My Favorite Non-Magical Items to Use in a Magical Way

I’m lucky enough to live in an area that has a few metaphysical shops to peruse. And, if these shops don’t have want I’m looking for, the owners are usually great about putting in a special order for me. However, there are a few things I have been using in a magical way that are seemingly non-magical items. My top 6 are below:

1. Dollar Shave Club’s Hydrating Sage and Black Pepper Shampoo and Conditioner

This shampoo smells amazing, and it has just enough menthol in it to make my scalp feel all tingly. It also gets my hair really clean without drying it out, which is a huge plus. In magical application, I use sage and black pepper in protection magic, and this is what I use these products for too. As part of my morning ritual, I visualize the energy from the sage and black pepper protecting my mind from anxiety, over-thinking, and unhelpful thoughts.

2. Dollar Shave Club’s Calming Body Bar

I have not used bar soap since I was a kid, but since I loved the brand’s shampoo and conditioner so much, I thought I’d give their bar soap a chance. These bars are scented with amber and lavender, both essences I use in spellwork for love. As part of my morning ritual, I empower the soap to cleanse my energetic body and work to draw loving influences to and from me.

3. Lush’s Sleepy Lotion

I love (LOVE) Lush. I mean, what’s not to love about a company that makes hand-made products, uses self-preserving materials, and recyclable packaging. Their Sleepy lotion is amazing. It’s made with lavender and tonka, and it goes on super smooth. Before bed, I usually put it on my hands, arms, and feet. It helps me to relax and fall asleep quickly. However, one night, I used a little on my hands and saw that the relaxing quality of the lotion put me in a light meditative state. So, when I want to do any work that relies on being in a meditative state, I’ll use a little of this to help me out.

4. My cellphone

I have a Google Pixel, and it’s the best smartphone I’ve owned. I won’t go into its specs, but it’s amazing and I, use it for magical purposes all the time. First, I’ll use it as a vision board of sorts. I’ll take a picture of an affirmation or a sigil and use it as my phone’s background. Whenever I see it, I reinforce the magic behind it. Also, regarding sigils, I’m able to charge the sigil by simply charging my phone.

I also use my phone to play music for meditation and ritual, create videos for my study group, and for overall management of my study group.

5. Expo Dry Erase Markers

As a corporate trainer, I find dry erase markers in my pockets whenever I do laundry. I use these a lot for sigil work. I’ll draw a sigil, usually on my bathroom mirror and stand before the sigil to empower and embody the sigil. Then, I wipe it away.

6. Art Supplies

I dabble in art here and there, and art has become a major component of my spiritual practice. When I am doing shadow work, I’ll typically make a sketch or painting of the aspects of my shadow I am working on. When I want to manifest something, I’ll create a vision board using my own art. I’ve even created pieces depicting aspects of Divinity to use on my altar. For me, the action of creating art mirrors the action of creating magic.

I’m sure if I sat here for long enough, I could fill this post with several, but these are the items that stuck out. I think that most people hold off on casting a spell until they have the *right* ingredients. Instead, I’d challenge them to look around and work with what they have on hand. What are some of your favorite non-magical items to use in magic?



The Séance

As a witch, I certainly believe in the existence of disembodied spirits or, for the lack of a better terms, ghosts. I’ve had my share of “paranormal” experiences. In fact, I fully believe that I have a few spirit roommates that reside in my home. Luckily, they seem harmless and tend to spend their time in my basement. The worst part of it is that they open and close doors and like to make banging sounds to let me know they are there. If this the worst they’ve got, I’m fine with them staying for as long as they’d like.

The other thing you should know about me is that that I am one of the biggest skeptics in the world. People are usually confused when they hear this because people usually equate pagan spirituality with superstition. I don’t tend to take offense to this since I’ve met my fair share of bat-shit crazy pagans. With that being said, I tend to take any paranormal experience I have with a grain of salt and look for other possibilities before jumping to the conclusion of ghosts.

A friend of mine who has had her personal share of ghost stories heard about a séance at a local art gallery hosted by a local medium and occult teacher. I immediately agreed to go with her, even though I couldn’t tell whether this was a real séance or simply a performance art piece. Nevertheless, we were there when the doors opened.

We were led to our seats at the main table with the medium and shortly thereafter the séance started. We were told about the spirit we were attempting to communicate with for the night. The story sounded a bit farfetched. To sum it up, the medium purchased a needlepoint from a thrift store and found a letter hidden in the lining. After her discovery, the medium experienced paranormal activity in her home. I rolled my eyes so hard I almost traveled back in time.

We started the séance by extinguishing all the candles except for the one on our table. Once the medium asked for the spirit to give us a sign, the candle went out and we were left in complete darkness. The séance continued as one would expect, a ball was thrown from our table, a book flew from the bookshelf, and a glass shattered. Then, as one would expect, a darker spirit made itself known. The walls shook, a door slammed, and I felt a firm touch on my shoulder despite the fact that both the people next to me were gripping my hands.

The séance ended and after the medium cleansed the room, we discussed our experiences. I was prepared for everyone to share my skepticism, but they all felt as though they had a genuine experience. In the effort to remain fair, below are my cases for and against this being a true connection with a spirit.

Evidence that this was a true experience with a spirit.

  1. Everyone, including the medium and the gallery owner, seemed shook by the experience. Unless these two, one of which was admittedly drunk, are amazing actors, their reaction was too genuine to overlook.
  2. Some shared an experience that others did not have. For example, my friend heard the sound of a lullaby being sang, and I didn’t hear it despite sitting next to her.
  3. No one else reported being touched. To add, when I was touched my psychic senses immediately registered this as something threatening.
  4. The room was completely dark, making it unlikely that someone could navigate it unaided.
  5. Both of our hosts are respected by their communities. It may be too big of a risk to be found out as a fraud.
  6. After the séance ended I scoured that place like I was a Hardy Boy. I found no evidence that anything was staged.


Evidence that it may have been an elaborate parlor trick

  1. There were several people there who had helped set up the séance. Even though they were dispersed between the other guests, they may have been able to help with a hoax.
  2. The host did not join a table, but say alone at the front of the room. This left her available to possibly create the experiences we had.
  3. For a moment, I saw a green light that looked similar to the light of an IR camera. However, after I noticed it, I couldn’t find its source.

Who’s to say whether this was a real experience. Overall, I had a blast. It was a good way to end the Halloween season. To be quite honest, even if it was a stage performance, I’ll happily pay the admission for next year’s séance.

Feri and the Art of Curling

Let’s start off with a disclaimer. I am not a Feri initiate or student, so I am in no way an expert. I am simply a seeker who is dipping his toe in Feri. My comments are not from any official teaching; they are just from my personal observations so far. So far, based on my reading, research, and practice, Feri has resonated deeply with me. This is because I can apply Feri ideas and techniques to several areas of my life. In fact, I’ve found myself applying or connecting Feri practice in an unlikely place, my local curling club.

To give a little background, I began curling (again, the ice sport, not the weight lifting) last winter with a friend who discovered the curling club. We signed up for an instructional league, then played for a season. Towards the end of the season, I felt confident in my game and looked forward to coming back to play this season. Unfortunately, not curling for six months has left me extremely rusty. Coupled with extremely competitive (and experienced) teammates, my shoddy gameplay is a little problematic. Fortunately, curling has given me an outlet to apply Feri practice and gauge its effectiveness in my life.

  1. Soul Alignment

In curling, alignment is arguably the most important concept of delivering a stone properly. The skip, the captain of the team who calls shots, will hold his broom out to give the thrower a target to throw at. The thrower lines the stone and foot up with the broom, and if they do so correctly, the stone should stop at the desired point. If not, the stone will arrive at a random location at the other end. So far this season, alignment has been my primary obstacle.

The Feri Tradition teaches of the triune nature of our souls. The Fetch collects and manages life energy and communicates in images, emotion, and intuition. The Talker is the face through which we communicate with the world. The Godsoul is our connection with the Divine. When our souls are aligned and in communication with one another, we are much more grounded, centered, and for me, more confident and capable.

Using curling as a metaphor for spirituality, the skip’s broom represents my Godsoul giving me direction and purpose, the stone represents my Fetch, and my body the Talker. If one of the components is out of alignment, my efforts are mostly in vain.

What I find interesting is that when I practice soul alignment before curling, my mind calms down and I am better able to focus on the task at hand. In fact, there have been a few times when I have practiced soul alignment mid-game and have instantly improved. If soul alignment can help me with a trivial game, how else might it improve my life?


  1. Iron Pentacle


The Iron Pentacle is an exercise used in Feri as a way to determine where we are imbalanced in our personal energy.  The points of the pentacle represent the energies of Sex, Pride, Self, Power, and Passion. As you contemplate each point, any imbalances in your personal energy can often be easily deciphered. So, I tried to apply this practice to curling when stepping up to throw a stone. This is becoming second nature as the body correspondences of the Pentacle follow the flow of preparing to throw a stone.

Sex – The top point of the pentacle, the point of creation. This is the beginning and ending of everything. As I look at the skip’s broom to line up my shot, I focus on the outcome I want to achieve.

Pride – the lower right point of the pentacle and the right foot. This point challenges us to recognize our worth and cultivate the ability to live freely. This point reminds us not to compare ourselves to others, an important lesson when you are a newbie in a room full of experts. I remind myself of these points as I step into the hack (the foothold you deliver stones from in curling) and line up my shot.

Self – the upper left point of the pentacle and the left hand. In curling, the left hand holds either your broom or a stabilizer to give you balance as you deliver your stone.  Likewise, this point on the Iron Pentacle reminds me to embrace the balance of my strengths and limitations. Where these two concepts meet lies my personal potential to grow. Here, I embrace that I am still learning and that I can only improve if I allow myself the leeway to make mistakes.

Power – the upper right point of the pentacle and the right hand. In my right hand, I grip the stone and remind myself that through my will, I can achieve anything. It also reminds me that true power is power with others, rather than power over others. Curling teams are only successful if every team member is working towards the common goal. I remind myself that even if my team gets frustrated with my performance, it’s only because they see potential in me and want me to do better.

Passion – the lower left point of the pentacle and the left foot. For right-handed curlers (like me) our left foot is the sliding foot. The left foots has a Teflon pad that allows us to slide on the ice when delivering our stone. This is the foot that supports our weight during the delivery. Likewise, the point of passion supports me in my experiences. This point reminds me to feel it all, whether that be the elation of doing well or the frustration of performing poorly.

  1. Black Heart of Innocence

The Black Heat of Innocence is the considered to be the natural state of the soul. This state of being allows us to live fully, freely, and without fear. As I’ve talked about in this post, I’m not the best curler. It’s also important to know, that try as I might, I am self-conscious and very aware of how others might perceive me.  These attributes don’t serve me well in curling or in life.

In Feri mythology, the goddess Nimue is the embodiment of the Black Heart of Innocence. Nimue is a maiden goddess who is the first emanation of the Star Goddess. She encourages us to play, laugh, and be joyful. While I’m curling, She seems to whisper in the back of my head “Fuck these guys.  This is just a game. Get out there and have fun!” Ultimately, I’m not very good at listening to Her in these moments, but I’m trying.

For me, the most important part of any spiritual path is the ability to apply its practice to every part of my life. At this point, Feri seems universally applicable. I’m not sure I’m 100% ready to commit to formal training, but I’d say I’m at least 95% there. Only time and practice will tell.

The Dusty Altar

During one of her workshops on money magic, Dorothy Morrison discussed the idea that using magic to better your own life goes against ethical practice. Dorothy is plain-spoken, and I appreciate that. She said “Knowing how to work magick and not using it to better your own life is like standing at the sink dying of thirst because you are too lazy to turn on the fucking tap.”

This resonates with my current practice. Although my spiritual practice has been growing recently, my magical practice has stagnated. My attitude has been more of a “let the chips fall where they may” variety, rather than using magic to influence my world.

For example, I recently graduated with my Masters. My original plan was to immediately apply for other positions that paid more and were at a higher level than my current position. I’ve applied for several, but haven’t landed anything. One job was promising, but would require me moving or accepting an hour-long commute. Another application for a great job was immediately answered with a rejection email. In the past, I’ve been able to secure several interviews and land a new job within days of starting my search.

Another example is my love life. I’ve been single for several years by choice. I’ve had a few relationships that didn’t end well, and I wanted time to focus on myself. Now that I’ve accomplished several of my short-term goals, dating has become a priority. I’ve been on a few dates that fun and met a few cool guys, but none of them are exactly what I’m looking for.

When I was talking to a friend who has known me for years, she asked if I was specific enough in my spellwork. When I admitted that I hadn’t directed any magic to these areas of my life, she threw her hands in the air in frustration. “What’s the point of being a witch if you’re not going to apply your craft to your life?” she asked. I shrugged because I knew she was right.

Magic is like a muscle. If you don’t use it often, it becomes weaker. Magic is also a sacred tool. We’ve all been given the knowledge of magic to change our lives for the better. By ignoring this practice, I’m not showing gratitude for its place in my life.

Tonight, I’ve dusted off my altar and laid out some provisions; a red candle and rose incense for love and a yellow candle placed on top of my resume. I plan to use the waxing moon to plant some seeds for the coming months.

Self Patience and Trusting the Wobble

The fall was hard enough for everyone else to stop what they were doing. Even though the ice was wetter than usual, I thought that I would be fine. Then, the next thing I know, I was on my back staring at the ceiling. My pride was hurt, but physically, I was fine.

My friend convinced me to join a curling club last year. Although I was skeptical, I’ve enjoyed myself. I’m not exceptionally good at curling, but I’ve been getting better and have met some amazing people. Last week was the first week of league play. The first game went well, and I didn’t play half bad. When we went to our second game on Tuesday, I was little sore, but tried my best. That’s when the fall happened.

I finished the game, but was embarrassed that I took a spill in front of so many people. I was also angry that I had made such a blatant error in judgment. Our team’s skip (the captain) noticed that I was upset and told me “Don’t be too hard on yourself. This is what, the 16th time you’ve curled? It happens. There are two kinds of curlers, those that have fallen and those that will fall.”

My inclination towards impatience with myself is something that I’ve been struggling with lately. At work, I’ve been given a lot of projects that are well outside my comfort zone. Typically, I’m able to give an 80% effort and astound my coworkers with my results. Lately, I have to give 110% even to complete the tasks assigned to me. When I finally shared my feelings of inadequacy with my manager, he was in disbelief. He assured me that my work was great and that he didn’t expect me to be a rockstar with these new projects since it was the first time that I had attempted them.

My impatience has also impacted my spiritual life lately. I’ve practiced witchcraft in one form or another for more than a decade. My practice is pretty eclectic. I do what works for me and remove what doesn’t. Not long ago, I became interested in an established tradition. Before taking the leap of finding a teacher, I decided to study the information that was readily available and see if it truly resonated with me. While the tradition promotes freeform practice, there are practices that are recommended in the tradition. Some of the practices were easy to adopt, and I saw immediate results. Others were a stretch for me. Even when I practiced them, I didn’t see results, and subsequently, I gave up.

As luck would have it, the Universe gave me some encouragement. First, I listened to a podcast from Joanna Devoe on my way home from work on Friday. During the tail end of the podcast, she mentioned watching a newborn animal taking its first steps. She emphasized that we had to be patient with ourselves when trying something new and shared my new mantra: “Trust the wobble.”  Today, while mowing the lawn, I listened to Devin Hunter’s podcast Modern Witch from 2013. He had author T. Thorn Coyle as his guest. During the conversation, they commented on how doing things that you don’t necessarily want to do is sometimes the path of self-development.

With all this being said, my goal is to be more patient with myself as I learn new skills whether it be curling, career, or spiritual. I’m going to trust my wobble and learn how to be resilient when things don’t come to me easily. Here’s to the journey.

Push Vs. Pull

Magick primarily works in two forms. You can perform magick to attract a certain influence towards you (invoking), or you can work magick to repel an influence away from you (banishing). I consider both forms of magick two sides of the same coin, but recently I’ve discovered something about my personal brand of magick.

If you’ve read previous entries of this blog, it should come as no surprise that I am not averse to banishing work. In fact, I might be more proficient at banishing work. However, when I try to banish something with magick, I meet the same resistance I would if I tried to constrict something in my mundane life. Try it yourself. Find someone you know and tell them not to do something. I’ll wait…

Are you back with me? Great. Let me guess, as soon as you told them not to something, the person probably had a nagging urge to do exactly what you told them not to do. If you didn’t get that response, that person is a saint!

Another obstacle to banishing magick is that it limits potential. When I banish something from my life, all I am really  saying  is “You can’t sit with us” in my best Mean Girls voice. I don’t tell them where they can sit, just that they aren’t welcome in my presence.

Before this analogy gets belabored, let me give you an example. My manager at work recently put in his two-week notice. This, of course, introduced a lot of ambiguity to our work environment. Personally, I was scared shitless because the shoe-in candidate to replace him is a coworker that I’ve never really connected with. The tension between my coworker and I is rooted in the fact that we’re both control freaks who are passionate about our work. Even with that realization, I’m still not sure that I could work for her.

My first instinct was to work magick to separate her from the possibility of getting the position, but that didn’t feel right. Even with my flexible ethics (flexiths?), I didn’t feel comfortable working magick to prevent someone from reaching their personal career goals. I also didn’t feel comfortable that the magick would get me the desired results I wanted. What if my coworker was the lesser of two evils? I’m sure I could use magick to successfully prevent her from getting the position, but what if the person they hired was even worse? So, I took another route.

I set my altar with components that would traditionally be used for a love spell; a red candle, rose and lavender incense, red ribbon, a piece of parchment, and a red pen. On the paper I wrote down all of the qualities I wanted in a boss; they need to be flexible, they need to be a strong leader, they had to be open to me keeping my autonomy at work, they had to be compassionate, etc. I rolled the parchment and tied it with the ribbon. I lit the candle and asked the Universe to bring me the right boss.

Not only does this increase my odds of getting the best boss possible, but it also creates possibility. Maybe a tyrant will get hired, but that means that a new opportunity will be made available to me. Maybe a tyrant will get hired, but there’s a lesson for me to learn in that situation. Whatever happens, good or bad, will provide me with what I need without limiting the Universe from answering my request.

So, next time you reach for a black candle to push something away, take a moment to see what you can pull towards you instead. I’m sure you’ll be surprised.


Bless and Release

I’m sitting at the table sipping my cocktail as a quiet observer. The other six men at the table are absorbed in their cell phones, as they pick their favorite athletes. My friend is hosting the annual draft for his fantasy football league and asked me to come hang out. Despite the lack of conversation, I’m enjoying myself. It surprises me to see how eerily similar fantasy football is to Dungeons and Dragons. This realization makes me giggle to myself.

During a break from the draft, I joined my friend outside for a quick smoke.

“Oh, I’ll be late for board game night on Wednesday,” he said.

“I work until six, so that works out perfectly” I agreed.

“Yeah, I ran into Jon at work today, and he said he wanted to catch up. I’m going to have a few drinks with him before I come out” my friend continued.

This revelation caused time to stop for a minute. Allow me to interrupt this story to share some of the back story.

For almost a decade, I’ve had two constant friends in my life; Jon and Kelly.  I met each of them at work, but met them at different times. I met Jon through a mutual friend. He and I were both well read, had a penchant for craft beer, and were insanely sarcastic. We were instant friends.

I met Kelly a few years later. She and I shared the same tastes in music and literature and had a knack for closing down a bar. She and I were inseparable.

A few years ago, I had a stream of bad luck. The team I was on at work was dismantled, and I found myself without a job. I found a new one almost immediately. Then, a year later, that position was eliminated due to a merger. To compound this stress, I was dealing with the pressures of pursuing my Master’s degree, dealing with several severe illnesses in my family, and ended up just feeling lost.

While in a terrible bout of depression, I turned to my friends. Most of my friends were supportive. Jon and Kelly were not. Jon, who has trouble making friends on his own, tried relentlessly to push me out of my friend group. Kelly began to create needless drama and tried to pull me into the eye of her storm. While trying to deal with their issues while trying to keep balance in my own life, I began to see that their presence was unhealthy for me.

Things came to a head one night when Jon and Kelly accompanied me to the bar for a few cocktails. I left early, while they planned to close down the bar.

When I next talked to Kelly, several days later, she explained that she spent the night with Jon. Although she didn’t accuse Jon outright, she made it clear that she felt she was too drunk to have offered consent. I confronted Jon immediately, and in his version of the story, Kelly initiated everything.

I found myself in the middle of their turmoil and couldn’t fully align myself with either of them. In my experience with Jon, I had witnessed him being aggressive with women he was attracted to, but I never saw him cross the line with any of them. At the same time, I had witnessed Kelly use the excuse “I was too drunk” to distance herself from poor decisions, but have never experienced her fabricating something as heinous as her current accusations.

After several weeks of trying to navigate the tension between these two, I realized the beauty of this situation. This wasn’t my problem. This was a blatant sign from the Universe that I needed to release these two people from my life.

I sat down in front my altar and lit a single black candle. I asked the Goddess to bless my work. Sitting in meditation, I visualized my heart chakra spinning big and green. Attached to this chakra were two silver threads connecting me to Jon and Kelly. I sent good wishes to each of them. I prayed that they would be protected, find balance, and have the best life they could ask for. Then, carefully, I cut the cords and released them from my life. As I extinguished the candle, I felt a calm come over me. I never heard from Jon again. As for Kelly, she has sent me a few texts but then fizzled out. My magick had worked on the situation, but as I would find out at the bar during the fantasy draft, had changed me.

“Do you think it’s weird for me to hang out with Jon?” my friend asked. I paused before responding. Then I gave the most honest answer I could have offered.

“I don’t think about Jon at all” I started. “Jon isn’t a bad person; he’s just not a person I want in my life. If he’s reaching out to you, he probably needs a friend. So, I hope you two have a good time, and I will see you afterward.

My friend tilted his head in confusion and headed back inside. I was confused too. A year ago, I would have been pissed if any of my friends would have associated with Kelly or Jon. Now, it didn’t bother me at all. Once I released the negativity and chose not allow it impact my life, I released its hold over me, and that’s real magick.