“The witch knows nothing in this world is supernatural. It is all natural.”
~Laurie Cabot, the Official Witch of Salem, MA
“For all you know, a witch may be living next door to you right now.”
~Roald Dahl, author of The Witches
This Full Hunter’s Blue Moon in Taurus falls on Halloween / Samhain and with the emergence of Scorpio Season nine days prior, the doors swing wide open onto a brilliant opportunity to tap into our most magical selves. How will we choose to meet this moment? Will we accept the invitation to dive deeply into the Elemental depths? Will we find our courage and resolve in the face of challenge and tumult? Time will tell; the choices, as always, are ours to make.
Whether or not we consider ourselves to be magical, we are all experiencing and interacting with magic throughout any given day. Simply making a cup of tea qualifies as Potion Making 101. Keeping a plant alive on your windowsill is as valid an entry point into the fascinating practice of Green Magic as any other. And how different, really, is casting a vote from casting a spell?
In the great scheme of things it matters little if your cauldron is a tea cup or a cast-iron kettle; if your wand is a pen, a brush, or a spoon; or if your broomstick is a bicycle, your favorite pair of shoes, or your agile imagination. There are tools and guides at the ready, all you need is curiosity and a willingness to learn.
This feels like a good time to explore some of the best books on modern witchcraft and spell work. In our section on Magical Living you will find information, support, and guidance ranging from introductory material like The Earth Path by Starhawk and A Witch Alone: The Essential Guide for the Solo Practitioner by Marian Green to the more advanced practices found in such works as High Magick and Angels and Archangels: A Magician’s Guide by Damien Echols, The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary by Marysia Miernowska, Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic by Amy Blackthorn, and To Stir a Magick Cauldron by Silver Ravenwolf – to name but a few.
A word to the wise, friends – do remember to be mindful of your truest motivations (this can be tricky), set clear and grounded intentions, and maintain healthy boundaries with your work. The Elements and Subtle Energies tend not to tolerate hubris, coercion, or artifice very well. That said, it’s important to continue to cultivate your self-care practices, honor your ancestors, and keep a keen eye on your shadows no matter how you choose to explore and express your magic. Remember this: if the work calls to you, follow its lead, trust your instincts, find your people and let them find you, learn from your experiences, and claim your authentic power in the world.
On that note, as the season turns toward Winter and the call of all things cozy beckons, you may find yourself in the mood for some magically enchanted fiction, may I suggest a few special reads, including both new releases and a few old favorites. The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk is set in a time reminiscent of Regency England where women’s magic is automatically taken away from them when they marry. (Boo Hiss!!)
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova is the first book in a Latinx-infused Queer fantasy series that follows three sisters (and teen witches) as they develop their powers and battle magic through epic questing in the realms beyond. His Dark Materials: Serpentine by Philip Pullman with illustrations by Tom Duxbury is a brand new companion to Pullman’s prior work featuring the courageous Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon.
The Highland Witch by Susan Fletcher is set in late 17th C. Scottish Highlands and tells the tale of an unforgettable heroine named Corrag who is accused of practicing witchcraft and suffers being made a pawn in various political power plays of the day. The classic work The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare won the 1959 Newberry Medal and reads as fresh and timeless today as it did the day it was first released.
Charles de Lint is so prolific, it’s tough to pick just one, but this’ll do…Where Desert Spirits Crowd the Night is a novella featuring one of de Lint’s best-loved characters: artist and dreamer Sophie Etoile who becomes involved with the mystical Native American flute-player Kokopelli and trickster Coyote in the wild Sonoran desert.
For lighter fare, I suggest The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett. And last, but certainly not least, I recommend A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan, a sweeping historical saga set on the eve of World War II tracing five generations of extraordinarily gifted mothers and daughters.
Let’s all freshen our cauldrons, service our wands and broomsticks, and do our best to remember who we are, where we come from, and why and what we’re here to support & champion.
Remember Witch, Remember by Brandi Woolf
Take your feathers, your leaves and bones.
Add to them your roots, your stones.
Mix them in your cauldron’s womb.
Dance for rain and add that, too.
The moon will rise, half in shadow.
Darkness reigning, waning, claiming.
Your time is now, each heartbeat ringing:
Remember Witch, Remember.
Your blood has come, that sacred calling.
You know her voice, you’ve heard her longing.
That deep red muck of lotus root.
She speaks your name, she screams your truth.
Paint your face, anoint your hands.
Know your body, that holy land.
She has been waiting, patient, singing:
Remember Witch, Remember.
You know the way, you know the song.
You’ve walked this path your whole life long.
Drumbeat sounding, heartbeat pounding.
The Ones before you, love resounding.
With every turn of season and moon,
With every deosil swirl of spoon,
You chant the words, you hum the tune:
Remember Witch, Remember
The stars are out, your feet are bare.
Your arms are raised into the air.
No one told you what to do.
You knew the way, the Way knows you.
So let it go. Release it down.
Heart and blood and bones to ground.
Never doubt your soul was found
From the moment you entered her womb.
Remember Witch, Remember.
©️ Brandi Woolf, 2017, shared here with the author’s permission