What is a Pentagram and why is it important to Witches? 

​I mixed up the original order of this series moving the tool post of What is a Pentacle to follow on from this post about the symbol; the pentagram. 

Usually, when people blog, the two subjects are covered together and in some cases interchangeably and I was keen to pick the two things apart as much as possible because it can be a little confusing. So first,  a general rule of thumb


Penta– a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, meaning “five” ( Pentateuch ); on this model, used in the formation of compound words ( pentavalent ). Also, especially before a vowel, pent-.

Gram– a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “something written,” “drawing” (epigram; diagram ); on this model, used in the formation of compound words ( oscillogram ).

Pentagram– [pen-tuh-gram] noun a five-pointed, star-shaped figure made by extending the sides of a regular pentagon until they meet, usedas an occult symbol by the Pythagoreans and later philosophers, by magicians, etc. Also called pentacle, pentangle, pentalpha.


Penta– a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, meaning “five” ( Pentateuch ); on this model, used in the formation of compound words ( pentavalent ). Also, especially before a vowel, pent-.

Cle– a suffix found in French loanwords of Latin origin, originally diminutive nouns, and later in adaptations of words borrowed directly from Latin or in Neo-Latin coinages: article; conventicle; corpuscle; particle. Origin: < French, Old French < Latin -culus, -cula, -culum, variant of -ulus -ule with nouns of the 3rd, 4th and 5thdeclensions, usually with the same gender as the base noun — suffix forming nouns indicating smallness: cubicle ; particle

Pentacle– [pen-tuh-kuh l] noun 1. pentagram. 2. a similar figure, as a hexagram. Origin: 1585–95; < Italian pentacolo five-cornered object. See penta-, -c

Otherwise put;

Pentagram – five pointed star *no circle*

Pentacle – five pointed star *in a circle*

History of the Pentagram 

The pentagram is an ancient symbol but it was not always a religious symbol by any means. The ancient Sumerians used it to represent concepts such as corner or angle whilst other cultures have used it to represent cosmology as they understood it. The most recognisable cosmological interpretation is the Greek Pythagorean interpretation. 

Pythagorean Pentagram

The pentagram is used in part because its shape lends itself to represent the body of man, arms and legs extended with the head representing the fifth point but also because it can map the five components of all creation as understood by the Greeks; that being Earth (matter), Air (breath), Fire (energy), Water (fluids) and Aether (the psyche or soul; referred to as Spirit in modern equivalents). This concept was so important to the Pythagoreans that it became their secret sign when they were eventually forced underground. 
Video – Donald Duck and Pythagoras
The pentagram isn’t just limited to polytheistic or non-Abrahamic cultures ad it makes its appearance in Judaism and Early Christianity. In Judaism the five pointed start representations the upper section of the Tree of Life as well as the five books of the Torah (also referred to as the Pentateuch) and the seal bearing the secret name of God. Early Christians, even into the early medieval times, saw the pentagram as representing the five wounds of Christ and was often used as a protective symbol until it was eventually taken up in Arthurian legend as a symbol representing the five knightly virtues of friendship, generosity, chastity, courtesy and peity.

As we move into the 14th and 15th century there is a rise in the interest of Judeo-Christian mysticism and occultism amongst the upper echelons of society, particularly those with knowledge of Latin and Greek. This led the Ceremonial Magician to ‘pagan’ writings as well as those associated with the heretical Gnostics. So it is no surprise that they were viewed as heritics.  Given that heresy is the bedfellow of Satanic Worship and Witchcraft at this time everything associated with Ceremonial Magic was tarred with the same brush. It wasn’t until the Victorians began their revival of mysticism and occultism that people looked back to when the pentagram was a popular Christian symbol and began to recognise it as am ancient symbol with many positive and non religious contexts. 

The fortunes of the pentagram changed further with Pagan Revival and creation of modern paganism and Witchcraft practices. Even as the ancient connotations of the pentagram revitalised and weaved into the modern reconstruction of the so – called “Old Ways” the negative connotations remained, sonetimes with a (literal) twist. 

Hollywood has well and truly adopted the Pentagram as a symbol for Witchcraft and magic and like the Ouija board (link) they represent it in the worst way possible to improve shock value and ratings. Pentagrams daubed in blood or carved into trees speak to the common fear of evil incarnate, of Satanic rituals and death but it has little to do with most modern Witchcraft taditions. The exception to this statement would be Satanism and some God-centric practices. 

Inverted Pentagram

The inverted pentagram (point down) is often used to represent the Goat Headed God, sometimes called the Witchfather, (link) because in it’s inverted form the image of a horned goat can be mapped over the points. More often it is a symbol associated with Satanism but the movement has far less connection with “evil practices” and  anti-Christian opinion and more to do with a focus on the self as a manifestation of deity and acceptance of the shadow aspects of human nature. This group rejects God and, more importantly, the Biblical Satan as myths and is focused on the self and ego in spiritual practice. These are points missed by many, including many modern Pagans and there are as many hangups about the inverted pentagram as there are about the upwards pointing pentagram when one simple, even rational, interpretation could be the representation of the descent of spirit into matter or primacy of the material/ego over the spirit.

Just as the pentagram has a long history, covering many cultures and religions both monotheistic and polytheistic  it is an evolving symbol without a single meaning. It doesn’t belong to a single group and can be altered in particlar ways to influence it’s meaning without showing disrespect to one group or another (although this is dependent on context). It represents spiritual and religious concepts as well as mathematical and materials ones, whilst at the same time being simple in design and versatile in its meaning.

Focusing on the umbrella of Paganism, there are numerous concepts depicted in the Pentagram which Pagans identify with depending on their Path or Tradition. 

Levi’s Pentagram

SymbolismThe most recognisable use of the pentagram in pagan circles is when it is used to represent the four classical elements and the quintessence, or fifth element. As mentioned above this is a Pythagorean concept of five elements which make up man and all creation is a classical concept which remains central to many modern Pagan streams. Also mapped onto this concept are the Five Pagan Virtues which relies on the ancient belief that when all four of the material elements are in balance the fifth can be achieved. The symbol is also used to represent the five senses with the sixth sense represent in the centre of the star. 

Other concepts that are projected onto the image of the pentagram include those associated with deities. One particularly popular version, using the pentagram alone, is the representation of the three fold Goddess and Her Consorts the Holly King and Oak King. In this the upper most points represent the Goddess as Maid Mother and Crone  (usually from left to right) with the bottom two representing the Oak and Holly Kings respectively. The pentagram is also used to represent the God in His 5 traditional Manifestations of Man, Goat, Stag, Bull and Ram.
Invoking and Banishing Pentagrams

The Pentagram isn’t just a symbol but it is a function with some traditions of Witchcraft, uses in working with elemental energies as well as spiritual energies in general. Banishing and Invoking Pentagrams are often used in the processed or summoning and banishing the four Quarters during the establishment of the ritual circles. In this instance the pentagram appropriate to the element being called or banished is drawn and visualised in the air on the compass.

Invoking and Banishing Pentagrams

Banishing Pentagrams, particularly the Banishing Pentagram of Earth, are used to remove unwanted or negative from a given environment. The process is similar to when a Christian crosses themselves in order to protect themselves from bad luck or negative influences or to draw blessings towards them. This action is by no means universal to all Pagans and without visualisation the gesture is without great effect. 

The most recognisable use of the pentagram in witchcraft is in the Golden Dawns Rituals of the Lesser Pentagram. These two rituals for banishing and invoking the elemental powers allow the practitioner to work in balance with these energies.

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram allows the practitioner to centre and prepare themselves for a coming ritual by banishing from themselves and immediate, personal environment anything negative. In comparison the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram draws the power of the element to the practitioner, energising them for magical workings. 

Of the two the Invoking Pentagram is far less used by the genera community. It is, in comparison to the banishing ritual, quite complicated in its execution. Whilst the effect of the ritual is something eminently useful to a magical practitioner who is not submerged in the Golden Dawn it may appear a trifle excessive considering other energising techniques avalible. Still, that’s not reason not to try something if your drawn to it, I suspect it would be a bit of an eye opener. 

So Why is the Pentagram Important to Witches? 

The Pentagram is a symbol with a variety of meanings making it a versatile symbol for Paganism. It can be used to represent concepts such as the cycle of Life and Death and important virtues or even Gods and Goddesses. This means that it is versatile teaching tool on which to map important practices as well as being a discreet expression of belief. 

Image Credits

Pythagorean Pentagram 

Levi’s Pentagram 

Invoking and Banishing Pentagrams 

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What are Spell Boxes?

​Apparently I’ve been missing a trick all these years in the form of spell boxes. I’d honestly never heard of the term before picking up Robert Skeleton’s book but it makes soooo much sense. I’ve always been one of those people who liked to buy boxes and generally used them for storing Craft related materials in them. Divination tools, herbs, candles etc, the concept of using boxes in the craft centre around storage but the idea that they could be used to store spells themselves never occurred to me before now. So this is going to be one of those posts where I have learnt much by thinking and researching about the subject. There is a good chance that I will have missed some possible, magical uses so if you think I’ve missed something blindingly obvious and you are willing / able to share please drop me a comment. As it is I have come up with these three possible applications. 
Single Purpose Spell Boxes

The most straight forward example of a spell box is exactly that, a spell in a box. Think of a Witch Bottle in a box; a pinch of this a dash of that, components chosen for their correspondence associated with a single purposes. As with witch bottles this kind of spell box is often hidden, even for long term preservation or for slow decay, or dismantled after its function has come to an end buy in some rare cases they are destroyed. For these reason this kind of spell box are often constructed from biodegradable material. 

For example, you could make a small box to attract money in your life by placing cinnamon, basil and thyme in a box with a magnet, a selection of small coins, maybe some tigers eye and a sigil made using the planetary square of Mercury or similar symbol. Once all of these items are placed within your chosen box the box is ready to be enacted as a spell within its own rite (sic)  and either hidden with preservation or (destruction) in mind.

The alternative would be to keep the box close to hand, ready to remove the contents once a spell has come to fruition or run its course so it is ready to accept the next spell. Alternatively the box could be for containing any spell as it works towards its end and that brings me to my next example…
General Purpose Development Box

This spell box is for the development of different kinds of spells with the intention that once a spell has come to fruition the items stored within it  would be removed and disposedof whilst the box can be re-purposed and used again for a different spell.

Example Spell - Attract Money Spell

Example Spell – Attract Money Spell

This is the type of box I have decided to prepare for myself, using the photo memory box pictured above. I settled on this box because the picture frame would allow me to include pictures, photos, sigils etc easily. For a more permanent indication of the purpose of the box I burned a variation of Psalm 20 Verse 4 in Theban Script around the edges. 

May you have the desires of your heart and may all your plans succeed.

Psalm 20:4 adapted

When the box is not in use it will contain a light dusting of my nine herbs blend but nothing more. When spell components are being stored other items to strengthen the goal, such as crystals, herbs etc, will be added to lend a helping hand. 

The only exception, I feel, is baneful magics such as hexes and curses. This kind of work should have a box of its own, where things can fester and rot, kind of like the Chokie in Matilda. Curse boxes are probably a conversation in themselves so I will move on to the third type of ‘spell’ box.

This Instructables guide to Charging Boxes reads a little too much like a D&D instructional for my personal comfort but there is an idea here too good to pass up on. 

In this instance objects which have been charmed or empowered by a deity, entity or in some other way can be recharged by being placed within an appropriately sized container. It may accompany (dry) offerings to deities/entities such as coins and grains and items designed to further empower the object included, such as spelled items, crystals etc.

I realised that, so far, this seems very similar to the General Purpose Development Box I outlined above but I think the key difference is in the reuse of the box and timescales involved. Unlike the general purpose spell box, which can be used to house different spells on a one off basis the charging box can be used many times for the storing / charging of one item. The charging box is, for lack of a better term, is the home of the given magical object. It is the place the object goes to rest and recharge between uses or after a long period of use. Where a spirit is involved it is the space in which the spirit can rest, be honoured and it’s services paid for. You may leave your object to charge between rituals or for a set period of time as decided as part of your creation of your magical item. 

There are other ways to recharge magical items, if you choose this method I suggest you start it from the inception of the charmed item. This way you have a box chosen to fit the object. At the same time you can make decisions about recharged and rest periods.
General Observations

Size, as they say, mattered. You don’t want settle on a big box for a spell box you want to hide or try and use a small box for storing tones of spell remains. You can use any box or container, from a locket and trinket box to a large keep safe box but it should fit your use.

As a general rule of thumb single purposes spell boxes should be relatively small and unobtrusive where as general purpose box should be of a size which is able to take most items but isn’t too obvious on your altar or sideboard. On the other hand charging boxes will depend on your praxis and process. It may require nothing more than a small trinket box to contain a piece of paper with your servitor sigil upon it, or it may require more space for offerings and gifts. That decision is up to you. 

I will be having an experiment with spell boxes from here on out, as I said at the outset I have never used them as part of my spell work. Watch this space. 
Example Spell

So the box used here is a little bit big for my regular ‘keeping me solvent’ spell involving a green candle, small chance, a magnet and a Charm to Chase Away Poverty but the principle still remains.

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Do Witches have a Secret Alphabet? 

​Occult knowledge can only remain secret if care is taken to obscure teachings. The best way to preserve secrecy is through initiatory and/or oral traditions. As with the Eleuisian Mysteries the secrets are never written down, only shared with those who had attained initiation and were worthy and only through personal interaction but this is not an overly effective way to share your message and teachings with a wider audience. In a time where travel from one end of the Mediterranean to the other may take a year or more and could be very dangerous (for example) the written word becomes the best method of communication. So long as the sender and reader both know what language is being used meaning is transmitted, adding a layer to any riddle,  mythology or similarly being used. Those with the knowledge and eyes to see and all that.
Ciphers and secret codes/alphabets have been used throughout history in order to obscure important writings. Most often we think of spies and the secret service when discussing this but the same need for secrecy exists in occult circles, particularly in the centuries where Christianity sought to control the beliefs of the people of Europe absolutely.
The 16th century was a golden time for secret alphabets and a number appear at this time. This is consistent with the context of the age, where spy networks were flourishing and religious tensions global but it also reflects the Renaissance of Occult study and how people sought to communicate with a higher power. 
Types of Magical Alphabets

There are a number of different writing systems, alphabetical, pictographic and logographic  that a Witch may choose to use as part of their Craft. It won’t be possible to cover them all today so I have picked out the to look at in a little more detail; the so called ‘Witches Alphabet’ or Theban Script, the Runic Language and Enochian Script. Theban and Runic and possibly the more commonly used languages, particularly in Western traditions whilst Enochian lends itself more towards a ceremonial practice.
Let’s look at them in turn.

Theban Script 

Theban Script first appears in the 16th century in the writings of Johannes Trithemius. Trithemius was a Benedictine Abbott from Germany who studied both theology and occultism, publishing many tracts on these subjects. Trithemius attributes Theban Script to Honorius of Thebes  the mythical occultist of the middle ages, but it does not appear in the surviving writings of Honorius and according to a composite manuscript held in the British Museum Agrippa is more likely to be the author of the Theban cypher. 

Theban Script

Theban Script

This hasn’t stopped this writing system being called Honorian Alphabet or the Runes of Honorius (even though it is not an actual Runic system) and more recently the Witches Alphabet. Though many assume that the system hss been used by historical Witches this is a false assumption. Access to the writings containing this system would have been limited and we don’t have record of its use outside of the refrrences. It isn’t until the modern Witchcraft movement that we see a wide spread use of this latin based script, predominantly in writings that need to be obscured. It is important to note that Theban Script contains no variations for capital letters; although the size can be varied the character remains the same. Also, the system is based on an older form of latin where the letters  J, V and W are not represented. Characters are substituted however, I for J and U for both V and W. 

The Runes

Runic Scripts, of which there are many variants, is a Germanic associated with the most northern cultures such as the Norse and Anglo-Saxons. The Norse variants are also known as futhark or fuþark. This name is derived from their first six letters of the alphabet: F, U, Þ, A, R, and K. The Anglo-Saxon variant is futhorc or fuþorc (different due to the sound changes undergone to the same six letters in Old English). These Runic Scripts were specifically designed for carving into solid surfaces such as wood and stone and consist of straight lines which are easier to chisel or carve into these surfaces.
The Runes were no mere writing system, used to record the thoughts, feelings and transactions of mere men. Mythology tells us that the Runes were obtained through the sacrifice of Odin A

Elder Futhark

Elder Futhark

ll Father, who received the Runes after hanging for 9 days from the World Tree. The deeds of hero’s and gods were recorded using runes, heroics marked and deaths recorded. It was also a magical system, used in divination and in the naming of objects and intent. various sagas and mythologies make reference to runes being used in spells and staves, each Rune being chosen for its associations and meanings. 

Modern pagans use Runes for many of the same reasons however modern practitioners are just as likely to use the Runes to obscure writings as anything else. Different Runic Scripts contain different characters in comparison to each other as well as modern English; in fact many rune systems contain sounds as well as letters so it can be hard to make direct comparison with modern language. My advice, pick your variation and stick woth it and decide your convention before you start.


Enochian script is first recorded in the writings of Dr John Dee in which he cites it as the first language, spoken by God and all his Angels. Dee revived it via his scryer Edward Kelly during their many sessions before the shew stone and he believed it to be the language used by God to bring creation into being and used by Adam before the Fall to name all things. One Adam Fell he lost all knowledge of the language but his vague recollections, says Dee, lead him to develop the earliest forms of Hebrew.

Enochian Script

Enochian Script

Given it’s connection with God and his Angels Dee and Kelly used Enochian in thier search of occult knowledge, including information about the Philosophers Stone. Dee believed that, through Kelly, he was in communication with “Good Angels” who would reveal this information to him. Dee therefore used the language Kelly had received in his rituals in order to make it easier for his Angelic counterparts to understand his requests and rituals. Modern ceremonial practitioners working with Angelic forces will also use Enochian (as well as other systems) to similar ends.

Enochian was originally called” the Angelic Language” by Dee. The term Enochian comes from Dee’s assertion that the Angelic Language was only revealed to one other man, the Prophet Enoch only to be lost again on the Flood of Noha. The script consists of 21/22 letters depending on which of Dee’ books you are referring to and there are discrepancies between the two published examples however the later and longer example is most commonly used. Modern letters K, J, and U are not represented however substitutions are made. Veh is used to represent both C and K, Ged represent G and J and finally Van for U and V. W does not appear at all in the cypher however Van can also be used to represent this letter.

Why Use a Secret Alphabet? 

The primary reason for using any secret alphabet can be found in that operative word; it will allow you to keep things secret. Maybe I only speak for myself but I suspect that very few Witches are fluent in any of these languages. I know one person who is fluent in a number of different types of Runic but that has less to do with Paganism and more to do with their interest in its historical context. 

Whilst other Witches may recognise the script used at a glance the exact words will be obscured. This means that it can be used in plain sight and no one will know your meaning or intent. Runic in particular is often used in aesthetic contexts, appearing on rings, pendents, ornaments ect (Thank you Tolkin)

I rarely use this type of alphabet for full writing, using runes on occasion to create bindrunes which is a differ process altogether. The last time I did was in the process of creating a particular spell box and I used Theban to obscure a particular psalm which would give the nature of the box away pretty quickly.

(Sorry, no picture. The box in question is in use at the moment and therefore I don’t want to circulate it’s intent at this time. I will be making one for public consumption for the Spell Box Post and I am planning to use Theban again.)

I cheated. I download a Theban font and I typed my passage in English before ‘translating’ it. I then printed it off and copied it on to the surface of my box. Similar fonts exist for Enochian  and some variations of Runic, and here are also websites which translate Runic for you. My personal rule is that if I translate sonething electronically I must rewrite everything in my own hand for magical use, speaking the words in English as I do.
Interesting Links

Urnordiska Runor Font

Write in Runes Jarva based translator

Runes Font

Floki Font

Enochian Writing (Not Free! Source Unverified)

Enochian Regular (Free! Source Unverified)

Inga Stone Signs Font

Various Magical Scripts (Free! Source Unverified)

How Would You Write a Request to an Archaengel?

Theban Script
Elder Futhark 
Enochian Script 

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Modern Nine Herbs Charm

​Todays blog is another break from the Defining My Craft series as I have already covered Chalices previously. 

The school Summer Holidays are a flaky time of year and all my normal writing routines have been thrown out of wack. I’m chuffed that I’ve managed to keep up to the blog and not given into skipping weeks. Today I am skipping the subject but life and the series have thrown up interesting lines of enquiry and research to bridge the gaps, as with today’s post about the Nine Herbs Charm. In case you’ve never heard of this Anglo Saxon poem you can read it in full here and learn more about the Nine Herbs here.

Okay so this post isn’t going to be as poetic as the original Charm, rather it was born from some inspiration I had whilst writing a blog on spell boxes ( link to follow ) 
As I was writing and developing a general purpose spell box for all spell types I recalled the Nine Herb Charm and wondered if there was a modern equivalent. The number of herbs fit nicely with the subject and I could half remember reading something more modern used for teaching herb associations. Unfortunately after much searching I was unable to track anything down, if it indeed ever existed, and I decided I wouldn’t assault everyone’s sensibilities by trying to write my own. But the seeds were sown and the idea of a blend of nine kitchen herbs for my spell box stuck. 

After much Web surfing I came up with nine herbs which are easily found in the kitchen or supermarket which can be used singularly or in combination in most common craft operations, such as those relating to finances, relationships, protection etc. For my purpose I wanted  to use in my general purpose ‘development box’, to subtly aid my magical workings as they work on my behalf.

Spice Rack


Money, Luck, Healing, Compassion, Communication, Determination, Energy  Fertility, Gain, Love, Renewal  Aphrodisiac.

Bay Leaf 

Protection, Clairvoyancy, Wisdom, Exorcism, Cleansing, Psychic Powers, Healing, Purification, Strength.


Success,  Healing, Clairvoyancy,  Protection, Love, Money, Lust, Mental Focus.


Protection, exorcism, love, money, good luck, Visions, cleansing


Love, lust, sex, money, success, personal power.

Marjoram (aka Oragarno)

Happiness, love, money, protection, Clairvoyancy, psychic protection, tranquility, cleansing, courage, dreams (of love), harmony, success


Protection, love, fedelity, mental powers, exorcism, purification, healing, sleep, youth. Burn to purify and cleanse.


Healing, wisdom, protection, prosperity, money


Love, Lust, mental focus, money, healing, Luck,  sleep and dreaming.
Why Nine Herbs?

Numerology is a concept that often crops up in the creation of magical concoctions, at least in mine. In numerology numbets have numerous meaning and such things can be incorporated into your spells by using a particular number of components.  Personally the I work on the principles that three, and multiple of three within the master numbers (0-9) are divine numbers.

Three represents the Goddess as triform.

Six (3×2) represents the Sun and by extension the God Head. 

Nine (3×3) is Goddess energy made manifest. 

I’ll give you a quick overview of the associations of the Master Numbers (except 0) 

1: A grounding number, representing the self and immediate environment. Also represents the Universal Life Force which unites us all.

2: Polarity and duality, representing balance and relationships between people. 

3: The magic number, represents triplicates such as the triple Goddess; Earth, Sea and Sky; Physical, Mental and Spiritual etc.  

4: Relates to the four elements – earth, air, fire and water and the four cardinal directions. A number of balance linked to creativity and emotion. 

5: The pentagram; represents the four elements and the quintessence amongst other meanings. Represents the physical world as we experience it through our five senses. Often related to struggles. 

6: Related to sun energy and the masculine. Associated with security and responsibility. Sometimes associated with the God. 

7: Related to lunar energy (visible lunar cycle), femininity, and workings related to intuition and wisdom. Sometimes associated with the Goddess.

8: Divine message and communication in general. On its side the number 8 becomes the infinity symbol.

9: Nine is three times three, which makes it a triply powerful number. Associated with goddess energy, growth, increase and completion.
So why did I chose nine herbs?

Well although my spell box is not immediately associated with any deity it is designed to increase and multiply the blessings contained within and the numerology of nine fits with this purpose. Also, it never hurts to refer to Goddess energies, especially when I am the devotee of a Goddess associated with the numbers three and nine. 
Making The Blend

The ratio should be 1:1 across the board so your measurements will reflect the amount you want at the end of the day. In my case a ‘goodly pinch’ was sufficient to create a small pot. 

Handle each herb individuall, focusing on its properties and charging it before adding it to the blend. Once they are all combined stir it with your dominant hand in a clockwise direction to further charge the mix.

Now its ready to use and sprinkle as appropriate. 


There are tons of websites and books with comprehensive herb lists. If you’re interested in learning more about herbs and their magical uses check out Herbal Riot or pick up a copy of Culpepper’s Complete Herbal or Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs   Similarly there is a lot of information on Numerology out there but I particularly recommend Patti’s post at About.com


Spice Rack

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What is the Witches Wand?

​The Wand is archetypal tool of the magic user. Whether a Wizard or Witch, a Seer or a Sorceress; the quintessential mark of this magical being is the wand they bear.

It’s a big thing, just look at the central role the wand plays in the Harry Potter series. From the outset of book one the Wand stands out as the object that ‘makes’ and, by the end of book seven, ‘breaks’ the Wizard. 

In Pagan circles, especially amongst the fledgling members, a great deal of emphasis on that first wand. Many will insist you must make your own, others will say purchased is fine. Some will say keep it plain and simple, others will pile on the bling. A lot of things are down to individual preference and tastes. There is something to be said for handcrafted items over mass produced ones. Whether crafted by your own hands or those of another there is something to be said for a unique or bespoke magical item. 

Your choices should be personal and based on your personal practice. There are four common materials from which wands are crafted.

Wizzy wands to the ready!

Wizzy wands to the ready!

Types of Material


When I talk about crystal wands I am not talking about small (or even big) embellishments to other types of wands but those that are made wholly from semiprecious stones. Whether they are made from single stone or even those held together by apoxy and/or metal fittings these wands are most often associated with complimentary healing techniques. There are some who will use these for magical purposes and practices but this is the exception rather than the rule. More often than not crystals make up elements of embellishment in crafting your own wand and is chosen based in its healing, spiritual and magical associations.


Whether slender and delicate or dense and utilitarian, metal wands are a common sight. This kind of wand often comes with fittings and embellishments such as crystals and has a bit more duribility in comparison to other kinds of wand available. This kind wand is not usually the first port of call for those who venerate nature or those who wish to make their own wand however metal, particularly metal wire, is a useful component in crafting and can be chosen for its correspondences.


Possibly the least common kind of wand, I only mention it because  clay is a useful crafting material and I was once gifted a beautiful clay wand by my parents. Clay wands can be easily produced at home and embellished with crystal settings. Polymer clay is becoming increasingly popular with craters, particularly for fancy wands. Although I can’t comment on the duribility of polymer clay, or its magical properties,  pottery wands are horrendously delicate. Mine failed to survive a move between home and Uni many years ago and I wouldn’t even consider it now with the kids around but if you have skills and are less accident prone than I it is there for your  consideration. In this case clay is the medium and in itself has not strong associations except with the earth and it is the embellishments and consecration  which gives it purpose. That being said polymer clay is an exception given that it comes in such a variety of colours and can therefore be chosen based on colour correspondences.

Porcelain Wand by Gypsy Wylde Art

Porcelain Wand by Gypsy Wylde Art


The most popular kind of wand avalible is the wooden wand. This reflects that many pagans are in tune with nature and natural forces. The hesitation with purchasing wooden wands is whether or not they fit with the ethics of the the individual practitioner regarding how it was sourced and how it was harvested. Many Pagan crafters are transparent in their methods, though not their rituals, but still many feel drawn to make their own because of the inherent power in this process. 

Wood is the easiest medium to be find and work with in your own home and it can be embellished either heavily or lightly or even not at all. The choice of the wood used can, in itself, be a magical act and driven by intent and need and for these reasons wooden wands are the most common and most discussed. For this reason I’m going to include a bit of a “How To” with this post and take you through the process of making a wand from start to finish, closing with how wands are used in magical practice.
How to Make a Wooden Wand

Choosing your Wood

Starting at the beginning we need to consider what end purpose we have for our wand. It is to be a general working tool of magic, specifically for a particular type of ritual or energy  (masculine/feminine/planetary etc) or even with a specific deity. I have included some brief information on magical correspondences for trees commonly found within the British Isles but it is by no means comprehensive and I would suggest you research your local fauna and for more in depth writing’s on Tree Magic.

Tree Associations

Tree Associations

For the purposes of this instructional I am going to make a wand out of oak. The oak tree is associated both with Hekate and Pan, although it is primarily a wood associated with masculine energies, and it will make a nice wand for joint magical practices. 

Once you know what kind of wood you wish to gather you need to select the limb after leaving the house well prepared. 

Straight or crooked, corkscrew or knobbly make sure that the tree you aproach is healthy and free from disease (more on this later). The idea would be a banch between 1-2″ in diameter before any taper. 


The gathering of the wood for your wand really contains two main stages however you need to be prepared with the tools necessary to collect your chosen limb safely with minimal damage to the tree. 

The process of creating a wand includes securing the essence of the tree within the limb. Not only do you wish to remove a physical part of the tree but part of its spiritual force. For this reason diseased or deadfall wood are not appropriate for the making of wands because the life force has weakened or been lost  from the wood already and the essence cannot be recaptured. It is also important to request, and receive, permission from the tree to remove its limb and make appropriate offerings and thanks to the tree.

There are exceptions to this rule. Deadwood from a lighting strike or casualties of another trees fall are acceptable. It is not the ideal and the wood should be collected asap to avoid rot and damage but sometimes you take what is given.


I recommend small garden cutters / clippers or a junior hacksaw. Use them according to instructions. Cut the branch in the same way you would when pruning to encourage regrowth.


Before you use your tools on any tree spend a moment communicating with your chosen tree. You don’t need to full on make out with it, simply lay a hand upon it request permission to remove the chosen limb. You can do this out loud or internally and you should communicate clearly what you intend to use the wood for. 

Wait a moment to ‘hear’ a response before proceeding. You may not always get a clear positive response in which case search for another more willing tree, or return at another time. This is a situation of ‘knowing’ and trusting your abilities, our experiences will differ so it is not possible to describe exactly how this communication will transpire. 

Witchy Tip – be aware of where you are gathering your materials. If it a tree on your property or in a public area, and you are taking a minimal amount, then no additional permission is really needed. If the tree is on someonelse’s land you will also need mundane permission as well as the magical. 


Once you have the permission of the tree and have harvested the limb it is time to offer thanks and gifts to the tree. There are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Keep In Mind

Keep In Mind

I suggest offerings such as milk, bread and honey; my go to triad of offerings in nature and for any form of natural spirit. If you have a local source of springs water then this is also an appropriate offering. Also, because you are taking something from the tree it is important that you give something of yourself in return. Hair is commonly cited, as are nail clippings and blood (menses or vein). Sexual fluids may also be appropriate if relevant to the purpose of your wand. In the case of personal offerings I recommend burying them amongst the tree roots, or leaving them discreetly around the base of the tree. 

Creating The Wand

So now everything is in place its time to get cracking right? Well hold your horses. Ideally you should give the limb time to season, ie dry out, if you are planning to use it over a long period of time. Depending on the thickness of your choice  (ohh errr missus)  this can take between one week to a month in a dry location. Whether you de-bark the wood before laying it down is up to you, drying it out will most likely make the process easier.

This stage isn’t necessary if you want a wand for one time use  or one ‘in the green’ wand however it will help to ensure that your wand stands the test of time. 


Now is the time to decide what form your wand will take. Are you are keeping any knobbly bits or not, remembering that they can be worked to serve as neat little sockets for crystals and the like. If you decide to go down this route pause and select an appropriate stone and make any adaptations (ie making a hollow deeper or wider) to accommodate the stone.

You can also decide on if you are having a point wand or not. As my favourite coffee mug says “not all magic wands are pointy”. If you decide on a point and there isn’t a naturally occuring one you can start it off by whittling away some of the end. You will then finish the process by sanding it down. 

Witchy Tip – pencil sharpeners will also help with this process.

Now you are need sandpaper, ideally three different grains if not more. Starting with the coarsest grain begin to smooth down your wand. Work through to the finest grain in order to achieve a smooth finish. It is personal choice as to how smooth you go, combined with how long you want to plug away at it. 


Now everything’s nice and smooth it’s time to embellish things a little. If you have a pyro-pen and are artistic you could burn a design into the length of your wand. This could be anything from designs and patterns to runic (or any other ‘magical’ lettering system) inscriptions. Symbols, letters and designes can be chosen to compliment the purpose of the wand; for example runic letters chosen to enhance the properties of the wood but you may just want to go with something you find visually pleasing. 

Wood and Polymer Clay - By Hexelfglitter

Wood and Polymer Clay – By Hexelfglitter

I’m am not overly artistically inclined so I am limiting myself to the burning the Ogham for Oak onto the based of my wand. I would recommend doing this, or marking the wand in sone other way so you are able to identify the kind of wood you have used at a later date. 

Witchy Tip – Don’t rush out and buy a pyro-pen if you don’t have one. Paint will work, as will the ‘magical’ Sharpie pen. You can even carve your mark using a knife though I recommend doing this before commencing your sanding process. 


The process of consecration is up to you, and is a post in itself. Personally for general purpose tools I like to bless by the four elements and dedicate them to the Powers That Be. Is there is a specific use for the wand, such as deity work, you can incorporate that into the process. 

Using a Wand

Pick up your wand, point it at your target and shebang!..

Or not.

As said above the Wand is a tool for directing energy. You raise the energy, using one of the myriad of techniques, which you channel within yourself and direct through the wand, visualising it flowing from the tip/end of the wand. Wands are commonly used in the casting if ritual circles, with the energy glowing from the wand to form the energetic circle of protection. It may also be used to direct energy from one place to another or from the practitioner to the target object or person. 

Some wands, particularly those with specific purposes, can be charged with energy ahead of use. This is common with healing wands and those which are intended to be used away from a ritual space. Charging can be done is a way you prefer; for example chanting, crystals, Sun and/or Moon bathing etc, and the wand stored between charging and use or even as part of the charging process. 
Wand vs The Point Finger

There is always a big debate as to whether or not you need tools to practice witchcraft and central to this is whether or not a wand is actually necessary. An argument can be made that old folk traditions wouldn’t have a dedicated wand but would rather use any limb (recently removed from the tree and easily discarded) to hand or would simply use their finger. Folk history is full of cunning and wise women who need do little more than direct their pointy finger towards their target for them to be struck down. Once upon a time ‘watch where you’re pointing that finger’ had real meaning.

As with all the other tools I have mentioned the decision is up to you. There is no golden rule that says you have to have a wand, and you won’t become a better practitioner as a result of spending a small fortune on one. Keep in mind that the sparkle and shine doesn’t make the magic or the wand work, you do. 


Wizzy wands to the ready! 
Porcelain Wand by Gypsy Wylde Art
Wood and Polymer Clay – By Hexelfglitter

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What is a Witches Mirror?

​Mirror Mirror in my hand,

Whose the fairest in the land?

Mirrors, particularly black mirrors, are one of those tools which is often snapped up in those early, heady days of learning about Witchcraft but they are then not used to their full potential. 

Modern Witches Mirrors are usually black glass tiles which provide a passable reflection in which scrying is possible. More traditionally any polished surface set aside for the purpose could be used be it an actual mirror or metal polished to a high sheen, in fact the opaque quality of metal mirrors may be benificial to the scrying process. The mirrored surface doesn’t even have to be old or rustic. A modern mirror will work just as well, particularly when it is set aside for purpose of Witchcraft and nothings else. So long as it is flat, or flat enough to stand objects on should you wish to, you are good to go. 

Speaking from my own experience I had owned a black mirror tile quite some time before realising that there were more uses for it than just scrying. Energy working, spell component or portal to another dimension the mirror is a rather versatile tools of Witchcraft and given that scrying was a subject recently discussed I am going to concentrate on some of these other uses. 



Dimensional Portal 

There is a whole community out there seriously discussing the possibility of an invasion by the Mirror People. It’s like Alice Through the Looking Glass on a conspiracy theory high. Picking apart the theory there is a less nurty conversation to be had about the subject in relation to Witchcraft fairly and traditional folklore. 

Have you ever heard the tale of indigenous people refusing to have their image recorded in photography? Well that’s because they believe that the image will capture a little bit or all of their soul and the person who holds the photo will have power over them. The same belief was held about mirrors, especially as the quality of reflection increased with technology. A blurry image i a partially polished metal disc or wavering reflection in water is one thing but a perfect reflection was something else entirely. 

But back to portals, given that the mirror reflects that which is but not (in the same way that a mirror image and photograph of a person never look quite the same) there are some folk traditions which refer to them as portals to the Spirit World. this can happen anumber of ways, for example it is suggested that the mirror can turned into portals which will allow ghosts and spirits to pass into the realm of the living.  This may be achieved by accident, with a mirror which has been in place a long time eventually providing a weak point for allowing entry, or through spiritual practiced used as using Ouija boards and scrying for ghosts in a particular mirror over and over. Another peice of lore states that any mirrors in the room or house of someone who has just died shpuld be covered or turned to face the wall to stop the spirit of the deceased becoming trapped or taking up residence in it. 

How can one protect their mirror then? Well moving wall mounted mirrors or a regular basis is one way. The suggestion is that the presence of a mirror in one location for extended periods of time allows portal to establish itself. An alternative is to draw protective symbolson the back of the mirror before it is hung to ensure that the portal can not establish. But what if there is already a spirit within? The first method for dealing with this is good old salt and water with maybe a bit of cider vinegar added for a cleaning whoosh. Any cleansing or excorsim process can be used, but if this is not effective the final option is to break the mirror. 

I can hear the screams of ‘7 years bad luck’ from here but let’s just review that concept. The idea of a broken mirror bringing seven years bad luck stems from the Romans. The Romans believed that life renewed itself every seven years and that any misfortune, such as the breaking of an expensive metal object such as a mirror would taint the remainder of the seven year cycle. Add to this the belief that mirrors could be used to confuse and confine spirits, either by accident or design, the act of breaking the mirror would cause the spirits to be released and wreak revenge upon the living.

Speaking to a few Witchy Friends around the country one told me about an incident in their locality relating to mirrors. Someone had carried a large mirror into a grave yard and smashed it. Now this was a strange act of apparent vandalism for a number of reasons. Firstly,  no other rubbish or items had been dumped or broken at the same time,  in fact such an act was out of character for the location. Secondly, when I say ‘large’ I mean one of those  big, couple of meter square, mirrors you hang over the fire place that requires two full grown adults to carry let alone a couple of yobs. To carry something of that size to such a location indicates purpose and my friends suggested that the reason was to release trapped spirits from the mirror in another liminal location in order to cleanse a house. Perhaps they were hoping to obtain some protection against any bad luck by choosing a consecrated site, who knows but it is interesting to speculate. 

Broken Mirror

Broken Mirror

Ghost ScryingI don’t actually know the proper name is for this process so Ghost Scrying will have to do. It is not scrying in the traditional sense of seeking to glimpse the future but rather as a way of allowing spirits surrounding a person or location. It is a process I was introduced to by a medium on a ghost hunt and it can be done by individuals or groups.

The scryer, or subject, sits directly opposite the  mirror so that they can see their reflection. If someone else is ‘scrying’ they should be stood so they can’t see their own reflection but that of the subject only. The lighting should ideally be soft and natural but so long as the light isn’t visible in the mirror a dim/muted electric source will do. The next thing is to achieve ‘soft’ vision. Relaxing the eyes and reducing your rate of blinking are all part of this process. 

In time the details of the face being observe will begin to blur. Features shift and details change including the appearance of gender, hair colour and length etc. This is interpreted as a spirit imposing their own likeness over that of the scryer/subject. Where a person is performing this on themselves they should note the changes but remain as motionless as possible, recording the detail at a later time. Where there is a subject and a scryer the information can be relayed out loud for someone to record in the moment as a written description, or even as a drawing where possible. 

Now I will let you decide on the value of this process for yourselves, I have had and seen mixed results myself. I’ve mentioned it here because it was suggested that by using this methods the mirrors used, particularly wall mounted, would eventually become open portals allowing any spirit to enter the setting. 
Energy Work

After scrying one of the primary uses of mirrors is for the directing of light and energy as part of a ritual or spell. Often it is the light of the moon or the sun which is reflected in the mirror, directing the energy and associations within the light upon a given object or person. Most often this is done in order to empower or bless objects, particularly tools which are be consecrated. 

Mirrors are useful in this way where it is not possible to leave items in direct moonlight firstly because it allows you to find what light is available and direct it to where it needs to go and also because the mirror intensifies the light reflected. Think of the magnifying glass and the ant, but with moonlight and less death (and science). The mirror deflects and intensifies the light giving the object being charged a concentrated dose of energy. 

When I started writing this blog I was struck by the idea of a Lunar Mirror Ball. The idea of hanging a mirror ball (aka disco ball) where it can catch and scatter moonlight was immediately appealing, especially as the moon shines straight into my bedroom ob rising and sets in the landing window (which is visible from my bed). Not that the British weather often allows me to enjoy this double edged sword I really liked the idea in dancing under the scattered moonlight, but ny husband says I can’t buy a mirror ball so boo. I wonder how effective it would really be…

Anyway moving on…

Witch Mirror

Spells and Magic

Mirrors are sometimes included in spellcraft as a component, particularly in protective spells or in bindings. The reflective quality of the mirrored surface is used to  deflect energy and intent away from a target and back towards the sender. The same process of sympathetic magic can also be applied to protective visualisation, where you encase yourself in an armour or box of mirror in order to protect yourself from the energies of others. 

There is nothing more satisfying that strapping someone, or their sympathetic representation, between two mirrors to give them a healthy dose of their own behaviour in return. The ethics of binding of course apply, but those ethics are your ethics and you alone know the nature of your situation and those involved. You will not hear the call ‘no mirror spells please’ from me, nor will any nonsense of karma and threefold pass my lips. Mirror spells are easily made and easily broken, just remove them from between the mirrors with a few words. That’s not to say they should be used frivolously or for childish kicks, nor should they be seen as being less than any other form of bind or hex. Hex approximately and use the appropriate hex, that’s the best advice I can give you whrn it comes to deciding on whether or not to use a mirror spell.

Mirrors in personal protection should be less contentious when used correctly. The visualised mirrors should allow through all that is good and positive and reflect back on the sender on that which is *intentionally* negative and harmful. 

We all know someone who can be perceived as being on a downer, even pulling down those around them with their negative perception of self or situation. They are not intentionally attempting to harm, they are just in a bad place so whilst it is right and fair to protect yourself it is not right or fair to deepen their suffering by reflecting their negative attitude back at them. Rather than second guessing intent allow that which is good, deflect that which is not and return all that is intentionally negative. The same rational could be applied to mirror spells, though I have not tried it myself. Let me know what you think or how you get on.



Broken Mirror 

Witch Mirror

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What is a Scrying-glass?

​Scrying is the most elemental form of divination, of which there are so many different types of scrying it would be impossible to cover them all here. Scrying is usually done via a reflective surface such as by water, metal and crystal. Divination by fire, for example where visions are sought in the flames rather than their movement interpreted, is also referred to as scrying however we will not be covering this today. 

Black Mirror by Mickie Mueller

Most of scrying techniques do not require anything dramatic in terms of tools. A candle, a dark bowl of water or even natural pools are all that is needed in addition to technique and ability. The most popular tools used in scrying are the black mirror, also known as scrying-glasses, and shew stone (that’s crystal balls to me and thee) may require you to make or buy your equipment.

Scrying in a Reflective Surface

Scrying is in effect the process of divination in a reflective surface. If you can see your reflection in it then there is no reason that you can’t use it for scrying. 

There are some mediums that are preferred however. Scrying by water, particularly moonlit water, is a method commonly suggested. Water held in a dish with a dark or black interior is the best medium however any body of still water which has a dark surface can be used. 

Oil can also be used to the same effect, particularly thick, black, viscose oil though Black Mirrors are more common and readily available, being easier and more pleasant to handle than crude oil. 

Crystal/ Ball Scrying

The archetypal tool of scrying is the Crystal Ball. The image of the fortune teller sat hunched over a unblemished, spherical ball of clear quartz crystal is synonymous with the term of scrying. 

The use of perfectly clear quartz crystal is not in truth a necessity. You can purchase stones made from a variety of differ crystal types with dark and solid stones such as obsidian also being popular. It’s always a good idea to know what you are buying however.  Lead Crystal balls will serve your purpose just as well as any semi precious stone, and will be perfect in form (aka contain no inclusion) however you should only pay what they are worth, and of course when buying gemstones it is always important to purchase from ethical sources. 

Nor is it critical that the stone used is perfectly spherical nor free from inclusion. People will give you lots of woowoo reasons why a sphere is important but in truth what is important is that it works for you. The presence of inclusions can, for some people, aid the scrying process and the shape of the stone is more of an choice based on aesthetics and finance than anything else. 

Size is, however, important, well at least size relative to vision. It needs to fill your vision comfortably whilst still allowing you to keep your reflection out of sight. This can have more to do with position of both yourself and your chosen stone as anything else. It’s important to remember that scrying takes both time and practice so you need to be comfortable.

Seens as though we’re moving in to the realms of technique let’s move on to talk about them in more general terms.

Scrying Technique

Just as with meditation it is important to think about your comfort during any scrying session, regardless of medium being used. Your environment wants to be comfortable in terms of temperature and your position one you can hold for a protracted period of time. It also needs to be safe so ensure that any candles you may use do not create a fire hazard. 

Georges de La Tour, The Penitent Magdalen (1638-43)

Georges de La Tour, The Penitent Magdalen (1638-43)


As said above your room should be temperate and private, try to minimise any external noise by turning off/unplugging your phone. It is best to scry using natural light sources or by candle light.

When you set up your scrying device there are a couple of things to remember. 

Firstly the device dominating your line of sight. Try a minimise the number of objects in your peripheral vision.

Secondly you shouldn’t be able to see your reflection in the medium, you don’t want to be looking directly back at yourself so off set everything slightly. 

You also don’t want to see your light source reflected in the device so off set that as well.

Lastly, remember you need to be comfortable. Sitting is ideal but remember you are going to be seated awhile so a well cushioned chair in which you can comfortably get both feet on the ground is ideal.

Once you are ready you can begin to prepare your mind for scrying.


Scrying is very similar to meditation in a sense. Both processes require a clear and calm mind as well as time, patience and practices. 

Once you are sat your your medium calm your mind and begin to gaze at it. Progressively soften your gaze, reducing the frequency at which you blink. If you are one of those lucky souls who can stop blinking  (think Dr Who and the Weeping Angeles) then go for it. If, like me, you have dry eyes or other issues which might stop you from doing this the trick is to slow your blink rate right down so your eyes remain comfortable but your vision doesn’t revert to normal. 

I will admit that I find scrying hard because of my eye issues but little and often has seen me improve. Keep at it dear reader. 

Pauline Frederick as Potiphar's Wife, c.1912.

Pauline Frederick as Potiphar’s Wife, c.1912.

Again I’m going to diverge from traditional wisdom. Many scrying instructionals would be telling you that about you will begin to see mist form and fill your medium, even describing it as ‘sea’ of mist and that images will begin to appear within this mist. Perhaps it is because of the afore mentioned eye problems but I never experience this. 

For me I experience images fading in and out. Shapes and images will appear and disappear along with impressions and understandings. When I first started to practice scrying I would throw my hands up in utter disgust because the ‘mist’ would not form for me but I persisted and I found the way it worked for me. 

Allow the images and impressions to come and go, not dwelling on any particular aspect in detail but acknowledging the image and and allowing it to pass. 

As the images cease to come and/or the mist clears allow your focus to return to normal and record the date, any questions asked along with your vision and impressions.

Notes on Ritual Context 

I haven’t included any particular references to rituals associated with scrying as I think this is particularly personal. You may wish to engage in cleansing rituals ahead of your scrying session, or even partake in a tea which promotes intuition and psychic abilities. Many people like to invoke guiding deities or spirit guides ahead of time and make offerings in thanks after the session. Whatever you decide to do make it relevant to your practice.

Other Tricks and Tips

Between scrying sessions you should store any permanent tools (mirtors, crystals etc) in a black natural cloth, be it a simple length of cloth or dedicated bag. This protects the object and marks is as something that is used for general reflective use. You could also was the surface of mirrors and crystals both before and after use. 

In preperation for scrying you way want to consider drinking herbal tea’s to promote second sights and higher forms of awareness. Mugwort is commonly cited as a herb to consider however a tea made from the flowers, roots and/or leaves of the humble dandelion can also have the same influences. As ever, when taking herbs herbs internally carefully research the plant in question and/or take professional advice. 


If you take one thing away from reading this then it should be that we do not all experience things in exactly the same way. You may need to tweak the tried and tested instructionals as I have on occasion but just remember that whatever way you decide to work scrying is an art and takes time and devotion. 


Black Mirror by Mickie Mueller
Georges de La Tour, The Penitent Magna pen (1638-43)
Pauline Frederick as Potiphar’s Wife, c.1912.

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