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Follow a blog…

Today I am starting a new “section”, where I will be suggesting blogs that I am quite fond of.

Today’s blog is Walk of the Witch.

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This way to walk with the Witch

This Traditional Witch writes brilliantly! Emma-Louise is very insightful, funny, and she will tell you like it is without beating around the bush.

Take a look at her blog. You will love her!

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Witchy Tips: Bay leaves

I will be sharing some witchy tips every now and then. The first one concern bay leaves.

Most of us have bay leaves in the kitchen cupboard. I’ve always loved bay leaves, long before actually assuming to myself that I am a witch. The scent, the texture, the taste.

But what if I told you that is also my go-to herb for spells when I need to cast a spell that does not take me long?

Bay leaves can be used for several purposes.
According to The Village Witch, you can use them for “protection, psychic power, divination, success, money and wish magic”.
According to Scott Cunningham, in Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, you can use bay for protection and purification, prophetic dreams, clairvoyance and wisdom, to ward off negativity and evil, protection against lightning, to remove curses and evil spells, for love spells (to ensure a love will stay), for strength, for wishes and to ward off bad luck.

So, what do I do for a quick spell? I write my petition (usually one or two words on in sigil form) on the bay leaf (or bay leaves) and I burn them while focusing on my spell.

For example, imagine that you want prosperity: write prosperity in your bay leaf, focus on it happening, set the leaf on fire and see it burn.
Don’t do it in the middle of a forest, obviously. The point is not to set a forest or a tree on fire – just a tiny bay leaf. 😉

Please, always engage brain and keep your spellwork safe for you and the world around you.

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Bay leaves. Photo taken by yours truly.
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Spellwork

Today’s post pertains to magic and spellwork. After all, I am a witch.

But first, let us start with defining magic. In its simplest form, magic is an action that will tilt the odds in your favour, as John Beckett from Under the Ancient Oaks would say.

To quote The Village Witch, «Magic is within us all. It isn’t something that only ‘special’ people have.  We all have the ability to live a magical life.  It’s a choice whether we do or do not.  Magic is strength, your passion, your anger, your soul.  It comes from the very core of your inner most self and can be changed depending on how you are feeling and what you want it to do. Magic isn’t something that creates glittery fairy dust and whooshes of rainbow coloured clouds.  It is a primitive desire to want something to happen or not happen.»

I confess it took me forever to learn how to make effective spells. To the point I thought I was a crappy witch.
I was wrong. I discovered that, with the right facilitators, we can be great at spellcrafting. The issue lies in actually finding a good facilitator/teacher to help you discover that.

I can tell you I didn’t find it in the countless witchcraft (wiccan-based) books I studied. I had a great friend helping me finding this ability within myself (Bexz, I am looking at you! Thank you! <3).

I can tell you you don’t need athames, wands, swords or any tool other than yourself (although spoons of different sizes, lighters, herbs and roots, and candles might help). You don’t need to cast circles or wait for a specific date/day of the week, time of the day or moon phase – I would never get anything done that way, as I can’t be arsed to plan that far away.

Casting a spell is basically like baking a cake. There are steps to take (that you might call rules), but intention is primarily the key to success.

What steps are those?
i) To Know – Preparation is paramount for success. Do you know what is it exactly that you want to do? What kind of spell? What is your purpose? What ingredients are you going to use in your spell?

ii) To Will – Think about it really well. Not because of any rule of three, but because there are consequences you have to live with. Here’s an example in extremis, are you willing to live with the guilt of having your worst enemy’s death, should you decide to cast a death spell on them? Wouldn’t it be far better to give him a bad case of the shits with cough to go with it whenever they are out in important meetings or going on dates?

iii) To Dare – Turn your ingredients into cake.

iv) To Keep Silent – It helps not to share your plans, be it magical or in life. We never know who is listening and we don’t want anyone working against us.

Preparation of a Spell

So, you decided you want to go ahead and cast a spell. Good.
What kind of spell do you want to cast? What is the purpose of your spell?

Do you want to ease the communication with a friend or family member?
Do you want to find a partner? (If you want an ex-lover back, don’t go there, as it will only end up bad and with even more heartache on your side – the ‘ex’ is there for a reason.)
You have been trying to have kids and you want to increase the chances to have one?
Or, for example, you want to protect yourself and your family?
Or do you want to banish negativity and negative people out of your life?
How about a pay raise, a better job or the lottery?

Also, have you worked out your petition? A petition is what you want to happen in writing and, no, it does not have to rhyme.

You can just write it down in full, you can write it in the form of a poem (have fun with that), you can create sigils (a symbol for the purpose of your spell) or even with a magical alphabet such as Theban (also known as the Witches Alphabet).

What ingredients will you use, if any?

You can do honey jars (to soften a situation or a person, or to bring something good into your life), or sour jars (to make your enemy’s life a living hell, for example), or protection jars (for example, to protect your home).

Or you can make a witch’s ladder.

Or perhaps just a candle spell (although you might choose a particular colour for a specific spell, white candles also work as all purpose).

Have you chosen any herbs and roots? Do you know which ones to use and what for? If not, may I suggest checking The Village Witch‘s article “Herbs and Magical Properties” and/or Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs?

Have you chosen any oils or powders to give your spell some extra oommph?

But now you ask me: “Where the heck am I going to find all this stuff?”
That’s somewhat easy to reply.

Most of it you can find it in your kitchen’s cupboard or in the supermarket. Simple infusions (for example, chamomile, melissa, mint, etc), herbs and spices (think nutmeg, chillies, cinnamon, pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, ginger root, etc).

Also, if you’re useless at identifying herbs and/or live in the city (like me), you have to buy what you can find in the supermarkets. Where? Witchy stores. Currently, I only use one: The Village Witch (you would never have guessed it!). Not because it belongs to a friend of mine, but because their products are top quality and I really like the products.
Trust me, I have Witchy stores a lot closer to home, but I don’t trust them to have the same quality. And you can always contact them for advice on products for a specific spell, because I guarantee you their aim is to have a satisfied customer, regardless of the value of the purchase.

Remember I do have the Ask a Witch section. Thus, should you have any queries regarding spellwork, do contact me, be it through the form or through email. 😉

See you soon!

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Home protection jar spell
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Family recipes: Carrot cough syrup

Today I will be sharing with you a much loved recipe (folk medicine) that has been in my family for generations: carrot cough syrup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 carrots sliced
  • 4 or 5 soup spoons of brown sugar
  • 4 or 5 soup spoons of honey
  • Grated ginger root (optional)
  • Grated lemon peel (optional)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

In a bowl, place the carrots sliced, add honey and brown sugar.
You can add grated lemon peel, lemon juice and grated ginger root.

Let it sit for a few hours until you get the syrup. From one day to the next is best.

Although it is unlikely it’ll last long enough to spoil (it is that yummy), if it’s not hot weather season, it’ll be safe to keep out of the fridge for at least 3 days, and in the fridge at least up to a week.

How about you? Does your family have any folk medicine recipes?

Feel better soon!

Disclaimer 1: Please make sure you’re not diabetic or allergic to any of the ingredients

Disclaimer 2: Using this or any other folk medicine recipe does not exclude visiting an actual medical doctor. I am all up for folk medicine, but there are times when an actual medical doctor is necessary. Please don’t ever risk your health and your life.

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The Village Witch’s March Hocus Pocus Sub Box

As promised, I am writing a review on The Village Witch‘s March Hocus Pocus Sub Box.

Let me start by saying I am absolutely in love with it!
March’s theme goes along nicely with Spring Cleaning – Banishment.

For those more on the Wicca side, you can use the products in this box to banish negative energies. 😉

It contains so many top quality products and even freebies!

The products are lovely and smell wonderfully. To the point I need to remind myself they are not edible, I cannot brew tea with those or wear them as perfume.

Also, all products are handmade (except, so far, for the yummies they send).

To start with, I got more product quantity than the price I paid for them. The vials and flasks all come full up to the top with product, which is clearly more than they advertise in the shop. And let me add that this doesn’t happen just for the sub boxes but for any order. This means that, after one spell, you still have plenty of product to use on other spells.

The Banishing Oil is lovely! You can tell it is the real thing.
In fact, TVW’s oils (yes, I have several) aren’t made just with liquid oil with essential oil drops. You actually see the they used real plants in their products as you can actually see them in the oil vials.

I am absolutely in love with the Banish Bad Vibes Aura Spray. Forget all those home sprays. This one is lush and I cannot get enough of it, and the house feels light again.

I loved the Go Away Evil Floor Wash! Trust me, it is hard to follow the instructions on TVW’s website, the scent is so wonderful!

The Banishing Loose Incense and the Negative Energy Cleansing Salt are beautiful and smell wonderfully. And not suitable for tea, please keep that in mind.

There’s also a Banish a Negative Person spellvelope. Choices, choices…
Seriously, don’t take that lightly. I am not a love & light Witch, but I have a conscience and I don’t cast this sort of spells lightly and neither should you. All that you do comes with a consequence, even if that consequence is overwhelming guilt for harming someone when you could have taken things in a different direction, or for doing something rash.

The Banish Evil ink has a beautiful shade of grey/black colour (depending on how you use it). No photos at this time as I don’t have a proper pen for it…yet. 😉

There is also a small black candle that you can use in your spell.

This sub box brought the cutest small wooden chest that you can either use for banish people into it or hide a treasure (a tiny one).

And can you believe it came with a Witchy Badge?!? I loved it! It’s currently on my backpack. 😀

Although the March’s sub box does not come with a spell, it contains an A4 size sheet with ideas/hints/general instructions (if you will) on how to create your own spell, whatever path you’re on (Wiccan path included).
Lets face it, your spell will be much more powerful if you write it yourself, as it will have more of your own energy infused in it.

And this is, after all, The Village Witch’s purpose with their Monthly Hocus Pocus Hampers: to empower you, to help you connect with and develop further your own personal power for you to use in your Witchcraft.

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March’s Hocus Pocus box and contents
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Ask a Witch…

I want to play a game.

Just kidding. This is not a Saw movie. I love horror movies, but not the gore type. For me, a good horror movie involves the supernatural (mostly ghosts).

However, I am creating a new section, if you will.

Imagine you’re curious about Witchcraft or you’re a Witch but Wicca is not your thing and just to think of waiting for a specific moon phase or casting a circle to do a spell puts you off and you’d like to explore Traditional Witchcraft.

Or you would like to have the support of someone on the same path and would like to have someone to ask questions, or advise, or brainstorm whenever you bump into a wall spell wise.

Why am I making this offer? We’ve all been there.
I still remember when I started on this path over 20 years ago and all I got was information on Wicca and most of it unreliable.

Do feel free to contact me. How? Through email, for example. You can contact me by emailing me to ana@intothesacredforest.com.

As your questions may be other people’s questions, I will be posting the replies to those questions once a week on this blog.
Thus, I would like you to inform me in your email if you give me permission to use your name (first name or alias) or if you prefer to be known as Anonymous.

By the way, I don’t reply to trolling or sealioning. I am not the jackass whisperer and nothing good ever comes from baiting.
Also, keep in mind you’re dealing with a Witch that is far from being all love and light, doesn’t believe in the Wiccan Rede nor the Rule of Threefold, and enjoys giving a hand to Karma. Therefore, threats of any kind will be dealt with accordingly.

Ask a Witch
Photo by yours truly

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Being a Witch

Probably the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of Witches are evil stepmothers such as Snow White’s. Or perhaps the victims of the “Holy” Inquisition. Or even Wicca followers.

I am neither, though.

For starters, I am real.

I am also still alive (which is kind of nice — I even get to write on my blog).

Other than that, I am a Traditional Witch. I don’t worship the Goddess and the God and I don’t abide by the Wiccan Rede.

I don’t wait for specific Moon phases to do spell work (although I love the Moon).

I don’t use athames nor other similar tools, and I don’t cast circles. I do have a Grimoire — does that count? 😉

I am far from being all love and light and I definitely don’t do ‘blessed be’s.

As I see it, everything you do affects others. For each action there is a reaction, a result that, no matter how much love and light is involved, will always affect someone.

Think protection. When you protect someone you care from someone working to hurt them, even if you are a Wiccan you are probably aware it will affect negatively the person wanting to hurt the person you care about.

If someone hurts someone I care about or incites another to hurt that person, be it physically, emotionally or financially, you can bet I will protect the person I care about. If that means I will have to bind, banish or hex the person wanting to hurt the ones I care about, so be it. I am more than prepared to handle consequences and I won’t even bat an eye.

Currently I have been far more active witchcraft wise for several reasons:

  • People I care about need my help (be it help with protection, financial boost, professional boost, motivation/focus boost, self-esteem/confidence boost, healing or whichever other reason)
  • I want to learn more (there’s always something more to learn) and improve my skills as a Witch
  • People want to learn and I believe in sharing knowledge.

Improve business/more paying clients
Improve business/more paying clients

If you are expecting all love and light from me, you will not find it.

But I don’t make love spells (unless it’s a self-love/self-esteem spell) and I don’t take hexing lightly. In fact, something very wrong must have occurred for me to take that step.

For example, recently I had a very close friend of mine and her mum being robbed at gun point. The thieving bastard was presented with a hex. He robbed my friend at 9am and was caught at 02:30pm, in Brazil, during Carnival (the whole country stops, according to her). The thieve also got the beating of his life when he was caught. He was not a happy thieve, but I was also not happy with what he did to my friend, so that makes us… somewhat even.

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“Catch the thieve painfully” spell

I choose balance between light and dark. If I have to give karma a little help, so be it.

This is me. Take me as I am or not at all. Just don’t mess with the Witch or the people the Witch cares about.

See you in my next post, where I will be doing a review of the Hocus Pocus Hamper sub box of March by The Village Witch.

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The Village Witch

I found the best witchy shop ever!

The Village Witch works online and caters to several paths: Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca, Hoodoo, Voodoo…

The people running the store are amazing! They genuinely care, they are generous and wonderful lovely people.

I’ve already purchased a few items from them (jewelry, oils, herbs, roots…).

Vial necklaces
Vial necklaces, one for protection and the other for development

First big order
My first big order from TVW

They sell top quality products and offer top quality services.

I recently subscribed to their Hocus Pocus Hamper (aka sub boxes). These are usually themed.

In the Hocus Pocus sub boxes you will always find materials for spells (that will last way beyond the suggested spell that comes with the box – which you will create with some TVW pinpoints – your own creation, which will increase its power). Think oils, herbs and roots, powders, inks, aura sprays, floor washes, as well as exclusive products that you won’t find in the store as they are created specifically for the sub boxes. Oh! And yummy goodies, as they always add a bit of their love and care in the form of teas, hot chocolate, and other yummy products.

Once I receive my first sub box, I will be making a review. 😉

And, should you prefer, they also will create individual tailored boxes for you. All you have to do is contact them.

This way to the store

Clicky for the sub boxes

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It’s beginning to look a lot like…

…that time of the year with so many festivities. There’s Christmas, Yule, Alban Arthan, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, Koliada, Yalda, and so many others.

I am a Druid, so I celebrate Alban Arthan. But my family is Christian, so I celebrate Christmas with them. How come? Christmas, to me, is about family, is about of those I am from. My siblings and siblings-in-law, my parents, my aunts and uncles, my fiancée and my in-laws and, of course, my ancestors. So I celebrate my family and friends, I celebrate our tiny community, I celebrate that I have a family and I am not alone.

Although I am a Pagan, I will always continue my family’s tradition, and any other tradition we might create. My family accepts me for who I am, and I accept them as they are.

To me it’s beginning to look even more like family, love and acceptance, comfort and warmth.

Our Christmas/Yule/Family tree
Our Family (Christmas/Yule) tree

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Honouring our Ancestors

It’s Samhain time again.

Yesterday, for many people was Halloween. At home, was my Dad’s birthday. But it was also time to honour my Ancestors – the ones that came before me: Ancestors of blood (whether I knew them or not), Ancestors of Spirit, Ancestors of Land and Ancestors most Ancient (John Beckett, “Who Are Our Ancestors?”).

In general, I tend to notice patterns (not that I have a mathematical mind, as I always sucked at Maths while at school). And some are really easy to notice, if you keep your mind open a little.

And this season (if you will) is not different for me.

In Portugal, some people are really against celebrating Halloween – a “Trick or Treating” tradition brought from abroad, unlike our very own “Bread for God” (“Pão por Deus”), celebrated on November 1st, where kids go door-to-door, asking “Bread for God”. Notice the pattern? Because I did. I am certain both stem from a Pagan common origin.

Also in Portugal, a culture that is a mix of Catholics and Atheists (with some other paths in between, such as Judaism, Islamism, Hinduism, and Western Paganism), I noticed another pattern (when we went today to visit the closer cemeteries where our loved ones are buried – the ones in Lisbon district, as we will be visiting the ones in Coimbra on the second half of November). Honouring our Ancestors – Atheists, Catholics, Pagans, we all honour our Loved Ones that have already crossed to the Otherworld.

This season I honoured, once more, my Ancestors. Yesterday, while at home, with my very own solitary ritual (not a very elaborate one – I light candles, burn incense and meditate on my Ancestors). Today at the cemeteries (placing fresh flowers at my family and friends’ graves) and at a Catholic church (with my Catholic family, lighting candles).

I do my best to keep in mind that “Honouring the Ancestors” should be a daily practice (and in my immediate family we try to visit our Ancestors graves on a weekly basis).

But it is comforting to think that this, too, was adopted into other paths and not left behind when Christianity took over the Iberian Peninsula.

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Candles for the Ancestors. Conceição da Abóboda church. Photo taken by yours truly