Rest In Peace, Margot Adler
Crossing The Bar ~ by Alfred Lord Tennyson
"Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.”
As a professional witch, I provide various services to the general public. These include but are not limited to spell work, cooking potions, performing rituals (coming-of-age ceremonies, birth rites, weddings/handfastings, funerals, exorcisms, seances, blessings, etc.), creating charms and tools, divination, and council.
To consult me about providing a service, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not accept everyone as a client: after discussing your circumstances, I will determine my involvement based on my own discretion. There are no types of magic I am inherently unwilling to perform – curses and love spells are often acceptable – rather each case is considered on an individual basis.
Then costs will be arranged. If money is a problem, I am willing to barter. However, my prices are generally low, but are raised with the complication, time, and consequence of the service.
I am willing to provide photo-documentation as proof of my service to satisfy a client.
I do what I do because it works. If a spell or potion is unsuccessful, then I haven’t done my job. I haven’t experienced this with a client before. If it does happen, you are guaranteed a full refund of the service fee. In that case, I will only retain the cost of any potential materials that went into the work.
Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have about the work I do or the services I provide.
Whaaaat does that even mean? I don’t know her love spells. If you have a question for Sarah Lawless, ask her yourself and she may choose to answer. I have plenty of love spells on my blog which can be found here, but none of them come from her. Sarah Lawless is just one witch, she has no public tradition that I know of. You can search her blog for spells she has written or shared if you want.
Jan Parker’s illustrations for the 1971 Peter Haining book, Witchcraft and Black Magic.
Air is the element of the East, connected to the soul and the breath of life.
Deities & Creatures Associated With Wind
In many magical traditions, air is associated with various spirits and elemental beings.
- Sylph - They are typically connected with the air and the wind - these winged creatures are often related to powers of wisdom and intuition. Paracelsus described these beings as invisible beings of the air. They are mortal, but soulless.
- Stribog - The Slavic god of winds, sky and air. He is said to be the ancestor (grandfather) of the winds of the eight directions.
- Tate - The Lakota wind god or spirit. There are four primary wind spirits, referenced in relation to the four directions. It is thought that the wind unites “all” in one spirit, and that eagles, who stand on the wind, are the carrier of vision. Tate is said to guide one through obstacles. As the invisible realm, wind connects past present and future, connecting ancestors and future generations , uniting humankind into the essential, eternal spirit.
- Zephyr - In popular lore Zephyrs are the guardians of the winds. Zephyr was the west wind in Greek myth, son of Aurora, goddess of dawn. He was the lover of Flora, goddess of flowers and together they cause the flowers to grow in spring.
- Thunderbird - It is considered a supernatural bird of power and strength. The thunderbird’s name comes from the common belief that the beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind.
- Skosrå - They are Swedish wood spirits that are present whenever a violent whirlwind appears and the trees are shaken to breaking point.
Gifts of Air/Wind
Breath is a divine gift, returned to the giver at death. The secret of breath is part of the magic of air. We take air into us which contains vital energy that some call prana and others chi. When we breathe in deeply we inhale this life force and rhythmic breathing exercises helps to attune you to the powers of air.
Inhaled air is the sustaining breath of life, while exhaled air carries the words, poetry, and song that communicate human ideas and knowledge. In many myths creation is brought to life when a god breathes into it. It was often thought that spirit could be blown into or out of people; demons were blown out of people.
The powers of air are also concerned with the intellect, the powers of the mind, knowledge [as opposed to wisdom], logic, inspiration, information, teaching, memory, thought and communication. Like the other elements, the powers of air can be constructive or destructive. The gentle breeze cools and brings the life giving rain, but it can become the destructive hurricane. It is for this reason that the magical symbol of air is a two-edged sword.
The voice of the air spirits is heard in the wind. There were many scared groves where the voices of spirits were heard in the wind whispering in the trees. The head of the alder was used as whistle so that the spirits might speak through it. The druids were attuned to interpreting these voices, and druid means ‘oak knowledge’.
People who have air dominant in their psychological make-up are flexible, versatile, dextrous, tasteful, idealistic, original, individual and tolerant. However, they can also be distant, self opinionated, easily bored, impatient, self-deceiving, superficial, indecisive, quarrelsome, manipulative, thoughtless, cruel, fickle, inconsistent, unreliable and two-faced.
- In Feng Shui, wind chimes are believed to bless one’s home with prosperity and happiness. Hang a set by your front door so that good energy will be brought in every time the wind blows. In contrast, in parts of Appalachia, wind chimes are considered a bad idea, because they call up spirits of the dead.
- Sailors had a number of superstitions about wind and air. In some cultures it was said that if a ship was becalmed at sea, sticking a knife in the mainmast would draw the wind to the sails, as would throwing a ha’penny overboard. Shooting stars meant the wind was about to pick up, and whistling aboard ship could call up an ill wind.
- In parts of the British Isles, tradition says a howling dog indicates that the wind is coming to take away the spirits of the dead.
- A shooting star shows that wind is coming from the direction toward which it goes.
- Do not fish when the wind is in the west; the fish will not bite.
- Direction of The Wind - The direction of the wind on New Year’s morning is said to predict prophesies about the coming year. Wind from the south, expect money and happiness. Wind from the north, foresees a year of foul weather. Wind from the east brings famine and bad luck, while wind from the west brings milk and fish, but the death of someone important. No wind brings joy and prosperity throughout the year.
Death (personification), is often given the name “Grim Reaper” or biblically, “The Angel of Death”. This entity has existed since the dawn of time, with sources reaching far back as the beginning of recorded history.
Death - General Mythology
In Norse mythology:
- Odin is considered the leader of souls.
- Valkyries escort dead warriors to the halls of heaven.
- In Germanic folklore Odin, who rides on a horse and wields a spear has all the characteristics of the ones associated with the Grim Reaper.
- Some historians also claim that Odin who was also called Grimnir led to the conceptualisation of the Grim Reaper.
In Breton Mythology:
- The personification of death is called Ankou.
- Legend has it that two horses pulled his cart which helped him carry the souls of the deceased.
- “The Ankou is the henchman of Death (oberour ar maro) and he is also known as the grave yard watcher, they said that he protects the graveyard and the souls around it for some unknown reason and he collects the lost souls on his land. The last dead of the year, in each parish, becomes the Ankou of his parish for all of the following year. When there has been, in a year, more deaths than usual, one says about the Ankou:- War ma fé, heman zo eun Anko drouk. (“on my faith, this one is a nasty Ankou”)”
In Slavic Mythology:
- The manifestation of death is a woman in white robes, and she has the power to put an individual to everlasting sleep.
Later, from the 15th century and onwards, Death came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a hooded, black cloak.
Although the Grim Reaper normally comes to those already dying, it has been noted that on rare occassions the Grim Reaper has the power to kill someone, though the entity rarely (if ever) does this out of malice - due to the Grim Reaper appearing in a vaguely human form there are many tales in which the entity can be tricked or bribed into freeing a person (which is where the phrase “cheating death” likely came from). For the most part however, the Grim Reaper was seen as unable to be reasoned with and an inevitable part of being human.
In Paraguay and in some parts of Argentina and Brazil, Death is considered a saint. San La Muerte, which literally means Saint Death, is venerated despite the fact that the Catholic Church does not acknowledge him. Saint Death is usually pictured as a skeletal figure holding a scythe. Unlike most personified symbols of death, San La Muerte does not take lives (unless otherwise requested by the devotee). Devotees make demands to this saint and sometimes threaten not to provide offerings until their requests have been granted. In Mexico and some parts of the United States, they venerate a female version of this saint called Santa Muerte.
- French superstition that states that the Grim Reaper would rise every Halloween at a cemetery on the witching hour (midnight) - once there, the entity would play a fiddle and summon the skeletons or ghosts of all the dead to dance until the rising sun forced them to retreat back to the grave.
- Never put a hat on the bed of a sick person nor a hanger on the bed of a healthy person, for this would invite the Grim Reaper.
- When alone on Halloween night, if one hears footsteps behind them, they are not to turn around as the Grim Reaper is following them; and to look at the Grim Reaper would cause death.
Hair has been a subject of folklore found in many cultures across the world.
Hair was an important ritual and spiritual symbol to the ancient Celts.
- Warriors wore their hair long and their beards untrimmed when they went into battle, sometimes treating it with lime to give a more wild appearance.
- Women’s hair was long as well, often braided or dressed; their hair was a symbol of feminine power.
- Red hair was especially significant, for it showed that fairy blood rain in the person’s veins.
- Mermaids lured sailors by combing their hair, and according to the principle of sympathetic magic, it was dangerous for girls to comb their hair when their brothers were at sea.
- Animal hair also had power, especially that of horses, which would come alive if put in water.
- Should a person, especially a child, be bitten by a dog, the wound had to be bound with hair from the animal to ensure healing.
- In Scotland, some people believed that there is a relation amongst magpies, your hair, and your time of death. If magpies steal your cut hair and use it for their nests, you are going to die within a year.
- For Native Americans, long hair represents strong spirit. They believe the longer the hair, the stronger the spirit.
- The Cree people claim that their hair is another part of their soul.
- The Sioux people only cut their hair in a time of mourning.
- Only certain people were allowed to touch one’s hair.
- In some tribes, it is also a symbol of knowledge, as it is a physical extension of one’s thoughts.
- Cutting one’s hair was considered a taboo amongst most tribes.
- “By attaching a lock of a loved ones hair, in your hair, or by carrying their hair on your person, one is able to carry the thoughts of their loved ones with them on their travels.”
- Braids symbolise oneness and unity.
- There were communities that used mixture of bear fat and soot to make their hair darker.
- There are good and bad days to wash your hair; Indians believe that you should not wash your hair on a Thursday.
- There is an old Indian tradition that widows should shave their head.
- In India it is a tradition to cut one’s hair in a temple at least once in a lifetime, for this rite enables destroying one’s vanity.
- In East Asia, long hair is a sign of youth and beauty.
- The Chinese Lunar New Year is the time where you should not cut your hair.
- People in China believe that by cutting your hair you will also symbolically “cut” your chances for prosperity in the New Year.
- It is also not good to wash hair in first days of the year as it is possible that you are going to wash away all of your good luck.
- In Victorian Britain, people used to believe that long hair showed a woman’s fertility.
- In Lancashire, people used to belive that you should put one’s hair in fire to find how long he or she is going to live. Bright fire meant the person is going to live long.
- In most parts of the United States people believe that if you pull out one white hair two will grow in its place.
- There is also American belief that the colour of hair on woman’s neck shows the colour of hair on her future husband.
- In England cutting hair in the time when the Moon is waxing will bring you good luck.
- Do not comb or brush your hair by the window on a full moon - it is an invitation to evil spirits and you may become ill.
- Cut your hair during a storm for good luck.
- One should be careful where they dispose of their hair - if an evil person takes it, one could become a victim of hex.
Superstitions by hair colour and style:
- A red-haired person is widely held to have an irascible temper. This is in reference to the red-haired Judas Iscariot or the Norse invaders of Britain. Though he or she may also be courageous and it is considered lucky to run your fingers through someone’s red hair.
- Fair hair is a sign of weak nature.
- Black hair suggests great strength and virility, and is also considered lucky.
- Brown-haired people are said to make the best spouse.
- Those who are curly-haired are good tempered.
- People with naturally straight hair are said to be cunning.