Blessed Imbolc!

February 1st, 2013




Imbolc, also known as Imbolg, Candlemas, and Brighid’s Day, marks the middle of winter. Much like the Winter Solstice begins the transition from dark to light, so Imbolc begins the transition from Winter to Spring. Imbolc is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, and is now celebrated as one of the greater Wiccan sabbats, and by other modern pagan traditions.

Imbolc is a festival of spiritual purification, renewal and dedication, having the primary purpose of celebrating Spring’s impending replacement of winter. At New Year’s Eve, we often see the image of old bearded Father Time replaced with a young baby.  Father Time represents the old, outgoing year, and the baby celebrates the year just born.  At Imbolc, we have similar imagery; an old crone represents the outgoing year, and turns over the wheel of the year to a young maiden. Much like the barren crone, the frozen earth is incapable of growing things.  Symbolized by the young maiden, this barrenness is replaced by the warm return of Spring, making the earth once again fertile.Activities on Imbolc involve purification and re-dedication. Imbolc is the perfect time to do a physical and spiritual cleansing or your altar or other sacred space, self, and home. Visualize letting go of anything negative in your life. Smudge your home and yourself, and re-dedicate yourself to the spiritual path you walk.

Thoroughly clean your altar or ritual area. Do a self purification rite using the elements. Cleanse your body with salt (Earth), your thoughts with incense (Air), your will with a candle flame (Fire), your emotions with water (Water), and your spiritual body with a healing crystal (Spirit). Bless candles that you will be using for rituals throughout the year. If you are a gardener, bless the seeds you will soon plant for your spring crops or garden. Invoke the Celtic goddess-turned-saint, Brigid, for creative inspiration. Take a Nature walk and look for the first signs of Spring. Reflect upon and reaffirm spiritual vows and personal commitments you have made.

Feasting (and feasting fully!) is a common activity for Imbolc.  The feast begins with a short prayer, or toast like this one from

Blessed be the earth, and all who dwell upon it.

We give thanks for the season now departing from us,

For the blessings it has bestowed upon us,

And upon those with whom we share this world.

Blessed be the new season.

We pray that it will be a time filled with peace,

With abundance, with prosperity,

With wisdom,

With love.

Blessed be all who share this feast.

Let us now prepare for the time ahead

By opening our hearts, and our minds, and our spirits.

Blessed be.

Set your Imbolc table with white candles. Use herbs such as angelica, basil, and blackberry, (all associated with Imbolc). White and yellow flowers can be mixed with these and placed in small bowls for decorating your table or altar. Since the original Celtic festival was connected with the timing of the ewe’s milk, some sort of dairy food, such as a cheese platter, should be included. Other foods appropriate for Imbolc are fresh, leafy greens, baked goods such as muffins, scones, and bread, and spiced wine or ale. Burn myrrh or vanilla incense, both associated with Imbolc celebrations.


Have a marvelous, magical, and prosperous week!






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A Cold Moon Spell

January 25th, 2013



The Cold Moon


In addition to the eight Sabbats observed every year, most modern Wiccans and Pagans celebrate a regular Esbat, in which magic is performed and the gods and goddesses of their respective tradition are honored. The Esbat is generally observed at the monthly Full Moon.

The full moon has long had an aura of mystery and magic about it. It is tied to the ebbs and flows of the tide, as well as the cycle of womens’ bodies….the Maiden, Mother and Crone. Full moon mysteries cross every culture and continent, and celebrations and ritual involving the full moon go back beyond recorded time.

In many cultures, the full moons each month are named, and the names often correspond to important events. In the United States, Full Moon names date back to Native American tribes of the North and Eastern regions. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon, and the names were applied to the entire month in which that full moon occurred.

The January Full Moon is called the Cold Moon, the Wolf Moon, the Winter Moon, and the Moon of the Terrible. Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages, giving rise to the name for January’s full Moon.  It is also sometimes referred to in Celtic tradition as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. All of these names refer to the cold and lean season of midwinter. The fields are fallow, the trees are bare, and the warmth of spring seems far away. It is a time to rest, reflect, and plan.

This month the Full Moon occurs in Leo, and takes place Saturday, January 26th at 11:58 pm (EST). Leo governs love and romance, creativity, self-expression, selling a home, and personal pride and accomplishment. Do spellwork at this full moon to find a new lover, to sell your home at a good profit, or to manifest creativity, especially if you are a potter, painter or craftsperson. The full moon is also always an appropriate time of the month for purging and releasing or removing  the things hampering us from moving forward in the manner we desire.  The light the full moon offers illuminates those things that are interfering with our spiritual development. Once we have become aware of the things that are blocking us, the easier it is to let go of them. 

During January, many of us find that we are plagued by an excess of irritation.  We may notice an increase of sniping and arguing over inconsequential things, and feel overly frustrated. The rich food and drink of the holiday season might have increased our waistline a bit, and our wallets are attempting recovery from the excessive spending of the holiday season. In many areas, it is miserably cold outside, and we feel cooped up and tired of the endless  grey skies of winter.  Much like nature around us, we feel static and barren, and are anxiously awaiting the increased activity and fertile new life of spring, which feels so far away.

The Leo Full Moon is a perfect time for a releasing spell to combat the irritation brought on by the cold weather and close quarters of winter.

What you will need:

On the white candle, carve the names of all the people in your home, along with your address, and draw a circle around all of the words.  Hold the candle in your hand an visualize the family bonding and uniting, and being at peace in your environment.

On the yellow candle, draw a sun, the Wunjo rune, and your name. Hold the candle in your hand and visualize the summer sun that will come. This candle will bring some of that future warmth to the dreary days of winter.

On the green candle draw seven dollar signs and the Fehu rune. Hold the candle in your hand and visualize yourself prosperous and comfortable, and open to new avenues and ways of manifesting wealth and prosperity.

Call your corners or prepare for your spell as your tradition or practice requires. Light the incense. Light the white candle and say these words:

With fire and smoke I cast this spell,

To again make all I know be well.

Strife and pain and misery,

Get you far away from me!

Argue, snipe and gripe no more,

Let our wounded hearts restore.

Peace and love this house will know,

For everyone the joy will grow!

I more than ever now can use

New ideas and avenues,

To bring money that will plenty flow

And make my wallet greatly grow!

Remove the blocks that are in my way!

Give to me more strength this day

To gather power from the veil

And manifest it with this spell.

I set this spell, three times three

As I will, so mote it be!

Light the yellow candle and repeat the words above. Follow with the green candle and repeat the spell for the third time.

Clap your hands to release the cords of energy between you and the candles. After the candles have burned down completely, take the leftover wax and wicks of the white and yellow candles and place them in the white bag with the pine or cedar, copal, citrine, and the picture of your family.  If you have a hearth or mantel in the family room or den, place the bag on it. If not, put it wherever your family spends the most time together (game room, kitchen, den).  Take the leftover wax and wick from the green candle and put it beside the front door of your home.


Have a marvelous, magical, and prosperous week!



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Removing Roadblocks

January 11, 2013



Revealing and Removing Roadblocks 

Happy New Year, everyone! 

We all survived the Mayan ‘apocalypse’, and have watched the calendar turn from 2012 to 2013. A new year always seems to bring such wide open potential….it is a fresh start, a new chance, a do-over. It is the time to say, “my resolution this year is to ______” and really mean it.  The New Year’s Wishing Spell from the newsletter on December 28th helped you to set down those goals and prioritize them, then send them out in the ether to manifest.

Of course, we all know that making those New Year’s resolutions is the easy part. It is usually the follow  through to manifesting those goals that gets a little tricky. Failed resolutions can happen for a number of reasons…..lack of willpower or discipline, lack of knowledge of how to reach your goal, or other ‘roadblocks’ – mental, emotional or physical impediments to reaching your goal.

So, if your ideas for the New Year don’t seem to be going in the direction you had hoped very quickly or easily, do you just give up? Absolutely not! Just because a roadblock is your path doesn’t mean that it needs to stay there. 

The first thing you must do is figure out what exactly your roadblocks are. Sometimes this can be really difficult, as it means admitting some things about yourself that you don’t like, or don’t really want to think about. But remember, the whole point of this ritual and the associated spellwork is to break down barriers, and you need to start from the inside and work out. No matter how many outside impediments you have to your goals, your single worst enemy can often be yourself. Do you lack the confidence to ask others to help you reach your goals, or are you too arrogant to listen to the people who do want to help? Are you a procrastinator who puts off important deadlines? Do you work poorly with others? Are you afraid to stand up for yourself, or are you the type that tromps all over other people without a care? Identifying the less than stellar qualities about ourselves is the biggest step in breaking down barriers to manifesting our goals through both magickal and mundane means.

The following ritual is quite lengthy, and can be exhausting. It should be performed at the New Moon.

Use this spell to reflect inwards, and find the blocks that are keeping you from happiness, harmony, or success with what you desire. This spell requires a very quiet environment, with nothing to distract you, such as a phone, radio, tv, or children. It also helps if the room is fairly dark. You need to be able to see well enough to write, but the bright lights of open windows or light fixtures can be distracting. A small lamp in one corner of the room is just about right. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time, so that you don’t feel rushed to finish. It can be performed on the new moon, or up to 72 hours after, while the new moon energy is still in force. You must be ready to face things you might not want to when you perform this, so make sure you are open to learning things about yourself that you might not like, or things you might already know but have been unwilling to accept.

What you will need:

•    Sage or smudge stick

•    Black mirror – if you do not have a black mirror, a black iron cauldron or black bowl filled with water will work just as well.

•    A picture or amulet of  Ganesha, the Hindu deity known as the Remover of Obstacles and Lord of Beginnings. A picture printed off your computer will be fine.

•    One white candle, on dark blue candle and one black candle with holders (6″ or taller or small pillars work best for this)

•    White paper and a pen – in this instance, do not use recycled paper, as you do not want whatever the previous paper was used for to come through in your spell

•    Candle scribe or toothpick

•    An oil to open the third eye chakra, such as Pisces, Frankincense, Jasmine or Sandalwood

•    Incense used for divination, such as Divination, Lemongrass, or Apollo. To make Apollo incense, mix together 4 parts Frankincense, 2 parts Myrrh, 2 parts Cinnamon, and 1 part Bay. Grind in a mortar and pestle and sprinkle over hot charcoal just before you begin your ritual.


Using the sage, smudge yourself, your supplies and the area you will be working in well. You want to remove any residual energy, negative or positive. Like the New Moon, you want the area you are in to be a blank slate, with as little to influence you as possible. Place the mirror or bowl of water in the center of your altar or workspace. This spell is best done sitting down, so if your altar is tall (like mine), you may want to move your altar cloth and supplies to a table or the floor.

Place the black candle to the top left of the mirror or bowl, Ganesha in the center top, and the white candle to the top right. Using your scribe or toothpick, on the black candle, starting at the top, draw a picture of an eye and the Dagaz rune, below that your name, and at the bottom the words, “I accept what I see”. On the white candle, starting at the top, draw a picture of the Sun, the Jera rune, your name and the words “New Beginning”. Place your incense and burner above Ganesha.

Call your corners, cast your circle, or any other opening to your ritual that your tradition requires.  Anoint your crown, third eye and heart chakras with the oil, as well as your inner wrists. Seat yourself before the bowl, and light your black candle. Repeat these words three times:

I call upon the blessed air,

Blow deep within and lay me bare.

Show me what I need to see,

Give me strength and clarity.

Let me face what I am shown,

And have no fear of the unknown.

I set this spell three times three,

As I will, so shall it be.

Gaze into the black mirror or bowl, clearing your mind and focusing on allowing yourself to see what it is that is blocking you from peace, harmony, success, or the things you desire. This experience is different for every person – it is the facing of the black mirror I have mentioned before. You must be ready to explore truths about yourself, your relationships, or situations your are in that you don’t like or find very hard to admit. Finding these truths is crucial to breaking the barriers that are keeping your from what you want. As they come to you, write them down on the paper. Makes notes about what you are seeing and feeling, and any images you see in the mirror.

The length of time this process takes varies. When you feel it is time to stop, then do so. You may feel tired, angry, or depressed. Don’t be. Breaking down these barriers is a crucial part of manifesting what you truly desire. 

Using your candle scribe or toothpick, carve your name into the dark blue candle. Anoint it with the same oil you used to open your Third Eye. Place the notes you took during your black mirror meditation underneath the holder.

Light the blue candle, then the white candle and say these words three times:

Ganesha, this I ask of you,

Let me now begin anew.

Untie the ropes that hold me back,

Shown here now in mirror black.

With wisdom of the aging crone,

I face now the great unknown.

I set this spell three times three,

As I will, so mote it be.

When the candles have burned down completely, take the leftover wax and wick of the blue candle and the picture or amulet of Ganesha and place them in a small charm bag in your car. Take the wax and wick leftover from the black candle and bury it in the ground. Take the leftover wax and wick from the white candle and place it near the front entrance of your home, such as under the welcome mat or in a flower pot. 

Have a marvelous, magical, and blessed week! 


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New Year’s Wishing Spell

December 28, 2012



Welcome, 2013!

The New Year is always a time of reflection….a time to think about what we want to improve about ourselves and our life going forward. It is a time to ‘clean the slate’….a time to break bad habits, rethink goals, and renew faith. Even those who don’t practice magic look at the turning of one year to the next as a special, mysterious time. It is almost as if anything is possible!

This New Year’s Eve the moon will be void-of-course from 4:52pm EST until 12:35pm EST on New Year’s Day, when it enters the sign of Virgo. This is a wonderfully auspicious position for the moon to be in for working the following New Year’s spell. Virgo rules health, wellness and diet, making tools and crafts, organizing, intelligence, analytics, ecology, cleansing, purification and business and trades. If you want to focus on eating healthy, quitting smoking, or developing an exercise program, Virgo Moon will add power to your intentions. If you plan on starting a business, getting organized, or cleansing and purifying your environment, then Virgo moon will aid you in your planning.

Prior to working the spell, find some quiet time to sit and reflect on what will be most important to you in the coming twelve months. Turn off the television and your phone. Light some incense or an oil diffuser with a calming scent for meditation such as lavender, sandalwood or frankincense. If you are adept at some sort of divination, such as Tarot or pendulum work, use that to help you determine your potential path. When deciding what you want to accomplish in 2013, don’t spread yourself too thin…..if you want to do lots of things, like lose weight, quit smoking, start a business, organize your attic and learn to sew, then you need to decide what is most important. Spreading your focus over too many projects simply reduces your effectiveness at all of them. Decide on the one or two most important, and make those the focus of your spell. If you manifest them quickly and easily after the new year, then do a follow up spell to manifest the next one on your list when those goals are complete.

The following ritual was inspired by a Birthday Wish spell sent to me a couple of years ago by my  friend Rosemary, who is a spiritual counselor and teacher in Florida. The chant is my own – feel free to share this working with anyone who might benefit from or enjoy it.


You will need:

     one white candle

     a cauldron or censer

     a clean piece of unrecycled paper or parchment (use non-recycled so that nothing previously written on it affects your  spell)

     an envelope


On a clean piece of paper or parchment, write your resolutions or goals for the New Year. Ask for those things that you desire the most, and have a good possibility of obtaining. Things such as increased money or a new car are reasonable, but if you need to quit smoking, get healthy, or take better care with your finances, those things should come first. Asking to become a billionaire overnight and other far flung goals are fun, but are rarely realistic. This spell is meant to manifest the things you truly have a possibility of obtaining. 

Prepare your space and cast your circle as you normally would according to your tradition. Prepare your candle by carving your name on it, and anointing it with any oils or herbs that correspond to your desires. This spell is designed to be done at sundown on New Year’s Eve while the sun is going down and the moon is rising, but due to the void-of-course mentioned above, it can be done at sunset on New Year’s Day when both can still be seen.

Speak the following: 

          I ask in the name of (whichever deity that you invoke) that, I (your name) be granted: Turn to the North and read your wish list. After reading the list, speak the following words:

While Father and Mother are in the sky,

I ask, o wise ones, hear my cry!

These wishes that I give to flame,

Manifest to me by name.

Give to me this blessed power,

To succeed by day, and by hour.

I set this spell, three times three

As I will, so mote it be. 

Light the list from your altar candle and drop it into your cauldron or censer.  

Place the ashes in an envelope, and keep them in a safe place. On New Years’ Eve of the following year, bury those ashes, and repeat the spell as above. This way, the goals will continue to grow year after year, and manifest themselves fully.

Thank you all so very much for your patronage and friendship over the last year. Have a marvelous, prosperous, and magical 2013!




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Holiday Harmony Magic

December 8, 2012



Holiday Harmony Magic

While the ‘holiday season’ is supposed to be a time of fun and good cheer, in truth, for most of us, it is also challenging and exhausting. For anyone who works in retail, e-commerce, or serving trades, the amount of what we call “Problems and PITAs” increases exponentially.  A day at work can feel more like a battlefield than a job. Even if one isn’t in a customer service work environment, the shopping, the planning, and the social activities can become overly stressful. Often, we have to mix and mingle with people we don’t particularly care for, or deal with family members who are completely toxic, all the while pretending that we are having loads of good fun. While we can’t always avoid the hectic pace or awful people, we can create an environment through magical means that help to defray or deflect some of the disharmony and frustration that the holiday season can cause.  

With spellwork involving harmony, we reach a point where magic tangles with the mundane. One can spend inordinate amounts of magical energy clearing a space, providing protection, and  creating peace and harmony, only to ruin it with their own behavior, or allowing the behavior of a spouse, child or roommate to destroy it.  Constantly dealing with a toxic person or ‘drama queen’, or being one yourself, completely negates any work toward having a peaceful environment to live in. If you are in that sort of situation, then it is important to deal with the underlying mundane issues before attempting something magical. Severe marital or relationship problems, mental or physical health concerns, badly behaved children, physical or emotional abuse, addiction, filth or clutter, and personal irresponsibility…..all of these can create an environment, that, no matter how much harmony spellwork you do, will never be peaceful. Magic can certainly be used to assist the process, but the proper physical processes must be completed as well.


To determine what spellwork or other preparation will help to defray the most stress, take some time to sit and write down in a notebook or journal what has occurred during previous holiday seasons, and at social events or family parties that made things difficult. Think about any changes that occurred this year (marriage, divorce, illness, new babies or step-children, loss of a family member) that might change the dynamics of the people involved in your event or family gathering. What will make those involved feel most comfortable? What will send a clear yet kind message that everyone needs to behave appropriately? What are your own personal hot buttons that need to be addressed to keep you from losing your temper or feeling frustrated? Once you determine those things, you can decide which of the following stress busters will help you most.

Smudging your home regularly during the holidays keeps it from having any sort of buildup of negative energy. Burning sweetgrass afterwards invites in peaceful and harmonious energy. If you can’t smudge, such as prior to an event or family gathering where you don’t want the heavy smoke smell, use Sage Mist like a potpourri spray to clear the negativity. To make your own sage mist, mix together 4 ounces of distilled water with 20 drops of sage essential oil in a clean spray bottle and shake well. Alternately, mix 10 drops sage essential oil and 10 drops cedar essential oil (for clearing and purification), or 10 drops sage essential oil and 10 drops lavender essential oil (for clearing and relaxation) with the water.

After you have cleared the negative energy, then set about attracting peace and harmony as barriers to the stress and frustration. There are many different ways to attract peace and harmony to your home and self.  Oils such as vanilla, violet, Peaceful Home, Peace, or lavender can be used to promote peace and harmony.  Anoint or dress Harmony candles during spellwork, add a few drops to incense, charm bags or sachets, add a capful to bathwater, or use as a perfume oil. To make your own oil to promote peace and harmony, mix essential oils of Coriander, Chamomile, and Spearmint with a carrier oil such as sweet almond, grapeseed, or olive oil. Add it to  laundry or cleaning waters (mop or scrub water), burn in an oil warmer or diffuser, and anoint walls, doors, door jambs, windows and thresholds. This is particularly effective when one is cleaning and decorating prior to a party or event, and again when cleaning up afterwards.

Incense is also an easy way to promote a harmonious  environment. There are as many peace-promoting incense as there are oils, and they come in a multitude of forms, including sticks, cones, and powders.  Lavender, violet, sandalwood, Tranquility, Nag Champa, and Harmony are all excellent choices.

The ancient art of Feng Shui, which I use extensively in my own magical practice, is dedicated to helping us bring harmony and balance to our physical lives and relationships. The concept of Qi (universal energy, life force, the energy of all things) is the basis of the practice of Feng Shui. Qi is the balance between positive and negative energy, or Yin (female or yielding energy) and Yang (male or forceful energy).  In Feng Shui, techniques and objects, called ‘cures’ are used to bring the yielding and forceful energies of a space into balance, by locating the existing Qi, and moving it to where we need it to be. In this way, it is no different than spellcasting….we are calling on universal energy to help fulfill a desire.  There is far more information on using Feng Shui for harmony than can be discussed in this newsletter -  if you are interested in learning more about Feng Shui, I highly recommend the following books; Feng Shui Form by my friend and mentor Donna Stellhorn, House Magic: The Good Witch’s Guide to Bringing Grace to Your Space by Ariana, and Wicca for Life by Raymond Buckland, which has a number of pages dedicated to incorporating Feng Shui into Wiccan practice.

Some basic Feng Shui cures for harmony that are easy to implement:

To help bond a family: Place an odd number of pillar candles infused or anointed with violet, vanilla, or lavender oil on a tray in the room where you would like the family to gather. Light them for an hour or two a day, when the family is home. You may begin the process by sitting there alone with a book or some hobby project, but soon the entire family will gravitate to that spot. To add a little candle magic to the candles, carve words such as family, peace, or harmony into the back or bottom of the candles. If your family tends to irritate or argue with each other during family events, this is particularly effective in reducing those problems and promoting more relaxed and enjoyable family gatherings.

To call positive qi: Single bells and wind chimes are used in Feng Shui to attract positive, harmonic energy. Hang a bell in the window facing the street, or hang chimes on the area of the house facing the street to call in positive qui.  If the bell is in the window, dust it often and ring it several times a week. For wind chimes, if you see that the positive energy seems to be waning, wash off the wind chime and move it to different spot on the porch or area facing the street.  Chimes and bells shaped like or decorated with flowers bring qi related to joy and companionship. Silver tones chimes bring in qi for better communication and stable income. Silver chimes are the perfect cure for a family that tends to argue a lot.

To bring stability to family relationships: Place photos of the family in the den or family room. Surround them with pretty pieces of raw or carved petrified wood. Petrified wood is used in Feng Shui to bring stability and balance. To add some herb magic to this display, place dried motherwort in a clear glass jar. Motherwort is traditionally used in talismans and amulets, burned with incense and used in ritual for magic involving  home and family.  Place photographs of the family and the petrified wood around the jar. A ‘happy home’ charm bag can be worked into the display as well, or placed in others areas to stimulate a positive environment.

For the charm bag you will need:

•    One Sweet Bay (also know as Laurel or Bay Tree) leaf and one garlic clove for each member of the family

•    Small charm bag

•    Salt

•    Five Finger Grass (also known as Cinquefoil)

•    one Iron Nail

•    Van Van or Protection Oil

Place one Laurel leaf and one Garlic Clove for each member of the family in the charm bag. For example: Four family members equals four Laurel leaves and four Garlic cloves. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of Cinquefoil, and the iron nail. Anoint the bag with the oil and hang discreetly in the home. Anoint with fresh oil once a week.

While you might not be able to keep Uncle Rodney from telling inappropriate jokes, or keep your mother-in-law from criticizing your cooking, you can mentally and emotionally prepare yourself to deal with or deflect the tension things like that cause. Being proactive through magic and mental preparation keeps us from being reactive and unprepared to handle problems appropriately when they arise. 

Have a marvelous, magical, and prosperous week!  


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