Tag Archives: magic

Waving Your Magic Wand

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

It’s November first, and I’m going into Nanowrimo hibernation this month, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see me around. I’ll reappear in December like I usually do, even without attempting Nano, November tends to be a busy month. But I’m going to continue to keep up with the blogging. At least that is my intention.

So to celebrate last night’s Halloween I’m  sharing some of my favorite items from my house. I think someday I would love a house as interesting as the Adams family mansion, where everything you look at was collected by someone interesting, and everything tells a story.

A few weeks ago I blogged on being a mermaid and where you could obtain a real mermaids tail to make your dream come true. If you missed it click HERE. I didn’t just discover that you could purchase a mermaid tail, I read about it in my local paper- The Daily Camera.

Jessica Aspen's Magic Want

It’s amazing to me the variety of stories our paper comes up with. In preparation for Halloween they also ran an article about where you could obtain a real wooden wand. Not a plastic wand from a toy store, but the kind that is made especially for you. That article is HERE.

Yes it’s true. In the town of Lyons, a few miles away from where I live, you can obtain a real wooden magic wand.

But I don’t need to.

I already have a magic wand and it was made especially for me by my brother-in-law. Just like in Harry Potter he carefully chose the type of wood, walnut. And he even hand crafted the box.

Isn’t it gorgeous.

Handcrafted just for me by the wizard of wood himself, my very own wand.

Green glass ball on creepy tree stand

And as if that isn’t enough, I have my very own magic (not so crystal) ball. Actually I have a few of these, but I love the colors swirling around this one. It makes it really look magical, especially perched on my latest pillar stand.

I love Halloween and I hate to pack away the decorations, especially since so many of them are real works of art. Several years ago I started collecting decorations that are not plastic or orange, although I still have lots of those. Some of these stay out all year and I think my new creepy tree pillar stand may have to do that this year. Why not?

Dragon with crystal ballAnother interesting thing about my house is that I am not the only collector. My husband loves dragons. And gargoyles. I used to fight it. People will think it’s weird. The neighbors, the children’s friends, his mother. But I’ve given up. Now I just enjoy them. So to close out this spooky season, here’s one of my favorite dragons.

Oh, and is that another “crystal” ball? Thanks mom for that one!

Maybe someday I’ll have the mansion with the secret passageways to match, but meanwhile I’m enjoying leaving a little Gothic around the house all year long.

Do you have any decorations you hate to put away? Something unusual that doesn’t scream “I live in the suburbs”? What about Christmas decorations, or other holidays? What can’t you bear to put away?

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Filed under About the Author, Magic, Nanowrimo, paranormal inspiration, Thursdays Bite

What is Magic? A #rhetorical puzzle for you to solve.

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

Today I am proud to introduce fan fiction author FireKat Archer. Firekat is a fan of Batman and Hetalia (if you don’t know what Hetalia is, picture male/male romantic World War Two satire). Firekat is a pre-published author who writes m/m YA dystopian novels and today is theorizing about the mystery behind magic.

But wait! This post also has a puzzle for you to solve…it is filled with rhetorical devices! See how many different rhetorical devices  you can find!

What is magic? Is it wizards and witches casting colorful spells at each other, or dragons hoarding golden treasures? Is it fairies and elves populating the woods, carting off lost teeth? Or is it something else? Something less tangible, but no less real. Something that gets lost in the everyday because that is what it truly is. Ordinary.

Perhaps magic isn’t miracles, it’s the miraculous. It’s the fact that bumblebees can fly, even when physics says it should be near impossible. It is in the water we drink, the air we breathe, the sights we see, the things we touch. It’s the reason why atoms that should blast themselves to bits with opposing forces stay together and bond to make the universe. It’s that first breath of spring and the dying gasp of winter. It is nothing, and yet everything. Everything that will ever be, and some things that are impossible.

Magic isn’t something that you can touch, it’s something to know and feel and live and not something you can analyze. It’s not something sleeping beauty castle at disneylandyou can put into a Petri dish and figure out how it works. It just does.

And the fact that it is unknown how enchantment works impacts its existence not. It putters on, much like gravity. It affects us whether or not we know the equation to solve for it. Magic is as old and mysterious as time itself, ever-enigmatic idea of seconds and minutes and hours, and perhaps it is even older, for what existed before time began? We’ll never know.

But what is magic really doing in this world, a world that sometimes seems too dark and horrid for any magic to exist. No Tinkerbell to help us fly with fairy dust, it would seem. But we do fly. To the moon, to far-away places, and to beyond the stars. Magic ignites that drive to go beyond what is possible and find magic. To create and make our own, tangible magic. That is what it does in this world: magic impels us to do more, be better, to leave behind the destruction, and the destruction behind to leave.

So look for the miraculous, that extraordinary in the ordinary, the proof for all to see, if they have eyes for the seeing, of the sorcery that runs in the veins of the world. Breathe the sharp cold of fall in and watch the leaves fall, and know that you are watching magic at work. Perhaps it is not casting spells or creatures flying, but something better. Something that affects us all, and leaves us with the knowledge that life, indeed, is magical.

What are your thoughts on magic? What is it really? And how many rhetorical devices did you find?

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Filed under guest post, Magic, Thursdays Bite, writing craft

Love in a Jar

Thursdays Bite

(in a big way)

Fall is here, and so is harvest time. I don’t know if it’s the drought or if it’s just one of those years, but this is the year everyone’s fruit trees bore amazing bumper crops. Even my MIL’s nectarine tree that we’ve been making fun of for years out-did itself. From one scraggly fruit every three or four years to this year’s so-much-fruit-we-couldn’t-pick-it-all, that tree gave it’s all. We’re not expecting another nectarine, ever.

a kitchen witchs cookbook by patricia telescoAnd since this is Thursdays Bite, today I’m sharing Pagan harvest recipes from the Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook byPatricia Telesco. If you are interested in easy ways to add magic to your life or just use some very unusual recipes, this is a terrific book. Kitchen magic is everyday magic that mothers and grandmothers have been using for a long time. If you’ve ever made cookies to heal broken hearts or brewed up soul strengthening chicken soup- you too have used kitchen magic.

One major tip for a magical kitchen:

Keep it clean. Before cooking a magical recipe you want to be sure you cleanse your kitchen. Use something basic, like vinegar in a spray bottle of water, center yourself, and then clean away with a cleansing attitude. Waft some sage in the air and you are good to go. Starting with a fresh clean counter is not only good for your health, but  it will ensure your magic in your recipe stays true.

This is especially true when canning. Follow all canning rules. Lots of boiling hot water and a very clean kitchen make for lovely jars to open later, or to give as gifts during the holiday season. And check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation for tips on canning and preserving.

Quote from the A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook:

The primary objective for canning and preserving has been, until recent years, as a means to supplement porvisions during times of scarcity. Today, we preserve as a way of using extra foods, and their potency, for a rainy day! There will be creations such as “Mary’s Strawberry Syrup for Love,” and “Aunt Jane’s Protective Pickles” (heavy on the garlic), and “Sight Sauce” neatly lined up alongside other foods. The added bonus here is that your magical energy is already prepared and ready for any tine you need it, with nothing extra to do but oopen the jar. These goodies also make lovely gift ideas. It is interesting to note that Hermes, the Greek God of communication, is attriguted with teaching humanity about “hermetically” sealing items. he becomes an appropriate patron deity for kitchen withces during their magical canning and preserving efforts.

For some odd reason my parents occasionally canned chutneys over my lifetime. I’m not sure why, but every once in a while they would get together, go on a shopping spree, and spend a day in the kitchen peeling, seeding and chopping. Then, that Christmas, they would present the family with beautiful jeweled jars of chutney. Now, since my parents are one of those successful love stories (they’ve been married for 57 years), maybe there is love to be found in a jar of chutney.

New England Fruit Chutney for Lovers

In some form or another, each fruti and spice in theis recipe can be used to woo and tempt love. The vinegar and salt add precision and extra energy to guide your magic towards its goal.

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 large apples, peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 apricots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large pears, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 2 oranges, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • Rind of 2 oranges, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of grated lemon rind
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cider vinegar plus 1/2 cup
  • 3 cups packed brown sugar

Jessica’s note:(For canning method instructions, please see the National Center for Home Food Preservation)

Place the onions, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, oranges, orange rind, lemon rind, raisins, ginger root, garlic, nutmeg , allspice, cinnamon, salt and 2 cups of the vinegar in a large pot. Bring to a boil: stir regularly. Reduce heat; simmer for 1½ hours. Make sure all the fruits are evenly cooked. Stir in the sugar and remaining vinegar; simmer 1 hour.

Fill jars; leave ½-inch headspace. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Age in a dark place for at least 8 weeks before serving. This chutney is very pleasing with cheese breads and baguettes. The bread can be cut into the shape of hearts before serving. Yield: About 7 half-pints.

Magical attributes: The energy of romance, clarity of love, youthful vigor and idealism.

Elaine Cougler's Chutney Jars

Elaine Cougler made chutney. Yummy!

If any of you make the chutney, please let me know how it turns out. I do love chutney, but you can see why I have never even attempted it. My forays into canning have been mostly failed jams and a bumper crop of alcoholic peaches! Yum!

Have you ever tried a magical recipe? Stirred some love into oatmeal cookies, or tried to entice a beau with pecan pie? Share your stories with me, canning attempts and all!

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Filed under About the Author, Magic, recipes, Thursdays Bite

The Elements of Magic

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

Due to my crazy schedule attending the CRW retreat, getting CRW’s AOE contest and tea organized and the upcoming second challenge of the Thrid Writing Campaign, (as well as taking a sick day) I am taking the liberty of re-posting my first column from Paranormal Freebies Wizzards, Witches and Psychics, Oh My! Thanks for your patience.

Wicca (pronounced /ˈwɪkə/) is a specific Neopagan religion. Its adherents are referred to as Wiccans, though the terms Witches or Crafters are also used.[1] Developing in England in the first half of the 20th century,[2] Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the “witch cult” and “witchcraft,” and its adherents “the Wica.”[3] From the 1960s onward, the name of the religion was normalized to “Wicca.”[4]

Source: Wikipedia

Wiccans practice a variety of different kinds ofmagic. One of the most popular kind is described in books by the now deceased author, Scott Cunningham. Scott’s magical spells are based on working with the harmonies of nature and the four elements. Earth, air, fire and water.

Earth, is the first element. Dense, solid and nurturing Earth is used for growth, prosperity and fertility spells. Ritual tools include dirt, heavy or green stones, earth smelling herbs and the metals iron and lead. Earth is represented by the color green and the pentacle. Its season is winter, its direction is North and the astrological signs are Tarus, Virgo and Capricorn. Spells that are based in earth are spells that need grounding, stability or refer to growth or finance.

Air’s ritual tools include fragrant flowery herbs, wind instruments (such as a flute), light weight stones and the metals tin and copper. Its represented by the wand and the color yellow. Air’s season is spring and its direction, East. Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are all Air signs. Spells for travel, knowledge, instruction freedom and recovering lost items all benefit from an air ritual. Air encompasses divination, concentration, visualization and wind magic.

Fire’s basic nature is complex. From warming the hearth to destroying woodlands fire has many jobs. It is purifying, destructive, protective, sexual and forceful. Its color is red and its tool is the knife. Stinging or thorny plants, plants from hot and desert areas and ones that provide heat such as coffee or peppers are all useful in fire rituals. Summer is its season and South is its direction. Gold and brass are its metals. Aries, Leo, Sagittarius are all fire signs. Use fire in spells for protection, sourage, sex, energy, authority and banishing negativity.

Water is used for cleansing and healing. It is the element of the psychic and love. Use aquatic plants, succulents and flowers that represent love in water rituals. Its stones are blue, transparent or translucent and its metals mercury, silver and copper. Autumn is water’s season and West it’s direction. The cup or the cauldron is its tool. Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are water signs. Use water in spells and rituals for love, purification, healing, dreams, sleep and psychic awareness.

In a Wiccan ritual all the elements will be represented, but on draws on specific elements for support based on the type of need. A spell for protection from a stalker might use a candle, a garnet and cayenne pepper. A spell for prosperity green herbs and a sketched pentacle. Rhymes and formalized words are used to clarify purpose and strengthen the spells. There are many books and places where you can find more information on Wicca and the four elements. But remember, in Wicca the one rule holds sway: An it harm none, do what thou wilt. In other words, before you do a spell you must be sure of your intention.

Are you interested in magic? Have any questions about the four elements or Wicca? Leave questions, comments and ideas for future blogs in the comments section.

All the information on the four elements found here is from Scott Cunningham’s book Earth, Air, Fire & Water, More Techniques of Natural Magic from Llewellyn Publishing.

This is just a short blog and cannot convey the subtlties of Wicca and Elemental Magic. For more books and resources visit Llewellyn’s home page http://www.llewellyn.co

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Filed under Magic, Thursdays Bite