A Witch's View - What Makes a Home?

Because of my ability to work from home, I have the benefit of being able to avoid certain stresses. I don't worry about traffic or car problems.  The weather is generally not a concern of mine when planning my work week.

I'm also pretty lucky that I have a fantastic partner who supports my need to be creative.  He allows me the freedom and the understanding to do all the crazy things that I do.  I tend to spend a lot of time making jewelry.  I do dabble a bit into soldering but my passion is weaving the wires. It is so relaxing to me.  Recently I made a few pieces that I really loved.  I have shared them on here before and one of them is actually sold already but I can't help but share it again.

Photography and Jewelry by Renee Sosanna Olson

This piece really spoke to me.  It spoke to me about protection. While I was weaving the wires together I thought about the wrapping of the copper around the glass eye. Copper is well know for the healing properties it possesses.  I leveraged that along with the knowledge that comes from seeing clearly what is around you. The friends that are behaving as enemies or the family that is behaving as a foe. Using the eye as a way to see what you really need to see, you can open up a channel of knowledge simply by allowing the eye to see what you have been blinded to.

Many people use the adage "Home is where the heart is" , to me I'm one that doesn't give much thought to the structure that surrounds my belongings. A house is just a vessel that I use to keep my stuff from getting wet. At least it always had been.  Last year Hurricane Matthew came through and wiped out many people here in Seven Springs.  We lost our vardo, which took away our ability to travel to our events.

Flood Oct 2016 - Renee Sosanna Olson

Now we're looking at the possibility of resettling.  It leads me to ask what exactly is a home? What do we need?  We're looking for a place with protection from the elements, but also a place where we can live with like minded people.  A place that we can afford but also a place that offers protections for people like us. We want to be around people who think like we think and care like we care about those around us.

Since moving back to NC, my childhood home, I have found that being close to blood relatives does not make a place home. As many of you know I ended up caring for my mother in my home a few years ago and I have just now gotten over the negativity she brought into my life.  At the time I placed her in a nursing home my younger sister got mad at me and pretty much disowned me. This past Christmas she came to my cousin's house and broke down in tears. I have to admit I didn't feel as connected to her but I thought I would give it a try.  My birthday is next week.  She has messaged me once on Facebook since then.  I really believe if I was that big a part of her life she would have reached out a bit more.  It is something I long for, but have come to understand that we just do not have that type of relationship.

Kallan & Renee

Ideally what makes a home is a place where you are safe and cared for.  A place where you can count on those around you. A place where someone remembers your birthday or calls you just because they want to talk to you. A home is where your family is. Not blood family necessarily but those who come to your defense when you're under attack.  They offer themselves up to help you when you are down and they want to know what your day is like. Just because they love you.

Renee, Kallan & Elijah

I will be going home soon.  Our walls will change.  Our address will be different.  Our lives will be happier.  I'll need one of those little signs that says "Home Sweet Home".  And don't you worry, on the back will be a nice little eye, just to help me keep my eyes open to the world around me.

My Life... transitioned.

People have no idea what I live through each day.  They don't know what at any point my life could take a turn.  A traffic accident, could take my life down a spiral that I could not escape.  You see my husband is Trans.  That means that our life insurance policy could be challenged.  Our marriage could be challenged.  Our world, because we live outside your norm could be upturned.  Because we choose to life differently than you. Why?  Why is that?  Because your religious text believes that people cannot be trans?

I'm so sick of hearing what you think is ok.  I'm so sick of having to marry my partner 3 and 4 times ot make sure it fits in your book of being ok.  I'm over it.  Stop it.  We worry about sickness and death. We worry about if our insurance will cover us.  WE worry about so many things.  Our partners, they are our partners. Step back and think about what would happen if someone demanded you legitimatize your wife?  Can you?  Would you?


I love who I love. I do not seek  your approval.

Love is love is love.

Witchy Wednesday - Protection from Harm

We have heard the old saying, "A Witch that cannot hex cannot heal."  I am a firm believer in that. Healing to me is a form of proactive protection.  We need to be able to set up wards and mirror negative energies back out to those attacking us.  This week I'm going to reference The Big Book of Practical Spells - Everyday Magic that Works by Judika Illes. I highly recommend picking up her book and supporting all of our witchy authors!

Judika has a section of this book dedicated to protection spells. From creating a magical garden of protection with dill, clover, gardenia, juniper and rose to bodyguard dream pillows you can find a good spell in this book to cover just about any situation.

The Scandinavian House Protection Amulet is one of my favorites.  Judika instructs the reader to form a cross with birch twigs, bind them with red thread and add crystals or roots to intensify the protection aspects.  Something simple and easy. - page 157

There are times however when you need to pull a bit deeper into your mojo to get those shields up.  If you have an attack from another witch or when that protection need to be from those in your own family. Along with mirroring spells and protection salts I often will use acorn magic to help keep those who should be close at a distance.  I'll share with you this week my basic protection from family spell.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

4 tea lights for the 4 directions
1 main pillar/taper candle (white) I keep this in the center of the 4 tea lights)
1 taper candle (red)
1 small jar or vessel that can be buried in the yard
Acorns with the top intact (you'll need one for each person who is attacking you)
1 raw chicken egg
1 bundle of sage
1 incense stick (Myrrh, Angelica, Cedar, Dragon's Blood, Clove, Juniper, Lotus, Sandlewood)

Use the sage to cleans the area you plan to work in.
Light the four candles from top, clockwise and recognize the directions/elements and welcome them.
If you call the quarters or request the presence of deities this is a good time to get that mojo working.
Light the center candle and focus your mind on that flame.  Welcome the magic into your body.

Take the marker and put the initials on the acorn of the person from whom you need protection. Repeat for each person on separate acorns.

Light the incense stick from the center candle and use the flame to light the red taper. Focus your energy on bringing the power of the elements, the magic of the directions and the strength of the deity/magic you called in the opening circle into this red candle.  This candle is now charged.  It is your power source.

Carefully hold the candle in one hand and then drop a single drop of red wax over the initials on each of the acorns. See yourself silencing the harm that is coming from each acorn.  Watch the wax encase the negativity being sent to you.  Focus your mind on stopping the hatred coming from its source.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

As each wax dot dries drop the acorn into the vessel you have chosen to rid yourself of this energy.

Take the egg and place it inside the vessel with the acorns and close it tight.

Close your circle as you normally would. - For me I simply reverse the process, extinguishing each candle in a counter clockwise manner and thank the elements for their presence.

The sealed jar should be taken outside and buried in a safe place and left alone.  If you can't bury the jar immediately, place it in the freezer until you can.

And that's it.  That's the best way to take care of yourself from family who is trying to harm you. I use acorns as they represent family ties and connections. The wax acts as a binding element to stop the harm from coming in and sealing it in the ground buries that connection.

Again I always believe that the best spells come from within so be willing to look up ingredients and find the right candle colors or herbs that will fit your specific situation the best.

Hope this is helpful to someone out there.  I had the feeling someone is getting some harm from their family.  Hang in there.  Protect yourself.

Macro Spring - A Witch's View

Here it is, the middle of February and I have my windows open.  I have on a short sleeve shirt and am outside taking photos of my budding plants.  The weather certainly has gone a bit haywire from just a few years ago.  We're expected to reach 79 degrees today.  Unseasonably warm for eastern North Carolina.  But, far be it from me to look a gift horse in the mouth. So I went out side with my new macro lens to test out some close ups with my camera.  Here's what I ended up with.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Witchy Wednesday - Disagreeing with Pagans

Over the last ten to twelve years I have been exposed to many types of people in the Pagan-ish community.  I say Pagan-ish because the term Pagan is often time up for dispute as to what actually is and is not Pagan.  When I use the word Pagan, I am referring to any person who has a spiritual (or magical) path outside the three major religions.  Judaism, Christianity or Islam.   To me this encompasses with Witch or Warlock as well as those following Wicca or Heathenry.  In today's instant comment world and with the anonymity of the computer screen we are able to say whatever we want with pretty much little or no regard for the person on the other side.  Be it inside or outside this community at times it is blatantly obvious that people have lost the art of debate, discussion and rebuttal.

The real problems that people have are the same that happen in face to face debate however they escalate so much more quickly online.  As a person who has been on the interest since its creation, I can say that I have see the pendulum swing widely left and right on this issue and how has centered itself in the middle of a constant state of outrage. There's usually only one emotion in online disagreements and that is complete disdain for others.  We have loss the art of debate.

The main issue I see with online debate today is that the parties to the debate fail to debate the issue or topic at hand.  Instead, they resort to the typical school yard bullying tactics of name calling. Nearly ever encounter I witness inevitably one party calls the other a troll or attacks their family or background. This is not something that Pagans don't jump on the bandwagon for either.  One person calls another a fluff bunny or attacks their path directly resulting in the No True Scotsman fallacy which spirals out of control into an assortment of cherry picking, false analogies and other faulty generalizations. 

When strong personalities come into play online discourse quickly turns into real life attacks. A simple disagreement or difference of opinion can jump directly into parties making threats to the livelihood, business or reputation of the other. A quick search on Google reveals that all too often we have plummeted to the bottom of the barrel in our need to be right, our desire to silence the opinions of others on a social media platform.

With the changes in our current political climate in the United States, there is so much to be passionate about.  Many are commenting on things that they simply just do not understand. The fail to understand what things like Religious Protection laws and will actually do to the families of  United States Citizens. Illegal immigration is a serious situation for both the individuals fleeing their own country but also to the infrastructure of the United States. We do need a strong immigration policy. We do need to allow people to believe in the deity or the option to have no deity as they see fit. We do not however need to allow people to persecute others based on their faith.  We do not need to allow illegal immigrants to be abused by employees or those who may push them into the sex trade with out the ability to reach out to us, the United States for help. There should be, and can be balance in what we say and what we do.

We have a choice to make as this year rolls on and we begin life under this new era of government. We need to have a strong look at ourselves and our values. What do we stand for?  What can we do to make the world a better place? How can we get our message our into the world without falling victim to the online hostility and rhetoric that is so prevalent today?

For the most part Pagans are pretty forgiving types of people.  Yes, that is a generalization. We want others to be happy.  We want to live and let live. We don't care what deity you follow or what magic you practice.  We are for the most part very caring loving, caring and we will fiercely defend those we feel have been wronged.  We just need to find a better way to deliver our message to the masses to ease the possibility of misunderstanding, distrust and anger.

What do you think?  What can we do to ease this season of discourse in our community today?  Is this a new thing?  Do you think people take things too seriously?  What would you do if presented with a personal attack on your livelihood after an online disagreement?

Rude or attacking comments will be deleted.


Glass, Wire & Magic - A Witch's View

This week I wanted to spend some time showing what I have been working on with my jewelry.  I met a gentleman in a wire weave group on Facebook who makes these amazing glass eyes.  Marcel does really fantastic work and I am very lucky to have connected with him. If you are looking for great quality and super fast shipping I highly recommend working with him.  These pieces I wrapped in dead soft copper and then tarnished it for a rich look that brings out the detail of the weave.  These pieces are available for purchase on my Facebook page as well as my Etsy Shop.  I currently only have 3 available.  They are all one of a kind and will not be reproduced.

When everything lines up just perfectly on these pieces I like to attribute this to a little luck, a lot of skill and a dash of magic.  I hope you enjoy!

Photography & Jewelry by Renee Sosanna Olson

Photography & Jewelry by Renee Sosanna Olson

Photography & Jewelry by Renee Sosanna Olson

Witchy Wednesday - In the Woods

It was a pretty challenging week last week.  From the infighting among other Pagans and Witches about the election and immigration to trying to deal with the forced estrangement that my child has put on me to some pretty significant changes at work I feel like my head will explode.  When hubby sees me getting to this level of stress he usually comes up with something to break up my day and help me get my mind back into a level place. For me home and family has always been really important. Unfortunately at this time I don't really have anyone in my family of birth that I can confide in. As this election weighs heavy on my heart, I have found that I can't really talk to any of them. It is so sad, and yet pretty typical.  Frankly we really didn't share a great deal of closeness before. This election just sort of codified the whole thing.  I even thought I would have a closer relationship with one of my siblings after a two years of isolation but yet, that didn't happen either.

Yesterday was a huge fight within the Pagan community which further demonstrated to me that there are just some people out there that no matter what you do, they will always be out to attack. There's nothing you can do about it. The choice is either to make yourself available for that attack or sever those ties and move on.  When I get to this point usually I end up needing a release. So today we took a walk around Cliffs of the Neuse State Park.  I took some photos and decide to queue them up for this weeks Witchy Wednesday.  I hope you enjoy this walk in the woods.
Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Politics & Facebook - A Witch's View

This week has been pretty tumultuous in politics.  We have seen the POTUS actually ban an entire group of people based on their national origin which directly violates out Constitution. While everyone seems to have an opinion on this action, I believe few seem to actually realize the real implications of what this means.  This changes what American is to everyone one around the globe.

What is interesting here is that Reagan is the Conservative saint and yet they seem to have moved so far away from their path.  Some may say much like Christians today who scream ProLife and then say no to refugees or starving children.

On issues like gun control, abortion, racial relations and so much more the access to information about our friends and family has never been so immediately available. When we visited our family we didn't really know how they felt about specific things.  This is, in my opinion the whole, ignorance is bliss situation.  Facebook has made it so easy to see that people you love are racist or leaning a little too far left for you.  The power of a simple Facebook Like can change the entire course of Christmas dinner. Even to the point of people being killed over posts.

Recently a friend of mine, who I worked with for several years in real life, posted their concern at how Conservatives are being demonized by Liberals.  They said that Liberal were guilty of doing what they accused Conservatives of doing and it was wrong.  This particular friend did not vote for Trump and felt wronged due to everyone blaming Conservatives/GOP members for the massive swing in rights that is happening right before our eyes. When I mentioned that for the most part, I was surprised at the missing Conservative voice in the shouts for action they said that it was no different than asking all Muslims to condemn ISIS.  I thought for a moment and then agreed.  Even though we would love to hear from our Conservative friends and family on this, we're just not going to.  And you know what, they don't have to.  Thirty years ago we would not know who our friends voted for or who they supported. We wouldn't see their like to a Facebook page supporting White Nationalism. We wouldn't know they were OK with LGBT rights being taken away.  We would sit obliviously at Christmas dinner, tell them we loved them and go about our day.

Social Media and Facebook specifically has given everyone a voice.  A loud, and sometimes obnoxious voice.  We have keyboard warriors and home row bullies coming out of the woodwork to share their opinions, even if we don't want to know them. Everyone seems to have an opinion on something today and with this change in climate in American it seems to now be OK to promote hatred, bigotry and infighting at every turn. From a little restaurant in South Carolina to a yarn shop in Tennessee, we get information and misinformation immediately.  We have to look at this information and determine if it is something we need to respond to or not.  We have to see our brother like a post that says Trans people should not be allowed to use the bathrooms of their gender and weigh our response.

So what can you do?

The first thing you have to do is understand that people have a right to their own opinion. No matter how much you disagree or even how wrong that opinion might be. You have to decide if you can not only accept that opinion but also be able to engage with that person in a safe manner. Sometimes it just isn't possible to sit down at Christmas dinner with someone who you know feels that you are not equal.  And quite frankly I'm not suggesting that you do. There comes a time in life when the student becomes the teacher. Before you worry about should I go over for a visit, ask yourself what do you want from this relationship? What do you need? What do you have to give? If you were not related by blood to these people, would you want to be around them on a daily basis? With those questions answered you can decide if you want to move forward with it.

Not everyone is OK with Uncle Joe's drinking on the weekends or Cousin Ryan's constant belittling of his wife. You can remove yourself from the situation and end the drama. I never recommend confrontation on hot button issues. Usually this only ends in fights. If you have friends and family that you can talk to about these issues you are probably not the person I'm writing to. Discussion is great, when it can be civil.  Be sure to take care of yourself.  There is a reason why so many people have families of choice. Be with your family of choice. Be who you are and remember to protect yourself.

Be kind, be honest, but don't be a victim.  You can control social media simply by turning off the switch.

Witchy Wednesday - What to Write?

I have to confess, this Witchy Wednesday topic is proving to be a challenge for me.  I am having a lot of real life struggles getting in the way of me completely a solid blog post each week. Frankly our political system is in turmoil and it has me completely off my game.  Not to mention I have a major project going on at my mundane job and the stress is completely through the roof.  Over the last week I have had three commissions come in for BaubleSmith and they have been pretty challenging pieces. So over all I am totally maxed out.

Here's a little piece I'm working on.  This was the beginning weave.  I have one completely finished and the second one started.  I think they are going to be amazing.  As soon as I get approval from the client I will share the finished pieces.

Photography & Weaving by Renee Sosanna Olson
Glass Eye by SpiritBearGlass@outlook.com
I like to get lost in my weaving.  Last night, after a long day at work and a huge struggle with folks on Facebook about politics, I really needed to spend a little time with the wire.  It soothes me.  I am so pleased with this first piece.  

I did however have a flash of brilliance in my day.  My wonderfully amazing sister sent me my birthday presents early.  She sent me an Echo Dot.  I love it.  I LOOOOOOVE IIIIIIIT!!!   It is absolutely the best birthday present I have ever had.  It does everything from telling me what time it is to telling me a joke.  It will even sing me a song!  It is even seeded with questions and responses that are simply amazing.  No really, say - "Alexa, Inconceivable"    :P

So not so witchy, but yeah  a little witch.  If nothing else I had a smile appear out of thin air.

Rabbit Rabbit - Happy February.