Witchery: Different Ways for Demarking a Sacred Space

Casting a circle to demark a sacred space is all about the environment, time, people involved, and magickal workings afoot, in my opinion. Some witches will tell you it has to be marked in a certain material or the circle will fail. Feel free to look these people in the eye and call bullshit!

During our time, we have used, salt, holy water, incense, personal power, group power, the coven sword, athame, cord, flowers, hubby’s lasso (don’t ask, please!) chalk, chants, singing, bells and drums, essential oils, stones, tiki torches and so much more. You mention it and we have more than likely tried it or will try it in the future.

Each medium we have used thus far worked. Some can be used anywhere, though some work better for strictly indoor or outdoor use, but all do work.

If there is a unique situation, such as spell work to insure a good harvest, working a circle outdoors is best and you may use flour, cornmeal, or other food products, nuts, seeds, etc. A few points I would ask you to remember is that outdoor work means that you have to consider the elements. Flour and cornmeal blow in the wind quite easily ending up with more on robes and in eyes than on the ground. Some foodstuffs will draw every ant in the vicinity. Trust the voice of experience on this one, a circle of ants is no fun at all. Some seeds will end up as permanent living additions to the space if you are not careful. Rocks work well outdoors, as do tiki torches. For a handfasting or betrothal, I suggest using local wildflowers picked specially for the event, as they are beautiful, festive and add sweet scents to the occasion.

Outdoors around treed areas where you may need something easy to see during nighttime rituals, I suggest white cotton cording as it is easy to spot in moonlight, torchlight, and candle light. If you want to help the trees at the same time, you can use Epsom salts, as they are larger and easier to spot amongst the grass. When it rains or if you water the Epsom salts into the soil well, they provide a good source of nutrients for the trees as long as you are not too heavy handed with the salts or do not do more than two or three rituals a year in the same area. Space it out between rituals if you are a frequent outdoors group or person, as too much of even a good thing can cause damage.

Indoors, depending upon the flooring, you may choose to sprinkle holy water, lightly, from a rosemary branch. If you are concerned with wet floors and slippage as on ceramic tiles, vinyl flooring, etc. you might want to work with personal power gathered in from your core and sent to the floor via finger or athame, or appropriately scented incense for the occasion.

In carpeted areas indoors, using plain chalk or baking soda with a few drops of a targeted essential oil blended in well can be easy to put down and easy to remove. The latter even leave your carpet smelling better than before the spell. I would suggest baby power in spells relating to child blessings or in children’s rooms as the scent would not be overpowering for tiny senses and just remind you to vacuum up well after the work is finished.

Personal power, group power, incense, cord, singing, chanting and musical instruments, etc. used indoors or out as needed causes little trouble, other than drawing nosy neighbors on occasion.

The point being, just as with your spell crafting and ritual work, the only limit to casting a circle is your own imagination.

Children, witchcraft for children, children and magick,

Witches’ Ethics: Children – To Teach or Not to Teach

It is a personal choice if a witch wishes to teach their children magick. Some witches raise their children in the family practice of witchcraft and some do not. It is a very personal choice and should be made with an eye to the child’s future and what the parent considers best for their individual child, or children, in particular.

Personally, Az and I allowed our children to know that we were practicing witches throughout their lives; they saw us practicing magick from very early ages, before they could even speak. They were allowed to watch rituals performed and spells cast throughout their lives while their father was alive and I have continued the traditional after Az crossed over in ‘99. Had Az lived, I am certain there would have been some very intense arguments, as I know he was eager to teach them from a young age to practice. However, I felt it best to wait and allow them their own choices once they reached the legal age of majority.

As the years passed, they have seen me cast several different spells: on behalf of themselves in nightmare banishing rituals, on behalf of others in healing rituals, in protection spells cast on our vehicle while they were inside, and on behalf of the animals, we pass on roads who have lost their lives, etc. I have refused to hide what I am from them, and though I cautioned them to remain silent about my craft to others when they were much younger, (I explained the prejudice some feel and how it could affect our family) however, for many years now, they have had my permission to “out” me to their friends if they wish.

Our eldest, now 19-years-old, has developed an interest in the practice of alchemy. Our twins, who will be 18-years-old in nine more days will choose at that time whether they wish to practice. If they wish to practice, they will gain access to my personal library, my knowledge, and guidance on their paths. If they choose not to practice, that, also, is their choice.

Others of our coven have chosen to raise their children in the craft. While I do not necessarily agree, I do respect their wishes and am currently in the works of crafting a new Yule ritual that will incorporate four of the children in the celebration as active participants. The children are eager to learn and as a result, they will take part in a limited manner suited to their individual ages.

If a person wishes to teach their children magick, there are many spells, which may be taught, depending upon their age, to help them increase their sensitivity in tune with their growing abilities. In the following weeks, I will be adding a few of the spells that I consider appropriate for children to the blog.

The first will be a spell that my children picked up from me, without my intention, which served them well in the intervening years. It is simple and it is the only one I have allowed my children to practice prior to reaching their age of majority.

Feel free to pass this spell and any others I share, on to your own children if you feel they are appropriate to your child’s needs.

ethics, celebrations, spiritual paths, religion

Support in the Community: More is Always Needed

I just read a wonderful post in a blog called “The Culture Monk”. It made me think about the early days after I lost Azrael and the challenges I faced. It reminded me about some of the things he and I had discussed during our short life together and that I have thought about a great deal in the fifteen years post-Azrael. Why is it that so many people of all spiritual paths are so wrapped up in judgment? They want to show every other path and every person on those paths that their path is superior to all others. They want to show that they are smarter, that they are better, and that they are more… “everything” than everyone else because of the path that they follow.

As for Az and me, we always felt that the person makes the path. We strove to be the difference we wanted to see in the world. Always have and always will, because that is part of why we believe we are here; we improve the world and try to make it better for our having been here.

Example: A friend named Ali is a devout Muslim (his entire wonderful family is just like him) and every time there was a charity drive at our old company, he was, without fail, one of the first to step up and ask me, “What do you need for the drive, Tee?” Did not matter if we were collecting books for the local children’s hospital, food items for the food bank, electric fans for the elderly in summertime, there was Ali with a wad of cash in one hand and car keys in the other, ready to go on a run and get whatever was needed. His elder brother, Humza, and his little sister, Samreen, also our co-workers, always chipped in to his “wad” of cash to help those in need. They are what I think of when I think of “good Muslims”.

As Charity Coordinator (not a “real” position, but our manager graciously bestowed the honorary title) for a large telecommunication company, I had a blast organizing all kinds of drives each year. We had book drives, food drives, fan drives, cook-offs to raise money for local charities, walks to raise money for AIDS awareness, walks to raise money for breast cancer awareness, goodie bag drives for local women’s shelters, etc. It seemed that every month of the year there was something we could raise money for and/or do good for; all we had to do was sit and think for a minute.

I will never forget when the survivors of Hurricane Katrina were being spread among the local states. Just up the road a ways from our office in Las Colinas, they bussed in masses of refugees to Cowboy’s Stadium for “temporary housing and relocation” until the government could figure out what to do to start helping them. Our local management headquarters told us that we were “not allowed” to have a drive as it was not an issue that the corporate office was involved in. I appealed to our national corporate headquarters and still the answer was no. May I just state in my own defense, I tend to have selective hearing at times. I blame it on genetics, as my father was a stubborn S. O. B., too. 😉

Well, as George Takei would say, “Oh Myyy!” the things our people donated when I ran the drive anyway! Our amazing manager, Debbie, looked the other way purposefully as items streamed into the center and gathered in one of our meeting rooms. Our people brought in brand new household appliances suitable for use in motels and hotels (rooms that people were being given free) and that people could take with them to wherever they landed after everything settled somewhere. There were of boxes of dishes, food, clothing, diapers, formula, toys, and games for all age groups, etc. You name it and they brought it in! Usually, it was like pulling teeth. Most of the employees would ignore the drives we had. One or two dozen loyal people were our “core” donators, unless, of course, I gave out prizes for the team that brought in the most items, then, we would have widespread activity. Pizza parties worked best for some reason. However, thanks to the televised horrors of Katrina, showing what the survivors suffered, the entire almost 200 people really got into the giving mood and brought in everything that they could think of. I was so proud of our people and very impressed that it took several of our employees to fill multiple employee’s pickup trucks and cars to drive the items to the official drop-off point in the football area parking lot.

That was what I believe our purpose is on earth. To take care of those in need. To tend to those with nothing. Help those who are suffering. To be the difference!

As such, to celebrate their giving nature, in addition to the typical pot luck dinner I usually organized each month, I threw a center-wide Mardi Gras celebration the following February. I have to admit that the usual monthly parties I threw as Diversity Coordinator (one of the official title I enjoyed) were nothing compared to this one. This one was drastically over budget that month! The pittance the company normally allotted never took me far, but that February it didn’t even cover the full cost of the hundreds of beads I bought, much less the 20 dozen pastries, the decorations, game prizes and more. I really enjoyed creating the games on our intranet site (Yep, Webmaster was my main title) relating to the Mardi Gras celebration and our winners were celebrated, given a prize and photographed for the website. I may have gone over 1.5K in the hole personally, but it was a party that no one in the call center that day will ever forget!

To me it was worth every penny to celebrate the way all people on all the paths in our center, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, witches and pagans, all pulled together to achieve a wonderful thing in the service of those in need!