Bang in the middle of Mercury Retrograde and just after the seasonal shift of the seasons, we have a chance for new beginnings and transitions with the New Moon in Libra.
When is the New Moon in Libra?
The New Moon in Libra is on 25th September 2022 and will reach its peak at 10:55am BST.
What is the New Moon?
The New Moon marks the start of the Lunar cycle and is sometimes also knowns as the Dark Moon as during this point the moon isn’t visible to us, but she is still there.
What does the New Moon mean in Witchcraft?
The New Moon is a new chapter, a time for new beginnings and a time for intention setting.
What are the themes of the New Moon in Libra?
Libra is ruled by Venus (the planet of love, romance and relationships) so now’s the time we can review existing relationships or even aim for a new one. This particular moon will also be directly opposite Jupiter (planet of luck, fortune, favour and blessings) so there will be a spark in the air, almost as though the power of the moon and the changes around us have been magnified. It’s going to be fit.
Being Libra, we should also look at the areas of our life that need more balance, can something be lost or gained to help you through the rest of the year in more equilibrium.
What herbs are related to this moon
Rose will be your best friend right now because not only is rose associated with the moon but it’ll also work well with Libra and its ruler, Venus.
Elderberry (which is in season right now if some grows near you) and thyme from your garden or spice rack will also go down a treat.
What can I do during the New Moon?
Intention setting ceremony
As we reach the New Moon start your intention setting, write down what you desire as though you have already achieved it. Fold the paper three times towards you to welcome these things into your life. Burn the paper in a fire-safe place to release those intentions into the universe and be ready for the next steps in your moon work.
Ritual bath / Shower
A ritual bath or shower can help cleanse the body, mind and spirit from the cycle before. Set your vibe with incense and candles of your choice (I use rose incense and pink candles for this moon) and add the following either directly to your bath or into a fabric bag and tie it to the shower head if you don’t have a bath:
– Rose petals / Rose Essential oils to represent the Moon and Venus – Salt (I use Pink salt but any kind you have is perfect) to ground yourself – Lemon slices to cleanse and purify – Thyme for courage to strive for your intention and to protect you during the cycle ahead
As you bathe, think on your intention and all you hope to achieve during the next cycle. As you wash, picture yourself washing away any hurt, pain or discomfort from the previous cycle, your past mistakes will literally go down the drain.
Use a sieve to collect the remaining ‘bits’, thank them for their help and dispose of them.
Moon tea latte
All you need is rose tea and milk of your choice… make the tea almost like an espresso so either steep in a small amount of water from the kettle for 5 mins OR boil in a saucepan. You can add sugar or Agave / Honey to your taste. Strain the water into a glass and top with heated milk (yes, it’ll be a pink latte). Stir three times with your intention for the cycle, seal this moment by tapping the rim of you cup three times with a spoon and relax with a tasty rose latte.
Use this moment to reflect on the past cycle or even the year so far and find moments you need to change, adapt or improve. Here are some prompts you can use:
– What is no longer bringing me joy? – How can I open myself up to new relationships? – Are they any relationships I can give more to? – Are there any relationships I give too much to? – In what ways have I grown over summer? – How can I love myself more? – In what ways can I start to rest more during autumn and winter? – What was my previous intention and how did I do?
But, even if you just wanted to sit in a comfy cocoon and have an early night, that’s OK too. All practices are different so you don’t need to do all of the above if that’s not for you.
The wheel of the year continues to turn and it’s time for another feast day. The Autumn Equinox is here, to some practices, called Mabon (Mah-bon), after Welsh God Mabon, son of Earth Mother Goddess, Modron (who actually has nothing to do with the equinox…)
When is the Autumn Equinox / Mabon?
The Autumn Equinox almost always falls on either the 22nd or 23rd September (although in rare cases the window is from 21st September – 24th September at 02:03am BST.
In 2022, the Autumn Equinox is Friday 23rd September.
What is the Autumn Equinox?
The Autumn Equinox marks the end of summer and the beginning of Autumn, on this date, day and night are of equal length before the longer nights and shorter days start creeping in. Everything is at that perfect balance but also on the cusp of change.
What is Mabon?
Mabon is a feast in reconstructed paganism and the Wiccan faith, it only really started becoming labelled as Mabon around the 1970s but for many, the name kind of stuck.
Mabon is not only become the feast of the Autumm Equinox but also the Second Harvest, the Harvest of fruit and around the ‘harvest festival’ which some of you may remember from school. The Harvest Festival is traditionally celebrated on the Sunday nearest the harvest moon, the full moon nearest the Autumn Equinox.
It’s a time to reflect and celebrate on the year so far with the ‘reaping what you have sown’ mentality and seeing all of the benefits of your hard work so far.
For me, the most important part is the resting side. As the days grow darker and the nights grow longer, we are supposed to rest. After the feast and celebrating is done, we are supposed to retreat, use less energy and get through the winter. Like we used to before *capitalism*.
How can I celebrate the Equinox / Mabon?
Whether it’s making blackberry jam with your own little fruit harvest or just embracing the autumn aesthetic and adding some colour magic to your wardrobe, here are a bunch of things you can do to celebrate the equinox and Mabon, some low energy and some more intense:
Dress in Mabon colours: just as the leaves have changed, embrace earthy colours to match. Browns, deep reds, golds and dark greens
Eat Seasonal Food: I love to make a stew using squashes (like pumpkin) from the local organic green grocer. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to grow my own! if that’s a little too much, an apple pie from McDonald’s is also valid.
Go Blackberry picking: Get your own little harvest, you can use these to make blackberry jam, pies and syrups or even just eat them with sugar and be thankful for the bounty. This is generally the last time the berries are still good.
Hold a thanksgiving ritual: Write a letter to the universe of everything you’re thankful for this year so far. You can make it proper witchy by burning the list on the day of the Equinox and releasing that thankful energy into the universe
Light a candle: With the nights growing longer we’ll need to bring more light in, I use yellow / gold candles to symbolise that the sun will return.
Wind down and get comfy: This is the time when we’re supposed to rest and hibernate so do not feel guilty about grabbing a blanket and settling in with a cup of tea and a good book. It’s what we’re supposed to be doing and it’s a ritual in itself.
AJ shares one of her morning rituals, which is perfect for the beginners or for witches looking for some inspiration
A new day is here and you feel MAGICAL AF, how best to start your day than a a simple ritual?
Now, don’t get me wrong, we are NOT a Disney Princess, we do not wake primed and perfect and ready to tackle our day. Sometimes it takes every ounce of energy to just sit up.
Here, I have broken down a nice ritual you can do as and when you feel like you can, don’t feel guilty if you don’t do it everyday, i can guarantee I don’t! However, I do notice that my better days have always been those where I have done some kind of ritual. Could just be though!
Your morning caffeine kick
Whether it’s tea or coffee, even a glass of water, whatever your choice of beverage is first thing in the morning, let’s make it magical.
I add honey (to sweeten my day) to my coffee (grounding) and stir the cup three times as I set my intention for the day. Sometimes out loud, sometimes in my head. Whatever my intention is, i speak it as though it has already been achieved.
“I have had a productive day”
“I have had a happy day”
“I have achieved everything I wanted to achieve”
“I completed that report”
” I have absolutely smashed my day because I am a badass”
After the third stir, I tap my spoon three times on the rim of my favourite mug to ‘seal’ the intention for the day. Instead of a spoon, you can also use a cinnamon stick for extra abundance and magical energy!
Light a candle / some incense
This can be made even better when you use a candle / colour or scent to compliment your intention for the day. For example, if you want to stay relaxed, use lavender.
Here’s a wee correspondence chart if this is all new to you
Frankincense or orange
Reds and Pinks
Rose or cherry (dragonsblood is great for love magic, wink wink)
Lucky / wealth
Visualise your day
As I have a 9-5, it’s pretty easy to predict how my day is going to go but I also visualise how i want my day to make me FEEL. Maybe I have a big presentation that i’m nervous about it, as I get dressed i picture myself absolutely smashing it and celebrating in the pub afterwards. It’s warm, inviting and the air is abuzz with delight.
Draw a card of the day
This is a nice and simple thing to do if you’re still learning tarot, want to brush up your skills, are experimenting with a different deck or even just want to start incorporating more divination into your daily routine.
Questions to ask as you shuffle your deck:
“What challenges may I see today”
“How do I approach that presentation I have”
“How do I communicate my feelings with X:
“How can i make my day brighter’
“What good news in in store today”
Seal your day
As the ending to my little ritual of the morning, I like to seal it with a bit of glamour magic. I have a favourite enchanted lipstick (or a chapstick of you’re not feeling the effort… you know), pop that on while speaking a final affirmation to the mirror. For me, that final affirmation is usually ‘you got this, AJ’.
Aj discusses all things witch altar in todays post. What do you have on yours?
If you’re new to the world of witchcraft and have been feeling confused when you see things like ‘time to change up my altar’ or ‘left an offering on my altar’, don’t worry because we got you.
What is an altar?
For many people, an altar is used as a place to centre their practice. Almost like a holy place. Where they can worship their deities, where they can craft their spells and conduct their rituals and, for some, pray. Sometimes, I feel like a terrible witch because I do not have an altar, and that’s OK! You don’t necessarily need one, especially if you’re not open about your craft.
They can be a little table, a bookcase, a travel tin for witches on the go or those ‘in the broom closet’ as we say.
Even though I don’t really have an altar, i imagine mine is my entire house, especially the kitchen as kitchen witchery is a part of my every day practice.
What do I need on an Witch altar?
This depends entirely on you and your practice but typically you will have:
Candles (can include dedicated candles for your deities)
Your book of shadows
Basically, your altar will need to be PRACTICAL and have the tools you will need to perform your magic and rituals. You don’t need to make them over complicated but, if this is within your practice, you can make them seasonal as the Wheel of the Year turns.
How do I represent the elements on my Witch altar?
This is a lot simpler than you think:
Air = Incence
Water = a jar / glass of water (i even have seashells around to represent water)
Earth = a plant pot of earth, a dish of sand
Fire = a candle
“BUT AJ”, I hear you cry, “how can i not be obvious about it”? Take a little a vase and put in some herbs and flowers:
Air = Sage or Lavender
Water = Thyme or Rose
Earth = Mugwort or honeysuckle
Fire = Rosemary or carnation
If you don’t have the finances to keep refreshing the herbs or flowers then a drawing of each is enough, even a drawing of the elemental symbols will do! Witchcraft doesn’t need to cost you any money when there is power and creativity in you too.
What do you have on your altar? Let us know in the comments.
If you want more from AJ, you can find her on TikTok
Resident Moon Witch AJ talks about Working With The Full Sturgeon Moon in Aquarius
As we pass midsummer and, despite the obscene weather we’re having right now, the seasons start their transition into Autumn, we have the Full Sturgeon Moon in Aquarius with us, and the final Supermoon of 2022.
What is a Supermoon?
A Supermoon is when a full moon is at its closest point to the Earth during its orbit and it appears larger and brighter. The point where non moon followers add ‘wow, the moon looks big tonight’ to their Instagram Stories.
When it comes to the astrology and witchcraft side of a Supermoon, allegedly a Supermoon can enhance your emotions and can make you feel more exposed. However, moments like this always make me think of my Aunt who taught me the ways of the moon:
“The moon doesn’t care whether we think she’s super or small.
She’s just there and there for us”
What is the Sturgeon Moon?
The Sturgeon Moon is an interpretation of the Native American name for this full moon. It marks the time when the Giant Sturgeon of the Great Lakes were caught by Algonquin tribes.
For generations, Native Americans have marked cycles of the moon to signify certain times of the year. In August, we welcome the Sturgeon Moon – also known as the Green Corn Moon, the Red Moon, and the Grain Moon. The full Sturgeon Moon marks the time for noted ease in catching fish in Great Lakes area….The legend of the moon varies across tribes; however, something all tribes seem to have in common is the use of a lunar calendar. Tribal winter counts were done by using the lunar calendar to record notable events throughout the year — and each moon signified something different for each tribe that named it.
The English name for this moon is the Corn Moon and marks the beginning of the harvest season
The Celtic name for this moon is the Dispute Moon, highlighting the transition of the seasons and the impact on the harvest. It could be a hot and dry summer or a temperate wet summer, both can impact what we reap during harvest season.
What does this Sturgeon Moon mean?
This year, the Sturgeon Moon is in Aquarius, bang in the middle of Leo Season. With Leo being firey, excitable and creative, the moon in Aquarius can help us to take a step back and to review before we act.
I have used this moon to review my year so far, forgive any previous hurt, release what hasn’t served me for six months and finesse my plans moving forward, rather than jumping straight in.
What can I do during this full moon?
First thing’s first that I have to remind a lot of people, the full moon lasts three days… If you can’t do something for it tonight, that’s OK. You have another two days!
As the full moon is generally the time we release (see more about Moon Work in my Beginners Guide to Witchcraft), now is a good time to literally throw something away that you no longer need. Not exactly a deep clean but I use full moons to clear my work desk and start the new cycle fresh.
If you have set any intentions for the year, check in on them. How are they going? Do some require more attention? Are some not quite there and maybe need a refresh?
Check in with yourself. How are you? How is your year going? Are there any thoughts or moments you can release that you don’t want to take into the second half of the year?
What rituals can I do during this full moon?
Take a bayleaf and write what you want to release, burn the bayleaf in a firesafe place and meditate. As you meditate, imagine the thing you’re letting go of leaving your body.
Write a letter to the person, moment or thing you want to forgive, especially if it’s yourself. Burn it in a firesafe place. As the flames consume the thing that you wanted to forgive look up at the moon and thank her for giving you the strength to let go, release and move forward. As the flames die down, feel how much lighter you are.
Manifest with the Moon:
Use this moon to begin manifesting something for the remainder of the year, something more short term factoring in things like the shorter days that will come.
What you want to achieve in the present tense as though you already had it, like an affirmation
How you achieved this thing as though you already did it
Meditate and picture that moment of success
As you’re doing this, either on a candle or in a firesafe dish, burn the cinnamon (prosperity and abundance), coffee (speed), rosemary (positivity) and spearmint (wealth and good luck)
The next morning, repeat your affirmation. Whether this is written down, said to yourself in the mirror or whispered quietly to yourself as you make your morning coffee.
Remember, with all intention setting and manifestation action is required, remember the list you made of how you achieved your goal and start putting those steps into place on the final night of the full moon.
We hope this was helpful and we’ll be sure to have a write up ready for the next Full Moon in Pisces on 10th September!
How are you celebrating the Sturgeon Supermoon in Aquarius?
If you want more from AJ, our resident moon witch, you can find her on TikTok
If you’re new to the craft you may have started spotting new celebrations you have never heard of starting to appear on your News Feeds, especially on TikTok. Don’t be fooled by thinking the Wheel of the Year is something only used by Wiccans but also, if you don’t want to follow the Wheel of the Year, you don’t have to either. Everyone’s practice is personal.
As you’re here at Digital Coven to learn and discover, it would have been remiss of us to not at least introduce you to the sabbats. As a caveat before we get into the nitty and gritty, the dates I’ll be using are for the Northern Hemisphere as that is where I am and is what I know and I wouldn’t want to get anything wrong.
The Wheel of the Year, is a medley of fire festivals, chief solar events, equinoxes and solstices. Almost a calendar for the working pagan / witch / Spiritual Person™ . The Sabbats and a lot of Magic is seasonal and an easy way to connect to your path as a beginner, especially if you’re still not open about your craft yet.
This post in particular is more of a ‘starting point’ or a snapshot to the sabbats and the Wheel of the Year, throughout the year we will include more detailed posts for you so you can learn as much as you can in one place.
Now, let’s get cracking.
Yule – 21st December
Everyone knows this one. Associated with Christmas, the Wild Hunt, the deep midwinter. It’s actually a 12 day long celebration too so no need to worry if you miss the first day.
Here are a couple of starters for ten in terms of rituals and celebrations:
Bring green into the home. If you’re still in the broom closet that can simply be a wee christmas tree. At this point of the year, there is little to no natural growth so bring that life inside to encourage a healthy winter. Also, some pagan traditions suggest that by bringing in a tree to your home, you’re providing somewhere warm for the woodland spirits during the winter and they will thank you with abundance in the spring.
Personally, I like to gather local holly and hang it through my home.
Welcome back the sun. As Yule starts on the Winter Solstice, this is the beginning of the astrological winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) and the point where the nights can reach their darkest.
Light candles, hang fairy lights, I like to light a candle as I cook.
Yule Log: There are actually a couple of variations of this.
If you have an open fireplace, you can burn a specially chosen log on Christmas eve. You can ‘scent’ with cinnamon as well for the vibes and protective qualities.
You can create a Yule Log display for your altar / space. Find a log, decorate it how you feel with candles, greenery runes and sigils.
Eat a chocolate Yule log, great if you’re still not open with your craft.
Imbolc – 1st February
Meaning ‘in the belly’, imbolc is a celtic festival originating in Ireland and represents the stirring of new life. This is where the earliest signs of rebirth appear, sometimes in the form of new leaves and buds. The world is getting ready to wake up again.
Imbolc is also associated with the Goddess Brigit / Brigid/ /Brighid Bríg. Some may already know her as St Brigit. Brigid is a fire goddess and often associated with protection, healing, smithcraft, and poetry.
In the Christian calendar, this date is also marked by Candelmas so some of the traditions may be the same or similar.
Things you can do to celebrate imbolc:
EAT: As with all festivals of the Wheel of the Year, this is a time to feast. Foods associated with imbolc are those that would traditionally be available when it was still winter. Dairy products like milk, cream and butter as this would be the time of the ‘first milk’ since winter, baked goods, dried foods. What you would have been able to store in your pantry to get through until spring.
Bake bread, pies and cakes and look for foods that are associated with sun and rebirth, eggs are a nice easy one if you’re low on energy you can just scramble an egg in the microwave as a way to honour the festival.
Leave an offering for Brigid: traditionally the first milk would have been poured on the ground for Brigid.
When it comes to food offerings, especially in the current climate where the cost of living is soaring, this may not be the most practical. Instead, pour yourself a glass of milk (plant based counts too), or make some buttery toast. Toast Bridgid before you consume instead of leaving out / pouring away. This way she has been thanked and you have been nourished at the same time.
Plant seeds: This is the time to start sewing your seeds (but do look at an Almanac to be sure depending on what you’re planting). If you’re like me and don’t have access to an outside space,I treat myself to a herb plant around this time or try and regrow things from scraps (leeks, ginger and garlic are really easy to do this with).
Beltane – 1st May
Beltane is the first Fire Festival of the year and where celebrations really start to begin. Beltane originates in Ireland from the celtic god Bel. Traditionally, bonfires would be lit to honour Bel and also to celebrate the return of the sun and spring with longer days coming ahead. You may also be thinking May Day and May pole and you’d be correct!
Beltane is around the time of year where everything has really sprung to life and as such is also associated with fertility and the idea of ‘everlasting’.
The bonfires lit for Beltane were often public bonfires that people would ‘jump’ for protection and fertility and before they were extinguished, the people would take some of the fire with them to light their hearths.
Things you can do for Beltane:
Have a BBQ / Bonfire if you have the space: You can’t really have a fire festival without fire, can you? If this isn’t possible for you, lighting a candle works just as well.
Dress in Beltane colours: Green, red, white. Green for regrowth, fertility and abundance, red for passion and vitality, white for cleansing and clearing of negative energy. Now’s the perfect time to practice your colour magic.
Make a flower crown: Even a simple daisy chain will do!
Summer Solstice: 21st June
Probably the most famous solstice, the one you see on the telly every year where people flock to Stonehenge to take in the vibes. This is Midsummer (like Yule is midwinter) and also the longest day of the year. Many will make a pilgrimage to Stonehenge or other spiritual sites, but if this is not possible for you, there is plenty you can do at home too.
Sunrise and Sunset: As the longest day, we celebrate the sun. Watching both the sunrise and sunset means you can experience the most of the day. To be honest, even opening your curtains and staying in bed can work too if it’s not possible for you to be up and about at this time.
Sun Symbols: a simmer pot or even food made from lemons and oranges as we honour the return of the sun. I make an orange drizzle cake (mostly because i don’t really like the taste of lemon!) and you can easily buy things like lemon cakes if you can’t make them.
Colour Magic: dress, display or even use coloured candles in your rituals. Yellow for the sun, green for the earth and blue for the sky.
Lammas / Lughnassadh – 1st August
Lammas literally translates as ‘loaf mass’ and is the time we celebrate the first grain harvest (basically, the first of many harvest festivals). Lammas is also known as Lughnassadgh and Lugnasad.
As with many dates on the wheel of the year, particularly those that follow Lammas. This is a time where we give thanks for the harvest and feast as well as honouring Lammas, our harvest queen.
Things you can do for Lammas:
Eat bread: Whether you have baked it or bought it, just… bread.
Make a corn dolly / mother: these are traditionally made out of wheat but this isn’t always easy to come by, especially if you live in a big city. If you can’t access wheat you can use straw, which you can find in pet shops, or even draw one for your altar.
Colour Magic: Dress in oranges golds and yellows to represent the harvest
Autumn Equinox / Mabon – September 19th – 22nd
Another transitory time where the days start getting colder and shorter. The leaves are starting to turn red and orange, occasionally there will be a little bite in the air… Autumn in my favourite.
The Autumn Equinox is also known to some as Mabon, you’ll see this more often in American Wicca or witchcraft practices. This is the time of Mid-Harvest, particularly for fruit. As the seasons change we would traditionally start preserving food for the winter and long night ahead.
Things you can do for the Autumn Equinox:
Jam: like to go to my nearest woods to gather blackberries around this time and make jam with them. I like to plan the foraging and making around the full moon where I can as well. If you don’t have access to blackberries, buy the fruit you like and make some from that. If you can’t make jam, get some jam for jam on toast… Say jam again.
Decorate your altar: Basically lots of Autumn-y things! Acorns, pine cones, leaves, the colours of autumn! Also, if you happen to find an acorn during this time… save it for Imbolc and plant it under the first tree that blossoms.
Stew and Kitchen Witchery: Autumn is the time the Kitchen witch THRIVES. Making stews with seasonally appropriate food, ‘canning’ for the winter and basically living our best lives. I have previously shared my ‘mabon’ casserole on TikTok, and Emma has her own go-to stock recipe that can be utilised at this time. Anything hearty and warming. As you cook, you can include your intentions and wishes for the season too.
Samhain / Hallowe’en – 31st October
Also known as AJ’s Christmas… Samhain is the point where the nights are at their darkest, the veil is thin and spirits can wonder again, not only that… it’s the Witches’ New Year.
Any Scorpios here, this is where you are at your most intuitive. Some of us feel the energies of the spirits as they come and go, we can celebrate the cycle of life and death as the Witches’ year and the nature around us has ‘passed’.
Samhain has its roots in Celtic practices, particularly in Ireland. We have the legend of Stingy Jack and how he lead to the creation of the Jack-O-Lantern, bonfires would be lit and costumes would be worn to ward off unwanted spirits.
Anyway, surely you know a lot about Samhain / Hallowe’en so let’s get down to what you can do…
Jack – O – Lanterns: It would be remis of me not to include these, sure they seem a little obvious but let’s remember they have been used for centuries as a way to light the path home for family spirits and also to ward off unwanted energies. As you carve your pumpkin, you could make it a ritual. I like to ‘set a vibe’ with incense and music as I turn my pumpkin into a protective ward for the evening. No energy or ability to carve a pumpkin? That’s OK. I have a collection of Pumpkin tealight holders that work just as well, they’re only £1 from Poundland!
Soul Cakes: Soul Cakes are generally a gift for the spirits and can be left as offerings on Samhain night. I have used my own amended version of this recipe for a couple of years now. Baking not possible for you? Get yourself your favourite cookies or biscuits. You can even get some of those little icing pens and add sigils to them or even names for the dearly departed you’re leaving them for.
So, there we go. A little snapshot into the Sabbats, be sure to add them to your diaries and celebrate the old ways with us.
If you want to follow Aj check out her fabulous social accounts:
If you like to use smoke to cleanse, enhance a ritual or even just set a vibe, when you’re just starting out it can be confusing to work out which is best for you and your purpose.
In all honesty, it really is a personal choice but some can really enhance your magic and your rituals when you choose the correct correspondences.
Peace and tranquillity
For calming vibes, especially to help with sleep and stress, lavender is your best friend. Lavender in general has a lot of magical properties from healing to sleep and really helps you step back and just *be*.
Love, self love and romance
Rose is actually one of my favourite incense types. It smells and feels positive and like everything is lit up (for me). I use rose for a lot of my self-love rituals, bonding with tarot decks and so much more.
I have also previously used rose incense as part of a ritual to enchant a piece of jewellery so I can have a confidence boost throughout my day, but more on that another time.
Sandalwood is an old favourite and has been used in ritual practices for thousands of years from the ancient egyptians to modern day pagan and buddhist practices.
You can use sandalwood to cleanse your space and your self and prepare your tools for rituals and spell work. Personally, I use Sandalwood for almost everything.
Sandalwood is also used in Ayurvedic practices but as this is not my practice, it’s not something I can teach you so do look out for Ayurvedic teachers if you want to learn more about this realm.
Protection magic, healing magic and cleansing are three things you should master before you delve into anything more serious on your witchcraft journey and it’s because of this that Dragons Blood incense will be your best friend.
It has long been used for protection and banishing rituals and is also great for cleansing if there’s an energy sticking around that you don’t vibe with.
Yes, yes, I know we have already mentioned rose but it is really an all rounder. PLUS, glamour magic and self-love go hand in hand so it only makes sense that we can use rose here as well.
With my glamour magic, I use rose incense to not only ‘cleanse’ my face products but also keep it burning while I get dressed and ‘put my face on’. You’ll be surprised at how much power a little bit of rose can have on your morning routine.
As mentioned, selecting your incense is always a personal choice depending on your practice and your preferences. If you have pets, always check the incense you’re using is suitable as some kinds can be toxic so our furry friends.
So you have got your first Tarot Deck, hooray! What a journey you are going to have.
One of the main questions we have received over the years is ‘how do I connect with my cards’ and, in all honesty, that’s entirely up to the reader. You can go as big or as small as you want and it really doesn’t HAVE to be complicated.
Cleanse your deck
You don’t HAVE to do this one straight away but I like to so i can set a vibe with my cards. I (AJ) pass my cards through rose incense smoke as I love my cards and I’m sure they’ll love me too. If you want to go ‘all out’, Emma has a whole New Tarot Ceremony too!
If you don’t use smoke to cleanse you can use crystals. I have a piece of clear quartz in my tarot box and I give them a shake in the morning / when I’m ready to read.
No crystals? That’s OK too. Just knock three times on the cards and say hello.
Witchcraft and Tarot don’t need to be expensive, use the tools you already have.
Introduce yourself to your cards. While you’re having an initial shuffle, tell them your name, how you want to work with them, what your favourite colour is, does pineapple really belong on pizza?
Tarot cards are more than just a tool, they can become a life-long friend and they need to know you as you, not just as a tarot reader.
Card of the day
If you’re new to the cards in general, a card of the day is a simple way to learn and become familiar with not only your deck, but all the little nuances of each card.
Draw one card of the day, and before you even look up the meaning in a book or online, really look at the scene presented to you, what do you see? Are there any plants, are they alive or dying? Any animals, are they standing alert or lying peacefully by the subject’s feet?
This can help you work out what you see before you read, so make notes of all of these in your book of shadows / grimoire / random notebook with the nice pages and then write down the meaning descriptions from books / online. Highlight the areas that match between the two and learn those parts first. Then you can start looking into beginner tarot spreads and build your skill, knowledge and intuition from there.
Carry your cards with you
All of my friends, family and colleagues know I always have a Tarot deck on me. This isn’t just so they’re always available if someone needs a reading at the office Christmas Party but it’s also so my cards *know* what has happened throughout my day, they come with me on every journey so they know each feeling I have.
This method is particularly useful if you want to do readings on self growth because the cards will have experienced everything you have.
Sleep with your cards under your pillow
When we sleep and when we dream, we are our most intimate and vulnerable selves. Sharing this part of you really helps your connection with the cards, in my experience, and is also recommended by many other readers. If you’re unable to carry cards around with you everyday like I do, maybe this is a better solution, especially for a ‘still in the broom cupboard’ witch.
And there you go, a handful of ways I like to bond with a new deck, do you have any more recommendations? Let us know in the comments or on my social channels:
Shadow Work. Some of the media creators may have made you believe that this is a scary thing. It doesn’t have to be though.
Shadow Work. Some of the media creators may have made you believe that this is a scary thing. It doesn’t have to be though.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it can be deep. It’s a way of unlocking even the deepest parts of you. Obviously, if you have past experience of trauma, it may be tricky and i wouldn’t recommend diving straight in, but it can be one of the most useful parts of beginner witchcraft as it can help you truly know yourself, your energies and your triggers.
I use Shadow work sporadically, mostly because I have a silly grown-up job and I don’t always have the time, but every time I do it, even if I’m not 100% happy, I feel a weight lift off myself. Sometimes, you really just need to write things down to get them off your mind and understand what is truly going on with you.
The TLDR definition of Shadow Work is basically journaling. Which doesn’t sound nearly as scary, does it? Also, you don’t need to be an excellent writer reeling off paragraph after paragraph, bullet points will do! Never base yourself on what another can do, only do what works for you
Some basic Shadow Work prompts
Witchcraft / Your path
Why does this matter to me?
How will this change me? (what will i think of myself if i pursue this)
What beliefs would I like to centre on?
What practices would I like to learn and harness?
What guidance do I need?
Where can I find this?
Things that make you happy
What qualities do i have that i am most proud of?
What part of my day brought me the most joy?
What made me smile today?
What am I grateful for?
When was the last time I felt energised?
In what parts of my life do I find strength?
Am I more scared of trying and failing, or not trying at all?
In what ways do I alarm myself?
What am I scared of?
Which parts of my journey frighten me?
How would I like the next chapter to go?
What progress would I like to see?
Why am I trying this?
What would I like to discover about myself?
How am I strong?
How can I slow down?
What do I need to let go of?
Now, these are all just starters for 10 and you can adapt them as you wish. The most important thing is that you focus on you. You are the most important thing in this world so you need to discover all of the above and more. If you ever feel like it’s getting a bit much, just put the pen down, pop the kettle on and come back to it later. It’s not something you’re being graded on and you can do it all in your own time.
If you’d like more tips on how to get started with witchcraft or would like more Shadow Work prompts, you can follow me at @NorthLondonWitch on TikTok and Instagram.
North London Witch discusses all things cleansing in todays post!
Cleansing, probably the first thing you should start practicing on your journey to witchcraft. In fact, the most common question I get on TikTok is ‘how do I cleanse’ (even though I have already shown the process half the time…)
If you’re the kind of person who dreads cleaning the house, it isn’t necessarily just that. I HATE the build up to the Big Clean because, as much as I potter around to sort my flat out, sometimes you have *a day* and that day means all the shit just builds up. All those used mugs with tea stains getting worse because you’d rather use the same mug over and over again than even contemplate washing up, the floordrobe (admit it, you have one too) or the fact you can’t remember the last time you got off your arse to run the hoover round can all impact your energy. You’ll feel it as well as see it. It will drain you, make you sad and even make the very air around you feel heavy.
Cleansing however, I look forward to and do it in little ways most days. Even if I don’t have the spoons to do the pile of dishes my boyfriend hasn’t touched, I can still make the energy around me feel better. Plus, cleansing feels witchy AF.
And there is more than one way to do it, whether you’re in the Broom Closet or out in the open. You can make it ceremonial, or you can just make it part of your normal routine. Adding an extra step while you put your face on as the time is always there. Eventually you’ll find a way that works for you and you will never be more satisfied.
Cleansing with Incense
We will all reach the point in our journey where our incense collection is out of control. I’m actually on an incense ban until I use what I have because, to quote my boyfriend, ‘there is no space left in my hippy drawer’. Cleansing is the best way to get through the horde.
Each kind of incense has a different purpose when you put your intention into it. Sandalwood and Dragon’s Blood are my favourites for cleansing my space and tools. If you need a bit more like, adding a soothing energy as you are under so much stress you might explode, use lavender. If you can feel you need a bit of self-care or self-love, crack out the rose.
Incense also gets bonus points for being a way to cleanse your spell jars, cauldrons and even your tarot deck.
This is one of my more ceremonial ones… around the New Moon (fresh chapter time), I like to make a simmer pot. Mate, does it feel fucking witchy.
I have a dedicated saucepan specifically for this. It’s a charity shop Le Creuset. It’s cast iron, well worn, a bit dented. My little kitchen cauldron, that’s also a little bit middle class… even though it cost me £5 instead of £150 (for a fucking pan).
Light up a candle for your ancestors, grab your kitchen cauldron and a small heat proof dish, and follow the below:
Moon water (as much as you like)
400ml of tap water
2 sliced lemons
Dried lavender (or essential oil if easier)
First, place your heatproof dish in the middle of the saucepan. Layer your ingredients around said pot (I usually do so anti-clockwise to banish negative energy), add both waters and pop your saucepan lid on UPSIDE DOWN.
Add the ice to the centre of the upside down saucepan and keep it topped up while you simmer your little potion for around 15 minutes. This will help create condensation and the distilled liquid will drop into the heatproof dish. This will be your cleansing spray!
Once the 15 minutes are up, leave to cool and then pour your distilled liquid from the heatproof dish into a spray bottle. I spray mine in each of the 4 corners of a room clockwise each day. So I don’t waste all that sexy cleansing energy, I’ll use the remaining ingredients and liquid in a ritual bath that evening. *chefs kiss*
Imagine a hadouken… or a Force punch… or even Bombarda. (Yes, I have all of the nerdy references). Sound can act like a physical shield to push negative energies away and protect you from them. Probably the best method for a Closet Witch. You can use whatever you want. Whether you walk through every room with a singing bowl, blast music that makes you happy at full volume or even just clapping a lot and telling whatever you don’t want there to piss off. Whatever works for you. Sometimes, I play musical soundtracks…
Probably the most well known and you can use anything you like. I like to dry my own little bundles (you can just lay your ingredients on a radiator for 24 hours then wrap with twine) but you can also buy bundles easily off Etsy.
There are also lots of different kinds you can use, my favourites are Garden Sage, Rosemary and Heather. Just like with incense, you just spark it up and walk around your space with your intention clear in your mind. Bam, cleansed space in 5 minutes.
So, the TLDR is not only is cleansing easy and fun, there are lots of different ways to do it. Find what works for you and even if you only do it once a month, you’ll be amazed by the difference.
How do you cleanse your space? Let us know in the comments below or via our social channels as we love to share knowledge. Also, make sure to follow AJ AKA North London Witch over on her social channels for more Witchcraft advice.