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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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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Simple Imbolc Celebrating

Ah, Imbolc, one of the lesser known sabbats (witch holidays) is upon us. I was going to write a lengthy and (hopefully) informative post on the history of Imbolc, but instead I’m going to keep it short and sweet. Imolc, also known as Candlemas, marks the halfway point in winter. Meaning, that we’re halfway to spring! Halfway to to light and the warmth returning. Halfway to blooming flowers and hatching eggs. Did you know that Druids called this day the festival of the lactating sheep? Yep, true story. Reason being that by now most of the herd animals had already given birth, and the mother’s milk was flowing. If you want more history, I’ve written a piece for Witch Way Magazine this month all about it.

As with most sabbats, my celebrating looks a lot like…housework. Call it the Kitchen Witch’s catch 22. Sure, we all clean our homes all the time, but it’s not really about that. It’s about the intention. So let’s look at a few ways to honor the day, shall we?

 Why not go buy yourself a fancy handmade new besom? After all even sweeping is better with something fancy! Tie a few sprigs of rosemary in there for an extra magical punch to your cleaning.

Why not go buy yourself a fancy handmade new besom (or make one if you’re feeling crafty)? After all, even sweeping is better with something fancy! Tie a few sprigs of rosemary in there for an extra magical punch to your cleaning.

An easy way to incorporate Imolc into your domestic witchery is to simply add a few drops of essential oils into your bucket. Basil, Cinnamon, cloves, rosemary and vanilla are all associated with Imbolc. Bonus~your house will smell amaaaaaazing!

An easy way to incorporate Imbolc into your domestic witchery is to simply add a few drops of essential oils into your bucket. Basil, Cinnamon, cloves, rosemary and vanilla are all associated with Imbolc. Bonus~your house will smell amaaaaaazing!

What more perfect day for candle making could there be? Again, add in those oils and herbs associated with the day for an extra magical punch.

What more perfect day for candle making could there be? Again, add in those oils and herbs associated with the day for an extra potency.

Both dairy and bread are linked to Imbolc, too. So why not whip up some fresh, homemade goodies for dinner? You'd be amazed how simple they can both be to make. Here's a link to a butter how-to, and a link to my favorite simple bread recipe.

Both dairy and bread are linked to Imbolc, too. So why not whip up some fresh, homemade goodies for dinner? You’d be amazed how simple they can both be to make. Here’s a link to a butter how-to, and a link to my favorite simple bread recipe.

And of course, burn all the candles, witches!

And of course, burn all the candles, witches! I like to burn a few in the kitchen while I’m cooking, in honor of all the witches before me.

So there we have it; a simple celebration plan for Imbolc. How do you celebrate? We’d love to hear about your traditions!

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Handmade Yule Candles Tutorial

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Helloooooooo to you all, and welcome to our little corner of the blogsphere! There will be a post forthcoming to explain who we are and what this is all about. Today, however, we are talking about making candles for Yule. When it comes to gift giving, I truly believe that (when possible) handmade is the way to go. Not only are handmade gifts more personal, but as we are so fond of saying here there’s magic in the making.

You can apply this tutorial to making any kind of candle, but keep in mind that these are specifically for Yule. So of you are making them for another Sabbat, or just because, you might want to alter your ingredients. Here’s what I assembled for these ones.

Supplies

A bit of information on why I chose these enhancers:

In all honesty, these scents just make me think of Yule, and I’ll bet I’m not the only one. So when I was gathering my ingredients, I put a lot of thought into them. Cinnamon is often tied to prosperity  and protection. When I think about what Yulemas must have been like hundreds and hundreds of years ago, I think those particular traits would have been welcome blessings. I love the scent of clove so much (in fact it even inspired a short smoking phase of my life in my angsty  20s). It is used to keep good friends close, bring luck, and they’re also linked with prosperity. Oranges draw abundance and happiness. I’m pretty sure anyone who’s ever inhaled while an orange is being peeled would agree with me. It is the scent of joy. As for the Orange Mint, I had an abundance in my garden, and there is strong magic in anything grown by a witch. Lastly, we have the Star Anise. This one is so closely tied to Yule. Not only is beautiful but it brings with it an increase in physic connection and amplifies power. All combined, these are powerful carriers of my intentions of love, luck & abundance.

 

Onto the How to:

Step 1: Melt your wax

melting wax

This part is pretty simple. I bought my wax melty container at Micheal’s and find it really handy, but I think you could use anything that heats evenly. Initially I had it straight on the burner, but it was taking forever, and I risked scorching the wax. So I added a shallow pan filled halfway with water, effectively making the Broke Ass Witch equivalent of a double boiler. Note: do not boil the wax! You want it to be at about 185 degrees, technically speaking, but I just eyeball it. When it’s clear & all liquefied, it should be good to go.

Step 2: Prepare your jars

Jar Prep

While your wax is busy getting it’s melt on, you can get your jars ready to go. I bought these canning jars, but if you (like me) recycle your glass jars, just use those. Way cheaper!  Firstly, you’ll want to put your wick into the jar. I tried out a wax adhesive designed to keep your wick set in the bottom center of the far. To tell you truth, it’s a giant pain in ass, but it was helpful. They I plopped in some stem from the orange mint, half a cinnamon stick and one star anise. Your jars are now ready to be poured into.

Step 3: Scent you wax

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I used Aura Cacia oils because I had them handy, and they are far less costly than other oils. If you have the means to use Doterra, Young Living, or even some small business made oils, all the better!

Step 4: Get ready to pour

Slow Pouring

I highly advise you to place some newspaper or other disposable covering over your workspace while you pour. I failed to do so, and am still trying to get wax out from the tile grout.

As I poured the wax into the containers I was mindful of my intentions. After all, the magic’s in the making, right? I also added in the remaining bits of herbs & spices as I poured, letting my instinct guide me.

Lastly, you’re going to need to keep those wicks straight. I used some pens I had nearby. If you want, you can buy a centering tool from a craft store, but I chose to save my $4.00. You can also see I used two wooden wicks, simply because I had them already. I LOVE wooden wicks.They are super easy to used, require no supports, and make an awesome crackling sound as they burn.

You’ll need to wait overnight before you try to light the flame on one of these babies.

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The way I see it, that’s a pretty thrift bit of generosity & magic. We hope you have fun making yourself some of these bad boys this Yule time. As for these particular candles,  they’re about to be blessed, wrapped, and sent of to four of my favorite witches as gifts.

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