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Q&A with Eli

Hello, everybody, and thank you so much for joining me today. We have just enjoyed the full moon a couple days ago and I’ve got my moon water ready to go for the solstice on Tuesday. I’m going to be celebrating in a larger way over this weekend with food, some friends, and a fire. The solstice proper falls on a work night for me and I actually have a meeting that evening, I am so annoyed. When there’s a sabbat, I usually just take the day off. But it is what it is, and I’ll be celebrating early. 

We are also going to be moving into Cancer season this Tuesday. Cancer season brings with it a focus on the home, homelife, our loved ones, there are going to be a lot of opportunities for connection and growth in our relationships with our dear ones. We do need to be mindful that Mars, which rules war and aggression, is moving into Taurus, which is very stubborn, this Cancer season. What’s more, all of the planets that are in Cancer are forming oppositions to Pluto, the planet or rebirth and regeneration. So it could be a little tricky this season to connect the way we would like, but those connections have the chance to be very meaningful and to change or elevate our relationships in a significant way.

 

I thought that today I would go through and clear out all the questions from witches who’ve written to me that I haven’t got a chance to read on the podcast yet. I did an episode like this back in November I think, so it’s been a good six months or so. Uh, the way I do things is that when I receive a letter or a message, I reply to the sender right away, usually within a day or two. Unless I lost your message and ask you to resend it, you know who you are, and again I’m really sorry about that.

 

And while most of the time, I will then read it in the podcast that week or maybe the following week, sometimes I just don’t get the chance due to time constraints. But I hold on to these messages because I feel like for every person who writes to me with a question, there may be several more people with the same question or a similar one, who don’t want to ask. So that is why I want to read all of these today. There were a couple questions that I won’t read either because I was asked not to and I will always honor that, or because the subject matter is incredibly sensitive and I do not want to treat these very private situations like entertainment. So this is the spirit in which we are approaching today’s topic and let’s get to it!

 

This first letter was from a witch we’ve heard from before called Ithil. And this wasn’t a question, but just a really cool example of how our manifestations will find a way to us one way or another. She writes:

 

The last year has been a lot of experimenting with witchcraft and magic for me, stretching my wings so to speak. One pivotal time was in late January; I put a little spell jar together that I had found instructions for online, it was a wish jar. In this wish jar, I had manifested that a work from home job would come into my life and it would pay over a certain amount. While putting together the jar I was thinking about why I wanted this job to come into my life, what it would mean for us etc. My husband and I purchased a piece of land a couple years ago in NE Washington near his family, our hope was to move back to the northwest. Well to make that happen a couple factors needed to be figured out.

 

He works for the government, and his particular job is regional so in order to move he would need to retire early when he is eligible in two years, he would rather continue working until regular retirement age, but because of the nature of his job, he just wouldn’t be able to do that and move. We decided we don’t want to spend another 10 years waiting for him to retire so we could move, so we decided to go with early retirement and moving in two years even though it meant taking a financial hit.

 

The other factor would be I need to go from an in-office job to a work-from-home job so that there wasn’t a disruption in finances when we moved. Now Texas is fine, but I miss the mountains and the trees and his family and just wanted to hurry this up and make sure we could do this, so all this was bouncing around in my brain as I put the spell jar together. I was wishing hard for this wish Eli! 

 

Fast forward to mid-March, my husband is presented with an opportunity to interview for a job that is a step up in rank and still within his field just a different department and its work from home, we were surprised but figured it couldn’t hurt to try, but hundreds were applying for this job so neither of us were super optimistic.

 

The last week of April, he found out he got the job (subject to a successful renewal of his security clearance), on that same day I found out that I am being moved to a sister company and I will be able to work from home. As a side note, this was something a VP had approached me about 3 years ago, but with the pandemic and the board of directors dragging their collective feet it just hadn’t happened and I had given up and started looking elsewhere. So, in the same day, we both found out that we were on the path for working at home, which made it so my husband didn’t have to retire and we did not have to take a financial hit. Oh, and you might ask, hey Ithil, did you get the specific salary that you asked for in the spell jar? 

 

No, I did not, sadly my wage is going to stay relatively the same, however my husband’s new wage meets the exact amount I wrote down in the spell jar. I have said before that sometimes I can be a little oblivious and quite frankly this was another one of those times. I just didn’t put two and two together until a couple days later I was listening to one of your past podcasts about how you need to be very specific with spells and manifesting and I literally started laughing out loud so hard because that’s when it dawned on me, I had not specified a job for me, I just wanted it in my life for the shared goal my husband and I had of moving home.

 

I loved this story. This is precisely how the universe works. Ask, and you shall indeed receive. She was very specific about what she needed and why, but she left a bit of wiggle room and the universe said, “I can work with that.” So please, always send me stories of how your magick manifests itself in your life. This is the kind of thing we all love to hear and it’s very encouraging, and it can help us to recognize when we get frustrated because our manifestations aren’t showing up like we expected, to take a broader look around and see if they have shown up, just in a different way. So please message me either on social media at @middleagedwitch, or of course via email at eli@middleagedwitch.com.

 

This next question is from a witch who had asked not to use her name, so we won’t but this was her question and I thought it was a really good one:

 

Spells are supposed to take energy, and all sources indicate that feeling drained afterwards is normal. However, in my first forays into spellwork (which have consisted of meditating/grounding then envisioning protection around self/family/house, and then releasing), I have not felt drained afterwards. Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you!

 

So as to your question, and with all witchcraft, really, there is no single “right” way to feel. Every witch is different and every spell is different. I find when I do spellwork, how I feel afterwards varies a lot depending on a lot of factors. Occasionally, I do feel wiped out. Sometimes, I actually feel more energized. 

 

Meditation and grounding shouldn’t drain you though, and actually may even allow you to feel more powerful and energized afterward. Grounding in particular is something we do specifically when we are feeling drained to allow us to pour those feelings out so they can be replaced by the energy of the earth. 

 

The work you’re describing here is taking energy from the earth and wrapping it around your family and home, which shouldn’t really take anything from you physically at all. You’re simply redirecting energy that’s already there, all around you, and focusing it where you’d like it to go. This is powerful work, for sure, but it shouldn’t necessarily exhaust you. Particularly if you’re an earth sign (or if there’s a lot of earth in your birth chart), this kind of work might even come very naturally for you. If you feel like that’s the case, you may even pursue energy work as a hobby. Maybe even Reiki… There are definitely a lot of free videos and tutorials that could get you started.

 

But back to your original point, if you feel like your work is effective, then don’t let any online witchcraft gatekeepers make you second guess yourself. Not everything has to be a big production. Enjoy the work, and keep going!

 

Ok this next one was from a witch who is kind of in the reverse situation to the witch from a couple weeks ago who is dealing with her daughter’s horrible stepmother. This witch actually IS a stepmother, but she’s the good kind, and her situation is this:

 

I have a stepdaughter who I love dearly but she’s in a troubled phase in life. She keeps going through my belongings and stealing things. What can I do to either help her to get over this phase or to protect my belongings? She’s been through it with her mom and dad for the first 9 years of her life so she’s troubled to begin. She’s in therapy and her parents have both got their lives together. She is a lovely girl when she’s not being a turd and doing these not so great things. What are your thoughts? 

 

Well this is a bit of a different scenario, isn’t it? So let’s work on ways to both protect your stuff AND get her through whatever she’s going through. Based on what you’re saying, it really seems like this behavior is rooted in something deeper than just coveting your things. First, in a little dish, combine either juniper or garlic, plus basil, and black pepper, and add in a bit of hair from your stepdaughter’s brush if you have it. If not, it’ll still work just fine. Sprinkle it in a circle clockwise around the area you want to protect from theft, either your room or your entire home. Repeat the words, “juniper (or garlic) for protection, basil to purify, pepper to sting, let no thief penetrate this ring.”

 

And then for your daughter, we’ll need two candles. Either one white and one green, or they can both be white if that’s what you’ve got on hand. We need to consecrate the white to represent your daughter’s emotional and spiritual wellbeing. So carve her name or her initials into it, anoint it with oil and sprinkle it with rosemary.  The green candle is to represent healing. Focus all of your love for her into this green candle. Really fill it with your energies of peace and wellness. Speak a little blessing for her, whatever is in your heart. Speak your intention for her to be at peace and know that she is safe and loved in your home. Light them both and let them burn (safely) down.

 

But we also need to stay mindful that, with kids, and especially when they’re in these really frustrating phases, sometimes the lesson isn’t just for them. It’s for us too. They are the lesson for us just as much or more as we are for them. These phases that they are going through are an opportunity for us to grow and develop patience, or grace, or unconditional love, or whatever it is we need to focus on at a given time. So, best of luck, and please let us know how this goes.

 

This next letter reads:

 

Hey Eli, my dad has wanted to move out of his old place for years and it seems like everytime there could be a place it doesn’t work out. Recently another place could be an option but I am worried it could be another flop, is there a spell that I could do so that it works in his favor. He lives pretty far and this new place would be closer to us, which is something he’s always wanted. Also is there a limit of spells a witch could do in a day?

 

So this kind of goes along with the question from earlier, but the limit mostly has to do with your own energy. As long as you’re feeling strong and you’ve got the juice, you can keep working spells. When you start to feel like maybe the mojo isn’t quite there, you feel like maybe you’re just going through the motions, then wrap it up. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this work. 

 

That’s my philosophy in general, for most things, but especially for witchcraft. You can do and try whatever the hell you want to do. Regardless of what you read online or in books or what other witches have to say about it, including me, YOU are the voice of your own limitations and you are the author of your own experience. No one else can make those determinations or set limitations for you and shut down anyone who says differently. And as far as finding a new home, a road opening spell can be very helpful for removing blockages in his situation. Sunflowers, sandalwood, rosemary, sage, myrrh and bay are good herbs for this intention, and they’re all in season right now.

 

This next question was from a witch called Erick, and he had this to say: Hello! I hope you’re doing well! I recently started listening to your podcasts and have fallen in love! I heard you talking about a grimoire on the foraging episode. I’m looking to make my own from a little journal I have. I was hoping you could give me some suggestions on what sections I should put in it and/or how to lay it out. Thanks in advance.

 

So grimoires are pretty individualized, and my own has gone through a lot of evolution over the years. I finally settled on a leather 3 ring binder, which I know is unorthodox, but hear me out. 

With a bound book, once your pages are in place, there’s no adding, editing, or subtracting. Or at least, it’s a lot more difficult. Of course I am a sucker for aesthetics though, so I got aged-looking filler paper for it, and I have cut out old pages from my previous grimoires that I really liked and pasted them in. The result is pretty cool and it makes it very easy to adjust it whenever I need or want to. But you have to do it your own way! 

 

As far as how to organize it, that’s going to be very personal too, but I have made the front half of mine more instructional with sections devoted to herbs and plants, crystals, tarot, deities, moon cycles, sigils/runes/symbols, color correspondences, tools and how to use them, sabbats, etc. and the the back half is more personal, with my birth chart/astrology info, dream journal, spells that I’ve used with great success, recipes for oils and such, different altar arrangements, and so on. I don’t personally have cover pages or dividers for each section, but only because I’m not artistic. Otherwise I totally would. However you decide to construct your grimoire, just keep in mind that it’s meant to be a living, breathing companion that grows with you and your practice. So basically all this can be summed up to say as long as you’re using your grimoire, you’re doing it correctly.

 

And finally, this last message isn’t a question, but just a really nice message that was so gratifying to receive:

 

Dear Eli – 

I recently found your podcast and just wanted to send some witchy love your way! I’ve been binging the podcast to catch up, and although I’ve been a witch for decades I’m learning something new with every episode!  I so appreciate the permission you’re giving our baby witches to “you do you boo”, something many (most?)of us never experienced in our youth. 

 

I’ve always struggled trying to explain that I am NOT wiccan nor fit neatly into any particular group, I take what works for me from a variety of sources, practices, and traditions.  Putting that into words has always been a challenge (we humans like labels!) but you have given me the clear voicing of that.   

 

A blessing on you and your work, sister! 

 

Thank you so much for the kind words.I haven’t been doing this podcast for quite a year yet, but it’s been really gratifying to hear from so many witches like us, who aren’t necessarily Wiccan, but also aren’t members of any other easily identified tradition, like Hoodoo or Santeria. It’s very affirming for a lot of us who have kind of just picked things up over the years and molded it into a personal practice of doing what works for us.

 

If I take anything away from this experience, it’s the knowledge that there are so many more of us than anyone knows. I love it. Thank you again for taking time to write to me! And I kind of went back and forth about including this, but I’ll go ahead and do it anyway, since we’re on the topic of new witches, baby witches, however these individuals choose to identify. I met up with someone I knew from high school this past weekend, and he introduced me to his wife, who was just lovely and he was catching me up on how they met and what he’s been doing these past 20-something, nearly 30 years. And he said to me, “Do you remember in highschool, you read my palm. And you said that I would find my true love, but it would happen later in life?” 

 

And I had to admit that I did not remember that, because I was reading a lot of palms back in those days, but he said, “Well I didn’t meet Cathy until I was 38, but I was never worried and I stayed patient because I always knew I’d find her eventually.” And I was so heartened by that. You know, after high school, I kind of fell away from all my occult ways and tried to be a good Christian for a good long while, before I eventually had to admit the truth of who I was and I came back to the craft. But even as a fledgling new witch, a baby witch, there’s always an opportunity to touch other people in ways you won’t realize, or even sometimes remember.

 

That’s why it’s so important to trust yourself and trust your path, and just keep pursuing what makes you happy, what lights you up. And next week, actually, we’re going to talk about intuitive magick, and working on recognizing those truths that come from somewhere both inside us and outside of us and how important it is to give our own intuition the respect it deserves, and thank you to Kate for suggesting the topic. It was inspired, and I think it’ll be very empowering.

 

And that brings us to the close. If you have a question, a concern, or a story of your own magic that you would like to share, please write to me. On social media @middleagedwitch, or on Facebook at eli@middleagedwitch.com. We will talk again soon. My name is Eli, and this has been the MIddle Aged Witch podcast.

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