Bottle of Confusion

Today’s bit of advice is for all of you living in difficult neighborhoods. I’m not sure what your situation is but my house is on a half-acre lot in the middle of the block. All of the houses on my street were built between 1925 and 1950. There are rent houses on either side of me and through the years some pretty scary people have resided in those houses.

As you all know, neighborly relations can go south real fast if they aren’t handled well. As I own my house, it isn’t easy to just pull up tent stakes and move when things get bumpy. I have handled these situations in different ways through the years. For the past two years, our street has become quieter and more peaceful….it’s not perfect but much better than it was. Many years ago, I went about placing 13 charged crystals around the boundary of my yard and in my house. I had these crystals charged at a special place on my cousin’s farm that is a particularly strong energy vortex. After laying those crystals, the negativity came down several notches.

Later, I had some very negative and aggressive people living next door that kept trying to push my buttons. Finally, I did a special ritual that I will share at another time, but it did the trick and they quickly moved out of the house a week later.

Currently, the people living in the two houses to the south of me have been very quiet and are actually planting flowers in the flower beds and sprucing the place up. The rent house to the north of me has been vacant for well over a year as the owner has been slowly fixing it up in his spare time.

The two main spells that I use on a constant basis to lay protection inside my house are: the bottle of confusion and outward facing mirrors. Let me explain:

The Bottle of Confusion –

I have a glass bottle with a long skinny neck and a cork top in which I place my thread trimmings that are a product of my sewing. Once I had this bottle mostly full, I raised energy and charged the bottle with a protection spell. The threads (none are longer than a couple of inches) in all different colors serve to trip and tangle any visitors with ill wishes. I keep it in a south window of my home since that is the direction from which most of the negativity creeps on my street. Note: If you are preparing your own bottle of confusion, you can’t take a short cut and cut up a spool of thread and fill the bottle in a day. The magic won’t be there. You will just be left with a bottle full of thread. You must use threads that have been cut from projects you have been working on over time and the threads must be short (a couple of inches long). You also must do your homework when preparing to raise the energy to charge the bottle. If you are doing so while thinking about how much you hate or fear your neighbor, that energy will boomerang back at you with equal force.

Outward facing mirrors –

This is an old practice of taking a small mirror or piece of mirror and placing it in the corner of your window, facing outward. This mirror will deflect any negative energy directed toward your house. As you are placing the mirror, (assuming you have already raised the energy and your personal protection) you will need to prepare words of magic to direct your intention into the ritual. My words of magic were something like this:

Heed this warning,
Leave me be.
I wish not to be disturbed,
So away with thee you go!
So mote it be!

What is a Cauldron?

The cauldron has always been a symbol of the witch. When Halloween approaches, you see them everywhere. Cauldrons often bring up images of Shakespeare’s three witches in Macbeth. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. And all that jazz…

Cauldrons are actually something we use everyday. They are Mamaw’s cooking pot. They are that bucket we keep near the door full of pocket change. In this way, they exist in the mundane but they also are used for deeper magic as well. They are alchemical or transformative in their very nature and use. We use them to cook up a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup. The whole time we are thinking about bringing health to our family and ourselves and lo and behold….it does the trick.

Some famous cauldrons of the ancient include…

those of Cerridwen and Dagda. Cerridwen is the Welsh goddess of grain and prophesy. Her cauldron has the power of inspiration and divine knowledge from the Invisible World. Dagda is the fertility god of the Tuatha De Danaan and his cauldron is one of plenty and abundant food. It will only feed someone according to their merit, however. It also has healing powers and is said to be the resting place of the Spear of Lugh.

I have a couple of small cauldrons that I keep in my kitchen for magical work. One of them has a bit of sand and a tealight in the bottom of it that I use for my kitchen altar. I occasionally add herbs, flowers, oils, stones, etc.. to the cauldron depending on my ritual need.

I also have another cauldron, so to speak, in my kitchen window. This is actually one of my Granny’s special tea cups that she drank from often. In that cauldron, I keep some salt and a couple of bay leaves. This is used to ward away all negativity and to protect my hearth.

If you have a cast iron cauldron, here are some tips on keeping it in tip-top shape:

  • If you notice rust forming in it, take some steel wool and scrub the rust away. Follow that with some hot, soapy water.
  • Next, you will want to season the cauldron inside and out with shortening or lard. Using cooking oil will just leave a sticky mess.
  • Following that treatment, you will want to place the cauldron in an oven on a baking sheet set around 300F degrees.
  • After 15 to 20 minutes, take the cauldron out (carefully) and wipe the excess lard off and out of the cauldron.
  • Place the cauldron back in the oven for an hour. At the end of the hour, turn the oven off and vent the door. Allow the cauldron to cool in the oven


Clearing Old Energies

Before working magick you must clear your psyche of old energies that no longer serve you. You also must investigate any detrimental beliefs that you have carried from former lifetimes. Until you complete these steps, you won’t be able to find balance in your magick.

1. Simplify your life.

*Stop hoarding
*Stop procrastinating
*Get your material house in order
*Clean your desk and email
*Get organized
*Clean out any old herbs or oils that you know have lost their power – No need in holding on to them now….you are just coveting….”my precious”

2. Begin a regular meditation schedule.

You need quiet time to block the monkey mind. Send everything away during this time. It is not a time to “work” on anything; just let everything go and only focus on happy. Try to feel what happy truly means and feels like without being attached to anything (ie. “if I only had some money, I’d be happy”).

Float in the cosmos like a lazy river. If this scares you then bring it in closer like a cozy bed. Learn to breathe. Don’t worry about how or how many….just breathe and pay attention to how it feels. Breathing is very calming if done slowly and consciously. This is why we sigh so much when we are distressed.

3. Address your shadow.

This next part may be difficult for some. If you need professional help with it please seek it out.

Some of you are dealing with sibling rivalry stuff while others are dealing with much more dark and difficult energies. Find time to sit quietly and ask Universe to show you your chronic difficulties. You may want to journal while doing this. If there is something that is a constant trouble that pops up in your life (ie. falling for the wrong man/woman or not being able to manage your money well), this is where these shadows will appear.

In the case of falling for the wrong man/woman or having a string of broken relationships, you may find that you are holding on to old energies of a failed relationship in a previous life that you are having a hard time letting go of. If you are having a hard time managing your money, then you may be unconsciously telling yourself that money is the root of all evil or that you are just meant to be poor or that having money makes you feel guilty when others around you have very little.

Once you have a bearing on the shadows that are causing you distress, next you will need to address them. See them for what they are. Is there anything about these shadows that can help you or do they no longer serve you? For example: Do you have a hard time keeping jobs because you are constantly at odds with your boss? If so, then work to find the root of your agitation and imagine that you are bottling it for later use when that stubborn spirit can serve you better.

Sometimes your shadow helps you so you don’t always want to get rid of it – just tame it. Of course, that is separate from negative energies that you have buried deep inside like a festering wound.

Don’t Allow Negativity to Materialize in Your Magick

These are things that must be done before working with magic. You also need to do a constant accounting of the energies you are carrying around with you. Many of us are empaths and we pick up the gunk that others throw all over us each day. If you don’t keep yourself grounded and do a good job of cleansing your aura at the end of each day, you will get a build-up of negativity. Any bad Juju that you are carrying around with you whether your conscious being recognizes it, or not, will jump out in your magic when you least expect it. This is when the evil eye or demons get blamed for things we have actually brought about ourselves. Demons are actually a religious idea and not a quality of nature.

Let Go of Attachments

The first lesson to master before we delve into the forgotten history of magic is this:

We must identify and release the attachments in our lives.

We all have them and they often blind us without our knowing. Attachments are never healthy whether they be to another person, a thing, an idea… attachments are toxic and we need to learn to free ourselves of them. I’m not saying that you should necessarily ban the object of your attachment but cut the tether that binds you to it. Once the object of attachment is free from you, it can either move out of the way or transform completely. Once the attachment is out of your direct line of site, you can find the gold that is waiting for you on the other side.

Attachments Can Cause Illness

For many, attachments have a way of morphing themselves into health issues. Either the person’s higher self recognizes the danger of the attachment and begins to fight it while your ego fights even harder to hold onto the attachment or the attachment becomes an illness that makes you think you need the attachment even more in order to deal with the illness.

Find time to search inside and see what is no longer working for you. Are you wanting to start a new occupation but you have convinced yourself that it isn’t possible? Look around you, do you have negative people in your life who are constantly complaining that they can’t do something or are warning you against change because it is dangerous? Then that may be the attachment that you need to release.

Transformation and Attachments

Sometimes when we go through a catastrophic loss like losing a loved one or losing a house in a fire… we don’t realize that we may have had an unhealthy attachment that finally transformed itself (nothing is ever destroyed or dies, only transformed) in order to leave our focus of attention.

When you find an attachment that you need to release, start slowly and cut the tether with love. No need to burn bridges here, just walk away in a different direction. Soon, paths which were hidden behind the attachment will open up for you.

Clearing the old energies…

Granny’s Kitchen Table

Practical magic is in everything we do. It should be in all the mundane details of life. You will find that you are in a constant state of magic once you have centered yourself and changed your view of life around you. You will find yourself cooking with intention and giving thanks to the food you are preparing. You will experience a calm like never before because you will realize that you are the only one in control of your life. If you don’t like the way things are, find a new perspective and develop your new goal. Drink in every detail of this new goal; how it will feel, what it will look like, etc. Begin to build a ritual with symbols, tools, and words – this will be your workbench upon which you will bring this new goal into the world of form.

My Granny, Grandmother & Granddad, & Mamaw & Papaw all traveled through life practicing practical magic daily. To the non-adepts around them, it just looked like they were practicing some old superstitious act or had some kind of quirky way of handling things. In actuality, they were practicing what their parents and grandparents had taught them. Such as: buying away warts with pennies; cleansing the thresholds and sealing them; keeping bottles of cut thread near a window; Papaw and Granddad kept the brooms in their garages sitting on their handles near the door; keeping small pieces of mirror in the windows; keeping a bowl of salt out in the middle of the kitchen and using pinches of it to toss before and after cooking…. I can go on and on.

Since not everyone had family members who were raised in the ways of the Ancient Arts, I thought it would be nice to have a place like I had when I was young. I would spend countless hours at Granny’s kitchen table or sitting with her weaving clothes hangers or sitting with Grandmother weaving wisteria wreaths and learning about the Craft. Sometimes there would be stories and other times there would be practical magic advice. Always there was love and light.

Passing on the “Knowing”

Some of my posts will cover the basics of the Old Magick. This is my way of sharing my time spent at Granny’s Kitchen Table and it will be where I go to sit with everyone and share what I have knocking around in my brain. I feel this is important so that I can pass on the “knowing” that I have to others who may pass it on as well. I want to make sure that the Ancient Arts will continue. As I add new posts, you can check the category to the right titled “Granny’s Kitchen Table” for more.