(re-)awakening your inner witch

there are lots of books and articles out there for new ‘witchlings,’ as it were.

if you’re young and delving into the exploration of the craft or associated beliefs and practices, then welcome! i hope that your witchy journey is everything you want to get out of it.

but what about the stories or ‘guides’ for those of us who are older, who already knew this was our calling, but for one reason or another, drifted away from it, forgot it, suppressed it, or just didn’t nurture it for a while.

what about those of us who re-awakened after many years away?

i guess there doesn’t really need to be a ‘how-to guide’ so much as there should be a ‘while you were away’ guide. my lapse was over 12 years, in which a LOT changed.

for starters, social media didn’t exist when i was a very young witch, not even remotely in the form we’re used to now. if you wanted to look up info on witchery, you could probably find some really poorly designed websites from a Geocities template with alternating neon broomsticks and cat faces flashing at you as you tried to ignore them, scrolling through badly formatted walls of text and blurry images (*shudders*)

but coming back into this a number of years ago, i think i was struck most by how well-connected the entire community is in order to create a strength in numbers. i was also glad to see the outpouring of new books and resources for new witches.

everyone was welcoming, supportive, and there is clearly a push within most circles to provide education and personal growth, while dispelling myths and harmful generalizations.

i don’t want to pull a ‘when i was your age,’ but when i was your age, there were not many good books or ‘how to be a new witch’ guides you could just get your hands on (the internet wasn’t much of a thing back then, but certainly shopping on the internet didn’t exist yet).

so you had to learn from someone else, who often had very strong opinions and dogmatic beliefs about the ‘right way to be a witch’, but those were often incongruent with how you wanted to be a witch.

or, like me, you struck out on your own, learned, experimented, and took note of what you liked, wanted, needed, and enjoyed, even if that made you not quite fit in perfectly with other witches around you.

i started out in witchy endeavors much like a lot new witches: as a teenager, a friend of mine who was really into Wicca gave me deck of tarot cards and it was like a gateway to self-exploration and coming to terms with the feelings, urges, and tug of what i had always known was inside me.

i cannot remember a time when i was young, in childhood or adolescence, that i didn’t feel drawn to the craft, or pagan rituals or traditions. it just clicked and felt right, even despite the years that i fell away from it as an adult who tried desperately to conform to what i thought was ‘acceptable’ in my first marriage, or professional colleagues, or my (fake) social circle at the time.

re-awakening my inner witch took many years after that early adulthood of self-oppression and emptiness. as i slowly let that energy burn brighter in me and accepted myself once again, i began to ask myself what kind of witch i was at this point.

certainly, as a young witch, it had been all exciting with cards, candles, poppets that looked like that girl i hated at school, ‘love’ potions, and all the things that are important to you when your life is no more complicated than high school, after school jobs, and getting high on the weekends with your friends.

but now, in my late 30s, my perspective and experience is astoundingly different, as it should be. i’ve seen some shit. i know the true nature of things and people. and myself, more importantly.

i find myself drawn to many different forms of practice. one day i may be more interested in green magic and the next i may feel that crystals or psychic meditation are going to be best for my purposes.

but, in the midst of all of this, i find that i have always always always been drawn to scent and smell. a well-crafted perfume, body oil, or soap can literally transport your mind, body, and soul somewhere else if you are open to it.

because of that, i started creating ‘spell oils’ for lack of a better term, that are geared toward creating the setting in which i wanted my spell or craft to function. they create the setting for me, as a powerful visualization tool that amplified my intent and i find they are quite potent at getting me the results i want from my spells.

and then i began bwitch. it started out as a creative project, something to let my inner artwitch out to play, but it morphed into something much more powerful: a movement, an ideology, a purpose. and so, there is my abbreviated story of witch > self-oppression > witch again.

if you’re like me, and have experienced a re-awakening for any reason, you may be returning to practice your craft from a totally different perspective than you did at an earlier time in your life. and i think that’s cool. we should all be evolving.

if you have a re-awakening story, i would love to hear it (or even feature it)!

a general protection spell for these weird times…

so, wow, things are kinda strange for all of us right now, right? I’m sure there’s nobody reading this (if you’re reading it in March 2020) that hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at this point, in some small or large way.

Protection is on everyone’s mind. Whether its protection from illness, protection from economic disaster, protection from social unrest, or other possibly terrible outcomes we may all be afraid of at this time.

I’ve put together a very basic protection spell that you can use as is, or which you can adapt to further personalize for your own needs.

If you want to read a little bit about protection spells in general, or want something you can do quickly that does not require anything other than yourself, check out this post on what protection spells are.

What you will need:

  • an oil or two of your choice. These oils are great for protection magick:
    • basil
    • cedarwood
    • geranium
    • lemon
    • oregano
    • sandalwood
    • thyme
  • an herb or two of your choice. These herbs hold great power and symbolism in protection magick:
    • basil
    • black pepper
    • coriander
    • fennel
    • garlic
    • lime
    • rosemary
    • there are lots of others, so please feel free to substitute based on your specific needs!
  • a pot of water or a mortar and pestle (choose one, you don’t need both)
  • if using a mortar and pestle to grind your herbs and oils, I recommend getting a small piece of fabric (at least 6″x6″) and a string, in which you will place the contents to keep with you or to hang above the entrance to your home
  • salt, to cast a circle in which to work

How to cast the spell:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Optional: you can dab a few small drops of each of the oils you’ve chosen onto your forehead, heart, belly, wrists, or other places on your body before beginning. I’m a huge fan of scent magic, and find that our sense of smell can play an enormous role in how powerfully we channel our energy and get into our best state of mind for spellcasting!
  3. Gather all of ingredients
  4. If using a kitchen pot, sprinkle a circle of salt around you and your workspace (this is probably the space immediately surrounding your stove). Fill the pot with ~2-3 cups of purified, spring, or distilled water. Place a couple tablespoons of each herb and 5-6 drops of each oil in the water. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. If using the mortar and pestle, sprinkle a circle of salt around you and your workspace. Place a tablespoon of each herb and about 3-4 drops of each oil in the mortar. Grind them together thoroughly, turning the mortar bowl clockwise as you do so with your free hand.
  6. As your spell mixture either boils or is ground, feel free to call upon any deities or energies with whom you work or feel compelled to entreat with, then repeat the following words five (5) times:

“Encircle [name what/who you wish to protect] in your mighty arms

Protect [name what/who you wish to protect] from all harm

Reflect back and return all ill

I have spoken, this is my will”

7. If you are boiling on the stove, leave your mixture to boil for at least one hour afterward, permeating your home and all its corners. Hint: sometimes I let this cool off after a couple of hours and then put into a spray bottle, which I save and re-apply to the doors, windows, and passageways periodically throughout the next month. If not saving to spray later, dump the content out into your garden or other outdoor space to return the herbs and oils to the earth.

8. If you are using the mortar and pestle, scrape your mixture from the mortar bowl and place into the center of the fabric scrap. Bring all 4 corners of the scrap together so that it makes a pouch and tie the string around the fabric to create a sealed charm bag. Keep the bag with you, give it to the person you are protecting, or place it near the entrance to your home, depending on your desired target of protection. When you feel like you no longer need this, or if it has been a year, empty the contents of your charm back to the earth.

it’s finally ok to be a witch

Throughout history, the witch was often a symbol for a woman who lives by her own terms, and embraces or embodies the traits, thoughts, or behaviors that the rest of the social group or society want to embrace, but do not, for fear of stepping outside the normative established culture.

Witches were often very independent women. Witches were women who marched to their own beat. Witches were women who didn’t need men to run their lives. They made their own way.

And they were a threat to a heavily patriarchal society systematically created, built, implemented, and maintained by organized religions, all of which promoted the concept of the one (male) god.

No more divine feminine for you guys. And while we’re at it, let’s burn anyone who disagrees.

Estimates of the number of (mostly) women (but some men and children) who were persecuted and murdered during the witch hunts of history across the world put the total number of deaths between 100,000 and 1 million people.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that the UK even formally and officially de-criminalized witchcraft.

But despite these advances in religious freedoms in the Western world, there are still many societies where the practice of witchcraft remains outlawed. And what constitutes witchcraft can vary widely from place to place.

In the United States, there has been a resurgence of interest and embrace of the Old Ways since the 1940s, with everything from Wicca, to Paganism, to Satanism, to Druidry and beyond finding its way back into the milieu of belief systems and personal practices.

With this explosion of self-expression through religious or spiritual beliefs, we now find ourselves in an era where its totally okay to be a witch (at least, that’s what you want to believe). Some friends of mine that live in certain parts of the US still experience social ostracism, harassment, and even threats for openly practicing their religious beliefs that do not jive with the majority Christian system that persists here.

If you fall into that category, just know that you’re not alone. The beautiful thing ab0ut the Internet these days is that where we lack physical community and fellowship, we can find loads of it virtually.

bwitch was started with one goal in mind: support the free expression of humanity through spiritual, religious, artistic, political, and all other means. If you’re into that, and you also like cool witchy shit, consider subscribing to our newsletter so you can be the first to find out about new products.

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