Changelings

Changelings could be things like glamoured rocks and logs, but were also often old fairies that no one wanted to deal with anymore, and so they were given to mortals in exchange for children. There were many myths about how to get one’s loved one back from fairies when they were replaced with a changeling. One of the ways to discover if your child was a changeling in Ireland involved brewing eggshells. The changeling would be so perplexed that it would comment on the act, revealing itself to be far older than a human infant or child. Once found out, the changeling could be exchanged for the true human child.

People who have studied the phenomenon and its history have a dark tale to tell. They believe that the changeling legend was eventually used, specifically in Ireland, as an excuse for people to abuse, neglect, and even kill disabled people, as changelings were often described as being different from normal humans in many ways. However, it was also occasionally used as an excuse to kill anyone who did not quite fit in, much like the excuse of witchcraft was used in other European countries. The last recorded case of this was in 1895, when an ill woman named Bridget Cleary was murdered by her husband and several of his friends. Her corpse was found burned and brutally mutilated, and her husband refused to murder. He instead said that he had succeeded in driving the fairy out, and that his wife would soon be returned to him. He was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to fifteen years in prison, but this was in a much more modern age. The stories of changelings are much older than that.

~Victoria

Tag Locks

Not all the spells you cast are going to be for yourself, many witches cast spells for their loved ones or cast curses on those who deserve it.  Yet the people you’re casting these spells for might not always be near by or able to take the spells with them (if you have them in a physical form), so many witches use tag locks in order to tie the spell to the person.  A tag lock is either something from the person, whether hair, blood, or nails, or something that reminds you of that person.  Many people use pictures of the person they are trying to affect with the spell or curse as well.  The tag lock that you are choosing to use doesn’t have to be something obvious to everyone, recently I made a protection spell with gears for a friend who loves inventing.  As long as it reminds you of the person, it will help direct the universe’s energy towards them.  Just make sure you get permission from the person before using a tag lock for them.

~Elyce

Bubbling

It’s always important to protect yourself when you’re preforming spells or around draining people.  Whether they’re people from work or family, we all have that one person who seems to take all of your energy when you’re hanging out.  A simple way to help retain your energy is to bubble yourself.

Bubbling is very similar to how it sounds, you create an energy bubble around yourself that keeps your energy inside and the bad energy out.  Close your eyes and visualize your energy forming a layer of protection around yourself.  You can create as many layers are you need and can change the color of the energy depending on the circumstance.  It’s also really easy to practice and a great way to get better at visualization.

~Elyce

Writing Tips: Denotation vs. Connotation

Denotation:

Definition: A denotation is the dictionary definition of a word.

Example: One example of denotation would be stating that the word cheap means inexpensive.

Connotation:

Definition: A connotation is a definition of a word, but with cultural and personal feelings added in.

Example: One example of connotation would be that the word “cheap” often has a negative meaning, or connotation in this case. For instance, when someone says something was “cheaply made”, it’s often taken to mean that the item wasn’t made very well and won’t last very long.

 

Using Denotations and Connotations in Writing:

As writers, denotations can’t be the only thing we focus on when we write. We also have to look at the connotations of words. For instance, when you go to describe a character as a more dominant person, you have many words to choose from. You could use words like assertive, aggressive, or pushy. However, although all of these have a similar denotation, they have very different connotations. Out of these three words, assertive is the nicest as it means someone is willing to assert their opinions. The word aggressive implies potential violence, and the word pushy implies that the person tends to force things onto people. The word you would use would obviously depend on the character, but word choice is very important. As a writer, you have to consider the connotations of the words you use, in and out of context. Readers only get to know your characters and settings and such through text, they don’t get to have you there to describe what you meant. As such, it’s best to make sure you pick the best word for your specific meaning to make sure your writing comes off as you meant it to.

~Victoria

The Evil Eye

The Evil Eye is a common concept in many cultures around the world. The Evil Eye is sort of like a curse, where the person who has been looked upon with it will face misfortunes. The Evil Eye can occur in various ways, depending on the culture. In most, the Evil Eye occurs when someone looks at you and envies what you have. In some cultures, the Evil Eye can be cast, so to speak, on purpose.

The Evil Eye beliefs are most common in the Mediterranean and in West Asia, although these beliefs have spread as far as South America. In many areas in the Mediterranean and Middle East, it is believed that people with green eyes are more likely to be able to cast the Evil Eye than those with brown. Those with blue eyes are the most likely to be able to accidentally, or purposely, use this power.

Eye symbols and talismans are often used as a sort of defense against the Evil Eye. For instance, the above image was one method used by the Egyptians. Normally the eye above is referred to as the Wedjat or The Eye of Horus. It was often used as a symbol of protection and one of its functions was to ward off the Evil Eye.

~Victoria

Stone Magic-Protection

Stones are a very good resource when it comes to magic.  You can easily carry one with you and they don’t often arouse suspicion for those witches who are still in the broom closet.  They can also be used to enhance spells and charge other items.  Below are a list of protection stones to add to your spells or carry with you.

Protection

Obsidian

Jet

Amethyst

Diamond

Emerald

Fire Agate

Hematite

Onyx

Clear Quartz

Black Tourmaline
~Elyce

Horse Writing Resources

Horse Breeds:

http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-breeds/all_landing.aspx (listed alphabetically)

Horse Colors and Markings:

http://www.equusite.com/articles/basics/basicsColors.shtml

Horse Care:

http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-health/

English Horse Training:

http://www.horsechannel.com/english-horse-training/

Western Horse Training:

http://www.horsechannel.com/western-horse-training/

Horse Tack Guide:

http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-resources/online-tack-guide/online-tack-guide.aspx

Horse Tack Cleaning:

http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-keeping/tack-cleaning-tips.aspx

Horse Tack Fit:

http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-exclusives/horse-tack-fit.aspx

~Victoria

Four-Leafed Clovers

Four-Leafed clovers are considered to be good luck all over the Western world. However, they’re not always easy to find. In fact, for every four-leafed clover, there’s estimated to be 10,000 normal three-leafed clovers.

Nowadays four-leafed clovers represent luck overall. Some say that the four leaves actually represent faith, hope, love, and luck. In medieval times, carrying a four-leafed clover was supposed to allow you to see faeries, witches, spirits, and other entities or beings that could cause you harm.

Five-leafed clovers also exist. They’re considered to be even luckier than the four-leafed clovers. Also known as rose clovers, the fifth leaf is supposed to stand for money. The most leaves ever found on one clover stem is 56. The clover was found in Japan in 2009.

~Victoria

Healing Salve

This is one of my favorite salves, I use it for chapped skin, lips, and cuts.  Since it contains St. John’s Wort, it’ll also keep away faeries.  It also contains comfrey, which makes the injury close faster, so make sure you clean the injury before using this.

Ingredients

½ Tsp of St. John’s Wort

½ Tsp of Comfrey

½ Tsp of Plantain Leaf

½ Tsp of Calendula

2 cups of Olive, Almond, or Sunflower Oil

⅓ cup Beeswax

Essential Oil of Your Choice

Jar/Tin

Instructions

  1. Put the oil in a pan and set the stove on low; you want it warm but not simmering
  2. Add the herbs in.  If you have an empty tea bag or muslin bag to put them in, then do so as then you won’t have to strain the oil.
  3. Let this mixture sit for three hours on low heat
  4. Strain herbs out of oil (or remove the tea/muslin bag)
  5. Add beeswax to pot and add oil back in
  6. Wait for the wax to melt, then pour concoction into the jar or tin
  7. Add essential oil
  8. Let cool/harden (putting it into the fridge speeds up the process)
  9. Use on light cuts/scrapes or chapped skin/lips

~Elyce

Figurative Language: Part One

Simile

Definition: A simile is a comparison between two or more things using the words like or as.

Examples: Her eyes were as vibrant as the forest. He fought using swords like a master.

Metaphor

Definition: Metaphors are comparisons between two or more things without using the words like or as.

Examples: Sam broke her heart when he left. A sea of mist came slithering through the forest. (Technically the second example is also personification, as mist cannot slither.)

Hyperbole

Definition: Hyperbole is an obvious exaggeration of something, whether it by the size of something, the amount, or something else.

Examples: There were ten billion ants crawling on the counter. The fish was so big it ate my boat and the homework on it!

Oxymoron

Definition: Oxymorons are when two opposites are put together in the same description.

Examples: The cold water made her hands burn.

Onomatopoeia

Definition: Onomatopoeia is when sound words are used for noise.

Examples: Bang! Boom! Splat! Bark. Ribbit. Meow. Creak.

Alliteration

Definition: Alliteration is when two or more consecutive words share the same sound. In some cases, the words don’t have to be consecutive if there’s enough of them in the sentence.

Examples: Sally sat silently in the sand. James jumped over the jagged metal.

Personification

Definition: Personification is when something that isn’t human is described like one or given the traits of one.

Examples: The shadows danced on the walls. The door hinges screeched out in agony as the door was closed. The wind whispered through the trees.

Synecdoche

Definition: Synecdoche is when you use part of something to stand for the whole. This also is what it’s called when you use a material to refer to the whole.

Examples: I asked for her hand in marriage. Jane laid out her mother’s finest silver.

Metonymy

Definition: Metonymy is when you use something related to something to reference it.

Examples: The orders came directly from the crown. Who will claim the throne? The suits are in the courtroom now.

~Victoria