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5 Witchy Things To Do After A Vacation

Merry meet, Witchlings!

It’s been nearly a month since our last post, so I want to share a brief life update with you. We’ll get back to the Elements series in our next post, but I figured a personal update or something different every now and then couldn’t hurt.

First the Update

My partner and I returned home a few days ago from a lovely two-week vacation to the UK. Life got very busy leading up to our departure, and most of my writing took a backseat to other tasks and entertainments. We’d planned and saved for this trip for over a year, and with how busy this last year got, it was so very needed.

I read so much!

Being able to read for enjoyment has always been one of my favorite pastimes, but I haven’t been able to binge-read in years. The last four weeks or so, leading up to and during the trip, allowed me to read the first full series I’ve read since my teen years (and only the second full series in my life). It reminded me a lot of why I write and why I adore certain stories.

Now that I’m back, I’m more excited and motivated than ever to continue the variety of projects I’ve got in store for you. Still, even after a refreshing break, I always need a little time after a long vacation to get back into the dance of my everyday life. In addition to time, there are a few things I need to do to settle back into my home space after being away for so long.

If you’ve ever left home for a few days, you may have noticed that it feels different when you return. Whether the place is empty or occupied by a cat-sitter, the energy of our apartment shifts when we’re gone. To get our place’s vibes back into balance after a long separation, here are some of the things I like to do within 24 hours of getting home.

Five Witchy Things I Must Do After Vacation To Reconnect To My Home

Shower
Image by Fifaliana Joy from Pixabay

It may not sound witchy right off the bat, but showering is a well-known tool for spiritual cleansing. Of course, for me, I’m usually more concerned of getting the grime of travel off of my skin. Whether it’s eighteen hours on a Greyhound bus or ten on a plane, the recycled air filled with the respirations of a hundred other people always leaves me feeling sticky. It’s typically my first thought upon getting home.
In addition to body cleaning, there’s something very grounding about showering in your own home. Using my own tub, knowing the perfect position to turn the knob for my preferred temperature—it all serves to reconnect me with my sacred space. It’s a step I can never skip, and I tend to do it within an hour of getting home.

Express Gratitude
Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Once the grunge of travel is off of me, I begin to assess the moment. Either immediately after my shower or during it, I start thinking about all the things I’m grateful for to further ground myself.
I’ll typically say thanks for getting home safely (especially since flying kind of freaks me out), and I’ll give thanks for having a place to rest, for my pet, my books, my friends, and all the things that remind me of the best parts of my life.

So, even though I may feel a longing to go back to the freedom and adventure of a trip abroad, it’s easy to feel joy for all the good stuff I’m returning to. We may already be planning our next trip a year and a half away, but I can focus on all the things I’m grateful and excited for in the meantime.

Clean (Both Physically and Spiritually)
Image by annca from Pixabay

I typically try to clean our apartment just before we leave, so that I have less to do when we get back. Sometimes, though, we have a cat sitter stay at our place to avoid upsetting our fluffy girl, Brooklyn, too much. While they don’t go “hog-wild”, most people I know aren’t nearly as particular about cleanliness as I am. Because of this, I tend to go into deep-clean mode after anyone else has stayed at my place.
Having a physically clean living space settles my mind, while the activity itself tends to bring me down to earth. If I mix up a batch of enchanted cleaning spray, I’m able to put magic into the actual structure with each spritz. Simply put, cleaning up after a trip plops me squarely back into the reality of my life.

After a physical clean, I need to clear the energy in the air. Depending on my mood, this can be done with smoke from a sage or mugwort bundle, cleansing mists sprayed throughout the room, a boiling potion allowed to evaporate into the air, or any other method that strikes my fancy. Whatever methods I use, the goal is to clear any stagnant or negative energy that may have settled in my home when I wasn’t there to do my usual spiritual upkeep.

Light Candles and Incense

Once all that old energy is cleared, it needs to be replaced with something positive and healing. To do that, I usually light a long-burning candle after blessing it with a prayer and dressing it in ritual oil. The candle burns down and, as it does, I go about my day, occasionally imagining its firelight filling the place with positive energy.

I basically follow the same concept with incense, letting it burn and visualizing the smoke spreading my whispered blessings through the air. While the incense tends to burn out quickly, the candle can last most of the night, often remaining alight until just before I go to bed sometime around sunrise.

Meditate
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Finally, once my body and home are cleansed and we’re both filled with positive energy, I can take the time to actively meditate. I say actively because, throughout the whole process, from shower onward, I will typically be in a meditative state.

But, I think it’s important to sit down and focus entirely on meditating when all those other tasks are complete. The meditation can last from two minutes to half an hour, depending on my mood at the time. I usually focus on grounding and visualize my personal, internal light bonding with that of my cleansed and blessed space, as well as with the light of the planet and cosmos.

Bonus: Stare At My Pet

Of course, as I do all of these other things, I take frequent and long breaks to do one of the most relaxing things known to mankind: stare at my cat, Brooklyn. She’s a perfect grey Tabby with perfect ears who smells like pure magick. I honestly don’t know how I ever felt at home anywhere before I had her to come home to.

Traveling has always been a dream of mine, but leaving her makes each trip a little harder, and having her makes coming home a thousand times more exciting. She makes me feel like I’m “home sweet home” more than anything else.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

These few things not only help me settle in after being away for a while, but they help me to realign spiritually. Seeing as I can’t bring my entire sacred space with me, my practice is temporarily altered whenever I go anywhere for long.

These things bring me back to me. They bring me back to the path, to my work, and to the things that bring me a sense of fulfillment. As much as I love to travel, I love my work and feeling like I have a purpose even more. Maiden’s Circle, writing, card reading, and all the things I hope to accomplish drive me every day and fill me with passion. And I wouldn’t give that up for a million dollars.

What sorts of things do you need to do to reconnect to your living space after an extended absence? How do you realign your energy after being away from home? Let me know in the comments!

Be blessed,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

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The Ordains: Part 19 – Safe Within The Magick Circle

This is the nineteenth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“A Witch uses the magickal circle as a physical and non-physical representation of a temple on the earth plane.”

This isn’t really something one might have a lot of opinions on. It’s pretty straightforward in meaning and, I believe, most witches would be hard-pressed to disagree. Our Circle is sacred, and we all acknowledge that simple fact, no matter how a Circle is constructed.

I’d be overstepping it if I said that every witch in the world casts the magickal circle, but all of the witches I’ve met have done so at some point in their lives. It’s safe to say this is a common practice. If you’re reading this, then you probably already know what the magickal circle is. For those of you who don’t, I’ll gladly explain.

First, to keep things clear, I use “magickal circle” and “Circle” interchangeably, with “Circle” capitalized to denote its spiritual importance to me. We witches use the Circle to create a sacred space where we can safely practice magick and worship the Divine.

Image by RD LH from Pixabay
To create a magickal circle, one needs little more than intent.

That said, most of us do prefer to use certain tools that allow us to physically mark the space as sacred alongside our spiritual efforts. This serves in not only giving our minds a type of anchor, so that we’re grounded and focused on the task at hand, but it brings together our earthly world and the spiritual one.

Witches use a variety of methods to create their Circle; some even use different methods for different occasions! Here at Maiden’s Circle, we have a basic Circle-building structure that we feel is useful in all occasions. The full method is taught in our upcoming Covenpath course, but I’ll go over the basics here.

Generally, all of our Circles start with an activity to help participants ground themselves and focus on the upcoming ritual. This could be anything from a few deep breaths to a full on meditation to singing and dancing—anything that gets us grounded in the space and within our bodies.

Once we’re grounded and our intentions are focused on our purpose—whatever reason we’ve chosen to create the Circle—then we’re ready to erect our Circle. This usually means calling to the four cardinal corners of the earth (North, East, South, and West) and asking their spiritual guardians to protect us while we work. In our practice, these guardians are represented by four major elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

We would then hold an object that represents each element in its corresponding direction and call upon those guardians to join our Circle and protect it. Many witches also call upon a deity or two, often a feminine and masculine pair.

Lastly, we would visualize an orb of light growing around us, covering our space and solidifying it as sacred.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
This is our temple. This is our church. It exists where we choose to create it.

Of course, once we’ve completed our Circle, it’s important to respect the space we’ve built. A good rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t do it in a public church, you shouldn’t do it in your own Circle. Naturally, there are many exceptions, since public churches tend to have a very different idea of what’s appropriate.

But, what I mean is if it would be disrespectful to a spiritual space, you might want to avoid it. For example, you wouldn’t want someone coming into your Circle and starting fights. You wouldn’t want someone to enter your Circle with cheesy or greasy fingers and then proceed to touch all of your ritual tools. So, don’t do it to yourself or to anyone else’s Circle. In general, when you’re in another person’s sacred space, you’ll follow their lead for how the space should be treated.

Over time, we all figure out what works best for us in Circle. Even people in covens have their individual methods in addition to the coven’s style. Like most things in witchcraft and Wicca, we have the benefit of being able to cast a magickal circle in whichever way suits us.

However we create our Circle, I believe it’s a useful practice for every witch. The Circle allows us to have a sacred space anywhere we choose, it protects us from any ephemeral beings that are up to no good, connects our mundane lives with the Divine, and enhances the magickal energy of all of our workings. We are truly safe within the sacred Circle.

Do you cast a magickal circle? Do you cast it for every work or only during certain rituals? Is it an important part of your practice? Share your responses in the comments!

With many blessings,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

The Ordains: Part 17 – Practice Only What You Know

This is the seventeenth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Never practice a magickal system that you don’t fully understand.”

The idea that one should practice a particular type of magick only if they fully understand it exists for a good reason. The nature of magick is such that dabbling can prove dangerous. If you practice something you don’t quite understand—for example hoodoo, curses, or advanced spellwork—but you don’t really know where the symbols or words you’re using originate, whether they’re in your language or translated, then you’re at a disadvantage.

Using any particular magickal system with no study of or background in that system means you won’t be as prepared as you could be if something were to go wrong. If you’re performing an Egyptian money spell and the spell requires calling to Montu (the god of grain) or Renenet (a goddess of fortune), but you possess no knowledge of those deities, they’re not likely to respond to you and so your work is bound to be less effective.

It’s wise to spend some time learning about the elements of your magickal practice. That said, I don’t believe you must be an expert in any magickal system to practice it. This law might naturally rub some people the wrong way. Some people see this and feel they’re being told not to practice any magick at all unless they’ve perfected it.

That’s not the case.

I believe this tenet to be admonishing the act of “dabbling,” which is when a witch finds some new spell or practice and immediately decides that they’re going to do it. However, they’ve done no research, they understand nothing about the history of the practice, and they’re not interested in being taught how to work that system. On the surface, this law is for them.

For the rest of us, we understand that, like every one of these Ordains, there are nuances. Many of us, upon seeing something like this, would ask how we’re supposed to learn a magickal system without practicing it. Magick is something you do, it’s something you create. Magick is an action. So, it seems impossible to learn a magickal system thoroughly enough without actively participating in said system.

In this case I believe it’s important to build a working foundation before one dives into true magick work. This means spending time doing your research and listening to people who have been there before or been in the practice longer. I’ve seen a lot of newer practitioners dismiss the wisdom of those who came before us and it’s disheartening. Older generations hold a wealth of knowledge, and those practicing for decades can offer invaluable guidance.

So many new Pagans, especially Wiccans, seem disinterested in building a firm knowledge base before jumping into Magick. And that’s where they falter.

These are the people you see in witchy groups crying because their money spell seems to have backfired. When asked what the spell consisted of or where they got it, they’ll tell you it came from some questionable website or that they used elements or tools which had nothing to do with growing finances. They make it pretty clear they did little research and just searched a spell, lit a few candles, said a few words, and expected a fortune.

At Maiden’s Circle, we stress the importance of having all the knowledge you need before you ever step into magickal work. At the very least, we expect our Seekers to understand what magick is and how it works in general before doing spell craft. The Covenpath course gives Seekers a wealth of historic, deeply researched information before offering lessons on working witchcraft. (Though, we’ve got a lot in that department, too!) While you don’t need to be an expert, it’s necessary to “know” your craft.

What’s your opinion? Is it better to learn as much as possible before practicing witchcraft, or should witches just jump right in and do it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

The Ordains: Part 16 – Keep An Open Mind

This is the sixteenth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Witches should never close their minds to knowledge.”

This seems like a simple concept: Keep an open mind in all things. Versions of this tenet can be heard all over the Pagan community. In fact, long before learning of Gerald Gardner’s Ordains, this has been a stable belief in my life. The belief, of course, being that taking in knowledge constantly is a basic part of being a witch.

I’d go so far to say it’s a need. That’s how it’s presented for me, in any case. Even as a young child, I devoured new knowledge. Books, documentaries, magazines, television, overheard conversations, and exploration of secret places—I did everything I could to consume a constant stream of information.

Some people say it’s a Gemini thing.

Whatever it is, I certainly leaned into the Jack-Of-All-Trades archetype, and that’s likely a huge reason my practice is so eclectic. Even now, there are only a few topics in which I consider myself deeply educated, my religion being one of them. Often enough, I’ll gain as much information as I need to be proficient in something before I’m ready to move on to the next pursuit.

I find this trait common amongst those who call themselves witches. We are a people of varied interests. It seems that nearly every witch I meet has her finger in at least three cauldrons. Nearly.

It’s easy to think that every single person in the witch community is open-minded and loving, with no trace of hatred or judgment in their hearts. However, there are those practitioners who believe their way is the only way. It’s unfortunate, and the rest of our community has a way of ignoring that those people even exist.

I think it’s important that we acknowledge them, though. The idea that Paganism doesn’t have these kinds of people is dangerous in that it allows them to flourish unchecked. If no one’s paying attention to them, then there’s no one to help them see that their unwillingness to accept others or other ideas is ultimately harmful. And the more closed-minded people there are, the less safe our community will be.

That’s more my interpretation of keeping an open mind, and I realize this tenet seems more about the general absorption of knowledge. But I think it’s wise to look at these tenets a little deeper than at face value.

Being open to understanding another person’s experience is necessary for growth, especially now when it seems that many people struggle with empathy.

At it’s core, this tenet reminds me of something I’ve always believed: knowledge is power. This belief came from a funny place, I think. Long before I knew anything about religion other than what I’d been told, I heard that phrase and taken it on as my own personal mantra.

It was the motto of the popular Schoolhouse Rock children’s series.

I see this as another example of how this path chose me just as much as I chose it. I could have latched onto any other aspect of that show, any other motto. But I chose “knowledge is power” to guide me. (Not to mention the song about the number 3; it truly is a magick number!)

It’s my firm belief that a person who is always learning is always growing. A person who’s always growing is always improving. And a person who’s improving themselves is more capable of improving the world around them. This is necessary for the future of our world.

We can gain knowledge by listening quietly when others speak, even insofar as to wait until they’re finished to ask questions. We can read any and every book that catches our eye, regardless of the reviews it may have. (The worst that can happen is that we don’t like the book.) It’s our job as witches to take in information, verify and confirm the truth of that information, and add it to our personal knowledge base.

You never know when it might come in handy.

Are you open to learning new things? What is one thing you learned this week that you never would have considered? Imagine you could live forever—what sorts of knowledge would you pursue with infinite time? Share your responses in the comments or on Facebook. Check out the Maiden’s Circle Learning Collective while you’re there!

From my open mind to yours,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!