Happy American Thanksgiving, or happy Thursday, if you don’t observe that particular holiday. Today is NOT actually Thursday, because I am recording this ahead of time. And to be fair, you may never listen to these episodes on Thursdays. Such is the nature of recorded episodes. You can listen to them whenever and in whichever order you please.
But, because this episode will be released on Thanksgiving Day in the States, and because I will be a banshee in the kitchen all morning, I decided to break from my established format and record this a day in advance. By the way, if you’ve never heard the amazing Celtic acoustic band Banshee in the Kitchen, do yourself a favor and give them a listen. I have had the privilege of seeing them live several times at local shows and festivals and they kick so much ass.
Anyway, today we are doing a Question and Answer sort of thing. I’ve been hassling you all to send in your questions over the last several weeks, and I’ve got a bunch of them here. We are going to do as many as we can get to during our time today, and the rest I may save for future episodes or I’ll just answer them on social media or something. Maybe I’ll do a video. I don’t know. I mostly just wing it out here. I do have an outline of notes that I make to keep myself on track when I record these and I’m sure you hear me rustling my papers from time to time. I also like to make sure that my references are properly cited when I mention a book or an author or whatever. But rest assured, there’s not a ton of method to my madness.
And if you’ve been sitting on a question and haven’t sent it in, I want to clarify how I’ve been doing this. When I receive a question, I respond to it privately right away. I know sometimes these questions are time-sensitive, or at least you’re not interested in waiting for the episode to be published. So I responded immediately to these questions, and then I saved them in a file to read for this episode. So that’s how I have been doing it and that’s how I’ll continue to do it.
Alright, we have a lot to get to, so let’s get down to business.
This first question comes from Amy. I’ve cut out a bit of the more personal identifying info in these questions, so if you’re one of the folks who sent a question in and I don’t read it verbatim, it is just because I’m trying to protect privacy:
I’ve been a Christian for the last 30 years, and just recently had given into my interest in witchcraft, knowing that my bible says NO to that, but I just get so giddy and excited when I think about learning and practicing witchcraft. I don’t know why. My question is, are there books/resources that can guide me along, starting at the beginning, like the history of witchcraft moving into the current teachings.
For instance, like when you talk about cleansing with smoke or water, do I have to do it even though I haven’t practiced any sort of witchcraft yet? I would think not because there wouldn’t have been a chance for any spirits to get through? I would greatly appreciate any advice!
Thank you! Amy
Thanks so much for this question; it really strikes a chord for me as a former Christian. When I first began allowing myself to give in to my curiosity about witchcraft, I found it really hard to identify where my feelings were coming from when I would have discomfort around the mere fact of learning about the craft. I would agonize whether I was feeling uncomfortable because all this information was new and unfamiliar, or was I feeling uncomfortable because this was evil. In the end, I realized that it was neither of those things; I was uncomfortable learning about witchcraft because I had been conditioned to feel that way.
But then I started looking at the Bible with new eyes, and I started seeing so much in the scriptures that I hadn’t noticed before. Psalms is essentially a spellbook. The three wise men used the stars to foretell the coming of Christ, and when they found him, they presented him with incense and precious stones. In Exodus, Aaron wears a breastplate set with stones, including onyx, ruby, and amethyst. It’s a literal crystal grid. Aaron would use this breastplate to scry for messages from the Lord.
There are so many examples like this in the holy scriptures. So the Bible actually doesn’t caution against what we would consider occult activities; it just limits who is allowed to practice it. Everyone who isn’t a priest, ordained by God himself (although we can only take the priest’s word for it that he’s actually been called by God) is called a witch or sorcerer and must be stoned to death.
I think Christianity is a generally good belief system that has been corrupted by men with bad intentions. I believe there are a lot of spiritual leaders who have good hearts and pure motives, but I also know that unfortunately, religion is a business. The people with not-so-pure intentions are going to keep as much power as they can for themselves, and that includes demonizing witches.
But as for your book recommendation request, if you’re looking for an historical overview of the history of witchcraft, I recommend a book called A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, and Pagans by Jeffrey B Russel. Firstly, don’t get put off by the size of the book; it’s smaller than you’d probably expect, but what I like about it is that it doesn’t only cover witchcraft history in Europe or the Americas but in Africa and many other non-Euro-centric traditions as well. This book is great about giving you enough info on a given topic or tradition for you to decide whether you’d like to go more in depth. This book provides a good jumping-off point from which to dive deeper into more narrow occult practices and lore.
The Path of a Christian Witch by Adelina St. Clair. Very Catholic/Wicca-centric, however, the author manages to speak from a very relatable place for many Christians who are feeling conflicted about combining their Christian faith with witchcraft and paganism.
Valerie Love is another author who actually has a series of books written for Christian witches that cover spellwork, prayers, observing holidays, etc. Her background is a former Jehova’s Witness who was ultimately drawn to the occult and her book Confessions of a Christian Witch talks about that journey. I haven’t read all of her books, but that one is a good primer for a Christian who might be investigating witchcraft.
As for practicing cleansing in your living space, I always recommend doing that, even if you don’t feel like your space necessarily needs it. At some point, you may feel an unwelcome energy and it would be easier to address it if you are already comfortable with the method. Consider this: Catholic churches commonly burn incense before services begin as a method of purification and sanctification, and also to symbolize carrying prayers to heaven. So if they’re cleansing their sacred spaces, you can too. That’s witchcraft!
Hi Eli. I am a new witch and have been listening to your podcast on my daily walk. I’m hoping you can lead me in the right direction. My husband and I recently moved and have purchased a new home and are waiting for the building process to begin. We’ve hit a couple of huge stumbling blocks with getting the house started – none of which are in our control. I’m saying daily affirmations of good will and sending blessings out but wondered if there is anything else I can do? I know it will come in time however we’re currently in a rental home and the lease ends 5/31/22 and we don’t want to stay here any longer. I’m feeling lost right now. Thank you for your time and I love your podcast.
Okay Jeanette, first of all, HUGE enormous congratulations on not only buying a new house, but a new construction home as well. God, no wonder you’re anxious to get in there. I am not generally a patient person, and from the bottom of my heart, I get you. I
As far as what you can do to get into this house ASAP, your energy will be best spent working magick to help the process go smoothly. Because there are so many moving parts with not only buying a home, but also (and especially) with construction, you’re not only dealing with the literal timeline of how long it takes to build a house from scratch, but also possible supply line interruptions, inclement weather, labor shortages, etc.
So focusing on spellwork to minimize complications is going to be important. So if you’re a witch who prefers candle magic, I would suggest getting a hold of a candle, orange for opportunity or green for success if you have access to colored candles. Carve your intentions into it. You can use runes, or a sigil of your own design, or you can just carve words into it. Dress them with some olive oil and then roll them in herbs. You may want some herbs for luck, like allspice, star anise or some dried orange peel. Herbs for success like cinnamon, ginger or lemon balm, and I would suggest herbs to help in overcoming obstacles, such as mistletoe or wormwood. And of course, don’t leave your burning candle unattended.
You can carry stones that will aid in your manifestations, like smoky quartz or obsidian. You can make moon water with those stones as well and charge it with your intentions for a smooth construction process and then drink it, either plain or use it to make your tea or coffee. And I would suggest burning some Road Opener incense to help clear away any roadblocks. You can find Road Opener candles online too, if you don’t care for incense. Most online witch shops will have them, and of course you can always check Etsy. And as a renter, you may not be able to use candles or incense, so you can use that moon water you made and put it in a spray bottle and go to town with that.
I hate to even suggest it, but it may be wise to wear an evil eye necklace or charm of some kind until this is all over too. I don’t know your personal life, but there may be someone close to you who may be feeling envious of your good fortune and they may be sending harmful intent your way. They may not even realize they’re doing it, but if their bad mojo is getting in the way of what you’re trying to manifest in your life, it’s best to have a good offense ready.
Last but not least, also consider that you have been working toward something big and beautiful in your life with this new house, and the universe is going to make sure you get it. So perhaps what you’re experiencing as negative setbacks is just the universe doing things according to its own divine timing. There may be some reason why things are going more slowly than you’d like, but you’re just unable to see that yet. This isn’t some kind of “the lord works in mysterious ways” cop out, but there really may be some reason for the wait, and maybe you’ll be happier in the long run because of it. And also, please send a picture when you finally get settled, I’d love to see the new place!
Hi. Growing up I knew about curanderos. I felt that it would open the door to allow evil to enter your lives. It was a bad thing and it scared me. How do I get past the fear so that I can allow myself to take this path that I’m on? This is not the same thing. Btw. I love your podcast
This is a really good question from redorchid77. So just for those maybe unfamiliar with the term, a curandero is basically a folk healer, as I’m given to understand. And they generally combine spiritual elements within the physical healing they perform. They perform limpias, which are physical and spiritual cleansings, if they feel that their patient has been afflicted with the evil eye, they will do blessings or cleansings for that as well. The basis for their practices comes from a blend of indigenous medicine with Catholicism and they may use herbs, prayers, brujeria, and they may even call on Saints to aid in their work.
So as folk healers, I feel as though they’ve been unfairly maligned and sort of painted with the same brush that witches have been. Because people are turning to natural and supernatural healers to find relief for their afflictions rather than rushing to a priest, there must be something nefarious about it. At least that’s what priests will tell you. But I disagree with that assessment.
And I suspect you do too, because you’re asking how to make peace with the fact that you want to pursue a spiritual path, even though you’re having these conflicting emotions around it. Well first, I would tell you to just give yourself time. I don’t know your background, but I get the sense that you were raised to believe that seeking help from a curandero could invite evil into your life, but it doesn’t seem like you ever really saw that happen first hand. And if that’s the case, well it’s just going to take time to unlearn those things.
We can know something rationally but still have deep-seated fears surrounding it. That’s why I hate swimming at night. Rationally, I know there’s no shark in the pool, but it still freaks me out. So while you’re giving yourself time to process and decide for yourself how you truly feel about things like curanderos, give yourself permission to explore aspects of witchcraft that don’t bump up against that.
If it’s specifically spellcasting or folk healing that rubs you the wrong way, then just focus on those things that don’t trigger those feelings in you. So maybe just start with mindful meditation with a special candle or specific kind of incense to bring you to a place of calm and serenity. Maybe you can make it a point to spend an hour each month on the night of the full moon to send out positive thoughts or try to draw in healing energy from the earth. Maybe make some space on a shelf in your home with natural elements that speak to you in some way, like crystals, or seashells, or candles, or a small houseplant. If you have pictures of a loved one that you’d like to place there, by all means. Make it feel important.
Don’t think of it as an altar if you don’t want to. It’s just a place in your home or in your room that you’ve set apart just for the purposes of having someplace special to go when you want to feel spiritually restored. I’ve said before on this podcast, a prayer is a spell. So don’t be afraid to lift your voice to whatever higher power may be out there listening. Ask for what you want or need in your life. Express gratitude for what you are thankful for. Eventually, as you take small steps that you’re comfortable with, your mind will begin to internalize the fact that this path you’re on is not evil, and you’re not inviting anything into your life that you don’t want.
You may have been called in this life to be a lightworker, for crying out loud. Maybe you were put on this earth at this time to provide compassion and spiritual or emotional healing in your own way. That might be something to investigate, actually. If you’re someone who easily tunes into other people’s emotional states, if you’re very sensitive to the needs of others, if you feel like you just want to help people, you may be an empath.
And if that’s the case, you’ve got a whole branch of witchcraft that’s just opened up to you and it has nothing to do with anything evil. So to answer your original question about how to get past the uncertainty you have about your path, just get to know YOU. Start finding out exactly what kind of a witch you are. I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised at just how much goodness and positivity is about to be released in your own life, and you’re going to be flat-out shocked at how much positivity you’re going to bring to others. This is an exciting time. Embrace it.
Ohh, ok. We are only three questions in and I am already going into overtime. But that’s fine, let’s keep rolling.
Hey Eli, I know you have mentioned that you’re not afraid to curse people but I wonder how you feel about using ouija boards. I’ve always heard that they’re portals to evil spirits and I’ve never used one because I’m afraid of inviting demons into my home.
Alright, Tiana. I just first want to clarify that it isn’t that I’m not afraid to curse people, it’s just that I don’t pull back or shy away from the less glamorous aspects of witchcraft. So just in case there’s a first-time listener here, I don’t advocate cursing people with reckless abandon. But if it comes down to it, I will curse a bitch. But to address your question about ouija boards.
I have used them, we do have a couple in the house, and I’m not afraid of them. I do understand the reservations people have about them, after all spirits can and do sometimes lie about who they are and what their intentions may be. But so do people. So it really comes down to using an ouija board responsibly and not just taking anything that comes through at face value.
I think ouija boards can be a great tool for speaking with spirits because they’re simple to use and since they’re just spelling out what they want to say, the results are easy to interpret. An ouija board is just a tool, like pendulum divination, or tarot, or tea leaf reading, or scrying or a seance. You’re still opening a door to other realms and potentially inviting unwanted spirits into your midst.
So to make sure that you don’t accidentally get any unwanted attachments coming through, there are some simple steps you can take before you begin an ouija session. First, you can cast a circle of protection before you begin to make sure that no one who isn’t invited can come through. If you’re trying to speak to someone specific, make that very clear at the outset before you even begin your session. Then, once you’re done, close your ouija board session. Thank and dismiss any spirits that you’ve spoken to, say goodbye, and announce the session closed. Then you can clear your circle and put your board away.
If you’re concerned something may have come through that you don’t want, command all spirits to leave, close the session immediately , and do a cleansing of your home. But mostly you won’t have issues like that. If you’re maintaining good spiritual hygiene in your home and if you’re very assertive with the spirits that do try and sneak through, they’re gonna leave you alone. Don’t go being reckless and inviting any old spirit off the street, and for the love of god, don’t deliberately try to invite demons in, and you’ll be fine.
Merry Meet, Eli, I love your show and you seem really knowledgeable about herbs. How do you feel about the use of cannabis in witchcraft?
Well, Freya455, I feel fine about it. I don’t use cannabis often outside of my practice, but I do use it within my practice. I sometimes find it difficult to sort of turn off my overthinking brain and just let myself receive messages during spells and rituals, and I find that cannabis allows me to be more receptive to Spirit.
I don’t like using alcohol during ritual work except as offerings, because it kind of dulls my mind and slows me down, you know, it makes me feel a little muddy. But cannabis brings down the walls that prevent me from seeing the messages that I’m being given, and it sort of gets me out of my own way, if that makes sense. I have the most wonderful breakthroughs when I incorporate the use of cannabis in this work. And I am fortunate to live in a state that has legalized the recreational use of it, so I don’t have to worry that I’m going to lose my job or find myself in legal trouble because of it.
I think if it helps a person in their practice, and if a witch does not have any personal moral or ethical objections to it, it’s worth trying.
Hi Ei, I am a new witch and I listen to the podcast while I walk my dog. I don’t have a window that ever faces the moonlight, and I live in an apartment, so I don’t feel comfortable leaving things outside. So my question is, is it alright if I leave crystals, tarot cards, etc in my car overnight to charge?
Thank you Dayna, yes, it is 1000% fine to charge things in your car overnight. Witches have to do the best we can with what we have, and that really gets to the heart of witchcraft. It’s not always photo perfect or store bought. The witches who came before and paved the way for us were always making do with what they had, and they would be totally on board with using your car dashboard to charge crystals, tarot cards, moon water, and anything else.
And I don’t want to just leave that sentiment with this specific question. As a newer witch, and even as a seasoned witch, almost any time we come up against something we aren’t totally sure of, I say just try it anyway. This is how witchcraft evolved to begin with. The OG witches didn’t have a blueprint they followed. For the most part, they were just winging it too. There was an outcome they wanted, and they just started putting things together to see what their results would be.
We can create our own methods and spells in this way, and customize our magic to our own practices. We have the benefit of being able to build on the work of all those early witches, and we have access to vast online libraries of information about the magical correspondences of herbs, stones, moon phases, divination methods, seasons, mundane materials and so on. So we don’t even have to start from scratch when we start experimenting. Just remember to write it down.
By the way I did send a follow-up to Dayna asking to see a picture of her dog and let me assure you all, Duchess is adorable.
Um, ok I think this is all the time we have today, because I still need to edit and everything, but I really want to come back to the rest of these questions, so I’m going to have to figure out how to make that work. I don’t know, maybe I’ll throw in a question or two with each episode from now on.
But that’s neither here nor there. Anyway. I hope everyone has a lovely day, please keep sending in those questions, and until next time, my name is Eli, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.