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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How to Make Eggshell Candles for Ostara / Spring Equinox / Easter

Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & Sabbaths

Ostara is such a pretty word, but I find I struggle with using it. It’s a new term to me, something that I’m positive I’ve heard before, but never stuck. For me growing up, this time of year was heralded in my house simply as Spring Equinox and as much as I love the magic that surrounds the word Ostara, { I keep italicizing it because It’s pretty and makes it look more magical, it’s working right? right?! } I still find myself comfortable in thinking of this day, or Sabbath if you’re jiggy with it, as Equinox; either way, it is the time of year that officially marks an equilibrium between day light hours and night time darkness.

When I was younger, we would go out to a friend of my moms and we would walk around a medicine wheel and celebrate with a huge potluck of yummy food and bask in the sun. But as I grew up and went out into the world on my own, I found I never did much celebrating. I would always acknowledge the day, and I’d have a little pep in my step, but I never exactly shared why with anyone. But with the birth of this blog and a solid friendship formed with Michelle, I decided I would do something fun this year, I would do something magical to welcome Spring to the world again!

This winter, I took up candle making as a hobby, actually I started last winter, but I REALLY got into it this year with sourcing out the best place to get soy wax locally and non lead wicks and learning the difference between pillar soy wax and regular soy wax and, well, I went balls deep! { I also got into making bath bombs, lip balms, mustache wax, massage bars and more, I found most of the supplies at the same store, so as I said, I went balls deep! } Since I may had gone a little over board, I still have plenty of supplies, which is awesome for when the creative spark fans into flame and I have the proper supplies to get into it all nitty gritty.

So when an idea came across my tumblr dash of fun easy ways to celebrate Ostara, I was struck with this adorable idea, making candles in eggshells! Ostara/Spring/Easter are all heavy symbolized by bunnies and eggs, you know, fertility things! Now, If you are like me and you wanna run to the hills when fertility is mentioned because , no, no babies for me please, have no fear!! I like to think more of fertility of the soil. It’s time for life to be breathed into this grey dreary planet again! So I wanna make it clear, if you are wanting to dabble in this, don’t worry about it making you an automatic baby making factory… unless that is what you want!

I chose to keep it simple. The only spell that would be placed on my specific candles were that of prosperity and hope for a lovely Spring. I didn’t chant, or write anything down, I just thought loving thoughts and hummed to myself as I made these candles and I felt calm, centered and felt, I dunno, right as I made them.

Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & SabbathsBubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & Sabbaths

What you’ll need for Eggshell Candles for Ostara / Spring Equinox / Easter:

  • Soy Wax & bees wax.
  • crush dried rose petals
  • dried lavender
  • fresh sage
  • eggs shells, carefully cracked so just the tops are removed.
  • wicks, I chose string wax dipped wicks this time, as I think wood wicks would be too large.
  • 2 pots, one large filled with water, one smaller for your wax
  • chop stick or stirring stick that you don’t care will be ruined by wax

Of course I’m terrible and didn’t measure or weigh my wax, but I filled my wax pot with a ratio of 1 part bees wax to 10 parts soy wax approximately. And then I placed my wax pot into a pot with water I already had heating on the on the stove top. Make sure the water is hot, but not a t a boil, but slightly and gently bubbling or moving is purrfect! The reason you are essentially using a double boiler is to not scorch your wax and discolour it. I also threw some dried lavender in with the wax in hopes that it might infuse it with a bit of it’s perfume and it looked pretty.

As I let my wax melt down I got to setting up my eggs. For the eggs, you can use a sharp knife or kitchen scissors to make them a little more even, though I kind of liked the rustic edges on mine  I had already cleaned them out and peeled out the membrane and let them dry a few days in advance. Basically I just collected the shells as I cooked throughout the week. Waste not, want not, right?!

Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & SabbathsBubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & Sabbaths

I placed my eggs in an egg carton I rescued from my recycling bin so I had a nice sturdy place to stand them up and commenced with placing the wicks in each one and then I sprinkled dried lavender in them from my pantry, crushed and dried rose petals from a bouquet I had elected to dry and turn most of into a garland { oh, I really need to take photos of that! Its super purdy! } and then I placed two fresh sage leaves in each cup from my my garden.

I chose these ingredients as lavender is really good for cleansing, attracting good luck, healing and fertility. Rose petals are fantastic for attracting beauty, more good luck empowering yourself and divination. Lastly, sage is kind of a staple in most witches pantries or gardens, it’s perfect for purification, healing cleansing and acquiring wisdom. Plus the combo smells dreamy! I also chose to add the beeswax to my candle mix more for sending out some love and protection for the bees, more than for the wax composition.

I then carefully and slowly poured my wax into each egg cup. This is very tricky as the opening is so small, so I was extra appreciative of having a specific wax pot for pouring! It helps HEAPS! I usually set the wicks straight with a chopstick brace along the top, but since these little guys were fragile and uneven, I elected to let them stay as they were. If I noticed them drooping, I’d make sure to grab the wick out quickly, let it cool for a second and straighten it out before placing back in.


Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & SabbathsBubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & Sabbaths

I ended up having extra melted wax, so I made a larger candle in a mason jar and filled it with all the same goodies and loving intentions. Once everything was poured I placed a box over the set up. One, to avoid an accidental knock over and two this helps the wax to cool at an even temperature and avoid and uneven top of your candle or those little sink holes you may have gotten around your wicks before. It’s a handy trick passed to me from my local candle supply making man! { does that make him a candlestick maker?!! }

BOOM! An hour later and everything was cooled and set, I was able to move my egg candles to my alter, where I displayed them in a mix of little silver port glasses and tiny tea cups!

Have you ever tried your hand at candle making before? or do you have a Spring time tradition that you hold dear? Let us know in the comments as we would LOVE to hear! 

 

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Witchspo #5 | Moon Phases by Camille Chew

‘witchspo’ is an aesthetic inspirational feature centered on a weekly witchy theme. 

New Moon by Camille ChewWaxing Cresent by Camille ChewFirst Quarter by Camille ChewWaxing Gibbous by Camille ChewFull Moon by Camille ChewWaning Gibbous by Camille ChewThird Quarter by Camille ChewWaning Cresent by Camille Chew

Lunar Phases by Camille Chew

A complete lunar phase series, prints are available on INPRNT, also available on  Society6 and Redbubble. You can follow Camille in instagram, tumblr and etsy.

 

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coming out of the broom closet | a confession and affirmation

coming out of the broom closet | a witches tale | Bubble & Brew

Recently I felt compelled to out myself as a witch on instagram. In a way, I did it in a very safe and small way by announcing it on our own Bubble & Brew account.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made statements and have alluded to it before, but it was always under the guise of an aesthetic. Which I admit 100% I am drawn to the aesthetic, but there has always been something deeper as well.

Making my declaration on our instagram account seemed safe and small, because our following is still baby new and those that follow us are there because they have interest in what we are doing. It still seems too personal and strange of an announcement to post it on my own personal account as that account is is very much dedicated to body positivity and plus size fashion.

I guess I worry that I will alienate or push away people that are there for another reason. Which makes sense, I have straight up hightailed it out of an account I was considering to follow if it has any mention of Jesus in their bio. I think sometimes religion or spiritually should generally be a personal story that doesn’t need to be advertised to every passer by. Like, I can’t be the only one who violently rolls their eyes at soapbox evangelists or even gets straight up pissed off by them.

coming out of the broom closet | a witches tale | Bubble & Brew

But even still, I feel compelled to share my story. But I know there is a right time and a right place to do so and what better place than this safe haven we have created here, dedicated to us finding ourselves and accepting a truth we have long known. I would even like this to act as perhaps the first entry into a series of personal stories of “coming out of the broom closet” as Michelle so eloquently puts it.

I find it hard to believe I am the only person that feels self conscious about admitting myself as a witch. There are so many assumptions that go along with it that I do find I let myself worry about what those assumptions may be from any given person. But what I need to remember and hold dear to myself is how I feel about it.

And I have to admit, it feels right. It feels like I am finally embracing the compass that has been pulsating so hard in this direction, but I would continue to ignore it.

I am not a religious soul. I tried when I was a child, but it never fit. I tried atheism too, but it didn’t sit well either. In the end I settled on my own hodgepodge system of fantasy and imagination that seemed right to me, but I would never tell a soul, worried I’d be made fun of.

What Michelle and I have discussed is a sort of natural call to being a witch. No parameters or guidelines set in place we need to subscribe or adhere to. Just doing what feels natural.

coming out of the broom closet | a witches tale | Bubble & Brewcoming out of the broom closet | a witches tale | Bubble & Brew

What is natural to me is my belief in energy, that it can manifest in many ways. I have a scientifically based mind and a mystical heart, which can be hard to resolve. I have referred to this as my  Mulder/Scully complex, I want to believe, but I also want tangible evidence to solidify my belief. When I let it all settle down to one thing both sides can agree on it’s energy.

I believe the energy, vibes and positive thoughts I put into creating something make it all that much better. I think it yields greater results. A non witch might just think it’s the power of positive thinking or being determined, but I am a little romantic and I as much as I agree upon those sentiments, I think it’s all a little magic in the making.

I think there is magic all around us, and it stands right before us, plan and simple. It shows itself to me in how foods pair together to make them sing, like mushrooms and garlic sauteed in butter. Or how lemon and ginger steeped with honey can make you feel better when you are sick. If you look at it through witch coloured glasses, isn’t that a simple potion for healing? That mix of ingredients placed together in order for you to heal and feel better, how is that not a witches brew?

And so goes my thinking for many everyday things that we glaze over. And it also goes with the silly little magical indulgences many see as normal. I bet you know your zodiac sign!

coming out of the broom closet | a witches tale | Bubble & Brewcoming out of the broom closet | a witches tale | Bubble & Brew

So here I am, letting the world know, even if it’s not being shouted from the mountain tops, that I am finally accepting this truth of mine. I am actively trying to shake off any shame I may feel when I get into woo woo magical thinking.

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