Magical Forecast: Oct. 2016

4th Wednesday of the Month: Your Magical Forecast for October of 2016

Hello to my Witchy friends! After last month was a bid of a dud (magically speaking, of course) with Mercury doing his retrograding thing, you’ll be happy to know that the magical forecast for this month is very, very promising! Lots of great energies abound here for spell casting, so get your wands ready!

Just remember that every couple of days the moon goes void-of-course for a few hours, so check your local moon calendars and avoid casting during those hours!

As we head into October, we’re coming right off the heels of a dark moon and into the lady-moonwaxing half of the cycle. This means for the next couple of weeks, timing will be most favorable towards spells that involve growth, increase, beginnings and other constructive goals.

Right from the get-go we’ve got Sunday October 2 and Monday October 3 with the new moon in Scorpio. If you’ve been trying to unravel a mystery or discover a secret, if you’re worried someone has been lying or deceitful, this timing couldn’t be more perfect for you. It’s ideal for casting spells to shed light on a problem or to bring the truth to the surface.

If you’ve got any travel plans coming up and you want to do spells for it— Wednesday, October 5, the moon is in Sagittarius. It’s a good day to cast spells to make a long-desired trip a reality. If you’ve got travel plans (for the holidays, perhaps, over the next couple of months), make a mojo bag to help your journey go smoothly with minimal fuss and muss, and no unforeseen expenses.

That Monday, the 10th, the moon moves into the sign of Aquarius. This day will be great to hj_edited-1set aside to do some relationship magic. This is not for dating or romance, this timing is best for family, friends, neighbors, people you work with—anyone with whom you hope to get along with a wee bit better.

Consider making a honey jar to ‘sweeten’ yourself to that person who has been on your case or making things difficult. If there’s been strife in the home or office, perform some cleansing and cast a spell for peace and harmony: candle magic, herbal petition, witch’s ladder—whatever you prefer.

Have you lost something? If you’ve been trying to find a lost object, then Wednesday, October 12 will lend the best energy to any spell you might cast.

For those singles looking for a fling or to meet a possible hook-up, Friday the 14th is a good time for lust spells. Avoid love spells— the energy this day lends will make things heat up quickly and powerfully, but they’ll fizzle out just as swiftly. It’s best for people not looking for strings attached.

The Full Moon is Sunday, October 16, and this particular Full Moon is in Taurus, making it most ideal for starting new projects that are going to take a long time to finish. If you want cmto start a business, a new health regime, a creative project, a home-improvement project, this day can aid magic towards those aims.

This full moon is also going to be great for money spells that involve growing a business, investment or increasing savings. If you have material needs—especially for things for your home—now is the time to cast for it.

Calling all writers! Be ready for Wednesday, October 19th! The waning moon is in Gemini and it’s a great time to help you cast spells that give you the oomph for finishing old projects. If you’ve been stalled on something or procrastinating, spells can help push you over the finish line.

It is not a good time for starting new writing projects, however, so put that off till next month!

Dealing with minor relationship problems? Perhaps you’ve been hot-headed, stubborn, in a rut, having trouble communicating or expressing your feelings?  Banish those things that are creating disharmony in a relationship—just make sure you get to the root of the problem! The moon is in Cancer and Friday is the Goddess Venus’s day, making it a good time for dealing with matters of love.

Sunday, October 23 is a great moment if you are trying to intimidate leosomeone. This is certainly magic I wouldn’t take lightly, but the Sun’s day in Leo while the moon is waning is a good time to borrow some of the strength and ferociousness of a lion. This isn’t meant to hurt anyone; it’s only meant to frighten them with your roar— to make bullies and troublemakers think twice about messing you. Use this energy responsibly.

If you’ve been dealing with a moderate to serious health problem, Tuesday, October 25 when the moon is in Virgo will help you with magic meant to fight it off. It’s a good time for banishing, diminishing, decreasing and reversing health problems. Not the sniffles; big issues.

In fact, the whole week is good for seriously powerful banishing—not light-handed stuff, but for serious challenges. If you need to dissolve a partnership or sever a bad relationship, October 27 when the moon is in Libra can help you do it swiftly and smoothly.

If you have any massive, major destructive magic to do, there couldn’t be a better time this year for it than October 29th. That Saturday (remember, Saturday is Saturn’s day, and he is one scary God who rules over endings), the moon is in Scorpio. Combined with the Samhain season, this is some serious, explosive energy to work with… it is ideal for any big problems in your life to be brought to a screeching halt, for obstacles to be obliterated. It’s good timing if you’re trying to Break addictions. It’s perfect for breaking curses, or, if the situation calls for it, casting curses. It’s also great for bindings if circumstances are extreme and you feel it is warranted.

Again, I don’t mean minor stuff, like getting rid of the sniffles or getting an annoying old neighbor to stop playing her TV too loud at night. This is time for the BIG problems, to bring out the BIG guns, to bring the matter to an ABRUPT full stop. I wouldn’t use it for a nagging ex or annoying boss. I’m talking about serious problems, like ‘my rapist got off on a technicality and I’m afraid he’s coming after me’ kind of thing— or ‘my girlfriend is extremely suicidal and I need to bind her to keep her safe until medical treatment gets underway‘ sort of issues. This timing is for serious business for problems (or people) who need to be stopped as a matter of life and death.

Be super cautious with these energies, and if you’re a novice you might want to sit this weekend out! Blasting through brick-wall type obstacles with dynamite is sometimes necessary, but that kind of powerful explosive action can also result in people getting hurtsm (including yourself, if you aren’t careful). So if you’re planning any kinds of spells for this day, you have been warned.

Happy Samhain! From Sunset Oct. 30 through the 31st, it’s a prime time for magic involving divination & spirit communication. This would be the case anytime the new moon was in Scorpio on a Monday, but it’s doubly so because it is Samhain. This time of year the veil is thin, so take advantage of this powerful energy to increase your psychic and intuitive abilities, and to commune with ancestor spirits and guides.

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Witch Charged for Allegedly Stealing and Selling Human Remains

3rd Wednesday of the Month: Current Events

gravewoman (allegedly) robbing and trying to sell human remains washing up in an old New Orleans cemetery near her home was busted. The fact that she says she practices Witchcraft is not actually relevant, but of course, that’s what the media is hyping.

Devon Marie Machuca, better known online as ‘Ender Darling,’ has been arrested and charged with trafficking in human parts and burglary of a cemetery. The New Orleans Witch got herself in a peck of trouble earlier this year when she (allegedly) posted a note on social media offering to sell bones she scavenged from an old graveyard near her home.

Apparently, a walk through the graveyard after a rain would (allegedly) provide her with an ample supply of choice human remains. Machuca (allegedly) wanted to share this bountiful harvest with Witches around the world so she wanted to know if anyone was interested in buying any (posts claimed charges were only enough to cover the cost of postage).

Machuca (allegedly) claims she likes working with human bones better than animal bones because ‘I can relate and work with the energy they carry.’ That’s fair; I can respect that we all have our ways of doing things. What I can’t respect, however, is the fact that she (allegedly) couldn’t respect the remains of the dead, their descendants, or the hallowed ground in which they were resting. She couldn’t (allegedly) respect county, state or federal laws regarding the trafficking of human remains.

mug-shotI really don’t care if it’s someone’s old-time family tradition dating back to the stone age; I don’t care what kind of argument you want to give me about how ‘everyone’s practice is different.’ That doesn’t give anyone the right to take something that doesn’t belong to them, the right to break the law, or to violate property and people as if they are your personal junk yard where you can go dumpster diving.

Animal sacrifices are also illegal, but people practicing religions like Santeria can apply for special permits to carry out such practices legally. I don’t agree with animal sacrifice either in my personal practice, but at least the people getting permits are following the laws. If Machuca had some kind of permit to obtain and work with human remains, I’d still not want anything to do with her practice, but it would be a different story. This is not about having different spiritual beliefs as Machuca about Witchcraft; it’s about the way one (allegedly) behaves with regards to the society in which they’re living.

I had the same issue with the famous ‘Bodies’ art exhibit, not because human remains were used for art or put on display, but because where and how they obtained the cadavers was questionable and black market grave robbing was suspected to have been involved. Human beings’ remains should be treated with (at best) the utmost dignity, or (at least) by following agreed-upon societal laws. If you don’t like the laws, fight to change them. But don’t simply disregard them. No one deserves to have their remains picked up and used unless they expressly granted permission before their death.
skull-and-crossbones-578212_960_720Every person who practices Witchcraft knows that we don’t need human remains. You may feel you want them, and again, you’re entitled to your opinion. But your opinion doesn’t entitled you to break laws meant to protect others– imagine if someone decided to help themselves to your bones… or your mothers… or your childs. Imagine if they helped themselves and then proceeded to do something with those bones that you find extremely offensive and against everything you stand for. It’s just wrong, and such laws are in place for that reason. We don’t need to break laws to practice our craft. We don’t need to disrespect the dead who are resting in peace. This was not a matter of religious freedom, but (allegedly) a blatant choice to disregard laws and human decency.  It’s nothing but hypocrisy if we fight for our rights under law, but ignore the rights of others afforded them by law.

I also can’t respect the fact that she (allegedly) didn’t respect the responsibility she has to our community by living publicly as a Witch. As Pagans and Witches, our beliefs and practices are still in the minority, and still sadly eyed with suspicion because they are foreign to people and misunderstood. It’s people like Machuca who are (allegedly) fueling those kinds of suspicions, giving credence to those kinds of theories, and making us all look bad. These kinds of acts are going to be spread across more headlines than the Witches who had a food drive for Mabon or who held a healing ritual for those who lost a loved one to violence. People will hold Machuca up as (allegedly) some kind of example of why we’re not to be trusted. The same people will fail to remember or recognize that many of the people who discovered her posts (allegedly) on social media and called for her to be investigated by authorities were also Witches.
That’s just the way things seem to work, sadly. It shouldn’t take one person’s offensive (not to mention, illegal) behavior to set us back, but unfortunately it still can set us back. It’s a sure-fire way of siccing the salem-witch-trials-witch-no-3-c-february-29th-1892-er7j3acrazy evangelicals and conspiracy theorists of the world on us, giving them more fodder for criticism and discrimination. Thousands of responsible, law-abiding, tax-paying Witches who signal when they change lanes and keep their lawns neat have to live under the shadows cast by one (alleged) Machuca. Again, we shouldn’t have to; but unfortunately, we still do need to be aware of how personal choices affect our community.

I’m glad Machuca was caught and charged (allegedly); what she was (allegedly) doing to those poor bodies is, in my opinion, irresponsible, disrespectful and selfish. She has (allegedly) defended herself with reporters. She’s (allegedly) claimed that it was okay to harvest the bones because no one was caring for the old graves in the Potter’s field, and because she’s from New Orleans and some of her ancestors might even (allegedly) be buried in that cemetery. I don’t see how any of that can possibly justify her (alleged) actions of not only collecting bones for her own use, but offering to mail, or sell them, to other people who have no connection to the graves at all.

Locals became so outraged by her behavior that she’s (allegedly) had to flee to another state because she feared for her safety. While I do not wish her harm (vigilante justice isn’t right, either), I do hope that when she is arraigned later this month she will reconsider her (alleged) actions and come to understand why they outraged so many people. She also needs to rethink why she’s (allegedly) done a serious, serious disservice to the Witch community overall.

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Bringing Autumn Indoors When It’s Not Outdoors

Welcome to the 2nd Wednesday of the month: The Cottage Witch Corner fall-woods

I absolutely love the fall. The nip in the air, the warm clothes you bundle up in, the smell of balsam in the air, the gorgeous colors on the trees. Everything about the fall makes me feel so alive and comfortable.

There’s only one problem for me– I live in the subtropics. That means that despite the fact that fall has come to most of the rest of my hemisphere, I spend September, October and November in the air conditioning with a view more like this:

florida

Don’t get me wrong; it’s beautiful– but it doesn’t exactly scream ‘autumn splendor!’

So, what’s a Wiccan Witch to do? After all, I want to join in with all the Wheel of the Year celebrations that glorify the harvest season and the Earth’s bounty. I want to revel in that season that I find so stunning and comforting. I want to attune to the cycles of the seasons as my ancient Pagan ancestors did. And, aww crap, I’m a ‘Yankee’ girl from NYC who  sometimes just wants a break from the seemingly endless southern summer!

Well, I tell you what I’ve learned to do: if the autumn season won’t come to Mackenzie, Mackenzie must go to the autumn season. 

If I can’t have a gorgeous autumn season at my feet when I walk out the door during this time of year, I figured I’d transform my home into an autumn wonderland.

015Starting about August, I begin dragging out the fall decorations. The goal is to appeal to all of the senses. I start hanging pictures, putting out figurines, swapping out fabrics, all in favor of autumn-izing my house to the max. I want to look around and feel like Autumn exploded in there. I start at Lughnasadh, and it just builds up and lasts until after Thanksgiving.

20151031_213142010

Next, I work on the scents– this may be apple-cinnamon potpourri, a balsamy-scented incense blend or a rich, musky scented oil infused in the air. I really love incense, especially for helping to tap into that part of the brain that sets a mood. The sense of smell is extremely evocative.

Another way to bring the autumn indoors is with our choice of food and beverages. Home-baked herbal bread, apple walnut bread, apple cup pies, beef stew, autumn soup or even just a cup of pumpkin spiced warm white chocolate will not only bring in the tastes, but the scents of autumn as well.

20151031_213120acwbread     100 pumpkin-chocolate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Incidentally, you can find my autumn decoration crafts and recipes in my Hubpages article collection).

 

By bringing the autumn to my indoors, it helps me get more in tune with the season. This by no means indicates that I’m failing to attune with it outdoors. When autumn comes, there’s much to do in my herb garden. I go for walks through the park trails and botanic gardens to see the subtle changes taking place in the local weather patterns. The city’s big weekly farmer’s market returns, and I start spending my Saturday mornings sharing in the bountiful harvest of the Earth.

Image result for st. petersburg saturday morning market

One bright spot as well to really help me get my autumn on came into my life last year:

Hallowed Homecoming registration.

This beautiful Samhain retreat in Triangle, Virginia started last year and is apparently going to become an annual thing. I’ve informed my family that I’ll now be taking an annual retreat every November right after Samhain. Last year, the experience gave me that burst of fall I’d been missing every since my family packed up and headed south.

Just look at the photo I took of the location (Prince William Forest):

Samhain splendor-- this is where I spent my weekend. Can you think of a better location?

And check out my cabin:

Pagan wet dream-- just move me in! This was my cabin for the retreat.

It doesn’t get any more picturesque than that in the fall.

All you northern Pagans who are enjoying the full-on autumn this time of year, know that I’m a bit jealous! But for those of us who don’t quite get to experience the season in our home town the way we wish we could, don’t take it lying down-2n2- do something about it! Bring the autumn to you, or pack up the car and go find the autumn!

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