affordable witchcraft: 7 inexpensive essentials

affordable witchcraft: 7 inexpensive essentials

Hey friends! So a lovely commenter mentioned on my Witchcraft Tips for Newbies post that it might be a good idea to write a post about simple and inexpensive rituals that would be accessible for beginner witches (thanks Delfin!). I thought that was an awesome idea, but I’m actually going to break it up into two posts! This first post is going to be about inexpensive materials you either already have or can find at the dollar store/in your backyard to use in your practice, and the next post will be two simple rituals you can use them for (one for the new moon and one for the full moon!)

As much as I love posting Instagram pics of my deck and crystal collections, the honest truth is you don’t need any materials at all to be a witch. None! Just you and your intentions. The other truth is that inexpensive or handmade materials are just as good as expensive store-bought ones, and sometimes even better if you’ve poured your love into making them. So while I think these materials are relatively cheap and easy to come by, don’t think you need all of them or even any of them to get started in your craft.

This post might make some traditional witches mad because I talk about digital resources towards the bottom, but I believe witchcraft should be accessible to everyone who wants it and I don’t believe in gatekeeping. Learning how to be a witch from the Internet doesn’t make you any less of a witch than someone who was raised by witches and joined a coven as a fetus (or whatever.) It’s okay if your journey doesn’t look like someone else’s, and it’s not okay to poo-poo someone’s practice because they took a different path than you. Every witch is a real witch so let’s just get along!

Without further ado, let’s get started!

affordable witchcraft: 7 inexpensive essentials

1. Candles

Candles are my #1 witchcraft essential. I love burning candles not only for the energy and power they lend to a spell or ritual, but because they look really witchy and cool. That’s probably not the most important reason to have them, but the mood is important in witchcraft! However, you don’t need any of those giant drippy taper candles or whatever that you see on Instagram (even if they’re gorgeous). My favorite candles to use in spells and rituals are tea lights from the dollar store. It was literally $1 for a pack of them and I use them ALL the time. Tea lights are great because you can let the candle completely burn down as part of your spell or ritual if necessary without having to worry about guarding it 24/7 for days until it’s done so you don’t burn your house down. It gives you a couple hours of burn time which is more than enough in most cases!

2. Sticks and stones and nature stuff

Witchcraft is essentially a nature spirituality, so what better way to decorate your altar or sacred space than with nature? Crystals are pretty, but they can be expensive. A pretty stone from the backyard – or even better, from a natural place that has meaning to you – can serve as an equally powerful representation of earth on your altar (although they won’t necessarily have the same vibrational qualities as crystals, but tbh there are some pretty cheap smaller stones on Etsy if you’re desperate for crystals in your life.) You can make your own wand out of a stick and use pebbles to shape out a pentacle on your altar (or whatever shape you want!) You can use fresh flowers as offerings to your deities or just for decoration. Tools don’t have to be expensive – the original pagans couldn’t exactly hop on Etsy and order a custom-made altar cloth. If you want to buy fancy things for your practice, that’s totally fine and you should do it, but know that you don’t NEED those things in order for your magick to work.

affordable witchcraft: 7 inexpensive essentials

3. A notebook and a pen or pencil

This is super important. You’re going to want to keep some sort of record of your witchy journey – what spells worked, what didn’t, what rituals you did and when. But the thing is, you don’t need a fancy grimoire to make this happen. The cheapest notebook from Walgreens will work just fine. If you’re a perfectionist like I am, you can always use the cheap notebook to take all your messy notes and transfer the important ones to a fancy book later when you can afford one that you like, but don’t let the lack of a fancy notebook keep you from writing things down. No one ever has to see it but you!

4. Water

Water is a super versatile tool and it’s free from your sink! Although purified water is ~best~, who has time for that? You can make “purified” water on your own by adding salt to it. You can use this as a cleansing spray (adding essential oils if you want to make it smell nice) or leave it to charge under the full moon to make moon water. You can collect rain during a storm if you want stormwater, or collect it from a lake or ocean if that has meaning to you. You can put some water on your altar as a representation of the element or sprinkle it around your space when you’re casting a circle (if you’re into that.) Basically water can be used for as many things as your imagination allows, so don’t underestimate what you can do with it!

affordable witchcraft: 7 inexpensive essentials

5. A picture frame

One of the easiest ways to decorate your altar or sacred space is by framing an image of something that’s important to you. This could be a depiction of a deity that you work with (since statues and other representations can be expensive!), a picture of a place in nature that makes you feel serene, a picture of the ocean if you’re a sea witch… the possibilities are endless! I personally keep a framed print of my favorite tarot card in my workspace just because it makes me happy to look at it. There are no rules, but a simple picture frame can easily become a lovely centerpiece for your sacred space.

6. Pinterest

I LOVE Pinterest for witchcraft because it makes everything so easy. Not only is it a great resource for hacks and spells to do on the cheap, but I use it to make vision boards all. the. time. As much as I wish I could be a crafty person, I’m just not, so I prefer digital vision boards to the IRL variety. You can also use Pinterest to make boards dedicated to your deities or to keep a virtual Book of Shadows of a sorts. You can make the boards private on Pinterest so only you can see them and you can have as many as you want! It’s a great source of information and an awesome manifestation tool.

7. Tumblr

Who needs books when you have Tumblr? (My book-loving heart just died a little, but hear me out.) Books about witchcraft and Wicca can be hard to find in physical stores and potentially expensive if you order them online. While there’s a lot of great wisdom to be found in books, there’s also a lot of wisdom on the Internet for free. I really recommend Tumblr as a good place to learn about witchcraft – while of course there’s misinformation out there, there’s also a lot of really great tips, links to resources that people use and love, recipes, examples of grimoires and altars, etc, etc. You can also use your Tumblr blog as a little virtual record of your practice, which is nice. Basically Tumblr lets you see what real people are doing, which can be helpful as you sort through all the mess of resources that are out there. Also, while sometimes people go overboard, Tumblr witches are a lot more woke to the issues of racism, sexism, and cultural appropriation that unfortunately crop up in the witch community pretty often. It’s good to learn early on that these things aren’t okay rather than having to un-learn them after they’ve unwittingly become a part of your practice.

So there you have it! Like I said, you don’t need any of these things to be a witch but if you want them, they’re not very expensive. I hope this post was helpful! Come back next week for a new moon ritual and a full moon ritual using some of the items at hand, and if you have any other inexpensive tools or recommendations, be sure to leave them in the comments! <3

my top 5 essential oils for camping

my top 5 essential oils for camping

I never thought I’d be a camping person. I hate sweating and bugs and have a 14985-step skincare routine. But when you’re dating an outdoorsy man, sometimes you have to suck it up and put the face cream aside for a day or two in the name of love. Because he never complains when you make him watch stupid YouTube videos or drag him to the mall so you kind of owe him one.

Thank goodness I tried it, because it turns out I really, really like camping. I like the nature sounds and the stress-free environment and the part where we drink beer around the campfire and have deep conversations. (An ice-cold beer will get me to do almost anything in the summertime, to be honest.)

The past few times we’ve gone camping, I’ve jumped at the chance to use my essential oils. I made an after-sun spray and an annoyance-away spray and I was kind of shocked when they worked even better than the ones I’ve bought at the store in the past. (Especially because store-bought bug spray makes me gag. No wonder they keep the bugs away, I don’t want to smell that either!)

If any of you are planning on camping this summer, I thought I’d round up the oils that have worked for me so far and share them with you today! Obviously you can use any brand you have on hand, but Young Living is the one I use and love <3 I’ll have some info about how to sign up with Young Living at the bottom of the post if you’re interested! Let’s get started!

my top 5 essential oils for camping

1. Lavender

Lavender is a great oil to keep on hand at all times. It can be used to support skin’s natural healing process after bug bites or sunburn and can help soothe itchy or painful skin. It’s also very relaxing, which can help you unwind if you get a little anxious in the outdoors

2. Citronella

We all know that citronella candles keep mosquitos away, and citronella oil allows you so many opportunities to DIY. You can make your own citronella candle or wristband with this oil, or combine it with a few other oils in an annoyance-away spray like I did to make sure my camping experience was bite-free!

3. Peppermint

Peppermint is great for so many things! It’s cooling, which feels really great on your skin after a sunburn, and can also help soothe areas that might be sore after a hike. It’s great for head support, too! I even added a few drops of Peppermint to my annoyance-away spray after seeing how it keeps bugs away from the house. (Plus the scent is really strong, so it masked the smell of citronella which I’m not a huge fan of.)

my top 5 essential oils for camping
the oils in my annoyance-away spray

4. Purification

Purification is a Young Living blend that’s great for camping. I watched a video on Facebook where someone had a tick in their arm, and when they put a drop of Purification on it the tick scurried right out! So that’s obviously great to have on hand in the woods. It also contains lemongrass and citronella, both plants that mosquitos tend to avoid, so I used this in my annoyance-away spray to keep myself bite-free. It also has a very bright, clean smell, so it’s great to make a little sachet and keep it with your dirty clothes to keep things fresh!

5. Tea Tree

Tea tree is similar to citronella in that mosquitos tend to dislike it. It also comes from a plant that has amazing antiseptic qualities, so the oil can be used to help support the body’s healing process for things like breakouts. I, for one, always break out whenever I stray from my normal skincare routine, so this oil is a must for me to keep on hand!

So these are my top five essential oils for camping! As I mentioned, I use Young Living for all of my essential oils. You can read a bit about why I chose that brand over others here, if you’re interested. If you’d like to sign up with Young Living, you can do so through my link here! But obviously you should do your own research and use whatever brand feels right for you <3

Do you use essential oils when you camp? What are some of your favorites? I’d love to hear all about it!

the ostara tarot: a review

the ostara tarot: a review

Today I’m coming atcha with a review of the Ostara Tarot! I don’t usually do reviews of tarot decks because I feel like it really all comes down to personal preference, maybe even moreso than with oracle decks. People have SUCH different tastes on everything from the thickness of the cardstock to the type of artwork on the deck, so there’s really no right or wrong when it comes to tarot decks – unless the cards literally fall apart in your hands or are terribly misprinted, Ithink it’s pretty hard to find a deck that would universally be considered bad. But there are a lot of interesting things about the Ostara Tarot that I think could make or break it for some people, so I thought I’d throw this post out there so you can see for yourself if it would be your jam!

The Ostara Tarot is a deck I’ve been in love with from afar for a LONG time and only just got my hands on. I’ve heard a lot of stories about people getting their preorders canceled or pushed back which is a huge bummer, but they’re available in some Barnes and Noble stores if you want to snag one for yourself. They’re also back in stock on Amazon!

Okay, let’s get into the review!

the ostara tarot: a review

The first thing I noticed was that the box is really nice. It’s sturdy and pretty and has a magnetic closure so it stays closed. The cards are in two piles inside but there’s room for them to move around, which irks me a little – I like when the cards fit snugly so I don’t have to worry about them getting banged up. You can see how there’s a gap between the bottoms of the cards and the edge of the box. The divider between the two piles isn’t connected to the box, which makes it kind of hard to get them back in. It’s kind of a downside but not a huge deal – I can always glue it in myself.

the ostara tarot: a review

There were two unfortunate things I noticed about the cards right away. First, they were completely stuck together in huge chunks from the gilding. I was able to unstick them all with no damage to the cards, but the gilding flaked glitter all over my hands and workspace. I like glitter so I was fine with it, but I’ve had plenty of decks with gilded edges that never gave me this problem (the Fountain Tarot, the Starchild Tarot, the Faerie Enchantments Oracle, and the Sacred Creators Oracle, to name a few.) That tells me there’s a better quality gilding out there that just wasn’t used in this case. Like I said, it was pretty easy (if time-consuming) to unstick them. Just not a great first impression.

My second issue is that all four corners of every single card are bent upward. I think it probably happened when the cards were being cut. I’ve literally NEVER seen this in a deck before and I’m actually pretty bummed about it. From pictures I’ve seen on Instagram, I don’t think this is just a one-off problem, either – it seems like every copy I’ve seen out there has this problem, and I’ve heard for some people it’s not all four corners which would bug me even more. I guess I’m glad that it’s every card because at least it’s uniform, but still, it’s kind of crappy when your cards arrive bent. It’s subtle, but you can see it in the picture below:

the ostara tarot: a review

The negatives end there, though. The artwork on these cards is beautiful and the gilding still looks intact despite flaking all over the place. I personally like the cardstock – it’s thin but it feels laminated, which does make the cards slippery but makes me worry less about bending or scuffing them while shuffling. I love that four female artists worked to create this deck and even though their styles are very different, I think all the cards work wonderfully together. (And I’m in no way faulting the artists for the production issues. I’m pretty sure that was 100% on the publisher.)

the ostara tarot: a review

The guidebook is really nice, too. It’s full color! That doesn’t usually happen. Each page has some keywords for the card, a picture of the card, and a description of both the meaning and the reversed meaning.

Looking at the cards themselves, it’s interesting to note that the minor arcana cards don’t say which suit they are. It’s pretty easy to tell in most cases just by looking for wands or pentacles or whatever in the image, but in some of them it’s actually kind of tough to tell from first glance. I don’t think this is a bad thing – if anything, I think it could be a cool way to work with your intuition, and it might be good practice for a tarot newbie to try and figure it out on their own. (But if you’re really stumped for some reason, they’re all in the guidebook.)

the ostara tarot: a review

Overall, I really love this deck despite the bent corners. It’s a little thicker than your standard tarot deck but my boyfriend Dave from Gear Box Leather made a custom case for it so I don’t have to worry about keeping it in the box. (You can get your own tarot case in his shop and take 15% off with the code “LAVENDERMOON”, because he’s a nice guy!) I can tell I’m going to use this one a lot and have been carrying it around pretty much everywhere since it arrived so I can bond with it a little better. The cards are rich with imagery and I’m so excited to do some readings for myself with it before I use it with clients!

So those are my thoughts! Have you ordered the Ostara Tarot? What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear!

international tarot day blog hop: the knight of cups

international tarot day blog hop: the knight of cups

Happy International Tarot Day, everyone! If you’re new to my blog, welcome! I’m writing this post today as part of the big International Tarot Day Blog Hop organized by Nym’s Divination, where a bunch of tarot bloggers are each writing about one of the 78 tarot cards. The lovely Starr preceded me with the Page of Cups, and Kriss is right after with the Queen of Cups! Be sure to check out their posts if you haven’t already (when you’re done reading mine, that is! 😉 ) You can view a master list of posts here!

My card is the Knight of Cups! This Knight is a sensitive soul who’s in touch with their emotions. They are charming, sensitive, and a true romantic. This Knight is an artist – a poet’s soul, a dreamer, someone who understands others and attracts them whether they intend to or not. The flip side of this is that they can be overly emotional, maybe even tending on the dramatic side of things. Still, the Knight of Cups is actually my favorite Knight of the tarot, so I’m excited to be working with this card’s energy today!

In the spirit of the natural charm of the Knight of Cups, I’ve put together this Knight of Cups Charm Potion to make the user more attractive in the eyes of others. Note that by attractive, I don’t mean that any sort of physical change will come over you; rather, it will cause others to be drawn to your natural charm. Whether you’re looking for a new friendship or a romantic encounter, this could bring more opportunities your way!

Knight of Cups Charm Potion

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon loose black tea, or 1 teabag
  • 1/2 tsp rose water (you can buy this at the store or make it yourself!)
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp honey (or more to taste)
  • Small, clean rose quartz crystal

international tarot day blog hop: the knight of cups

What to Do

1. Prepare for this little ritual however you’d like. I personally recommend cleansing your altar or sacred space with whatever method you prefer. I also like to take a bath before I do a spell or ritual and envision any negative energy dissolving and flowing down the drain. A shower works, too! If you do that for this potion, focus particularly on dissolving any limiting beliefs you have about yourself. This potion is all about boosting confidence and revealing your natural charm!

2. Brew the tea as you would normally, making it as strong as you’d like. While the tea is brewing, gather the other ingredients at your altar or sacred space. Place the rose quartz in the center of the altar and make room to put your cup of tea once it’s finished brewing.

3. Bring the tea over to your workspace. You’re going to add the ingredients one by one, saying the following as you do:

“As roses draw bees, I draw others to me
As honey’s a treat, my words will be sweet
As vanilla blooms, I do too.”

Be intentional as you add the ingredients and picture your desired outcome in your mind. Is it you surrounded by new friends? Flirting with the cute barista? Try to picture it in your mind as you say the words.

4. Let the tea cool off enough for you to drink it (but not until it’s cold! Blowing on it a bit should help.) Before you drink the tea, dip the rose quartz crystal in it. As you hold the crystal in the tea, envision that positive energy you’ve channeled for the potion flowing into the quartz. Then drink the tea, feeling yourself filling with confidence and charm as you do so.

5. Carry the rose quartz in your purse or pocket as a little boost the next time you go out into a social situation. You’ll find that others are naturally attracted to your personality!

And that’s it! I hope you enjoy this lovely little pick-me-up potion. Once again, don’t forget to continue on to Kriss with the Queen of Cups, and head back to read Starr’s post on the Page of Cups if you haven’t already! Happy International Tarot Day! <3

how to become a witch: 10 tips for newbies!

how to become a witch: 10 tips for newbies!

Hi there, friends! This post is based on a question I get asked a lot – “how do you become a witch?” There’s a really simple answer to that question, but I think the underlying question within it is really, “where do I start if I want to become a witch?” So today I’m going to be sharing with you some advice to those who may just be starting down this path.

Shameless plug, but if you REALLY want to know how to incorporate witchcraft into your daily life, The Witch of Lupine Hollow and I made a whole school of courses about it ;D But it’s also cool if you just want to read this post instead. Affiliate links are marked with a *, because your girl’s gotta pay the bills somehow.

This is a bit of a long one, so strap in, folks!

how to become a witch: 10 tips for newbies!

1. you don’t need someone else to make you a witch

How do you become a witch? The simple answer is really that you decide to become a witch, and bam! There you are. Although some covens or paths of witchcraft or Wicca might require formal initiation or have specific rules about who can or can’t join, in general anyone can be a Wiccan or a witch. There’s a tradition of studying for a year and a day before dedicating yourself to the Craft, but it’s really not necessary. I initially decided I would do this, but found myself identifying as a witch long before the year and the day were over. Still, once the time was up, I just did a little self-dedication ritual more for myself than anything else and that was it! No one else’s approval required.

2. read selectively at first

Usually I would say “read ALL the things!” but unfortunately there’s a lot of cultural appropriation and just plain misinformation out there about witchcraft, Wicca, and their history. I do think there can be a lot of good things in a problematic text, but when you’re first starting out it can be hard to tell what’s truth and what’s not. One of the best resources I’ve found is Drawing Down the Moon* by Margot Adler. Adler was Wiccan herself, and she manages to debunk some of the main myths about Wicca and witchcraft without putting down the craft itself. It’s also a fascinating look at the way witchcraft and Wicca have been practiced in the United States over the years. It was written a while ago so it’s a bit dated, but not OUTdated, if you know what I mean.

Another great intro to witchcraft is The Inner Temple of Witchcraft* by Chris Penczak. My memory of reading this is that he does cross into some iffy cultural territory and sort of perpetuates some witch myths, but overall I thought his approach was a great way for someone to learn the basics of witchcraft, especially if they’re kind of skeptical (like I tend to be!)

Also, take all books with a grain of salt. If one talks about a practice you don’t like, need, or feel comfortable with, leave it. Not every witch astral travels or does blood magick, and not all witches think curses are bad. It’s okay to make your own rules.

how to become a witch: 10 tips for newbies!

3. start small

There’s so much information out there and it’s seriously overwhelming to start with, but you don’t need to be a big bad experienced witch in order to work an effective spell. Start small with materials you already have on hand, or learn the meaning of one new herb at a time and use that. Some of the most effective spells and rituals I’ve done have just been me, a candle, and the moon. Don’t let a lack of experience or things stop you from working your magic(k).

4. find your community

I don’t necessarily mean finding a coven – in fact, I would suggest not looking for a coven until you’ve been practicing long enough to be sure of your path. I thought at first that I would LOVE to be in a coven, but now I realize that while it would be nice to have an IRL community to chat with, I do my best practicing on my own. Also, you run the risk of pledging yourself to a coven dedicated to a certain deity only to find out later on that you don’t want to work with that deity after all. Awkward.

But I do think it’s important to have other witches you can learn from and ask questions of while you’re learning. I haven’t found any good forums (if you know of one, PLEASE tell me) but Tumblr has proved to be an amazing resource for all things witchery. Browse the “witchcraft” and “witches of Tumblr” tags for blogs to follow. Most people I’ve met there have been super nice! (I’m a-lavender-moon if you’d like to follow!)

how to become a witch: 10 tips for newbies!

5. you don’t need a lot of stuff

I know that Tumblr and Instagram make it seem like you need a huge crystal collection and an entire pantry full of herbs, but really, REALLY all you need to do magick is yourself. That’s it. You don’t need anything else but you and your intentions. It’s fun to collect witchy bits and bobs and I’m the last person to talk about minimalism because I buy everything, but you don’t need those things. You can make spell jars from recycled bottles or decorate your altar with rocks from your garden. Don’t give in to the pressure to LOOK witchy. It’s more important that you ARE witchy.

(Side note, I wrote an entire post about spiritual sh*t I wasted money on here, so you don’t have to.)

6. write it down

You’re probably going to want to keep either a grimoire or a Book of Shadows, but I think it’s important that you keep a spiritual journal, as well. This can be something you carry around with you everywhere and that no one will ever see but you. Put in all your messy, disorganized thoughts, write down any time your intuition is spot on, scribble about your struggles with meditation, whatever. It’s really great to have a record of where you’re at and what you’re doing with your spiritual practice. For one, it’s therapeutic, but for another, it helps you figure out the way forward!

how to become a witch: 10 tips for newbies!

7. it’s okay if your beliefs change

In fact, they absolutely will. My views about working with deities change all the time. My thoughts on reincarnation have evolved the more I’ve thought about it. My personal set of rules has shifted as I’ve grown more comfortable in my craft. Changing your views on one thing or another doesn’t necessarily mean you were wrong before, it just means you’ve got more information now and can make a better decision for the current you. It doesn’t invalidate your past.

8. your book of shadows doesn’t have to be perfect

I need someone to wake me up every morning by yelling this at me through a megaphone. I think we all fall into perfectionism when it comes to our grimoire or Book of Shadows because we want them to be the cool witch books we see on TV. Honestly, though, a grimoire is just for you, no one else, and since all of us are imperfect it’s totally okay for your book to be imperfect too. The most gorgeous grimoire in the world is totally pointless if you never actually use it for fear of screwing it up! If you’re really concerned, though, do what I do and have a million different grimoires that you use for different things and one big main one that you only put the pretty stuff in.

how to become a witch: 10 tips for newbies!

9. don’t appropriate closed cultures

Seriously, y’all. This is a HUGE problem in the witch community, partially because as I mentioned above, cultural appropriation is passed off as a normal part of witchcraft by some of the major authors in the community.

It can be really, really hard to tell at first what’s cultural appropriation and what’s not, but use your common sense and if it’s taken from a culture that’s been systematically victimized over the years, it’s probably not okay to use. I think that Native American spiritualities in particular tend to be appropriated, but you can find a way to incorporate basic beliefs into your practice without outright taking from a closed culture – for example, you can say “smoke cleansing” instead of “smudging” or “animal guides” instead of “spirit animals.”

Like I said, it can be hard to know what you can and can’t use because so much of witchcraft is a blend of things taken from historical cultures. If you don’t know if something is cultural appropriation or not, look it up. Especially if you’re a white person. We’ve stolen enough from other cultures already.

10. you don’t need to know everything

If I could tell you one thing, it’s this. No one knows anything. If they say they do (or make you feel bad for asking questions) they’re probably a jerk. There’s no bonus points for being able to recite every poisonous plant by heart when pretty much anyone can do a Google search to find the same information. I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly you DO learn, and in no time you’ll be able to rattle off all the things rose quartz is good for or what herbs can help an upset stomach. But there’s no pressure to memorize this stuff. In fact, some of the best knowledge comes from DOING the thing. That’s the stuff you end up remembering. You never stop learning in witchcraft, and that’s the beauty of it. The trick is to be comfortable with not knowing, so you can invite more knowledge in.

So those are my 10 tips for the beginner witch! I might end up doing a part two of this post in the future because I could talk about this for days probably.

Do you have any tips or resources you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to check them out!

3 little ways to celebrate litha

3 little ways to celebrate litha

Hello my friends! I survived my family vacation to North Carolina and it feels SO good to be back. I love chilling at the beach as much as the next witch, but I’m also a mega homebody who loves her cat. So now that I’m rested and recharged, I’m coming at you today with a blog post all about one of my favorite Sabbats, Litha!

Litha, also known as Midsummer, is a celebration of the summer solstice. This year most witches seem to be celebrating it today, the 20th, but I tend to be a little less strict about it because I’m  busy gal who’s gotta celebrate when I can. I’m keeping it low-key today but going all-out tomorrow with a special dinner!

Litha itself is the longest day of the year, so think of this as one last hurrah before the days start getting shorter and shorter. I feel like this is a win-win for me because as much as I love the sun being out till 9 pm, I’m a fall baby through and through and it is ON ITS WAY. (Yes, I’m one of those. Already dreaming of Pumpkin Spice everything TBH.)

When I think of Litha, I think of faeries frolicking through sunny fields and dancing around bonfires. It’s all about joy and light. If you’re looking for some last-minute ways to celebrate, here are 3 things I like to do to celebrate Litha!

3 little ways to celebrate litha

make a flower crown

Maybe this is basic but whatever, okay? You can’t deny that flower crowns are super cute. Making a crown of seasonal flowers from your garden is a great way to celebrate the summertime, or you can use fake flowers from the craft store and keep it year-round! I wrote a tutorial about how to make a flower crown around Litha last year, so check it out if you’re stumped. I wore the heck out of that thing to the Ren faire, believe me.

plan a midsummer dinner

This is my favorite thing to do for any Sabbat because you’ve gotta eat anyway, so it’s really easy and even the non-witch members of your household can enjoy it. Some seasonal foods to incorporate into your dinner are fruits and vegetables (preferably ones you grew yourself!), mead, honey, citrus, strawberries, wine, strawberry wine (it’s okay if you need to take a Deana Carter break), and basically anything else that makes you think of sunshine and summer time.

3 little ways to celebrate litha

have a bonfire

Bonfires are the traditional way to celebrate Litha, and some things never go out of style! It doesn’t have to be a big fire by any means. You can have a little fire in your yard if you have a fire pit, or if not, light candles indoors to channel that fire energy. If you’d like you can use the fire as part of a ritual, either for release or manifestation. Those floating lantern things count as fire, too, although they seem a little dangerous to me so maybe be careful if you release any of those.

And that’s about it! I hope you have an absolutely magical Midsummer ♥ If you’re doing anything fun to celebrate, leave it in the comments – I’d love to hear all about it!

 

 

 

upcoming tarot and oracle decks to watch

Hi friends! Just a short post from me this week, because as you’re reading this I’m probably relaxing on the beaches of North Carolina. (Or so I’d like to think, but I’m probably sunburned and hiding inside with a book instead.) It’s family vacation time and I’m hoping I survive! It’ll be okay. There’s always wine, after all.

So there are a lot of really need tarot and oracle decks coming out pretty soon, and I thought I’d highlight some that I’m really excited about! If there are any I’m missing, totally feel free to let me know in the comments. I’d love to check them out! (All pictures belong to their original owners, since I don’t have any of these decks yet so I can’t photograph them!)

The Darkness of Light Tarot

I’ve been looking forward to this deck for so long! The cards are gorgeous and while it’s a darker color scheme than I usually go for, there are some lovely pops of color and I think it would be a great deck to use for shadow work.

The Mesquite Tarot

A simple, lovely deck that’s meant to be a great starting place for beginners. As of now the Kickstarter is over, but I’m sure there will be ways to preorder the deck soon, so keep an eye out!

The Mystic Mondays Tarot

This bright deck looks like so much fun! I’ve heard SO many people excited about this one. It’s reached its goal already, but you can still get on board with the Kickstarter until June 30th.

The Wild Moon Deck

I’ve been eyeing the Wild Medicine Herbal Deck from this site for a while, and their upcoming Moon Deck looks just as lovely! I’m crazy about this art style and this looks like an amazing deck for working with the phases of the moon.

Ethereal Visions Dreamscape Oracle

I haven’t seen anything about this oracle on social media, but holy crap, it’s gorgeous! The funding goal is kind of lofty but I’m hoping they can make it. I absolutely love this art style and the finished deck will have gold foil, which sounds SO my style.

So those are the decks I’m most looking forward to lately! What decks are you excited about? Tell me all about it in the comments!

the inner star oracle: a review

the inner star oracle: a review

This was originally going to be a May Favorites post, but to be honest I didn’t really try anything new or exciting during the month of May so it would have been pretty boring. (Where did May even go? I maybe just spent the whole month sitting on the couch applying for writing jobs like my life depended on it, which it kinda does.) But I did try ONE new thing, and that’s the Inner Star Oracle! So I thought maybe I’d just talk about that instead.

This is a deck by Jo Klima of The Darling Tree. I follow her on Instagram and fell in love with her aesthetic from the start, so when I found out she was developing an oracle deck my response was “my body is ready.” I anxiously awaited the Kickstarter, then backed it immediately and did more anxious awaiting until the deck was finally in my hot little hands. And this is a seriously pretty deck, my dudes.

the inner star oracle: a review

The deck comes in a black and white version, called Clarity, and a full color edition, called Magic. I obviously went with the Magic edition because I can’t say no to watercolors. Each card features a lovely geometric shape and a message of a few words. I find I can read with this deck intuitively, but I’m grateful for the little guidebook it comes with because some of the messages weren’t as clear to me at first. The color scheme reminds me a lot of the Sacred Creators oracle and the Starchild Tarot, which I’m telling you in case you like your decks to match as much as I do.

I will say that I think it would be really hard for me personally to read with the Clarity edition, because the colors go a long way towards helping me develop the intuitive messages. But that’s probably just because of how I am as a person, and if someone was a fan of the minimalist look I’m glad there’s a version of the deck for them!

the inner star oracle: a review

The cardstock is sturdy but not too thick, so it’s pretty easy for me to shuffle. The box feels really high-quality and the little guidebook it comes with is super handy. It has a few ideas for spreads, as well as a little blurb about what each card means and an affirmation to go with it. I love me some affirmations, so this was right up my alley!

Overall, I think this is a gorgeous oracle deck to add to your collection, especially if you’re easily moved by colors and shapes. The messages are lovely and uplifting, and I could see myself using this a lot for guidance and inspiration when it comes to creating, whether it be for my blog or for my own personal projects. The readings I’ve done with it so far have gotten me SUPER fired up and ready to make some magic.

the inner star oracle: a review

It’s also super Instagrammable which, while that’s obviously not the most important trait for a deck to have, always helps.

Do you have the Inner Star oracle? Have you tried the Clarity edition? I’d love to hear what you think of it!

how to start your own metaphysical blog: setting up and growing your audience

how to start your own metaphysical blog: setting up and growing your audience

Hi friends! So I’ve recently put together a resource library that you can access for free if you sign up for my newsletter. In it are all of the resources I’ve used to start this blog, as well as how I’ve learned everything I know about tarot, witchcraft, crystals, and all that stuff. If you haven’t already subscribed, you should check it out! But putting it together got me thinking: is this really enough information for someone to start their own blog from scratch?

I’m a big enabler and I want everyone to start a blog, all the time. I’m constantly trying to pressure my friends and fam into making blogs because I’m a creep who likes reading about everybody’s lives. So I think YOU should start a blog, too!

While there are 572098065983423 blog posts out there about how to start a blog, I feel like the witchy niche is pretty small compared to, say, the beauty and fashion niches, so I feel that there are some different things you need to keep in mind when starting a metaphysical blog (whether you want to blog about tarot, spirituality, witchcraft, or what have you.) Today I thought I’d share how I got my blog started, and maybe some of these tips and tricks will help you out! Note that affiliate links may be used on this page, marked with an * – that just means that if you make a purchase through the link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Because I might as well use that link instead of a regular one, right?

how to start your own metaphysical blog: setting up and growing your audience

1. picking a platform: blogger vs. wordpress vs. squarespace

The very first thing you’ll need to do is decide on a platform to use for your blog – Blogger, WordPress, or Squarespace are pretty much the big three. Blogger and WordPress.com are both free, WordPress.org and Squarespace cost moolah. (If you’re confused about the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org… me too. More on that later.)

Here’s my take on this: a lot of bloggers out there will tell you that you can’t hope to grow your blog using the Blogger platform. I call BS. Blogger is super user-friendly, it’s free, you can use your own domain name, and if you’ve never had a website before I think it’s a great place to start if you want to have a blog. You don’t have to mess around with self-hosting and like I said, it’s free – the paid options are pretty darn pricey and that’s not accessible for everyone. It can look super professional and you can use it for a long time with no issues. I love Blogger.

BUT.

Here’s the but.

Blogger is pretty much only good for having a blog. If that’s all you want, that’s great! But if you might eventually want to expand into a website with a landing page and all that, Blogger is not gonna work for you. And then you’re going to have to deal with switching over to WordPress or Squarespace and importing all of your posts and praying they don’t get lost in the shuffle and crying into your wine when your new website doesn’t work and spending two hours on the phone with customer service and throwing your laptop out a window. (Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.)

So my advice is this. If you truly can’t afford one of the paid options at this time, go with Blogger. But if you can, even if all you want right now is a blog, I would go for one of the paid options I’ll discuss below.

I’m going to briefly touch on WordPress.com here (the other free option) and say that while I’ve never used it for long, I didn’t like it. I couldn’t find a way to use my own domain name (meaning your url would always be website.wordpress.com instead of just website.com) and I also couldn’t find a way to use custom templates, so I was really limited as to how I could get my site to look. There’s pretty much no customer service for WordPress, either, which makes it really hard to get things set up if you don’t have any experience with it. If you can get it to work for you, that’s great – it’s a lot easier to upgrade from WordPress.com to WordPress.org than it is to switch from Blogger to WordPress.org. But I prefer Blogger by leaps and bounds in terms of free sites, and importing my posts didn’t kill me even though it tried, so I’d really just recommend that.

OKAY, so now, which paid site to use? That depends on what you want to use it for! Squarespace has a great option if you want to have a shop built in to your website (so if you want to sell your tarot readings right on your website, for example, they make it really easy.) However, they’re expensive, they don’t have a huge selection of templates, and their blogging feature doesn’t work as well as WordPress (from what I’ve heard.) I used the free trial of Squarespace but couldn’t get my website to look the way I wanted and also couldn’t afford it in the end, so that wasn’t the right option for me. Plenty of people LOVE it though, so maybe check out some other reviews before making your decision and see if it sounds like your thing!

I use WordPress.org, which is the paid version of WordPress, and I’m really happy with it. They do have a way to add a shop to your website, too, so don’t fret if that’s your goal but you don’t want to go with Squarespace. It takes some getting used to, but after that the navigation is really easy. I like how customizable it is and I’ve never had any problems, except when I was trying to import everything from my Blogger site and it took me two months of blood sweat and tears.

Okay, so once you’ve decided on a platform, it’s time to think about getting your own domain name!

how to start your own metaphysical blog: setting up and growing your audience

2. getting a domain

I really recommend purchasing a domain name for your website if you want to turn it into more than just a hobby. It looks professional and it’s a good way to make sure no one else takes the name! I don’t know how this works with Squarespace, so I’m just going to show you how I did it with WordPress.

I used BlueHost* to purchase my domain and to host my website. It was pretty easy to get it all set up – once you sign up with BlueHost, you can follow this tutorial to install WordPress and get started. This is pretty expensive if you’re short on cash, so there’s absolutely no shame in just riding the free websites for a while to see if you’d even be interested in keeping up with it long-term! I was kind of shocked at the amount of shaming that’s out there for people who just want to use Blogger or WordPress.com, so if you come across that on the Internet, just ignore it. Those people are trying to make commissions off of your signups so they want to scare you into switching to the paid sites. Super uncool. (Side note: if you sign up for Bluehost with my link, I’ll make a commission too, but that’s not the part I have a problem with. Shaming people into buying your stuff is a crap business model.)

I will say, though, that finally buying my domain and setting up my WordPress site was the kick I needed to take my blogging more seriously, so if you can afford it, I really recommend it!

how to start your own metaphysical blog: setting up and growing your audience

3. choosing a template

Now that you have your site set up, it’s time to choose a template for it! Squarespace has its own templates, but if you’re using Blogger or WordPress, the Internet is your oyster. There are tons of gorgeous templates on Etsy to choose from – I got my first Blogger template from SkyandStars on Etsy, and then I got this template I’m currently using from Beautiful Dawn Designs*. I really recommend them for WordPress.org themes because they do this thing… I don’t have the vocab to explain it, but basically their themes come with a lot of customization options and tutorials for using them, whereas some other themes just leave you high and dry if you want to do something like change the font color.

ALSO, be careful that you’re checking whether a theme is for WordPress.com or WordPress.org. They’re not the same!

I can’t stress enough the importance of a good theme. I don’t think you need to pay for one in order to get a good one – there are plenty of free options you can customize no matter what platform you go with. But the theme is really the first thing people notice when they go to your site, so I recommend trying to put as much of yourself into it as possible! Give them an idea of what they can expect from the rest of your site.

how to start your own metaphysical blog: setting up and growing your audience

4. growing your audience

Okay, so now you’ve got a killer site with a template you love and possibly your own domain. How do you go about getting readers? Well… as much as I’d like to say “if you build it, they will come,” the fact of the matter is that you’ve gotta let people know you exist before they’re going to check out your blog. I think the tarot/witchcraft/metaphysical niche has an advantage because we’re smaller than other niches, so it’s easier to make genuine connections with people even if they have a SUPER popular blog that makes you feel intimidated!

I do have an old post (look at that old Pinterest graphic, yikes) about how to find your people and make meaningful connections on various social media platforms, so I won’t rehash that, but here are a few other tips for growing your audience:

  1. Support other bloggers: I can only speak for myself, but if someone leaves a nice comment on my blog I will 100% check out their website in return. Comment on posts you like, reply to people you follow on social media, include bloggers in roundup posts and tell them when you do. That not only gets your name on their radar, but also might score you a promo in return if they like your stuff! (Note: no one is obligated to do this, so please don’t expect things from total strangers, but if you’re genuine there’s no reason to think people won’t gravitate towards your site in return.)
  2. Engage on social media: This goes along with the above, but don’t just creep – comment on peoples’ posts! This is how I’ve made 100% of the friends I have on various social media platforms. If you leave a meaningful comment (keyword: meaningful, none of that BS where strangers comment one emoji on an Instagram post) people are going to want to respond to that.
  3. Automate your social media: This is in addition to engaging, not in place of it! Sign up with a social media scheduling program like Buffer or Hootsuite so you can schedule your social media posts head of time. This is a great way to be sure you’re promoting your posts on social media without needing to remember, or take more time out of your day. Once your posts are scheduled, all you have to worry about is responding to people and using social media for fun! I’ve used both of those sites and enjoy them, and I schedule all my Pinterest posts through Tailwind*. I highly, highly recommend it. Tailwind is $15 a month, but most of my traffic comes from Pinterest so I think it’s well worth it.
  4. Have a mailing list: You can sign up with Mailchimp for free and easily add a little signup button or pop-up to your website. I won’t tell you what to do with your mailing list because to be honest I kind of suck, but it helps to have a base of people who like you so much they want to let you into their inboxes. If you have some kind of incentive for people to sign up, like a free eBook or something, your list will grow WAY faster.
  5. Be patient: Blogging is truly not easy. It takes a lot of time, effort, planning, and engaging, and if you have other commitments like a job or a family it’s going to be tough. You’re not going to see growth overnight, and it can be so frustrating when it feels like you’re just shouting into a void. But honestly? It’s so, so worth it. Stick by your blog during the hard times and you’ll see such a huge reward when you see your first successes.

And that’s about all I’ve got! If you read through that whole thing, you’re a trooper. And if you have any questions about any of this stuff, feel free to ask me, whether in a comment or an e-mail. I remember how frustrating it was to try and figure all this stuff out on my own, so I’m happy to help anyone else if I can.

And if you have a metaphysical blog or just set one up… dude, let me know in the comments. I’d love to check it out! (Also, let me know if you want more posts about blogging. Do you guys blog or do you just read blogs? Tell me what you wanna see!)

why i’m studying druidry for a year (and how)

why i'm studying druidry for a year (and how)

I’ve been talking a little bit about Druidry over on my Instagram lately, and a lot of people have been wondering more about what it is/why I decided to take a year to study it. I’m going to start this off by saying I’m by no means an expert or any kind of authority, I literally just started learning about this stuff a month ago. So this post is going to be more about what drew me to Druidry and what I’m doing to learn more about it.

Basically, Druidry is a spiritual path that focuses on respecting the Earth and all her inhabitants. According to the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, it is “a spiritual way and practice that speaks to three of our greatest yearnings: to be fully creative in our lives, to commune deeply with the world of Nature, and to gain access to a source of profound wisdom.”

why i'm studying druidry for a year (and how)
Notebooks my man Gear Box Leather made. Aren’t they pretty?

While Druidry itself is a spirituality, it has no central deity and can be practiced alongside whatever other spiritual path you might currently have. Here is a list of Druid beliefs in case you’d like to learn more. These all fit in with what I had already believed and practiced as part of my witchcraft, so finding this felt like coming home. I can study Druidry and eventually follow that path while continuing to practice as a witch. There are so many more components to it than what I’ve explained here, so I really recommend checking out the OBOD website if you’re looking for more information (or any other websites about Druidry you’ve found! The AODA is another great organization with their own curriculum to follow in case you’re interested.)

So why Druidry? When I was younger, nothing made me happier than spending the whole day wandering in the woods. Some of my fondest memories are of playing outside or going for long walks with my mother. We would go camping quite a bit and I wasn’t bothered by dirt or bugs – I just liked being in nature and I felt at home there. But somewhere along the way, I lost that. It got even worse this past year or so, when I started this blog and building up a freelance writing career in addition to my full-time job. Suddenly, I was spending 90% of my time in front of a screen and not only was I not going outside anymore, I wasn’t doing ANYTHING else. I wasn’t pursuing my hobbies, I wasn’t connecting with my spirituality, I wasn’t taking care of myself, I wasn’t fully present in my relationships, and more than anything, I wasn’t happy. I could feel deep down that I was being called to spend more time in nature, but I just couldn’t make it happen with the way things were.

why i'm studying druidry for a year (and how)

Now, I’m not one of those “technology is bad!” people by any means. But I do think it’s a problem when you’re spending so much time online, you’re missing out on the chance to live. It got to the point where I didn’t know what to blog about anymore and couldn’t even fathom starting any creative projects because I had no inspiration. All of my time was spent on the computer, instead of being out having meaningful experiences in the real world.

So I’m finding a balance. I quit my day job to pursue freelancing and blogging full time, and I’m hoping to fill the newly-opened spaces in my schedule with the things my soul has been longing for all along – taking long walks in nature, getting back in touch with my creative passions, cultivating a deeper connection to my spirituality, and just generally living my life.

Druidry speaks to all of that for me, and so I’m taking a year to follow the OBOD curriculum and see where I end up. Basically, every month they send you a package of four gwersi, or lessons. They come in a little blue booklet along with supplementary materials, such as information about the Sabbats or other important stand-alone lessons. So far I’ve been really enjoying the course – each booklet is short, but gives you enough information to think about for a while. I think it would be manageable to study even if you did have a lot of other responsibilities like a full-time job or kids to take care of.

why i'm studying druidry for a year (and how)

I’m going through each lesson and taking detailed notes. I’m also borrowing a few things from the AODA curriculum even though I’m not a member of that organization in order to enhance my experience, such as celebrating the Sabbats (which I do anyway), spending at least 15 minutes in stillness in nature each week, making three lifestyle changes that benefit the Earth, reading nine books about the local ecology, meditating regularly, and pursuing a creative art form (for me, painting!) I’d love to be a member of both the AODA and the OBOD, but for financial reasons I’m sticking with just one for now.

I’ll be checking in on this blog about how my journey is going throughout the year, partly to hold myself accountable and partly because I strongly feel that in order to continue as a society, we need to find a way to balance our use of technology with environmental stewardship and compassion for one another. Computers and smartphones aren’t going anywhere, so it’s useless to complain about how they’re ruining society – all we can do is find a way forward that works for everyone involved. And if I can find a way to do it, Internet-obsessed as I am, anyone can!

If you’re interested in forming a deeper connection with nature and your own spirituality, I really recommend looking into what Druidry has to offer. It’s a very accessible spiritual path and is one of those things where you can really take what you need and leave the rest (that is, you don’t have to become a Druid in order to adopt some of their principles into your lifestyle.)

Do you have any experience with Druidry? Is nature a big part of your spiritual path? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear all about it! <3