How to Seal a Witch Bottle

The YouTube video above is taken directly from my free course, Everything You Need to Know About Witch Bottles. You can sign up for that here.

Everything You Need to Know About Witch Bottles is free (forever!) but it’s actually the first module of my larger course, Magical Methods.

Magical Methods is a low cost course with high value impact. Go beyond simple recipes and understand how different spells actually work! Once you know how existing spells are put together, you can create your own with ease.

how to seal a witch bottle with wax

Alternative Medicine: Finding my Way – Guest Blog

Alternative Medicine: Finding My Way

alternative medicine

Alternative Medicine and Conventional Medicine

My path to alternative medicine is unfortunately not an uncommon one.  You see, conventional doctors spend years in medical school and learn an astronomical amount of information. This is fantastic, because it keeps us safe and healthy in an abundance of ways.

However, many doctors are unable to expand their views when it comes to alternative medicine. They won’t even consider that there could be a root cause of disease that they are not aware of, or fathom that an herb can have exceptional healing powers.

This is what frustrates me because the world of medicine is ever changing. One day we hear coffee is good for us the next day it increases our risk for this and that. We are presented with new discoveries like this all the time. There are so many unknowns in the medical field. We have only scratched the surface. Alternative medicine has been gaining traction, but we still have a long way to go.

My Story With Alternative Medicine

My path from health to sickness then back again to health began ten years ago. At that time, I was twelve years old. I had never broken a bone, had any serious or rare illness or medical mysteries of any kind. I had never even had a headache or an ear infection (still haven’t to this day, fingers crossed!). Over the course of several months, seventh-grade me started showing symptoms that at the time I didn’t realize were connected. Joint pain, mouth, sores, weight loss, fatigue, and a host of gastrointestinal symptoms led to the eventual diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, to which there is no cure.

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, with Ulcerative colitis being the other form and slightly different. My doctors did not believe that diet had much, if any impact on my symptoms. Food doesn’t have anything to do with a digestive disorder? My parents, being my advocates were skeptical, but without knowing what else to do I followed the diet (bland, white bleached grains, etc.) and I took the medication I was prescribed. I had no choice but to be hospitalized two more times just over a year after my diagnosis because my symptoms were out of control. We were contemplating surgery when we finally struck luck.

Treating Crohn’s Disease with Alternative Medicine

I managed to get an appointment with a highly regarded Orthomolecular Physicist. My first appointment was several hours long and I left with a brand new lifestyle ahead of me. He showed me how many foods I was eating were adding to the inflammation and showing up as my symptoms, preventing me to start healing. My new diet sounded impossible, especially as a thirteen-year-old! I eliminated gluten, dairy, refined sugar, corn, soy, and more foods. It sounded crazy to me, but it worked.

 

I gained back weight and started feeling better. To this day I still see this physician. I retest for foods at my appointments and sometimes I get them back. Those are exciting days! While food has a huge impact on my body, so does the environment. Living on the east coast in New England, you can bet we experience some chilly and dark times in the winter. Every year since I was diagnosed I have noticed a shift in how I feel. I am much more sensitive to foods in the winter and generally do not feel well. Many times I have tested this by retreating to Florida or an island. Are you surprised to learn that I immediately felt better? I could tolerate more foods, had more energy and fewer symptoms. The connection to warmth and vitamin D is a strong one for me.

What’s Next?

I am very hopeful that a cure for Crohn’s will be discovered. There is a lot of promising research going on. For now, I am armed with the best type of medicine there is, wholesome nutrient-dense food!

Hippocrates had it right!

alternative medicine

Alexa Federico is a 22-year-old born and raised just north of Boston, Massachusetts. She is an avid reader and green tea drinker. She blogs at Girl in Healing, where she creates belly-friendly recipes and shares her life experiences of living with Crohn’s disease, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which there is currently no cure for. You can follow Alexa on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Interview with a Witch: This Crooked Crown

thiscrookedcrownInterview with a Witch – ThisCrookedCrown

Today I’m talking to Samantha, from ThisCrookedCrown.

1) Why did you choose to start your business? Why choose witchcraft and divination as a base? What drew you to it?

Because I love it! I love witchcraft and divination; it’s one of my major passions and something I could never grow bored of. Starting my own business came about when I was unable to work in the mainstream workforce anymore due to medical reasons. Once I hit on the idea of starting my own business, I went with two of my major passions – divination and witchcraft. It just evolved from there.
I’ve been practicing witchcraft and divination for over twenty years now and never really experienced a time where I didn’t believe in magic. For me, discovering that witchcraft didn’t exist in the realm of fantasy and people still practiced it was really eye-opening. It meant that there was so much more to the world than what I’d been taught and there’s so much possibility! I love sharing that awe with my clients.
thiscrookedcrown

2) How do you balance what you give away for free (in terms of tutorials and spells, free readings etc) with what you charge for? 

I like to make generosity part of my business. I offer free advice and consultation on my blogs and to clients. I love offering resources like free spells and tutorials, free readings each Tuesday on my twitter, public meet-and-greets on Sundays, and give away readings for charity. It’s great to give back and help out as much as I can.
Balancing what’s given away and how much time I spend on non-paying work can be difficult but I try to break up the amount of daily work I do as 2/3 paying work versus 1/3 non-pay (donations, free spells, etc.). Monthly number crunching helps keep things real and makes sure that I stay on track.
3) How much time do you spend on blogs and social media, and how do you make that pay off, so to speak? What’s your social media strategy?
I’m a lurker! I’m always on social media but I like to sit back and see how people interact with each other. I find that really fun and really fascinating. I’m spending roughly two to three hours a day on various social media and sometimes twice that much when I’m setting up things like my daily tips on facebook.
I try to update at least one social media platform a day. If I’m not on tumblr then I’m posting to boards on pinterest, tweeting on the go, or updating my instagram. I have a posting schedule of what to post and when but I like to keep it flexible. If I make it too rigid, it’s no fun anymore. Social media’s really great to get more people interested and drive more business to your doors but it’s really just a lot of fun to interact with the people that are reading my work.
thiscrookedcrown

4) What’s your best piece of advice for someone who is starting a Pagan business, or hoping to improve their existing one? 

Take time off! It’s very easy as small business owners, especially in a niche like ours, to work all the time. You put in more time then you get more money, right? But it weighs on you until you begin to grow bitter or resentful. Taking time off seems counterproductive at first but it’s healthier, gives you a chance to have a life outside of work, and boosts your motivation and inspiration. It gives you a chance to reset your spirit and recharge your batteries which is critical when you do a lot of energy-based work. It’s absolutely my number one tip to being happy, having a successful business, and following your dreams.
(Ed: It’s been lovely to have Samantha on the blog, please make sure to follow her and ThisCrookedCrown – all her social media links in the appropriate paragraph above. You can subscribe to my email list here, and visit my Etsy shop here, or check my services pages for more from me.)

Top 5 Best Pagan Books

top five Pagan booksTop Five Pagan Books

These are in no particular order, one, because they are all very good, and two, because they deal with such vastly different subjects it would be unfair to rank them.

(Also, the first link in each, the actual name of the book is a link direct to that book on Amazon where you can buy it. It is an affiliate link which means I earn a tiny commission from Amazon should you buy anything through that link.)

  1. Pagan Planet: Being, Believing & Belonging in the 21Century edited by Nimue Brown. Full review here. I’ve chosen this one, because it features so many varied  viewpoints on what it is to be Pagan, that there isn’t a person on the planet who won’t learn something new or be offered a new way of looking at the world when they read this book. This book has articles not just from writers, but from other prominent Pagans, activists and clergy and both. This is a must read for anyone who feels like they’ve lost their way – there are so many ways out there, you can find one to suit you or create your own.
  2.  A Druid’s Tale by Cat Treadwell. Full review here. Cat shares what it’s like to be a Druid as she sees it, and it’s a wonderful tale, full of inspiration and lessons. Useful not only for people on a druidic path, but for anyone considering a clergy or professional religious role in a great many religions, I think.
  3. A Deed Without a Name: Unearthing the Legacy of Traditional Witchcraft by Lee Morgan. Full review here. Winning the award for longest title on my bookshelf, this book has really opened my eyes to folklore and folk magic, and allowed me to investigate historical material more thoroughly. This is a book I go back to, time and time again, for things even beyond witchcraft – I’m doing some research for some folklore articles I’m writing, and yet again this book turns out to be useful.
  4. Pagan Dreaming: The magic of altered consciousness by Nimue Brown. Full review here. It’s several months on from my first reading of this book , and I still can’t believe just how much it’s helped me. Following it has not only given me greater clarity and an actual relationship with my dreams, but has also given me my health back. Being able to to properly analyse not only my dreams but also my sleep has allowed a doctor to finally find out why I am tired, and now I have my life back. This is the only book I’ve ever read which emphasized and explained that to work with dreams you need to work with sleep, and how important sleeping actually is. I would recommend no other book on the subject.
  5.   The Book of English Magic by Richard Heygate. This book is not really designed for practioners, or for academics, which is why I love. It is a tour of English magic from as far back as we can reach, to the Chaos Magic of the 1980s, and contains just about every flavour of English magic I can think of. There are also interviews with all kinds of magic users, from witches to magicians to Wiccans, as well as simple tutorials to try out all kinds of magic. My copy is almost falling apart from overuse and it’s full of notes and scribblings too.

(Want more? You can subscribe to my email list here, and visit my Etsy shop here, or check my services pages for more from me. If you’d like to help support me, please consider becoming a Patron! You get all kinds of cool things for doing so.)

Book Review Monday: Candle Magic

candle magic

Pagan Portals: Candle Magic

Buy it here: Pagan Portals – Candle Magic: A witch’s guide to spells and rituals

Pagan Portals: Candle Magic is an exemplary addition to any magician’s bookshelf. A detailed look at traditions and practices, without adhering to dogma.

The best sort of handbook, it builds literally from the ground up, containing spells and exercises suitable for any ability level. Useful for a beginner, or for someone going back and filling in gaps in their knowledge.

It shows you why and how each sort of candle is used, progressing onto creating your own spells, rituals and practices.

Candle Magic covers a lot of historical and cultural ground, so will be useful almost regardless of your own cultural background.

I’ve worked with candle magic for nearly eight years now, and there was plenty of new to me information in here, so I would certainly recommend it to you at any point of your journey with candle magic.

All of the Pagan Portals books are concise and well-written, and this is no exception. A useful primer that goes far beyond 101 lessons, this is a book that deserves a place on your shelf.

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Want more? You can subscribe to my email list here, and visit my Etsy shop here, or check my services pages for more from me. If you’d like to help support me, please consider becoming a Patron! You get all kinds of cool things for doing so.

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Book Review Monday – A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Food by Rachel Patterson (NO PUMPKINS!)

a kitchen witch's world of magical food

A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Food Review

Buy it here: A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Food

Hooray for magical food that isn’t USA-centric! If you don’t like or can’t get bloody pumpkins and yet want to learn to cook seasonally and magically, look here.

This is not just a cookbook, it also has guides to eating seasonally, brewing magical recipes, and has massive correspondence list for all kind of edibles. (It’s my favourite sort of correspondence list. No, not ’cause it’s food, although that helps. It’s because Patterson explains why x thing has y qualities. )

But I’ll start with the recipes first.

This is a more British/European centric cookbook, although I don’t think it sells itself as such. But the distinct lack of pumpkins is refreshing.

There is a mix of recipes, some more traditional ones we’ve stopped eating, some more modern ones, and some that reflect Britain’s multicultural diet. There’s also a Gluten Free one, but if you’re experienced in food for any dietary concern you might have, you should find the recipes easy to adapt, as the magical ingredients are listed, along with why  they have been chosen.

Although this book is not about wildcrafting, in the seasonal/sabbat food sections it does detail several plants you can wildharvest from according to season. Of course, consult a proper wildharvest book or website to make sure you can identify the plants you wish to pick, and also consult any people you know who harvest from the wild in your area (30 miles or so). I know for a fact that in my area chestnuts are only available for the fortnight that ends September and begins November, but the list is a good place to start.

Hooray for a big long correspondence lists that you can freestyle from, hooray for recipes for every taste, hooray for reasons behind why you did that, and HOORAY: NO PUMPKINS.

(Want more? You can subscribe to my email list here, and visit my Etsy shop here, or check my services pages for more from me. If you’d like to help support me, please consider becoming a Patron! You get all kinds of cool things for doing so.)