Created Sigils

I had a long week at work, so you guys get another day of sigils!  I tend to make these a lot during classes and down time at work, so most of them focus on what’s currently on my mind.  This were created using Pigpen, a spying cipher.

~Elyce

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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

A Tour Through The Greek Afterlife

So you decided to go and die in Ancient Greece did you?  Well you’re in luck, for today only we’ll be having a tour through the Afterlife.  So hold onto your sandals and pray to Hermes for luck because here we go!

The Styx

The first stop on our tour is the River Styx, and sadly, it’s our last stop for many people.  If you’re unlucky enough that your family didn’t put a coin under your tongue or two over your eyes, then I’m afraid you’re out of luck.  The ferryman, Charon, is stingy as Tartarus and never lets people ride for free.  While in some myths he ferries the river Acheron, you’ll still need a coin to get through.  Once across you’ll be taken to the Judges of the Underworld, who will decide where you go.

Notable People:

-Charon: Stingy ferryman and only way to cross the River Styx.  Said to be extremely filthy with eyes like jets of fire (maybe some eye drops man?).

-Cerberus: Three headed guard dog of the underworld.  Known for keeping souls from wandering back to the living and for being a big softie when it comes to music

Tartarus

Oh man, if you ended up here, you did something horrible in life.  Similar to the Christian version of Hell, it’s a huge pit filled with all the people who defied the gods.  From the titans to Tantalus, you’ll probably never be bored here, as you’ll have your eternal punishment to keep you busy.

Notable People:

-Tantalus: Tried to offer his son as a sacrifice to the gods.  Now he stands in a neck high pool of water with fruit hanging above him.  Every time he tries to reach up, the branches move out of his way and every time he tries to drink the water recedes.

-Titans: The precursors to the Greek Gods, they were thrown down here after the great battle.  Missing are Atlas, who holds up the sky, Prometheus, who created humans and then stole the fire from the gods, and Epimetheus, who fell in love with the doomed Pandora.

-Sisyphus: Chained Thanatos (Death) to a pole so that no one could die.  Is forever stuck rolling a boulder up a hill, as it nears the top, it then rolls back down.

Asphodel Meadows

Neither good nor bad, this is the middle ground of the afterlife.  Here you’ll enjoy wandering through never ending fields.  But this is only after you drink from the river Lethe, which will remove your memories from your previous life.

Notable People:

-None: No one remembers who they are

Elysium

The land of heroes, you’re extremely lucky if you end up here.  Filled with every delight you can possibly imagine, it’s only for those who were chosen by the gods or who distinguished themselves throughout their life.  Given the option of reincarnation, if they end up in Elysium three times, then they go to the Isle of the Blessed, and even better afterlife.

Notable People:

-Socrates: Famous philosopher who was forced to end his life by drinking hemlock

-Achilles: Great Greek hero, with one hell of an Achilles’ heel

Other Important People to Know

-Hades: Ruler of the Underworld and eldest of the Gods.  Sometimes considered a god of wealth, he rules the underworld fairly.

-Persephone: Hades’ queen, she is the daughter of Demeter and Zeus.  She lives in the underworld six months out of the year and is known to be a powerful ruler

-Thanatos: Death himself, he guards the gates of death.  Known for having been chained by Sisyphus.

-Erinyes: Also known as the Furies, these are winged women who avenge crimes done by children towards their parents.  Their names are Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera.

~Elyce

A Witch’s Bookshelf

So for today I wanted to share with y’all some of the books on my witchcraft shelf.  A lot of them have been helpful through my craft (some of them not so much) and I really enjoyed them.  Please feel free to reblog and add your own favorites.

The Dream Dictionary From A to Z (Teresa Cheung): This one’s really helpful when you’re trying to figure out what your dreams mean.  It lets you look up dreams by either items or events in them and help figure out what they’re trying to tell you.

Grove Daughter Witchery-Practical Spellcraft (Bree NicGarran): Okay, this has to be my all time favorite book on this list.  NicGarran comes at the craft from a non-Wiccan perspective and her practical advice section covers a lot of common questions and concerns.  Her spells are also amazing and my copy is covered in little notes and bookmarks to come back to. (I would also highly recommend following her blog @breelandwalker)

The Kitchen Witch (Soraya): As someone who dabbles in kitchen witchery, this is a good beginning guide to the craft.  There’s a lot of really good recipes in here and it also goes into lotions and teas.  The one issue I have with this book is that the author tends to come off as a little elitist when it comes to cooking; everything has to be homemade down to the broth.  But if you can move past this, the recipes are really good.

Llewellyn’s Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac (Multiple authors): I really like these type of books.  It gives you a crap ton of spells to look through and pick and choose to use.  It can also be helpful when making your own spells because you can see what other people have done.

Wicca-A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner (Scott Cunningham): This was actually my first witchcraft book and I still refer to it from time to time (these blog posts for instance).  Honestly, any of Cunningham’s books are a wonderful suggestion and he takes the time to explain all the nuances of the craft.  While they are getting a little dated, I would always recommend Cunningham’s books for the new witch.

~Elyce

Mayan and Aztec Masks

Both the Mayans and the Aztecs also had masks they used in traditional ceremonies and some of which are still found in sites today.  For the Aztecs, the masks were mainly for display, not for actual use.  Many were inlaid with precious stones, especially turquoise which was used in a lot of Aztec art.  The shards of turquoise were placed on bases that were made of wood, stone, or sometimes even a real skull. Other decorative items used were obsidian, pyrite, coral and shell.  Archeologists have also found masks with inlaid teeth and eyes.  Mayans commonly used jade to decorate their traditional masks which were sometimes used to adorn the faces of the dead.  While it is not known the significance of the masks on the deceased, there are some scholars who believe that they were either used to scare off potential grave robbers or for ceremonies in the afterlife.  Mayan warriors would also wear masks into battle to channel the ferocity of a certain animal.  There were many other uses for the masks, such as births, weddings, and funerals.  Sadly, most of the lore for the two tribes has been lost over time due to Western influence and the destruction of cultural artifacts by the Spanish.

~Elyce

Weapon and Fighting Reference Vi

Here are some weapon and fighting videos that we compiled a little while back for reference purposes. We use them for writing, but you could probably use them as references for writing, art, anything.

Weapon Videos

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3n7MKHEwA9xXBErhXYZbMQ (this channel in general)

Knives/Daggers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l76lDYHsLAs (documentary, fighting with)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z143thJWRBQ (techniques/duel)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsR-C_P98r0 (sword and dagger)

Swords

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYRJttpKmRM (documentary, history there of)

Greatswords

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hfLZozBVpM (two handed greatsword)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfQ0tzYxIG8 (scottish greatsword)

Staves

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMe0tBBOgCs (staff vs staff)

Unconventional Weapons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OuMsPQeKT0 (cane sword)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNH55EMGyO8 (chain whip)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56xXUEyi_e8 (chain whip)

Bows

http://legacy.fordham.edu/Halsall/ancient/zeno-paradoxes.asp (Zeno paradoxes about arrows)

http://margo.student.utwente.nl/sagi/artikel/longbow/longbow.html (lots of technical stuff)

~Victoria

Púca, Trickster and Shapeshifter

Also known as a pooka, phouka, puca, phooka, puck, and púka among other things, this creature is an Irish trickster and shapeshifter. There exist similar creatures throughout Britain, Wales, and the Channel Islands. In Wales this creature is known as a pwca, in Cornwall a bucca, and on the Channel Islands as a pouque. Being shapeshifters, these creatures appear in a variety of forms. They can take the form of goats, horses, dogs, cats, bulls, foxes, eagles, or any other animal. In some tales, they naturally have a goblin-like shape (as they are sometimes considered a type of goblin). Sometimes they even take human shape, with only one animal feature (such as ears or some kind of tail) to give them away. A púca normally is described as having gold eyes and black fur or hair.

In most legends, the púca is a trickster that likes to mess with people. For instance, they often take the form of horses and take people on wild, but harmless, rides that end with their rider in a creek or mud puddle. However, these creatures are usually benevolent towards humans and have been known to even guide people out of forests when they get lost. In some stories they are much more dangerous creatures that quite enjoy eating humans, but most of the time they are nothing but well-meaning tricksters that often enjoy a good laugh at a human’s expense. On Samhain (sunset of October 31st to sunset November 1st), these creatures can sometimes be found in forests, hills, and mountains and will offer prophecies and advice.

The only person to ever be able to control a púca was Brian Boru, a high king of Ireland. He managed to capture one in the form of a horse, by sliding a special bridle over its head. The bridle had three of the púca’s hairs from its tail woven in. Once he had the púca in his possession, Brian Boru used it as a steed.

In some areas, there are actually agricultural traditions surrounding the púca. All crops must be gathered before November in these traditions, as anything after has been faerie or púca blasted (or defecated on) and is no longer edible. In addition, a portion of the crops must be left in the field for the local púca to make sure it stays satisfied. The portion left in the field is called “the púca’s share”.

Simple Breakdown (tl;dr):

Origin: Northwest Europe (Ireland, Britain, and the Channel Islands). The name of the creature, and its behavior, varies per region.

Territory: Usually lives in mountains, hills, and forests.

Creature Type: Often considered a type of faerie (similar to goblins). Also falls under the categories of trickster, shapeshifter, and nature spirit. Most often mischevious.  In some locales they are considered to be man-eating monsters.

Attributes:  A púca has gold eyes and black fur/hair. In human form, they usually have one animal attribute, most often animal ears or an animal tail.

Abilities: Animal form and human form shapeshifting and sometimes simple faerie magic. Capable of human speech.  A púca can provide prophecies and warnings on Samhain (sunset on October 31st to sunset of November 1st).

Weaknesses: A púca can be controlled with a special bridle with three of its own hairs woven in. Supposedly one of the Irish high kings, Brian Boru, was the only one to do this.

~Victoria

Mod Speak

Hey guys!

First of all, welcome to all our new followers!  Thanks so much for checking us out.

Just wanted to let you guys know about some updates.  Due to both mods getting jobs (woo finally), we’re going to be switching from posting every day to posting Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

As always, if you guys have any questions, comments, or want to see something talked about, feel free to pop by and say hello!

~Elyce

Sigils

Sigils are magic designs created with a specific intent. They’re actually one of the easiest types of magic to use.  They are perfect for a witch who doesn’t want their practice out in the open or someone who doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on candles, herbs, and stones.  The name sigil derives from the Latin word sigillum, or “seal”, though some believe it is also related to the Hebrew word segula, which means talismen, action, word, or item of spiritual affect.  Sigils are actually a form of chaos magic, meaning magic that doesn’t have a solid structure or strict rules.  This is meant as an introduction post to sigils, designed to help you get started.

Creations

There are a couple different ways to craft sigils.  For the method I normally use, you’re going to need a pen and some scratch paper.  Chose a word or phrase that captures your intent and write it out.  Simplify the word or phrase by removing duplicate letters (some people also remove the vowels).  Now you can either use your normal alphabet or choose a magical alphabet (I use Nordic Runes) for the next step.  Using the remaining letters, combine them to make a singular symbol.  This may take a little bit of time in order to find the perfect design, but find one that calls to you.  Don’t worry if you can’t fit all the letters, sometimes there’s one that just doesn’t work with the design (looking at you Y), but it’ll still work the same. This method has a closer link to languages.

Another method of creating sigils is rather than a word or phrase, finding an image that’s similar to your intent.  For instance, if you’re creating a protection sigil against curses, use an eye as the basis since the Evil Eye is a common protection against curses.  Simplify the design so it’s easier to draw and then you can either add aesthetic to the design or pull in design elements from the other methods of sigil creation. You can also use symbols that are similar to your intent from ancient cultures or religions that aren’t closed. For instance, if you’re a Christian witch, you might enjoy using crosses in your sigils. If you’re not religious, you still might like using hieroglyphics or other symbols in your sigils. In addition, alchemical symbols are are also useful for this method. This method can have a link to languages, like the previous one. However, some of the symbols are used so commonly throughout human culture that they aren’t necessarily tied to any one language or culture. Once you learn some more common metaphysical, religious, and other symbols used in these sigils, you might notice them being used in other people’s sigils and be able to understand the intent of that specific sigil even more.

Both of the above methods can be customized or attuned to the user with a bit of imagination in how one stylizes the sigils.

You can also use number squares or your computer keyboard as ways to create a design.  Here are some links to tutorials on using these as well as examples.

Charging

Charging sigils is how you apply your energy and intent to them.  We wrote a post earlier on different methods of charging, all of which can be used to charge sigils.  You’ll also need to add an activation method into your spell.  This could be something such as destroying the sigil (by burning or tearing) or by putting your hand on the sigil and focusing.  You can also have a sigil that’s active as long as it exists, but remember that this will draw energy from you.  I tend to draw sigils on myself with an eyeliner pencil that charge from my energy and activate when they are washed off.

Other resources

Here are some other resources if you want to learn more.

Examples

These sigils are some of my favorites to use.  All credit to the creators.

~Elyce

General Use Sigils

So sigils are a HUGE part of my magic.  Between them and herbs, they make up most of my craft.  I’ll be doing a big post of what sigils are and how to make them tomorrow, but wanted to share with you guys some I made recently.  These were created using Nordic Runes (though with some liberties for design).  I hope you enjoy.

~Elyce