A Witch’s guide to getting through the lockdown

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In the UK a lockdown was announced a few days after the Spring Equinox in order to prevent the spread of Covid- 19. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will be aware of the coronavirus pandemic spreading from country to country.

It’s an uncertain time, and that uncertainty can lead to feelings of fear, depression and anxiety. Our government advised we can leave our homes pretty much once a day for exercise and essential trips to shops, doctors, etc. But going outside is also anxiety-inducing as there is the fear of coming across someone with the virus.

So in this period of helplessness and housebound isolation, what can we do to stay strong and defeat boredom whilst gaining control of our lives?

Knowledge

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A witch knows that no matter how much they study and learn, there is always more to be learned and they will never truly know it all. However this need not prevent us from enjoying the pursuit of knowledge.

Being stuck indoors is a good time to really get into a witchy project. I’m sure there is something you’ve always wanted to sink your teeth into but always convinced yourself you didn’t have the time or the energy?

If there’s nothing you can think of then have a look at the list below and see if anything calls out to you:

  • Learn tarot
  • Astrology
  • Herbalism
  • Sigils
  • Palmistry
  • Tea-leaf readings
  • Runes
  • Gem, stone and metal magick
  • Reading and interpreting the aura
  • Meditation techniques
  • Visualisation techniques
  • Astral projection
  • Glamour spells
  • Talismans and Amulets
  • Ancestor veneration
  • Spirit work
  • Folklore and mythology
  • Dream interpretation

 

Δ The Netflix Witch

 

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If you don’t have the focus to get into a study practice then that’s ok, maybe you just need some time to switch your mind to something that requires little effort, to just relax and unwind. Cue the multitude of streaming services available such Amazon, Netflix, Hulu etc.

Maybe you want to relax and get immersed in a witchy story? My recommendations are:

  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • The Originals
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Legacies
  • Luna Nera
  • Always a Witch (Siempre Bruja)
  • Good Witch
  • The Magicians
  • The Witcher
  • Once Upon  A Time
  • Grimm
  • Supernatural
  • American Horror Story
  • Bitten
  • Mortel
  • Salem
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
  • A Discovery of Witches
  • Midnight, Texas
  • Penny Dreadful

 

♦  Get Brewing

 

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I was raised on the merits of a good cup of tea from a young age. Tea was the go-to in a crisis, a time of uncertainty, and to unwind. A hot and sweet beverage that was warming and reassuring to seven year old me. Having a cup of tea in my hands made me feel rich beyond my imaginings. Which is interesting as black tea used magically is to aid in attracting prosperity and abundance.

And then in teen-hood I discovered the wonder of herbal teas and their magical properties, adding a whole new dimension of wonder to the steaming brew. Teas of all kind are very witchy drinks, and can be used as a potion if you want to add a magical twist to your daily beverage, hell you can turn the whole thing into a ritual if you want.

You should always check the contraindications of any herb before you ingest it, and if you’re on medication check with your doctor first.

You may be interested in herbal teas that aid in easing anxiety and stress, or for boosting the immune system, or to get a good night’s sleep.

Camomile is a relaxing tea and good to drink an hour before bed to get a good night’s rest.  Lemon balm is drunk to ease stress and anxiety, and nettle and green tea are full of nutrients to boost the immune system.

⊕ Lay the cards, throw the bones

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At times like this, when worried and uncertain, you may find it helpful to pull out a few tarot or oracle cards, or throw the bones for guidance.  They can help to put your mind at rest, but if you can’t get a clear reading then you should turn to a like-minded friend to read them for you.

Skype Coven Night

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So you may not get to meet your dearest witches in person, but being at home during the lockdown doesn’t have to mean no contact with the outside world. Arrange a time with your best witches to chat online, to have a laugh and discuss new ideas, practices, books and spell ideas. Make these calls as regular as possible to keep in touch with each other and to help you feel connected with people.

 

Bless and de-stress

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Keep your home clean and cleansed during this time, an untidy home will scatter your energies and cause discomfort. Once tidy, burn something cleansing such as sage, cedar or juniper to cleanse the space of negativity. Use an incense stick if you don’t have any of these.  Once done, light a white candle for harmony and peace in the home.

⊗ Curl up with a good book

 

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Fiction can take you to another world that can take your mind off of this one, well, unless you choose to read a dystopian novel. I wouldn’t recommend that right now. Most witches I know have a to-read pile as big as a house and now would be a good time to get stuck into that reading list. Currently this is one of the things I’m doing, and I’m trying not to buy any more books until I’ve got the to-read list reduced.

Δ Get it all out on paper

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Journalling is a good way to get any stress and anxiety out of yourself and onto paper. It’s very cathartic being able to put into words the things your struggle to say or feel you cannot say. Paper gives you the space and freedom to do that.  For an extra cathartic boost, if you have an indoor fireplace or wood burning stove, tear out the papers of your angst and cast them into the fire to be burnt away. You may feel like a weight has been lifted at this point. Got to love a bit of fire magick.

Alternatively, this is a good time to update your book of shadows/grimoire with thoughts, spells, recipes, rituals etc.

Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream…

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Meditation is a fantastic stress reliever. When things are getting too much, go someplace in your home that’s quiet and where you won’t be disturbed and take 5 – 10 minutes to tune everything out and find some peace.  Breathe, ground, and centre your energy.  Light a candle or some incense if you can.

If you struggle to switch off, you might find it easier to follow a guided meditation, or listen to relaxing music and nature sounds. There are a lot of these available on Youtube just now.

◊◊◊

At the end of the day, you’re not alone. We’re all going through this struggle together. It’s important to remember to look after yourself and to show kindness at a time when people may tend to react more out of fear and selfishness.  Pick up the phone and speak to people, check on your family, check on your friends. Stay connected this way and know that this situation is only temporary, things can and will get better ♥

Stay safe and be kind x

An update

It has been a while since I last blogged. I’ve needed the time to just be, to heal and to reflect. I became a bit of a hermit because that’s what I needed at the time.

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Grief is a strange phenomena. Sometimes when you think you are piecing yourself back together, something comes along: a memory, a scent, a sound which reminds you of your loved one’s absence and you’re back in that heartache. That’s how it’s been for me anyway, everyone grieves differently.

Besides being a hermit, I’ve had to focus more on my uni studies and I’m pleased to say I’ve completed my degree and will graduate next month. Studying towards a degree has been a challenge for me with working full time, losing loved ones the stress of day to day life, and I’m so pleased and relieved to have passed my course. Once I’ve graduated I will need to then do some research about what I would like to do with my degree. One path leads to another.

In other news, my partner and I got engaged and we’re getting married next year, so I’ve been doing a lot of wedding planning. We also bought our first house together and moved in during the winter months. So a lot has been going on for me this past year!

I plan to get back into blogging because I’ve really missed writing and researching folklore and witchcraft. So keep tuned because more content will be coming soon!

My fiance and I are just back from a trip to Berlin, and it was amazing exploring all of the sights such as the Berlin Wall, the TV Tower and Brandenburg Tor and trying currywurst for the first time. I’m now having currywurst withdrawal so I’m hoping when the next German food stalls appear in town they will be selling this as well as regular bratwurst.

 

We also went to see the Icelandic techno-punk BDSM perfomance art group Hatari play in Berlin, and it was honestly the best gig of my life. I loved it so much that I’m going to see them in London again next year for their Europe Will Crumble tour. Hatari have inspired me to get back into being my creative self, as well as looking deeply into the state of the world. Their music speaks of the paradox of man’s existence in a capitalist society, of the destruction we’re causing the planet and thus ultimately destroying ourselves. Everyone has a price, everyone is for sale. From their instagram:

Hatari is a political multimedia project which aims to unveil the relentless scam that is everyday life. We cannot change things, but we can unveil the anomie of neoliberal society, the pointlessness of every minute spent in the race, and the low price for which man sells himself ever more blatantly.

 

 

 

I had intentions to set up a witchy shop online, but I never got round to doing it due to studies. It’s something I consider doing every now and then but ultimately I’m unsure if I will at this stage. I’ve been rather busy as mentioned above!

I mentioned in a post a little while back about fundraising for the Tales of the Taibhsear album, and it’s been released and the project is such a success, that Scott of The Cailleach’s Herbarium also set up a organisation called The Woven Land Network designed to raise funds to restore and preserve important sacred sites around Scotland such as holy wells and standing stones as well as education people about their history (if known), their function and how to visit these sites respectfully. You can find out more on their facebook page or website: The Woven Land Network  It’s a very exciting project and I’m proud of Scott for working so hard to educate others and conserve these sites.

I plan to get blogging again more frequently, there are still plenty of folkloric tales to tell and spells to do.

Beannachd Leibh x