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When I'm at home in Vermont, I never have to worry about whether I have what I need to do circle work or cast a spell. The whole house is filled with witchy things. If Martha Stewart came to call, she'd think someone had spiked her hand-squeezed lemonade! (Actually, if Martha Stewart were more enlightened, she'd realize that underneath it all she's probably a witch at heart.)
I keep a big basket full of herbs, stones, bones, and ribbons right at the foot of my bed. And in the kitchen I have a special cupboard stocked with oils, roots, and more exotic items like incense, fingernails, and hair. There are bottles and candles and goblets all over the place, and they're not for decoration. I use them. Every good witch has these things, and over time they accumulate conveniently so that you don't ever have to go looking for what you need when the full Moon rolls around.
Because I'm on the road a lot, and busy doing different things, I don't always have access to my cache of witchy paraphernalia.
Sometimes I'm away from home for a month at a time. And in between, like any other woman who has a life, I'm too busy to do formal rituals. Very often, the full Moon catches me by surprise, and on Midsummer Night, I may not happen to be casting spells in my kitchen, because I'm doing a horoscope or out with one of my boyfriends.
In the old days I was religious about setting aside certain dates to focus exclusively on witchcraft. Don't ask me what happened, but I am just not as obsessed with marking time in the traditional way any more. Something in me has realized that you just don't have to get that uptight about it, and at a certain level, if you're too rigidly correct about these things, it can take all the fun out of life. I also recognize that we are connected to cosmic forces all the time, wherever we are, and no matter what we're doing.
But the witch in me loves magic. And sometimes when I'm out and about and it happens to be a major cross quarter, I wish that I had something handy to work a spell with. If you're really tuned into things, it's easy to make magic with virtually nothing, but there are certain items it helps to have around.
The Portable Spell Kit
One day I woke up and realized that I could carry an all-purpose, portable spell kit in my purse and bring it along wherever I go, so that if for any reason I wanted or needed to do a spell or formally honor a cross quarter, I wouldn't have to run all over the place looking for a magic shop. In case you haven't noticed, the Christian Coalition has a lot more clout in this country than the League of Witches does. There are no magic shops in Greeley, Colorado, and they don't have one in Plattsburg, New York, either! If it's Beltane and you're out in the boon-docks looking for mistletoe on the eve of this important fertility celebration, you might as well be on a quest for the Holy Grail!
What follows is a list of magical items that I keep with me all the time. This is something I came up with out of necessity, and any witch who's on the go will love the idea–if she hasn't already thought of it herself.
The Portable Spell Kit
What you will need:
An empty Altoids tin
A one-dram bottle of musk oil
A small quartz crystal
A book of matches
A few multicolored birthday candles
Some Post-it notes
Some black thread
Some red thread
Life is pretty simple when you get right down to it, isn't it? With all the crazy things I used to do magic with, it amazed me when I realized that what's listed above will cover just about anything.
I use an Altoids tin because it's inconspicuous. When the security forces at the airport are rifling through my purse, they assume that I have mints in there and don't bother opening it up. But if they do, it's easy to blow it off. One time the guys at Denver International took a peek into my little tin. They gave me a look and I gave them a laugh when I told them I was a MacGyver groupie!
Those of you who aren't constantly having the contents of your purse inspected could use a bigger container. This would allow you to add more items and create a fancier kit. For instance, instead of birthday candles, you could carry mini-candles, which are better because they burn longer.
If you do most of your moving around in a car, you can keep all of your magic stuff right in the trunk. One of the reasons I work with an Altoids tin is that it fits in my pocket. If I'm at one of those highway rest stops and have to walk out into the woods a ways to work a spell, it looks less suspicious to have everything on my person. Normally the people in those places leave you alone because they think you're just out in the bushes taking a leak. But if you're walking around with a bumpy looking satchel, out in the middle of nowhere, some concerned citizen is going to think that you're a terrorist or a suicidal runaway. And they will either feel called to do their civic duty and report you, or to come out and deliver a sermon on the pros and cons of living. People are nosy–all of us are. The good thing about this portable spell kit is that you can bring it anywhere without attracting unwanted attention.
As far as lighting candles goes, all I can say is, use your best judgment. If you're outside and the fire wardens have put a ban on burning, don't even think of including candles in your magic. And if you're at the airport or in the subway station, forget about the fire element! You don't want to wind up in jail.
At the office it may be a different story. After all, there are candles on every office birthday party cake. And if no one's around, sometimes you can get away with it. But don't light candles in the ladies' room. Someone might interrupt you, and there are so many rules about smoking that you'd get snitched on for having a cigarette. If you're in a motel room, candles are fine, but it'll be less of a hassle if you ask for a smoking room when you make your reservations. People are weird about smoke and fire, so as far as this aspect of your on-the-go spell work is concerned, just be smart about it or it'll draw too much attention to what you're doing. And, of course, never leave a burning candle unattended!
I use musk oil in my portable kit because it's totally all-purpose. Musk works for love, money, success, and banishing. As far as oils go, you just can't beat it. It also functions to strengthen any spell you might want to do at a deeper level for your own spiritual growth. You could use patchouli oil instead, if you prefer it. Patchouli is another one of those oils that goes well with any type of spell.
Whether I'm at home or on the road, I always anoint my candles, so this is one use for the oil. I also use oils to anoint my "third eye" prior to doing any kind of magic. That space between your eyebrows is a portal to the higher self, and the oil amplifies the connection to the part of your brain that knows exactly what it's doing.
Anyone who does spell work has to deal with endless chatter from the pain in the butt that hangs out in her head and says things like, "You're crazy, this isn't going to work" or, "Who do you think you are?" This stuff comes up constantly, but with practice you learn to just ignore it. Charging the third eye functions to tune you in to the aspect of your consciousness that knows better than to be intimidated by what your mind thinks.
I dab a few drops of oil on whatever I write, too. That's what the Post-it notes are for. When you do a spell, it's good to make up a rhyme that captures the essence of what you're wishing for. Don't worry–you don't have to be a Pulitzer Prize winner to do this. As long as your heart's in it, any old rhyme will do.
And if you have a mental block about your poetic ability, you can express your intentions in plain English, or use symbols if it's easier. Even though Post-it notes are tiny, if you condense your thoughts and write small enough, you can pack a lot of words onto those little slips of paper. If you're outdoors and you've run out of Post-its, you can use leaves or birch bark instead of paper.
The thread is good to have because, after you've written whatever you're going to write, you can fold the paper and tie it up to "bind" the spell, or symbolically "wrap things up," so to speak. Besides, you see, once you're done with a spell, you'll have this folded slip of paper floating around in your purse. If you keep it untied anyone could find it, open it up, and read it.
People are less inclined to snoop when things are tied up. They may think you're obsessive-compulsive or slightly insane, but they won't bother to read it.
If you were working in the privacy of your own home you would burn your spells, and all the information on the paper would go up in smoke and merge with the Unified Field, that matrix upon which physical reality is woven. But lighting things on fire when you're at the office could get you fired. Burning little pieces of paper in public places just isn't a good idea. That's why I keep thread around.
Pens are pretty easy to come by, so I didn't bother to include them in my kit list. I have been in situations where I couldn't get my hands on a pen, so if you want to play it safe pop one of those little pencils that come with every board game into your kit.
The quartz crystal is there for insurance. When you're on the road or at the office, time is always of the essence, and when you're in a hurry it's hard to focus. This is the only drawback to on-the-go spells. Sometimes you just don't feel that you have enough time to drive the point home.
The nice thing about quartz crystals is they have the capacity to store information like little tiny computers. They're very receptive to thoughts, and you can program them quite easily with your mind. So whatever you are trying to accomplish with any spell can be formulated clearly with a few words, and the thought form, or intention, behind it can be put into and held inside the crystal. This is why I say crystals offer a form of spell insurance. They actually hold all the thoughts that you may feel too rushed to concentrate on.
Before you charge the crystal, you'll need to clear it. Crystals are so receptive to thoughts and other forms of energy they absorb everything in the atmosphere around them. The ones you buy at the store, for instance, are full of the vibrations of every customer who came along and touched them. These extraneous energies need to be cleared or removed or there will be no room in the crystal for your intentions. There are a million ways to do this. The quickest way is to blow on it. You can also step into any rest room and rinse it in the sink. If you're outside near a stream or at the beach, stick your crystal in the water for a few minutes and you'll be all set. Once the quartz is cleared, you can program it with your intentions.
All crystals have six terminations, or facets, that meet at the point. Each termination can hold one "program." I never overload a crystal with more than one program, but it can be done. The average person has one major issue that is "spell-worthy" at any given time. And it's best to handle one thing at a time, for a couple of reasons. Everything is connected, so if you effect changes in one set of conditions, the result will spill over and alter every other aspect of your life as well. And you sort of have to wait and see how the chips fall before doing another spell.
For instance, if you program a crystal to attract a lover, and a millionaire shows up, this circumvents the need to charge the same crystal to attract money. The other thing is that we all get neurotic sometimes, and this keeps us out of touch with what's important. Even though you may feel as if everything is screwed up, ultimately life is much simpler than we allow it to be.
If you're in a chaotic space, charging a crystal with six different intentions suggests that there's too much fear fueling the work at hand. It's unfair to expect a crystal to handle what you can't, so get centered and clear about whatever the main issue is before you do any crystal programming. When you know exactly what you want to manifest, hold one of the terminations up to your third eye and send those thoughts right into the crystal. Carry it in your pocket or on your body for as long as it takes the spell to work. The quartz will hold those intentions for you until they come into being, or until you clear the crystal again. You will be quite surprised at how effective these beautiful little earthstars are.
Circles, Salt, and Other Things
I haven't said anything about casting circles when you're on the go, and this issue needs to be addressed. Every spell works better if it's done inside a circle. It's inappropriate to sprinkle salt around the office. You can't do it at the airport either. In these situations your best bet is to cast a circle energetically. Just put it out there with your mind.
If you're working outside, you can cast an energetic circle or draw one in the dirt with a stick. At the beach all you have to do is draw a circle in the sand. And there are always rocks and twigs and leaves out in wooded areas that are excellent for creating circles with.
If you do have salt, use it. It takes approximately one hundred packets of salt from McDonald's or Wendy's or Burger King to cast a circle. Whoever's in line behind you might make a few comments about your blood pressure, but this is what you're up against if you're one of those people who absolutely has to work with salt. As a more realistic alternative, you can carry one of those cardboard Morton's saltshakers in your car or purse at all times. If you're desperate, run into a convenience store or a grocery and get a cheap cardboard salt and pepper set.
You can connect with the Four Directions mentally too. You'd be surprised how easy it is to do this. Once I "see" the circle in my inner vision, I sit quietly and send my thoughts to each of the Four Directions and call the Guardians in silently with the same words I would use if I were speaking out loud.
The Four Directions are the four cardinal points of the compass, which correspond to the four elements: North (Earth), East (Air), South (Fire), and West (Water). They form the cross of matter, or the axis upon which physical reality is suspended. The Guardians that watch over each direction need to be invoked, or called in, every time you cast a circle. Their presence supports the spell and protects you from any negative energies that might interfere with its outcome. In a formal ritual you would call in the Guardians out loud. When you're on the go, it's more appropriate to call them in silently, with the same reverence you would have if you were doing this in the privacy of your own space. I have included instructions for calling in the Guardians in an appendix at the end of this book. You can follow them or make up your own method.
As far as an Athame goes, I use a Swiss Army knife. A Swiss Army knife is good to have around for a million other reasons too. It's not a cool thing to bring to the airport, however, because the security people confiscate things like this and send you off to reckon with stricter, more unpleasant individuals. If you're hellbent on using an Athame at the airport, a plastic knife from one of the kiosks is your best bet.
Herbs, Weeds, and Other Good Things to Know About
What about herbs? This is one of my favorite subjects. We all use herbs in our spells, and there's no need to exclude them from your magic while you're on the go. Herbs amplify everything you do. After you anoint your candles, if you roll them in the appropriate herbal mixture it gives your spell an extra kick. Wrapping the right herbs inside your Post-it notes is also a good idea. The thing is, you never know what you're going to need, and it's a hassle carrying weeds and powders everywhere you go.
I have been doing this for a long time and one of the things that I've figured out is that you can find exactly the right herb wherever you happen to be. What follows is a list of easily recognizable things that grow everywhere or can be found anywhere, and chances are that you can recognize them on sight.
Included in the following list is a description of what spells these particular herbs, fruits, and weeds can be used for. This information covers any type of wish a person could possibly have. All you have to do is memorize it–otherwise you'll be stuck having to bring this book along wherever you go.
Apples–Apples are the most magical fruit. They're used in love spells primarily, but they're also good for attracting money. The Tree of Life was an apple tree, so this fruit can be used in spells that have to do with promoting longevity or gaining knowledge. Just eating an apple can turn into a love spell if you do it with intent. You can also carve your intentions right into the skin and bury the apple, toss it into any body of moving water, or walk up to the top of a hill and cast it to one of the Four Directions.
Excerpted from Witch on the Go by CAL GARRISON. Copyright © 2005 Cal Garrison. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Chapter 1 Simple Basics
Chapter 2 Everday Magical Acts
Chapter 3 Spells for Getting Around
Chapter 4 Witchery While You Work
Chapter 5 Witch on Vacation
Chapter 6 Planes, Trains, and Broomsticks
Chapter 7 Winding Down the Witch
Appendix Calling in the Guardians
Posted May 10, 2012
This book was great! I love the spells and sound advice that she gives. This woman is no fluffy bunny who is pretending to be a real witch. This book is for witches that want a good solid book and has some experience in the craft. I'm picking up her other books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 17, 2011
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Posted March 21, 2011
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