Here, Enchantments brings you excerpts from Gail Bussi’s Enchanted Kitchen (perfect for gifting, too!), including a Winter Solstice Blessing, a Brandy Butter recipe, decorating ideas, and more.
As the season for rest and reprieve comes upon us, what better way to celebrate Yule than a little practical kitchen magic? In her book Enchanted Kitchen, author Gail Bussi offers seasonal tips and rituals to enliven the holidays and brighten up those long winter nights. The book also includes more than seventy-five seasonal recipes for each month, so it's perfect for gifting, too. Here are a few gems to help make your Winter Solstice extra special this year, while honoring the change of season and sacred stillness.
Enhance Your Home With Essential Oils
“Essential oils and scented candles can echo this warmth by using fragrances such as myrrh, frankincense, juniper, sweet orange, and sandalwood. Citrus fruits can be hung as pomanders or simply piled in wooden bowls; chili peppers and cranberries, too, lend a bright warmth to the winter kitchen and can be added to wreaths and other decorations.”
Blessing for December 21st, the Night of Yule
“Earth, you have given us both light and
Darkness. On this night we give thanks
For the return of the sun and for the
Blessings of warmth and growth. The old
Yer has passed away; the new year is
Here. May we all be blessed with light,
With warmth, with grace. And so it is.”
Gift Homemade Recipe Cards
“If you have any treasured old handwritten recipes, copy and laminate a few of them as very special Yuletide cards or simply keep them as page markers in your very favorite cookbooks.”
Try a Traditional Yuletide Recipe
“Brandy butter, a traditional Yuletide recipe from Britain, is usually served with hot Christmas pudding, but in my opinion just about any excuse will do! Mix 1 stick of softened butter with enough confectioners' sugar to make a soft and creamy mixture, then stir in about 2 tablespoons of brandy. Keep in the refrigerator and use with desserts or cake as a sauce or topping.”
Bring the beauty of outdoors table-side
“Decorate your kitchen with sprigs of rosemary and pine tied with red ribbons, symbols of immorality and blessings; these make a lovely natural place setting, too. For abundance and prosperity, create a simple kitchen wreath with holly leaves and berries, juniper, small pine cones, and a few cinnamon sticks, trimmed with a gold or green ribbon.”
From Enchanted Kitchen by Gail Bussi. © 2022 by Gail Bussi. Used by permission from Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., www.Llewellyn.com. To purchase the book directly from the publisher, click here or head to the Enchantments shop in New York City.
Read on to find out why this handy little manual will serve as a great companion throughout the Wheel of the Year.
It’s the time of the year when it seems like you blink once and Yule celebrations are already in full swing. If you’re the type to plan ahead and cross off your shopping lists early, check out Llewellyn’s new Sabbats Almanac (available in the Enchantments shop or online) as a gift for all the witches, magic workers, and Pagans in your life.
More than ever we need to add ritual in our lives and take time to honor the cycles of the year. For those of us who practice earth-based rituals, a good almanac is an essential thing to have around on the shelf, but it’s hard to choose just one. Llewellyn publishes some of the best almanacs around, from the yearly Magical Almanac to the popular Witches’ Datebook and Witches’ Companion. But this year, we’re especially loving the new Sabbats Almanac. Use it throughout the Wheel of the Year to source recipes, rituals, and spells for each holiday, from the Witches’ New Year that is Samhain and back around to the Fall Equinox that is Mabon.
The 2023 edition features a great mix of writers from a variety of traditions and includes folklore, cooking recipes, craft ideas, and extended rituals for each celebration. There’s also a notes section at the end of each Sabbat chapter for you to add in your own rituals, seasonal intentions, and musings. The various essays include brief descriptions of each holiday and ritual tips, whether it’s working with corresponding foods, oils, trees, stones, or symbolic elements. Each section also has prayers and invocations associated with more structured rituals, whether you’re a solo practitioner or working in a coven.
For more on our favorites, check out our new Plant Magic Series, featuring some of the best books in botanical and herbal magic.
By Amber C. Snider
As part of our new series, our Magical Farmer’s Market Guides bring you plant-based ritual tips from authors, folklore, and spells using local, seasonal ingredients, as well as custom-carved candle suggestions.
Packed with vitamins like iron, calcium, folic acid, and vitamins A and C, Spinach, a “cold-hardy leafy green,” also contains antioxidants to help strengthen the body and fight stress. It’s good for eye sight and overall health, so you can ingest it with the intention of health and “psychic sight,” too. Laurel Woodward, author of Kitchen Witchery and Backyard Garden Witchery, cites its benefits in money spells, longevity, and vitality. Add some leaves to a smoothie (with coconut water or milk, berries, and bananas) during your morning manifestations and meditations. As you sip, focus on the magic of the plant moving through your body, filling you with energy and strength for the day.
The plant is associated with the earth element and Jupiter, and according to Scott Cunningham, it’s useful for “promoting money, employment, and overall prosperity.” Along with bay leaves, add spinach to your money spells via baths, teas, ouanga bags, or sprinkle some on your spell candles.
Custom-carved candle: Money Pyramid Candle, used for long-term financial growth. It helps build a solid financial foundation and promotes responsibility and good choices regarding money.
Thyme is one of my favorite herbs! It’s fragrant, grows in abundance, and loaded with nutrients such as vitamin C for immune system support and potassium. According to WebMD, thyme can also help reduce inflammation and help with respiratory health, which is especially great during the seasonal transitions.
In magic, it’s good for “communication, courage, and dreams,” as well as healing, love, luck, psychic powers, purification, sight, and success,” writes Laurel Woodward in Backyard Garden Witchery. You can add the fresh herb to nearly any dish for a zesty burst of flavor, or keep it dried in your pantry. It’s a calming herb that enhances psychic ability, so you can also add some to your nighttime teas, place a few sprigs in a sachet to keep under your pillow, or add to a sea salt blend for baths.
Associated with Venus and the element of water, Scott Cunningham writes in his Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs that thyme can be worn to attract good health and used in healing spells. “Thyme is also a purificatory herb; the Greeks burned it in their temples to purify them and so thyme is often burned prior to magical rituals to cleanse the area.”
Custom-carved candle: Throat Chakra Candle, used for cleansing, healing, balancing and strengthening the third chakra. This chakra is associated with energy, power, will, assertiveness, self-esteem, confidence, courage and appropriate self-discipline.
Sensual, decadent, and uplifting, chocolate is associated with the planet Mars and good for “promoting protection and courage,” according to Scott Cunningham. It’s also associated with “magical strength and sexual energy,” he writes in Wicca in the Kitchen.
If you find a chocolate dessert at the farmer’s market, eat it with the intention of invoking an abundant, luxurious life, sensuality, divine protection, pleasure, and of course, love. Add raw cacao to your smoothies, morning coffee, or make your own hot chocolate (a much healthier alternative to the packaged stuff). “Cacao also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to promote a sense of well-being and relaxation,” writes Laurel Woodward in Kitchen Witchery.
The cacao tree was particularly important in ancient Mesoamerica, where it was used in sacred rituals by the Mayans, Aztecs, and others. Cacao is still widely used in spiritual ceremonies today.
Custom-carved candle: Mystere Candle, an attraction spell which surrounds you with glamour, excitement, and an air of mystery and intrigue that helps attract potential suitors, drawing them in like moths to a flame.
A beautifully versatile root veggie, parsnips can be pureed, added to soups and stews, or roasted with olive oil as an autumnal side dish. They can be found at farmer’s markets or your local grocery store all year round, but are best in the fall and winter months. Packed with vitamin C and E, as well as potassium and other nutrients, they’re also low in calories.
“Parsnips hold an earthy, masculine energy that supports creation and sex magick,” writes Laurel Woodward. Good for grounding spells or channeling the divine masculine, you can eat this superfood with intention –– or serve a hearty meal to your lover for an extra spark in the bedroom.
Custom-carved candle: Root Chakra Candle, used for cleansing, healing, balancing and strengthening the root chakra. This chakra is associated with grounding, healthy boundaries, stability, security, trust, prosperity and health.
Harvested during the late summer months and early fall, zucchini has been “used in folk medicine to treat colds, aches, and various health conditions,” according to Healthline. I love sautéing zucchini in a pan as a side dish for dinner, adding it to stir fry (julienne style or sliced), or substituting for regular pasta (pairs really well with cream sauce), but they also pair surprisingly well with eggs in the morning.
But what about its magical benefits? Laurel Woodward notes this veggie in helping to invoke “prosperity, protection, and psychic awareness,” in her book Backyard Garden Witchery. It’s also associated with sex and spirituality, as well as enlightenment and enhancing intuition, and considered an aphrodisiac.
Custom-carved candle: Peace and Protection Candle, used to help keep out people who are invading your life through astral vibrations, visitations, psychic attack, verbal abuse, bickering, and paranoia. Helps quiet people who incite violence, slander and harm to others, and replaces their negative energies with ones of peace and tranquility.
There are so many uses for basil, whether it’s used as a botanical essential oil, steeped in teas, burned in sacred rituals, or added to incense blends, baths, soaps, lotions and more. It’s a super diverse, versatile, yummy culinary plant with several varieties.
Also known as Tulsi, eating or drinking the herb can help reduce inflammation and contains “compounds that can help to alleviate anxiety and depression, increase your ability to think clearly, and lower the risk for age-related memory loss,” cites WebMD. In magic, it brings along “cheer and creativity,” according to author Laurel Woodward, as well as “happiness, harmony, love, and luck.” It’s associated with the planet Mars and can be used for protection and prosperity spells.
Basil is also connected to the holiday Samhain which occurs on October 31st and November 1st, so consider making a tea offering to your ancestors at that time. It’s a soothing, calming herb, making it great for nighttime brews, as well. “A tea made from basil leaves will aid in spirit communication,” adds Woodward in Kitchen Witchery.
Custom-carved candle: Love and Happiness Candle, which focuses on bringing an abundance of love and joy into your life. Paves the way for new friendships and/or relationships, memorable moments with loved ones and increased self-love.
*Editor’s note: This article is intended for informational or educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals.
By Amber C. Snider
As part of our plant series, our new Magical Farmer’s Market Guides bring you plant-based ritual tips from authors, folklore, and spells using local, seasonal ingredients.
Super easy to find at your local farmer’s market, especially during the fall months, squash associated with the Sun (as are most yellow vegetables), the element of fire, and the festival of Samhain on October 31st/November 1st, as well as Mabon on September 21st.
According to Laurel Woodward’s Backyard Garden Witchery, butternut squash is “loaded with dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene to support eye health and fight muscular degeneration” and can be added to meals to support healthy relationships. Woodward also cites its magical properties to help with “beauty, deepening relationships, health, influence, and prosperity.”
In his seminal work Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen, Scott Cunningham says that eating squash in dishes can “increase awareness of the nonphysical reality around us," adding that it is a "fine spirituality-inducing food.” Squash is great when roasted in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt, sautéed or fried in the pan for breakfast, as well as pureed for hearty fall soups.
Custom-carved candle: Solar Blast. Helps the Sun come through to cleanse, purge and rejuvenate your entire being. Provides positive energy for all your endeavors. Invites joy into your life. A great 'wishing' candle. Traditionally used to celebrate your solar return/birthday!
Lavender is one of the most popular herbs around and can be used for so many things, including teas, in baking, aromatic oils, baths, and more. I personally love to combine lavender with Himalayan sea salt to sprinkle on foods or add dried lavender to sea salt for a relaxing ritual bath. You can normally find it fresh or dried at the farmer’s market and easily create your own infusions and oils with the herb.
Associated with the element of air, according to Laurel Woodward’s “Kitchen Witchery,” it’s excellent for spellwork involving “calm, clarity, communication, healing, love, protection, and sleep.” For sweet dreams, add a couple teaspoons into a sachet bag and place under your pillow at night, carry a few sprigs in your pocket for luck and protection, or combine with dried rose for a blissful beauty tea.
Custom-carved candle option: Peace & Protection. This candle helps to keep out people who are invading your life through astral vibrations, visitations, psychic attack, verbal abuse, bickering, and paranoia and to quiet people who incite violence, slander and harm to others. It replaces their negative energies with ones of peace and tranquility.
Fall is definitely the season for apple picking and if you’re on the east coast, you can find an abundance of varieties at the farmer’s market, from granny to honeycrisp and pink ladies. Associated with the water element and the planet Venus, apples are also used in many magical spells, particularly love and sex magic.
Whether it’s apple bobbing for Samhain, sipping mulled apple cider on chilly autumn evenings, or baking them into pies for the fall equinox, there are many ways to use the sweet fruit. In Laurel Woodward’s Kitchen Witchery, apples are also a symbol of fertility and sexuality, and associated with “beauty, garden magick, healing, love, and youth.” They're also associated with love, health, and peace and were “valued foods in ancient Egypt...and intimately linked with spirituality in the British Isles," as well as for the Norse and Yoruba peoples, writes Scott Cunningham in his Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen.
Cunningham recommends carving a heart into the apple’s skin before eating it to reign in love (remember self-love is a thing, too!) or baking an apple pie with ginger and cinnamon to share with your lover.
Custom-carved candle option: Empress in Venus. Goddess based candle to help magnify self-love and confidence. Also can be used to attract romantic attention.
This hearty, resilient vegetable is great all year round, but you can find it in abundance during the fall months. Try making your own Ukrainian borscht for a delicious, warming meal or adding to fall salads with walnuts and goat cheese. Associated with the earth element and the planet Saturn, in magic, beets are used for love and beauty spells.
According to Cunningham, “beets have been eaten for centuries by persons wishing to lengthen their life spans” and are also associated with the fall festival of Samhain on November 1st. They can also be added to love-attracting diets! “Cook and eat beets while visualizing yourself enjoying increased beauty,” he writes. Or make a love spell ink using the liquid from boiled beets and a dash of vinegar (recipe can be found in Backyard Garden Witchery by Laurel Woodward).
Custom-carved candle: Catch a New Love. For use in attracting a suitable new romantic partner.
Associated with the element of fire and the planet Mars, carrots hold strong sexual energy and traditionally associated with the masculine. According to Laurel Woodward’s Backyard Garden Witchery, carrots are associated with “beauty, clear sight, fertility, protection, strength, and youth” and can help boost women’s energy for courage or strengthen male virility. When “prepared and eaten with the correct visualization, carrots may play a part in overcoming psychological impotency,” writes Cunningham in his beloved Encyclopedia.
I especially love roasting different carrot varieties, including white, deep purple, and yellow shades (aka kaleidoscope) in the oven with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, thyme, and rosemary, finished off with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
Custom-carved candle: Mars Candle. Invokes the God of war for strength, perseverance, passion, virility, victory, protection, courage and willpower.
Sage has been around for thousands of years and is particularly sacred to the Native Americans. When burned in a ritualistic manner, aka smoke cleansing, it’s used for purifying a space, banishing unwanted energies, and enhancing psychic ability. “Its energies include longevity and health,” writes Scott Cunningham, and has been “used in cooking, medicine, and magic for at least 2,000 years.”
Associated with the planet Jupiter and the element of air, according to Scott Cunningham, sage is also useful for “promoting money, employment, and overall prosperity.” Laurel Woodward cites its magical uses as an aphrodisiac, as well as a great plant to promote cheer, creativity, and mental power.
At the farmer’s market, you can normally find it fresh and add it to soups, stews, or roasted vegetables. If you’d like to use it for smoke cleansing, simply hang the herb in a dry area in your kitchen and when completely dry, bundle it with thread. When used for cooking, store the dried herb in a mason jar.
Custom-carved candle: House Blessing candle. Cleanses and blesses your living space - whether you've been living there for years or just moved in. It will help put the house in order and keep it blessed with good energy and peace.
Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of an evergreen tree and is widely used in magical practices and spells. Its warming scent can also be found in scented candles, body oils, perfumes, soaps and more. It’s also used in many love spells, either to attract new lover, entice passion, and enhance sexual desire, as well as spells involving productivity and success.
Associated with the Sun and element of fire, cinnamon can be used to raise vibrations and increase mental clarity, so it’s great to use while working or studying, too. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your coffee for an extra magickal boost.
Cinnamon “holds energy to draw money, stimulate psychic abilities, kindle love, boost attraction, and increase magickal energy in general,” writes Woodward in Kitchen Witchery and can be used in spellwork involving luck, love, protection, raising vibrations, and overall success. According to Scott Cunningham, “the ancient Egyptians used cinnamon in medicine and religion as early as 1450 BCE, while “in Greece, it played a part in processions to Dionysus.” When working with magical food, oils, or perfumes, it’s said to double a spell’s power. Also, if you’re trying to quit smoking, I’ve found organic cinnamon sticks to be an effective deterrent.
Custom-carved candle: Fast Luck candle. It speaks for itself! This candle helps to bring luck in a safe and correct way so that you can succeed in your endeavors. Good for money magic spells.
Associated with the earth element, lunar energies, and Samhain celebrations on November 1st, pumpkins can be found at your local farmer’s market throughout the months of September - November. In magic, according to Laurel Woodward, they can be used for banishing unwanted spirits, people, and energies, as well as divination and prosperity spells. They hold “stable, positive energy,” as well as “energy to fortify health, cheer spirit, and attract prosperity,” she writes.
Cunningham cites pumpkins in healing and money spells, as well: “Pumpkin is also a nutritious money-attractant. Make a pumpkin pie and add cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to flavor it with money-drawing energies.” In addition to making pumpkin pies, pumpkin spiced beverages, and roasting in the oven with sea salt and herbs, you can also roast the seeds for a delicious snack. Of course, pumpkin spice lattes are all the rage in the fall months too, but make sure the syrup is made from real pumpkin and not just artificial flavoring. Pumpkin-scented candles add a coziness and warmth to the home, offering a welcoming energy for guests, too.
Custom-carved candle: Uncrossing Candle. A purification. Removes negativity, blocks, curses and hexes from all elements of one's life. Can be used to cleanse your home, office, self or those around you. It clears the way for positive vibrations to come into your life.
By Amber C. Snider
For all you kitchen witches, herbal enthusiasts, and earth magic practitioners out there, we've rounded up the best books on plant magic. From wildcrafting to enchanted cooking and responsible foraging, there's a little something for everyone.
Enchanted Kitchen by Gail Bussi
Gail Bussi whips up 75 “edible magic” recipes, along with seasonal rituals and spells, in her latest book Enchanted Kitchen. New for 2022, this tiny-yet-mighty magical cookbook designed to help you connect to Spirit includes recipes for each month, complete with vegan and vegetarian options. Learn to make quick magic seeded bread, leprechaun pesto in March, sunshine lemon pickles and moon magic soup in January, spiced ghee in August, and more. Bussi, who studied holistic herbalism and natural healing, is a professional cook and also the author of Enchanted Herbal.
The Magick of Food by Gwion Raven
Starting with Sumer and moving through Greece and Rome, Raven begins The Magick of Food with a “brief and incomplete” culinary history, before moving onto magickal cooking in modern times. The book includes kitchen tips, food & sex, healing, spellwork, and ritual offerings for the gods. Learn to make honey shortbread to conjure love, a Baba Yagatini cocktail or Metamorphoses mocktail mojito, a gratitude spell with bone broth, or celebratory dishes to honor the various sabbats in the Wheel of the Year.
Backyard Garden Witchery by Laurel Woodward
New for 2022, Laurel Woodward’s Backyard Garden Witchery offers practical advice and spiritual guidance to help you realize the magickal potential that’s just outside your door. Explore the energy of plants, spirits of the land, earth-based rituals, flower spells, culinary recipes, magickal oils, and herbal brews to create your own “living, breathing sanctuary for herbalism.” She also offers advice on working with (and appreciating) weeds, shrubs, herbs, and flowers. A must-have for any garden enthusiast looking to transform their personal outdoor space into a mindful wonderland.
Kitchen Witchery by Laurel Woodward
Laurel Woodward’s Kitchen Witchery (2021) is designed to “elevate the way you approach cooking" and explores everything from cooking with the lunar cycle, working with grains and wheat (with gluten-free alternatives), the magickal associations of nuts, oils, fruits, veggies, mushrooms, and more. It also includes rituals and spells for each ingredient. Whenever you’re wanting to add a touch of magick to a particular dish, simply look up the individual ingredient and see the possibilities. Great for kitchen witches, spice lovers, and anyone wanting to enhance their culinary creations with intention.
Encyclopedia of Wicca In the Kitchen by Scott Cunningham
Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca may not be new, but it's an absolute must-have for any kitchen witch. This culinary staple by bestselling author Scott Cunningham covers five distinct sections: magic in the kitchen (including tools, magickal cooking, and festival foods), the magic of food (which inclludes the lore, magickal uses, and elemental associations with a variety of common ingredients), magical food diets (for protection, money, sex, spirituality, and more); Scott's favorite recipes (including desserts, main dishes, and apps); and finally, supplemental material (including symbols, resources, and more). It's truly a definite guide to the magical cooking in the kitchen.
Weedy Wisdom for the Curious Forager by Rebecca Randall Gilbert
Gilbert's Weedy Wisdom is a beautifully written homage to the natural world and all the lessons we can take from working with wild plants. After spending her childhood foraging in Martha’s Vineyard with her grandmother and later teaching at Camp Jabberwocky, the oldest summer camp for people with disabilities, Gilbert shares her plant wisdom through dozens of recipes and includes ways to incorporate foraging into your everyday life.
Here you’ll find info on edible flowers, leaves as foundational food, first aid plants, cooking techniques, and more. With an eye for gratitude and radical honesty, Gilbert shows how to use plants with a higher, more attuned consciousness and offers up a variety of plant knowledge for both spiritual and physical growth.
The Scent of Lemon and Rosemary by Raechel Henderson
The Scent of Lemon Rosemary is a beautiful tribute to the Goddess Hestia. Rarely discussed in Greek and Roman mythology, Hestia’s power is pervasive, as the Goddess of the hearth, she’s the first one to receive offerings and keeps the fire alight in the home, heavens, and beyond. Here, Henderson covers working with the Goddess throughout the home (with chapters on love and transformation in the kitchen, purification in bathroom, prosperity in bedroom, and communication in the living room), including ways to invoke Hestia’s energy, protection spells, kitchen spells, magical houseplants, and more. She also includes several magickal recipes, herbal remedies, healing teas, and green cleaning recipes throughout.
A Witch’s Guide to Wildcraft by JD Walker
In her A Witch’s Guide to Wildcraft: Using Common Plants to Create Uncommon Magick, JD Walker discusses the sacred energy of North American plants and ways to use them in your magical work. You don’t have to go far to find powerful plants all around you (hint: many are right in your backyard or nearby woods), including chickweed, clover, dandelion, ferns, grass, holly, and more. Here, she explores the uses of 30 common plants, ways to identify and harvest them, and offers spells and rituals for each one to help you “develop a closer relationship with our enchanted world and with your own spiritual self.”
Earth Magic by Dodie Graham McKay
As part of Llewellyn’s Elements of witchcraft series, Dodie Graham McKay’s Earth Magic is an absolute staple for any witch seeking to hone their skills in the sacred art of working with elementals. Complete with invocations, info on sacred earth sites, offerings, stones, geomancy, wildcrafting, earth animal guides, and more, her book is thorough, practical, and above all, wise. She also includes guest essays that help inspire others to create positive changes in their environment and self, including a moving piece entitled “Indigenous Perspectives on the Land and Pagans” by Karen Froman, a member of the Six Nations of Grand River, Mohawk Nation. If you’d like to deepen your earth magic practices and grow in your Craft, this is definitely the book for you.
The Witching Herbs: 13 Essential Plants & Herbs for Your Magical Garden by Harold Roth
Rather than an encyclopedia of hundreds of herbs and plants, Roth’s book focuses on 13 essentials that every witch should know about. As founder of Alchemy Works, Roth blends the scholarly with the magickal, combining his 30 years of gardening experience with deep knowledge of the occult. Great for an intermediate to an advanced practitioners, the book provides in-depth coverage of witch’s favorite plants, such as poppy, rue, hyssop, clary sage, and vervain. Learn to make psychic enhancing tinctures with clary sage, dream tea with vervain, the lore behind belladonna, plant spirit familiars, and more with this essential book.
Herbal Magick by Gerina Dunwich
Filled with Pagan lore, herbal spells and techniques, gypsy magick, dream magick, and more, Gerina Dunwich’s Herbal Magick: A Guide to Herbal Enchantments, Folklore, and Divination is an enchanting hardcover worthy of any herbal witch. Learn about cherry tree divinations, tea spells, the meaning of plants in dreams, the names of Gods and Goddesses, working with roots and leaves, and more. She also includes an herbal encyclopedia that contains the Pagan names (if known) of each plant, as well as its planetary and elemental rulers and the Pagan Gods/Goddesses associated with each, making it a handy reference book, too.
It’s time to celebrate the midway point between the Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox –– the sacred time of Lammas.
Part of the eight sabbats in the Wheel of the Year, Lammas is a time to give thanks for all the blessings in your life and honor the abundance of the natural world. Historically, this time of year is a pivotal point in the calendar for harvesting the first grain and fruits of the season, which helps ensure survival over the coming winter months. In Celtic Ireland, Lammas (also known as Lughnasadh) honors the Sun God Lugh, who is also known for his craftsmanship. The holiday was traditionally celebrated by cutting the grain, grinding it into flour, and baking the first bread of the season (in Old English, lammas means “loaf mass") and offering it to the God. It takes place on August 1st or 2nd, and it's a time to celebrate all the hard work you’ve put in up until this point. For modern witches, Wiccans, and pagans this can also involve doing spellwork and rituals around prosperity, abundance, growth, and gratitude.
Here, Enchantments’ staff member Marisabel Santiago discusses eight ways to celebrate Lammas, with links to purchase magical tools associated with the sabbat.
Making corn husk dolls
“Corn is abundant this time of year and in the olden days, people would make corn husk dolls from the harvest. They can be used as a form of sympathetic magic, too,” says Marisabel. “These are old traditions representing the Goddess or Lugh’s mother, because [in some stories] she would die this time of year. As a result, some people would use the corn husk dolls for sympathetic magic to symbolize the pieces of themselves that no longer serve them. They would put [aspects of] themselves that no longer served them inside the corn husk dolls and burn them in a ritual, thus, letting go and also giving birth to their own harvest.”
A ritual with Rose of Jericho
“Lammas is such a prosperous time. It’s good for money magick, prosperity, and [invoking] solar energy. I highly recommend working with the Rose of Jericho. It’s that miraculous plant that comes back to life. It’s typically left in water bowls and as it opens it brings prosperity. You can add dimes to the water to reign in more prosperity,” says Marisabel.
“I like to make simple, white bread for Lammas. Because it was the first harvest of the season, people would make the first cut of wheat, grind it up to make flour, and make bread from it. The first bread was offered to the God Lugh and people would take a trip up the mountain (because the mountains are closest to the sun) and bury it there. Then they’d have their celebrations there on the mountain,” says Marisabel.
“My favorite bread to make is herb pull-apart bread with mozzarella cheese (here’s a recipe). If you don’t want to use the corn husk for sympathetic magick, you can also make little breadmen and fill it with intentions. If you were trying to lose weight, mold yourself into that image. If you want to represent the Goddess, shape it into a nice Venus of Willendorf…it’s just a really fun way to celebrate,” she adds.
“Lammas incense is excellent when you’re trying to work with air elemental magick. All you have to do is light some incense and make your intentions heard. As the incense blows up to the heavens, so your prayers get brought up,” says Marisabel. “Lammas has this whole history of going up the mountain to get in contact with the solar deity, but the fact that the incense carries up to the heavens saves you the trip of going up that hill,” she adds. #RunningUpThatHill. Nine Fruits incense, which brings luck and blessings, is also great this time of year.
Making a really nice meal
“I love to make a really nice meal as a ‘thank you’ for all the blessings in my life during Lammas. It’s another great way of celebrating the harvest: You put in the hard work throughout the entire year to get to this point and you can take a moment to enjoy it all,” says Marisabel. “People nowadays really do have to take a moment to reflect on all the good, especially with all the bad stuff going around. Lammas is a great way to stop and just be. It’s also in the middle of Leo season, which is one of the happiest seasons!”
“A Solar Blast candle is great for this time of year. We’re still in summer, but we’re heading into the darker half of the year, so I love a Solar Blast to try to get that last bit of the sun into our prosperity rituals,” says Marisabel. “I also love a Success Candle, because it’s Leo season, and it’s all about that 5th House of being the inner child, showing up, and having that strength and vitality. Adding that [Leo] energy to your Success Candles can be a really big blessing, especially this time of year,” she says.
Frankincense & Myrrh
“Frankincense and myrrh are solar resins, so they tend to bring a lot of prosperity,” says Marisabel. You can purchase Frankincense resin here, which is used for cleansing and protection, and often burned with Myrrh, which is good for cleansing and protection.
Money related candles & spells
“Money-related candles are great because it’s time to reap that harvest and get that money!” she says. You can opt for a custom Money Drawing Candle, Money Draw incense or oil, a Money Pyramid Candle (good for long-term financial growth and promotes responsibility and good choices regarding money), a Money Draw spell kit, (which comes with a small incense and dram of oil), or a picture candle like this Mr. Money Candle.
By Amber C. Snider
Learn how to respectfully petition water spirits, make moon water, and perform beach rituals.
The four elements are present in all of us: earth in our bones, air in our lungs, fire in our spirits, and water that continuously moves through our blood. Many of us are especially attracted to that last element: the call of the ocean is contained within us, the shoreline beckons us, and the sound of rain, waves, and streams is akin to holy music. We seek out water every day, whether it’s a cup of tap water to nourish our physical bodies or sinking into a daily ritual bath. And it’s no surprise that we’re so drawn to the power of water, since the human body is made of 60% of the stuff.
Like fire, water has the power to both cleanse and destroy. Think of how salt water from the ocean can heal wounds and also wipe out entire coastal towns. It’s an element that deserves the highest respect, for we are no match for the fertile, engulfing power of the ocean. For witches and spiritual practitioners, performing spells and rituals by the seaside is also important: It brings us closer to our spiritual roots, grants us interior reprieve and rest, and recenters us.
Here are ways you can work with the power of water in your rituals:
No two streams are alike
Each body of water, whether it’s the ocean, a river, cenote, or mountain stream, has a different energy and ‘presence’. For sensitive folks, this change in essence is palpable and every water source very much alive. Sit at the water’s edge and listen. Pray for insight to a question or problem and then wait for your answer. Like a slow breeze, the answer may come in a hushed whisper or an internal “knowing.”
Respect your surroundings
It’s good to get to know the energies of a place before you petition the spirits there, but the main common thread between them all is respect. If you bring things to the water, be sure to take it back with you. I personally do not believe in leaving ritual offerings at water sites – if it didn’t come from the ocean/river, etc. (and you brought it with you), take it back with you when you leave. It’s a quick way to anger the spirits of the land when you leave trash and/or foreign objects in their home.
Tip from Enchantments’ witch Carmen
“When making offerings to water deities, be aware of the signs that they send you. If your offering is not enough or it is not the right time, you may feel anxiety or discomfort while you set up or before you leave. Honor your intuition and reset your intentions, or come back at a later time when you feel compelled to continue. Remember, to leave these sacred spaces just as you found them. Make sure there are no plastics or non-biodegradable items in your offering. Clean up and take your trash with you.”
Get to know the Goddesses associated with water
...and honor them accordingly (especially before working with them). Yemaya, the Great Ocean Mother and a powerful orisha, is both nurturing, protective, healing, and fierce. (Read more about her here). You can honor her by lighting blue and white candles, building an altar with cowrie shells, watermelon, and white flowers. You can also honor her by simply picking up trash at the beach whenever you see it. Venus, the Goddess of Love and Fertility, was “conceived” in the ocean, so the water’s edge is a great place to petition her for love. You can light green or pink candles to honor her, carry white roses with you (or use them in a bath) with offerings of copper. But again, as with all water rituals, I highly recommend you take all your ritual supplies with you when you leave.
Ancient power of Cenotes
Cenotes, primarily found in the Yucatan region in modern day Mexico, are highly charged spiritual sites dating back to the Ancient Mayans. Locals say that each cenote is “guarded” by a protective spirit, as well as aluxes (playful yet mischievous guardian spirits at the cenote’s entrance). With over 7,000 present in Yucatan, cenotes have become popular swimming sites for tourists – but don’t let that fool you into thinking that dulls their spiritual power in any way. Most cenotes were the site of Mayan rituals (including human sacrifice), so it’s extremely important for folks to be respectful when visiting.
I also recommend doing a “light meditation” (envision a powerful white light around you with an outlining blue edge) when entering the cenote water or cave in order to protect your spirit, especially because not all the entities and spirits who live there are necessarily “friendly.”
Making Moon Water
Water and the moon are inextricably linked. Just think of the moon’s power on the tide – of course it has an effect on the human body. You can harness the power of the moon in many ways, but one practical way is to create moon water. Simply take spring water and put it into a clean mason jar to “charge” under the full moon for up to three nights. Speak to the water, say a prayer, or recite a specific intention over it. You can think of it as “collecting” positive energetic power to enhance your spellwork over the month. Add cupfuls at a time to your bath water over the month or drink it with intention. Some full moons are more chaotic than others, so be sure to check the influence of the planets before you make your moon water to ensure the energies you are harnessing are conducive to what you want manifest in your life.
Ritual baths are another practical way to work your water magick. Try adding sea salt baths (or try these with blended essential oils and herbs), essential oils (lavender for peace and protection, rose for love, musk for sensuality, citrus for invigoration, or any intention-based oil), herbs or flowers, and even teas to your baths. Keep your bath rituals technology-free (unless you’re playing music, then keep the phone on airplane mode) and try to be as ‘present’ as possible in the water. As you dunk your head under, ask for purification and imagine any spiritual impurities and negative energies washing away from you. As you watch the water drain from the tub, visualize a pure, radiant light around you – cleansing you entirely. One tip is to add your herbs to a cheesecloth sachet or tea bag for easy clean up.
Collect a few shells and natural ornaments that you find at the water’s edge. Place them in front of you and light a small white candle. If you brought offerings with you, place them alongside the candle. Create a sacred circle by calling upon the elements (earth, wind, fire, water), your ancestors, or spirits for protection and draw a circle around you in the sand. Sit in the space you’ve created and write out a petition or spell on a very small piece of paper. Meditate on the intention of the spell, try to envision its positive effects in your life and others around you. When you’re ready, burn the paper and say “So mote it be” or “Amen.” Collect everything you brought with you (but leave the natural shells and ornaments) and don’t look back. Continue to light the candle at home over the next few days until it’s completely burned out. Pay attention to the sign over the next few weeks. Once your prayer or spell has been answered, I always recommend following it up with a separate gratitude ritual to give thanks for the new blessings.
Want more stories on water magick? Check out this amazing book from Weiser or this story on how to perform a bath ritual.
By Amber C. Snider
Smoke cleansing has been around for thousands of years. It’s used in nearly every spiritual tradition, religion, and magical practice around the world to cleanse, purify, and invoke good spirits. Here are some of our favorite hand-made formulas at Enchantments.
While some herbs and resins need charcoal to ignite, most of the incense listed here are self-igniting since they’re handmade using a colored wood base. All you need to do is simply add a teaspoon or less to a fireproof dish (like a small or medium cast iron cauldron) and touch fire to it. There’s an old debate about whether to use a match or a lighter when lighting magical objects like candles or incense, but we’re of the mindset that you should use whatever is in your practice.
For more on smoke cleansing, we have several articles on the subject! Check out this article on how to clear away negative energies, purify your space, and relax your mind using sage alternatives, ways to incense your spell work with incense here, and ten herbs for purification and protection here.
The summer months are here, so it’s time to harness the life-giving power of the sun. The Solar Blend can be purchased in one ounce sizes (for $10 each) and helps increase energy, positivity, and vitality. Since it’s used to invoke the energy of the largest star in our solar system, it’s also good for solar plexus chakra work (read more about that here), which can help with self-confidence and emotional issues. When you light the incense, focus on increase positive attention and vibes all around and imagine your inner light shining through, like the radiant star you already are.
For those of you who may be struggling with communication effectively, whether it be your emotions, intentions, ideas, or needs, try the Goona Goona incense. It helps create an atmosphere of trust and understanding between partners, whether it’s work-related, friendship, or love, while facilitating communication. Since communication is associated with the throat chakra, you can also try a Fifth Chakra Candle to help with self-expression and incorporate more blue (stones, crystals, clothes, etc) in your practice. Goona Goona incense can be purchased for $10 for one ounce and it also comes in an oil.
In the wise words of TLC, “I don’t want no scrubs” –– and the Silk Love Formula may just help with that. An attraction blend used to beckon a sophisticated, classy lover to your side. If you’re looking to add some luxury and a little refinement to your love life, burn the incense during a ritual, meditation, or while you’re getting ready for the day. It helps if you fully visualize the person you wish to bring in your life, too. Don’t focus on a specific individual, but rather visualize the qualities you’re looking for in your lover in order to bring them to you. Stay open to what the Universe has to offer! Since this hand-blended formula is made-to-order, the minimum purchase is $20 for two ounces.
All of magic is about intention. Magical tools do not work without you –– that means, your specific intention, your energy, your will. Success Formula helps in all areas of success, whether you’re looking to up your work game, create better conditions in your love life, increase positive recognition for a job well done, or simply add a bit more luck in your life. You can purchase Success Formula through the main shop website for $10 for one ounce.
Siren’s Seduction Formula
If someone has caught your eye or you’re looking to amp up a little lust in a lover, try the Siren’s Seduction Formula incense. You can burn the incense as you’re getting ready to meet them or smudge the room before they enter. Of course, no magical tool will bring on true love, but you can still add a little enticement to the mix. Siren’s Seduction is a sexual attraction formula for both men and women, and can be purchased on the main shop website here.
You may have already deep cleaned your house for spring, but regular spiritual cleansing in the home is important. We’ve said it before, so we’ll say it again: You take a regular shower to purify your body, so why would you not give the same attention to your spirit? House Blessing is a beautiful formula that attracts good spirits in the home, releases negative energy, and fills your space with positive energy. You can purchase the handmade blend for $10 per ounce on the main shop website here and consider adding either a custom House Blessing Candle or small House Blessing kit for $17.50 to your order.
Although it’s not an incense, but rather a sacred tree resin, copal is one of the most beautiful tools used in smoke cleansing. Used in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica in sacred rituals, copal is great for clearing, cleansing, and invoking positive/good spirits. Enchantments sells South American white copal for $7 per ounce or black copal, which has a slightly sweeter smell than the white version, for $8 per ounce. Similar to frankincense, this holy, sacred resin is great for ceremonial work, house clearings, or aura cleanses. Since it’s a resin, you must use instant light charcoal to burn it.
Love Healing Formula
Let’s face it, we’ve all endured heartbreak before, but the last two years have been particularly tough on everyone, and it’s not always romantic love that we have to heal from. To help heal heartbreak, whether it’s romantic or the weight of the world pressing in, try the Love Healing Formula. Associated with the heart chakra, this blend helps to heal old wounds, emotional issues, and recover from loss and grief. Try burning it while taking a salt bath for an extra soothing ritual or combine the incense with a large, custom Love Healing Candle.
Healing is a process, no doubt. And many of us still have a lot of work to do on our shadow selves to heal old traumas, wounds, and betrayals. Rebirth helps you let go of past troubles, release pain, and cleanse your spirit. Sometimes it’s time to move on and step into the powerfully radiant spirit you’re meant to be. Letting go of old habits, expectations, and even some friends/old lovers can be the catalyst we need to invite new opportunities and growth. If you want to release the past, here’s a calling to do so. The formula also comes in an oil or salt bath for ritual work.
Associated with Ocean Goddess, this formula helps bring about psychic dreams and visions. Since the ocean is our lifeblood and water is necessary for creation, the Ocean Mother formula can also be used in fertility magic. If you’re actively trying to get pregnant, be sure to add that intention to your spell when you burn the incense –– and pray to the great Ocean Mother herself for support. Since it’s made-to-order, minimum purchase for this incense is $20 for two ounces, but you can also try the ½ or one ounce oils.
Peace and Protection Formula
If things have been extra rough lately and you need more peace in your life (as well as protection), this incense formula may help. It promotes a feeling of security through tough times and can also help with protection against physical and psychic attack. If you work in a particularly emotionally-draining profession, such as a therapist, nurse, or teacher, burning the Peace and Protection incense before or after you start work is a good idea. It also comes in an oil form (½ or one ounces) so you can wear it just as you would a perfume.
This airy, sacred formula helps attract good spirits and increases psychic power. It’s great for ritual work or meditation, as well. If you’re invoking or praying to your Spirit Guides, ancestors, Saints, or deities, All Saints is also protective and helps facilitate communication. You can burn it during a ritual or wear it as an oil, too. Since this incense formula is made-to-order for each purchase, the minimum is $20 for two ounces. You can purchase the oils in either ½ or one ounces to wear as you would a perfume, dress your spell candles, or add to a bath.
Mojo Wishing Formula
This “wish granting” formula can be burned, used for smudging, or added to a ouanga bag. Before you use it, energetically “charge it” with your intention and wear it on your person as you go about your day. If you burn it as an incense, add a ritual along with it where you focus on your specific wish. But always remember the rule of three when it comes to magic: whatever you put out there will come back to you 3 fold. This incense is made-to-order on-site, so the minimum amount is $20 for two ounces.
What’s in the stars for you this summer?
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
This bold cardinal sign symbolized by the Ram may benefit from a custom Emperor candle this summer, helping to expand your horizons, growth, and confidence. While Jupiter is in Aries until the end of October, it's a good time to take your business to the next level, receive recognition for hard work, or boost any existing creative project –– and the Emperor candle will help with just that, too!
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Pluto is shaking things up for you this year and during the summer months, Taurus, encouraging transformation and rebirth. Focus on your long-term goals, honing your intuition, truth seeking, and even a bit of travel. If travel plans are in the works, try Swallow's Blood oil for protective vibes on the road and a Purple Wisdom candle for Divine insight and acquiring knowledge in the occult arts, like Hermetic Qabalah.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
During the summer months, this mutable air sign will love to make new connections, friendships, and relationships that spur growth and intellectual activity. And what's better at sparking up a good conversation than a new book? We recommend Jack Chanek's Tarot for Real Life (summer 2022), Madame Pamita's Baba Yaga's Book of Witchcraft (spring 2022), and Heather Greene's Lights, Camera, Witchcraft (winter 2021, which explores the history of witchcraft and cinema in the U.S.). These new witchy titles will keep the good vibes going as you swap occult stories under the full moon.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
This water sign symbolized by the crab may be ready to leave the past behind and establish new friendships (creative, platonic, or otherwise). As with all relationships, boundaries are important, as well as truly healing from the past before jumping right into something new. Try a Love Healing candle or do a weekly Love Healing incense cleansing/meditation to make sure your heart is taken care of all season and beyond.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
This fiery lion sign may want to reevaluate notions of individual success and look at things from an altruistic or a group perspective this summer. You have both Jupiter and Chiron on your side, contributing to both wisdom, boldness, and good luck. Make the most of it by applying your brightest side to helping others and using your enthusiastic talents for the greater good. As Solar Blast candle or Solar Plexus Chakra (Third Chakra) candle can help to boost your assertiveness, self-esteem, and self-discipline this season, allowing you to make the most of your natural abilities.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
This earth sign ruled by the Maiden, or the Earth Goddess, may be thinking about securing financial stability this summer. If you'd like to pave a way towards long-term financial success, you may want to do some magic involving first clearing out anything blocking money flow with a Money Uncrossing Candle and then bringing it to you in abundance with the Money Draw Candle. Be sure to take time for yourself (self-care, ritual baths with our Prosperity formula may be a good idea) and remember that you have the power to not only provide for yourself, but also strategically plan for big future successes at this time. Make the most of it!
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
While Jupiter transits your solar seventh house, work, financial partnerships, and more grounded love partnerships may be on your mind this season (until late October). While you're supported in these arenas and offering much of your energy to others, airy, beauty-loving Libra, may benefit from some solo time, too. Without indulging too much, treat yourself to the beauty of the natural world with long walks this summer, self-care baths (like this Love Goddess bath), and candle magic spells like the Venus Candle to reign in beauty, love, and financial prosperity or Lakshmi Candle to invoke the Hindu Goddess of prosperity, love, abundance, and beauty.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
New opportunities, increased energy and creativity, and making new connections are all in the stars for you this summer. This water sign symbolized by the scorpion may benefit from a creative spell candle like Song of the Elder Goddess candle to help channel new inspiration and success in the arts, as well as a Divine Muse bath. Also, try incorporating ritual baths into your weekly routine (learn more about that here from fellow Scorpio and witch Carmen).
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Adventure-seeking Sagittarius values freedom, creative expression, and living life on their own terms, but all that spontaneity means an active effort must be put on health, well-being, and home life, too. This fire sign ruled by Jupiter gets a cosmic boost to help with home endeavors, comfort, and also long-term business projects, so why not try a House Blessing candle to hone in on the good vibes and make ample room for blessings this summer. The candle will help you put your house in order and keep it blessed with good energy and peace while you continue to enhance your inner self and develop long-term, beneficial routines in your daily life.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
Rediscovery of passions, renewed motivation, and a dreamy summer awaits you Capricorn! This earth sign should make the best of it by planning a fun trip with family or friends to go exploring and discover new things. Neptune and Uranus are on your side to lighten things up and allow for inspiration along the way. For an extra boost in the arenas of luck, joy, and love (and to keep the good times rolling), try a Love & Happiness candle or the Success Candle to help you achieve your goals and triumph in any situation.
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
You're all about improvement this season, whether it be in your personal life, family life, financially, or in your friendships. This air sign may receive unexpected blessings, so to help conjure that extra luck, try a Fast Luck candle, the Double Fast Luck incense formula (also good for drawing in money), or a Fortuna Candle to invoke Lady Luck to turn the wheel of fortune in your favor. But keep your intentions practical and grounded during spell work and stay focused on the literal actions/changes necessary to attain all your heart desires, too.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
This water sign is ready for expansion, new opportunities, and a touch of adventure this season. An Empress Candle is great for magnifying all that self-love and confidence, while wearing Crown of Success oil can help keep the haters at bay and off your back, so they don't interfere with your success. Keep your enthusiasm high this summer, use your newfound confidence to inspire others and bring about positive change, but also remain grounded in practical matters.
For more star sign stories, check out this on Enchantments.
As the warm weather approaches (on the east coast at least), it's time to spice things up with new intentions, renewed desires, and of course a little magic. Here are some candles to help!
Who doesn't love a good Solar Blast candle? Great for invoking the energy of the sun, with all its potential for positive growth, the Solar Blast can be used all-year round to manifest joy, energy, and happiness. The yellow color is also ideal for chakra work, particularly your Solar Plexus (you can learn more about that in this story), which deals with self-confidence, self-esteem, emotions, and energy levels, as well as welcoming in the upcoming summer months.
The Solar Blast candle pairs well with our Sun oil and incense, Sun Bath, Talisman of the Sun, or you can try a small Solar Blast Kit (candles burn for around 6-7 hours, instead of 7-10 days).
Money Draw Candle
Unless you have a full-time job (that you love!), the late spring and summer months can spell money stress for gig workers, teachers, and contractors. Since work tends to taper off for small businesses during this time, try a Money Draw candle spell to reign in the paper. The green coloring of the candle correlates to the Heart chakra, so add extra the intention of finding work that you really love, work that speaks to the soul. The gold glitter throughout the candle helps manifest a kingly/queenly quality that adds the extra "umph" to your daily work and money search.
The candle pairs well with our Money Draw incense and oil and our Money Draw Ouanga. If you prefer to work with herbs, try this list of 10 herbs for prosperity, money, and employment here.
Ah spring –– a time for rebirth, renewal, fertility, and love. If you're looking to do love magic or fertility spells, the lingering energy of Beltane is excellent for boosting your magic. A Love Ouanga candle helps draw forth love and can be used to attract a mate that's on your level. It can also help deepen and enhance an existing romantic relationship. This candle pairs well with all our love oils, ouangas, incenses: Love Ouanga, Silk Love (which helps attract a refined and classy love), and our Love & Success Formula.
If you'd like to add herbal magic to your spells, we have a story here on 10 herbs to use for love, lust, and happiness.
The Emperor Candle is great for spells involving recognition for hard work, building confidence, and helping new opportunities present themselves to you. It's also good for calling on divine guidance and intervention in order to lead you in the right direction. So if you're struggling with important decisions, accessing your Spirit Guides, or manifesting your power, an Emperor may be a good choice. Jupiterian in nature, the color purple is also ideal for Crown chakra work, which is all about accessing your divine intuition, wisdom, and connecting to the spirit realm.
Pairs well with our High Conquering oil and incense, High Conquering Bath Formula, Jupiter oil and incense, Purple Wisdom Formula, and Motivation incense.
The Empress Candle is a Goddess-based candle that helps magnify self-love, confidence, and attract romantic attention. In order to attract love, you must embody love and reflect it back to the world –– and the Empress candle help you manifest the baddie that you really are. When connected to the Empress card in the Tarot, it's a candle for sensuality, fertility, and abundance. The Empress candle pairs well with our Bad Ass Oil and incense, Bad Ass Bath Formula, Goddess of Love formula, a Pentacle of the Goddess talisman, or our Empowerment Kit (which comes with a copy of Women Who Run With the Wolves).
For more on candle magick, check out our FAQs here.
By Amber C. Snider
Here’s what color magic specialist, Tarot reader, and local NYC psychic medium Sarah Potter has to say about conjuring the fiery energy of Beltane.
Also known as May Day, Beltane marks the midway point between the spring equinox and summer solstice. Often celebrated on May 1st, the origins of Beltane go back to the ancient Celts, when Pagan rituals dedicated to the marriage of the Goddess and the Green Man were held. It’s a time of fecundity, when the earth is beginning to burst with life, and also when the “veil between worlds” is said to be at its thinnest (similar to Samhain in the Wheel of the Year).
The sacred element of fire, with its powerful capacity to both sustain and destroy life, is honored in Beltane rituals which often consist of couples jumping over roaring bonfires, dancing around the maypole (another symbol for fertility), seeking out the faeries, and generally relishing in Mother Earth’s bounty. The word Beltane actually translates to “bright fire” and also references the Celtic God Bel, so the bonfire was meant to not only honor the God, but also used for purification and protection.
For urban witches, celebrating Beltane like the olden days may look a bit different –– but that doesn’t mean you can’t still harness the power of this time. Here are some tips from color magic specialist and city witch Sarah Potter on how to celebrate this decadent & fecund holiday.
What do you desire?
“I love Beltane! It is such a sexy holiday celebrating all of the beauty and joy of fertility, sex, growth, and abundance. This is the time of year to really honor your fiery, sexual, creative self. Where in your life are you wishing to increase your abundance? What do you desire? What do you wish to create?” –– Sarah Potter
Editor’s tip: Try an automatic writing ritual to “coax” out your inner desires. Take a sea salt bath, light some incense (like this Beltane Fire Sabbat blend) or burn your favorite oil blend. After you emerge from the tub, grab a notebook and spend 20 minutes writing down your desires. Don’t censor or judge yourself as you write, simply focus on what you want for this season and stay open to whatever comes to you.
Pull some cards...
“Plan your rituals accordingly around your answers to these questions. Pull some Tarot or Oracle cards if you need a push in the right direction or to gain a little further insight.” –– Sarah Potter
Editor’s tip: Here is a list of our favorite Tarot cards at the Enchantments’ shop.
Fertility comes in many forms
“If you are trying to get pregnant, now is the time to do some fertility magic! If you want to birth a new creative project or launch a business, focus your magic towards these endeavors! Fertility comes in many forms and this is a very creative, abundant time of year.” –– Sarah Potter
Editor's Tip: Try a Song of Elder God or Song of Elder Goddess candle to invoke creativity and success in the arts.
Solo? No prob...
“Traditionally, witches dance around the maypole, a classic fertility dance! I live in Manhattan so I don’t usually do a maypole dance (I have a studio apartment), but I love to have a fun dance party with my coven sisters. This could be a solo situation as well: Create a playlist of your favorite feel good, sexy dance tunes and get moving and HAVE FUN! Dress up! Adorn your hair with flowers!” –– Sarah Potter
Work in some color magic
“Purples, greens, and early spring flowers like daffodils, hyacinths, forsythia, daisies, tulips invoke the energy of the season so adorn yourself, your home, and your altar accordingly.” –– Sarah Potter
Editor’s tip: Learn more about color magic from Sarah Potter here.
Burn and release
“If the weather permits, get outside and enjoy nature. If you live in a city, go to the park. Enjoy whatever access to nature you have at your disposal. If you have a backyard, have friends over for a bonfire. Write your intentions down on paper and send them off into the universe by throwing them into the flames. This can be done with a candle flame as well if you cannot do a full on bonfire.” –– Sarah Potter
Editor's candle recommendation: "Attraction" scented printed candle here.
Embrace your sexual fire
“Leaning into the Beltane spirit of owning your sexual energy, take some sensual selfies for yourself (or share them if you choose!) Dress up in your fave lingeries or a silky robe, take a million shots, capture all of those angles, and admire your beauty!” –– Sarah Potter
For more tips by Sarah Potter, check out this interview on "How to Manifest What You Really Want." You can also check out her IG here: @iamsarahpotter
Interview by Amber C. Snider
Blending Slavic folk magic and the wisdom of Baba Yaga, Madame Pamita’s latest book is a long-awaited homage to the beauty of Ukrainian magical traditions and the legendary crone of the forest.
As a Ukrainian Diaspora witch, Madame Pamita uses the stories of her ancestors and lessons from the ancient “grandmother of all grandmothers” to weave together a magical tale that will certainly become a classic. Mixing Ukrainian folklore, fairy tales, and practical spellwork, Baba Yaga’s Book of Witchcraft takes readers on a journey through the forest where the wisdom of Baba Yaga comes alive. In the book, we discover the meanings behind magical embroidery (aka vyshyvanka), enchanted foods, motankas (or living poppets), hair braiding, crossroads magic, incantations, and more.
Here, Madame Pamita discusses the culturally rich traditions of Slavic magic, the power of the Ukrainian people, and what we can all learn from the mysterious crone figure.
Amber C. Snider: How would you describe Baba Yaga?
Madame Pamita: Who is this legendary witch in legends? She's old, she's a crone, but she's super powerful and bad ass. Baba Yaga is a Pan-Slavic witch. Ethologists and folk ethnographers have discovered the idea of a forest woman or forest grandmother goes back to very, very ancient times when animism was the practice.
Even before the pantheon of Slavic gods, we find these spirits and ideas of working with spirit. It's a very animistic culture, which means that the water has a spirit, the earth has a spirit, the sky has a spirit, the moon has a spirit. Everything has a spirit.
ACS: How has Baba Yaga evolved over time?
MP: Because the forest mother was wild and unpredictable, [Christianity] vilified her and made her to be this scary thing. We see this pan-culturally: when hierarchical religions come in, they demonize the spirits and deities of the Old Religion –– or they turn them into saints. A great example of that is the Goddess Brigid who turned into a saint so that she could be co-opted into [Catholicism].
Sometimes, when working with spirits, they can be kind of unpredictable. They're not always universally benevolent, but they're not demons. They're like nature. What is nature? Nature can be so beautiful, so enriching to our lives. But nature needs to be respected and can be dangerous. If you go out in the cold without proper gear, you could freeze or fall off a cliff –– all kinds of things can happen in nature.
The forest was an area that you needed to be protected in. You would make offerings to the spirits of the forest before you would go in and work there. Baba Yaga had a million names in different regions and she has different names as the Spirit of the Forest.
Baba Yaga is a tough taskmaster. She will give you what seems like impossible tasks – not to frustrate you, not to thwart you, but to challenge you because she knows you can do it.
ACS: When were the stories of Baba Yaga first written down?
MP: In the 1800s Alexander Afanasyev started doing what the Brothers Grimm were doing, which is going around and story catching. He gathered hundreds of stories from this oral tradition, wrote them down, and published them in books. He then recorded [the Russian stories of] Baba Yaga and that spelling became the first widely published version of her name, even though she was Pan-Slavic and was everywhere.
I made Baba Yaga's Book of Witchcraft as a way to convey Ukrainian magical practices via the story of Baba Yaga. The design of my book is really to show you these really unique spiritual practices that go back thousands of years.
ACS: You begin the book with a tale and lesson on magical stitching. What is the magical and cultural significance behind vyshyvanka?
MP: Vyshyvanka are the embroidered blouses and tunics of the Ukrainian people. People look at it and they go, ‘Oh, that's cute. It's Bohemian. It's so decorative and lovely to look at.’ But what they don't realize is that each of those embroidered symbols are actually really powerful talismans that were embroidered into clothing.
When you got dressed in the morning, you were protecting and blessing yourself with simply the clothing that you had made. It was magical clothing. That's the very first chapter and I give examples of different basic symbols and patterns that can be embroidered so that people can replicate it. It's a lot of work to embroider a blouse, but you could certainly embroider or cross stitch a little talisman.
ACS: You start with the story of Vasylyna. How do you weave her story with Baba Yaga’s?
MP: My story of Vasylyna is borrowed from many tales in Ukrainian literature, Russian literature, and Polish literature and folk tales. To tell the story of the magic, I take elements from expanded versions of these stories and mold them into the shape. Since I'm Ukrainian, I changed her name to the Ukrainian version of that same name, and it more or less follows the story of Vasylyna the Brave or Vasylyna the Fair. She’s a young woman that goes to meet Baba Yaga and is initiated by her.
ACS: What does it mean to be initiated by Baba Yaga?
MP: I'm a spiritualist and an animist. Working with spirits, you sort of have to have their agreement to work with them. They will often call you to work with them. Really the best sign is when they call you to work with them and you’re like, ‘Okay, I guess I'm gonna work with you right. Here we go!’ You get an inner call, you'll see images, you'll get synchronicities that tell you.
Many people get called by Baba. She's super popular, but not a lot is written about her outside of fairy tales. I always like to give people a warning: She is a tough taskmaster. She will give you what seems like impossible tasks –– not to frustrate you, not to thwart you, but to challenge you because she knows you can do it.
ACS: There’s so much we can learn from crone figures, especially in these extremely tumultuous times. What can we learn from Baba Yaga right now? What are some of her major lessons?
MP: We can embody her. She's like the ultimate DGAF woman. She doesn't give a fuck, she will do whatever she wants. She's proud of her wrinkles. She doesn't care if you don't think she's ugly. I love the freedom that her energy gives.
I’m a crone as well –– I'm a young crone, but growing into it. There aren't a lot of crone role models out there in society. Baba Yaga is fearless; she’s a super positive, powerful role model. She'll do whatever she has to do and will get it done and doesn't care what you think. Instead of seeing older women depleted, washed up, shriveled up, we can see them as bad ass.
We see it in Ukraine right now. We see Baba Yaga in every Ukrainian village. Those grandmas have seen it all. They have been through so much, they lived through Soviet oppression.
The older ones have lived through the Holodomor, which was Stalin’s genocide of 3 to 6 million Ukrainians by starvation. That’s exactly what they're doing in Eastern Ukraine where they're surrounding the city and cutting out the water and food and humanitarian aid. There are corpses in the street. It's the same strategy that Russia used and these people have lived through it.
A lot of Ukrainian people have relatives in Russia and Russian people have relatives in Ukraine. They're very intertwined with this dictator who's wreaking all this destruction, havoc, death, and trying literally to destroy the culture. Not just destroy military targets, but to target schools and museums and individual civilian homes, just as Stalin did in the 1930s.
We see Baba Yaga in every Ukrainian village. Those grandmas have seen it all...they lived through Soviet oppression.
ACS: Storytelling is such an important part of keeping a culture alive. Can you talk a little bit about how your book pays homage to these sacred Ukrainian traditions?
MP: These really beautiful, unique practices are ancient and are being revived now. We really need to have this information out there. This is the point of [reviving] the culture that is being destroyed right now. It's almost like Voyager that's going out into space with a little bit of our human earth culture. We have to carry this with us.
Culture gets dispersed when people are dispersed. Imagine you have your friends, your community, your family, your local customs, but now you're all spread out all over the whole world. What happens to your community traditions? They're gone. They get absorbed into the new culture where you're living. But we don't want these things to be lost. This is what has happened throughout history.
Look what happened to, for example, the Druids. It was oral tradition and we only have what the Romans describe the Druids doing. That's why this is such an important book. We have to write this stuff down. We have to record it. There are so many diaspora Ukrainians who live in English-speaking countries –– Canada and the U.S, there are millions of us here. I have a feeling Ukraine will prevail in this whole thing because they're so strong and they have that Baba Yaga energy.
ACS: You talk about Baba Yaga showing up in Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia and other countries. Do you also think that she's universal?
MP: Yes. One of the things people sometimes ask me is, “Is this a closed practice?’ In my opinion, as a person that's a spokesperson for this, this is not a close practice. If this is something you want to experience, you feel called to it, come and participate in it. Everyone is welcome.
ACS: Baba Yaga’s fierce, wise crone energy reminds me a bit of Hecate –– in the sense that she'll tell you exactly how it needs to be, even if it feels a little painful or tedious or frustrating. Would you say there is a crossover with other Goddesses or crone figures?
MP: To me, there's a huge correspondence with Hecate and Baba Yaga. It's not surprising either because there was a trade route going from Greece and into the Slavic Lands. But we don't know which came first: the chicken or the egg. Was Hecate influencing Baba Yaga or was Baba Yaga influencing Hecate? Or was it a melding of those things? They can't really look to a ground zero point where they were meeting, but there's definitely this crossover.
There was a lot of cultural exchange and trade going on at that time: coral coming up from the Mediterranean into Ukraine and amber from the Baltic states going down into the Mediterranean and so on. There was trade in jewels and spices and all kinds of things. And of course, cultural exchange.
ACS: You also write about how to work with crossroads in the book, which also shows up in several magical practices...
MP: Crossroad magic shows up in Hoodoo, in Celtic Magic, in a lot of different traditions. There’s an example of Hecate there, too. Traditionally Hecate is the Goddess of the three crossroads and that’s where you do divination and magic.
In the Ukrainian system, different numbers of crossroads have different meanings. A “T” shaped crossroad is a blocked crossroad and you wouldn’t do magic there. An X or plus shaped crossroad would be universally great for everything. If you want to do divination and connect with the spirit world, you go to the Y-shaped crossroad. If you want to do a really powerful working, you go to one with 5 or more roads (the more, the better) and if you take an artifact (like a stone) from a crossroad with 5 or more, you have a really powerful talisman.
One very unique Ukrainian practice is with footpaths and crossroad journeys –– but you wouldn’t do this in a city street. You count the number of crossroads you find on a journey and when you get to a certain number you do that kind of magic at that crossroad.
ACS: How was your writing experience like? Did Baba Yaga challenge you?
MP: There were many times in the writing process that I was crying because I was so overwhelmed and frustrated and feeling so lost. Sometimes I was overwhelmed with the amount of work and research that I had to do and where I was going to find this information. I had to learn how to read Cyrillic (Russian and Ukrainian letters are in Cyrllic) and learn how to translate things, how to dig and find and learn new terminology. It became a very challenging task, but at the end I birthed this book that I'm so proud of. I think so many people are gonna love. It was really worth all of that challenge.
I think of Baba Yaga as like a really tough coach. Coaches push you harder because they know you can do it and they believe in you more than you believe in yourself. That was my experience in even writing this book –– I mean, she made me cry. But she knew that I could do it and this book needed to be out there.
Instead of seeing older women depleted, washed up, shriveled up, we can see them as bad ass.
ACS: You’ve been very vocal about Ukraine in your social media. How can people within the magical community around the world support and stand with Ukraine?
MP: I read this beautiful quote from a professor in Kiev. He talked about how he was so shocked and surprised that his paycheck went through. Kiev is a war zone and he thought about how someone had to go down to the university and enter in that information; someone had to be at the bank working, allowing that to happen, in order to get his paycheck.
We all have a job to do. This is not their war, this is our war. This applies to all wars. It doesn’t mean one war is worse or better or giving attention to one war or one group means you’re neglecting the others. You don’t have to ignore one to help another. I’m passionate about Ukraine because this is my heritage and culture. But that doesn’t mean I think it’s more important than others.
Not just Ukraine but in any situation we have a job to do. Your job may be sharing a link to a fundraiser, donating to that fundraiser, or sharing vetted, accurate information. Your job may be to protest or do a spell or say a prayer.
For me, the natural things are doing magic, raising money, and being vocal. I will nag and nag about this (I’m a mom), so that people see it and hear it. That’s my job. Just because I’m not on the front lines doesn’t mean my job isn’t important. Just like the guy/gal working at the bank who got that professor his paycheck –– they’re doing their job, they’re helping.
Maybe you can’t help financially, but you can share a donation link. You can protest. Do what you can do. Do one thing and if you do that, it’s one more drop in the bucket.
*Interview has been edited for length.
To purchase Baba Yaga's Book of Witchcraft, head over to the Enchantments shop at 165 Avenue B (btwn 10th and 11th street) in New York City for a signed copy or the publisher's website here.
Interview by Amber C. Snider
Jack Chanek’s Qabalah For Wiccans explores the magical practice of Hermetic Qabalah with a Pagan audience in mind. Here, the author discusses the Tree of Life, how it serves as a map of the magical universe and human soul, and ways to harness this sacred knowledge in your everyday life.
In conversation with Jack Chanek, author of Qabalah for Wiccans
Amber C. Snider: Okay, let’s start with the basics. How do you define Hermetic Qabalah?
Jack Chanek: Qabalah has its roots in Jewish mysticism. Hermetic Qabalah is spelled with a “Q,” while Jewish Kabbalah is spelled with a “K.” Jewish Kabbalah emerged in medieval Iberia as a form of mysticism that blended the study of the Torah with various esoteric subjects like alchemy and astrology.
Qabalah, as a hermetic practice, is a magical system that aims to understand various aspects of the individual soul, the structure of cosmos, and various magical principles. It takes all these disparate things and it lays them out in a handy reference system so that everything connects to everything else. You can explore one thing by further studying other things that are symbolically connected to it.
ACS: Hermetic Qabalah provide us with a visual framework in which to understand and examine the nature of the universe, especially the different planes of existence, yes?
JC: Yes, the central image in Hermetic Qabalah is the symbol called the Tree of Life. It's composed of ten spheres of energy that represent different kinds of magical power, planes of existence, or different themes you can explore in magical practice. These spheres are connected to each other and map out the magical universe.
ACS: How does the Tree of Life demonstrate the connection between divine energy and our physical experiences?
JC: One of the beautiful things about this is it shows that divine energy pervades every aspect of existence. It’s not like divine power is something way out there, far away, inaccessible, or impossible to reach. It’s here now in the world. It’s here in all sorts of different ways that overlap and intersect with each other. Divine power can manifest in different ways.
As a very simple example, the ninth sphere Yesod connects to the moon, so in a very literal sense, the moon up in the sky is a manifestation of divine power. But it’s also connected to the way that we intuitively and emotionally process the world around us. Any time you draw on your intuition, divination, or when you have dreams or physic experiences, that’s all a manifestation of this particular divine power of Yesod. Full moon rituals or wearing the color purple with a particular consciousness are ways of accessing that same divine power which is present throughout everything we do.
You can understand the Tree of Life as exploring separate planes of existence, different psychological factors you have in your being, physical things about the structure of the solar system, literary themes, tropes, mythology, or symbolism. It’s all around you. All the Tree of life is present in everything you do.
ACS: How can we use the Tree of Life in our individual magical practices?
JC: You can use the Tree of Life as a way of symbolically exploring spell casting, astrology, personal development, psychology…all of those things are encoded into it. I like to talk about it like a card catalog. It has references to all sorts of information, so if you’re trying to understand one thing –– like compassion –– as it manifests in magic, you go to your sphere in the Tree of Life and there are other correspondences that help you explore that. Whether it’s with color, shape symbolism, or a particular deity you want to work with, there is so much is encoded in this handy, visual symbolic medium.
The goal of those correspondences is to take a lot of information and condense it down into a symbolic structure that’s accessible and easy to use.
ACS: You wrote that the Tree of Life is the central glyph of Qabalah; a symbol that at once serves as a map of the universe and the human soul. How does the Tree of Life reflect this?
JC: For starters, there's a principle you find in magic, “As above, so below.” There's a sense in which what's going on in the universe at-large is also happening on a smaller scale. This is also reflected in the relationship between the individual human soul and the cosmos as a whole.
Each individual person is a microcosm of the universe itself. A famous quote from Aleister Crowley is that “Every man and every woman is a star." There's a sense in which each of us is a reflection of the entirety of the world, the indescribable vastness of the universe and everything that's in it. So the Tree of Life describes the metaphysical structure of the universe and the various divine energies that are present that help to shape it and bring it into being. But they're also present within us.
ACS: What are the Sephiroth?
JC: On the Tree of Life there are ten pools of energy. These are the main flavors of divine power, known individually as Sephirah or collectively as Sephiroth, or in English, spheres.
At the top of the Tree, you have a Sephirah that is associated with divine unity and transcendence, the ultimate oneness of everything. All the way at the bottom is the sphere associated with the presence of the divine manifest in the world. The actual ‘go out and touch grass, look at the sun’ world that we all live in.
In between those, you have various spheres that are associated with things like the intellect or compassion. They’re abstract principles that are sometimes personal and psychological, and sometimes more large and cosmic. The Tree of Life arranges all ten of these types of divine energy and that's the way through which we map what that power is like in our magic (or our psychology/ the cosmos as a whole).
ACS: Can you give an example of these spheres?
JC: There are two spheres in the Tree of Life called Chesed and Gevurah. In English they are Mercy and Severity. At the cosmic level, these represent divine energies that have to do with notions of justice. Do we forgive people or demand accountability and enforce the rules? This can exist at the level of human society, at a broader sense, as a governing ethical law that structures the universe, but it's also within the individual human psyche. We have both these impulses within ourselves.
Part of the work we do with magical Qabalah is not just leveraging [these energies] to get a house or a lover, we're also looking at the balance of divine energies within ourselves and thinking about how to bring those things into harmony.
Someone who has a lot of anger, who can't let anything go, who can't forgive, has too much Gevurah and can balance that out with some more lenient, compassionate, clement energy. Conversely, someone who's a bit of a doormat, who doesn't know how to stand up for themselves, needs to bring some of that more strident, powerful energy from Gevurah into themselves to find a balance in their soul.
The magical work we do with the Qabalah isn't just the universe at-large, it's additionally about the universe written small –– the universe within us.
ACS: Is that why you also mention how it's not about polarity, but more about finding this divine balance?
JC: Polarity is such a delicate magical concept. There's a tension with things that appear to be opposite. Mercy and severity, thinking and feeling, the self and the other, various pairs of opposites, seems to be pulling away from each other, but there's also a sense in which they're kind of the same. They combine into each other and produce something new. There's this constant process of division and recombination; where you take a thing, separate it into two parts, and bring them back together to create something new.
That principle of division and recombination is present throughout the Tree of Life.
ACS: You include meditations, journal prompts, and rituals in the book. How do they serve as a bridge between Hermetic Qabalah and Wicca?
JC: [I use them to show] the ways these magical principles can show up in Wiccan rituals. Qabalah is already present in what most Wiccans do. It's not this new alien thing that has to be brought in –– you just have to learn how to look for it; and meditations are a way to make that feel very accessible.
They're organized around two of the spheres at once. They're designed to help people feel that push and pull of the magical polarity between the spheres. A lot of Qabalah books discuss each sphere individually, as an isolated unit, because they want to give each concept its due. But when they do that they give the illusion that these things are independent of each other. I think that can detract from the experience of the Tree of Life because it really is this big, dynamic, interconnected thing.
ACS: You mention in the book how the spheres can correspond to individual Pagan deities, but that a “plug-and-play” attitude towards deities can be understandably problematic. Given the diversity of Paganism, some people may feel the Gods are metaphors or archetypes, while others maintain they’re literal entities requiring devotion and worship.
You seem to unify these ideas as well, when you write: "I believe in the Gods as literal spiritual entities with the power to act upon the world, but I also think they exist as archetypes in the unconscious mind. I believe that each deity has their own individual personality, but also that there is a sense in which the Gods all share some common divine nature.”
So who are the Gods in Hermetic Qabalah and how does that relate to Wiccan practice?
JC: The answer is so deeply subjective. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, one of the principal Qabalistic societies, tended to view the Gods primarily as symbols for archetypes (not the word they used, but the same concept). Thought forms that humans have built up that pooled a certain kind of divine energy that we can call on or invoke in a ritual.
The Golden Dawn was primarily a magical order and not a religious one. Their focus was using divine energy as a tool for magic, rather than on a relationship of devotion or worship (which may seem more common among some Wiccans, although certainly not all).
Qabalah itself doesn't have an official stance on this. It says here are the different types of divine power in the world and here are some structural principles about how they relate to each other. But it's up to you as the practitioner to feel out how Gods relate to that.
A love Goddess like Aphrodite is going to be very comfortable in [the sphere] Netzach, the sphere that deals with love and pleasure and social connection. There are some practitioners that think Aphrodite just is Netzach. There are others who think Aphrodite is an independent spiritual being who just happens to really like all of the things you find in Netzach. It's a place she likes to hang out. But there is no official stance on theology in Qabalah. It's really up to the practitioner to figure out what feels right in figuring out what feels right.
ACS: I think that's very true for Paganism as a whole. Everyone has their own practices and some look at the Gods/Goddesses as energy forms, thought forms, or even manifestations of the singular God or Goddess. So all of that can exist within the Tree of Life, within the Hermetic Qabalah universal view?
JC: Qabalah really does accommodate the plurality of perspective that we find in the Pagan community. It doesn't just accommodate it, it encourages it.
*Interview has been edited.
Jack Chanek has been reading tarot since he was eleven years old, and he has been publicly writing about tarot since 2015. He has taught workshops on tarot, Qabalah, and Wicca around the country and is the author of Qabalah for Wiccans. Jack has appeared on Seeking Witchcraft, The Magic Monday Podcast, and The Witching Hour with Patti Negri, as well as teaching at festivals such as Free Spirit Gathering and LlewellynCon. He lives in New Jersey, where he works as an academic philosopher specializing in Immanuel Kant's philosophy of science. He can be found online at his website here. You can purchase his book Qabalah For Wiccans in-store at Enchantments or order online direct from the publisher.
The Spring Equinox is finally here and we have some magical tips to help you celebrate this new cycle of life.
Refresh and renew
Ostara Formula, a Sabbat blend for the Spring Equinox, will help you refresh and renew your space for spring. Burn the incense during a ritual for spring, wear the oil to enhance your magic throughout the day, and set an intention to welcome in new beginning, creativity, and abundance in your life. All things are possible now, so dream big and put your intentions out there.
Clear the clutter
Spring cleaning has become a ubiquitous yearly ritual (you know, deep cleaning the house, scrubbing the floors, and dusting away all those cobwebs), but it can also be done with intention, mindfulness, and magic. Add Florida Water to white vinegar, a touch of Castile soap, and a few drops of lemon essential oil for a magical floor wash and/or all-purpose cleaner; Chant positive mantras as you dust; light uncrossing incense as you sweep or vacuum; Be present in each task and give thanks to your house. After you’re done, light a white, pink, or green candle to welcome in new abundance and prosperity.
Virgo Full Moon
The Full Moon has lasting effects several days after it peaks, so channel that recent Virgo Full Moon energy into getting organized. Whether it’s your work space, closet, kitchen cabinets, spice racks, or magical tools, this is a great time to get organized. Get rid of the things that no longer serve you (Marie Kondo style), sort everything you want to keep, and find creative ways to neatly store all your items. After all, Ostara is also associated with the Moon! To read more about Moon Magick, click here.
Begin a new creative project
Fertility and fecundity doesn’t always have to do with procreation –– we’re creative beings by nature and now is a time to “birth” something new. This is a great time to begin an outline for a book, plan out a business idea, begin a painting or photo series, sign up for that pottery or herbalism class, etc.! Or maybe it’s a simple self-care plan for the next couple months. Whatever it may be, fill your notebook or Excel sheets with practical, strategic, and creative ways to achieve your goals during this time.
These custom-carved candles are also great for spring and can help invoke creativity, renewal, and abundance in your life.
Ever wonder what the Easter bunny and eggs have to do with each other? After all, bunny rabbits don’t lay eggs, so why are they a symbol for the spring season as it leads to Easter? It goes back to the ancient Germanic/Celtic Goddess Ostara (also spelled Ēostre), whose symbol include the hare and represents fertility, renewal, awakening, and spring. To put it simply, bunny rabbits/hares reproduce fairly rapidly, so their abundance and virility has become a symbol of the season, making it a good time for love/sex magic. For an extra boost of this fecund energy, try Enchantments’ Great Sex Formula or Passion’s Torch Formula.
Mother Earth is awakening in all her glory, so get out there and enjoy it. Set an “away” message on Slack, emails, and your phone at least once a day to go outside and be fully present in nature. No distractions, no emails, no texts. Connect with the natural world around you and notice all the details: the sounds, sights, smells, textures. Even a 15 minute meditative walk can do wonders for the mind and spirit.
Plant something new
A new houseplant can really refresh a space and welcome good vibes in the home. Maybe you’ve been thinking of starting a window sill herb garden or propagating one of your plants –– now that spring is here, it’s the time to experiment with that green thumb. At the very least, take a day to head to your local farmer’s market and pick out a plant that really speaks to you. There are also several amazing books on plant witchery and herbalism out there. We recommend Plant Witchery by Juliet Diaz and Scott Cunningham's classic Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs.
For more on plant magic, check out our Herbalism Series here.
Make a sea salt bath
Add a few drops of lemon or lemongrass essential oil with a few drops of lavender oil (or use dried/fresh French lavender) and mix together with sea salt. This protective, invigorating blend will enliven your nightly ritual. As you soak, envision your life in its most abundant form (What do you look like? What’s around you? Who’s around you? What does it feel like?). Before draining water the tub, say a prayer of thanks for the existing abundance in your life.
By Amber C. Snider
We know the importance of regularly cleansing our homes and auras, but what about when we’re on a road trip or traveling abroad?
As a journalist covering arts, culture, and spirituality, travel is an essential part of my work; But all those new places, faces, and sensory experiences can leave me feeling energetically drained and depleted at the end of the day. It’s a different kind of “tired” that has nothing to do with jet lag — and high empaths, witches, and intuitive folks all understand this.
Traveling opens us up to new worlds, cultures, ideas, and expressions, but it’s okay to “shut off” that openness when it’s time for rest or just whenever you need it. In my experience, being grounded is absolutely necessary in maintaining an openness to new experiences, as well as connecting with my spirit guides and tapping into my higher power.
Whether you’re staying in a 1 star hotel, a luxury suite, or backpacking in a foreign land, each new place contains its own unique energy and power. Spaces and places (as well as our auras) hold on to energy, and sometimes it can be pretty heavy stuff. We can, inadvertently, end up “carrying” that energy from place to place, too. Here are a few travel tips that keep me sane and grounded while on-the-go.
Take a piece of Mother Earth with you on the plane
I love to take stones and crystals with me on the plane to help me feel connected to the Earth. Sure, airport security may give me weird looks when they open up a bag of rocks, but honestly that’s the least of my cares. I love clear quartz, rose quartz, obsidian, onyx, amber, and any blue-green stone (malachite, aventurine, lapis, etc) while traveling. Obsidian absorbs negative energy, rose quartz helps invoke calmness and compassion, amber is healing and grounding, and blue stones help activate the throat chakra (which is particularly great when you’re speaking in a second language!).
I recommend cleansing your crystals and stones overnight in sea salt before traveling and charging them with a specific intention before your trip (safety, love, peace, protection, joy, communication, etc).
Trees and branches, too…
I also love to take small branches of natural plants with me and tuck them into my pockets. It could be a simple leaf, twig, or tree bark, but keeping a tiny part of a tree with me has always brought a lot of comfort. I especially love carrying a sprig of rosemary around in my pocket or purse — it smells wonderfully delicious without being overpowering to others.
Walk softly and carry a big (incense) stick
It’s not always reasonable for me to carry all my herbs, charcoals, cauldrons, and wood-based incenses while traveling, but incense sticks or palo santo always does the trick. Not only can you do quick smudging sessions in the hotel or Airbnb, incense can also help personalize the new space for you, bringing along a sense of comfort. I burn a lot of copal and amber incenses at home (as well as palo santo) and its easy to bring along a few sticks or buy new ones on the road. Plus, not every hotel or Airbnb has 5 stars in the scent department (whether it’s stale air or overly perfumed chemical-y scents), so incense also helps with practical matters.
Invest in the local culture with an open heart
Investing doesn’t always have to translate to dollar signs. You can invest your time and energy into meaningful exchanges with local communities, taking the time to learn from them, sampling their traditional foods, visiting their landmarks and museums, buying from small businesses, and respecting local customs. Cultural appreciation is different than cultural appropriation, of course. The best part of traveling is getting to know the locals and learning new things. By taking care of your own spirit and energy, you’re also leaving room for expansion, as well as compassion for and acceptance of others.
Smoke cleanse > Juice Cleanse
Just kidding, do a juice cleanse if you want. Or at least try all the fresh fruits you can during your travels! But we’re talking about Spirit here, so I’ll stick to that. Have you ever walked into a new place and felt a kind of heaviness? Sometimes it feels like walking through water, sometimes a tightening in the throat, sometimes a gut feeling. However it physically manifests for you, know that a spiritual cleansing may help lighten the energy — and sometimes almost instantaneously. Here’s what I do:
––First, open any and all windows. While walking through the house/apartment/hotel room with your incense, speak the following words aloud, using your most confident/assertive voice: “I command any and all negative entities to leave this space. I am a child of God/Goddess (insert the language or practice that works for you here) and I command any spirits or energy that does not serve my highest good to leave this space.” Sweep any negative energy towards and out the window.
—Then say something like, “I call upon (Insert the language that works for you here, I.e. God/Goddess/My Ancestors/My Spirit Guides/The Universe) to assist me in filling this space with Light and Love. May this be a sacred space free from any negative energy.”
—Visualize a ball of white light 3-6 feet from the top of your head. Try to “see” the ball’s light extend outwards, filling the room and every corner and crevice with light.
—Finalize the cleansing with something like “And so mote it be,” “Amen,” “And it shall be.” I always like to say “thank you” afterwards to the kind spirits who’ve assisted me in the ritual.
––Seal in the goodness you’ve manifested.
With a touch of sea salt….
I love working with sea salt because it’s so universal and abundant. You’re bound to find some variation of sea salt during your travels and it may already be stashed in the cupboard of your Airbnb. After a smoke cleanse, sprinkle some sea salt near the doors and corners (continually visualize pure bright light while you do this) and say “Only goodness can cross these lines. Nothing that wishes me harm can enter here. So mote it be.”
I always like to throw some salt over my left shoulder when I’m done to “keep the devil at bay and away” — yes, it’s an old wives tale, but I still do it, even when cooking.
Get your feet dirty (e.g clean)
As in, when you get a moment to yourself, take off your shoes and ground yourself in the Earth. All that sensory experience from traveling, as well as encountering so many new people, can throw us off our own center, so I like to turn my gaze and body back to the Mother for rejuvenation. The simple act of putting my feet in the dirt, on the ground, in the sand, on a bed of leaves, and releasing any negative or pent up energy can work wonders for my spirit and aura. The thing is, Mother Earth is so abundant and accepting that she can take it all in — and still give back so much strength.
I like to silently and respectfully ask, “Mother Earth, Gaia, please take (insert request) and help rejuvenate my spirit.” Stand for several minutes in this meditation and place your hands on the earth’s surface to say thank you afterwards.
Bring your totems and tiny statues along for the ride
During the recent holidays, the owner of Enchantments, Stacy Rapp, gifted me the perfect statue for my travels. It's a small, 4-inch intricately painted statue of Mother Earth (Gaia) that fits in my carry-on bag and "lives" on my nightstand (wherever I may be). It makes me feel protected when solo traveling and since it was a gift, it's a good reminder of my "home" and community in NYC.
About: Amber C. Snider is an NYC-based journalist, editor and designer for Enchantments, and educator specializing in art & culture, spirituality, and travel with words in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Lonely Planet, Fodor's, Teen Vogue, Atlas Obscura, Unearth Women, Saveur, Domino, Culture Trip and more. You can read more of her work at www.ambercsnider.com
By Amber C. Snider
As Imbolc approaches, we chatted with celeb astrologer David Scoroposki for an exclusive "shop your horoscope" guide for February.
By now you've hopefully heard the good news: Enchantments has moved to a new location at 165 Avenue B (between 10th and 11th street) in New York City. We're excited to serve you all again in early February and we know you'll love the new space just as much as we do. For now, we're accepting online orders until the new shop opens.
To kick off the New Year and help celebrate Imbolc, we chatted with celeb astrologer (and long time witch of the shop) David Scoroposki for an exclusive "shop your horoscope" guide for February. Here you'll find a custom-candle suggestion for Aries, airy sprays for Libras, abalone shells for potions and scrying for dreamy Pisces, and more.
"Aries, ruled by fire, is the first sign of the zodiac. It represents the stirrings of spring time and rushes down to imbue the earth with life," says Scoroposki. He recommends Imbolc incense for the upcoming Sabbath (on February 1st and 2nd), which also pairs well with Aries' fiery energy. Or better yet, a custom-candle to engage with the fire element, such as a Road Opener candle. "It's great for new beginnings and fresh starts to coincide with Imbolc. It removes obstacles and physical blocks from the past, so you can go forward in Aries style."
Custom Candle: Road Opener Candle, $45
"Ruled by the earth element, Taurus will love a Gaia statue for February," says Scoroposki. "They are earthy and wonderful, not to mention beautiful." You can place your Gaia statue on your altar or in your meditation/study room for loving, grounding vibes.
Gaia Statue: Call shop for availability.
For chatty, airy Gemini, Divine Muse incense is best for this season. "Whenever we burn incense, we're engaging in Air and Fire elements and sending out wishes upwards. A Gemini would love Divine Muse for channeling their inquisitive nature, as well as inspiration to create something, especially anything writing or speaking-related," says Scoroposki.
"Everyone can use a little inspiration or else life is drab!" he adds. "There are a lot of different types of positive inspiration and the Divine Muse is responsible for that. She comes and goes, but to invoke her in smoke is a way to make sure you stay inspired." Enchantments incense doesn't require charcoal: Simply sprinkle a teaspoon or so in your cauldron and touch a flame to it.
Divine Muse Incense: One ounce, $10
"Cancers will love Florida Water, Holy Water, or Las Aquas Benditas. They’re good for baths, limpias, and cleansings. You can sprinkle some around the house, anoint altars to involve or propitiate deities, or add them as amplifiers for baths," says Scoroposki. "For an uncrossing, use Florida Water and Holy Water. For love and romance baths, use orange blossom (Oshun energy) or rose water (Venus energy)."
"Leos are about self-confidence and self-esteem, so metallic gold votive holder with a yellow 120 is great this month," says Scoroposki. "Or just go for a Solar Blast Kit!" Solar Blast Kits, used to invoke happiness, joy, confidence, and all around good vibes, come with two hand-carved solar blast candles, one dram of oil, a packet of sea salt, and a hand-blended sample incense. Use the sea salt for a ritual bath, anoint yourself (and the candles) with the oil, and burn the incense as you work your spell.
Metallic Gold Candle Holder: $5
120 Candle: $1.20
Solar Blast Kit: $17.50
"Virgo is ruled by Mercury and it's an Earth sign associated with the Earth Goddess. I'd recommend a ouanga bag (any kind) for Virgos this month," says Scoroposki. Since ouanga bags are filled with herbs, you can get any bag depending on your needs. Choose from Love Attraction, Money Draw, Restful Sleep, Luck and Happiness, Uncrossing, Protection and Healing Ouangas.
Ouanga Bags: $9.95 each
Luscious Libras will love a hand-blended spray from our apothecary. Scoroposki recommends our Inspiration spray, which represents the intellect, or our Venus spray to invoke the Goddess of Love, Beauty, and Fertility. "Sprays are great because they are engaging the element of Air which Libras will adore, especially those who don’t like to burn incense. You can use our sprays for cleansings or to bring in positive energy,” he says. You can view our oil list here (all oils can be made into a spray, however they're only available in-store).
Inspiration Formula: $15 and up. Sprays only available in-store. Oils available online.
DIY spray: If you purchase an oil, simply add several drops of the oil to a small spray bottle, add witch hazel or alcohol, and mix with water to create your own spray.
Scorpio can benefit from a whirlwind of luck this season, so we'd recommend our custom-carved Fortuna Candle to invoke blessings and good fortune from Lady Luck. You can also add an ounce of Fortuna Oil to your magical line-up this month: Simply add a few drops of the oil to a bath or anoint yourself as you would a perfume (but with intention) throughout the day.
Fortuna Candle: $45
Fortuna Oil: One ounce, $27
"As a Fire sign, Sagittarius will love our Academic Success/Wisdom Kit. The candles represent the Fire element and since Sag is the sign of philosophy, higher knowledge, spiritual endeavors, this kit is a great choice," says Scoroposki. The kit comes with two hand-carved spell candles to invoke wisdom, as well as a small packet of sea salt for a ritual bath, sample incense, and a dram of oil.
Academic Success/Wisdom Kit: $17
"This Earth sign will appreciate an altar tile this month. Try the pentacle altar tile, which represents money and the Earth element. Especially for Capricorn, it's wonderful for manifestation work. They can burn a candle on top or use it to turn the candle on/or without blowing it out, if that's in their practice," says Scoroposki.
Pentacle Altar Tile: $9.95
"As an Air sign, Aquarius is all about music, sound, technology, and space travel this month. I'd recommend our Spiritual High Incense, which has a Saturnian influence, and is good for occult work and astral travel which might interest a quirky Aquarian," says Scoroposki. "Everyone’s trying to get to space right now and the Age of Aquarius is here, so this ties in with literal space travel, technology to a degree of revolution, newness, and society changing at-large."
Here's how to use Spiritual High Incense for astral travel: Lay down in a comfortable position and light the incense. Let your mind go –– and if you need to come back to return, think of your feet in order to "return to earth."
Spiritual High Incense: One Ounce, $10
"Pisces is represented by two fish swimming in opposite directions. It's the house of service, the house of religious service, and water, of course," says Scoroposki. "At its best, Pisces is a psychic sign with a reception nature, so I'd recommend scrying in a bowl of water, an orb, or even an abalone shell filled with water. Scrying is a practice that requires receptivity and Pisces is also associated with dreams, making this tool a great choice."
Abalone Shell (large): $35
Abalone Shell Stand: $8
David Scoroposki is one of New York's most esteemed Astrologers with over twenty years of experience. He leads a consulting practice for individual and corporate clients and contributes to numerous media publications globally. David graduated from New York University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Theology from the Gallatin School. He has taught classes on Tarot and Astrology and given lectures at institutions such as The School of Visual Arts and New York University, among others. In conjunction with classical, medieval, and modern Astrology methods, David uses a variety of divinatory techniques including the Tarot for customized sessions that address each client’s unique goals and issues. Learn more about David Scoroposki's work, including his tarot, divination, and psychic consultations, at his website here.
Just in time for Yule, all of our large statues are marked down 30% –– but hurry, because there are only a few days left to visit the shop before the holidays!
If you're still looking for a last-minute gift, Enchantments is now offering 30% off all large statues, including Freya, Hecate, Oya, Bast, Aya, the Celtic Triple Goddess, Aphrodite, Athena, Mars, Persephone, Thor, and more.
All statues are unfortunately available for in-store purchase only (apologies to our amazingly loyal customers outside of NYC!). There is limited supply, so be sure to stop by the shop at 424 E 9th Street NY, NY before we close for the holiday season.
A sampling of the large statues can be viewed in the slideshow here
And if you're still looking for gifts (either for your favorite witch or yourself!), check out our new "Shop Your Star Sign" Gift Guide with celeb astrologer David Scoroposki.
Wishing everyone a Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas, magical Winter Solstice, and wonderful New Year. We can't wait to see you in 2022!
By Amber C. Snider
David Scoroposki, a venerated astrologer in New York City, has been practicing his craft for over 20 years. Here, he offers a unique “shop your star sign” guide for Enchantments –– just in time for the holiday season.
Known as one of New York City’s best astrologers, David Scoroposki began his career at American Vogue, overseeing the astrology column by Athena Starwoman for nearly a decade. As a child, he frequented the Hayden Planetarium and discovered a “vast and compelling universe…governed by precise mathematical laws" –– experiences which later evolved into a lifelong interest in the dance of the cosmos and its effect on our daily lives. And he hasn’t turned his gaze from the stars ever since.
Each birth chart can be read like a map, exploring the avenues of possibility within each planetary house. By using a mix of classical, modern, and medieval techniques, Scoroposki approaches his work with a genuine reverence and respect for the craft. Still, he warns against charlatans out there waiting to prey on the emotional vulnerability of others: “Avoid any ‘psychic’ reader who leads with fear or guilt, elicits money to remove a (phony) curse, or tries to sell you rocks for hundreds or even thousands of dollars,” says Scoroposki. “Unfortunately, some of my work consists of undoing this type of psychic damage. People who need help are vulnerable; however, once someone realizes they’ve been duped, it doesn’t take long to get back on track,” he adds.
Astrology should be fun; It's an exploration of possibility that ignites wonder and humility in the vast expanse of our experiences. So in the spirit of the season, Scoroposki offers a festive guide to “shopping your horoscope,” filled with a mix of affordable gifts from Enchantments to suit that travel-loving Sagittarius or artistic Libra in your life.
As the first astrological sign in the zodiac and ruled by the planet Mars, Aries are known for their courage, leadership, and action. Since the winter months can bring about a general since lethargy, if Aries wants to amp up their natural strengths and characteristics, Scoroposki recommendations Motivation incense or a Mars talisman. Enchantments' Motivation Incense is made from a wood base, so it doesn't require charcoal, and will help Aries get energized for winter projects and goals.
Motivation Incense ($10 for hand-blended incense); Mars talisman ($35).
Ruled by the planet Venus and the Earth element, Taurus will love a House Blessing custom candle. “Taurus needs to feel comfy in their home, so a House Blessing or Venusian House Blessing for the winter will invoke those hygge vibes," says Scoroposki. Hygge, a Danish concept, is all about creating a sense of comfort, feel-good vibes, warmth, and contentment in the home.
House Blessing Custom Candle ($45). Specify if you'd like a Venusian House Blessing in the order details.
Ruled by Mercury (the planet of communication) and the element of Air, Geminis will love any gift having to do with the mind, games or agility. Scoroposki recommends gifting an oracle deck for the Gemini in your life: “An oracle is a divination technique that's about finding out things out. This Mercury-ruled sign would benefit from an oracle deck because it involves cards, which falls under the gaming element of a Gemini. I think of the Magician card when I think of Gemini. Plus, after they find their oracle, the Gemini will also love telling their friends what they found since communication is so important to them.”
Oracle and Tarot Decks (prices vary according to the deck). Available online or in-shop.
A Cardinal sign associated with the element of Water, Cancers would benefit from a Lunar Calendar for the New Year. “Cancer is ruled by the Moon and it's important for Cancers to pay attention to the phases of the moon in order to better understand their emotional fluctuations and when to invoke their intuition,” says Scoroposki.
"Cancers are very sensitive, caretaking, and intuitive. The Moon is the ruler of all things hidden (and all things of the night) and Cancers are ruled by this force. Channeled in the right way, it can bring inspiration at best,” adds Scoroposki. "Without understanding these energies on an in-depth level, a Cancer can run the risk of feeling scattered and emotionally overwhelmed."
Lunar Calendars available in-shop only. Call for availability.
"Leos are ruled by the Sun and the color gold, so I would recommend a Luck and Happiness Ouanga to attract the energies of the Sun, which includes abundance, prosperity, success, glory, and fame," says Scoroposki. "The solar herbs within the that bag are chosen specifically to induce an affect of happiness and sunshine. Ouanga bags can be carried on your person, in your purse or pocket, in your car, or some people put them under their mattress." You can consecrate your bag in the rays of the sun and state your prayer, wish, spell, or intention.
Luck and Happiness Ouanga ($9.95). Online or in-store purchase available.
"Virgo feels most secure and content when things are organized and planned. It's very important to the Virgo to have something concrete to rely upon. Practicality is also very important," says Scoroposki.
"Because they are ruled by Mercury, a Witches’ Planner will help them organize and feel in control of their schedules. Virgo is also the Earth Goddess, so the guides like Llewellyn’s can show you how to work better with earth magic. Also since it’s almost the New Year, they're great for calendars and date books," says Scoroposki.
Various Astrological Pocket Planners, Witches' Almanacs, and Planners available online and in-shop. We recommend the two shown below.
Libra, an Air sign ruled by the planet Venus, will love something that symbolizes beauty this season. "Peace, marriage, art, music, romance, and beauty are all important to Libras," says Scoroposki. "A statue of Venus, perhaps in bronze, would make a great gift. It's quite beautiful and something to venerate your ruler and bring all the charms of Venus into the home." Also, consider setting up a home altar to propitiate the Goddess of Love and include an array of seashells, sea salt, and the colors pink and green.
Statues available for in-store purchase only.
Ruled by Pluto and Mars, Scorpios are passionate Water signs that have no trouble conjuring up sexual energy. But just in case they want to turn things up a notch for the holiday season, Scoroposki recommends the Sexual Attraction Kit. "Not that they’ll have any problem with sexual attraction, but with the kit they’re sure to have lots of fun with whomever they choose to sting," he muses. Kits come with two 120 hand-carved candles, a dram of hand-blended oil, incense, and a sea salt packet. For singles, the kit can help draw in potential lovers, but it can also work as an aphrodisiac for couples.
Sexual Attraction Kit ($17.50). Available online or in-store.
Ruled by Jupiter and the Fire element, Sagittarius is all about adventure and foreign travel. "An ounce of Swallow’s Blood Oil for safe travels is a great gift for the optimistic Sagittarius. Now that we know the proper and safe way to travel, it’s time for the Sagittarius to explore. Plus, the oil has a nice red color, which connects to the Fire element," says Scoroposki. Swallow's Blood Oil (nor any other Enchantment oils/incense) does not actually contain any animal products, just in case you were wondering.
Swallow's Blood Oil ($27). Available online or in-store.
For the success-driven Capricorn in your life, Scoroposki recommends a Don Dinero Picture Candle. "Don Dinero is about success, getting to the place you want, ambition, resilience, and great financial and business prowess. It's bayberry scented, so it's nice for the holidays. Ruled by the planet Saturn and associated with the Earth element, the hardworking Capricorn deserves to reap the rewards of their toils on their climb to the top," says Scoroposki.
Don Dinero/Mr. Money Candle ($11). Available online or in-store.
"Ruled by Saturn, Aquarians are independent air signs that do their own thing," says Scoroposki. He recommends an astrology book for the eccentric, free-thinking Aquarius in your life. "They have a technical mind and the science of astrology would be a great fit. Also Saturn is associated with the occult and hidden knowledge, so they would have an affinity towards this stuff," he adds.
The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk ($19.95). Available online or in-store.
"Pisces is a Water sign represented by fish. They’re very receptive, so it’s important for Pisces to be around high vibrational people, places, and things," says Scoroposki. "A salt bath mimicking the ocean can alleviate their Pisces attributes and cleanse them of any negative energies they may have picked up over the week. It’s also good idea for Pisces to take a weekly ritual bath in regards to spiritual hygiene and maintenance."
The Yemaya Mermaid Bath can help channel the spirit of the ocean, Yemaya, La Siren, and other Deities and spirits that benefit a water sign," he adds.
Yemaya Mermaid Bath ($4.95). Available online or in-store. Other sea salt bath blends include Uncrossing, Rebirth, Sun, Love Uncrossing, Psyche's Balm, High Conquering, Divine Muse, and more.
Learn more about David Scoroposki's work, including his tarot, divination, and psychic consultations, at his website here.
By Amber C. Snider
Here we uncover the origins and mysteries of cross-pantheon Gods and Goddess from around the world.
Aphrodite (aka Venus in the Roman tradition) has long been the muse of artists, creators, and of course lovers for thousands of years. Her most famous artistic depiction comes from the master sculptor Alexandros of Antioch circa 150 BCE, in the ancient Greek sculpture known around the world as Venus de Milo. The 2170 year old marble statue is currently displayed at the Louvre in Paris and depicts the half-clothed goddess in a sensual form that speaks to the Greeks' ideal of beauty. Perhaps the other most famous depiction of the Goddess comes from Sandro Botticelli's masterpiece The Birth of Venus, which hints at her origin story. The Renaissance painting shows her emerging from the sea with a shell under her feet as her long hair coyly (yet barely) covers her slender body. The wind God Zephyr blows air on her from the left, while the Goddess of Spring stands to her right with a cloak in hand ready to cover her naked form.
Aphrodite's mythological origins aren't all happiness, joy, and beauty though –– in fact, one origin tale is actually pretty gruesome. In ancient Greek mythology, Gaia and Uranus has a Titan son named Cronus. Cronus, with the help of his mother Gaia, rebelled against his father Uranus and castrated him, flinging his severed testicles into the ocean. His sperm made the sea bubble and froth and from those foamy waters, Aphrodite emerged as a fully-formed Goddess. Another story dated shortly after (commonly attributed to Homer), says the Goddess was born from the ocean nymph Dione and Zeus.
Aphrodite took on several lovers, although she was married to Hera's lamed son Hephaestus, an Olympian God associated with fire, craftsmanship, metalwork. Talented and strong though he was, he was considered ugly due to his clubfoot, and the Goddess of Love found herself in the arms of Ares (the God of War), with whom she had many children. However, one of her most famous love affairs was with the beautiful yet tragic mortal Adonis.
Her passionate love affair with the moral Adonis began somewhat (well, very) strangely. Adonis' mother gave birth to him just moments before she was turned into a myrrh tree by the Gods. Spotting the infant and recognizing him as beautiful, Aphrodite wanted to keep him for herself, so she locked him away in a chest and handed him over to the Queen of the Dead, Persephone, for safe keeping –– or presumably until he became of age. During that time, the Goddess of the Underworld also fell in love with Adonis and refused to give him back. Zeus had to get involved and eventually a deal was struck: Adonis would spent part of the year in the Underworld with Persephone, part of the year with Aphrodite, and he could choose who to be with during the remaining four months of each year. Naturally, he chose the Goddess of Love during his free time and they spent several years wrapped in longing together, hunting, and roaming forests.
However, tragedy soon came lurking. During a hunting expedition, Adonis was killed by a wild boar. Running to her fallen lover, she pricked her foot on a white rose and her blood stained the flower to a crimson, red hue. The red rose, said to be the first of its kind in the world, came to symbolize passionate love and also Aphrodite's grief at the loss of her beautiful lover.
Today, even thousands of years later, Aphrodite is still revered, worshipped, and called upon in spellwork. She's associated with copper, the dove, pink (sometimes blue), the day Friday, and the number five. Modern witches invoke her energy for love and beauty spells, as well as self-love rituals. At Enchantments, there are several potions and candles dedicated to this Goddess energy, including Aphrodite Love Drawing Oil and Incense, Venus Incense and Oil (a shop favorite), Aphrodite Love Bath, the Goddess of Love Oil and Incense, and the Venus Candle and the Empress candle. Many of the shop's love-oriented candles are dressed with various oils inspired by the Goddess.
Beauty and self-love rituals are often dedicated to and inspired by Aphrodite. One way to honor the Goddess is to create an altar using a statue or image of her, seashells, blue or pink crystals, rose petals, hand-carved pink, white, or blue candles, and rose-scented oils. Spellwork involving love is best timed on a Friday and Venus also governs two zodiac signs, Libra and Taurus. Ritual baths that invoke sensuality (or simply as part of a self-care routine) can include sea salt, a few drops of Enchantments' love oils, and dried or fresh rose petals.
For more on our God and Goddess series, check out this story on the Goddess of the Crossroads, Sorcery, and the Moon.
By Amber C. Snider
Straight from the mind of tarot reader and Cosmopolitan contributor Sarah Potter, a dreamy new deck for the modern era appears.
Sarah Potter is all about sharing the magic with others. The Cosmo Deck, her latest collaboration with Cosmopolitan magazine, has a chic, psychedelic, and playful energy that puts a new spin on classic archetypes. It’s refreshing to see the women's magazine, which was first published in 1886, openly embrace astrology, witchcraft and magic, but especially so for tapping veterans like Potter to help. A long-time patron of the Enchantments shop and seasoned color magic practitioner, Potter has been working with the tarot since she was 12 years old, which is also around the same time she started reading Cosmo magazine. It feels serendipitous then for her to helm the deck’s guidebook.
The deck's imagery takes the layered symbolism found in the original tarot and translates it into intuitive, accessible images filled with faces, diamonds, astrological charts, and of course, the glittering night sky. Wands and rods have been transformed into keys, while swords have been converted into pens (because is there anything more powerful?). “I wanted it to be approachable and accessible without being dumbed down, and to honor the tarot as a tool for intuition,” she says. “Magic is special and otherworldly, but it’s also something that can be accessible and smart. I believe that tarot is for everyone,” she says.
Condensing all the varied meanings of the cards into a small guidebook is no easy feat, especially when each card has so many layers. And yet, that’s exactly what she did, using language that feels like getting advice from a best friend. “Tarot was such a big part of slumber parties growing up and I wanted the deck to be like another friend who’s joining the party, offering another perspective, and reminding you that you already know what to do. But sometimes you need that extra confirmation,” she says. “So I thought: How can I embody that energy and put it into this deck?”
Potter says she began the writing process by going back to the time when she picked up her first tarot deck as a teenager. “I was searching for answers and a better understanding of myself and the world around me. And also, I’m not gonna lie, I always wanted to know who had a crush on me and figured tarot could help me navigate love, too!” she adds. We’ve all combed through tarot spreads seeking love advice, but the tarot tends to reveal things we already know deep down, making it a powerful tool for intuition, as well as for divination. “Tarot has always helped me throughout my whole life,” says Potter. “Especially when I needed a reminder of my own inner wisdom.”
Potter loves the outcome of the visuals, which were created by the Art Department at Cosmo: “It’s dreamy, and ethereal, and evocative –– and it’s inclusive. Not every tarot deck is for everyone, but I hope you can find something that you can relate to in it,” she adds. “[I hope] it truly invites anyone who’s using it to spark their imagination and to look at the cards in a new way.” The cards include colored borders (which you can add your own meaning to), providing both a nice frame and offer a connection to the suits of the Minor Arcana.
When the deck first arrived, I was particularly intrigued with the swapping of the wands/rods for keys, a symbol I thought translated well in this new context. Potter cites the wands as symbolic of our passions and inspirations: “Having the key emblematic of this energy is about unlocking something, whether it’s personal secrets or wisdom. It’s a very active energy. Take the key and try the different locks to see what opens,” she says. The choice of diamonds also feels apropos for the deck: “I think of diamonds as clarity and I turn to my tarot deck because I’m seeking clarity. And it adds a sense of luxury that’s chic and opulent. It feels special.”
The knowledge we can take away from a spread normally brings clarity –– which is ultimately empowering. And Potter agrees: “What we don’t know is so much scarier, or the infinite possibilities of the unknown. I think we can often be our own worst enemies the way we can overthink things. I like to think of tarot as more soothing and clarifying. It can be brutal, but at the same time, I find it a loving energy and a gentle quality in the way it delivers.”
In many ways, this deck feels like just the beginning for Sarah Potter and more decks to come. As for the future, she remains characteristically optimistic: “I don’t know what I’m going to tap into next!”
You can purchase The Cosmo Deck: The Ultimate Deck and Guidebook at the Enchantments shop or online. To read more about Sarah Potter and color magic, check out this story.