dramaqueencrowley asked: Hey, I'm new to this whole Wicca thing and I can't find a coven in my area, which means I'm going to need to be a solitary practitioner. Any tips?

Hello there!

If you are interested in being a solitary practitioner of Wicca, I highly recommend you start out by doing as much research as you possibly can, so that you can learn more about the history of Wicca, what a solitary practice is like, and then of course what you’ll need to do for rituals and spells and the like. Wicca for the Rest of Us is a great website that will point you in the right direction. There, you will find a list of books for beginners and other useful information that will help you as you set out on your journey as a solitary Wiccan.

As for some more general tips, just remember that you are a beginner, so you’ll want to start small and take your time. Do your research and slowly work into the more complicated spells and rituals. What helped me out a lot when I was a newbie was keeping a journal, which I used to take notes, write up simple spells, cut and paste articles into it, etc. It was a just an easy way for me to keep all the information I found in one place, so perhaps that’s something you could try! Also, being a solitary witch is perfectly acceptable. Sure, it can be fun to be in a group of other like minded individuals and practice magic together, but don’t let the idea of being a solitary bum you out or anything. It’s very empowering and satisfying method of practice.

Hope this helps! Thanks for writing in.

- Sara

daughterofthemoons asked: Hi I'm Jill! I'm a beginner witch looking "witchy penpals" to connect with, via online or snail mail. I know abs no witches in person and online and I would love to have someone to share with, learn from, ask for guidance, and vice versa. Ideally, I'd love to write creative letters and send beautiful packages to each other, but really I'm looking for friends in the craft since being solitary is kind of.. solitary, lol. Do you know any sites I can connect with others? Thank you so much! -J

Hi Jill!

I encourage one of the other moderators to edit in if I’m wrong but I feel like the majority of Internet activity between witches has moved from sites such as Witchvox to sites like Facebook and Tumblr. If you go into facebook’s advanced search options you can find hundreds of groups dedicated to paganism / witchcraft / other associated woo. You can kinda tell by looking at them and at the group members which ones are sketchy and which are pretty chill. You may still be able to meet people on Witchvox but I honestly haven’t used the site in years and I don’t know how popular it is anymore. Before the advent of Facebook it was definitely the best way to network with like minded people via the Internet. I have also googled “witches in ____” (insert your city or region) and found local groups and events to attend that way.

I encourage our readers who are also interested in pen pals / Internet buddies to reach out to @daughterofthemoons here!

-Renee (gallowsong)

Disclaimer: you probably don’t want to give out your address on the Internet because you can’t trust strangers!

Anonymous asked: My mom died about two months back; is there any way for me to contact or summon her?

I don’t think there is really any easy way to answer this. Losing a beloved family member is always more difficult than anything anyone can imagine. However if the idea is that summoning her will help you move on, that isn’t the case. Trust me.
“Moving on” takes time, and it hurts. You get sad and angry and [sometimes] you want to hate the world. Trying to summon her won’t help, if anything I think it will make it hurt worse…remind you of who you lost. I’m also of the belief that it’s never a good idea to summon anyone you’re still mourning. Sometimes spirits have a hard time coming to terms with the idea that they’re dead. I believe trying to summon them so soon after their passing makes it even more difficult. I think it would be best to wait until you are okay with her passing.

I’m sorry for your loss.

Blessings,
Katy

There is no “one true and authentic” magical spell or ritual for a specific purpose. Just like there is no “one true and authentic” key lime pie recipe. There are many. And some work for you. And some don’t.

— Bill Bittner, the Practical Pagan (via thepracticalpagan)

Anonymous asked: Are there any new moon summoning spells? I met someone on the astral plane I would like to contact in the physical world

Hi anon,

This has been sitting in our inbox for some time, which tells me that none of us are wholly comfortable with answering it. My knee jerk reaction to reading this question was, “bad idea!” And here’s why: the nature of the astral is such that you can never be one hundred percent sure who or what you are in contact with. The astral is full of interesting things and people and stuff that falls into the category “other” but not all of those are nice. I personally never trust anything or anyone I meet in the astral because you have NOOO idea what you are really dealing with. It’s like the Internet; you can become anyone else and nobody is the wiser. “Summoning” something or someone you met there is asking for trouble in my opinion. I’m not really willing to give you the tools to get yourself hurt.

-Renee (gallowsong)

Anonymous asked: Hello to you wonderful people. You all are so kind for taking all the questions you do and I wanted to personally thank you for your efforts. The question I have has likely been asked before, and so perhaps a link to a previous answer would work. I have one parent I have never lived with and see rarely. They do me no physcial harm, but emotionally reek havock on my heart. Is there a protective spell I can cast on myself that would a) do no harm, and b) not banish or break the relation of family?

Hi anon,

Short answer… No. If this is someone you still have to see now and then and you have a lot of emotional baggage attached to them or they are hurtful when you do see them, there’s really nothing you can do magically. What you need to do is come to terms with why they wreak such havoc on your emotions. Face the issues and work through them. Easier said than done, I know, but if their mere presence is what hurts you and they aren’t actually being hurtful in their behavior, the problem is coming from within. Magically the answers fall to binding or banishing or self healing. Mundanely, the answer falls to you to stop giving them so much power over your emotions. Also, if they really are such a negative influence in your life, maybe it is time to wash your hands of them. You can’t choose your family, but you can choose who you keep in your life. I had a beloved aunt who literally started to act like I wasn’t in the room once I “came out of the broom closet” and completely ignored me for the rest of her life. Being around her was hurtful for awhile but I had to realize that she had made a choice and now it was my turn to do the same. I have also cut my grandmother out of my life after years of tolerating passive aggressive cruelty from her. You don’t have to keep toxic influences in your life just because they are blood relations. Sometimes you can repair the relationship, and sometimes you have to mourn them like a death and move on without them. It’s up to you to take ownership of your feelings.

-Renee (gallowsong)

Anonymous asked: I'm trying to learn more about runes and was wondering if you could point me towards some good ones for protection? In general or otherwise Your help is appreciated, love your blog btw

Hi Anon,

Are you talking about “witch runes” or Norse runes? Perhaps one of the other moderators can instruct you further when it comes to witch runes (I’m not sure how commonly these are used anymore and a google search turns up some cursory information at best). I personally find it disrespectful for those who are not religiously inclined in the Norse path to use Norse runes in their work. I know I am not the only rune reader who feels this way (despite the fact that I call Odin my patron and very few others do). It is just really not okay to cherry pick Norse runes and use them in your magic for funsies. That said, we have several great sources on our sister blog Children of Yggdrasil and here is the link to the list of books; if you scroll down there is a section on runes, galdr and seidr.

-Renee (gallowsong)

thebluechicory:

Natural History
A golden type of quartz found in Brazil, Russia, Madagascar, Britain and France.
Watch out for heat treated amethyst or smoky quartz posing as citrine.
History and Folklore
Said to hold pure sunlight and never absorb any negativity.
Associations
Angel: Raphael; Gods/Goddesses: Mercury; Chakra: solar-plexus; Element:air; Astrological Sign: Gemini; Planet: Mercury; Sabbat: Lughnassadh orLammas.
Traditions
Will raise vibrational level in a room and will dispel ghosts and negative energies. Transmutes negative energy into positive. Can help to cleanse other crystals.
Healing and Magickal Uses
Body: Reduces toxicity. Relieves back pain and allergies.
Mind: Relieves depression and anxiety.
Magick: Good for prosperity magick. Protects against negative people. Aids intuition.
Care and Cleansing
Sunlight will fade it. However, recharge on Litha by leaving your citrine in a place where it can greet the dawn. Otherwise, leave under a holly or ivy plant in the shade.
Photo by: bekkathyst

Anonymous asked: Hello! Do you know of any spells or other any other magic that would be good for a beginner? Thanks

Hello, anon!

Generally speaking, any spell you come across that is simple in its instructions and accomplishes a simple task is good for beginners. It’s important for newcomers to the craft to take their time and ease themselves into the bigger stuff, as I’m sure you are aware. Personally, I believe that simple blessings, healing spells, spells to find lost objects, protection spells, etc. are good areas of magic for beginners to start.

It’s hard for me to know exactly what kind of spells to suggest to you when I’m not really sure what kind of spell you are looking for, though! If you have something specific in mind, write back and I can point you in the right direction.

- Sara

pinkwereleopardfrommars asked: Hi! I was just wondering if there are any Muslim or Caucasian (i.e. Armenian/Georgian/Kurdish/etc) witches bloggers I could follow? Or Caucasian pagans even! I'd love to delve deeper into my own heritage but it seems there's not a lot of us out there! Best wishes =)

Hello there! Thanks for writing in. This is actually a great ask to come across, because my own personal practice of witchcraft has some roots in Islam :) Though my heritage is Eastern European/Balkan, not Caucasian. Even so, if you would ever like to get in touch, I’m available to chat, so just let me know.

However, I’m sorry to say that I don’t know of any other blogs like that off the top of my head. That said, if any of our followers know of any bloggers like this, or are Muslim witches themselves, please let us know!

Thanks again for your question.

- Sara

Herb of the Week: Hawthorn

herbalriot:

image

Common names

English Hawthorn
Haw
Hawthorn
May
May Blossom
Maybush
May Tree
Quick-set
Shan-cha
Whitethorn

The herb called the hawthorn is one of the best herbal remedy to boost the performance of the heart and the human circulatory system in general. A potent vasodilatory action can be induced in the human body by the flowers, leaves and the berries of the hawthorn. When these parts of the herb are consumed, they open up the arteries to promote circulation and improve the blood supply to all the general tissues in the body. Regular supplementation with this herb can thus help bring some balance blood pressure and it is considered to be an excellent remedy for the treatment of high blood pressure - especially when the condition is connected to hardening in the arteries of the person. Problems such as those connected to poor circulation caused by aging arteries, problems of poor circulation towards the lower body and legs as well as problems like poor memory and confusion induced by a poor blood circulation to the brain can all be remedied by supplementation with the hawthorn herb. The herb also has an effective and remedial effect in angina cases, the hawthorn based remedies can help open the coronary arteries in the heart and by so doing aid in the improvement of blood flow to the heart, and this herb also softens deposits in the arterial system. The vagus nerve which influences the cardiac muscles is also beneficially affected by the hawthorn herbal remedies, the consumption of this herb can thus slow down irregularities in the heart and reduce a rapid or fast heart rate in a patient. It can be said that herbal remedies made from the hawthorn are ideal for most heart conditions affecting people.

Read More

Anonymous asked: Hey! Ok so I am new to all of this. So please excuse me if I sound nooby. If i was going to do like a ritual or something, can I use any candle that is laying around the house (ex. scented candles or candles in a glass case) and still get a normal result or does it have to be a specific candle?

Hello!

You certainly could use any candle, if you felt that it corresponded well with the intentions of your spell. Specific candles that are in different colors, sizes, scents, etc. are mostly useful if you are looking for a very specific result, but many spells often allow for a simple white candle to be used in place of any candle you might need. If you are interested in using a candle for a spell, I do recommend looking up the properties of the candle (such as the one I mentioned before) to see if it would be appropriate to use in your spell.

Hope this helps!

- Sara

Anonymous asked: Ive read online that using matches in rituals using candles are bad because the phosphorous or sulphur will attract demons/ negative forces if used to light the candle. I have no lighters at home and want to do an uncrossing or healing ritual (my first time doing a ritual but it wont be proper because I dont have everything for the ritual) and I dont want to do any evil magic, please help clear this up :)

Hi anon,

I’ve never heard that. I always use matches. Have used them for ages. No demons or astral nasties so far! I think if you were INTENDING to summon something like that then sulfur would probably help but magic is all about the intention.

-Renee (gallowsong)