Book of Shadows Blessing Spell

Book of Shadows Blessing Spell


At the time of the Full Moon, take your Book of Shadows (one that  hasn’t been written in yet) and some incense (pennyroyal, anise or rue) outside.


Under the light of the Full Moon, draw a pentagram on the first page and under this  write the following information: date, time, place, your magical name (and sigil if you have one),  the moon’s phase and any other info you feel is important. Hold the book up to the Moon and say:

Here as the Full Moon shines upon me, Bless this Book I’ve made tonight. I humbly ask this of thee, Underneath your most sacred light.



Solitary Misconceptions

Solitary Misconceptions

by Sylvana SilverWitch

I used to be a solitary many, many years ago now. After I moved to  Seattle — away from my first priestess and  coven — I looked for a new coven, thinking it would be easy to find one. In the  early 70’s, there was not much pagan activity in Seattle. As I became familiar with  the area and got settled, I ran into a number of people who claimed to be  practicing the Craft but were not into anything  like what I had been taught.

One guy I met ended up getting arrested a few years later for  luring young girls into a “coven,” only to  ply them with drugs and take advantage of them. I was very happy that I wasn’t  taken in by his charm and promises of third degree initiation into his  made-up tradition.

I read the submissions for this issue with interest because I always  wonder why one would choose to be a solitary, foregoing the rich tapestry of  learning and practicing with a group. I feel truly blessed to be a part of my coven,  Sylvan Grove, and I wouldn’t trade the last 16 years with the evolving group  for anything. As I read, I noticed a theme of misconceptions about working in  a group and/or being part of a coven. Misconceptions, that is, from my  point of view. Having been in a couple covens for a number of years each as well  as having been a solitary for over 10 years, I feel well-equipped to address  some of these issues.

Seemingly common misconceptions I have come across, and my  perceptions about them are:

1. That you can just find and join a coven.

Finding covens is not easy. It’s not like we advertise in the phone book  and you can simply call us up and come on over. In most cases, you cannot just  join the coven the next day, week or month. It takes training, discipline  and elementary knowledge to begin working with an existing group. Not to  mention social skills, responsibility and basic compatibility with the tradition and  the people.

2. That working alone is somehow better than working in a group.

There is a limit to how much you can learn and grow on your  own. Whether it’s getting a new perspective or opinion or having support in  times of need, We all need other people.

I have found value in working alone, but I can do that and still be part of  a coven. We get together on the new and full moons and the Sabbats,  and sometimes socially. But we don’t all live together. We have separate lives.

Also, I have found nothing to be as wonderfully challenging, stimulating  and rewarding as working magick with a group of intelligent, inquisitive, bold  and progressive people. The coven I am now HPS of has some of the brightest  and most amazing people I have ever come across in the Craft. The energy  we generate when we do magick is palpable. We are a focused and powerful  entity and our magick works well because of that.

3. That groups follow some “Sacred Book of Shadows” that was  passed down from Old Gerald, and that they duplicate the rituals  absolutely religiously.

This is true in very few covens I have been exposed to. More often,  when a written tradition hands down a book of shadows, it is passed from the HP  or HPS to the initiate. Initiates then expand on or change what they do to  suit themselves. Very few covens, in my experience, go by the letter of the  book for every ritual. In fact, most of the people I have done ritual with are  artistic, creative witches and have written and performed some remarkable  rituals. Maybe that’s a comment on who I tend to gravitate to, but it can’t be only  that after all these years.

4. That groups don’t allow for individual personal creativity.

If my coven is any indication, this cannot be true. Andy recently wrote  a paper for the Sylvan Outer Grove class and in it he mentioned the Sylvan  Grove Random Moon Generatorä in which we look at what astrological sign the  sun and moon are in and what that means. With this information and  group consensus about what we want or need at the time, we decide what magick  to do. I know other covens invent rituals as they go — during several years  as the New and Full Moon coordinator for a Northwest pagan organization,  I watched it in action.

5. That they somehow won’t “fit in” to a group.

This is one of the most obvious fallacies I have heard expressed.  Anyone can fit in if they find the right group or coven. It does take some social  skills to work with others successfully, but a coven is a lot like a family.  Everyone does not get along all the time, everyone does not always agree. There  are conflicts from time to time, but we are committed to working things out.

It is important to find common ground in philosophies and styles  of working, but you don’t have to agree with everything or like all things  about someone to work magick successfully with them. If you find people you  like and are compatible with, and you like the tradition, a year should be  long enough to figure out whether you can commit to a long term  working relationship.

Also, people come and go as part of the natural order of things.  Everyone grows at their own rate. You don’t have to dedicate the rest of your life to  a coven. If it doesn’t work for you in the long term, you can always ask to  be released from your obligations.

6. That people are “solitaries” when they aren’t a formal part of a coven,  even  though they work with some group or even just one other person on a  regular basis.

Solitary implies alone. My personal definition of a solitary is a person  who does not work with, or belong to, a group. If you are working  magick regularly with a coven or group, whether or not you are formally dedicated  to the group, in my opinion you are not a solitary.

To find an appropriate coven or group, you must be persistent. Keep  your eyes and ears open. Go to whatever public rituals you can attend.  Take classes on different traditions if they are available in your area; if not,  read books on different traditions to find what you most resonate with. My coven only advertises  the Outer Grove class in one issue of the paper per year and there is a  deadline to get into the class.

When you do find a group you are interested in, ask if you may  attend something that might be appropriate. If you get invited to a ritual, ask what  you can bring or contribute. Make yourself useful, help out where and when  you can. Be on time. Be good listener. Keep an open mind. Remember, you are  asking to become a student — don’t come across as if you already know it all.  Be open to letting others get to know you and let your interest be known. If  in doubt, ask!

In the Sylvan tradition, you must ask many times before you are invited to  be part of the inner circle. This assures us that you are serious and  committed; that’s what we are looking for.

Good luck finding a coven, if you want to be a part of one. If you do  join one, you will find the group magickal experience to be profoundly  rewarding, fascinating and an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth  beyond compare. Blessed be.

The Phases of the Moon In Magick

The Phases of the Moon In Magick


The different phases of the moon offer differing energies that can help not only the timing of a spell, but add power to strengthen a wish (waxing) or can or banish sorrow or bad luck (waning).

The full moon is the most powerful force of all for change and for action. You can follow the different moon phases in the weather section of the paper or a diary or here on this site. But what you see in the sky and what you feel are always your best guides to using moon energies in spell casting. The best way to follow the monthly journey of the moon is to watch her in the sky, not just for one month but for several. Each day in your Book of Shadows write just a line or two on the way you feel and over the months you may detect a pattern that explains hitherto seemingly random mood patterns and energy flows. Even in town you can use building as markers and will not slight variations in position on ensuing months, because of the moon’s irregular path.

Men as well as women are affected by the moon, emotionally and perhaps also physically. If we can tune in with the ebbs and flows then we become more harmonious and able to use natural energy surges as the moon waxes and not try to force ourselves more than necessary or to take risks when the moon is waning.

There are many ways of dividing the moon cycle. In magick there are three main divisions: the waxing or increasing period, the time of the full moon and the waning period. The waxing period is usually calculated from the crescent moon to the night before the full moon. The time of the full moon is calculated as anything from the second the moon becomes full (by purists), the day of the full moon and the period until the next day or even the week of the full moon. the waning period extends until the moon disappears from the sky. The intervening two and a half to three days are called the dark of the moon and while this generally is not used for magick, it is a powerful period for divination and meditation and for allowing the seeds of the future to grow.

The triple divisions accord with the Maiden, Mother and Wise Woman mythology.

Other practitioners have the dual waxing and waning periods with the full moon in the center as the waxing reaches a climax of power.



The Ordains – Concerning relationships within the Craft

The Ordains

Concerning relationships within the Craft
Witchy Comments & Graphics

1. Witches do not point out the identity of other Witches to the general public or give addresses, or anything that can betray any of us.

2. Do nothing that will endanger anyone in the Craft, or which will bring them into conflict with the law of the land or any of your persecutors.

3. Do not gossip or speak evil of other Witches.

4. Never lie to any of the Wicca.

5. Never use your magickal skills for show, pride or vain glory.

6. Keep within your Book of Shadows a record of your own rites and learnings.

7. Do not lend your Book of Shadows to anyone. You may allow someone to copy it.

8. Property owned by Crafters should be guarded both mundanely and spiritually by the Witch.

9. Never use your personal power for evil purposes or attacks. If someone attacks you, you can defend yourself by asking the Goddess for justice.

10. Magickal bindings can cost you dearly. Learn to banish negativity instead.

11. Know that thoughts are things; and what you create in thought may manifest in reality.

12. A Witch’s power grows in direct relation with his or her level of wisdom.

13. As long as you are acting in accordance with a positive belief system, don’t worry what others think of you and say about it.

14. Injuries, accidents, sickness, and poverty are often manifestations of low self-esteem or negative programming, not hexes.

15. Magick use should be viewed as sacred.

16. Witches may teach others about the Craft if the place is safe, the teacher is knowledgeable, the student is willing, and the information is available publicly or is not secret to the organisation to which he or she belongs.

17. Never do anything to disgrace the God, Goddess or the Craft.

As Witches….

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments

We accept responsibility for our actions and deeds as clearly a result of the choices we make. We do not blame an exterior entity or being for our shortcoming, weaknesses or mistakes. If we mess up or do something that brings harm to another, we have no one but ourselves to blame and must face the consequences resulting from those actions.

~Magickal Graphics~

The Witches Magick for November 19th – SPELL TO REFLECT NEGATIVITY

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments

You will need your magic mirror or a consecrated small round mirror, a wide-mouthed glass jar, ashes, vinegar, a knife or something else sharp like a razor blade or piece of broken glass, and an apple.

After sundown, set the jar before the mirror and place in it some ashes.
Fill it up about 2/3 of the way with vinegar.
Take the apple and carve into it something that will represent the person or the negativity which follows or attacks you. Try and make it as clear as you can-while you carve, infuse the apple with all of the negativity you perceive around you. Raise the apple above the jar and say:

“Evil send must come to rest
Reflect it back to who knows best
Energy spent for evil and bane,
Go back now from whence you came
Far away I send you this hour
May all your attempts to harm turn sour!”

Place the apple in the jar-for best results do this spell for three consecutive nights.

~Magickal Graphics~


Witchy Comments

-Doreen Valente?

Oh, I have been beyond the town,
Where nightshade black and mandrake grow,
And I have heard and I have seen
What righteous folk would fear to know!
For I have heard, at still midnight,
Upon the hilltop far, forlorn,
With note that echoed through the dark,
The winding of the heathen horn.

And I have seen the fire aglow,
And glinting from the magic sword,
And with the inner eye beheld
The Horned One, the Sabbat’s lord.
We drank the wine, and broke the bread,
And ate it in the Lady’s name.
We linked our hands to make the ring,
And laughed and leaped the Sabbat game.

Oh, little do the townsfolk reck,
When dull they lie within their bed!
Beyond the streets, beneath the stars,
A merry round the witches tread!
And round and round the circle spun,
Until the gates swung wide ajar,
That bar the boundaries of earth
From faery realms that shine afar.

Oh, I have been and I have seen
In magic worlds of Otherwhere.
For all this world may praise or blame,
For ban or blessing nought I care.
For I have been beyond the town,
Where meadowsweet and roses grow,
And there such music did I hear
As worldly-rightous never know.

~Magickal Graphics~

The Witches Alphabet

This is something I have been aiming to share with you and just keep forgetting.

Below is an example of the Witches Alphabet or also known as the Theban Alphabet. Witches use this secret alphabet to write in their Book of Shadows, to hide spells or ritual or just anything magickal you do not want seen. It is a very ancient alphabet, but still in use today.

If you take time to study it and then practice writing it. You will find it is not that difficult to learn at all. After learning the alphabet, you can use it in your Book of Shadows or any other writings you do not want seen.

Theban Alphabet or The Witches Alphabet


Lighten Up – Keeping Summoned Beings as Pets is a Bad Idea

Keeping Summoned Beings as Pets is a Bad Idea

by Faerie K. with thanks to viii on chat for ideas and comments

Why keeping summoned beings as pets is a bad idea…

They may be cute and cuddly when they’re little, but they tend to grow. Fast. To something large.

You can’t flush your overgrown summoned pet down the toilet and no pound will take one. (Trust me on this one.)

Unless you spay or neuter them, they will breed, quickly.

Good luck trying to find a vet that will spay or neuter one…

The feeding costs are astronomical. New Age shops are very expensive. Oh, sorry, I meant “astrological”.

An exotic summoned pet is very difficult to feed. Museums start suspecting your interests in ancient cultures rather quickly.

Getting them used to gourmet food is a bad idea: there aren’t that many virgins around, you see!

Cats sitting on the chest of a sleeping child sucking their life-force out may be a myth. With summoned pets, it isn’t.

No insurance will cover it if your summoned pet bites your guests.

They may even eat your guests while you pop into the kitchen for tea.

When they nibble your toes on Sunday morning, it does NOT feel nice. Besides, you need those toes for proper balance.

Clipping their toenails to save your sofa from being torn into shreds is pretty damn hard.

You think a pet stealing your stuff is bad? Summoned pets steal your stuff and hide it to the astral plane!

Summoned pet dung is difficult to get rid of. They won’t accept it at the toxic waste plant anymore …

Cat’s hairballs are easy to clean away. Try dealing with astral slime puke.

They don’t stay in their cage unless you remember to seal it magickally properly. Every single time.

It also gets a bit tedious to keep that triangle of salt intact in the corner of the living room.

A summoned pet possessing your grandmother is NO fun, I can tell you!

A summoned pet possessing your  stereo system  may be painful.

Having them play with your altar tools is not cute.

Having them play with your Book of Shadows is even less cute.

Smell of sulfur wafting in the apartment tends to deter Jehovah’s Witnesses and other pests, though… But it does make breathing labored in the long run.

Landlords tend to dislike the “things that go bump in the night” routine you have going on in your flat.

Landlords will detest finding out that paying residents in your block are disappearing as if by magick.

On the other hand, the police may become a tad too interested in the very same phenomena.

It’s not fun to have your pet deciding to “hump” your neighbor’s dog in the middle of your daily walk.

It’s practically impossible to find new, caring homes for the resulting Cerberoses, too.

While it may be cute to have a pet that actually does talk back to you, it’s not nice when they start throwing curses.

It may be nice to have a pet that can retrieve your e-mail along with regular post, but it’s NOT fun having them actually posting replies…

Advanced summoned pets may summon pets of their own. That means BIG trouble.

Last but not least: If you’re not quite careful, you may one day wake up realizing that it is in fact YOU who are the pet in this deal.

How I Wish: Consequences in Spell and Wish Making

by blackWing

Do what you will and harm none.

Pagans have seen this message over and over again. We know it, we live it or we strive to live it. For most people, it means don’t carry out a form of magick or spell-casting that will harm anyone, including ourselves. Well, that’s pretty easy. I won’t cast a spell on mean Joe Schmuck, the pagan-hating neighbor, for throwing his garbage on my lawn. It also means I won’t call a curse down on the person who cut me off in traffic. I’m not talking about saying something like, “Damn you,” because in most cases that falls under the category of being an expletive. It doesn’t carry the force of magick or higher energy behind it.

Almost everyone will agree that the above forms of magick (spell-casting and drawing down curses) can harm, and they’re fairly obvious. What is not as obvious are the subtler ways we can harm someone. One common trap is love or attraction charms and spells. Many a “good” neo-pagan book written by upright followers of the path has listed spells that are potentially harmful. To cast a spell that brings beauty to you or makes you more attractive is a beneficent charm. However, there are spells that instruct “write the name of the one you love or want on a piece of paper” and perform a certain ritual. There are several versions, all of which are to attract someone specific and to bind them to you. That’s psychic and spiritual bondage — slavery. Those spells can cause serious backlash.

I found out the hard way many, many years ago when I thought I was practicing harmless witchcraft. I had inadvertently fallen in love with a man who was a customer where I worked.

When I figured out what was wrong with me (I was depressed), I did a spell of attraction. It should have been a spell that just made me more attractive. It might have been a spell that made me more attractive to that particular man, but that would have been manipulating his view and feelings. Instead, it was a spell to make him want me and be attracted to me. And unfortunately, I did a very powerful spell.

Did it work? In spades; I was terribly burned in the process. What I put out came back to me threefold. (Oh yeah, there’s that law for a reason.) I almost became an alcoholic, I had an eating disorder that went completely ballistic and I was dreadfully, emotionally wounded in the process of this guy realizing that he didn’t want me. I had done this in all innocence, believing unthinkingly that I wasn’t doing any harm.

Lucky for me, I woke up after the fact and realized what I had done. I didn’t do it again. Seven years later, with that man as far from here as is possible, I had a chance to mend and heal the old wounds and set things aright with him. No, I’m not with him, but there’s a peacefulness and a wholeness that took many years to accomplish.

We learn a lot from our lessons through life, if we don’t do irreparable harm along the way. That means that you can’t even heal someone unless they want to be healed. Now, on a psychological level, many of us know this to be true. You can’t change someone unless they want to change. But if a person is in a coma or hurt beyond asking for healing energy, what do you do? You can perform rituals to heal, but you have to send them out with the addendum, take the energy if you wish it. Some people don’t want to be healed, even if they are at death’s door. Some people do want to be healed, even if they’re trying to take their own lives and won’t ask for the help.

The ethics of healing with or without permission, even on the purely physical level, is one that everyone, from the medical community to shamans, is debating. It is a larger question for another article. There may never be a completely right or wrong answer. The situation I’m looking at, though, is that of manipulating, threatening or changing someone without their knowledge or permission, or against their will.

Another pitfall for the witch is using magick to get someone to leave you alone or ignore you. Yes, I was caught by this one too but not in as severe a way as the attraction spell. I had had problems with a certain person’s attitude and his behavior, so I did a ritual to take back my power that he was trying to manipulate, and to make sure that he would leave me alone. Well, the first part was fine. The second part fell into the category of me magickally manipulating him. It wasn’t even a problem I noticed until I had to talk with this person and found he did not remember having talked to me on previous occasions, and that he had not remembered even seeing me.

I had been much more careful how I had worded my ritual and in what I was doing, so in the long run there wasn’t as much manipulation or damage. It was essentially a protection and empowerment spell. I should have left it at protecting myself from harm, ill thoughts and so on and not in repelling a specific person. I’ve fixed that one after the fact, too.

Another area of magickal concern that has probably escaped most people’s attention is the Internet. In this day of instant communication, the same idea can fly around the globe in minutes. All of us have probably received the same joke within a day from various people in different parts of the country or world. One noticeable form of communication is the preponderance of chain letters. These take the form of adding your name to a list to possibly get the free trip to wherever, to spreading the news and good wishes for the dying child/man/woman with MS/cancer/brain tumors whose church/hospital/town will donate so many pennies per message, and lastly to the good old-fashioned chain letter. In this letter, there may be a touching story about caring for someone, or some truisms and proverbs or even a humorous little joke. At the end, inevitably, is the direction to send this to 10, 20 or 50 of your friends. If you do this, they’ll send it back to you to show their love or friendship, or more likely you will experience good luck, your fondest dream come true or, if you don’t send it out, you will have some type of bad luck like an elephant falling on your head.

These chain letters abound. Almost every time someone gets an e-mail account or starts discovering the ancestry of e-mail jokes, they pick up the chain mail torch and run with it. I received many and sent a few on. I started sending the jokes on and deleting the good luck admonition at the end. I started deleting them wholesale. I sent one out a while back that had great proverbs. It had the “get good luck and send this to your friends” blurb at the bottom. I deleted that and then added my own letter that said, “I’m tired of being threatened with luck.” That’s exactly what’s happening. Someone who “believes” that chain letters work, and who sends one on, is threatening a person with luck. Call it magick, juju or a spell if you will, but whether it’s good luck, bad luck or no luck, it’s still a threat or a promise.

As practicing pagans who believe “Do what you will and harm none,” it’s time to take responsibility for the power we put behind words, whether written or verbal. Even if they’re not our own, we empower them with our belief. This is the basis of magick and spells — belief. Our belief makes them strong, and if you send willy-nilly to people the good luck wish with “If you don’t send this on you receive bad luck,” then we are harming some.

Let’s put it in another perspective. How would you feel if a person came up to you and said, “I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, as long as they agree with mine.”? Or: “I wish you prosperity as long as you find the one true religion (fill in the blank here).” There is not much difference between these wishes and a good luck chain letter that says, “Unless you recruit and scare 10 more people with this, your luck won’t improve.”

There are many traps and pitfalls in spell and magick making. I might still get caught, but it happens less frequently. I walk ever more carefully with my eyes opened wider, and questioning with what-ifs all the more. The more adept one becomes, the easier it is to tap into higher power and more of that power. It is therefore more important to be extremely careful and check over rituals and spells for potential harm. As well, even our wishes can influence and change the world we walk in.

Like the Internet joke about the old lady/man who finds a bottle. S/he gives it a rub, and out pops a genie who says, “You have three wishes.” First wish: The old man/lady says, “I would like to be young and beautiful.” Poof, it happens. Second wish: “I would like enough money/wealth to live well and have all that I want.” Poof, it happens. Third wish: S/he looks at her/his cat and says, “Why don’t you turn it into a handsome/beautiful young man/woman?” Poof, it happens. The gorgeous creature walks toward the wishmaker and says, “Aren’t you sorry you had me fixed?”

Be careful what you wish for — you might get it.