Witch Tips: Yule Presents

It’s that time of year! Time to start thinking about Yule presents.  Stumped?  Here’s a few ideas:

  • Artwork: Whether a poster, painting, handmade, or purchased, a beautiful picture can personalize  the home and deepen spiritual connection in altar areas.  If you are creating it for someone else, consider using spiritual texts, myths, and song lyrics as inspiration.
  • Divination Accessories: Tarot boxes, rune bags, casting cloths, etc.
  • Books: For a friend in your coven who loves myths, consider picking up Edith Hamilton’s collection.  For the fiction lover, definitely check out American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
  • Herbal Baths, Oil Blends, and Incense: Consider springing for seasonal scents: cinnamon, pine, clove, and orange.
  • Food: And by food I mean cookies!

© Ariadne Woods

I Promise I Am Not Neglecting WordPress On Purpose

Hi Readers!

So a few things have happened in the past couple of weeks:

  • Thanksgiving at my aunt’s with no Internet
  • Studying and taking the GREs
  • Finals

I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, so I have been neglecting Cauldron and Brew a little. Admittedly this state isn’t going to change for a few weeks, so I apologize.

Please be patient I will be back!  I have a couple of posts set aside I will be gradually finishing and adding to the blog, but generally for the next three weeks this blog will be a little sparse.

For all the university students facing mountains of work, good luck on your exams!  Make sure you take lots of breaks to eat, sleep, and watch a little TV.

For the professors grading the exams, please be kind!

Bright blessings,

Ariadne

Honesty from Inside the Broomcloset

This week I have an assignment for a class in which I am supposed to explain “the four pillars that guide my life.”  For most students reflecting on this framework, completing the homework is a no brainer.  However, I have been agonizing over this paper all week.

The four things that guide my life are the love I share with my family and friends, the principles of the Rede,  the passion to pursue my goals, and the freedoms protected in the Constitution.  In that order, which means I have kept my religion and faith from anyone whom it would harm. Namely my family.  It’s not that I don’t want them to know.  However, we do not have the kind of relationship in which they could accept me as a Pagan.  I realize this sounds angsty, but it is the nature of my relationships with some of my family members.  As I think we all can agree, family interactions are complicated.  I am past the age in which that bothers me, but it is a fact I navigate every day.  As a result, I am very closed about expressing my path to other people in my everyday life.  Including professors and classmates.

I consider myself to be an honest person, but what does that mean from inside the broomcloset?  Do I lie on this assignment?  Or do I do when my family discusses religion and step away from the idea?

I’d appreciate some wisdom and advice on this subject.  It’s something I’ve struggled with since beginning my path.

© Ariadne Woods

Programing

I received my first set of runes today!  They are beautiful, hand-burned, and cedar.  I am so excited I get to carry them with me for the next couple of days.

Programing is the concept of attuning an object to your intentions.  The reason someone needs to program something is the owner needs to get in tune to the energies of the item.  In theory you do not necessarily need to do it because attunement will naturally happen over time, however the readings and reactions when the object is used will be kind of off.  Programing can be done with materials intended for spellcraft, but it  is an imperative first step in ‘getting to know’ tarot cards, runes, gemstones, pendulums, and any other object you plan to use on a frequent basis outside of the ritual circle.

There are several methods of programing.  A lot of people like to carry the object with them all the time for a couple of days.  This is good for items you plan to keep with you at all times.  What I usually do is put the new deck or stone under my pillow for two weeks.  Regardless about how much time you spend with the object, you also must look at every rune and study it.  Become familiar with all its imperfections.  Hold the cards in candle, sun, and fluorescent lights.  Look at the object a different way in order to really get to know what you are working with.

© Ariadne Woods

Witch Tips: Eclecticism

The term “eclectic” as applied as an adjective to Pagan, Wiccan, or Witch means that the person draws from many different ideas and traditions and applies them in a personal matter.  Usually this person is solitary (but not always) with a strong calling.  In an area in which there are not “rules,” there are ideas to consider, especially when starting on this path.

  • Let Your Freak Flag Fly: It’s just you and the Goddess plain and simple.  Connect the way you want to connect.  Exception: Don’t hurt yourself, other people, animals, property that is not yours, or anything generally found to be illegal.
  • Come to Grips with the Problem of Cultural Appropriation: Cultural appropriation is the misuse of elements of particular or multiple cultures.  Generally this happens when someone uses harmful stereotypes.  The best way to counteract is to educate.  Read up on and talk to people about topics regarding your interests.  Get a deeper understanding.
  • Pinpoint Your Influences:  When I am feeling technical, I classify myself as an Eclectic Witch with strong Wiccan influences.  It’s not that any of that means anything to me, but it provides context for others trying to comprehend your path.
  • Don’t Feel Intimidated: Work on your spirituality one step at a time.  Just because there may not be a teacher or precedent guiding you doesn’t mean you can’t have a meaningful relationship with the God and Goddess.
  • Reach Out:  Find a community of people on eclectic paths and create a support group of sorts.  It’s nice to talk about your experiences with people in similar stages in their lives.  Hell, you could email me if you feel a little isolated and want to talk.

© Ariadne Woods

When to Postpone Ritual and Related Problems

As much as you may plan or work towards a holiday or personal ritual, life happens.  Under what circumstances is postponement okay?

  • Sudden Illness or Injury
  • Death in the Family
  • Natural Disaster
  • Final Exams and Term Papers
  • Zombie Apocalypse

All these events have severe emotional, physical, and energetic affects the person, which inhibits or negates the ritual’s effectiveness.  Basically, you’re not in your normal state of mind.  So wait until the zombie hoards have been eradicated and then set up your circle.

There is also a time in which a particular ritual should not be performed; when the effects of the ritual or spell would cause a direct impact on unknown persons.  A good example of this is the Presidential election.  If someone did a spell so that the outcome would be in candidate’s favor, that would affect literally everyone on the planet because  of the nature of being POTUS.

© Ariadne Woods

New Beginnings

As I said in an earlier post, I have been rethinking my life lately.  And just as I was about to set aside my spirituality until the wheel turns back to waxing again I get called into alignment with a new god.

Janus is the Roman god of beginnings, endings, doorways, and time.  The first grain offerings were given in his name.  It is said that he establishes the start and finale of every war.  In ancient time Janus saved Rome from the Sabine men.  So far that is all I have found, yet I am eager to know more about him.

Life can be funny like this some times.  Just when I was about to fall back the universe, the Goddess, the God, Janus, Persephone, and even a part of myself call me back.

© Ariadne Woods