Hello hello, and I hope everyone had a beautiful and blessed solstice. I’ve really enjoyed all the fresh energy, and the longer days and I’m not generally a summer kind of gal, but I have to admit I do appreciate the seasons. I love autumn and winter as much as the next witch, but absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I can appreciate the backyard barbecues and the farmer’s markets and the fireworks shows while I pine longingly for cloudy days and cold nights. We are gonna dive into the topic of the day in a moment, but first I wanted to read an email:


Good morning, Eli. I have been listening to your podcast for a while now and I love how comforted it makes me feel and the amount of knowledge I’m gaining from it. I’m new to this, and I relate to those who say that witchcraft never, ever crossed their minds but after learning more about it, it is something that was always naturally there. I could ask you a million questions based on my beliefs, where I’m at with them, and how to forge my own path without disregarding certain things I still hold dear. But, I’m feeling the desire to navigate this on my own as best as I can. 


There is one thing that concerns me, though, and I do need the advice of someone far more advanced than me in this, and I am truly worried to ask the wrong person because this is very real and serious to me. I feel drawn to witchcraft, it feels natural to me when I listen to you and read about it, and it fits so easily into who I am and what I love, but I feel frozen when it comes to actually practicing. 


I have seen dark figures, mostly in my childhood, but I have felt others. When my oldest son was a toddler, he saw things, too. My mother saw one of the exact same figures that I did when she was a child, and the story behind how we found out is a long and crazy one. At least one of my brothers seems to be sensitive to certain things, but we’ve never spoken in depth about what he’s experienced. I do know that what my mother and I have seen is not specific to a place and can appear seemingly anywhere. 


I don’t know what these things are, but because I’ve seen them and my belief in supernatural beings is so solidified because of it, I go to bed at night terrified sometimes that I’m drawing their attention back to me. I worry that practicing witchcraft will annoy them, or intrigue them, or whatever the case may be. I don’t even know what my specific question is, but I do know that I want to practice and any advice on how to make myself more comfortable and safe would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again for what you’re doing and for reaching out to people like me.


So, this witch’s family is clearly very sensitive to spirit activity. This is a very good thing, but I did advise her that she needs to exert control over it so that she doesn’t feel so vulnerable. And this goes for any of us when it comes to spirit activity around us. YOU are the witch, YOU hold the control, and YOU get to decide who comes into your space.


I suspect that the only reason you’re so fearful is because you haven’t tried to interact with these entities to discover what they’re all about. They’re not stronger than you and they can’t harm you. They may startle you if they show up when they’re not expected, but again, they cannot harm you. They just can’t. So try to stop giving them the energy of your fear. You can communicate with them on your own terms, find out who they are, what they want, and how you can help them (if you even want to help them, again that’s your decision to make).


I’ve done episodes on protection magick and creating amulets to seal up your personal space so that spirits and entities can’t come and go as they please, and this is where you need to begin. And I will link to all of those episodes in the show notes. Set up some strong defenses around your home, around your living space, around your bedroom (especially since they have your undivided attention at night when everything else is quiet) and around yourself. But there’s no point in NOT practicing because you’re afraid to get their attention. That ship has already sailed. They know you are aware of them, so you may as well set boundaries with them. When all else fails, all you have to do is put some power in your voice and loudly and directly command any spirits to leave your presence immediately.


Once you’re comfortable with this kind of defensive work and you feel confident about your ability to command your personal space, you can begin to try and communicate with them, but only if you want to, and only on your own terms. Cast a protective circle before you begin this kind of communication, and remember to send all entities away when you’re done, but I feel like this could help you remove the fear and hesitation you feel around your abilities.


And this is one of many, many emails that I’ve gotten from witches who are just so afraid of their own abilities and their own potential. And that is something I simply cannot abide. If there is one thing you should never ever fear, it’s yourself. If you’re concerned about unintentionally setting something into motion, then a great way to avoid that is to intentionally set something into motion. Intention, intention, intention. Say what you mean and mean what you say and don’t hide your light because you’re worried someone will see it. We all have a responsibility to shine.


So thank you again to that witch for reaching out, and if you’d like to write to me, please do so at eli@middleagedwitch.com, and you can find written transcripts of this and any episode of the podcast on middleagedwitch.com and you can find me on social media at @middleagedwitch. 


Today I wanted to talk about needlecraft and using it in our practices. I know that we have spoken before about this kind of thing, or at least we’ve touched on it. In the Spell Jars and Mojo Bags episode, we talked about how making our mojo bags ourselves, actually sewing them, can add a whole lot of energy and power into the work itself, regardless of the purpose of the mojo bag itself. The very act of creating the vessel that we’re going to use in our work is incredibly powerful.


And for that matter it’s the same when we’re sewing our own poppets. It does not matter one little bit how wonky it looks or how uneven the stitches are, the process itself of creating the poppet, and stitching it together, imbues the work with a lot of extra zest. But there’s more to it than just throwing a quick mojo bag together with some old scrap material and the world’s wobbliest whipstitch. 


Needlework, embroidery, cross stitch, crocheting, knitting, all of that is a great way to get the most out of our spell work. We have the opportunity to color magick when we choose the materials and the threads that we use. So if I plan to do a spell for attracting money, you better believe I’m going to try and use fabrics and/or threads in colors that will support that, so green or gold.


If I’m stitching a protection rune I might use purple, if I’m setting a hex, I’d use black, for money, I’d use green, for love I’d use red, and so on. And we can stitch all kinds of things beyond simple runes. We can stitch sigils of course, and names and numbers and power phrases, we can stitch these shapes and words into our mojo bags, but also into our clothing for protection, or our child’s school bag for focus, or our wallet to attract money. 


But let us not forget yet another exciting aspect of needlecraft magick which is symbolism. Beyond sigils and runes, we can look around ourselves for all kinds of powerful symbolism that we can stitch into our work. Dollar signs, hearts, zodiac symbols, spirals, triangles, pentagrams, the ankh, all of these symbols, when recreated by our own hands and charged with our own specific intentions, can become spells in and of themselves.


And knot magick is also something that we can incorporate into our woven crafts. Whether knitting, crocheting, sewing, embroidery, or what have you, we have the ability to weave knots into the design in some form or fashion. And my personal favorite method of setting a spell with knots is to speak the spell or my intention right as I pull the knot tight. In this way, my words themselves are woven into the fabric of the garment or the mojo bag or whatever the case may be. 


And incidentally since we are on the subject of speaking words into knots, I have to say that this is a great way to get a personal concern of someone to use in a spell. Like if you don’t have a person’s hair or toenail clippings or whatever to use in a spell, you can actually tie a knot while they’re speaking and use that knot in your spell work to connect the spell to that specific person. It’s a bit of a sneaky way to get a personal concern from someone, but your business is your business.


Just casually tie a length of thread, yarn, twine or whatever during a conversation and pull it tight while that person is speaking. Now you’ve got their voice to use in your spell in lieu of hair or a handwriting sample or something.


This kind of creation in witchcraft is so potent, and this is why it’s so special to have a quilt that your great grandmother made, or a doily or a handmade dress, because it’s so much more than the item itself. The creative process has empowered this mundane object with love and comfort and protection, and we can do the same with our magick.


And one final thought that I wanted to impart before we close today is this: I know we have all heard of the creative process, and usually we think of the creative process as the means to an end. The purpose of the creative process is to create something. A poem, a painting, a quilt, a story, a photograph, a song, a recipe. We seldom appreciate the creative process as its own reward. But when we get into that zone, that creative mindspace, it’s not only a means to an end, it becomes meditative. We get in touch with our higher self and we are able to access that place where all of our big ideas and flashes of inspiration and moments of clarity come from.


And you can bet your sweet ass that occupying that space is going to influence the magick that you’re able to perform. This is the zone, this is the sweet spot. So when we find ourselves with an opportunity to create the vessels that we use in our magick, or to enrich the work with embroidered embellishments, or to tie our spells into place with knot magick, we should take it. Not only to make the end result that much more powerful, which it will, but to also give ourselves the opportunity to inhabit that creative space and to participate in the creative process.


Any time that we can spend in the presence of our own creative muse is time well spent. We owe it to ourselves not only as witches, but as human beings who are here on this planet to create and to change and to evolve. 










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