By Jonathan Oldenbuck (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Witchery: When Life Settles Down, the Time is Right. A Psychomanteum, at Last!

For close onto three decades, ever since reading a book back in the mid-eighties about the works of John Dee, I have wanted to have a dedicated psychomanteum in my home. While I was a single woman and living on my own in apartments, it was not feasible to set aside an entire room dedicated to the purpose of connecting with spirits. When Azrael and I first married we discussed it often, but with the arrival of our first son, barely four months into the marriage, we had more important things to concern ourselves with at the time.

A few months passed and with running the little occult store, coping with Azrael’s work-related injury, the shocking need for our beloved first son’s open Az and his favorite menheart surgery at four and a half months of age, a working psychomanteum completely lost its importance in our minds. Roo’s surgery went amazingly well, thanks to the superlative efforts of one Dr. Lawrence Fox, pediatric cardiologist. A week of recovery in hospital to return home, then we continued on with our lives. The addition to our family of several beloved and “adopted” kids from the shop dropping by daily or nightly, the resultant religious study classes, coven circles, handfastings, pagan celebrations, and more, then the surprise expectation of our beloved twins, life moved even faster. Add in their birth, Az’s return to better health, his new job after teaching himself computers and networking, my teaching myself web design in my spare time while taking care of the (now, three) toddlers and homeschooling them. All thoughts of building a psychomanteum flew out the window, no room, no time, and no energy left for such a pursuit.

Two years and a few months beyond the day when our beloved twins, Coo and Doo, were added to our beloved Roo, we got into our first actual house; only two bedrooms, but half the garage was built into a mostly hidden room, so we finally we had a dedicated magick room. We used it for many spells and much research for two months and nine days before I suddenly lost all focus when we lost our beloved Azrael. Couldn’t stay there, in the place where he had so briefly lived, so I moved house again.

This time I got a mortgage on a tiny two story; with three small bedrooms up, one large dining/living room and a tiny kitchen down. No room for magick but an enormous backyard for four of those huge climbing toys, backyarda 20′ circular trampoline, a large, but shallow, above ground pool, dog run for our Irish and a one and a half story shed to store bins of toys and such in; perfect for three little boys who needed lots of distractions and room to run after losing their best friend/favorite playmate and also having to start attending Kindercare while mommy went off to work and left them all day long for the first time in their little lives. Since I started with a web design company three weeks to the day after Az passed, there was no time to think about magick, much less a psychomanteum.

As time passed, I changed jobs two years in and when to work with Az’s old company. I got to meet so many people he loved, told stories about and who loved tee2him, too, from the stories they told me of him. Six years in and that house was paid off eight and a half years after losing him and working myself literally sick and into the hospital several times over the last year and a half there. Boys were teen and preteens by now, so time to make a change, again.

Suddenly, laid off work at the same time I found out my dad had terminal cancer; I spent the next two years getting my medical transcription license, running dad around to doctors, nursing homes, boys to school in another city, then dad to hospice, fixing up and selling the tiny house for a great profit while house shopping, finding this amazing place, paying cash, and finally moving dad into this new large 17834_1264032635291_6259814_nhouse with us and setting him up into the master suite until we lost him seven months later. Moved in a very false friend, several family members and an acquaintance, over the next few years after losing dad; if someone needed help, we helped. That is just how it was. Now, it is just the boys and I, things have settled, we have declared no more giving a room to anyone and everyone in need after the last few experiences we have had with family members and the kid from the boys’ school who was allegedly kicked out of his parent’s home. We found the truth about his situation and the causes for his troubles, including the unmentioned arrests, unfortunately, after the fact. So, no more charity in the Clan household, we are “done”.

In being “done”, we have started reassessing the layout of the current house. Things are moving around, being organized, items stored in the attic, and finally, I will have both of the enormous walk-in closets in my room, for my own use. Anyone who knows me, personally, knows I have enough clothes to maybe half fill a normal sized closet, at the very most. I am the opposite of a clothes horse, and do not like to shop at all, never have… unless we are talking books and occult items… then I plead the 5th amendment, immediately! Why else pick a house with not only the boys’ big stone game room, and lots of storage space, but my front library, as well.

So, in the next few days of cleaning and reorganizing, I am hoping to begin the cleaning and construction phase for the long awaited psychomanteum. living roomI am brimming with ideas and almost vibrating with excitement! I expect to have it done before Yule, and will (with any luck) be able to have it in use in time to speak with Azrael on the 17th anniversary of his leaving. The set up of the room will not take long, but I already know and am prepared for it to take a while to acclimate to the use of the room. I have all, or almost all, that I need to build out the room for the intended use, there is plenty of room for the chair, table, mirror, and necessary accoutrement to achieve the purpose, the only hold back at this point is time. With holidays approaching, time could be an issue, but I am hoping to report, very soon, that the psychomanteum is up and running.

witch's cauldron, caudron, witches, witchcraft, spell work, spells

Witchery: Choosing and Caring for Your Cauldron

When you buy your first cauldron, it is exciting. There are many styles and sizes to choose from and all of them helpful and oh so versatile. Cast iron is not exactly inexpensive, however, so for those on a budget you can usually find them in garage and yard sales, at flea markets, even at thrift stores. For those not on a budget, there are so many selections online to choose from that you get dizzy.

Whether it is new or used, you will need to strip anyway any magickal residue, negativity or left over psychic energy from those who have handled it in the past. Cast iron picks up psychic residue, from the creation of the cauldron, to it shipping and handling, people who may handle it before you in the store, or own it prior to you when purchased used.

There are several ways to cleanse a cauldron, however, I prefer to bury it in soil for a few hours, dig it back up and let it sit in the rain, or soak it in collected rainwater for a few hours, then rub it down with sea salt and olive oil. Coating both the inside and outside of the cauldron is crucial. Wipe the excess salt and oil off the outside of the cauldron and add any extra oil and salt residue to the inside of the pot. Turn your oven to 450 degrees and let it sit upright in the oven for about 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, turn the oven off, remove it, and allow the pan to cool in the air naturally and thoroughly. Once cooled remove the salt inside very carefully. Store this in an airtight glass jar or bottle as it is now the beginnings of “black salt” and once finished completely, you will have it available for use in spells calling for it. After wiping the cauldron down again with the oil, this time wicking away every drop of oil and salt that you can with a paper towel, turn it upside down and put it back in the oven for another 90 minutes on 450 degrees. When the timer sounds, turn the heat off and let it cool inside the oven naturally. After this, your cauldron is thoroughly cleansed, seasoned, and ready for work as well.

New cauldrons may take another round or two with the salt, oil, and oven. Never fear, if this is necessary, it just means you get a larger supply to create “black salt”, for your troubles.

I would suggest re-seasoning the cauldron at least once per season to keep it in good condition. If you use it for cooking, be careful not to cook foods high in acids as this damages the seasoning. Try to avoid washing the cauldron in soapy water as this removes the oil seasoning. If you cook foods high in fats, the food will not stick, so all you have to do is wipe it clean with a paper towel and heat it thoroughly to kill any remaining germs. If it gets messy from clingy foods and needs a good washing, or if you use it to cook philters, brews or teas frequently during the year, you need to re-season it more often to keep the cauldron in the best condition.

A witch’s cauldron can be a highly valued tool for many uses, as long as proper care it taken in its upkeep.

Starbo’s Mirroring

Starbo was relatively new to the magickal life, he had been a seeker for the time that I had known him, but was not very experienced at mirroring as of this writing. He had only one incarnation that he had been able to see.

Starbo’s only vision was of a man with a long red beard and hair to match. The man was clothed in the style of ancient England. He was wearing a dark blue over cloak. The details of the clothes under it were not visible to Starbo, but the impression he received from the man’s carriage and demeanor seemed to imply that he was either a warrior or a bard,  he was getting vibes that the person was very confident.

Since those two professions were far removed from one another naturally, I assumed that the era is very important. There have not been many times throughout the history of this earth when the storytellers and the fighters have been able to tread the earth with the same amount of confidence between them. About the only era I can imagine it to have been would be during the days of feudal lords in England’s history. Anyone have other ideas?