How to DIY Yourself a Coven

Okay, perhaps that title is a bit of a stretch. What can I say? I am prone to being hyperbolic.

Most of us are solitary witches. Some from choice, some from necessity. I, myself, am generally happy to be solitary. I can create my own rituals and don’t have to deal with any of the politics or lady drama of a typical coven. Particularly with me not being Wiccan, finding a “coven” was nearly impossible.

Or was it….?

It occurred to me some months ago that everyone meets their romantic partners online. So why couldn’t I meet my witch sisters online as well? The internet is full of wonderful resources for us witchy folks; blogs, hubs, hashtags and even Pinterest has some witch-tastic stuff on there. What there isn’t, however, is a Match.com type equivalent for meeting one’s soul sister. Hell, there’s not even a Tinder equivalent! I had tried in the past, with only one success story, to find other witches on Craigslist. Hey, don’t you judge me! That yielded mostly creepy guys looking for a kinky girl. GROSS! Or else I would up basically giving witchcraft one on one lessons via email. Suffice is to say it was disheartening and draining.

Then one day I thought about a website I’d visited in the past, but never really used. MeetUp.com.

So for $14.99 a month I set a witch’s group I named “We the Wild Women” (because that’s my personal hashtag for all things powerful woman related) and put out an open call to all local witches of any and all beliefs to gather in what I termed “an open circle”. And then I held my breath and refreshed my screen over and over for about an hour. It took no longer than a week for 50 women to join the group! I’ll be honest, it was overwhelming at first. What I did not know about MeetUp.com is that people join lots of groups and rarely interact with all of them. So thanks to that, I would up with about 15 women who truly were looking for community, too. witch circle

We held our first gathering on a Sunday morning in the park, under a beautiful canopy of trees. I made it a potluck because food can really lubricate social awkwardness and I’m already awkward enough. We sat and introduced ourselves, snacked, and basically tested out each other’s vibes. Now I’ll be honest, not everyone was a great fit. In fact, I made the choice to ask one Negative Nancy to not rejoin our group. That, my friends, was some drama. In fact, I think she tried to curse me, as a lot of shit went sideways in my word just after that. Not to worry, the (possible) hex has been broken and all is well again in my life. I mention this only because I think you have to be aware that meeting strangers is often weird & lonely people can often be a little crazy. Safety first!

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It’s now been about three months since our group first started. We have gotten together as a whole about three times, with our fourth coming up in a few days. We are not a coven. We are a circle of witches who gather together to support, share with and feel community with each other. There is no “leader”, no roles, no dogma. Just sisterhood. We are a varied group, I’ll tell you that. In fact, that is such a blessing; as I think we learn the most from people who we differ from.

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We gathered recently for Lammas, where we snacked and drank, laughed and meditated, and were lead by one of our sisters through a truly beautiful ritual. I am so grateful for this circle of real life witches to share with. It has been the thing most missing from my life. I had meditated and prayed for this to happen over the last year and now it has manifested. If you are feeling a lack of witchy community I wholeheartedly encourage you create your own. Websites and hashtags are wonderful, but nothing can compare to real life gathering (and that’s coming from an anxious introvert!).

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Moon Magic to Banish Depression

I love the moon. I feel drawn to it. I take comfort in it. I look to it for guidance. So when I found myself in a deep winter funk (aka seasonal depression) I knew she’d be the one to turn to for help.

When you are using the moon’s power for magic and/or manifesting (whatever term you’re most comfortable with) it is important to make sure the moon is in the proper phase for what you want to accomplish. I could go on and on about this topic, but here’s a brief explanation. When the moon is dark it is a good time for the removal of binding spells and bringing justice; the new moon just after is a perfect time to start new ventures. As the moon grows (or waxes) you’ll want to work magic that is constructive (think of this a drawing things to you). When the moon is finally in her full glory it is a very powerful time; any and all magic is stronger on the full moon (though I usually just meditate on the moon when she’s full). And finally, as the moon wanes (gets smaller) this is when you do banishing spells, break habits, etc… For the purposes of banishing, I like to work at (or just after) the full moon.

On the  full moon, I set my intention to heal my soul. In a conversation with a friend, the idea came to me to place a jug of water under them moon and set my intent upon it. My thoughts being that between my own personal power and that of the moon I could manifest some real healing power. It turns out, this is not an uncommon practice, but I had not heard or read about it before.

Moon magic for depression

Being the practical Kitchen Witch that I am, I didn’t use a fancy vessel or anything. I just grabbed a large, clear jug and got to work. I set my jug, filled with purified water, in the full moon’s light, surrounded by candles (any old candles will do here) to represent the four directions. Then, I sat myself in a comfortable chair nearby and set my intention with meditation. It was during this time that the chant I used came to me. Feeling the time was right, I placed my hands on the jar and chanted to the moon.

The next morning I brought the jug inside and drank my first glass or magic. I drank one glass each day during the moon’s waning phase (always honoring the moon and her healing each time), finishing unexpectedly on the day before the new moon. I could feel the magic in it, giving strength to my will to heal myself.

Moon Magic Water Spell

It should go without saying that this post is not meant to replace any current therapies or medications you may be on.

As a side note, I feel confidant this practice could be implemented in many ways, depending on your needs and the phase of the moon.

My Simple Beltane Plans

I love Beltane. Like… LOVE.

Maybe it’s because of the fire association. Maybe it’s the lusty aspect. Or maybe it’s because that’s the day Claire first went through the stones in Outlander. (BTW, are you guys watching this new season??? So good!)

I digress.

This post is really just my ideas on simple celebration for Beltane. If you are interested in some of the history or traditions around Beltane (or if you just want to see how I was feeling about it last year) check out this.

As a solitary and eclectic witch, it can be really hard to find people to celebrate with. I have pretty much resigned myself to keeping it low key. Although, truth be told, I would love to be camped out in the wild & surrounded by a loving coven while we danced with fire and twirled beneath a may pole. But, we have to work with what we have, right? And I have a loving family, a BBQ in the backyard and a shitload of magical intention.

So for tomorrow here’s the plan:

  • set out a bowl tonight to collect dew
  • wash my face with said dew in the morning
  • meditate/set my intentions for the day
  • place flowers throughout my home
  • have a normal Sunday afternoon
  • BBQ a delicious feast for my family to enjoy al fresco
  • burn the remains of any non relevant magic from the past year
  • meditate/give gratitude to the universe

That’s it! Simple, simple, simple.

How will you be celebrating tomorrow?

Ostara Approaches

Ostara is such an uplifting sabbat. I suppose they all are, of course, but Ostara is all about the beginning of new life linked with the Spring Equinox. It’s a time for blossoming, birthing and beginnings. I just love it. I think this sabbat as a special place for me because it it so perfectly made to share with children (not unlike Yule). Here’s a little Ostara trivia for you: did you know if you take a raw egg outside on the equinox and place it wide end down onto the sidewalk it should stand upright for a few moments? True story! Did you also know that pagans have been celebrating Ostara (or some version of it) from as far back as 200 B.C.? Yep.

Last year was my first year celebrating all the sabbats and esabbats. When Ostara came around I was not exactly surprised by it’s uncanny similarities to Easter, but I found myself dwelling on it a bit. I live in a predominately Christian area (as most are in the U.S.) and when I tried to have conversations with “friendly” Christians about remarkable similarities between the two celebrations, or how Ostara had been celebrated long before Easter, I was not met with smiles and wonder. No, it was decidedly a bitter and doubtful reception. Sad as this was, I was not surprised; and lucky for me I write a blog. So I can talk about whatever I want with you all, right?

Ours is a distinctly beautiful tradition. rich in history & lore. I’m going to abstain from turning this into “a history of ostara” or a rant about how our holidays were hijacked by the church. Nope, not going to do that. Let’s keep it positive shall we? Yes, let’s! We know most, though not all, of our readers are fairly new to their witchy ways, and honestly so are we in the grand scope of things. With that in mind, let’s chat about Ostara traditions that we can fold into our modern witchy lives. I think we can break them down into food, crafts & kid stuff and of course, magic.

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Food

Mmmmmmm, food. Being the Kitchen Witch I am, most sabbats are spent largely in the kitchen. Imbuing delicious and nourishing meals for my family with my own love & intention is an everyday magic I practice. On a day like Ostara, however, I like to punch it up a bit. I like to start by washing everything washable in the kitchen (maybe even wiping things down with a cloth soaked in moon water if it’s handy), then burn a large bundle of sage to purify the space, followed by burning Palo Santo as a blessing. Again, if you’re a Kitchen Witch, this is your sacred space & should be treated as such.

Once the space is cleansed & blessed, it’s time to get to work. As one might expect, eggs and carrots are associated with the day; but there’s much more. Seeds and sprouts are wonderful additions to your meals on Ostara, as they represent the burgeoning new life all around us. Butter, cream, etc…are all excellent options, too; as they come from mother’s of newly birthed offspring (why do you think it’s called offspring? Because that’s when life blooms!) I wish I had time right now to go cook up a feast, take beautiful photos, and then edit & post them here for you. Sadly, I do not have that kind of time. So I am going to share with you some wonderful finds instead.

Here's a wonderful recipe for Maple Dijon Roasted Carrots

Here’s a wonderful recipe for Maple Dijon Roasted Carrots

 

A wonderful recipe for these yummy scones can be found here.

A wonderful recipe for these yummy scones can be found here.

 

Personally, I am not a fan of eating lamb, but it's an Ostara staple. If you're interested, here's a lovely and fairly simple recipe.

Personally, I am not a fan of eating lamb, but it’s an Ostara staple. If you’re interested, here’s a lovely and fairly simple recipe.

 

Here's my own recipe for a delicious and simple quick bread.

Here’s my own recipe for a delicious and simple quick bread.

 

Of course there are many, many dishes that are perfect for Ostara’s celebratory vibe. Just cook what feels right to you. However, if you’re stumped for ideas or not usually a cook, just pop over to Pinterest and type in “Ostara recipes” and go nuts!

 

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Crafts & Kid Stuff

This can really be whatever feels like fun for you and your family. You could make Ostara baskets, dye eggs, go feed the wild animals in your area (this is something we do every sabbat and esabbat), garden, make candles, etc… Anything goes, although I would highly recommend working with natural materials as much as possible.

This is a fantastic post on how to dye eggs with natural ingredients. So fun!

This is a fantastic post on how to dye eggs with natural ingredients. So fun!

 

Why not start some windowsill gardening? This is pretty simple & straightforward.

Why not start some windowsill gardening? This is pretty simple & straightforward.

 

Seed bombs are always amazing. But making beautiful seed bombs to give as Ostara gifts is amazing! Go here to learn how.

Seed bombs are always amazing. But making beautiful seed bombs to give as Ostara gifts is amazing! Go here to learn how.

 

Why not make your kids their very own custom Ostara coloring book? Just search out images on internet, print, and bind. Voilà! Instant joy!

Why not make your kids their very own custom Ostara coloring book? Just search out images on internet, print, and bind. Voilà! Instant joy!

 

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Magic

Here’s the good stuff. The special stuff. The stuff that you came here for. Magic. As with all magic, in my opinion, it is more important here to be authentic and intentional that it is to be fancy & pretty. That said, I’m going to use some pretty pictures to illustrate some ideas for you.

Speaking of intention, this is such a wonderful way to go about it. Just write your aspirations, hopes, goals, etc...on an egg, bury it on Ostara, & plant on top of it. As the plant fourishes, so should your dreams. (sidenote: I do not know where this original image is from, sorry)

Speaking of intention, this is such a wonderful way to go about it. Just write your aspirations, hopes, goals, etc…on an egg, bury it on Ostara, & plant on top of it. As the plant fourishes, so should your dreams. (sidenote: I do not know where this original image is from, sorry)

 

Even if you (like me) do not typically have a formal altar, this is a great day to pour some creative energy in & stir up some magic. This is just one example of something you might enjoy creating.

Even if you (like me) do not typically have a formal altar, this is a great day to pour some creative energy in & stir up some magic. This is just one example of something you might enjoy creating.

Ostara is perfect day for fertility magic. I found this while searching, but feel free to make up your own too.

Ostara is perfect day for fertility magic. I found this while searching, but feel free to make up your own too.

 

Honor the bunny (a long standing friend of Ostara) by incorporating it into your magic. Here's a great article about the history of the bunny & Ostara and some great ritual ideas, too.

Honor the bunny (a long standing friend of Ostara) by incorporating it into your magic. Here’s a great article about the history of the bunny & Ostara and some great ritual ideas, too.

 

And, as in all magic, dancing is very powerful. Image source here.

And, as in all magic, dancing is very powerful. Image source here.

 

These are just some starter ideas for your Ostara. Remember, always trust your instincts & trust your intuition. If you have a great Ostara tradition please share with us. We love learning from other witches.

 

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Which Type of Witch Are You?

Who doesn’t love to take little quizzes, right?

Nobody.

Because these suckers are always fun and sometimes (just sometimes) really do tell us a little about ourselves. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I take one and I identify with the outcome, I feel…seen. If that makes sense. Maybe less alone in the world? I don’t know…I could be babbling here.

Anywho, we’ve made this little quiz for you to take. Honestly, it’s just a silly thing to do for fun. However, with that being said, we know a lot of you are new to your witchy life; you  might just find something here that resonates with you. If so, that’s wonderful! If not, hey, what can we say? At least it was fun, right?

And with that, Witches, let’s get to quizzing! Just click the link below.

http://uquiz.com/i44k3y

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Modern Witches. A Study in Photos, Part Two.

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I am so excited about today’s post, part two of our study of modern witches. Although the plan was to post these monthly, I fail epically at delayed gratification. So when Alison (oh, yeah, this is Alison everyone!) agreed to let me photograph her yesterday I knew already I’d be posting today. This project is so dear to my heart, and I do believe we are doing some small good here, too. Witches do not deserve the stigma, fear. and doubt (all depending on who’s doing the judging there) that we encounter. We are simply women who are connected to our own strength. Well, that and the myriad personal beliefs that make us each witches in our own way.

I’ll now step off the soapbox and we can focus on Alison.

Modern Witches. Alison

As it happens, Alison is a dear friend of mine. She is also, one of the more powerful witches I’ve met. I dare you to sit in a room with this woman and tell me you can not feel it radiating from her. She is also, as warm and wise as those eyes would lead you to believe.

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Bubble & Brew: What does the word “witch” mean to you?

Alison: “To my own ears and soul, the word “witch” is a recognition of a woman who has embraced her natural powers and all their consequences.”

Modern Witches

Bubble & Brew: When did you openly share your witch status?

Alison: ” I’ve never declared myself a witch, as I don’t use social media and rarely seek out others. Those close to me have always been aware, and I’ll proudly tell anyone who inquires.”

Modern Witches. Alison.

Bubble & Brew: How did you know you were a witch?

Alison: ” A woman in a shopping mall called me a witch when I was a young child. My mother chased her off and told me it was a gift, not a curse, to be different.”

Modern Witches. Alison.

Bubble & Brew: What, in your experience, in the biggest misconception about witches as a whole?

Alison: “As a grey witch, I accept mother nature’s cruelty and glory as they are. Witches can have ill intent or radiant generosity – both widely recognized concepts. People have accused me of both, and have been right.”

Modern Witches. Alison.

Bubble & Brew: What is your center, spiritually speaking?

Alison: “The moon has ruled me since day one. Learning to love unconditionally for the first time (my partner), has made me a more centered lunatic.”

Modern Witches. Alison.

Bubble & Brew: Use three words to describe yourself as a person

Alison: ” Sage, savage, and therefore paradoxical.”

Modern Witches. Alison.

 

Thank you so much, Alison, for being part of this project. We are honored.

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Modern Witches. A Study in Photos.

What makes a witch

Welcome to the very first instalment “Modern Witches”. Each month we’ll be visiting with a different witch to experience the vast array of beliefs, practices, and people who call themselves “witch”.

We think it’s crucial to be out of the broom closets and sharing ourselves with the world at large; if only to demystify/un-demonize who we are collectively.

This month we met with Erlinda, a beautiful & warm soul. Nurturing practically seeped out of her pores. But enough with this rambling, let’s see what she has to say about being a witch.

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Bubble & Brew: What does the word “witch” mean to you?

Erlinda: “A healer. A women who gets shit done. Takes care of herself, her children and her tribe. She tends to those who are in need. I also seen the most amazing IG image: W.I.T.C.H Woman In Total Control of Herself. At 35 that is ME!”

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Bubble & Brew: When did you openly share your witch status?

Erlinda: “As soon as it hit me witches were not evil and that I was actually one myself. Maybe about 6 months ago.”

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Bubble & Brew: How did you know you were a witch?

Erlinda: “I’ve always been a healer and lover. I knew I would be a wife and mother and I would forever be responsible for tending to the needs of those around me.”

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Bubble & Brew: What, in your experience, in the biggest misconception about witches as a whole?

Erlinda: “That we are evil. Society has taught us that strong and smart woman MUST be evil. 10 years ago I would never consider myself a witch nor would I associate myself with a woman who said she was a witch. The concept scared the good Catholic girl in me.”

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Bubble & Brew: What is your center, spiritually speaking?

Erlinda: “God. God is woman, man, life and death
> God lives in my core and when I sage my house or hold my crystals and stones I am praying to God for guidance and healing”

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Bubble & Brew: Use three words to describe yourself as a person.

Erlinda: Loving transparent chick!

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Thank you so much, Erlinda, for sharing with us this week!

We are so excited about this project, and we hope you are, too. If you’re a witch living in Southern California we’d love to talk with you.

Bright blessings!

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