Well hello there. I hope everyone is well and surviving this chaotic month. We have a full moon coming this weekend, which will add a little more emotional turbulence to an already hectic time of year, but it’s also going to be a good opportunity to do some spell work, set some intentions for the next moon cycle, maybe carve out a sliver of time and take a nice ritual bath.

You know what, I have to ask you all, what do you do for yourself at this time of year? How do you honor yourself? It’s something that we all struggle with even when it isn’t the holiday season, and we are all stressed out and stretched thin and broke as hell. So I would like to hear your thoughts. DM me on Instagram or Facebook at @middleagedwitch or email me at eli@middleagedwitch.com and please for the love of the gods give me some of your advice. We need to share the wisdom. 


I’m switching the format here just a scosche, and I want to read a listener question up front because this question kind of caught me with my pants down. Listener JF0608 writes:

What are your thoughts of thought implantation?  It’s very hard to find info online and most of it sounds pretty questionable. Any insight would be appreciated!  Thanks!

Ok this question took me out. I had never considered literal thought implantation, but like… We’re witches. So my response was, if I had to express my thoughts on thought implantation, it would be that this is basically what witches do anytime we put someone in a honey jar, or do love spells, spells for promotions, spells to sway a situation to go a certain way, or basically any spells to influence other people’s behavior in any way. 


I truly  hadn’t ever thought about it as thought implantation, but really, when we do this kind of work, we are absolutely attempting to put certain thoughts or feelings in a person to get the outcome that we want. 


Like, it sounds kind of sketchy, when you phrase it that way, but it is what it is. And there are a lot of things we can do to accomplish this though, regardless of how we feel about it morally. Straight up spell work, dream work, astral work, sigil work, banishing work, cord cutting work, all of these things can be used to implant thoughts in a person, and to get the best outcomes, this is actually what we really want to be doing with this kind of witchcraft. This is why I always harp on being very specific in the wording used when writing spells. 


A spell for a raise at work is best accomplished by using very specific words like, “Tammy Smith wants to give me a 20% raise this quarter.” Just asking the universe for a raise is nebulous and vague and leaves a lot of wiggle room for interpretation and an endless timeline. The universe might just wait to the end of the year to give you a 3% cost of living raise. This is why we are so careful with how we write spells. 


But I mean… That’s totally thought implantation, isn’t it? So I guess what I’m saying is that thought implantation is absolutely possible and we do it all the time, even if we aren’t thinking of it that way. So if that’s your aim, start practicing. I think meditation would be a good method to use. Choosing some stones to hold and herbs to burn could help align your efforts too. Apatite, amethyst, citrine, and clear quartz are good for amplifying psychic work, and then herbs like basil, dandelion, comfrey, peppermint, and rosemary. 


And thank you again for that question, I love when I have to reexamine things about my practice. Anyway, on to the episode!


We are still like five or six days out from Yule proper, and then of course the following week is New Year’s Eve, so there’s a lot of party time energy in the air, and it’s still building. I kind of love the juxtaposition of this quiet, wintry time of year with the celebratory energy that’s being raised, not just in our own households, but everywhere. It can be a little overwhelming, and it can be really exhausting, but we might as well use it to our advantage and set some bold intentions. When it’s all over, we can rest until Imbolc.


But in the meantime, let’s talk about spirit guides. This topic was suggested by a listener called Sherry McIntyre back in September and I’m really excited to be able to finally get to it. It’s been nagging at the back of my mind for weeks now and the time has finally come. So many cultures and traditions recognize Spirit Guides, even when they call it something else. Spirit guides, guardian angels, saints, Devas, the Holy Ghost, it all amounts to the same thing, which is a supernatural advisor. An entity who provides spiritual and emotional support throughout your life.


I spoke a tiny bit about Spirit Guides in the Familiars episode, but that was mostly just to differentiate Familiars from Spirit Guides. So, in my tradition, and as my own guides have explained, Spirit Guides are sort of assigned to a person from birth, and they’re always there, your whole life, whether or not you recognize them.


Although, there are sometimes transient Guides who will come to you during a certain phase in your life, or during a particularly difficult time, and then they move on afterward, but we are talking about the lifers today. And some of us have more than one spirit guide. Spirit guides may be the spirits of humans who have passed on, they may be our ancestors, they can be animal spirits, they may be what we would call guardian angels, who have never existed here on earth in physical form. They may be what we would recognize as elementals.


But their purpose is to provide a moral or ethical guidepost for us, to be there for us in times of darkness and despair, and to celebrate with us during times of great joy. They can offer us wisdom, guidance, direction, warnings, and companionship. When the spirit guide relationship is nurtured and cultivated, it can really become a true friendship based on mutual respect and understanding. Like any relationship, it takes time and effort to build.


But first, you’ve got to make contact with your guide or guides. Probably the most common method these days for getting in contact with your spirit guides is to do a guided meditation. There are so many that are available on YouTube and a lot of them are pretty great. It can be difficult sometimes to get into the proper mindspace during meditation just generally speaking, but when you’re trying to do something new and unfamiliar like meeting your guides, it can be really helpful to have a guided meditation to sort of walk you through it.


I will say that I recommend listening to a couple different meditations and finding one that you like before you actually try to do the meditation, and once you find one you like, I suggest listening to it all the way through. I recommend this for a couple reasons. First, you want to find a narrator whose voice doesn’t get on your nerves, or maybe the background music annoys you, or you just don’t jive with the imagery. Take some time to find a meditation that you feel you can get into deeply and connect with.


And secondly, listen to it all the way through before you try to actually go through the meditation. Because if you’re in the middle of a guided meditation and it takes a weird or unexpected turn, it can completely take you out of the moment, so it will be in your best interest to know what you’re going to hear ahead of time and not be unduly surprised by where it goes. I promise, it will help you feel more at ease and that in turn will help you be more open to receiving the messages from your guides.


Now, you don’t have to do a guided meditation. Obviously, people were connecting with their Spirit Guides long before YouTube. If you prefer to try and meet your guides on your own, this is absolutely possible. You can try and connect with your guides in your home, or you can find a secluded place somewhere out in nature for this purpose. Outdoors is a little trickier, because you don’t want to be interrupted and that might make it a little harder to get deep into that trancelike meditative mindset, but if there is a place where you know you won’t be disturbed, doing this work outdoors can be really beautiful. If you are going to do this outdoors, please be very careful about lighting candles or burning incense, obviously.


No matter where you decide to meet your guides, I suggest you begin by casting a circle and being very clear that the only beings invited to enter are your spirit guides. This will help you keep out unwanted energies and entities, and it will help you feel more relaxed and open because you’re not going to feel vulnerable or fearful of what may try to come through and communicate with you. If you’re outside, please don’t cast your circle with salt, because it kills grass, but you can use powdered eggshells, or herbs, holy water, Florida water, you can use rose petals, you can just use your own energy to delineate that space. 


Inside the circle, you can use incense to consecrate your space, you can light candles, pour a glass of wine as an offering, or burn a little tobacco in a fire safe container like your cauldron. If you’re doing any of these things indoors, make sure you have adequate ventilation. I can tell you from personal experience that nothing will take you out of the moment quite as fast as the smoke detector, so maybe crack a window or turn on a fan. Also inside your circle, I suggest you keep a pen and a little notebook so you can write down images or impressions that come to you. It’s a lot easier, I find, to be able to let those impressions and messages flow when I can quickly jot them down and not have to worry about trying to interpret them in the moment or try to remember them for later. That may not be how you work best though, so just do what feels right.


Okay, so your circle is cast, your cauldron is smoldering, your candles are lit, you’ve got pen and paper. You can either begin communicating by speaking out loud or in your mind. Just be very clear in your message, introduce yourself and invite your spirit guides to communicate with you. After you give your name, ask for theirs. It’s polite. Remember, they’ve been with you all your life, but this is the first time you’re speaking directly with them. It can be overwhelming, the messages that can suddenly pour in, or they may feel a little shy and reserved, and unsure how to make themselves known to you. But just try and be yourself, don’t worry about flowery language or trying to rhyme or anything. It’s not a performance, these are your GUIDES. They know you, they know how you speak, so just be as natural as you can.


If you like, you can write a little introduction and invitation ahead of time, so that you’re not stumbling over your words or feeling hesitant in your communication. Just wait for a while after you’ve made your introductions to give a little time for those messages to reach you. The conversation, at least those first few times, isn’t going to be a rapid fire back and forth. There will be probably be delays between your questions and their answers. Just be patient. 


If you’ve done a guided meditation to meet your guides, the narrator will lead you through all of that in their own way, but there will also be a point where you’re given some time to ask open questions, and that’s the next thing you’ll want to do if you’re going through your own unguided meditation as well. This is another time where it will be helpful to have your questions ready ahead of time. You won’t need a whole page of questions; for one thing, it takes a while to ask and receive answers, and for another, it takes a lot out of you and can leave you really emotionally and spiritually tired.


So don’t come prepared with an entire questionnaire. But a few questions like, do you have any messages for me? Sometimes they will just want to tell you that they are proud of you, or they may tell you who they are, such as a guardian angel, an elemental, or an ancestor. But occasionally they will have a larger message. Just receive what they tell you with gratitude.


Another good question to ask is: How can I know when you’re trying to communicate with me in my daily life? You may ask for symbols or patterns that they will show you when they have a message for you. My daughter sees crows when one of her guides wants to get her attention. And in those times, she will either pay attention to what else is going on in that moment to try and decipher it, or she will come home later and meditate with him to get more information. Either way, it is really helpful to know what your guides will show you when there’s something you need to be aware of.


An excellent thing to ask your guide is: How can I honor you in my practice? Or, what can I leave on my altar as a tribute for you? Remember, this relationship is a two-way street, and you don’t want to be only taking and never giving back. Find out what your guide would appreciate. It may be fresh flowers, it may be a certain incense that you can burn, or a crystal, or wine, or it may be written messages from you. 


They may enjoy it when you jot down a few words for them from time to time and leave them on your altar or burn them in your cauldron for them. It may even be music that you play in your sacred space just as a message of recognition for them. No one likes to be forgotten, and no one appreciates it when people only come to them for favors. So find out what you can do for your guide or guides to demonstrate that you appreciate them and you’re thinking of them.


Once you feel as though your time with them is coming to a close, thank them for speaking with you and for taking care of you all these years, and then go ahead and close your session. You can make arrangements to speak with them again if you like, but you don’t have to. Going forward, it might be something you only do when you’re thinking about them, or you feel like you have a question to ask them or when you feel like they’ve been trying to get in contact with you. It does not and it should not feel like a dentist appointment or something, this isn’t supposed to feel like work. It should feel more like dropping in on a friend from time to time.


And that’s kind of all there is to it, at least for the first conversation that you have with them. You will probably discover that the more you learn about them, the more you want to learn. And while it takes time, going forward in your relationship with your guides, after that initial meeting, you’re going to find that it will begin to feel really comfortable really quickly. This isn’t like getting to know someone who’s brand new. There really doesn’t need to be any sort of awkward phase. These beings already know you so intimately.


They have seen you through the highest and lowest points in your life already. They’ve intervened on your behalf many times throughout your life. They already know you better than you know yourself. So start getting to know them in return, and while that in and of itself is going to be so enriching, it’s also going to be really rewarding for you.


Your guides are going to be able to help you so much more once you begin that two-way relationship. They can really only help you so much and to a certain degree if you’re not aware of them or unable to recognize and understand their messages, their warnings, the little heads-up they try to give you. When you establish that contact with them, when you’re able to have conversations with them, when you’re able to recognize the prompts that they give you in your day-to-day life, they’re able to assist you in much more meaningful ways.


Now I’d also like to address that sometimes, you will meet a deity during Spirit Guide work. I know a gal who was surprised to meet Orion during her Spirit Guide meditations, and although, according to her, he can be a bit of a bastard at times, she also feels like he is incredibly helpful in a very blunt way, and he’s also very quick to send her warnings when she is about to experience any kind of spiritual or energetic attacks. There’s a very powerful witch called Carmen who is a friend and supporter of the podcast and she is fortunate to have the moon goddess Selene in her corner. And between you and me, I think Pan is one of her guides too, but whatever. Regardless, in these cases, the relationship is going to necessarily be a little different than the typical Spirit Guide relationship (if there is such a thing), but when they present themselves as a guide to you, it’s really special. So if you happen to meet a deity during your meditations, do not panic. Sometimes this happens. Count yourself very lucky and do some research on your new powerful friend. It is an enormous honor.


So please go forth and start connecting with your guides! It’s such a wonderful gift from the universe, and it can really bring so much depth to your life and to your practice. Please join me next week when we talk about the Fae. Until then, I hope everyone has a very merry Yule. My name is Eli, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.

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