Witchy Wednesday - Practical Magic - Chapter 1 - Part 2

This week we're looking at the second part of part one of Practical Magic (Kindle) by Nikki Van De Car. Instead of a traditional review I thought I would take the next few weeks to go into each of the chapters with you at my first read as opposed to reading the entire book and then giving a review.  You can find several of her publications at Running Press.

Photo Credit - Book Cover

The author continues part one by talking to us about Crystals and Auras. Being a wire weaver I spend a great deal of time working with different types of crystals. This book offers a list of some of the more common crystals, their chakra association as well as their most common uses. An example would be Amethyst for calm and Citrine for success and money.  Though not mentioned in this book, one of my favorite stones is a Labradorite.  Labs are considered to be a stone of transformation and magic. (source) It helps in reducing stress and anxiety as well as intuition and psychic development. 

Here is one of my favorite Labradorite pieces. At the time of publication this piece as well as many others are available on my website.

She also talks about how to choose and activate a crystal.  For years owning my shop I have often been asked to "charge" a pendant or pendulum for clients. There are several methods for prepping crystals. Often you'll want to start with a good cleansing.  Several methods include leaving them on a window sill in the light of the full moon or burying them in the ground over night to soak up the earth's energy. Choose a method that works best for you and remember, if you don't have a yard improvise. Get a little pot and put some potting soil in it and set it in the a cleansed area of your space.  One popular method is to dip your crystals in a running stream or river.  While I'm lucky enough to live right next to a river not everyone has that luxury.  A few alternatives would be to request some river water from someone living near a river and then simply pour that water out over your crystals or use sage smoke to symbolically pour the smoke (water) over/around your crystals. We have to remember that witches worked with what they had on hand.  When all else fails, improvise.

The remainder of part one is dedicated to Auras. It reviews the basic layers and colors associated with aura reading. Auras are basically colored fields that begin around two inches from the skin and continue outward.  There are seven separate aura fields and according to this author the color ranges from red to white.  With three shades at each color level.  For example this author suggests that orange indicates a healthy, vibrant personality.  Red orange is confidence, yellow orange is creative, intelligent perfectionist and muddy orange is indicating this person is in a "clogged" stage and is unable to move forward.  To cleanse these auras she refers back to the chakra section and recommends alignment to ease/erase these blockages.  

I found this video related to auras and thought it might be useful in learning about this process.  This video is not related to the book.

I became really interested in learning about aura reading after I noticed that I could look at people and see things about them.  Things they were hiding inside themselves. Just after my 20th birthday I noticed that when I would walk into stores I could see people who were abusive. I could actually see them hitting someone or hurting others as they walked past me in the store. It became very frightening so I started "turning it off" as much as I could.  To this day when ever possible I wear sunglasses so no one can see my eyes when I look at them.  When I see their secrets and we make eye contact they know I see their secrets. I decided to just not look at people. Today, I offer reading services on photos instead of in person readings. Still being that close to someone and being able to see what lies below is a bit scary for me.  One person a few years ago, showed me a picture of her husband's mistress but didn't tell me who she was.  She asked for a reading on her.  When I told her that the girl was very much in love but was being lied to by the man she loved she person got very upset. Not too long afterwards she ended our friendship.  I can only assume it was because my words hit too close to home for her.  Around that same time, I referred to what I was doing as aura reading. However after speaking with a very gifted reader I know now that this gift is very different from aura reading.  I cannot quite figure it out yet and will continue to work to figure it out. (link)

Next week I'll be going into Part Two of Practical Magic.  Remember you can grab your copy by clicking the links above and I will be compiling a giveaway from all the comments on this blog series and  I'll do a giveaway with this book, the matching kit and another book called Feng Crochet all by the same author.  

Bracelets - A Witch's View

So it has been a while since I shared some of my jewelry.  Here are some images from my most recent creation.  Hope you enjoy.

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

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Witchy Wednesday - Practical Magic - Chapter 1

I thought I would kick off this Witchy Wednesday with a look at Practical Magic (Kindle) by Nikki Van De Car. Instead of a traditional review I thought I would take the next few weeks to go into each of the chapters with you at my first read as opposed to reading the entire book and then giving a review.  This will give me the chance to take questions or even discuss the sections with you guys as I read them.  Since I'm doing it this way take a moment to post some comment or continue to use the "message me" form to add to the discussion.

Cover Art - Practical Magic (Running Press)

So the introduction to this book appears to be directed towards those who are not magical in nature. For example there is a sentence that actually says, "This book is directed to those who finds their daily horoscope weirdly accurate...." I think that appealing to that market is actually a great idea. More people need to get in touch with their spiritual level. I think that the less time I spend in front of a TV or computer the more connected I am with the natural world. Of course we all know that is where the magical world resides.

Image from Sage Goddess

Part one of the book is called Healing for Hedge Witches and begins with Chakras.  It goes into the history of chakras and then breaks down the seven main ones that we focus on giving the name, color, sounds and essential oils associated with each.  It suggests that meditation is the key to having harmonious balanced chakras. Personally I'm not a huge meditation person. I find that my mind rarely slows down enough to concentrate on any specific thing for a long period of time.  For example right now my desk has two computers, music this book, this blog and my tablet all open at the same time. I jump back and forth between them all. When I sit without anything stimulating my brain it jumps around so much that I cannot focus. Hubby says I've over stimulated my brain so now it cannot be at peace with itself. I don't disagree with that.  (Lol)

I like the section on balancing the individual chakras using the associate oils and crystals mentioned in the book.  For example the author recommends going barefoot to feel the earth or look for the color red specifically in food when balancing Muladhara, the root chakra.  A balanced root chakra can make you feel fearless and safe. Recommending cedar, clove and myrrh as oils to aid in balancing.

If videos are your thing, here are a couple videos I found related to balancing the root chakra. (Note: these are not mentioned in the book)

I found it interesting that the Sahasrara (the crown) chakra being blocked can add to nightmares, insomnia and migraines. I have many friends who have migraines.  It would be interested to see if doing work around their crown chakra helped with that.  According to the author working with the color purple and frankincense essential oil can aid in balancing that chakra but the best way to work with this chakra is through meditation.

Here are a couple of videos on balancing the crown chakra.

So there you have it. Chapter one of this book Practical Magic by Nikki Van De Car.  I think at the end of this review I'll do a giveaway with this book, the matching kit and another book called Feng Crochet all by the same author.  

Book Cover - Feng Crochet

I will choose a winner at random from the comments on all the blog posts in this series.  Be sure to toss a comment to be included.  I look forward to seeing your comments and reading your messages on this post!

A Witch's View - Cliffs of the Neuse

Back when the flooding came in I took some photos and videos around the Cliffs of the Neuse State Park.  I looked back over my blog and I neglected to share those.  So here are a few photos and videos from that time.

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

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Witchy Wednesday - A Dunkin Witch

So I sit here today looking at the world from an entirely difference perspective. My mind thinks about all the plans I had in place at this point and realizes that things don't always go as planned. I think about what is around me here.  Here in this physical place.  Here in on this land.  Where my feet touch the dirt. I found this house while driving here on a house hunting trip some 11 years ago. Spotted a sign next to a road and literally only walk around the outside of the fence before deciding to buy it.  That was before the dogs or the deities.

The house ended up being part of a town that through research I found out was founded by my ancestors. The riverbanks there at Seven Springs held in my family for some time.  I learned that just 1/2 mile down the road, a cousin who was raised with me like a brother lost his life.  The house sits at a cross roads. We bought the house though the lot was small via email and phone from California without ever stepping inside. From the first day we were visited by spirits.  Though the years the house has changed. We have changed. Our focus, our drive and even our own personae has changed. Changed for the better.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

I had thought I would be saying farewell to these walls and this land. You see, everything isn't sunshine and roses here. We have a rough political system. We could use more opportunity. I see roads with dead ends that have pretty awful memories for me. Reminders of a less than perfect childhood filled with anger and mostly pain. I was looking forward to moving away from those daily reminders of things I would prefer to forget. It turns out that sometimes you have no choice but to face demons head on.

You have to stand up and claim your post. Your land. You have to walk in and say, this is my space. No one else has power here. This is my energy and my life. You have the power to allow others in or out. You are control. You are the magic and you are the power.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

I always joked to others that one day, a long time from now, kids would talk about that old crazy witch down by the river.  They would tell stories of sneaking through my yard or seeing me out in the illuminated in the light of the full moon burying something, probably a jar! I'll be a river witch, sitting on the banks collecting mosses and frogs.   Even thinking of myself as a river witch makes me a little uncomfortable. Though a Pisces through and through, water in my face is not something I fancy. I believe my fellow witches out there can attest to how a dunkin witch is a witch having a very bad day.  (reference)

So what is all this about? What is this crazy old river witch talking about?  Only time will tell, deary. Only time will tell.

Till next time.... 

A Witch's View - A Trip to Winston Salem

As part of our house hunting we have traveled around a bit to see where we want to live and what areas are in our price range.  Recently we took a trip to Winston-Salem.  Here are some photos of the place.  We had a really good time and even found a Taco place that caters to vegans.  How cool is that??

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

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
If I can't live in Salem MA maybe I will live in Salem NC.   Hrmmmmmmmmm

The Kyballion - Lost to Me - Witchy Wednesday

So over the last three weeks I have been working with learning the principals of the Kybalion. I have tried several different methods. I started out reading a book and boy was that a mess.  I tried to listen to it via audio books.  You can find a chapter by chapter listing here.

Pretty soon I began to feel like I was in a Charlie Brown cartoon.

Next I found several different "teachers" if you will on YouTube to try to understand the message here.  Here is just a few of the thousands of hits that were returned on this search.

While I intended this blog series to outline the seven principals and then give my interpretation of them, the best I have right now is:

I just don't get it.  Maybe it is smarter than me, maybe I'm not at my spiritual level to fully understand this but for now, it is complete confusion.  And frankly I really tried to get it. If anyone would like to reach out to add a bit of clarity I am completely open to hearing your thoughts on this but for now, I'm just setting this aside.

My path has pretty much wondered away from deity worship and leads back more towards science, energy and learning about alchemy. Perhaps this is why I'm having issues with it. The repeated references to God and so forth are a bit of challenge for me.

In any event those following at home, please feel free to have a hand at reading this and feel free to come back and post your comments or even message me directly.  I'm intrigued at how many have re-shared, re-blogged and vlogged about this topic yet it is still so difficult to understand.

After having a listen to these things I finally found this video.  Not related to our topic but really actually higher than our topic.  The statement - everyone consumes more than what they need.  YES. This.  To me this is so much more understanding than these other videos.

Till next time...

Modern Witchcraft Book Review & Giveaway Winner Announced - A Witch's View

Our Giveaway Winners are:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to  Simon & Schuster we have two wonderful books by Skye Alexander to review and giveaway.  Thanks to everyone who entered and please be on the look out for future book reviews and giveaway.  If you would like to pick up one of Skye's Books you can head over to her page or to Amazon to grab your copy.

Happy Monday!

Coventry Creations - A Product Reivew - A Witch's View

This week I'm lucky enough to be able to share with you some of the amazing (and fun) products that are available Coventry Creations.  Coventry Creations is an endeavor headed up by Jackie and Patty. They describe themselves as the following on their website

Jacki has been studying ancient magical traditions and interpreting them for use in today’s modern world since 1992.  She is internationally known both for her award winning books and the Coventry Creations line of intentional candles, oils, and sprays.  Jacki’s earthy, practical approach to magic takes out the spooky and adds in a flavor of lighthearted humor.  Her studies in theology, tarot, herbalism, astrology, world religions, and psychology inspired her to write Coventry Magic and co-author DIY Akashic Wisdom with Patty.    Jacki is also co-host to “Keep it Magic Radio,” with Storm Cestavani, this bi-monthly podcast is hit with 10,000 + active listeners every show. 

Patty, is the co-owner of the Candle Wick Shoppe and Coventry Creations with her sister. Patty is a Reiki Master and Director of the Dharma Room Reiki Clinic which opened in September 2010.  It has always a dream of hers to give back to the community, one person at a time, in a way that would be personally rewarding and life changing.  Patty teaches reiki classes, founded the Reiki Healing Center, hosts a reiki share and clinic, and offers private appointments for advanced reiki healing.

In my research for this post I did some digging around and found some really interesting info on these folks.  First I was really impressed with the quality of the website and the information included in the box they sent me. I have been asked to do some reviews for shops that were pretty sketchy. I even refused a couple simply because I didn't agree with the ethical position they were in.  This is not the case here. Coventry Creations puts out a very positive energy and exudes professionalism.  Even the videos on their YouTube channel are fantastic.

Here's an link to Ask Aunt Jackie series on their YouTube Channel regarding cleansing your space. 

So let's get started in that box!  First let's talk about presentation. Ever get a box and your stuff was all disheveled.  This was not the case with this shipment from Coventry Creations.  I could tell instantly it was packed with care. Just look at how the outside of the box was labeled and taped. 

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
When I opened the box it has this lovely (and high quality, I might add) printed booklet right on top. No bent edges or crinkled pages. Classy all the way.  Oh, and when I opened the box, the smell was amazing. Those candles inside really lit up the joint!  (pun intended)

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Inside my box as I dug though the lovely black packing material I found a tall Money Draw Candle, a wonderful collection of votives and some whimsical Witch's Union items.  A coffee cup, a book and these fantastic little patches. I felt like I should bust out my jean jacket and begin sewing these on immediately. As bar of this pack I also had two packs of matches. I tested them out and the sticks on these are fantastic.  No more breaking at inopportune moments if you know what I mean.  LOL

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

 Here's a look at those patches.  You can pick up some individually and of course the awesome Witch's Union Kit has them included as well as the Coffee Cup, Matches and Book!

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

 Another look at my goodies with a shot of the Votives. These scents were just amazing. The burn time is great and I really liked the fact they were individually wrapped.  There's my coffee cup!  "Powering Up"   LOL Just love it!

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 Here's a shot of the Spell Caster Club Cards.  They were printed really well with a glossy finish. I loved the way they came together and I can see someone using these over and over again.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Here's what I got!

Witches Union Kit - Convetrycreations.com

Witch's Union Starter Kit - Link - Review - These items are simply adorable. It is a tongue in cheek view of our witchy world which I can totally appreciate.  My cup was solid and these little patches are just fantastic. Each one has a cute description on the back and my favorite has to be the Protection Invocation Patch.  After all who doesn't need a patch that calls upon the Dark Goddess for protection.

For more info on the Witch's Union check out this video from Jackie.

Votives -  Review - I loved the fact that each candle was individually wrapped. The attention to detail in this box was fantastic. When I opened up each votive there were no scratches and scrapes that are usually seen on candles being shipped. Great job here!  The burn time was fantastic and the smell. Just awesome!

Happiness (Yellow) - Link 
Ganesha (Burgundy) - Link
Dragon's Blood (Red) - Link
Sacred White Sage (White) - Link
The votives come in their spell kits too.  

Money Draw Blessed Herbal Candle - Link  - Review -  Arrived wonderfully packed and was a delight to use. The only recommendation I would make is to include the blessing that is printed on the candle wrapper somewhere else in the box as well. That way you don't need to worry about it if you tear the label when opening. Overall excellent product!

Spell Caster Club Cards - Link  Review - These were adorable and I can see how they would be really useful for a witch whose just getting started or who wants to have a quick reference sheet. They have a nice coating on them which I can see being useful for wiping down the occasional oil drip or wild magical accident.  I loved the vibrant images and the high quality printing on these.  Certainly a great addition to welcome a new member to your coven or just to have a little magical fun.

My final thoughts would be that this is a really great take on our magical world. The kits are great and I really love the whimsy that is being introduced.  The products are high quality and upscale. I can see how the dedication to producing a powerful product line and supporting that line with classes and online access to interviews with the owners are readily available.  You would be hard pressed to find this type of attention to detail in many of the shops (and products) on the market today. Take a moment to head over to their website, check out their blog and of course the YouTube videos by Coventry Creations.  I don't think you'll be disappointed!  Be sure to leave a note on their videos and if you like what you see, give them a thumbs up.  As a content creator we all live for a little note that says Great job!

You can find Coventry Creations at the following:

The Kybalion - A Study Series for Witchy Wednesday - Principles 3

"The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these, understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before who touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open." ~The Kybalion.

The Hermetic Philosophy is based on seven principals. I'm going to focus on the third this week. The Principle of Vibration.

"Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates" ~The Kybalion

Sound is vibration. Light is vibration. We are vibration. Nothing is permanent. Even death is a channel or a vibration to another place.

We want to stay in one place but everything changes.  I sit back and listen to this and think how simple this is but then it is so complex. Sometimes just when I think I have it figured out I hear another line or verse and then boom, I'm back at the beginning.

I found it really interesting how the separation from News, TV, adding exercise and eating meat help raise your vibrations.  Hubby mentioned how calm I seemed to be lately.  This resonated with me.

What do you think, what is permanent? What is vibration?