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
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.
#WitchyWednesdays will be hosted from 6pm every Wednesday and all events will involve the opportunity for Old White Lion clientele to have their questions answered via free tarot card and pendulum readings. Nice.
On October 6th 2021 the OWL will be celebrating the New Moon as the Witches will host a New Moon Ritual workshop where you will be taught how to set your intentions and to work with candles, teas and herbs.
13th October will involve free divination readings and visitors will also be able to enter a spooky Halloween pub quiz with just £2 per person entry. All entry money will be going straight into the OWL Tip jar in support of the hard-working bar staff who have brought the public houses spirit back in spades post-lockdown. There will be plenty of prizes to give away so do make sure to revise everything Halloween related in order to win!
For the 20th of October, the witches will be continuing their Moon workshops by teaching everyone how to release their intentions and work with the all-powerful full Moon. They sure do like that Silvery Orb and so will you after these magickal workshops!
It’s preparation time on the 27th of October where pumpkin carving will be the main event with the winning pumpkin on the night getting a spooktacular prize. The Digital Coven gals will also be teaching those taking part about traditional Halloween decorations and their history including the opportunity for people to make their very own ‘Witch Trees’….
The finale of the Spooky season is on Saturday the 30th of October where there will be a Halloween party and costume competition along with live music from Luke Carey and others. So make sure to get your spookiest outfit on in order to win big.
Venue Manager, Mike King states “What better way to enjoy the aesthetic of Autumn than to invite people into our old majestic pub and garden, to enjoy great food, drink and company under the moonlit garden & candlelit interiors. Now that we can celebrate Halloween again, let’s do so in proper style”.
Not into the spiritual stuff? No worries, the Old White Lion has plenty to offer on top of the #WitchyWednesday workshops with its fantastic selection of beverages including extensive real ale and spirit selections as well as its delicious food menu. Get in.
Digital-coven.com’s Emma Carney states “We adore our local The Old White Lion and can often be found in our favourite spot in one of the huts in their beer garden, now christened ‘Witchy Corner’ pulling Tarot cards. So when we were invited to share our knowledge and educate on modern witchcraft with the Old White Lion customers we jumped at the chance. Come down, with an open mind and a few questions for the tarot cards and we promise you’re going to have a very magickal time!”
All events start at 6pm, with the quiz starting at 8pm
6th October: New Moon Workshop and Tarot readings
13th October: £2 Entry Halloween Pub Quiz and Tarot readings – Quiz Starts at 8pm
20th October: Full Moon Ritual Workshop and Tarot readings
27th October: Pumpkin Carving, Halloween decoration making and Tarot readings
The best Witch craft apps for the modern Digital Witch
Hello Digital Coven!
So sorry for the lack of updates over the past few weeks, I am in the middle of some of the most creative professional work I have ever been able to do so I am sure you’ll understand! More on that in another post but top level – I am producing a documentary. In-between the production and on top of my day job (Digital marketing and PR) I wrote this, I’d love to hear your recommendations and feedback on on the apps:
One of the greatest aspects of the digital age for me is the impact that it has had on the Witchcraft community. Social media has been a fantastic way for Witches and baby Witches to find like minded people and build communities *Ahem* Such as this blog and my social channels *Ahem*
What it’s also created is the availability of information that is just a Google search away – though I would always recommend researching everything as deeply as possible.There is a lot of bullshit online, especially on Facebook groups and Tiktok – such as that Tarot is a closed practice*Groans in tired and eyerolls in ‘a quick google search would show this to be false’* Spoiler alert – it isn’t.The best part of Witchcraft is the personal connection that you develop as you learn and manifest through trial and error. Below are some free apps that you can use to help you learn more about specific areas of the craft from the palm of your hand and which I have used myself.
Apps ForMoon Work
If there is one thing that we can agree on as Witches it’s that we bloody adore that silvery ever changing orb that is the Moon. Sigh. She’s just so beautiful. Now, I am not going to lie to you, I do not have a photographic memory of every phase of the Moon so I like to have an app that helps me keep track of where we are at each phase so I can really super charge my spells and manifestations. Check out NorthLondon Witches article for more info on the phases of the moon and when is best to manifest.
The Moonly app is great at keeping track of the Moon via its calendar and it also has extra features which educates you on runes and has a fabulous knowledge base on various areas of the craft and spirituality for those starting out. The app is free and most of the features are free as well but you can upgrade for a paid version to block further features if you’d like.
Tarot is a craft where you are always learning and gaining insight into how you relate to the cards. Having an app in your phone to help you log your feelings towards a card and allow you reference their meaning is always useful. I swear by the below two tarot apps below. Check out this article for a beginners guide to Tarot.
Trusted Tarot is a great app, and their free account allows for a daily tarot card to be pulled, a weekly spread and a celtic cross reading is available every 72 hours – which I think is fabulous. Their insights into the cards is really useful and they also have a library of the card meanings. Nice. My favourite Tarot app for sure!
Gold Thread Tarot is fantastic for those just starting out and wanting to learn about reading Tarot and the card meanings. You can pull a card a day and they have a great feature where you can record your feeling towards a card when it appears in a reading so that you can go back and see how you have engaged with that card historically. Amazing if you find keeping a paper Tarot diary hard.
The Pattern was recommended to me by a Friend as ‘Astrology without the Astrology’ and to be honest, I am finding the insights on myself very useful indeed. It has a great compatibility feature and offers top-level overviews on upcoming ‘patterns’ that may be coming your way as well as allowing you to explore them more in depth. Certainly, an app to recommend to your friend who ‘aren’t into Astrology’ but curious about sites such as 16personalites etc (Which whilst we are here…is based on Astrology..but that is another post…)
Sanctuary World Is a new astrology app on my phone but my what a great addition it is. I love how interactive it is and it’s great for beginners to learn about astrology with their 101 guides on all areas of Astrology. It certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously in the chat either, which is always appreciated by myself and I am partial to a good gif.
It also offers human to human readings for those who wish to delve a little deeper into your birth chart or have questions, but please note that these need to be paid for.
Of course, there are plenty more apps out there so make sure to let me know below or on my social channels about some of the best witch apps that you have been using as I always like to discover new ways to practice what I love. I can be found over at:
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.
North London Witch shares some of her favourite rituals for beginner Witches.
I know what it’s like when you’re first starting out. It feels like a minefield on what to do and what not to do when you’re starting your journey into witchcraft, there is so much gatekeeping and horror stories that some of you may be anxious to take the next step in your craft. Many people advise not to do any kind of spell work in your first year, sure, some spell work is not recommended, but there are some simple ways to start once you have your energies in control, and even some before.
I mean, how else are you going to learn?
Now, please, for the love of all that is divine (however you lean in your practice), do not jump straight into filling lemons and hexing just because other people are doing it and ‘it looks easy’. You don’t want anything coming back to you or rebounding, and so many more seasoned witches seem to spend an awful lot of time trying to help clean up messes… tbh, it’s a bit exhausting.
So, let’s go through some simple, easy to manage rituals that you can practice for yourself as you’re learning.
One of the best things, especially around a full or new moon. And the most relaxing thing you can do.
Pick and incense or candle that matches your intention. Sandalwood for cleansing, lavender for soothing, rose for self love.
Pick your ingredients and water safe crystals.
For example, when I take a full moon bath, I use dried garden sage, lavender essential oils or fresh lavender, pink Himalayan salt and burn a cinnamon candle and sandalwood incense. All of these things have cleansing and protective properties. Bonus points if you add moon water too!
If you can’t be arsed with the mess afterwards, you can put everything in a little bag and hang it under the bath as you run it.
Create a protection candle
I’m going to tell you two ways you can do this! One way with a taper / spell candle, and one way with a tea light.
Basically any herb with protective properties but here are a few that you’ll probably find in your kitchen
Cloves (also used for banishment)
Sigil or phrase (e.g. ‘this place is protected’)
Any kind of oil if you’re using a taper/spell candle
Black candle (or white as it can be used for any colour)
First you need to cleanse your space, you can use incense for this. Next, put your intentions into your herbs, otherwise, they are just herbs. You need to tell them what to do, if you want to literally say it, that totally works. Grind or mix your herbs as you do this.
Carve your sigil or phrase into your candle, I use a sewing needle but if that’s effort, a sharpie will do!
For a taper candle, take your oil and EITHER rub the oil towards you to invite the protection to you, or rub away from you to repel the negative energies. Whichever you think is right on this occasion. My preference is to dress towards me when making a protection candle.
Pour out your herbs and spices onto a sheet / easy to clean surface. Lay your oiled candle in the herbs and, as above, either roll towards you to invite the protective energies or roll away from you if you want to repel the negative energies. Again, my preference is towards me.
Light and think your intention clearly. You can even repeat it to yourself out loud.
If you’re using a tea light, I like to melt the wax first so do steps 1 and 2 above, then take your tea light and pop it in a saucepan with the heat low. When the surface of the wax has melted you can sprinkle your ingredients on top then go straight to step 5!
This kind of spell that has a lot of different uses but for this example we’re just going to use it as a way to let go of barriers or anything you need to let go of. I have even used it during periods of high stress when I need to push away those negative energies that are holding me back.
2 tall black candles (again, can be subbed for white)
Piece of string
Cleanse yo’ space!
I like to carve my sigil or phrase into both candles with my intention
Tie the string around the middle of each candle so you have a tightrope situation between the two of them
Light both candles with your intention clear in your mind, or say it out loud. I like to ask the universe to give me the strength to let go.
Keep the candles burning until the string has separated
There are obviously many more you can try, but I will leave extras to Emma as you should always learn from more than one source! Remember, you can always reach out to us both for questions and that research is your best friend on this journey. Find my social links here.
Some simple spells to get you started in your kitchen witch journey!
One of my favourite types of witchcraft that I like to do and is great for beginners is kitchen witchery.
It’s something that can be done everyday and that you can share with your loved ones. Below are some simple spells you can do with everyday items that can be found in your kitchen. Nice.
Make Moon Water
This is a great place to start learning intent and working with the moon and it is so simple to get started. Moon water is a great ingredient for all magick spell work that you may be planning in the future but you can just do it as a monthly exercise to start.
What you will need:
A clear container for water
You can add herbs and crystals etc into the mix later but let’s keep it simple for the purpose of this post
Full Moon. (Next one January 28th ‘The Wolf Moon”)
On the Full Moon, fill your container with water and think of your intentions which you wish to receive for the next month – maybe to find new job opportunities or to attract love or wealth. When you fill the container take another few minutes to really visualise this intent as if it was fact. Literally manifest it into reality. Once you have set your intentions you can then place the water outside to bask in the Moonlight until the next morning.
This water can then be consumed there and then, or saved to be used for recipes and spells when required. It is also great to use for cleansing sprays and beauty magic as well.
I’ll do a larger posts on Moon Water in the next few weeks as you can really make the ceremony super charged – any areas you want me to cover, let me know!
Bay Leaf intention setting and banishing
Bayleaf is one of my favourite herbs, it’s so versatile an ingredient and has amazing magickal properties as well. In fact, as well as putting in food and for manifesting like mentioned below you can also put it under your pillow to help with your dreams and connect with your psychic abilities. Nice!
For intention setting and negativity banishing it’s also packs a punch and here is a quick spell:
You will need:
A fire proof bowl
Can be done any time but I usually use certain moon phases to help empower my magic. It’s great to set intentions on the New Moon and to ‘let go’ or “banish’ certain energies on the Full Moon.
Write what you wish to gain/banish on the bay leaf and then once ready, burn the bayleaf in the fireproof bowl. The smoke will release the intent into the ether and et voila! Your intent has been given to the universe. The universe has your back, daring!
I love cooking and I adore cooking for others which is why this is the most common type of magic I do. The main dishes that I make which are:
Pasta sauces such as Ragu and Bolognese
But honestly you can use any recipe and tweak it to suit, and that is what I love about witchcraft, as you practice more you develop your own spells and processes.
The reasons I like these recipes (Other than the fact that the are tasty) is that they naturally involve a lot of herbs and ingredients which witches use in their non kitchen spells:
As you add each item to the dish make sure to imagine your intent for each ingredient and as you stir make sure to visualise your goals for the spell. Leave it to simmer – I like to stew all my recipes for several hours to really add depth of flavour and of course so it works it’s magick at same the time. Continue to regularly stir it making sure to stir anti clock wise to banish energy and stir clock wise to bring forward energy that you wish to bring towards you, always making sure to keep your intent clear as you do so. Once it’s ready (And I am the sort of cook where it is never truly ready but people have got to eat!) I dish it up and share out. A great way to self care and bring some magick literally inside you at the same time.
Now, I don’t about you but I am hungry! Do you do any kitchen witchery, if so what sort? I’d love to exchange spells and recipes so make sure to let me know below or on our social channels.
Don’t let poverty prevent your work! Witchcraft on a budget doesn’t mean budget results…
One can be easily swayed when trawling through the cesspit of shame – or ‘Instagram’ as it likes to refer to itself, that to be a Witch one needs to have a shit load of money for crystals, candles and for a Monthly manicure. You know the ones, the Black Taloned witchy hands that make one question ‘just how do they wipe their arse?’* The truth is dear reader, that you need jack shit to be a Witch and to do Witchcraft. The magic is in you. It’s really that simple. All these tools that you talk about are just that, tools to help you connect with your magic better.
You’d never say just because someone can’t afford a paint set doesn’t mean they are not an artist or creative and of course, that old saying ‘A workman never blames their tools’ is a very apt one here.
Now as someone who properly got practising from the age of about 12, I had very little money to work with and worse, I had very little access to the internet in those days… so anything remotely witchy was expensive!
So here are some of my little witchy hacks to do Witchcraft without whacking the wallet too much
White candles can substitute for any other colour candle. Setting your intentions, and dressing them in a highly focused way (Oils, Sigils, carving, GLITTER etc) can be just as effective as getting the recommended colour. We often use colours in magic to help us tune into the energy.
So if you are short on pounds or dollars just get a pack of white candles as they can be universally used.
Quartz is Queen
Like with white candles, clear quartz can be used in replacement for other types of crystals. If you can only invest in one crystal, I’d recommend this. The key point here is that crystals do vibrate and have different makeups, which is why they are so useful to work with, so if you can get the right crystal for that vibe you need to do so but if you can’t, clear quartz will help as much as they can. Thanks, Quartz! ❤
That being said my first was rose quartz but my heart demanded I get it so you know, so do go with your intuition as well.
Kitchen herbs are fine.
Look, we’d all love to be able to forage for fresh herbs and spend several days gathering our spell ingredients in the meadow barefoot whilst we hum along to the sound sounds of the bees but life gets in the way for most of us. Also, in the UK a sprig of fresh basil is about 80p when I was stateside it was insanely expensive….Basically, what I am trying to say is if your parents, housemate or you have some herbs dried at home, they are A-ok to use and you shouldn’t be Witch shamed for using them.
Useful all Kitchen spell ingredients
Sea salt (Cleansing and purification)
Onion chopped (Protection)
Thyme (Money Drawing/Health)
Bay leaf (Protection)
Oh a pasta sauce jar will do. In fact, any jar will do. For real, if you can seal it then you can make a spell with it. Trust me, some of my best spells have come from inside an empty jar of Ragu original or a glass soda bottle.
Cauldron calling you?
Before I brought my cast little iron cauldron, I used to burn my bay leaves etc in a saucepan. Works perfectly fine 😉
Paper and pen are pros!
My goodness, the things you can do with just a piece of paper and a pen, if you really want to go to town then throw in a white candle and you have the tools to create something really special. From developing sigils, or just writing wishes and burning them at the new moon, these two have unending power. Also, don’t worry about getting a fancy Grimore or book of shadows – most of my written work is done in a bog-standard £1 notebook…I am yet to find the Grimoire which will be lifelong collection of my work so don’t pressure yourself.
Find your digital coven!
Facebook is full of witchy communities that are happy to swap surplus items or help other witches out if they need something. I am the Queen of giving old books away, as I’d rather they get a second life elsewhere. DM and I will happily send through some great group links based on your location.
So what are you witchcraft on a budget hacks? Let me know below, I love to hear about them.
*Oh come, we’ve all asked it. All of us.
**And if you do have one of those manicures, please DM as I sincerely wish to know the technique as I can hardly type with short nails as it is! No shade, only respect!