2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Seventeen

As we wrap up four months of the Grimoire Challenge, take a look back at your goals list. Have any of your goals changed? What have you accomplished? If you haven’t met a goal, what steps are to taking toward it? Has your idea of your practice changed at all? In what ways? Why do you think it’s changing? What are your thoughts and feelings on how far you’ve come?

Filling out my correspondence lists is definitely well on its way to completion. Or at least, being more thorough then it was previously. I’m sure it will always be a work in progress; it grows as my Craft grows. We’ve gone through many divination techniques so far, and I’m sure there are more to come. I might want to amend my goal. The idea of mastering one technique seems narrow minded to me now. “A jack of all trades, master of none. But better than a master of one.”

What are the differences between a ritual and a spell? Use at least three sources.

spell
spel/
noun
noun: spell; plural noun: spells

  1. a form of words used as a magical charm or incantation.
  2. a state of enchantment.
  3. an ability to control or influence people as though one had magical power over them.

rit·u·al
ˈriCH(əw)əl/
noun
noun: ritual; plural noun: rituals

  1. a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.
  2. the prescribed order of performing a ceremony, especially one characteristic of a particular religion or church.
  3. a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.

Those definitions (found with Google) basically sum of the difference between the two, so I’m not sure why I would need three sources. I guess they want a bit more detail about what they are and how they work, so here goes.

First and foremost, the Wikipedia article about rituals is absolutely amazing. So much information I was super stunned. And the bibliography and further reading are very well stocked. I’m going to paraphrase a bit of what I found most useful, but if you would like more info, definitely check out the page.

Wikipedia “Ritual” page

So a bit of etymology: “ritual” comes from ritualis which means “that which pertains to rite (ritus)”. Ritus was the proven way of doing things i.e. the “correct” way. In English in the 1600s it came to mean “the prescribed order of performing religious services”.

There are various characteristics of rituals. According to the wiki article, author of Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions (1997) Catherine Bell states the six characteristics as formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacred symbolism, and performance. Not every characteristic will be found in every ritual. But every ritual will have at least one of the characteristics mentioned.

There are also multiple genres of rituals. Those consist of rites of passage, calendrical rites, rites of communion, rites of affliction, rites of feasting, and political rites. Rituals can fall into more than one genre.

A break down of these characteristics and genres can be found at the Wiki page linked above.

So rituals in and of themselves don’t involve any kind of magic. You can, however, make rituals magical by doing spells.

Technically, the word “spell” has Germanic origins. But this particular definition comes from Old English spel, which means “narration”. As defined above, a spell is the ability to control or influence. So you are narrating – describing – what you wish to come about. This is done through energy manipulation. Energy is a force in the universe that can be directed, created, and controlled. We do this with a specific intent in mind to bring about a desired event.

Spells are controlled by certain “laws”. Not everyone agrees these laws exist, but they make a bit of sense. They are the law of attraction, hermetic law, law of reversal, the sympathetic laws of magic (which includes the law of contagion or contact and the law of similarity) and the law of repeatable achievements. This information I found at robjo dot wordpress dot com. The exact article- The Basic Laws, Rules, and Rights of Magic – is a great read. Long, and slightly elitist, but good none the less.

So in summary, a ritual is a ceremony generally used to honor something. A series of actions are done is a set order to raise power, create sacred space, change status, commemorate events, share values, and/or honor entities. A spell is the gathering of energies put toward a specific desire or intent.

Spell work can be done in the midst of a ritual. You can make a ritual out of your spell work. While many find them similar, they are not the same.

Write a cleansing spell. Document your process and results.

Happy Home
(To rid a space of negative energy)

Sage bundle
Spearmint and/ or Pine cleaner
Sea Salt

  •  Open windows and doors
  •  Start by physically cleaning the space
  •  Start away from door and work your way out
  •  Light sage bundle
  •  Sit in center of room and focus on desire
  •  Finger spell
  •  Visualize the space being cleared of all negativity
  •  Lay sea salt at window sills and door sills to keep the negative energy at bay

Write a cleansing ritual. Document your process and results.

Lemongrass incense
Full Moon

CIRCLE CASTING

  •  Besom
  •  Salt water
  •  Sage* bundle
  •  Altar incense
  •  Altar candles
  •  Quarter candles
  •  Athame /Wand
  •  Anointing oil
  •  Candle snuffer

 

RITUAL WORK

  •  Element symbols (fire salt, water, feather, crystal)

Add more incense.

This night is a night of cleansing. I ask of the moon it’s help in clearing away all negative energy.

Have moonlight enter room as best it can.

This night is a night of cleansing. I ask of the elements their help in clearing away all negative energy.

Face North and salute holding crystal.

Element Earth of the Northern Watchtower, give strength to this space, that it may be resilient against negative energy.

Place crystal between two candles.
Face East and salute holding feather.

Element Air of the Eastern Watchtower, give balance to this space, that it may be stable against negative energy.

Place feather between candles.
Face South and salute holding fire salts.

Element Fire of the Southern Watchtower, give power to this space, that it may be protected against negative energy.

Sprinkle salts in a circle around both candles.
Face West and salute holding water.

Element Water of the Western Watchtower, give purity to this space, that it may be cleansed against negative energy.

 

Meditate on cleansing auras until the space feels free of negative energy.

This space is clear. So it shall be.

SPELL WORK

CIRCLE OPENING

 

How did your ritual vary from your spell.

So the most notable difference: the ritual is much longer than the spell. The ritual is more complicated and takes more time to set up. There is also space within the ritual to do more spell work, geared toward further cleansing of the space or person or whatever is desired.

The spell focuses on ones own energies for cleansing the space. The ritual, on the other hand, calls on various spirits or entities to help cleanse. I appease the entities, give them thanks or sacrifice, before asking for their help (see rites of affliction and rites of communion).

There is also a sense of symbolism within the ritual that I don’t find within the spell. The calling on the Watchtowers and use of certain candles specific to the task. There is a prescribed order. I wrote it this way and I find that it works. Now I will continue to use this ritual, as I have “proven” it to work.

The spell might have worked, but I won’t necessarily use that exact spell next time. Maybe another will work better for me the next time around. It all depends on my needs at the given moment.

Choose an herb to study. It may be an herb that you already have a list of correspondences for or it may be a brand new herb. Get to know the herb; research it. What are the positive aspects of this herb? What are the negative aspects of this herb? What can you do with this herb? What can you make with this herb? Learn everything you can about this herb. If you like, you may research more than one herb.

Black pepper – Piper nigrum // Family:: Piperaceae

  •   Banishing
  •   Protection
  •   Wealth
  •   Antioxidant
  •   Respiratory decongestant
  •   Large amounts taken orally can end up in the lungs and cause death
  •   Redness and burning if placed in the eyes

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus obliqua // Family:: Myrtaceae

  •   Bronchitis treatment
  •   Arthritis treatment
  •   Asthma treatment
  •   Undiluted oil unsafe for topical application and oral consumption

Lemongrass – Cymbopogon schoenanthus // Family:: Poaceae

  •   Citrus flavor
  •   Anxiety reducer
  •   Protection
  •   Warding
  •   Attraction
  •   Cough
  •   Nasal congestion
  •   Headache relief
  •   Lung problems after inhalation
  •   Poisoning upon ingestion

2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Seventeen

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Theory

Looking back at my posts from this challenge I realized much of the research I did was very shallow. In the process of writing my next Grimoire Challenge post I decided to delve a little deeper into magical theory; namely, how spells and rituals work, their components, and their makeup. Some of what I found will be featured in the coming post for Week  Seventeen. The rest will recieve it’s own post. That might take some time – as there is a lot to discover – but I’m excited to share it with you!

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2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Sixteen

This week focused a great deal on kitchen witchcraft. While it is a very valid path, it is not one I wish to travel. I have no genuine interest in the fine art of magical cookery. So alas, this post will be very short.

Choose an herb to study. It may be an herb that you already have a list of correspondences for or it may be a brand new herb. Get to know the herb; research it. What are the positive aspects of this herb? What are the negative aspects of this herb? What can you do with this herb? What can you make with this herb? Learn everything you can about this herb. If you like, you may research more than one herb.

Yarrow – Achillea millefolium // Family::Asteraceae

Promotes intelligence
Excorcism
War
Healing

Sweet with slight bitter taste
Astringent
Anti-inflammatory
Chest rubs for cold and flu
Causes sweating
Increases urination
Stanches flow of blood from wounds

Can cause allergic skin rashes
Increase skin’s photosensitivity

Peppermint – Mentha x piperita // Family:: Lamiaceae

Sleep
Protection
Calm

Nausea, gas, stomach, cramps and spasms
Treatment for IBS
Applied to bee stings, burns, and toothaches to relieve pain

Vervain – Verbena bonariensis // Family:: Verbenaceae

Protection
Lust
Wealth/ prosperity

Promotes lactation
Sex steroid

Purported abortifacient in strong doses

2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Sixteen

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2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Fifteen

What are some ways you can incorporate magic in the kitchen? What are some ways you already incorporate magic in the kitchen? Are you a good cook or do you rely on a lot of take-out (no judgement!)? Whether you’re an awesome cook, can get by in the kitchen, or are a culinary disaster, brainstorm some ways you can incorporate magic into your kitchen endeavors.

I think the first thing I would do (pretending I have my own kitchen) is set up a kitchen altar. It would be dedicated to hearth and home spirits as well as spirits of my ancestors.

Since I’m a horrendous cook (except when making a certain Mac n cheese recipe) most cooking is done by my boyfriend, and he’s not into the whole witchcraft thing. I’m sure I could do some small things to tools to make the experience more magical. Enchant knives and carve or wood burn sigils onto spoons. Paint measuring cups (or buy them special). I don’t have the hugest interest though, so I might not delve to much into this challenge.

Choose an herb to study. It may be an herb that you already have a list of correspondences for or it may be a brand new herb. Get to know the herb; research it. What are the positive aspects of this herb? What are the negative aspects of this herb? What can you do with this herb? What can you make with this herb? Learn everything you can about this herb. If you like, you may research more than one herb.

Dandelion – Taraxacum – officinale // Family:: Asteraceae

Reduce inflammation in tonsils

Rose – Rosa // Family:: Rosaceae

No information

Juniper Berries – from Juniperus // Family:: Cupressaceae

Insufficient evidence for medicinal uses

Sage – salvia officinalis // Family:: Lamiaceae

Improved alertness
Cold sore remedy
Lowers cholesterol
Memory (when taken orally)
Alleviates Menopausal symptoms

If you’re making a sigil codebook, create five sigils or symbols that represent something in sigils. If you’re not, choose five areas and create sigils for them.

Intents: Invocations // Fire // Water // Earth // Air

2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Fifteen

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2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Fourteen

How have you been keeping up with witchcraft? Have you felt yourself lagging? Are you making awesome magic? Have your goals changed since you started this challenge? What are some things you’re interested in?

I haven’t been doing any magic as of yet. I’m looking at this challenge now as a year of study, kinda like the year and a day Wicca has. It will allow me to fully research and learn without the pressure of practicing. I’m still figuring out my practice. I’m still figuring out what I’m attracted to and what I want to keep away from. I might do some things as they pertain to the challenge, but otherwise, everything is research and theory.

I do want to look into incorporating magic into my everyday life, however. Little things that I can do throughout the day to make life just a little more magical.

I also want to look more into the elements and elemental spirits. I think they’re absolutely fascinating and something I would like to research further.

Also, spirit work.

It’s spring! Let’s work with altars a little bit. Make a list of everything you have on your altar right now. If you don’t have an altar, list what you’d like to have on an altar. Once you have this list, figure out what you’d like to place on an altar for the spring season. If you have the means, freshen up your altar a little bit!

My altar is currently a shelf sitting under my bedroom mirror and above my Craft chest. It’s small, so I can’t fit too much. I do make sure to change it up at the turn of every season and sometimes at special holidays.

Basic
Two altar taper candles currently in green
Tea light candles for the elements in leaf shaped holders (I need spring themed ones)
Symbols of the elements (quartz, incense holder, fire salts, bottle of rain water)
Tall candle holder for special occasions

Seasonal (Spring currently)
“Hello Spring” block words
Flowers wrapped in the mirror

Want to add
Place to hold wand and athame
Place for BoS/Grimoire/Ritual Book and book stand
Work space – currently I use the top of my Craft chest

Choose three correspondences that you have little information on. These could be herbal, color, crystal, whatever – beef up these sections.

Metals

Aluminum: invisibility, protection
Brass & Bronze: music, communication, resilience
Iron: protection, permanence, influence, curses, strength, blood magic, health
Lead: curses, hexes, maledictions
Magnesium: impermanence, fire magic, energy
Silver: boosting, warding, domesticity, offensive magic
Stainless steel, Chrome, & Nickel: permanence, glamour, greed, urban magic
Tin & Pewter: home and hearth, illumination, knowledge, divination

Colors

Oranges are a tad skimpy
Peach: communication,
Golden Orange: vitality, self control
Amber: confidence, self esteem
Burnt Orange: pride, tension
Dark Orange: selfishness, over confidence

Plants

Gonna start with the a’s
Acacia: death & remembrance, spirit work
Agrimony: vision, sleep
Alder: secrecy, stealth, balance
Angelica: warding, protection, health
Anise: wealth
Apple: love, health, divination, knowledge, immortality

Choose an herb to study. It may be an herb that you already have a list of correspondences for or it may be a brand new herb. Get to know the herb; research it. What are the positive aspects of this herb? What are the negative aspects of this herb? What can you do with this herb? What can you make with this herb? Learn everything you can about this herb. If you like, you may research more than one herb.

Coriander (Cilantro) – Coriandrum sativum // Family:: Apiaceae

Lemony-citrus flavor
Antioxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber
Possible allergic reactions
Skin irritation and inflammation

Basil – Ocimum basilicum // Family:: Lamiaceae

Antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties
Treatment of asthma and diabetes
Reduce stress
Risk of liver cancer with prolonged use

Sunflower – Helianthus // Family:: Asteraceae

Lowers cholesteral
Treatment for athlete’s foot
Lower blood pressure (slight)

Oregano – Origanum vulgare // Family:: Lamiaceae

Lowers cholesterol

If you’re making a sigil codebook, make five additional sigils for it. If you’re not, choose five areas and make sigils for those areas.

Intents: Happiness Abounds Within Me // Banishing // Calm within the Storm // Cleansing

2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Fourteen

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2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Thirteen

Choose an herb to study. It may be an herb that you already have a list of correspondences for or it may be a brand new herb. Get to know the herb; research it. What are the positive aspects of this herb? What are the negative aspects of this herb? What can you do with this herb? What can you make with this herb? Learn everything you can about this herb. If you like, you may research more than one herb.

Thyme – Thymus vulgaris // Family:: Lamiaceae

Antiseptic
Treats coughs and bronchitis

Daisy – Bellis perennis // Family:: Asteraceae

Treatment for cough and bronchitis
Astringent
Not enough known to say whether safe for consumption/ topical use

Jasmine – Jasminum officinale // Family:: Oleaceae

Aphrodisiac
Floral scent
No information on medicinal uses

Write a spell you’ve been meaning to write but have been putting off for whatever reason.

I Hope I Get It
(An employment spell for the actor)

Resume and Headshot
Deep red candle
Bay laurel leaf
Silver sharpie

  1. Write “employment” on the leaf with the sharpie
  2. Place leaf on resume and headshot, then place candle on leaf; burn for desired amount of time
  3. Finger spell
  4. Place leaf in shoe/ pocket day of audition
  5. Go to audition and kick ass

Make a sigil relating to travel.

Intent: I Arrive to My Destination Safely

Scry using one of the methods you chose last week. Write about the experience. What was positive about it? What was negative? Did it work how you thought it would? How did you feel before, during, and after?

Mirror Scrying

Well that didn’t really go the way I was hoping. I’m new to scrying yes, but I was expecting SOMETHING to happen. The first ever time I tried scrying with my black mirror was the day my dad gave it to me. I was so excited and I ran to my room and began scrying. When my face started to melt I freaked out and never touched the mirror again. Covered it in a nice fabric and told myself I just wasn’t ready yet.

Apparently I’m still not ready, cause I just spent half an hour staring at a mirror, intrusive thoughts distracting me. The only thing that might be of use is the fact that horses kept popping into my thoughts.

What’s the symbolism of horses?

2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Thirteen

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2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Twelve

Make sigils for five areas of your practice. If you are planning on making a ‘codebook’ of sorts for your sigils, make one that represents you.

I only did three this round; sigil making for me is a tiring process and trying to make more would have just wiped me out. I know I posted the last sigil I made for this, but something is telling me to keep  these to myself this time. Below are the intents I made them for:

Release Energy
Gather Energy
Protect My Home

Choose another goal from your herbal goal list. Research this goal. Create an action plan for how you will achieve this goal and start working toward that goal.

Salves/Ointments
a medicinal ointment for healing or relieving wounds and sores.
a soft, unctuous preparation, often medicated, for application to the skin; unguent.
Think cuts and bruises, bites and sores

Balms
a liquid or lotion, especially one made with oil, for rubbing on the body to relieve pain
Think muscle soreness

How to::

Materials

  • 8oz herbal infused oil
  • 1-2oz grated beeswax
  • 2-3 drops essential oil (optional)
  • Double broiler/ heat proof container & medium pot
  • Small storage jars or tins
  1. Place heat proof container in medium pot and fill pot with water
  2. Bring water to a boil
  3. Melt beeswax on low heat in heat proof container until liquid
  4. Add infused oil and stir until well mixed and warm
  5. Remove from heat and add essential oil if desired, stir
  6. Quickly pour mixture into storage jars or tins and seal
  7. Allow to solidify before use
  8. Label and date

Salves and ointments have a higher oil to wax ratio than balms, making them softer and easier to apply. That also makes them more, well, oily. Balms are meant to be applied with friction.

Choose an herb to study. It may be an herb that you already have a list of correspondences for or it may be a brand new herb. Get to know the herb; research it. What are the positive aspects of this herb? What are the negative aspects of this herb? What can you do with this herb? What can you make with this herb? Learn everything you can about this herb. If you like, you may research more than one herb.

Lavender – Lavandula spica  // Family:: Lamiaceae

Antiseptic & anti inflammatory
Floral, slightly sweet flavor
Alleviates anxiety and sleep disturbance
Slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when scent is inhaled

Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis  // Family:: Lamiaceae

Bitter, astringent flavor
Preventing and treating baldness

How do the different lunar cycles play into your magic? If the moon isn’t your area, what is something in your practice that has cyclical phases that you use? What are their meanings and how can you use them most effectively?

The full moon and dark moon are most utilized in my practice, but I keep the other phases in mind in case I decide to use them.

Dark Moon:: divination, planning, seeding
Waxing:: growth, attracting, increase
Full Moon:: cultivation, fruition
Waning:: death, banishing, decrease

List out the different methods you can use for scrying and mark the ones you are interested in trying. If you need to gather any materials, do so now.

Ceromancy – wax (in water)
Pyromancy – fire
Catoptromancy – mirror
Gastromancy – crystal
Hydromancy – water
Libanomancy- smoke

2016 Grimoire Challenge Week Twelve