanctuary. 

Some simple ideas:

  • Wards
    • Simply put a ward is a field of magick that can be used for various purposes, but most witches use them for protection. There are numerous types of wards you can use, and in a previous article I discussed warding with WiFi. The one I have around my apartment promotes positivity and blocks all negative energy.
  • Protection sachets
    • Making a simple sachet filled with protective herbs and items is simple and effective. I have a few on the tops of windows and door frames.
  • Sigils
    • I’m a die-hard fan of sigils. I use them in almost all magickal workings. They’re simple and potent.
    • Ideas or using sigils around the home:
      • Use oils to paint a protective one on your front door.
      • Make ones for positivity and hide them in place throughout the space.
      • Sigils for sleep kept on your head board or under your mattress.
      • Draw self-love sigils on mirrors.
      • Use them as a part of your wards.
  • Having an altar (or many)
    • I have my main altar in our studio, but I also have a spice cabinet in my kitchen and a simple bedroom altar.
    • You don’t have to have an altar to practice magick or be a witch, and I didn’t have one for a while because it just didn’t feel right to me. However, altars bring a sense of magick and mystery to the home.
  • PLANTS!
    • I love green things (as most pagans do), and have plants scattered throughout my home. They help elevate moods, clean the air in some instances, can be used in spell work, and look pretty.
    • I have a plant dedicated to Frigg, and taking care of it is a work of devotion to her.
    • Plants directly connect you to nature.
    • You can even create an indoor magickal garden. I have rosemary and mint near my altar for use in spells and kitchen magick.
  • Cleanliness
    • This is just general house keeping. Keeping your space at least somewhat clean and organized will improve mood and the overall energy of your space.
    • You can work magick into your cleaning routine with simple tweaks.
      • Adding a pinch of salt and a few drops of essential oils to an all natural cleaning solution helps kick it up a notch.
      • Sweeping gets rid of negative energy.
      • As a kitchen witch, the hearth (oven) is important to me and I try to keep it clean in reverence to ancestors and Frigg.
  • Incense, essential oils, and candles
    • In some apartments don’t allow incense or even candles, but you can still get a similar effect from a diffuser.
    • Candles bring the element of fire safely into your home.
    • Incense and essential oils alter your state of mind, and can affect moods, cleanse spaces, or be used in the creation of wards.
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Tattoo Sigils

llyholiday

What are sigils? It seems like a simple question, but as with any topic in the witchcraft and pagan communities the numerous answers vary wildly. In Chaos Magick you forget the sigil you made as it works in your subconscious. I, on the other hand, keep a detailed list in several books scattered about my apartment so I can easily access them when necessary.

The dictionary definition of a sigil is “a sign, word, or device held to have occult power in astrology or magic”(Merriam-Webster Dictionary).  This means that almost anything could be considered a sigil. Think of your favorite fast food logo. It was designed with a specific intent in mind, and even the colors were picked to try and influence those who passes by.

I love tattoos, and I’m one of those people who get them a bit impulsively. Last year around this time I got  an amethyst cluster on the inside of my right arm near the elbow for free from an apprentice.  At the time it was just something I liked aesthetically. After some soul searching  I realized that all of the tattoos I had represented different cycles in my life.

This led me to the idea of turning my crystal cluster into a sigil to help me accept myself and what happened in my life up until that point. I used similar practices outlined on the Sigil Daily website. Of course not all of these options will work with a tattoo.

Another thing that makes tattoo sigils interesting is that they live under your ever-growing, ever-changing skin. The energy just from that creates potent magick. Combining that with symbolism and intent and you’ve got something intense on your hands. For this reason I don’t recommend tattooing yourself with sigils steeped in negative energy because you’re directly linked to that energy and are constantly feeding it a part of yourself.

The next tattoo I got I planned it out with the intent of making it a sigil. Dealing with depression for my entire life, the symbolism of the moth always spoke to me. Along with the moths, I made sure the design incorporated eyes representing the third eye, intuition, and divination. Another way of adding extra oomph to the sigil (I guess at this point it can even be considered a spell) is scheduling your appointment around the moon phases and time of day correspondence. Color magick is also something you can play around with.

And of course there’s the part where you actually get inked. Tiny needles penetrating your skin over and over again is painful no matter how you look at it. When getting tattooed you earn the art. Use this time to focus on your intent for the sigil, and the pain will help cement it into your conscious and subconscious.

This is a form of some serious magick, and I don’t recommend it for beginners because 1.) you’re still new to the practice and you don’t know what jams with you yet and 2.) this is a permanent sigil/spell. Make sure you know what you want and that it is well thought out, clear, and concise. Think about this long and hard before getting anything. I mentioned before that I’m impulsive when it comes to tattoos, and that’s fine, but when it comes to magick on this level make sure you’re dedicated to it.

Worshiping the All-Mother

Frigg

A large portion of Norse beliefs, practices, and customs faded into oblivion, and as modern day practitioners we are stuck with the task of reconstructing the old ways. There are dozens of view points, sources, and ideas that contradict one another. On my journey I’ve discovered which associations, symbols, and worships practices work best for me to connect with the All-Mother.

Symbolism:

  • Marriage
  • Motherhood
  • The home and hearth
  • Domesticity
  • Destiny
  • Dreams
  • The unknown
  • Spinning

Symbols:

  • Hearth
  • Norse spindle
  • Spun wool
  • Spinning wheel
  • Distaff
  • Keys

Colors:

  • Silver
  • White
  • Blue
  • Gold

Plants:

  • Birch
  • Buttercups
  • Mint
  • Rose
  • Mistletoe
  • Mugwort
  • Valerian
  • Flaw
  • Thyme

Stones:

  • Amber
  • Moonstone
  • Rose quartz
  • Pink tourmaline

Sacred Animals:

  • Geese
  • Falcons
  • Hawks
  • Herrings
  • Crows
  • Pigs
  • Cats

Perfumes/Scents:

  • Amber
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Myrtle

Time of the Year:

  • Right before Yule (shes spinning destinies for the new year)
  • Yule

Other Associations:

  • Full Moon
  • The Sky
    • Atmosphere, clouds, cloud spinning, storms, weather, wind, and crop growth
  • Spinning
    • Fiber arts
  • Here are some adjectives/descriptors:
    • Tender, nurturing, strong, protector, inner strength, authority, clever, intelligent, tall, beautiful, stately
  • Helps us keep our lives in alignment with our spiritual selves
  • Helps us keep in touch with our intuition

Worship Ideas:

  • Contact through forms of divination
  • I use tarot and pendulum
  • I share my morning coffee with her
    • I have a station on my altar set up for giving her offerings and I make her a separate cup and pour it into that.
  • Any type of charity work
  • Cleaning the house
    • Especially the kitchen
      • Ovens are the modern day hearth so keep it clean!
    • She hates messes
  • She has a love of adornment so that may be something to keep in mind for altar/shrine crafting
    • Also digs white candles
  • Frigg’s blessing is still invoked for birthing women and a safe delivery with a white candle that last burned during Yule

If you want more information on Frigg check out my previous article here.

Note: Since posting this I’ve been getting a lot of flack from a close minded community regarding my reference to Frigg as the All-Mother. To mitigate any potential questions about this I’m providing my source.

Krasskova, Galina, and Raven Kaldera. Northern tradition for the solitary practitioner: a book of prayer, devotional practice, and the nine worlds of the spirit. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page , 2009. Print. Page 5 “Under the charcloth is birch bark, from the tree of the All-Mother, rich with oils that relieve pain.”

The Divine Queen: Frigg

Frigg (1)

Back in September of 216 I began considering the idea of personified deity. This was a big step for me because after I left the Catholic faith I swore off any form of higher being, and choose to worship divinity in the abstract.  After several unusual instances, research, and some in depth tarot spreads I realized Frigg had been trying to contact me for a while.

I’ve been working and worshiping Frigg since January 2017, and it has completely changed the course of my spiritual journey. I decided to write a post on her because all the resources I found online say the same thing, and I feel like her following is small. If you worship Frigg I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

A Little Bit About The All-Mother

When most sources discuss her they start with the fact that she is the wife of Odin. While this is true, she is far more than just a wife. She is Queen of the Aesir, goddess of the sky, represents divine Sovereignty,  and associated with all domestic crafts. She’s also the goddess of marriage, motherhood, the home and hearth, the unknown, destiny, and dreams.

In the time of the Norsemen (before the christianization of the area which began in the 11th century) women were the head of the home in most aspects. As the Divine Queen, Frigg has associations with giving mead and all the social implications of that action.

She’s also a goddess of frith. Now frith is a complex subject, but basically it is the maintaining of peace and social order. This was especially important in Nordic culture when blood feuds ran generations back, and it wasn’t uncommon to attack enemies in the open. It’s not very productive to have fights breaking out when trying to plan or discuss anything, and it can be worse when those involved are gods.

Hospitality was one of the core values that Norse life revolved around. It could’ve been the difference between life and death, and had a direct impact on one’s wyrd, innangard, and kinship with others. Life wouldn’t have survived without the expertise of women, and their duties were of the utmost importance. This shows how prominent Frigg would have been to the Norse culture even though little record of her worship is around.

She wove fates and is associated with intimate foreknowledge which suggests a nonlinear omniscience .  This, and her cloud spinning, connect her with spinning, weaving, and all forms of fiber crafts. She also practiced Seidhr, which is closely connected to weaving as well. She’d never speak of what she knew.

A Liminal Goddess

liminal

  1. 1:  of, relating to, or situated at a sensory threshold :  barely perceptible or capable of eliciting a response liminal visual stimuli

  2. 2:  of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition :  in-between, transitional in the liminal state between life and death — Deborah Jowitt” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

A while back I read this wonderful article on water and the concept of liminality. It’s a bit long, but covers the subject thoroughly, and gave me some interesting insights into Frigg.

Her hall is named Fensalir, and it’s located in a marsh. Not only does the water give her dwelling a liminal aspect, but it’s also a geographical area where water and land intermingle. Its a transitory space between the two elements.

As the article states, early Germanic people placed offerings in bogs and marshes because they viewed these areas as gateways to the divine. Because of this Frigg can be seen as a gatekeeper between the two worlds. He association with keys also lends credence to the idea.

The Death of a Son

When it came to one of her sons, Baldr, she tried to change his course, but in the end her efforts failed and he was killed. She went to every single thing and made it promise to never harm her son. When she came to the mistletoe plant she thought it insignificant and moved on without it swearing to her. This caused the Gods to randomly attack Frigg’s handsome and shining son as a form of entertainment, and because of the promises no harm ever came to him.

Loki, being the trickster that he is, went to Frigg disguised as an old woman. After some questioning Frigg mentioned the mistletoe plant. Loki fashioned a dart out of it, gave it to Frigg’s other son, Hodr, who was blind, and helped him aim. The dart struck Baldr and killed him. According to other sources, the Gods were able to bring Baldur back from Helheim, the dwelling of goddess Hel and the dead. Frigg then declared mistletoe a symbol of love and vowed to plant a kiss on all those who passed beneath it.

Life with Odin

One important way of understanding your deity is to look at who they spend their time with. Frigg is the faithful companion of Odin, the All-father. Now most religions have a similar head figure, a being in charge of the rest: Zeus, Jupiter, the Abrahamic god. All of these beings are relatively similar, but Odin is an exception. He’s a weird, unusual, and dark character.

While he’s the leader of the Aesir, he often leaves his post, wanders the cosmos, and goes on self-serving journeys. He is  associated with war in modern times, but he is more interested in the chaos and frenzy which often consumes the battle field. After a fight has ended Odin gathers the fallen (with help from the Valkyries) and takes them to his hall of Valhalla. Odin has been closely tied with necromancy, and this is one reason as to why that is. These warriors drink, feast, and prepare for Ragnarok.

His thirst for knowledge and wisdom led to self-mutilation when he cut out his eye and tossed it in the well of Mimir, and to self-sacrifice when he hung from the branches of Yggdrasil, pierced himself with a spear, and stared into the depths of the Well of Urd for 9 days and nights to prove himself worthy to the runes.

“Equipped with the knowledge of how to wield the runes, he became one of the mightiest and most accomplished beings in the cosmos. He learned chants that enabled him to heal emotional and bodily wounds, to bind his enemies and render their weapons worthless, to free himself from constraints, to put out fires, to expose and banish practitioners of malevolent magic, to protect his friends in battle, to wake the dead, to win and keep a lover, and to perform many other feats like these.” (Norse Mythology for Smart People; The Poetic Edda, Hávamál, stanzas 138-163)

He is known as the All-Father because he’s considered to be the father of all gods according to Snorri Sturluson. Odin is often listed as being a divine ancestor to numerous families with and without royal blood. In the The Poetic Edda, Völuspá 17-18 it describes Odin (or Othin) giving two pieces of driftwood, carved into humanoid shapes, the breath of life referred to as “sense” in the poem.

Even with all of this knowledge and power his queen is still able to outsmart and trick him. The story below is just one example of her cunning.

“The Vinils, increased in the islands of Scandinavia to such an extent that they could no longer live there together. Thus they divided themselves into three groups and drew lots. When the lots were cast and a third of the Vinils had to leave their homeland and seek new lives abroad, they were led by two brothers Ibor and Ayo, energetic young men. Their mother, whose name was Gambara, was an intelligent and clever woman, whose wise counsel they heeded in time of need. In their search for a country where they might settle they came to the region called Schoringen, and remained there several years. The Vandals, a rugged and warlike people, lived nearby. They heard of their arrival and sent messengers to them, proclaiming that the Vinils either would have to pay tribute to the Vandals or face them in battle. Ibor and Ayo sought counsel from their mother Gambara, and they all agreed that it would be better to fight for their freedom than to contaminate it with tribute, and they communicated this to the Vandals. Now the Vinils were brave and powerful warriors, but they were few in number. The Vandals approached Wodan, beseeching from him victory over the Vinils. The god answered: “I will grant victory to the first ones I see at sunrise.” Gambara, on the other hand, approached Frea, Wodan’s wife, and beseeched from her victory for the Vinils. Frea responded with the advice that the Vinil women should untie their hair and arrange it across their face like a beard, and that they should thus accompany their men in the early morning to the window from which Wodan customarily looked out. They did as they were advised, and at sunrise, Wodan, upon looking out, shouted: “Who are these Longbeards?” Frea replied: “To the ones you give a name, you must also give victory.” And thus Wodan gave them the victory, and from that time forth the Vinils have been called Longbeards (Langobards).Ultimately they founded a permanent settlement in Italy.” (Professor D. L. Ashliman, Gambara and the Longbeards)

Other versions of the story have Frigg move the bed as Odin slept in order for him to see the Vinils first.

 

Check out my other post talking more about her symbolism, traditions, ways to worships her, and a little bit about my interactions with her.

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing in the Rain: A Magickal Look at Gloomy Days

Dancing in the Rain

I love rainy days, and we’ve had a wet summer in Northwestern Pa. They remind me of comfort, cuddling up in a blanket, drinking a steaming hot mug of tea, and listening to droplets pelt the window panes. Its calming to me.

Another reason I connect with rain is because my matron goddess is Frigg, and she is associated with the sky and cloud spinning which means she’s also controls the weather to a degree. I’ve been working on an in-depth post on her, and it should be up on the blog by the end of the week.

Rain is the giver of life for the entire ecosystem. The rain waters plants which feed animals, and then we eat those plants and animals. Of course all of this can be said about any type of water. Rain is just another step in the water cycle, and I’m sure most of us are familiar with this concept from middle school science class, but just in case here’s a diagram from the NASA website.Water-Cycle-Art2A

As you can see water goes through many stages before it becomes the powerful thunderstorm. This causes it to pick up extra energy from the area around it. Of course we must be careful when it comes to handling the water we collect for this very reason. NEVER ingest rain water without following the proper precautions. In some states it’s even illegal to collect.

There are different types of precipitation, and each corresponds with different things and have unique energies. In general rain reflects cycles, creativity, inspiration, energy, cleanse, growth. A light rain is good for cleansing, but a thunderstorm is perfect for release. Always remember that what something means to you is more important than what I or anybody else says. Trust your instincts.

Rain Magick Ideas:

  • Grounding
    •  Stay in a safe space
    • Stand with your feet firmly planted on the ground
    • Feel the thunder shake you to the core
    • Visualize the rain washing away old energy and replenishing you at the same time
  • Many witches attempt to raise storms
  • Others try to reroute them
    • I don’t think as witches we have the capability of controlling the weather, but we can always try to influence it
  • Collecting storm water
    • Uses:
      • In spells for a boost of power
      • Add a few drops to a bath
      • Use to make super charged moon water
      • Make an anointing water with various ingredients to use daily or whenever you need a boost
        • Good for getting into the ritual mindset
  • Release rituals
  • Bonding with rain/weather associated deities

Silver Circle Coven Litha Altar

This altar is one my coven created during our Litha meet up and ritual. Every one brought objects of significance to them. One of the women just began work with Hecate, which is the photo, and several others brought their wands. Another member made us all small besoms, which can be seen in the second picture, to keep in our home or on our door for protection.