What is Initiation?

and, more importantly, why should you do or participate in an initiation?

What an Initiation Is (and is not)

First, initiation simply means a beginning. It is the initial statement or commitment to someone or something. It can be a private and solitary act or one done in front of one or more other people.

In a spiritual or magickal context, initiation is usually a formal declaration to a mystical pursuit, whether it be a specific school of practice or belief, or to a local group, such as a coven or occult organization.

Many of us think of initiation and visions of Hollywood-esque rituals come to mind in which everyone is wearing robes, torches burn in a darkened chamber, virgins get sacrificed, and blood oaths are sworn.

In reality, however, initiations are much more symbolic and (usually) less bloody. They are an event that signifies a transition between the initiate’s life before stepping on this path and the rest of that person’s life, physical and spiritual.

If you are initiating into a group of any kind, it is important to understand up front what is expected of you and what you should expect from others during the ritual or ceremony. This information should be transparent at all times to you.

Any person or group that will not share with you at a minimum expectations of events is probably someone you shouldn’t be initiating into anything with.

Why should you initiate into a path or tradition?

There comes a point on the journey of every occultist, magickal practitioner, witch, heathen, pagan or other spiritual person that they feel compelled to dedicate themselves more formally to a particular deity, path, practice, ideology, school of thought, belief system, group of like-minded peers, or other organization.

Not everyone wants to be part of a group, however. Sometimes we self-initiate to a particular path that calls to us. A really common example in many I know is that of Luciferianism. Luciferians can be both theistic or atheistic, but regardless, many seem to be (mostly) solitary practitioners, seeking knowledge and enlightenment on their own terms and in the ways they feel most comfortable.

Many of them self-initiate with perhaps a private ritual to dedicate themselves to the path and the pursuit. This is no less meaningful or ‘real’ than initiating in front of a group. It is as serious and real as the person initiating and their intent in their actions and words.

Regardless of whether you self-initiate or with a group, initiation places responsibility and commitment on you to the path you are choosing. You are stating that you will commit to this path or this group or this educational pursuit in a way that you cannot just forget or blow off. Saying something out loud gives it power. You are making your intent known and stamping it on your soul in a way.

Most schools of magickal or occult tradition have an initiation requirement and for several reasons. First, they are selective about to whom they will give instruction on the mystical or occult arts. Not everyone should pursue that path for a number of reasons.

Second, they want to ensure that initiates are serious about their commitment. Prior to the initiation, there are usually a series of tasks the initiate is expected to complete or demonstrate some knowledge or proficiency in, as a means of ensuring someone will put in the work necessary to master the skills and knowledge they seek.

And last, it creates a sense of community and connection in groups to perform initiations. These often demonstrate that the initiate is willing to submit to the group’s authority and expertise, putting everyone on the same playing field, so to speak.

If self-initiating, all of these reasons may still be true for you, but you may simply be initiating to a path or pursuit that does not quite fit into the confines of any of the pre-organized sects or schools, groups or covens, and perhaps you need something more personalized and eclectic. There’s nothing wrong with that option either.

How to Self-Initiate

I won’t go into the process of group initiations because there are far too many to discuss and each has their own unique systems. If you prefer to seek initiation into a group or school, contact them to find out how best to begin working with, learning from, participating, and so forth in order to eventually initiate. Most will not let you initiate first thing.

Self-initiation, on the other hand, can be a very powerful and uplifting ritual for you. Before planning anything else, define specifically what you want to initiate into.

It’s important here to acknowledge that you cannot initiate yourself into a closed belief system. For instance, most Afro-Caribbean systems are considered closed, and initiation can only come from a designated practitioner or leader within the system or organization. So, please be respectful of any of the systems which require you work through a designated spiritual leader before being allowed to practice or participate on your own.

Let’s say, however, you want to self-initiate as a follower of a specific deity (from an open system), or initiate on the path of spiritual enlightenment. Identify your path and purpose and then consider what type of ritual you want to perform. Do you feel most comfortable outdoors? Is the deity in question associated with a specific location, or profession?

Start to put together a vision of what you would like your initiation to be like and what you hope to accomplish during it.

Include a list of any herbs, oils, crystals, or other correspondences important to your path. A good all around recommendation for initiation to a spiritual or mystical path is frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood (incense and/or essential oils).

Gather a candle(s) (black and white are fine if you’re not sure of what other color may be appropriate) and any offerings you want to leave either for a deity or just to the land on which you are performing your ritual, even if indoors.

If you want to write out a statement beforehand, this is recommended. I sometimes find myself tongue-tied in the moment, or I think of exactly what I want to say beforehand but I’ve forgotten it all by the time I arrive at the actual moment I need it.

Sit quietly and meditate on your path for as long as you need. Try to picture what you want to do, who you want to grow into, how you want it to change your life, and any other important points you want in your consciousness during this.

Light any candles and invite any spirit guides or deities to be present. State your intentions, what you specifically intend to initiate and commit to, and anything else you feel is important. Leave any offerings, play music you feel is relevant, and/or share a drink or food; thank your deities/spirits for coming, dismissing them respectfully.

And that’s pretty much it. Following on, make sure you provide yourself a reasonable system of checking in on your progress and commitment so that you can feel as if you are keeping to your promises.

Ideas for Self-Initiation

Bath rituals

Baking a loaf of bread with herbs representing your new path; eat some each day for 7 days

Plant a garden to represent your new path or in dedication to your deity(ies)

Hike to a quiet place in nature and leave offerings along with your written commitment

Plan a 28-day ritual involving each of the 4 main moon phases (new beginning, growth, manifestation, inward reflection/cutting ties with the old)

What is clairtangency?

There are a number of ‘extra’ senses that humans can have or develop, and they are referred to collectively as the ‘clairs’ which comes from the French and means ‘clear’ or ‘to make clear.’

You may be most familiar with clairvoyance, which is what most people think of when they think of the term ‘psychic.’ Clairvoyance is the ability to see things other do not or cannot. Some people lump clairvoyance and claircognizance into one, but others consider claircognizance (the ability to know things without knowing how you know them) a separate sense altogether. I believe these two can overlap or exist exclusively, depending on the person.

But there are others clairs that you see in yourself or others, t0o:

Clairaudience: Being able to hear things that others cannot (might be voices, sounds, or even music), or receiving psychic information through sound/hearng

Clairgustance: Being able to taste things that others cannot, or receiving psychic information through taste. This could manifest as tasting certain flavors when you are receiving a message from spirit or when something is about to happen

Clairalience: Smelling things others cannot, or receiving psychic information through scent

Clairsentience: Feeling things others cannot, but through the sense of emotions, rather than physical touch.

And then, we come to clairtangency, which is the ability to know things or receive information through physical touch. In some people, clairtangency overlaps with clairsentience or empathic abilities, and in others, it might be separate, or complemented by another clair, such as clairvoyance.

Clairtangency is most often experienced in those who are untrained through touching objects and suddenly just knowing something, or receiving an image in our mind. Some may even receive visions with sound or other sensory information.

I have personally experienced clairtangency overlapping my empathic senses. Probably the most profound experiences I had with this was strolling past a used bookstore I love, and perusing the rack of free books outside on the sidewalk.

My gaze was drawn to a book of the Classics and as soon as I reached out and touched the book, I was overcome with a heavy, sticky, sorrowful emotion. It just oozed off the book and seemed to crawl up me. I put it right back down immediately and had to center and ground myself and disperse that energy. I have no idea who had it before and what they experienced to leave such a strong imprint on that book, but I noped on that one.

How can you develop your clairtangency abilities?

All humans have the capacity and potential for one or more clair senses, some come easier to some of us, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong if you have any, all, or none of those senses partially or fully present for you.

For developing clairtangency, you may find that if you are already an empath or sensitive to the energetic currents of people, places, and things, this sense may come more naturally to you, particularly if your senses are heightened by touch.

But even if you are not, you can grow this skill gradually. A great way to do this is to find a couple friends and each swap a personal item. Hold someone else’s item in your hands and try to connect to the energy on it. Meditate with it if needed, or simply still your mind and open yourself to receiving information. You may get nothing or you may get weak images, or even strong sensory information like images, sounds, colors, scents, or other.

I would start by first letting information free flow to you. One of the first things people sense with this exercise is either an emotion or perhaps a color that may pop up in their mind. Makes notes after each session about all sensory information you received, no matter what it was.

I find the easiest way to build the connection between me and the object is by touching or holding it and visualizing pushing my own energetic field around it, and letting its energetic field overlap with my own, sort of mingling the two. As am empath, emotions and emotional currents come naturally, so I pick up on those most easily, but my other clair senses are not as strong (only for my own lack of developing them).

I will usually get an emotion that comes through and I’ll feel it out, interpreting my initial impressions without judgment and without trying to insert my own perspective or experience. Just let the information come and sort it out later. But this is an example of more than one sense (empath + clairtangency) overlapping and working in tandem.

You can also do this in places like antique stores, thrift stores, or used book stores. My only caution here is that you have the potential in those places to open yourself up to lots of information you neither want nor need, and which cannot be independently verified. For instance, lets say you touch a vase in an antique store and suddenly smell roses. It could be this vase usually held roses when it was in use by a previous owner, or it could be your mind conjured that scent because you associate vases with roses.

When developing this sensory skill, it is best initially to try to gather information from objects for which the owner can verify or corroborate the message(s) you are getting. That is a critical element to making sure you learn how to distinguish true information from something your own mind has inserted to fill a gap.

This is why I recommend doing this with a person who can tell you if the messages or information you receive is correct. That feedback allows you to begin recognizing psychic downloads more easily.

Blood and Milk: A Full Moon in Cancer Bath Ritual

This week I hope you’re feeling all the feels like I am, because it’s so fabulous, right? Unless you’re an earth sign that doesn’t feel as at home in your feels (Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo, I’m lookin’ at you 😉 ). Maybe I’m biased because I am a Cancer myself, but I’m personally loving it.

But let’s say that you need to feel things every once in a while, as we really all do. Let this week’s full moon in Cancer be one of those times. The Moon is at home in Cancer, which is ruled by it. This is all about those delicious emotions. And 2020 has been a year of….emotions, if nothing else.

Why not go out with a bang as this year ends, the final Full Moon of the year is in THE sign for feeling things, and we can wipe clean that slate of everything we went through, setting a strong foundation for a more stable 2021?

This bath ritual will help you tap into those emotions and channel them into something you want them to be, or something that can help you get what you want, or simply just offload them and wash them down the drain as this year closes out.

I designed this ritual to be both cleansing and empowering, hence Blood and Milk.

Blood is well known for its power in magick and ritual. It represents life force, power, energy, and the element fire. The ritual calls for dragon’s blood essential oil or fragrance oil, but you can certainly substitute a few drops of your own blood for that. Please do not use anyone else’s blood or blood of other animals for this particular ritual, as this is about you.

Milk is commonly used in ritual or magickal baths as a purifier and I’ve explored that a bit here. Historically, this is only attributed to animal-based milks, but I do know of vegan witches who have used plant-based milks such as coconut or oat milk in place of cow milk/goat milk. I can’t speak to whether it has the same intended effects or outcomes personally, though. So experiment with what works best for you.

What you will need:

  • 1 cup milk of your choice
  • 5-10 drops of dragon’s blood oil, fragrance oil, or a few chunks of resin
  • optional: a few drops of your own blood (using a diabetic lancet is the most sanitary and easiest way to obtain this, please do not collect your own blood if you are not sure how to do so safely without harm to yourself)
  • 2 Tbsp rue*, fresh or dried
  • Lilac blossoms**, dried or fresh, any color

What you will do:

  1. Run your bath as you normally would. I like to light candles of various symbolic colors around my tub and turn out the lights. I usually ask for any deities I feel are relevant to my working that night to attend and share with me.
  2. Add all the above ingredients to your bath and swirl around to mix well.
  3. Climb in!
  4. As you sink into the water, think of what you want to cut the chords from or let go of from this year. You might even want to make a list beforehand, and read it aloud or silently to yourself. When I do this, I usually light it on fire after reading it and then drop it in the water before I burn myself, but you can decide if that is safe or appropriate for your situation.
  5. Next think about what energy or emotions you want to call to yourself. Calm, peace, happiness, love, compassion, lust, ferocity– whatever you feel you need more of in your life. Feel those emotions as deeply as you can while you’re in the bath.
  6. Play some music you like, sing to yourself, show yourself love, masturbate– whatever you feel is representative of the emotions you’re feeling right then and the ones you want to face head on, or even those you want to tap into or call to yourself in the coming year. Make this about you.
  7. Stay in there as long as you need to feel cleansed of the past and ready for the future.
  8. You got this, witch.

*I add rue here because rue helps us cut ties and undo connections. She is a wise old crone that knows what we need, not necessarily what we want. She can unbind, uncross, and unblock us. If you feel a different herb is more appropriate for your needs here, please substitute as you desire.

**I add lilacs here because lilacs have so many magickal associations, among them abundance, prosperity, but also repelling negative energy, malicious spirits, and breaking through hardships or difficult times. If you feel another flower suits you best here, please substitute as you desire.

A Drink for the Yule Season

While most of us celebrate Yule only on the Winter Solstice, Yule is actually a season. If you have northern European ancestry, your ancestors likely celebrated Yule for a period of 3-10 days, depending on where they lived and what their cultural customs were.

The first day of Yule in 2020 is December 21st and the last day is January 1st. Throughout that 11 days, any custom you celebrate for Yule is appropriate, so don’t stress over doing things only on the 21st. I know some people who plan a series of family-oriented things or rituals each day to represent or otherwise celebrate the season as long as possible.

Whatever you decide, drinks are almost always part of the festivities, and if you choose not to drink alcohol, most Yule-themed drinks can be made non-alcoholic.

Here is a recipe my husband and I made up, which we nicknamed ‘Krampus’ because why not?

What you will need (makes 3-4 standard mug-fulls):

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 orange slices
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp Allspice
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • optional: 1/2 cup Scotch* (the smokier/peatier the better)

What you will do:

  1. Heat all the ingredients except the Scotch on the stovetop in a pan and bring to a soft boil. Remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes, then stir in the Scotch if you’re adding it.
  2. Garnish each mug with one of the oranges and any of the cloves if you want.

*We used Lagavulin 16, as its a nice smooth Scotch with just enough peat and smoke to really complement and contrast the sweet of the juice and cider. Any other Scotch would probably be fine though. You could also optionally substitute 1/2 of the cider with mead.

A kitchen witch spell for good luck

As this year comes to a close, I’m struck by where I was this time last year, as I’m sure most of us can say, not even remotely anticipating what was really to come.

Around this time each year, as Yule moves closer, I start to re-examine my year that’s finishing and think forward to the new one, and what I want to accomplish, achieve, learn, and how I want to grow.

In case ‘good luck,’ is on your list of things you’d like to see come your way in the next months or year, this kitchen spell is simple and easy to perform, and will really pick up the energy of your home, leaving it feeling brighter and more welcoming, ushering in good luck for you.

I’ve tried to include ingredients that you should be able to find any time of year, but also that won’t be fresh flowers you may not be able to find right now, as it is winter for most of us.

What you will need:

  • A thumb-sized cut of fresh ginger, chopped or 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp peppermint leaves
  • 1/8 cup vervain pettles (you can substitute rose in a pinch)
  • a pot
  • enough water to fill the pot at least halfway
  • optional: cloves or cinnamon, cedar tips, orange slices

What you will do:

  1. Fill a pot on your stove about halfway with water and bring to a gentle rolling boil, then lower to medium heat.
  2. Add your ingredients and stir clockwise seven times slowly, picturing luck pouring into your home as a bright, glowing light, as you repeat:

I call luck into my life, I call luck into my home

3. Once you have made seven rotations with your stirring spoon and chanted the phrase above each of those seven times, leave the pot on the stovetop to simmer as long as you want.

4. You can choose to throw out the spell components once you’re done, or you can let them cool and take them outside, returning them to the earth, thanking them for their assistance and energy.

goddess spotlight: Sigyn

Sigyn is a goddess in the Norse pantheon and is referred to as an Ásynjur (an Aesir goddess). She is associated with patience and loyalty. In the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda, she is said to wait patiently by her husband, Loki, while is is bound and restrained in captivity.

She is also the mother of Vali and Nari (sometimes also spelled Narfi). When Loki is bound in the underground cave by the other gods for killing Baldur, his son with Sigyn, Vali, is turned into a wolf who then kills Nari, his other son. Nari’s entrails are used to bind Loki in place, after which they harden to iron.

Her patience is demonstrated by holding a bowl over Loki’s face to collect the drops of venom from a venomous snake which has been suspended over him. As the bowl fills with venom, she must move it away to empty it, which causes some drops of venom to fall on Loki’s face, and he writhes in pain, leading to terrible earthquakes.

She is also considered gentle and compassionate.

Correspondences of Sigyn:

Color: Green, Blue, White, Silver

Zodiac: unknown

Associations: banishing, commitment, compassion, fidelity, forgiveness, Imbolc, loyalty, marriage, sacrifice, strength, victory, Yule

6 Magickal Affirmations to Grow Your Witchy Power

What are magickal affirmations?

Magickal affirmations are something probably many of us overlook, regardless of the stage of witchy practice we are in. I know witches and occult practitioners from novice to advanced that use this method to great success, so it would seem that its not just limited to being new at something.

Affirmations are simply positively-oriented statements that we repeat in our heads, or, for even better effect, out loud to directly and consciously change our thinking, perception, and eventually our reality.

Magickal affirmations are just applying this concept to enhancing our magickal abilities or building magickal skills and habits that we particularly want to focus on.

Orienting our thought around the acquisition of a skill or the building or a skill or ability not only puts it in the forefront of our consciousness, it also creates a direct energetic connection between our mind and our energy around this skill or ability.

How do affirmations work?

I like to think of these as a spell you do on yourself.

Affirmations create that conscious connection between our mind and our energy. This could be thought of as bringing our conscious focus to something as opposed to passively practicing something.

Think about the difference between these two statements:

I wish I could learn to read tarot more proficiently.

or

I am proficient at reading tarot.

One of those is passive and the other is active and takes possession of the act or ability.

You can practice reading tarot all day every day, but if the way you consciously think about being better at tarot is the first statement, a wish, you won’t get nearly as far as if you confidently tell yourself every day before practicing that you are already proficient or skilled at it.

This can be applied to any other skill or ability in your magickal practice, and similar to the way we write out an intention statement in the present tense (“I have acquired $100 to pay this bill” vs “I wish for $100 to pay this bill”), we are setting an intention and sending it out to the universe, but more importantly, to our self that we can and will do this thing.

Usually, affirmations are something we repeat out loud a number of times, maybe in a mirror, or maybe just ourselves upon waking or before bed. Perhaps they are something you say while getting into a trance state before a spell or ritual, or maybe you use them while meditating.

If you are unable to say an affirmation out loud for any reason, you can always focus intently on the affirmation statement in your mind, perhaps in a meditative state, or just while envisioning the desired outcome. Repeat as many times as you feel you need, usually at least 3.

You can also write out affirmation statements in a journal or diary if you are unable to say them out loud. I feel like this method does not work as well for me personally, however, that may not be the case for you, so try it and see.

What kind of affirmations should you use?

First, I think its wise to pick one or two things you want to change. If you have 10 skills or habits you want to make changes to, it won’t be as effective to work on all of them at once, as your conscious energetic focus will be spread thin.

Pick probably two max and think of what exactly you want the outcome to be. There are two main types of affirmations that most people will use:

  1. Obtaining or enhancing a skill or ability.
  2. Changing a habit, whether good or bad.

There may be others, but most will fall into one of these two categories when boiled down to their most basic form.

Just like a goal should be specific, so should an affirmation. ‘I am good at magick’ is pretty vague, but ‘My spells are successful’ is probably much better.

So nail down exactly what it is you are trying to yield from your affirmation practice. I’ve included some options here below, should you not really know where to start.

I am a powerful witch.

This one is kind of vague, but also can be used as a general confidence booster when you need it. If you’re going through a particularly low bout of self esteem or maybe just new to witching, consider starting here for a good all around magickal affirmation. This can also be used when you need to develop better ownership of yourself and your space.

Being a magickal practitioner that doubts themselves or doesn’t own their power and space can set you up for not just failure, but backfires in your magickal efforts. So, believe in yourself, you powerful witch.

I can affect my life in positive ways.

This is if you feel powerless and perhaps don’t think you can make the changes you seek, or don’t think that you really have much influence. Maybe you still live with parents who don’t accept your path, or perhaps you feel like bad things are always happening to you.

You can affect your life in positive ways, and as soon as you start saying it, you can move on from where you are.

I wield ultimate influence over every aspect of my life.

This is a bit more specific version of the previous affirmation statement, and good for when you need to claim yourself, your space, and your power/energy. This is for those who want to break free of toxic people or places, who need to step into their power finally, and for those struggling to realize they are just divine beings inhabiting a physical shell.

I am a successful [insert whatever you want here- profession, type of witch, etc].

Let’s say you need something even more specific to happen. Perhaps you just started out as a writer. ‘I am a successful writer’ or even ‘My work will be published this year’ could be options here.

‘I am a successful kitchen witch’ might be more what you’re looking for, as you learn more about a particular path within magick and witchcraft.

My spells are successful.

I don’t know that this really needs any explanation. If you doubt your abilities and don’t think your spells will work, then they won’t. Try this magickal affirmation each day to build your confidence.

I will learn [insert subject or skill here- tarot, runes, to control psychic powers, etc].

Again, self-explanatory. What magickal skills do you want to improve at? Create a magickal affirmation statement to build your confidence and consciously grow the energetic connection you have to those skillsets.


Hopefully that gives you some ideas for where to start with magickal affirmations. These spells on yourself require nothing other than your focus and energy while saying or thinking them and over time, if you do this for a month or so, you should see yourself gain the things you are asking for simply by applying your conscious focus to those efforts.

Just go vote

It’s election day here in the US, and this election has been called one of the most pivotal in our country’s history. Record numbers of voters are turning out to cast their vote and let their voices be heard.

If you are unhappy with the way things are right now, go vote. Yes, it does matter. If 10,000 more people all decided their votes DO matter, that’s enough to swing a county or a state, even. If 100,000 people decided their votes DO matter, that’s even enough to swing a national election.

Just go vote. That’s all I have for you today.

5 magickal uses of cloves

It’s fall and winter is fast approaching. The scent of cloves will be all over the place, from retail stores, to holiday-scented candles, to baking spices.

What’s not to love about the way cloves smell? They (usually) make us feel happy, perhaps nostalgic, and even inspired. And there’s a reason for that. Cloves (Sygizium aromaticum) have long been used in kitchen witchery, hedge witchery, and folk magick because of their powerful properties.

Cloves are aligned with the element Fire, associated with Jupiter and masculine energy.

Cloves Attract Wealth and Financial Success

Perhaps one of their best-known magickal attributes is their association with money-drawing and wealth. And, after the year we’ve had in 2020, who couldn’t use a little (or a lot) extra money help?

A great way to attract money or wealth is to use cloves in kitchen spell. You can boil them all day on your stovetop with some fruit (oranges and apples work well), perhaps some mint leaves for additional wealth-boosting power, and some positive affirmations such as ‘I attract wealth and beneficial financial opportunities’ as you stir the pot throughout the day.

The scent of the cloves cooking with those other plants will permeate your house and raise the vibrations, welcoming in opportunities and drawing to you the wealth you ask for.

You can also add them to a floor wash, either as several drops of essential oil, or use the leftover boiled water from your stovetop pot and put it in a spray bottle. Spritz your floors, particularly those around the entrance to your home and mop lightly. If you have carpet, you can also spray the door frame and threshold.

Cloves Bring Mental Clarity

Tough decisions to make or feeling like you aren’t focused? Cloves can be used to clear your mind and focus better on what is important. You can also use them to help you sort out information to make better decisions.

Rub a drop or two of clove essential oil on your temples (you may want to dilute in a few drops of carrier oil) as you take a moment to clear your head and ask important questions.

You can also keep a few cloves in a charm bag or just in your pocket or purse as you go about your day to keep your thinking clear and unobstructed.

Cloves Ward Off Evil Spirits

Cloves are a purifying plant, which can remove spirits with ill intent from a space, so they are often used in banishing or purification incense or rituals for that reason. They can also be placed in charm bags to place above doorways or windows, or ground and sprinkled on your thresholds to ward off those who would do you harm.

As a purifier, you can add clove essential oil to a spray bottle of spring water and spritz in the corners of rooms, on mirrors, or other areas where energy stagnates or seems to get heavy. Cloves will uplift the energy those spaces and welcome in positive energy.

Cloves Attract Love

They are said to be an aphrodisiac and can be added to food you cook for someone you wish to fall in love with you, or can be used in love or sexuality spells to enhance passion and romance.

The scent of cloves alone may be enough to stimulate some individuals’ senses and promote feelings of love or sensuality, as the spicy nature of the plant naturally promotes passion.

Cloves Are Protective

Because they are shaped like nails, they have been associated with protection by several cultures. Nails are commonly used in protection spells or workings, partly for their iron content, but also because of their ability to bind one thing to another.

The principle of sympathetic magick applies to the protection abilities of cloves, as they are not made of iron, which is the principle reason nails are considered protective, yet they resemble and represent iron nails in nature, therefore can be used as symbols of such in magick.

Carry cloves with you if you need some extra psychic protection, place them above thresholds to protect spaces, or grind them and add them to dressings for candles or other items used in protection spells, especially those for protection from illness or bad health.

So, maybe this fall and winter, as you get lost in all the favorite scents of the season, try to pick out the cloves in all the candles, incenses, body sprays, and potpourri.

Magickal symbolism of spirals

In our exploration of symbolism and how it can be used in magickal practice, the spiral is perhaps something you’ll see in virtually every spiritual path, cultural tradition, or religious system. It can mean very different things, depending on the context and the system in which it is being used, but there are some universal consistencies as well.

Spirals in Mathematics

First of all, if you don’t think math and spirituality and occultism are not just intertwined, but deeply embedded in one another, think again. The spiral is perhaps one of the most universally understood examples of where math and spirit overlap.

The spiral is found throughout not just nature on Earth, but across the universe. You can find them in the horns on animals, hurricanes in the ocean, and the shape of galaxies outside our own. On an even more minute scale, you can find spirals in your fingerprints, the shape of the double helix of our DNA, and even some bacteria, which form in spiral shapes.

And these spirals mostly all conform to a certain logarithmic ratio of each new turn about the center to the others. This is referred to as the golden spiral, and based on the golden ratio (represented by the Greek letter phi, 1.618).

The fact that nature and the cosmos display this ratio so mathematically perfectly is thought to hold significant meaning, both symbolically and spiritually, and many different cultures and spiritual traditions observed this phenomena over time (and without the use of modern calculators, I might add).

Spirals in Spirituality

Which brings me to the next point. Spirals can be interpreted based on whether they appear to open from the center or are closing in on the center. Think ‘expanding’ vs ‘contracting.’

They are the archetypal path of growth and transformation, but also decay and dissolution. They can be both waxing or waning.

Examples of spirals commonly found in spiritual symbolism might include just spiral drawings, but also coiled serpents, spiral staircases (ascending or descending, depending on perspective of the viewer), vines twisting around something, a whirlpool of water, and even smoke plumes rising off a flame.

The double serpents of the caduceus are another example of spirals, actually a double spiral, which generally symbolizes the marriage of the two seemingly opposing symbolic paths.

Spirals are often used to depict a journey, especially a transformative one, or just transformation itself. They can also symbolize the winds, especially the transformative winds of time. And similarly, the destructive, but still transformative, whirlpool currents of the ocean.

They are also symbolic of shamanic journeying in many cultures, but they can be used to depict the psychological journey each of us experiences as our psyche, soul, and inner being experiences the same evolution repeatedly, but each time at an increasingly higher level. Profound, right?

The spiral also represents the cyclical nature of life. All life will attempt to expand in a similar pattern through the path of least resistance, which happens to (mathematically) take on the shape of a spiral, through the aforementioned golden ratio.

And last, the spiral is also a symbol of fertility, as life begins at the center, multiplying and expanding in cycles, such as those of the moon, the seasons, and birth/death.

How can you use spirals in your magickal practice?

I think there are so many options here, but most obviously, fertility spells or spells for bountiful harvests. Even if all you do is grow a few things in your home garden, you still want fertile soil and healthy plants, right?

You could also use a spiral pattern you trace during a ritual or spell for transformation. This would be particularly useful if you are experiencing some harsh and uncomfortable events in life through which you are meant to grow, but through which you need some guidance or simply strength. This may help with understanding that each level of the journey creates a higher ascent.

A spiral could also be used in your ritual or spell work with requests for balance. Because spirals are nature’s way of seeking a balanced growth, this would be an appropriate way to depict that.

And finally, I think spirals could be excellent for shadow work or exploring your shadow side. Using the spiral staircase concept in a descending perspective, journeying to the depths in order to address what may be holding you back, and then returning again is simply powerful.

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