Now on Facebook!

Hello Friends!

SidheSidhe and I decided to join the 21st century, and have started our very own Facebook page 🙂 If you are on the Book of Faces – please check it out, and give us a like! Midwest Witches

We will be updating, and adding things as time goes on. Thanks!

With love and light,

Iona

Dancing at Lughnasadh: Table for One

Hello Lovelies!

T-minus three days until July is over AND the first of Harvest Festivals is upon us! Do you know how you are celebrating Lughnasadh (Loo-na-sah) this year?

Unfortunately, since it is not Beltaine, Samhain, or Yule… I have always felt the cross-quarter day of Lughnasadh (aka Lammas or Loaf-mas) is an often overlooked festival. Everyone knows it’s name, but no body really seems to get into the honoring of it. So let’s remedy that, shall we? If you are in a coven, talk to your fellow members about having a harvest themed potluck and bonfire! That is of course, if you don’t already have a ritual planned. Or do both! This festival is all about the earthy foods! But what if I’m not in a coven… How do I celebrate? Well, have no fear my darling, Auntie Iona is here to help you!

Lughnasadh is named for the Celtic (Irish) sun God, Lugh (rhymes with Hugh) whose name means “the shining one.” Lugh is a fantastic God, and gained admittance into Tara (home of the High Kings) because he was skilled in many areas, whereas most inhabitants of Tara were only skilled in one. Though he is divine, Lugh is believed to have a mortal father, and able to act as a bridge between worlds. (Information from Celtic Myth & Magick by Edain McCoy). Lugh is said to take the form of a human to worship among the Druids. He is the God of Harvests, Light, Metallurgy, and Fire; though most magickal needs can be assissted greatly by asking Lugh for help! #1 Tip: Lugh LOVES Himself some whiskey, so if you want to ask for His assistance, offering Him some is a good opener! He is an Irish God afterall! 

At Lughnasadh (August 1 or 2 depending on the year), we celebrate this grain harvest. This is the time of year that corn, wheat, barely, and grain are all about ready to be harvested for the coming fall and winter.  Lugh, as a God of the Harvest and protector/defender of the ill and weak (who might not otherwise survive the impending cold weather), is honored at this Sabbat through various means.

Some ideas of solitary ways to honor this First of the Harvest Festivals come from Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practioner:

***Arrange a harvest alter with wheat, barely, oats, fruit, or bread – perform a ritual to honor the God and Goddess of the Harvest, thanking them for their blessings this time of year. Lugh’s wife and Queen is Dana, just FYI.

***If any fruit is consumed in honor of the Sabbat, plant the seeds and see what grows! Imagine that the plant growing is a symbol of your connection to the Divine 🙂

***Make corn dollies

***Spend time in nature – visit an orchard, a field, a lake, or a well (please no trespassing in the name of the God or Goddess!)

*** One year SidheSidhe and I made Amish Friendship Bread, and spread the love around by giving some of the mix to our friends, and families. Since SidheSidhe had already started the process, we were able to bake some of the loaves on the day!

Some foods associated with the Lughnasadh Festival include: bread, berries of all kinds, apples, and corn. Locally grown fruits and vegetables are very easy to find this time of year. Maybe check out a local farmer’s market to get what you need for your own celebration! 

So there you have it – a quick and not-so-dirty run down on the upcoming Sabbat, and some easy ways to honor it. May Lugh’s light shine brightly on us all.

With Love, Light, and Blessings for Lughnasadh,

Iona

 

 

Wiccan Spells For Beginners by Naomi Hill

Wiccan Spells for Beginners is a short 50 page work written by Naomi Hill, published by Wiccan Spells Edition in 2014 and published using CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform in 2013. While the cover was eye-catching and the description intriguing, the fact that it was published through CreateSpace should have been an indicator that the book would fall flat when examined fully. The writing is simplistic, using short phrases instead of full sentences at times and reflects how some individuals speak, rather than how one should provide detailed information. The lack of editor is also evident in the plethora of incorrect information and misuse of terms.

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The first three chapters describe Wicca and the belief systems that the author attributes to Wiccans. This is where the author seems to confuse the religion of Wicca with witchcraft (the practice of spellwork). While the two do co-exist, a person can practice witchcraft and spellwork without following the religion of Wicca. So the explanation that Wiccans can also be atheist is not correct. An atheist can perform spells and do witchcraft, just as a person of any faith or lack of can. But generally, while still very open to beliefs and rituals, the religion of Wicca is duotheistic, with Wiccans believing in both a God and a Goddess figure.

In the first chapter that actually begins discussing spells (chapter four), the author uses terms and phrases such as white and dark magic, which technically don’t exist (though some people still use these terms). Magic is magic, it isn’t white or dark, but depends on one’s intent. If a person follows the Wiccan Rede then they do not do any kind of negative or ‘dark’ magic. Therefore, immediately following up the statement about magic using those terms with reference to the Rede made absolutely no sense. The author also uses the term ‘wizard’ in reference to a male witch. The term ‘witch’ is used to describe both female and male practitioners. From these small, but ignorant, mentions alone the book was nearly abandoned. There weren’t any mentions of spellwork until chapter four after all, and even then it was filled with inaccuracies (so many that I don’t have time to correct them all).

So from the statement on the cover of the book one would assume that this work included quick and simple magic spells and rituals that would improve your health, wealth, and relationships. It does include some spells, with chapters broken down into spells regarding luck, love, travel, health and success, personal power, which are so simple they’re almost childlike (though it’s not recommended that children do spells without supervision). Some spells do incorporate herbs, oils, and colors correctly in regards to meanings and connections (green = money, though can also mean health), others use items that have no magical connections or meanings (rabbit pellet? really?). It definitely would be best to double and triple check ingredients when doing any of the spells mentioned in this book. Intention and visualization aren’t mentioned until chapter nine, which is well after some people may have begun casting. Only one spell mentions any aspect of the God and Goddess, making this barely a book about Wiccan spells and more a book on general spells that also includes some (often incorrect) information regarding Wicca.

Reviewed by SidheSidhe

Time to Go to Work!

Hello My Dear Friends!

Can you believe that July is almost half way over? For that matter, can you believe the first of the Harvest Full Moons is behind us?! Lughnasadh is fast approaching, and I for one am… well, I’m exhausted and feeling rather blah… But with a little help from our friend Dorothy Morrison at Wicked Witch Studios, the feeling is melting away with each passing day.

Summertime is not my favorite. I don’t do well in heat, and I am prone to ear infections so this year the weather has affected me more so than usual. Try as I might, about the only thing I want to do when I get home after work is lay around and binge watch The Originals or Frasier on Netflix (I am multi-faceted, what can I say?? Haha!). 

All of that, ok well it didn’t change, so much as I got a bit of my spirit back when Ms. Dorothy posted her Spell of the Month on her Facebook Page. If you are on the Book of Faces, and not following Ms. Dorothy – remedy that, please. I’ll wait… Thank you!

This month, Dorothy helps set up those willing to work for the rest of the year and beyond with her July Wishing Bowl Spell. Since I had received both the Wishin’ Mojo Candle, and Wishin’ Mojo Oil in my Magickal Mystery Package back in May – it was time I gave my new products a try! 

It’s easy, just follow the link above! All you need is the candle, the oil, a bowl, and some coins. If you do not already have the candle, and oil, you can purchase them at the bottom of the Spell of the Month link. But, be warned! In order for this spell to work, you have to be willing to put in the effort. 

I am going to be honest with you… Ever since I received my Magkical Mystery Package, I have been hesitant to try the products. Why? Not really sure… So when this spell came along, I was not only feeling a bit meh about things, but Dorothy had already sent me both the candle, and oil!!! How could I not give it a try?! The Universe was definitely shoving me into a magickal direction, and I was more than happy to follow!

My findings thus far (having just started the spell last weekend)… The candle, and oil smell incredible! The quality is very good! My candle still looks new even though I have been burning it nightly for lengths at a time. More importantly than all of that though, is the immense power that I can feel as the candle burns. It is incredible. I don’t know how Ms. Dorothy does it, but this is some great $#!+ right here! The spell is designed to help set you up for productive manifesting in the future. With a new house, and wedding planning on my plate – I think this spell and my new wishing bowl are definitely going to come in handy!

If you give this spell a try, I’d love to know your thoughts on the Spell of the Month, as well as Wicked Witch Studios. Since SidheSidhe and I are fans, we will definitely keep promoting Ms. Dorothy and her products. But we’re always interested to know what you all think about various products, and approaches. Please feel free to share!

Well, my lovelies, my candle has been burning for a while. I should probably go tend to it, and then figure out dinner… The work of a Witch is never done!

With Love, and Light,

Iona 

Store Review! The Silver Wolf Treasures & Gifts (Independence, KY)

Good afternoon my lovelies,

Today I’d like to share my experience in visiting The Silver Wolf Treasures & Gifts, which is located in Independence, Kentucky. This area in Northern Kentucky is my hometown and might as well be called part of the Midwest due to it’s inclusion in the “Greater Cincinnati Area”. Iona actually came across a profile of the shop on The Witches’ Voice just prior to the store’s Grand Opening this past weekend. So we obviously had to hop on our brooms, fly down to Independence, and check it out.

First, some background. Independence is a primarily Republican and Christian city. Until high school I had never met anyone who practiced a non-Christian faith and even that one person also celebrated Christmas due to being in a mixed religion family. So to simplify, it was a community that lacked diversity in a multitude of areas. Working at the public library, when I first began searching for materials on the topics of Paganism, Wicca, and witchcraft I learned that most of these items usually went missing due to theft. It was assumed that strict Christians were stealing these items as the only individual who had been caught also preached against sins such as witchcraft. 

So basically I was very surprised that a shop was opening in my hometown. Granted a lot can change over the course of 30 years, but it still surprised me. I sincerely hope that they do not face the criticism or hatred other minority groups have had to endure. But this is all beside the point.

The Silver Wolf Treasures & Gifts was a cute little shop tucked next to a Subway. In my humble opinion, this is perfect due to me always craving bread after doing any kind of magic. It helps me ground myself. Upon entering, Iona and I were immediately greeted by the owner. Definite points for making the customer feel welcome and she assured us that if we were looking for anything specific she could order it for us. Just looking around you could see that many of the basics were available (for extremely reasonable prices!). There was a small selection of books, which I hope to see expand. There were at least three titles that I already owned, so I will say they have good taste. 

Besides books, they had a few tarot decks, chakra crystal balls, a number of decorative statues, herbs, stones, incense galore (both stick and cone), as well as bags and other useful tools. I was most impressed that they carried wands. While I’ll admit I haven’t been to a multitude of “new age”/”eclectic”/pagan/”whatever terms you prefer to use” shops I had never seen groups of wands for sale before. Maybe I missed those at the Renaissance or Celtic Festivals? They also had tables set up for tarot and rune readings. I’m always intrigued by shops that offer more than just items. Plus they had free tea!!

Overall, I was impressed for a store first starting out and did end up purchasing a tarot bag, a notebook, and a cloth for tarot reading. Spending more than $20 also got me a ticket entry into a raffle for one of their wands. (I hope I win!) My only suggestion would be to lose the hanging wreaths that are more geared towards people not looking for pagan materials (i.e. Bengals, UK fans, etc). Nice wreaths reflecting the Sabbats would be a lovely touch though. 😉

I wish them much success and will do my best to stop in again the next time I visit my parents!

SidheSidhe