Obsidian Protection Amulet

A little exercise in spell writing, using an obsidian arrow head the kids demanded from the science museum and promptly forgot about…

Obsidian Protection Amulet

You will need:

  • Black obsidian arrowhead or stone
  • Black or white candle
  • Cup of water
  • Salt
  • Incense (enough for the duration of the working)

Create your sacred space in the usual way. Light your incense and candle, invoking any deity or energy you wish to aid you in your task, clearly stating your purpose, such as;

“I call upon this crystal to guard and protect me for all malignant influences; be they of magic or ill-intent.”

Consecrate your water and salt using your finger saying;

“Water/Salt, I purify and consecrate you, removing all impurities and inequities from your being so only good may remain. I dedicate you as a tool of purification and protection so that you may aid me in my work”.

Combine Water and Salt and submerge the obsidian into the salt water and say;

“By Earth and Water, I purify you that you may serve me in (purpose)”

Hold the stone in your dominant hand. Close your eyes and begin to draw energy from the ground up through your body. Visualise / feel the energy rising up through your body with each breath in until it fills your body head to toe. Pass it into the arrowhead, holding the purpose of your work clearly in your mind. See the stone take on this energy in the form of an inner glow.

Once you feel that the stone has been fully empowered pass the obsidian through the smoke and say;

“By Air and Fire, I enliven you that you may serve me in (purpose)”

Thank any deity / energy which you may have invoked for aiding you in this purpose.

Deconstruct your sacred space in the usual way leaving your incense and candle to burn down safely.

Notes
As this is an amulet it is necessary to perform this spell on a regular basis such as every full moon.

If you do not have an obsidian arrow which can easily be turned into a necklace and/or a pendant then you will also need some form of amulet bag to allow you to wear it around your neck.

If you have four such arrowheads perform a slightly adapted version of this working. Rather than wear them place the arrowheads at the four corners of your property, either pointing outwards or thrust into the ground if possible.

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PhD Research – Participants wanted

I know many who follow this blog practice a form of revival of ancient Mediterranean practices so I would like to bring to your attention this research project by Olivia Kinsman, PhD Candidate Historical Studies, University of Bristol.

To find out more please click on the link below

21st Century Goddess Spirituality and Ancient Mediterranean Goddess – Round 1

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The Moon

Upright Meaning
Illusion, fear, anxiety, insecurity, the subconscious

Reversed Meaning
Unhappiness, confusion, instability, inconsistency

Description of Rider-Waite-Smith

The moon shines down on the land, warping the nature of the landspace with the gentle light. Three of her creatures; the wolf, the hound and the lobster, bask in her glow as she hangs pregnant between the twin towers.

Key Symbols

The Wolf and Hound

Prominent in the foreground are the wolf and hound, both calling to the moon in their individual ways. This is a perfect example of the dichotomy of the Moon card because they are two sides of the same coin. The wolf is a primitive form of the hound, in tune with nature and with his own animal instincts while the hound has been bred and trained to obedience and to the benefit of man. He may be comfortable in the wild, hunting on behalf of his master, but he is more at home by his masters hearth, placidly accepting his reward for his conformity. The duality of these animals and the duality of the moon are linked, at least at the instinctual level. Regardless of the differences between the dog and the hound they are both drawn by instinct to bay at the moon.

Lobster

The third animal depicted on the card is a lobster, emerging out of the waters of emotion and subconsciousness which dominate the foreground. This crustacean hints at the astrological connection of the card, Cancer the Crab, but also reminds us of the intuitive and subconscious connections of the Moon card. The lobster is setting out upon the path, between the two canines and on towards the Towers and is symbolic of us emerging after a period of seclusion or hiding and onto a journey to a higher path, negotiating all the pitfalls, illusions and conflicts that can affect a person as they evolve. The shell of the lobster is also reminiscent of the armour we need to protect ourselves against all the confusion and illusion that the moon can can portend.

The Twin Towers

In the background of the card imagery stand two strong Towers. Unlike the Tower Card they stand strong and complete, suggesting that they are a place of safety and security. In the twisting light of the moon it might appear so, but in truth the Towers of the Moon card represent a barrier to the journey being undertaken by the lobster. A prison is still a prison regardless of how comfortable it is, and the Towers of the Moon card represent stagnation in relation to the themes of the Moon. It is also worth considering the Towers in realtion to the illusionary nature of the Moon. Yes they appear strong but what illusions have they been built upon? Foundations must be built upon strong ground to be able to survive yet these Towers, whilst hearing the appearance of strength, have weak foundations. Therefore, the safety and protection they offer will not only lead to stagnation but can also result in everything coming crashing down on you as the illusions of the Moon are washed away by the light of dawn.

The Moon of the Arcana

The moon card of the Arcana is represented by a Wolf dressed in a yoga style dress. The figure holds a pool of water in its hands with a drop of water below the cupped hands, which is similar in symbology to the Sun Card. The water and animal head are all that remains of the original Rider Waite Smith deck, although the luminary is present in the form of a crescent moon with rays of light extending from a central point behind it. The wolf in civilised garb, along with the water, hints at the themes of instinct and intuition, with the water carrying additional tones of the illusionary nature of the moon.

Within the game the Moon Card represents Navara, third oldest of the Satrinava Sisters. Navara has orange hair, and wears flowing robes in this colours to best show her skills as a dancer. Through various storylines she displays a protective nature towards Nadia as well as the professed ability to sense auras, demonstrating aspects of the Moon cards nature and her personality. During the masquerade she wears a wolf mask during the masquerade.

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Palm Stones and Touch Stones

Palm and touch stones are versatile magical tools, able to create a powerful shift of energy and emotion simply in the act of holding. The very weight and texture allow you to find a moment of calm and focus, giving you a direct route into the the energies of the earth and, in some cases, the sea.

Most discourses about palm and touch stones focus on crystals and semi precious stones, which in many ways is understandable. It allows you to select stones based on properties, drawing on the energies and associations there is and give that such stones do not need to be large (in the case of touch stones at least) expense doesn’t need to be too much of a barrier.

My inner magpie fully appreciates the pretty shiny nature of crystals but in truth the crystal industry has a dark and destructive underbelly, causing as much harm to the land as activities such as oil extraction and fracking, and it makes it a little hard to connect with “the healing vibrations of the Earth” with a stone which has been ripped from the Earth herself. There are ways to off set this perhaps, and there are many retailers who focus on ethical sourcing so this shouldn’t be an entire barrier to crystal palm and touch stones.

That being said – it is amazing what you can find on your local beach. Take the UK,and in particular the Yorkshire coast. Agate, cornelian, citrine, chert/flint, jasper, jet, quartz/ite and serpentine can all be found on the beach, alongside more traditional stones such as granite, limestone and chalk. Many of these are native to the region, and therefore common, though some will have travelled south following the long shore drift and are harder to spot.

Here are some metaphysical properties of common stones which you might not have considered before…

Granite
Granite is a balancer – able to bring harmony to both energy and emotions. Finding the sweet point between “too much” and “too little” can be a barrier to meditation so granite is a wonderful go to as your meditative touch stone. It can also be used to help with matters of communication, particularly in situations where both speaking and listening are important, such as business meetings.

Quartzite
This form of opaque quartz has all the same metaphysical properties of clear quartz, such as focusing thoughts and increasing ones energy. The colours range from snow white through to yellows, greens and browns and the colour itself lends to the potential uses.

Serpentine
Though you will be familiar with green Serpentine it is possible to find red serpentine around the coast of the UK. It aids in meditation and enhances spiritual exploration, particularly in relation to past lives and memory retrieval.

Picking a Palm / Touch Stone from the Beach

Even more so than with selecting specious stones the question is “what calls to you?”. I can confidently identify most of the common stones that appear on the beach but sometimes it is almost impossible to select between a couple of different possibilities. This means I can be more concerned about how something feels as opposed to what it is.

First there are the physical sensations; How does it fit into the palm of my hand? How much does it weigh? Is it cold or warm to the touch?

Then I will consider the more enotional/spiritual aspects such as; it it happy being held by me? Does it want to work with me?

Tumble or Polish?

Theres nothing more disappoint that finding a pretty rock on the beach only for it to loose its luster when it dries out. You can polish beachstones at home using hobby rock tumbler but that can take up to 2 weeks (assuming your stones are pretty smooth to begin with), and hobbyists machines won’t handle the larger palm stones. Another way is to achieve a ‘wet’ look is to use a polish. A number of different methods Are avalible, such as mineral oil and some types of stone sealents. I am still experimenting with such things and my next experiment will be with a beeswax and coconut oil based polish to try and save the quartzite palm stone I put in my rock tumbler.
This isn’t exactly necessary to the functionality of the stone as a magical tool but process, and conscious recognition of the stones natural beauty, will help you build the bond between you and the stone.

How to use Palm / Touch Stones

The important thing with such stones is their use. The more you use them the more attuned you will become with the energy of the stone and the more effective they will become. The sight and touch of them will provide a mental and energetic check, guiding you into the state of mind which you associate their use with.

Meditation

Hold a small stone which sits neatly in the palm of your hand in either hand (or a larger single stone in both) whilst meditating. Not only will the stone provide the energetic assistance according to their properties but the weight and balance of the physical stone will provide a neutral physical sensation to focus upon, as opposed to that itchy nose that always occurs when I meditate.

Sleep

Similarly palm and touchstones, when held, can aid troubled sleep by providing comfort and a focus on which to calm the mind.

Holding Energy

All stones and crystal’s can be energized with energy and intent for later use. Usually the energy and intent is aligned with the attributes of the stone but with stones with high quartz content can, like quartz itself, be programmed to a wide variety of purposes. Energy and intent placed within the stone can be drawn on at any time, particularly if you keep it on hand. Very useful if you need an energetic pick me up before a workout or a protective boost when going into a negative situation.

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The Star

Upright Meaning – hope, spirituality, rebels, inspiration, serenity

Reversed Meaning – despair, discouragement, lack of faith

Description of Rider-Waite-Smith

Lit by starlight the maiden works, pouring out all that she is into the world to nourish it and bring new growth and hope for the future. The waters of her well and pitcher bring renewal to the plan but she intuitively knows that in order to continue to nourish the world she needs must nourish the source as well. The scene is dominated by one large eight rayed star and surrounded by seven smaller stars. The largest and brightest hangs heavily above the the nude woman, her crowing glory and the light by which she works. Some see the other seven stars are representing the seven energetic chakras, representing the balancing of physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Key Symbols

Nudity

The central figure of the Star card has laid herself and her truth bear for all the world to see. She is comfortable not only in her own skin but in her purpose and abilities, accepting her intuitive nature which she nourishes with the waters of her emotions. She is unfettered by the material realm and is able to raise up to new levels of spiritual existence, bringing her conscious and subconscious mind in harmony with one another as she seeks inspiration, direction, self enlightenment and wisdom.

Pitchers

The nude woman loveigly pours two pitchers of water out into the world, one flowing to nourish the earth whilst the other she returns to the pool from which she drew it. The blue juat represents the element of water, the emotions, we pour our emotions out into the world around us and nourish our mundane endeavours with their waters. The res vessel represents the element of fire Bs is symbolic of our passions. The woman pours water from the red vessel back into the pool of water, symbolically the source of our emotions, reminding us to nourish our emotional source to ensure that it stays pure and clear. The pouring water cause a disturbance to the pond, drawing to the surface thiga which have long been hidden and reminds us that we must examine supresed and buried emotions to understand how they are affecting us in our lives day to day.

Star

The great star hangs low in the sky as it casts it guiding light, brighter than all others in the self same sky. This star has been foreshadowed elsewhere in the journey of the Fool and was the light within the Hermits lamp, though he did not yet know it. The Hermit sought the guiding light, the maiden has found it and basks in its radiance as she nourishes her world with the waters if emotions. The light cast by the star in the sky is very different to that can’t from the Hermits lantern, and in our startlight all things may appear different and strange but it is a good thing to look at difficult situations in a different light in order to gain a new perspective.

The Star of the Arcana

The Star of the Arcana shares many of the symbols common to the Rider Waite deck, with the right stars implied and represented across the midnight field above the central figure of a feline maiden. Unlike the RWS, only one pitcher of water is being poured out onto the ground, though as it is being poured it is clear that not only is the ground nourished but the reservoir of emotion is being created at the same time.

In the game the Star is the avatar of main character and love interest, Portia Devorak, the younger sister of Julian. When Julian left his home in Nevivon and managed to get in to trouble for the murder of count Lucio Portia left her home and comfort to seek out and save her brother despite himself. This takes her on a number of adventures (no spoilers) until she finds herself in service to a sleeping countess Nadia, becoming her personal servant and confidant the moment she wakes.

Portia wears her emotions on her sleeve, and whilst most of those emotions appear to be exasperation and sarcasm boarding onto anger she is in touch with her loving side and like the star that fiery is nourished and fed by the deep well of love she has for her friends and animals. Her animal companion is Pepi the cat, a queen amongst felines, but she is affectionate to all the love interests animal companions, even raucous Camio. Also like the Star she is a guiding light to her brother in her attempt to aid the MC in clearing his name and draw him out of his depression and self loathing.

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Staycation

I’m enjoying a two week staycation at the moment so nothing much is going on. Having bought myself a basic 2lb stone tumbler I have used the slightly relaxed lockdown rules to make a dash for the coast. I’ve tried to be responsible, picking quieter locals such as Robin Hoods Bay, which is also a really good beach for rock and fossil hunting so that’s a win win.

I will post some rock polishing adventures as the weeks go by but for now let’s just enjoy some of the scorching heat and British coastline.

© Vicky Newton
© Vicky Newton

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John Barleycorn Must Die

There were three men come out of the west, their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn would die
They’ve ploughed, they’ve sown, they’ve harrowed, thrown clods upon his head
Till these three men were satisfied John Barleycorn was dead
There’s beer all in the barrel and brandy in the glass
But little Sir John, with his nut-brown bowl, proved the strongest man at last
They’ve let him lie for a long long time till the rains from heaven did fall
And little Sir John sprang up his head and so amazed them all
They’ve let him stand till midsummer’s day and he looks both pale and wan
Then little Sir John’s grown a long long beard and so become a man
There’s beer all in the barrel and brandy in the glass
But little Sir John, with his nut-brown bowl, proved the strongest man at last
There’s beer all in the barrel and brandy in the glass
But little Sir John, with his nut-brown bowl, proved the strongest man at last
They’ve hired men with the sharp-edged scythes to cut him off at the knee
They’ve rolled him and tied him around the waist, treated him most barbarously
They’ve hired men with the sharp-edged forks to prick him to the heart
And the loader has served him worse than that for he’s bound him to the cart
So they’ve wheeled him around and around the field till they’ve come unto a barn
And here they’ve kept their solemn word concerning Barleycorn
They’ve hired men with the crab tree sticks to split him skin from bone
And the miller has served him worse than that for he’s ground him between two stones
There’s beer all in the barrel and brandy in the glass
But little Sir John, with his nut-brown bowl, proved the strongest man at last
There’s beer all in the barrel and brandy in the glass
But little Sir John, with his nut-brown bowl, proved the strongest man at last
And the huntsman he can’t hunt the fox nor loudly blow his horn
And the tinker he can’t mend his pots without John Barleycorn

Fairpoint Convention -John Barleycorn (must die)

Lammas means it’s time to bake bread with the family. This year people wanted to make Viking Bread but because we weren’t able to get hold of whole wheat flour we substituted spelt, swappin proportions to use 3 cups spelt and 2 cups plain. Add a little basil and thyme, for protection and abundance, and a lot of love and it is time to celebrate Lammastide with warm bread and honey.

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Baby Witch vs Seeker

Okay – putting aside the whole “TikTok Witches Hex the Moon” conversation (I think Gen Z is trolling us but it makes for some good meme’s), I wanted to concentrate on a phrase I’ve had a problem with for a long time.

It is not for me to tell people what they should, and shouldn’t, be labeling themselves. It’s your life and your identity but remember – the labels you use are a signal to the world around you and it might be useful to consider how the term comes across when engaging in a larger group.

For me – the term “baby witch” signals a lack of sincerity and commitment to the Craft. It indicates a desire to be spoon fed, a surrender of critical thinking and a lack of regard for witchcraft either as a practice or spiritual path.

Perhaps I am getting old – I came to witchcraft in my mid teens and I’m now in my mid thirties – but I do realise that the landscape of information avalible has changed dramatically. There is 100 times the information and 90% of it really isn’t all that great and it is overwhelming to someone approaching the craft for the first time. A novice may want to signal that they are just begining to find their way and are looking for guidance…

… so what is wrong with the term Seeker? It covers so many things. Seeking guidance, seeking knowledge, seeking understanding of the Craft, and of the self, seeking support…

… yes, the term could be seen as a little old fashioned but it retains the concepts of critical thinking, self awareness and personal commitment that the term “baby” throws out with the bathwater.

I realise that my own gut reaction is dismissive of the upcoming generation of witches and practitioners of the craft. Perhaps I am not hip enough to get what they are trying to signal with the use of a term I find infantile and self surrendering. I always reserve judgment about the person at the other side of the conversation but I just cant bring myself to respect the use to term, be that as a personal label, term of endearment or as an insult because of what it signals.

For a fuller discussion I recommend this video from Thorn Mooney. If you are truly seeking information and guidance in the Craft, and are desperate to read a book from a modern and living author, then Thorn’s book Traditional Wicca:A Seekers Guide is an excellent place to start, even if you are not wishing to become a Gardnerian persay.

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I was on the Talk Gnosis podcast! Tune in and take a look!

I know I’m supposed to be on a hiatus so I can focus on my Salem Summer Symposium presentation (Spelling by Spelling: Greek Alphabet Divination and Magic, at 1pm EDT on Saturday, August 15, which you all should totally join in and also book your places in their other online sessions later next month!), but…it’d […]

I was on the Talk Gnosis podcast! Tune in and take a look!
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Pentacle Crochet Pattern – Free

Beyond Moon and Stars I am actually between projects at the moment. I am waiting for an order of wool for some Yule presents for family but whilst I wait I’ve been messing around with my odds and sods.

I made a snake neck wrap for World Snake Day, using this basic watch strap pattern and a bit of ingenuity. I also made myself a scarf for winter (gloves to follow) and tested to see if a vintage potholder pattern would make a nice wheel of the year (it will with a bit of work).

Whilst I was there I spotted another vintage potholder – a five pointed star doily. It wasn’t exactly round but with leftovers and hook in hand I had a go circling the pentagon and this was the result….

Awesome right?I just followed the pattern as far as round six and then winged it. One of the additional rounds felt extraneous but on experimentation it provided a much better circle and a nice distinction between the star and the circle.

The first one was made in Patons 100% Cotton (Rafata I think). I can remember if is DK or 4ply (the wrap is long since lost) but I like this one because it has ended up rather stiff and would actually be somewhat protective of the surface it was on.

My second attempt using James C Brett “Its 100% Pure DK Cotton” picked up in Leeds Kirgate looks like an apple (awesome) but the resultant fabric is rather floppy. I am still learning about working in cotton, and whilst I know I could stiffen it up I think the Patons made a much better end product.

So without further ado, here it my write up of the Pentacle Doily Pot Holder.

Pentacle Doily / Pot Holder

Stitches used

  • Sc – Single Crochet
  • DC – Double Crochet

Chainless double crochet – video tutorial

Reverse single crochet – video tutorial

Instructions

1st rnd: mc ch1, chainless dc chain5, [ dc chain5 ] x7 slip stitch into the top of the first dc. (8 dc and 8 chain5 spaces)

2nd rnd: slip stitch into chain5 space.
Chainless dc, 4 dc into the same space. 5 dc in to the remaining 7 spaces. Slip stitch into the first dc. ( 40 )

3rd rnd: chainless dc, dc in the next 7 stitches, chain 5 [ 1 dc in the next 8 stitches, chain5 ] x 4. Slip stitch into the first dc.

4th rnd: Sl st to 2nd dc, chainless dc into the same stitch, 1 d c each in next 5 dc, chain 5. [ sc in loop, chain 5, skip first dc, 6dc, chain 5 ]x 5. Slip stitch into the first dc.

5th rnd: Sl st to 2nd dc, chainless dc into the same stitch, 1 d c each in next 3 dc, chain 5. [ sc in loop, chain 5, sc in loop, chain 5, skip first dc, 4dc, chain 5 ]x 5. Slip stitch into the first dc.

6th rnd: Sl st to 2nd dc, chainless dc into the same stitch, 1 d c each in next dc, chain 5. [ sc in loop, chain 5, sc in loop, chain 5, sc in loop, chain 5, skip first dc, 2dc, chain 5 ]x 5. Slip stitch into the first dc.

7th rnd: slip stitch into next dc. [ Chain 10, skip first 2 chain 5 loops, slip stitch into sc, chain 10, skip next 2 chain 5 loops, dc across point ]. Repeat [ to ] 4 more times. To finish, slip stitch into chain 10 space AND the first chain 5 space of round 6.

8th rnd: chainless dc into 10 chain space (rnd 7) and chain 5 space (rnd 6), 3 dc in same spaces, 4dc into next set of chain spaces. 3dc into the sc of round 6, 4dc into both chain spaces, 4dc into both chain spaces, sc2tog. [ 4dc into both chain spaces, 4dc into both chain spaces 3dc into the sc of round 6, 4dc into both chain spaces, 4dc into both chain spaces, sc2tog]. Repeat [ to ] 3 more times. Slip stitch into first dc (102 dc around)

9th rnd: chainless dc into first stitch, dc I to next 3 stitches, dc increase in next stitch [ 4 dc, dc increase ] x20 around. Sc into the first dc.

10th rnd: reverse sc around
Or sc around

Usual rules apply – this pattern is free and you can sell anything you make from it but please link back to this blog so that my links remain intact.

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