12 Magical Ways to Use Garlic


Use as an offering for Hectate.  Sacred to the ancient Greek goddess of witchcraft and magic, garlic makes a perfect offering.  Leave a clove at the crossroads or grow some by your front door to honor her.

Include it kitchen magick for passion.  A tomato sauce with basil and garlic makes for a classic love potion.  Add candles and enchant an evening guest.

Ward off sociopaths.  Got a narcissistic coworker?  A frenemy who serves up bitterness with a smile?  Garlic is famous for repelling evil.

Leave a clove with your divination tools.  Prevent negative energies from coming through the “gateway” of tarot cards, runes or ouiju boards.

Break a spell.   Did your best intentions go awry?  Reverse your ritual and bury any remaining spell ingredients in a deep hole with a clove of garlic.

Use to purify a haunted house.   Garlic near the entrances prevents dark energies from re-entering the home after exorcism.

Hang braided garlic over the sick bed.  Hang garlic over a sick person’s bed to stop fever dreams and drive away dark thinking.

Stop gossip.  Stuff a poppet through the mouth with garlic and then sew the mouth shut.

Carry with you during water voyages.  Planning a trip by boat?  Carry a garlic clove for safe passage.

Comfort children at night.  Hang garlic by the window or over the bed to prevent nightmares.

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Rose Bush Garden Spell for Love

Earlier this month, I posted about my fall gardening projects.

But I thought this one deserved it’s own post.


I’m told autumn is the ideal time to propagate roses—–which makes it a great time to sew the seeds of love for spring!

If your garden boasted a bountiful rose bush this summer and you plan to attend a spring/summer wedding next year, this spell makes a lovely gift for the new couple.

Also a nice spell to strengthen marriage or if you want to begin dating after a period of singleness.

Full disclosure:  I never propagated roses before, which makes this an experiment for me!

I wish I knew the name of the gorgeous rose bush in my yard.  Sadly, I remember not.  But it grew exponentially over the summer.  In mid-October, it still produces a few lovely blooms.


To start, find a stem with a spent flower on the end.


Cut at an angle about 6″ to 12″ down.

Here’s where it gets weird.

Slice a potato in half, and make sure to cut off the eyes.  If the spell is for a specific couple, carve their names and birth dates into one half the potato.  If it’s a general love blessing, carve love symbols into it.


Dip the end of the rose in ground cinnamon.  Cinnamon is a classic ingredient in love spells.  It also functions as a natural anti-microbial, which protects the roots from rot while they get established.

10 Uses for Cinnamon Banner

Stick the stem in the potato.


Deadhead the top, and place the potato base in a pot of dirt.

Include a piece of rose quartz.


Include a personal item in the pot from each person in the couple.  Hair or scraps of clothing are traditional, but anything biodegradable will do.  .

Or, if the spell is for general love attraction, write out the lyrics of a love poem or song on natural parchment paper and bury in with the root base.

Turn a glass jar upside down over the rose to keep it warm and moist until it roots.  I used a leftover flower vase (I never know what to do with those, but it worked perfectly for this!)


Throughout the fall and winter season, dote on your little rose.  Tuck eggshells in the soil to “fertilize” it—both the plant and the spell!

When the rose blooms in the spring, you’ll know love is on its way. 🙂

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How to Host a Samhain Party

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

If you’re wondering what to do this joyous festival season, get planning and host a Samhain party.


Decide whether or not to invite the little witchlettes.  Including children at a pagan party often changes a lot of the decisions you need to make.  If you want little feet everywhere, be certain all the parents are okay with allowing them to participate in the ritual, and plan at least one activity just for them.

Pick a main event.  Whether you hold a seance or a dumb supper (or both!), pick a main event to focus on and make it the theme of your invitations.

Consider an additional, smaller activity.  Particularly if you expect children to attend, a lighter additional activity like bobbing for apples or a pumpkin decorating contest tends to round out the evening nicely and leave everyone feeling grounded.

Honor the departed.  Remember your departed love ones.  In keeping with the spirit of the season, do at least one thing to acknowledge the deceased, particularly if you or someone in the group lost someone this past year.  This need not be heavy or too serious—a few photographs included in the centerpiece or serving a dish the deceased enjoyed during life fulfills this tradition nicely.

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Plan a menu.  If you’re doing a dumb supper, you might want to opt for potluck.  But if you plan a ritual not centered around food, most guests appreciate a few simple, fall-themed appetizers and some autumn ale.

Try a “fire only” lighting concept.  Use only candles, bonfires and/or tikki torches to light your scene.  You’ll be amazed!  Using only flames creates a powerful, mysterious atmosphere.


Decorate naturally.  Although many a witch revels in the availability of witch-y looking items at mainstream stores this time of year, plastic Halloween decor just isn’t my thing.  I prefer to make my own or, even better, use what nature provides.  Apples, mums, pine cones, squash, acorns and, of course, pumpkins!


Make favors.  I love making ritual favors for the Sabbats.   There are thousands of options, but here is one to try.

Agree to meet for the next Sabbat.  With all your like-minded friends in one room on the last day of the Wheel of the Year, this moment makes for a good time to sync your calendars and plan for the next season of moon rituals and Sabbats.

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Fall Gardening with a Green Witch

A bittersweet time for the gardener, we usually think of autumn as the harvest season.

But a few duties remain.


First, it’s bulb planting time!

My husband gifted me an amazing raised bed for our anniversary that I plan to turn into a vegetable garden in the spring.


For now, I decided to sew some garlic, which needs a long time in the ground before harvesting.

I got these garlic bulbs from a talented herb gardener in West Virginia.  I’ve never truly tasted garlic until I tasted hers.  Expertly knowledgeable, she recommended to me the spiciest hard-neck variety.  Here’s hoping it takes!


Also on the list, tulips and hyacinthus, my two favorite spring flowers.  I love bulbs because they encourage us to look forward to the future, they come back every year, and they keep doubling, so you can dig them up and give them away to friends.  I always smile in the spring when these pop out of the ground, and thank myself for taking the time to plant them in the fall.

This marks my first year as a window gardener.

Pinching off some tender herbs right from the plant in December sounds like a spectacular natural luxury to me!

I decided to focus on basil, which makes all the difference in winter batches of spicy sausage Italian red sauce.


It was with some skepticism that I tried propagating herbs.  I put little stock in internet gardening advice.  I never believe it until I see it with my own eyes.   It sounded too easy.

Just clip beneath the nodes, and stick in water.


Wait for the roots to grow.  (Pardon the unfortunate state of my cuticles—no point in doing your nails before you work in the garden.)


Plant in soil.  I put landscaping rocks at the bottom for drainage.


It’s really that easy!  I’m amazed!

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Sea Witch: Harnessing The Power of the Ocean

I love the Atlantic coast during the swing season.

The crowds dispersed weeks ago, the water vibrates with warmth from the Gulf Stream, and on the southern beaches, summer weather prevails even in October (provided there isn’t a Category 5 hurricane on the way . . . oops).

For the sea witch, the off seasons make for a lovely, low key time to go work the water.

If you live year-round near an ocean, or you want to make an early off-season trip, here’s some inspiration to make it memorable.


Cleanse.   Make your swim mindful.  Think of it as a rebirth.  At any point in our lives, we may allow ourselves to be reborn, and made into something new.  Now is not the time to go dipping your toes.  Fully immerse yourself.  I like this idea especially in cooler (but not freezing!) weather.  The shock of willing yourself into colder water has a powerful effect.  Expect to emerge with a renewed sense of energy and faith in your strength.

Make a mini altar or mandala.  Go for a walk on the beach and collect natural items.  Bits of driftwood, sea shells, gull feathers.  Add hurricane candles and take a moment to reflect.


Banish.  Write something on the inside of a sea shell that you want out of your life.  It can be a person, a habit or a physical thing.   Feel the weight of the shell.  Allow all the negative effects of this person, habit or thing wash over you.  Recognize the impact on your life.  Honor your strength to commit to the expulsion.  Then, when you are ready, throw the shell in the ocean as hard as you can.  Even if it doesn’t go further than the surf, congratulate yourself for taking the first step.  Walk away, and don’t look back.

A nurse practitioner once told me, “The ocean heals everything.”  It’s true.  Let salt water wash over your wounds—and not just the physical ones.  If you bear a recent emotional trauma, carry the weight of it into the water.  Feel the power and the majesty of the currents as they unleash your inner strength.


Meditate.  Maybe you long ago loaded your MP3 player full of “sounds of the ocean.”  Now you find yourself sitting in front of the real deal.  Use it!  Nothing takes you away like the deep, rhythmic white noise of the ocean.  Close your eyes and just . . . listen.  Try synchronizing your breath to the waves.

Bless a talisman.  Particularly if you have one that represents the ocean—a bracelet of shells, a necklace with a mermaid pendant, or even just a “watery” stone.  Either wearing, or with a tight grip on it, plunge into the wild water, say a blessing, and carry the power of the ocean with you when you leave.

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Interview with Penniless Pagan

This week, we’re sitting down with Michaela from Penniless Pagan, who graciously agreed to answer questions about becoming a pagan, retreating to nature and her favorite herbs.


What brought you to paganism?  Was is it a particular moment of revelation, or a slow progression?

Like many people, I didn’t have the most stable childhood. Right around thirteen things were particularly heinous, and I began searching for something—anything—outside my house to keep me from having to go home. I came upon a really cool metaphysical shop several miles from my house and was immediately enamored with all the beautiful crystals and spell books inside. The owner was super friendly and welcoming, something I wasn’t experiencing at home, so it was nice to just spend a few minutes in a place that wasn’t seeped in negativity. He was so generous he actually approached me one day and said I could borrow any books in the store free of charge! Of course I read anything I could get my hands on!

As I said, thirteen was one of the worst years of my life, and I yearned for some stability and hope. When I discovered Paganism could be practiced alone, I dove in with every ounce of energy I had! Interestingly, this actually caused more strife in my home life, but ultimately gave me the strength to carry on. It showed me there was a reason to keep living, that bad things end and there was a purpose for my existence.

Did you come from another faith or spiritual background?

I was raised Catholic, but beyond bedtime prayers and celebrating the major holidays (basically Easter and Christmas), my family didn’t PRACTICE religion. Sure, they said they were Catholics, but they never went to church. EVER. The sole time I went to church for a Sunday mass was when I slept over a friend’s house the Saturday night prior! Of course, once I proclaimed in a very teenager angsty way that I was Pagan, crap really hit the fan! My mother’s husband even tried to throw me out…at thirteen!Sadly, this attitude wasn’t at all unusual for him. He was extremely abusive.

Ironically, because life is so wonderfully humorous that way, my father was very accepting of my new spirituality and even purchased books to learn more about it. Very interesting considering he was once a catechism teacher and heavily involved with the church! (Before I was born) Nowadays he’s of no particular faith, but he does remember to send me a text on every Sabbat. He’s thoughtful that way.

Fortunately, my family eventually got their heads out of their rears, into some fresh air, and realized I was not worshiping the devil! (For a spirituality that doesn’t even believe in the devil, we sure do get accused of that a lot, hm?!)My mom even transitioned to a blend of Christianity and Wicca years later. As I said, life is funny.

You seem like a practical lady who knows how to throw together a ritual on the go.  What’s your favorite “in a pinch” ritual idea?

Why thank you! =D My first go-to when time is tight is to simply BE! I think the biggest thing we all forget when trying to be “good” Pagans is that there isn’t a rule book! Life is a gift. The Goddess and God (Universe, Divine, etc) want us to enjoy it! So when a Sabbat creeps up on me and I haven’t planned an involved ritual, I simply go outside or to a park or for a hike and just take in the moment. I listen to the wind in the trees. I feel the breeze on my skin. I inhale the scent of the season. I marvel at the beauty around me. As I often say on my blog, the best way to honor nature is to be in nature! There’s no better way to celebrate a Sabbat than appreciating the nature around you!

What do find most challenging about being a pagan blogger?  Do your friends and family know about this side of your life, or are you a quiet witch?

As cliché as it is, I don’t want to disappoint readers.If they’re taking the time to read something I wrote, I need to make sure it’s worth it! It TRULY makes my day if someone leaves a thoughtful comment! It’s not unusual for me to text a photo of a reader’s comment to my husband or best friend with nothing but exclamation points as my message. It’s just SUCH an incredible feeling to know this tiny little post did something for someone. The world is a tough place; we have to help each other out!

My family and friends know I’m Pagan (it’s kind of hard to hide it with a pentacle tattooed on your ankle!). But only my husband and best friend know about PennilessPagan.com. I want to be able to connect with readers without feeling censored, and I just can’t do that if I know family is reading it. It’s kind of odd to say you can be honest with strangers and not your family, but that’s just the way it is sometimes. It comes back to creating healthy boundaries. It took me many years, but I now know who I can bare my soul to and who I need to meter. My family are decent people, we just mirror Arrested Development a little more than I care for!😉

When you retreat into nature, where do you find yourself? 

The woods. Always the woods!

Herbalism is clearly one of your specialties.  If you were trapped on a desert island, what five herbs would you have with you and why?

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to answer this question!!! I LOVE herbalism. Like, if herbs were a movie, I’d be that weirdo that spends two weeks in a tent waiting for tickets to go on sale.

Without question, goldenseal and plantain leaf. Both are amazing anti-infectives, internally and topically! Peppermint for stomachaches and headaches.Slippery elm, which is super nutritious and can be eaten like oatmeal. And chamomile, because if you’re stuck on a desert island I’d imagine you’re a tad stressed! =P

I imagine you probably do some wildcrafting.  What are your favorite items to look for on a nature walk?

Due to his job, my husband and I currently live in a very rural part of New Mexico. This part of the desert receives less than 10 inches of precipitation on year!  (You’ll hear me complain talk about this on the blog from time to time.) Therefore, wildcrafting isn’t as plentiful as I would like, but it’s something I eagerly await once we return to grass and trees.

But the desert isn’t entirely without its perks. One of the gems of the Southwest is the prickly pear cactus. It has this BEAUTIFUL fruit that yields the most gorgeous, vibrant pink juice. The juice is very beneficial for inflammation, which is fantastic because the dust and high winds produce tons of respiratory issues. Of course, it is a cactus so you have to harvest the fruit with thick gloves and pull the spines out with pliers. There’s very little in the desert that isn’t pokey and spiney. That’s why no one calls nature enthusiastscactus-huggers.😉

Anything else random you’d like to tell us about yourself?

I will knock over small children and the elderly to get to baby goats! Just love ‘em!

 Penniless Pagan is a blogger, novel writer, and enthusiastic proponent of affordable, natural living.

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10 Free Ways to Enrich Your Pagan Life

Don’t get me wrong.  As a pagan business owner, I fully encourage an occasional indulgence in witchy treats.  Get that new broom you’ve been eyeing, try the exotic incense blend, go for the gemstone that sparkles pretty.

But I also want the pagan experience to be available and accessible to anyone, at any time in her life, whether or not she has the cash to spend on ritual “luxury” items.  So here’s a quick list of ideas to enhance and deepen your pagan life that won’t cost you a cent.


1.  Go to the library.  Remember that place?  With the books?  Kind of like Amazon, except it’s free and you’re not stuck with a clunky hardback taking up shelf space after you’re done reading it.  Even in the most conservative parts of the country, most libraries have at least a few books on the subject of paganism, Wicca or the occult.  And if they don’t, be creative!  You can build kitchen witch spells from cookbooks, learn how to raise herbs from gardening manuals, and learn about ancient Roman gods in the world history section.

2.  Meditate.  If you’ve been neglecting your meditation practice, it’s time to get back in the groove.  Even short meditation session of five minutes or less promote wellness of the body and mind.

3.  Check out a public ritual.  Odds are, there’s one within 20 miles of you.  Sites like Meetup.com and Witchvox will help you find “your people.”  With the exception of women’s only groups or other specialty events, most public rituals welcome everyone and are usually free.

4.  Try fasting.  Practiced for thousands of years by traditions around the globe, the spiritual benefits of fasting are almost universally recognized by every major faith in the world.  Unless you are pregnant, sick, diabetic or have another medical condition that might be compromised by a fast, short fasts are safe for most people.  Fasting promotes self-discipline, higher meditative states and can even have health benefits if used in moderation.

5.  Teach a workshop.  Are you uniquely qualified in a particular branch of paganism?  Maybe you know how to make brooms, or when it comes to the Nordic gods, you really know your sh*t.  Share it!  Most event organizers are thrilled to have volunteers, and you learn as much, if not more, by teaching than you do taking a class yourself.

6.  Get crafty.  Challenge yourself to throw together a spell or ritual using only what you have on hand.

7.  Commune with nature.  I mean, duh.  This probably sounds obvious to a community of self-proclaimed nature-worshippers, but be honest: how much time do you really spend outside every day?  More or less time than you spend in front of a screen?  I betting less.  Nearly all of us need more time in the fresh air.

8.  Bond with your familiar.  Whether yours is furry or scaly, take some one on one time to reconnect.  She may have a message for you.

9.  Memorize.  Do you know your astrological signs by heart?  Maybe you’d like to know a piece of pagan poetry by heart to bust out at rituals?  Just taking the time to commit small aspects of ritual life can be rewarding and meditative.

10.  Try Reiki.  Honestly, I personally have no opinion on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of Reiki.  My personal experience with it is limited.  But if you are looking for a new spiritual interest, Reiki is safe, and if you’re willing to study on your own, it’s free to learn, requiring few, if any tools to get you started.

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