The Living Wiccan
Porcupine Quills: Continuing Personal Witchcraft

So a few months ago, I wrote a piece entitled “On Forget-Me-Nots, and Creating Your Own Meaning”. Its purpose was to outline how correspondences can shift from one practitioner to the next, and how you can use your personal experiences to create stronger bonds in the way you do witchcraft. I’d recommend giving it a read before continuing with this article, as it might become a little clearer.

I thought it would be interesting to take that idea and do it again, this time with a non-plant ingredient. So a few days ago, I bought these:

Porcupine quills!  Specifically from the Old World Hystricidae family. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a few for a while now, and I recently got the opportunity. Let’s go over a little about porcupine quills beforehand: 

  • made of keratin
  • extremely sharp
  • extremely strong
  • extremely varied, no two are alike
  • usually grow in bundles embedded in the musculature of the animal

How can we apply it to witchcraft? Let’s do some brainstorming, shall we?

  • made of keratin: strength, grown from the porcupine itself. Inner strength, relying on yourself for protection, defense, attack, etc
  • extremely sharp: I can’t explain to you how sharp they are without actually having them placed in your hands. Definitely not toys; could be used as natural pricks for bloodwork? — just make sure they’re sterilized
  • extremely strong: won’t break under pressure, good to use in long-term spellwork, 
  • extremely deadly: In the wild, if you get a quill stuck in your body, it’ll follow your bloodstream and slowly travel throughout your body until it has to turn and will either A) kill you or B) exit however it can. Usually through your skin again. Not a nice process. Good for slow cursing, if you use curses. 
  • extremely varied, no two are alike: good for when you need something specialized, something to make an impression. Statement ingredients, if you will.
  • usually grow in bundles embedded in the musculature of the animal: again, they’re rooted deep, they’re well supported, and groups of them go together. Group protection would be a good use for these. 

So after all that brainstorming, here is what I, as a personal practitioner, would suggest you utilize porcupine quills for: 

  • defense, specifically group defense and support
  • cursing/hexes/crossings, especially slow-acting ones
  • spells that require a calm demeanor under pressure
  • inner strength
  • bloodwork
  • protection/uncrossing

I find it’s really helpful to do an exercise like this every few weeks or so with an ingredient you’ve never used before. It keeps the mind in witchcraft mode and lets you stretch your creative muscles, keeping your spirituality in shape.

Happy casting!

-TLW

Time for Tonics!

What’s this that I’ve got, dear readers? 

No, it’s not whiskey! Nor rum, nor apple juice, nor lemonade. It’s a tonic; a licorice root tonic, to be exact. 

Tonics are a great way of storing the nutrients of herbs over an extended period of time. They can be used for magick or mundane purposes, and last a lot longer than fresh herbs do. 

Why did I choose licorice root? Well, for those of you who may have forgotten, I’m a singer. Licorice root is great for keeping the throat healthy and also for clearing up colds. Plus, I adorethe taste. 

How would you go about making one of these? 

  1. Choose your herbs. Take about 1/2 to 1 cup of the herb and place it in a jar, bowl, or pot. (You can do a tonic of just one herb, or add a couple in together if you wish. Do some research on which herbs contain which vitamins, etc. Want a cold-buster? Ginger tonics are your best choice)
  2. Bring 1 quart of water (or 950 mL/9.5L) to a boil.
  3. Pour the water directly over the herbs. If you’re doing this in a pot, you can bring the herbs to a boil with the water already added. Just make sure to watch that it doesn’t boil over and TURN OFF the stove afterwards.
  4. After that, let the herbs simmer. Cover it with a lid, plate, whatever you’d got on hand, to keep the heat in. Let it rest for at least an hour, but you could even leave your herbs overnight depending on how strong you want them (see the extra notes below for more info on which herbs need more time to steep).
  5. After they’re done sitting, you can either strain the water from the herbs or leave them in. I tried to strain, but alas, I missed a few pieces of root.
  6. LABEL THE JAR with the herb and the date, and then store in a cool place — preferably a fridge. They’ll last for at least a few months so long as they’re stored correctly. Some may last for years if you’ve made them right, and the containers are SEALED PROPERLY. 

Some VERY IMPORTANT NOTES(so help me God you had better read these):

  • Make sure that you’re not mixing herbs that will react badly with each other. Please never ever use a herb you’re unfamiliar with. Don’t start making tonics of poisonous plants just because you think it’ll be cool or fun. 
  • Make sure that your tonics are properly sealed. You can get mold and other poisons growing in your bottles and jars and they can be potentially fatal. If you’re unsure, always use proper canning jars (“Mason jars”) and follow their canning procedure to the letter. **Note: I didn’t use mason jars here because these tonics are going to be drank all up in the next 3 days. But you should.**
  • Be very careful with your herbs. Always research their side effects, even if you think you’re totally familiar with the plant. For example, raspberry leaves can induce miscarriage through early labour/contractions. Some herbs can react badly with some medications, such as SSRIs or antibiotics.
  • Some herbs need longer to steep than others, especially roots — they’re a lot thicker and need more time to get penetrated by the H2O. Flowers and leaves take a lot less time, but I like to let my roots rest at least overnight. 
  • Your first tonics may not last too long, especially if you’re new at making them. Things go wrong, sometimes herbs go rancid. If this ever happens, please don’t drink the tonic. And use the same rule with tonics as you do with food: if you’re unsure, don’t risk it. 
  • For advanced tonic makers: due to the magic of science, a little bit of salt and lemon will increase the boiling point of your water and keep your tonic hot for longer, should you need to steep thick roots. Just not too much lemon. 

I’d like to do another post on tinctures (like a tonic, but made with alcohol) sometime soon. For personal reasons, I don’t drink alcohol, but I still make tinctures for other people from time to time.

Remember to always be safe and follow correct procedures. We may be witches, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t susceptible to botulinum poisoning. 

Have fun everyone! 

-TLW

TheLivingWiccan’s Spell for Power

Needed: 

  • root of an oak
  • carving tool

Step one: Find and dig up your oak root. This is easy to find on eroded hillsides, cliffsides, riverbanks, etc.

Step two: Carve this sigil into the root:

image

(“pertinax”: adj. Latin. “Persistent/unyielding”; in some translations, “stubborn”)

Step three: Bind in red and/or purple thread. Keep on your person, preferably as a necklace. 

Happy casting!

-TLW

**Spell copyright TheLivingWiccan — DO NOT REMOVE SOURCE. If you wish to use this elsewhere, or copy it into your spellbooks, etc, PLEASE ASK PERMISSION FIRST**

Big Announcement: It’s Official!

thelivingwiccan:

Now that the schedules are all solidified, I can finally let the cat out of the bag: I’ve been asked to run a workshop at Kaleidoscope Gathering 2014 — the largest Pagan festival in Canada.

From The Wild Hunt

The marquee event of the year is Kaleidoscope Gathering (KG),which will be held from July 30 – Aug. 4 and is the largest Pagan festival in Canada. It may also be the most diverse, inclusive and colourful event on the Canadian festival circuit and everyone should visit at least once! ….  This year KG promises to be huge as it is the 25th anniversary edition. 

I was so happy to be asked to create a workshop specifically for KG; can you say excited? 

My workshop, ”Symbolic Witchcraft: Designing and Creating Sigils”, will be on the 3rd of August at 3:30! 

Next week I’ll be travelling to Ottawa, Ontario to be a part of this amazing festival. I highly suggest that you all come and experience the festivals that Canada is offering to the Pagan world, if only for a day.

And I’d absolutely love it if some readers attended, and we can meet face-to-face. I’m bringing some fun little witchcraft doo-dads to give to any readers that come say hello! If any readers are in the Ottawa, Ontario area (even if you’re not going to the festival!) please give me a shout — can’t wait to see you all there!

- TLW

Big Announcement: It’s Official!

Now that the schedules are all solidified, I can finally let the cat out of the bag: I’ve been asked to run a workshop at Kaleidoscope Gathering 2014 — the largest Pagan festival in Canada.

From The Wild Hunt

The marquee event of the year is Kaleidoscope Gathering (KG),which will be held from July 30 – Aug. 4 and is the largest Pagan festival in Canada. It may also be the most diverse, inclusive and colourful event on the Canadian festival circuit and everyone should visit at least once! ….  This year KG promises to be huge as it is the 25th anniversary edition. 

I was so happy to be asked to create a workshop specifically for KG; can you say excited? 

My workshop, ”Symbolic Witchcraft: Designing and Creating Sigils”, will be on the 3rd of August at 3:30! 

Next week I’ll be travelling to Ottawa, Ontario to be a part of this amazing festival. I highly suggest that you all come and experience the festivals that Canada is offering to the Pagan world, if only for a day.

And I’d absolutely love it if some readers attended, and we can meet face-to-face. I’m bringing some fun little witchcraft doo-dads to give to any readers that come say hello! If any readers are in the Ottawa, Ontario area (even if you’re not going to the festival!) please give me a shout — can’t wait to see you all there!

- TLW

Question Answering Day!

Tonight I’ll be answering your questions!

If you have sent in a question recently, expect it answered then. If you haven’t, and you’d like to, please send it in before QAD starts. I have literally hundreds of questions to answer, so please try not to clog the inbox with things that you easily could have googled!

Although this blog is called TheLivingWiccan, any of a multitude of subjects get approached on this blog: from general spirituality to strict organized religion, from Wicca to Odinism, from Satanism to Reconstructionist Hellenism, from crystals and herbs to poppets and candles, from curses to spells, and from religious to secular witchcraft.

For those who are going to send in questions, please read the FAQ page, please read theAnswered Questions Page, check the 101 tag, and above all, please read this first! 

Please keep in mind that I won’t answer your question if it’s obvious that you haven’t checked to see if it’s already been answered. I can guarantee you, it most likely has, so please check before submitting! 

Thank you!

TheLivingWiccan

Question Answering Day!

Question Answering Day is tonight!

If you have sent in a question recently, expect it answered then. If you haven’t, and you’d like to, please send it in before QAD starts. I have literally hundreds of questions to answer, so please try not to clog the inbox with things that you easily could have googled!

Although this blog is called TheLivingWiccan, any of a multitude of subjects get approached on this blog: from general spirituality to strict organized religion, from Wicca to Odinism, from Satanism to Reconstructionist Hellenism, from crystals and herbs to poppets and candles, from curses to spells, and from religious to secular witchcraft.

For those who are going to send in questions, please read the FAQ page, please read theAnswered Questions Page, check the 101 tag, and above all, please read this first! 

Please keep in mind that I may not answer your question if it’s obvious that you haven’t checked to see if it’s already been answered. I can guarantee you, it most likely has, so please check before submitting! 

Thank you!

TheLivingWiccan

On Forget-Me-Nots, and Creating Your Own Meaning

I spent a lot of time in my garden today.

Considering how much I’ve been avoiding pulling out the weeds in His domain, I considered it a personal triumph to be out in the open for more than 5 minutes. Lately all my witchcraft has been indoors; smoke filling rooms, scents tasting one another. It’s been a joy to be alone, contained, and able to experiment with my herbs and ribbons and waxes.

But today was great in other ways. My craft has my roots (no pun intended) in the garden. That’s where I started, and that’s most likely where I’ll end, buried beneath flowers. So believe me when I say that every moment in gardens s representative of my running toward my end — ecstatic and terrified. 

I work a lot with flowers, as you’ve probably gathered from my altars and spells. Nowadays there are a lot of people (and as such, a lot of traditions) in the Pagan/witchcraft community. That’s a lot of people, with a lot of lists, and a lot of their own uses for flowers. And that’s great. But: that’s a lot of variation on one single item.

I’ve seen forget-me-nots being used to represent friendship, memories, spring, lovers, and even Freemasonry. 

But where does that leave me? Maybe I have no use for a flower of memories, or of lovers. I have flowers that I use for that already, and they work beautifully so. But I love forget-me-nots, they make fantastic offerings for the Big Guy, and as such, I wanted to use them for the close connection we have with them.

So this is where we’re at now. As I said: I spent a lot of time in my garden today. And what did I do? I sat in a field of forget-me-nots, and I meditated on them in every way I could. Their height, the shape of their flowers, leaves, and stems, their method of sprouting, of spreading, and the way they smell. I sketched them, I pressed them, I placed my hand in their fuzzy leaves. And in the end, I came up with some answers that I could agree with.

  • Strength of will. The plants spread with vigor, they’re hardy, and they’re are impressively hard to eradicate. Because of this, I can view forget-me-nots as an ingredient for when I need to hold fast in my convictions.
  • Swiftness. Forget-me-nots are often some of the first flowers to bloom in spring, and they grow nearly overnight. One morning you may have a green field, and the next, a sea of blue. This would make forget-me-nots, to me, an ideal addition to any spell requiring haste, or sending messages.
  • Adaptation: forget-me-nots petals change pigments in order to attract pollinators, and afterwards will change again to show that they’ve been pollinated. Perhaps if I ever needed to change to a new scenario, and invite new forces and people into my life, forget-me-nots would be the choice.
  • Tact: Forget-me-nots are soft and delicate. They’re a small, tiny flower — but beautiful, giving them impact. If I ever needed to diffuse a situation that required a delicate touch, a diplomatic, tactful approach, I’d have my answer there.
  • Rarity: seeing one pink forget-me-not in a sea of blue isn’t rare in and of itself, but the image of it is striking and begs to be noted. When I need to be noticed, or when a situation has underlying themes that need to be exposed, I may use forget-me-nots.

And there you have it, my list of what forget-me-nots can potentially be used for.

That’s what I did today, and that’s what I’m going to urge my followers to do at least once this week. Maybe not with flowers. Maybe with bones, with wine, with water, with crystals. But taking the time to meditate on something yourself, really finding meaning in it besides what you’ve read and heard, is a really great way to feel closer to your craft, especially if you’re in a slump.

Happy learning, 

-TLW

Question Answering Day: Friday, May 2nd, 2014

I know that the sidebar states that QAD is Tuesdays and Thursdays, but alas, I just got off work and QAD just isn’t going to work tonight.

That being said! Question Answering Day will be happening on Friday the 2nd of May, 2014. 

If you have sent in a question recently, expect it answered then. If you haven’t, and you’d like to, please send it in before tomorrow. 

For those who are going to send in questions, please read the FAQ page, please read theAnswered Questions Page, check the 101 tag, and please read this first!

Although this blog is called TheLivingWiccan, any of a multitude of subjects get approached on this blog: from general spirituality to strict organized religion, from Wicca to Odinism, from Satanism to Reconstructionist Hellenism, from crystals and herbs to poppets and candles, from curses to spells, and from religious to secular witchcraft.

Thank you!

TheLivingWiccan

thelivingwiccan:

thelivingwiccan:

thelivingwiccan:

thelivingwiccan:

The Sigilic Tarot is now on Kickstarter!

The Sigilic Tarot: A unique tarot card deck featuring occult-style sigils, creating a beautiful, mesmerizing divination experience. 

Unlike any tarot deck you’ve ever seen, this deck is a must-have for any tarot reader, collector, or enthusiast. Guaranteed to be the most unique, interesting, and beautiful deck you’ve ever held in your hands. 

Reblog and spread the word! Plenty of amazing rewards for backers; donate today and help make this deck a reality!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1162729797/the-sigilic-tarot

Please share and support! I’m extremely passionate about this deck, and I’d love to see this project come to life.

Just a reminder to everyone that this fundraiser is still going on. There have been more rewards added, and there are amazing stretch goals we can easily fill!

We only have 2 weeks left, and we’re only just under a third funded. Without your support, this deck will NOT GET MADE!

Only a little over a week left, and we’re not even halfway funded. This deck will NOT get made without your support, so please don’t think you can wait until after the kickstarter to buy a deck.

If you enjoy this blog, or if I’ve ever answered a question of yours, please consider donating to this kickstarter. If everyone donated JUST a DOLLAR we would be completely funded right now.

7 days left!

My general altar for the week of April 13th-19th. This altar is already a few days old at the time of taking this photo. So, some of the petals have fallen off, as you can see from the bottom right hand side.

A little info on the altar:

The flowers are actually from the local Anglican church that I sometimes sing for. There was an abundance of flowers from a funeral that day and we were told to take as many as we wanted. Horned God hates wastefulness, especially of flowers, so immediately I snatched them up to put on my altar at home. He really likes these ones: I immediately knew it was a good idea to pick them up. 

There are two shells on the altar: one full of wormwood and one full of my Hell Hath No Fury protection powder. They’re being prepared to use on my newest necklace (in the 6th photo), which  I’m consecrating and dedicating for divination purposes. That’s also why the cauldron and Dragon’s Blood ink are there.

The candles are 100% natural beeswax from a local chandler.

Everything other than that is standard of the rest of my altars

**This altar and these photos are property of TheLivingWiccan — do NOT remove source**

Alright, here we go: a bribe.

novas-grimoire:

thelivingwiccan:

If The Sigilic Tarot Kickstarter can get to the $6000-$6500 mark by the end of today, then I’ll:

  • post new altar photos for you all to see, AND 
  • upload new spells tomorrow.

Link to the Kickstarter: 
kickstarter.com/projects/1162729797/the-sigilic-tarot?ref=discovery

Please support and share!

-TLW

May I add a bribe to this as well? 

If you donate a dollar to this kickstarter, I will give you a one card tarot reading. 

Thank you so much, Nova!! 

That’s right people: if you donate to The Sigilic Tarot Kickstarter, Nova will give you a one card reading! 

thelivingwiccan:

thelivingwiccan:

thelivingwiccan:

The Sigilic Tarot is now on Kickstarter!

The Sigilic Tarot: A unique tarot card deck featuring occult-style sigils, creating a beautiful, mesmerizing divination experience. 

Unlike any tarot deck you’ve ever seen, this deck is a must-have for any tarot reader, collector, or enthusiast. Guaranteed to be the most unique, interesting, and beautiful deck you’ve ever held in your hands. 

Reblog and spread the word! Plenty of amazing rewards for backers; donate today and help make this deck a reality!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1162729797/the-sigilic-tarot

Please share and support! I’m extremely passionate about this deck, and I’d love to see this project come to life.

Just a reminder to everyone that this fundraiser is still going on. There have been more rewards added, and there are amazing stretch goals we can easily fill!

We only have 2 weeks left, and we’re only just under a third funded. Without your support, this deck will NOT GET MADE!

Only a little over a week left, and we’re not even halfway funded. This deck will NOT get made without your support, so please don’t think you can wait until after the kickstarter to buy a deck.

If you enjoy this blog, or if I’ve ever answered a question of yours, please consider donating to this kickstarter. If everyone donated JUST a DOLLAR we would be completely funded right now.

thelivingwiccan:

thelivingwiccan:

The Sigilic Tarot is now on Kickstarter!

The Sigilic Tarot: A unique tarot card deck featuring occult-style sigils, creating a beautiful, mesmerizing divination experience. 

Unlike any tarot deck you’ve ever seen, this deck is a must-have for any tarot reader, collector, or enthusiast. Guaranteed to be the most unique, interesting, and beautiful deck you’ve ever held in your hands. 

Reblog and spread the word! Plenty of amazing rewards for backers; donate today and help make this deck a reality!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1162729797/the-sigilic-tarot

Please share and support! I’m extremely passionate about this deck, and I’d love to see this project come to life.

Just a reminder to everyone that this fundraiser is still going on. There have been more rewards added, and there are amazing stretch goals we can easily fill!

We only have 2 weeks left, and we’re only just under a third funded. Without your support, this deck will NOT GET MADE!

This is not a good week for the Pagan community.

willowmoon92:

thelivingwiccan:

For the next few days, I’ll be meditating on the victims of senseless violence, the survivors of trauma. 

May they find peace and solace. 

What happened? Ive been a hermit lately.

Hi there, please refer to this post.