Want to start your own coven?

(without starting a whole religion or cult)

A year-ish ago, I and some others started a coven.  Why didn’t I join an established one?  I wanted to be a part of a group where there was no leader, we were all equal and we support each other.  I’m not Wiccan, and I don’t believe in priesthood in my faith, so belonging to a coven that focuses on different ‘degrees’ or attaining a priesthood, when that isn’t my destiny, just doesn’t interest me.  I also don’t have priests in my faith, as we are connected to our deities individually.  We have doctors, shamans, and witches, but no priest.  That presents a problem with wanting to be in a coven because many established covens have degrees and priesthoods.  Also, I don’t follow “do no harm.”  Ethically, we have a stand off. 

So, I reached out to a couple of women that I think are like minded.  We got together and discussed what we wanted based on a list of questions and policies (I’ve included them here).  First, keeping my coven secret, I’m going to tell you what we established, because you can do the same.  Then I’m going to go through a list of questions that you, too, should be asking when you start a coven.

We met weekly, if we are all available, but we do have a minimum.  Also, we aren’t limited to meeting as a whole coven.  Cultivating individual relationships with each other stokes the fire of our chemistry in making magic for each other and with each other.  We use when2meet.com to help us determine our availability since we are in different parts of the world.  We don’t believe that magic is limited by space or time, so we don’t need to be near each other to be connected.  We started with four of us. 

Photo by Sierra Koder on Pexels.com

Our coven:

Leadership: We have a rotating “leader.”  Technically, we don’t have a leader, but in the event that someone has to make decisions, they are it.  The leader is a coven member who is in charge of organizing when we meet, what we are doing, and keeping us going for that month.  Then that coven leader volun-tells the next coven member for the next month as the next leader.  The leader must be a full member, and cannot be in their sponsorship time.

Joining:  New members don’t ask to join.  One of the current members must ‘sponsor’ a new member.  The coven member who is vouching for the new member is responsible for them during our ‘trial period.’  The trial period is to make sure they are a good fit with the group.  The coven must reach a unanimous agreement to allow the new member in.  If a unanimous agreement hasn’t been reached in 6 months, then the coven sponsor must let them know that they aren’t accepted into the coven. 

Number: We chose 9 max.  We want an intimate coven.  We communicate in some way every other day, if not daily.  This isn’t a requirement, but its important to us. We have multiple ways of checking in and being a part of eachother’s lives, even if its just listening.  Someone who is not willing to invest in that kinship isn’t a good fit for us.  With being that tight of a coven, we realistically can’t have more than 9.  Is that a coven you’d want to be a part of?

When we need to vote, all decisions must be unanimous.  But day to day and season to season items, like doing a spell for a fellow member, joining in rituals, etc., have the option of opting out.  Coven members must attend at least one meeting a month.  We are hoping to have a weekend gathering, in person, once a year. 

Banning:  These can get a coven member banned and bound from the coven – trying to control others, trying to make the coven too regimented, trying to place a hierarchy on the members, trying to place a value amount on other members, exploiting the coven or its members, hate speech, sexual advances, and doing spells on other coven members or their friends/family without consent.  Even in writing this, I got consent to do so from our coven before submitting it.

Expectations:  Our coven is a place of intellectual exchange, connecting to aspects of spirituality, talking about things, spirits, and the magical occult without judgment, understanding the magical shared experience, having a community and people to go to when we need help, holding space for weakness and developing strength, and creating a space rich in magical and cultural diversity.

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Here are some things you should be asking yourself if you want to be part of a coven:

How does someone join?

Is there a faith specific to the coven?

How many members?  Is there a limit?

What is your focus or reason for having a coven?

How does someone join?

How does someone leave?

How does someone get pushed out?

What are the rules and who enforces them?

When/where/how will you meet?

Is there an age minimum or how long you’ve practiced?

Are there degrees or levels?

Is there an initiation time or process?

Are there coven rituals or spells that all must know be a part of?

Is there a dress code?

What are the coven “Deal Breakers?”

Some advice:  Hey, if someone doesn’t fit, they don’t fit.  Let it go.  Trying to force the unnatural can cause floods.  Just say goodbye and be well on your way.  If you aren’t secret, someone is going to judge you.  Let it go.  Be willing to help each other out.  Your sister (or if you need a gender word like brother for you men – I have no problem being called a sister) may need your help with materials, spells, amulets, etc.  You job is to help your sisters.  If you aren’t the type to help, covens aren’t for you.  Eventually, you will need that help, too.  Start figuring out a regular schedule.  Keep learning and researching.

If you just want a building to hang out, or to have a place to make friends, a coven probably isn’t for you.  Join a club or look for like-minded people with similar interests on meetup.  A coven is a commitment.  Commitment to yourself and your sisters.

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Your Coven Is Your Church

Upon creation, there is an oath that is needed.  If you do not have an official priest or chaplain in your coven, and you decide, like we did, that all represent a formal minister to one another, then you will need a ritual to take that oath.  Even if you assume that your sisters are your minister, what is said is not admissible into court:

This privilege renders conversations between ministers and counselees non-admissible in a court of law, allowing ministers to offer spiritual guidance without fear they will be called upon to testify regarding the matter. A privileged conversation is defined by the law as any confidential communication given to a minister acting in his or her professional capacity as a spiritual advisor. Let’s look at what each part of that definition means:

  1. Communication. The definition of communication includes any act intended to transmit an idea, whether verbal or nonverbal. This includes speech, letters, phone calls, actions, and even the minister’s observations of a person’s demeanor.
  2. Confidential. There are two views held by state courts regarding confidentiality as it pertains to clergy privilege. In two-thirds of the states, a communication is considered confidential if made privately and not intended for further disclosure except to other persons present for the purpose of the communication. In one-third of the states, privileged communication means a communication made in confidence only to the minister, with no third person present.
  3. To a minister. Communication is not privileged if it’s made to a deacon, board member, secretary, the pastor’s spouse, or any other non-clergy person. Interestingly, more than half of the states define a minister to include a person whom the counselee believes to be a minister. For example, if a counselee has a confidential conversation with a church’s youth pastor who happens not to be a credentialed minister but was believed by the counselee to be a minister, most states would consider the conversation privileged. 

Don’t make this choice lightly.  But if you do, I wish that your sisters treat you well.

Aly is a mediator and trained in Ho’oponopono.  If there are problems within your coven and you need an outside person to help mend, please reach out at alymedium@gmail.com.

Life Balance Wheel and Test

Here is an assessment to see how balanced your life is.

Most assessments will separate spirituality. But did you know the Hawaiians believe that there is no church, no place of worship, because spirituality is woven into every part of your life. If instead, you look at your life as six parts, instead of seven, then spirituality can be added to all of them.

Take the test to see how balanced your life is!

If you would like to make a change in your life, and incorporate your spirituality, through tangible goals, into every part of your life, sign up for 8 weekly sessions to change your life for the better!

Click to check out spiritual counseling and life coaching.

Your Witch Color and Cloak Meanings

Black.  If you are practicing the craft, you probably gravitate (or have been told to gravitate) to the color black.  It’s dark and secretive and mysterious… and flattering… and matches almost everything.

However, once upon a time, if you were chosen to practice the “weird ways” (or threw yourself into it) then you were given a color based on your gifts, future endeavors, or place among the witches.  Your color was a simple way to identify who you were.  Let’s get into what colors (besides black) you might want to wear to signify to others your path among the magically connected.

Cloak/Robe Colors and Their Meaning

Brown:  This is for the beginner.  Your first year (-ish) investing into your craft.  These practitioners don’t have a specialty and may not know how they are to use their abilities in their lives.  Once a destiny is chosen, a specialty, then their color will change.  Even if they are still a novice.

Green: The educator.  Their job among the mages are to learn and gobble as much as possible, bring to practice, and educate.  They may not be skilled in everything they must know and pass on, but their jobs are not to chose favorite types of magic.  Their job is to pass it down.  Share all of the knowledge. They may decided what order or what discipline students are to work with first, but eventually, they are to pass everything down. The knowledge should not die with them. They can also be leaders, healers, warriors, teachers, solitary, practical mentors, diviners, or a mix as well because they need to know all of the areas of practice, but their primary focus is to learn, practice, and regurgitate.

Blue: The spiritual.  They represent harmony and leveled vibrations.  They are one with good and evil, destruction and healing, and are fearless.  They are not warriors, but guides.  They can lead, but their desires are not in power, but in peace and easy-going-ness.  Even the destructive need a place in this world.  They are brave and are willing to help place the predator where they can acquire prey, and the prey where they can reproduce.  Their job is to help the world, and all parts of it (including spiritually) to remain even.  They enjoy water and air magic, generally; although this is not a determining factor.

Purple: An advanced solo practitioner. I like to call them the “practicals.”  They have a specialty and are great and accomplished at it.  They are authors and mentors. They have the knowledge and are seen as an elder.  They are happy to help others and mentor but have no desire to teach the totality of the craft.  They are a specialized expert and practice.  They lead in a way that is an informed participant, but not an organizer.  Generally, they are private, solitary. They may serve on as someone on a group of elders.

White: Representing the heat of the sun, they are a leader.  They make final decisions.  They are well verse in the discovery and acknowledgement of all kinds of magic.  They generally have the ability to see the growth potential in others and help point them to their destiny in how they use their craft.  They are the final say.  There is generally one person who is white at a time.  They move from various other areas of magic to represent the leader. They may have once been a teacher, warrior, spiritual, etc. They must be able to access great power, from within or from without.

Red:  This is for the warrior.  They are a protector.  At times, they may have questionable ethics.  They are reactive and passionate. They may be feared because they are quite good at hexes and taking down the enemy.  The enemy is topic that can be scary to other witches is who the Red decides are enemies.  They are loyal until they are crossed.  They desire a place to belong to protect and war.

Orange or Rust: Healers. They deal with the earth and nourishment.  They enjoy working with plants, herbs, cooking magic, and helping others, but they may be light workers and water healers as well. They are not great at defensive magic. They are meant to fix, mend, heal, and bring people together.  They love certain mundane tasks because of the comfort they bring to others.  They are creative and crafty.  Generally, not demanding, they prefer little stress and strain in their everyday life and would rather just heal others.

Grey: Justice.  They work in balance between right and punishment.  They create order based on the ethics of their coven, faith, or area.  They are talented at binding, tearing, and removing others’ gifts.  They are fair and objective (unlike the passionate red) and have the gift of discernment.  They seek the advice of the Blue and the Red for fairness; but they are non-linear thinkers.  Gifted in prose, they may answer a problem with another problem.  They enjoy puzzles and collaboration.  If they are consulted, the respect is always given to the Grey when a decision is made, even if the White disagrees.  For the Grey is to be unbiased and fair to the letter of their coven’s ethical law.

Black: Solitary mixed practitioner.  They mind their business, learn, and are a part of the magical community without too much emphasis in any area.  They like it all and are happy to not fit anywhere specifically.  Hence, black (holding all color).

Let’s move onto trim:

The trim of the robe can represent how advanced you are in your journey in specific magical uses.  Even a white robe can be new to being in that position.  Time is non-linear, so the witch will not hold themselves to calendar years.  Simply put, once you have your robe, you sew on a trim around the edge of your robe to signify your area of strength.

No trim: Feeling they are still on their journey, unknown of their own advancement and fine with it.  They also may just not what to say what they are skilled at.

Black trim: Accomplished at working with spirits, life, death, and divination.  They understand energy and are quite good at energy based magic, which includes the weather.

Red trim: Fire focused on spells that can invigorate, grow, or cultivate, and destroy.  Great at fire magic.

Blue trim: Water magic, able to influence, dampen, or enhance energies and emotions through lotions, potions, teas, and other fluids.

Green trim: Skilled in growth, agriculture, herbs, poisons, healing, sickness, and the earth.  They plant, and pound, and grow.  They are good at bags, talismans, and healing.

Purple trim: Understanding of people and animals and their place in the world.  They are spiritually connected to above and below, all orders of life.  They may not feel connected to ‘gods’ because they are so connected to the world close to themselves.  Good at air based magic.

Pink:  They are the pleasers.  They bring people, energy, and destinies together.  They use glamor magic.  They can also pull people apart.  Also good at stone work. They can get what they want and help others get what they want. They are graceful and use a lot of will.

Orange: These work with poppets and sympathetic magic.  They are good at seeing and knowing how things are related to each other.

Yellow:  They use astral energy and spells.  They know the zodiac, feel the energies from different times of the day, the different energies of different days, and life’s cycles.

Witches should never assume that the trim on a cloak is another witch’s only skill.  The trim is simply their strongest ability.  A witch should not put more than two on their robe, as it is seen as an exaggeration.  Witches may have multiple robes with a different trim highlighting a different skill.   For instance, I have several green robes, and one blue (when I don’t want to be a teacher and just want to put on my divination hat).  My green robe has black and purple trim, and my blue robe has pink and red. Any witch who feels they need to challenge what another knows are showing their own weakness as an actual novice.  Let others be.

Finally, it’s important to look at ropes that tie.  The colors signified in the rope that ties your robe or wraps around your waist has personal significance to your faith.  Are your deities represented by certain colors?  Does your faith have a certain symbol or color associated.  This is not to help others.  This is for you.  If others recognize the significance, you’ve found a sister in the craft, but your rope is your message to you and your faith, alone.  In my tradition, this rope is buried or burned with you when you die.  Others may gift them on to be used on ancestral altars.  And still others burn, bury, or give to nature in ceremony.  Allowing for the connection to their living life to be untied. 

This research as been compiled from various European, African, American, and Asian folk religions who have color significance in their practice.  I find it beautiful how many (cross-culturally), would be identified by other witches as to how they practice based on their cloak. 

I hope you find color in your life.  Get a cloak, and own your identity as a witch.

What Makes a REAL Witch

I hate this.

I hate this set of rules that some pagans put on others. These rules and sets of judgements in order for someone to call themselves a practitioner of the craft is oppressive.

I recently read “a real witch harms none.” A real witch “acknowledges karma.” A real witch owns this tool or that star.

Let me tell you something: All of those statements are wrong.

First of all: Karma belongs to Asian religions, and unless you are of an Asian faith blend or background, using one idea from Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, or Taoism and not others areas of that religion (and have no cultural or immersive experience) is *clears throat* CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.

I know, you don’t want to hear that. I am aware that you feel the use of karma as a part of every day social and societal norms of the ‘western world’ because karma is a completely integrated concept. This integration does not excuse that it is part of another culture and is used to benefit or in spite of other cultures. If you don’t have other aspects of these eastern religions fully integrated into your work as well, then karma should not be in your ethical arsenal. “beware of your karma” is a racially oppressive and culturally offensive comment. Back off, Betsy, and check yourself.

Also, these rules stating that witches don’t harm people is incorrect. All people harm people. Some of us try not to, and some of us try to. Harm is not where we draw the line for being a witch. It is however for Wiccans. ALL WITCHES ARE NOT WICCAN. So, you Wiccans out there: STOP BEING MISSIONARIES AND TRYING TO FORCE OTHERS INTO YOUR WAYS. That is what the Christians did starting in 70AD. Stop it. You can do you. But let other pagans do themselves.

Witch is a much broader term to specifically associate with NATURE and the energies of this world. All of the energies, even the chaotic ones.

Nature harms

Nature creates life

Nature takes life away

Nature has spirit

Nature has energy

Nature has predators

Nature has prey

Nature can nurture, torture, disease, and cure.

alluring young woman preparing potion against black background
Photo by murat esibatir on Pexels.com

The witch does these things, too. Even if you elect not to, having a complete understanding (or working towards it, because who ever understands ALL parts of nature?) means you are a witch.

Witches have the ability to do all of these things (or, again, a student of nature and its magical secrets and counterparts), also because if we ARE really one with nature. That doesn’t mean we sit outside and make love under the moon (at least not me because I don’t like to get dirty or get bit by bugs). “One with” just means moving with nature, moving with people, moving with animals and weather, and understanding (or trying to understand) the ways nature wants to move.

We are those who grow and can give disease.  We can mend and twist but we can rest and heal.  We have choices. Stop telling people they are not witches because they don’t fit YOUR belief system or YOUR ethics. Nature and spirit.

And all the chaos and order that nature is.

We love trees because their beauty is mathematically a part of chaos.  We love butterflies because their beauty is mathematically a part of order.  
We also fear what is organized and what is chaotic as well. To say that a witch harms none means that you live in a bubble of lies. Just being here harms something. Do you create to give back? Well, by attacking someone else *clears throat again* YOU ARE HARMING THEM! 

Therefore, those who go out of their way to attack other pagans to scold them about ‘harm,’ well, you are harming another practitioner of the craft with your bullying and your judgement, and therefore is also a hypocrite. Mind your own business and stick to your relationship with nature. Leave my babies witches alone.

Chaos, order, creation, and destruction.  Denying the harmful parts of life means denying being a witch. This is me coming for you. Back down and let people be.

Oh, and one more thing:

And don’t bully others based on what they don’t know, yet. We are all on the path to discovery, Betsy. Back down and let people continue to learn and evolve.

Clairsentience, What is it?

Feeling Life and Psychic Definitions of Empathy

Like a prima ballerina
I tip toe, tip toe around you constantly
I hear the water running
Will it wash your tears or leak through the ceiling?
Make my way up a spiral staircase
Hope to God you had a good day

When you’re furious
When you start to freeze
When you can’t be touched
I feel everything
And when you despair
When you cannot breathe
When you wouldn’t dare
I feel everything
When you’re in ecstasy
But you’re not with me
I feel everything

Idina Menzel is singing my theme song. I woke up this morning with another hand print on my chest. It’s bigger than mine and the thumb angle demonstrates that it couldn’t be from my own hand, unless I can dislocate my wrist, leave my hand in one place long enough to make an impression, and put it back, all while being unconscious. Since we moved into our new house, it’s actually pretty rare that this happens. We have been here six years, and the most common physical phenomenon that I have is my skin getting flushed or having random scratches down my back or thighs (that are painless and last only an hour or so before disappearing).

What is clairsentience? I feel things. I’m an extreme case, but I figured I would start a series of blog posts about the different psychic abilities and what they are actually like. Instead of talking in theory from people who don’t experience them, or have copied what other people have said since the 1930s, we will talk from a very real point of view. Starting with my sensitivities, let’s begin a series of posts describing exactly what these abilities are like. When we get to the abilities that are not like mine, I will consult students who do experience them.

An Empath is a wash of two areas. An empath is a clean mix of claircognizance and clairsentience, and then sticking with mostly those two. Claircognizance is “knowing things” when there is no experience or access to that knowledge by tangible means. Clairsentience is “feeling and experiencing things” with no access by tangible means. An empath is someone who understands what someone is going through, has the divine ability to say the right things, is generally someone people dump their emotions on, and are taken advantage of for their overly-sensitive ability to nurture. To be clear, empaths UNDERSTAND the EMOTIONAL state of others.

The gift of Clairsentience is even more psychic in nature. Clairsentients can feel what other people are feeling and take this into their body. They can also receive information about the person’s sense of self and why it is there. A clairsentient is wrongly defined as an empath. Instead of empathizing and understanding other people’s emotions, we quite literally experience them. When I’m connected to someone, I can feel their grief, confusion, fear, deceit, motivation, lethargy, and much more. I also feel the physical anomalies of a person’s state. What the heck does that mean? I feel what others feel that are not their every day to day feeling. Here are some examples.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I was a performing arts teacher. When I coach people in singing, I can feel where their tongue is in their mouth, or how they’re using their soft palate, or where their pharynx is, and give instruction to help correct those things. In dance, I can feel which muscle they are (or are not) using in order to execute a movement. I can even feel if they are dehydrated, iron deficient, having difficulty with allergies, or lacking sleep. It’s like a layer of clothing on my own body pulling, activating, relaxing, or tensing. My mouth goes dry when I’m around other sensitives. My skin telegraphs a rash when a group of people are emotionally flushed, frustrated, or rash. And in extreme connections, stigmata.

Stigmata is generally associated with devout Roman Catholics, exorcism, and the Holy Communion. I am not, however, any form of Christian. Stigmata is the phenomena of spontaneous bloody wounds that mysteriously open up. Mine are relatively small. A random cut in the same place that someone else is also cut. There are specific things that must be in alignment in order to for this to happen. I have to be genuinely connected psychically to the person as a clairsentient . We must exchange a large flow of natural energy. Most people are naturally blocked as vulnerability of any sort is scary. So the person I’m connected to must not have that natural block. I have to be in a state of ‘openness,’ (in other words, I’m reading them). Then they get cut. As I’ve said, clairsentients will demonstrate physical replications of other people from a psychic connection, as well as emotional, spiritual, and even sexual. In other words, stigmata is rare, in and of itself, and those of us who have the misfortune to sometimes have it, we also experience it few and far between. They may be been stigmatic their whole life and not known it. “How did I cut myself? Where did that come from? Oh, well, I’m such a klutz. HAHA. I don’t even know how I hurt myself. haha.”

Clairsentience can be confused with emotional disorders, however. Having a wide range of unexplained emotions can be a chemical imbalance. The difference is this: You are feeling another person’s emotions! Make sure that if you are not actually connected to another person and are feeling a range of emotions without causation, to speak to a health professional.

Clairsentient Struggles:

Not knowing what your emotions are vs the emotions of others’. I struggled with this greatly as a kid. My mother did her best to help by placing me on Sam-E, St. John’s Wart, Kava, Evening Primrose, Omega-3s, vitamin Bs, and the like. For years, this was helpful to dampen the confusion of emotion, along with citrus aroma therapy. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I stopped taking these and was able to better identify the self. I think this was easier in my early twenties because the synapses in our brains to understand time, novelty, and self aren’t finished forming until about 24, anyway. So how do we help other kids with this dilemma when they don’t have those synapses formed and they are struggling with differentiating between their own emotions and the input from other people? They feel other kids’ depression and so we think they are depressed. They then feel another person’s ecstasy or joy and we think they are manic. Does the child have bi-polar or are they clairsentient?

The answer only lies with exact science. They must be connected psychically, even by accident or without their care yet (as kids have a difficult time controlling what they are connected to or reading), to someone who is demonstrating the same response. Also, it is best that they are not aware of the other person (put them in separate rooms). Otherwise, there may be another psychological disorder in the clusterB family, attempting to mimic the other person. Once you have repeated evidence of this, you can pretty much conclude clairsentience. Trial and error. Collect the data. And collect lots of data.

Once you’ve determined that you’re clairsentient and without psychological obstacles, there are some things you should know: You’ll have difficulty with war, major tragedy (even if you don’t see it or know its happening), group hatred, and others’ loneliness. When the war on race happened in 2020 with the country wide riots in the United States, I was devastated for weeks.

Watch out for other people’s loneliness. I will say loneliness is the worst feeling to feel from another person. It’s at the top worst feeling connections. I don’t like feeling other people’s hunger because I find it confusing. I genuinely have a difficult time differentiating between mine and if I’m feeling someone else’s.

Clairsentients can increase their abilities in order to differentiate between themselves and others, making them hyper aware of who they are and who they aren’t. They’ll be reactive to people telling them how they are feeling or who they are or what they think, as they know solidly these things about themselves. We don’t appreciate anyone defining us since we must constantly look at our definitions of self in order to have peace of mind.

Another thing: they can feel plants get cut down and the screams of trees in agony. They can be distracted by the heightened hormones of teenagers or other heightened emotional responses. They can find people because they understand energetic signatures (after they’ve been connected to them). Do all clairsentients do all these things? No. But they are all in the family of ‘experiencing.’

Forever consciousness puts it in a lovely way: “In fact, if you are able to detect “energy” in a space, even when no one is around, or detect energy from a person even when they are not displaying emotions, it is most likely that you are clarisentient and not just empathic. 

These sensations may manifest as:

  • Feeling what another person is feeling even if they are not displaying emotions
  • Feeling heavy when you walk into a room or meet someone
  • Feeling anxiety for no reason when in a space or around a person
  • Sensing when those around you have pent up emotions
  • Experiencing a sudden change in mood
  • Sensing the presence of another being before you see them
  • Feeling uncomfortable in crowded spaces
  • Feeling pressure around your head or a headachey feeling

Once Empaths and Clairsentients alike have worked out how to manage their gifts and protect their energy from negative experiences, they can truly achieve a lot.

They need lots of sleep. They need lots of self-care. They need time with themselves away from others to unplug and clean the channel. Even then, being alone may not be enough. Clairsentients who are also mediums feel spirits, guides, and other non-corporal entities as well. This takes extra care and protection around the home for a safe space to rejuvenate (speaking form experience).

My husband calls me a ‘sensor.’ Someone you can quite literally see “a change in” from an outside element. It can be great because you’re moved to help people have a sense of belonging since you understand exactly what they feel. It can be terrifying because you feel things that might be ugly, terrifying, or off of your ethical compass and you don’t know what to do about it.

An offshoot of clairsentience if clairtangence, which will be my next post on the “CLAIRS.”

I’m happy to give people peace of mind. I’m happy with this gift (among my others), and how they shape my experience of the world around me. Although I am also claircognizant, my blend does not make me strictly an empath. As Idina Menzel sings in her solo album, “I Feel Everything:”

What Spirits Live Beyond?

Glendower. – I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur. – Why, so can I; or so can any man:

But will they come when you do call for them ?

(1 Henry IV, 3.1)

There is no secret that the Christian church has put all the spirits that reside beyond the veil fit into two categories: evil and holy. But what if there is more of a sliding scale? What if there are more? Well, there are. So here is a pretty comprehensive list collected for you.

Ghost: A human who has died who has not passed on to the veil. They have a tendency to be in a trance and difficult to talk to the living. They need to pass on to the other side of the veil, and with help of a medium who is also a spiritual guide, they can do this.

Spirit: Well, this is used in several ways. 1) A human who has died and has passed through the veil. 2) The all encompassing word for everything spiritual that touches us.

Shadowperson: You’re only scared because you don’t know what they are or why they are there. There are a couple of theories. One is that they are of another dimension or time that has overlapped (quantum woolly masters, anyone?). Either way, you may be a shadowperson to them as well! Another is that it’s a non-corporal critter that is just curious. They don’t want to harm you, and any feelings of that you’ve just put on yourself. It’s literally in your head.

Djinn: A non-corporal critter that is created neither good nor evil. They are their own species and generally create relationships with people, items, or places, for which they aim to please. This urge to please their attachment then nudges them towards ethical or unethical (whatever that means).

Fetch: A non-corporal entity made from the energy of a human (yep) and is tethered to a body made out of natural materials.

Servitor: A non-corporal entity made from the energy of a human(again, yes) and is not tethered to anyone or anything. These are usually made out of the rage or trauma of a person and then create havoc. They can be created with great focus, but need a lot of energy to create. These are mistaken for as demons. They are actually a version of psychic attack that take an energetic form and purpose. They can cause physical harm.

Toyol: Un-dead infant spirit of South East Asia. They lives inside items and are attached to those items by a shaman who has taken the infant spirit from the veil and placed it in an object instead. They steal things but are very much like a cranky child and hard to keep happy.

Psychopomp (Collectors): Escort creatures (spirits) that recently died. They are wispy and generally hide in shadows. They are black and hooded and have no face. Because of pop-culture and horror movies, we are taught to be afraid of them. They don’t “bring death” nor are they a bad omen. You’re alive and seeing them? They aren’t looking for you. They are to collect the dead spirits, or other entities that belong on the other side of the veil and bring them back. It’s cool that you’ve seen one, but not dangerous for you at all. In fact, mediums like myself call on them to help bring stubborn ghosts and spirits back to the other side.

Poltergeist: A ghost, or person who has died and not passed to the veil, where the spirit has mutated at death because of rage, hate, vengeance. These entities mutate from human form into lights and tendrils of currents and energy, and cause physical danger to people because of the ability to move objects. Their psychic energy is so intense that these guys have telekinesis and can mess with the frequencies of radios and electric currents.

Obake: These ghosts, or person who has died on who HAS NOT passed on to the veil, where the spirit has mutated at death because of sadness, woe, and depression. These entities mutate from human form into small black fuzz and soot. They are dangerous to humans as their lethargy and weight is contagious, quite literally covering them in heaviness of soot and despair.

Spirit Guide: Generally a humanoid spirit companion, however that isn’t necessarily the case, as an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual guardian. Some ancestor spirits chose to become guides instead of reincarnating. Spirit guides come in many forms. Some from nature (like tree spirits, or from the waterfall), some from ancestors, some from the guardian plane, animal guides or totems, aumakua, and some from other categories of the spiritual. This is more of a job title than a genus.

Bogart: This is a boogeyman. It has been around FOREVER in every place around the world! They will put their clammy hands on your face while you sleep, they are cause dogs to be lame, they say uncouth things, ugly, bestial attributes, and give bad dreams. The good news is this: They have no body and they just want to move into your house and cause havoc.  They are hard to get rid of and like to attach to people, by harassing them.  They pretend to be demons because they know you are afraid. They don’t want to be ‘in’ you or take over your soul, but they’ll say it to upset you.  Their purpose is to feed off of ectoplasmic fear (NOM NOM).  Creating a happy place and ignoring them will make them go elsewhere, just stay strong! Other names: Sack man, Boogeyman, El coco, a cucca, babua, butzeman (check out Wikipedia!)

Demon: ½ human, ½ beast, but upright. Generally appear to have too many fingers or none, no bones or skin, have a number of heads, talons, wings, hooves. They like homes, are aggressive, and like chaos, and messy places. They have no body and wish to use a living creature as a shell, but will settle, in some cases, to reside in an object that has a lot of living emotional energy attached to it. They will only (and I mean ONLY) seek those who have unbalanced lives, holes in their soul, and live as a mess. Remember, if a person is complete, then the house is full. Like a hermit crab, it needs a place that isn’t totally occupied. Then it will do what it can to live in it. Extraction is painful for both the host and the demon.

Dybbuk: Like a demon, they are a possessing or parasitic spirit. They leave their host body once its goal is accomplished (whatever that is). Each dybbuk may have a unique ‘goal.’ Learning this helps with extraction, otherwise, both may die in the process.

Incubus & Succubus: An incubus is a bogart in male form who, according to mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleeping women in order to engage in sexual activity with them. Its female counterpart is a succubus. Salacious tales of incubi and succubi have been told for many centuries in traditional societies. Some traditions hold that repeated sexual activity with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, mental state, or even death.

Angel: Humanoid with bird wings. It’s a human messenger. Angels engage in destroying creatures unlike themselves by their definition, very similar to people in the idea of ‘justice.’

Garuda: Bird-kite-man of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain.  Protector and can go swiftly anywhere. This could be another culture’s angel. Same critter, different name.

Kinnara: Hindu. Plays music. Part human, horse, bird and watches over humans. This could also be another culture’s angel. Same critter, different name.

Mothman: Looks like a shadowperson with large black wings, red eyes, humanoid. They are doom deliverer (bad stuff is coming. Our 2020 spirit animal?). It’s not there to harm you, directly. Its more of a foreshadowing.


Pukwudgie: Like a goblin but has no body (maybe its actually a boggart?).  Best left alone.  If annoyed, lures people to death or creates fires and likes to put sand in people’s eyes.

Kami: Japanese elements of landscape, forces of nature, as well as beings that express a singular expression.

Tengu: Japanese, human form, white hair, red face, Bird-like, lives in mountain peaks, and is a spirit of the arrogant dead. They tempt weak people away from Buddha with false images, seductions, and easy-workless life. They are basically a nasty critter that is faking being an angel. Tempter. Remember, real angels don’t tempt or make promises.

Vodyanoi: Russian water demon and never leaves where he is.  It comes out when a body is ready for burial if drowned where is home is. That’s pretty specific, so not a lot to worry about.

Yuki-Onna: Japanese irresistible woman in all white, pale, and has cold breath. She eats souls and they freeze to death… through the mouth.

Kishi: An Angola attractive man. He has a second face hidden behind long hair. He also eats people.

Gwyllion: She is an old woman that lives in the mountains. She also eats lost humans

Akvan: Persian demon of unlimited powers and strength.  It has fangs, horns, appears to wear a skirt. It spread lies and enjoys destruction, but does the exact opposite of what it’s asked. Might be another name for a Dybbuk.

Gamayun: Bird with woman’s face that spreads divine knowledge & prophecies.

Kalavinka: Asian creature with a human head, bird torso, blowing tail, sings about the divine words of the Dharma.

Later we will talk about Water, Land, Fire, and Air elementals.

I hope you enjoyed this!

9 Self Care Ideas That Don’t Obscure Your Life

Right now, we are in the middle of the global pandemic of Covid-19, and during it, people are on high alert. Maybe its because of the push to go into public areas like schools and voting areas, maybe its the continued denial of racial inequality, maybe its the differing opinion of how sensitive people should be to each other’s comforts, maybe its the election, and maybe its the harder hours we are working now that we are home. In any and all cases, there is need now, more than ever, for self care and spiritual development as a carved-out priority into our week.

However, living in America, we are an ‘all or nothing’ culture, and many think that self-care means to devote an entire day or sign up for a huge commitment in order to check that box because, “I couldn’t possibly remember to do it regularly if I didn’t have a big commitment looming over me.” Looming? Really? That’s how we are going to get you to do regular kindness to yourself? By having something looming? That doesn’t sound very care-ing to me. This is self-care. Not self-obligate.

Photo by Thiu1ec1u Hou00e0ng Phu01b0u1edbc on Pexels.com

It’s time to readjust and do self-care in small, manageable doses. Here are a few:

  1. Dump – I have notebooks nearby everywhere, and in the event that I’m feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to just dump. Doing a brain dump is a great way to drop all of those thoughts you’ve been holding and to look at them later. If you feel you don’t have the capacity to hold the grocery list, the kid’s schedules, your spiritual needs, your work, and remembering to add that tv show to your queue, then just have a notebook nearby. Have a few. One by the bed, one by the computer, one in the kitchen (this one gets destroyed, btw), or one in the bathroom. This way you don’t have the stress of ‘remembering,’ because you put in in one of those three places (and three places is a lot easier to find something than the chasms of your brain).
  2. Brag – Take some time to boast about your accomplishments. The best way? Throwback and flashbacks. People are less likely to judge about you boosting your ego and getting that serotonin if its attached to a social media craze. Don’t be annoying, but do be proud. Your accomplishments may end up inspiring someone else!
  3. Dance Breaks – When I worked as a National Guard contractor, we used to do this mid-day: We would all be working on our reports and managing our projects and then someone would say, “Dance Break!” and we’d put on a Whitney Houston song and move for a few minutes. Even if it’s just to move around and get out of your seat. Why not do this at home? You don’t even have to dance, just get up. Dance Break!
  4. Change Your Environment – I do this often. I will pick up what I’m doing and move to a different place, or change my desk look, or even rearrange the entire room. The hour I spend helps organize my space, my mind, and its meditative. Then, you get a new perspective on your working space. I highly recommend changing your environment, even over spa-face-masks as the perfect self-care idea. You can even just get up and sit somewhere else, even on the floor!
  5. Ditch the Brave, But Manage Your Emotions – This one is tricky. You can’t go around dumping how you feel about everything on everyone. It’s rude. But it’s unhealthy to hide all of your feelings and not express when others do you harm. Keep your emotions to yourself. BUT you also don’t have to maintain a strong and stoic face either. You’re allowed to feel your feelings. You’re just not allowed to poor them onto someone else. Give yourself a time-out when you’re upset. Explain that you are upset and then go deal with it. And during your time-out, try a dance break, change your environment, or go for a mini walk around the house.
  6. Plant Love – Go water your plant. Taking care of something gives us a boost. I’ve now added two lovely plants, a fountain, and some statues to my work area, and I couldn’t be happier. We spend 80 percent of our time in doors. Nature will nurture you if you nurture nature. Some studies show that taking care of plants lowers your blood pressure and boosts your mood. Again, start with two, not a whole arboretum.
  7. Mindful – I loathe the word, ‘meditate.’ I do. And I’m in the business of spiritually coaching people. But I don’t mind taking out a blanket, making a small picnic of cheese and meats, putting on some Enya or the soundtrack to Selkie, and just being mindful. I may even do some mindful focus grounding, like feeling my body rooting into the ground, or feeling what the blanket is like under my skin. Pay attention to the sensations in your body. Start at your connection to the ground and move up to your head. What is open? What is tense? It takes 30 minutes if you include lunch, and what a splendid way to spend your lunch break. A SPIRITUAL PICNIC!
  8. Meals Outside or By The Fireplace – Winter is coming, and if you can’t get outside because you are a dainty flower afraid of the cold (like me), you can also spend your meal by the fireplace. Can’t do that? Try a fireplace video/screen saver and just change your computer to that for a while. You can even do this at breakfast time BEFORE work!
  9. Digitized Theater and Dance – I’m always going to recommend escaping your reality for a bit, but instead of Netflix, try following a company that is still creating content of live performances in dance, theater, and voice but in digitized format for your enjoyment. Need one recommended? I recommend Druid Theater Arts because they have two dance companies and two theater companies and they focus on holistic cultural consciousness in their art and community. They’ve transitioned to fully online in their education programs and performance companies and don’t plan on changing back. They are small, so they are slow to get their old material online for rental, but they are in production right now for three different digitized shows! www.druidtheater.com Escape your reality and into another is a great way to wind down at the end of your day, and you can bring the arts into your own home.

Graveyard dirt and where to get it

Please don’t steal from someone’s house.

Please don’t go to the closest cemetery and offer something and then take their home, a magical ingredient needed for so many things.

Truth is, spirits can be mad, just like people, and can be vengeful. They will want justice for taking part of their place of peace. Imagine someone taking from your house. How would you feel about that? Angry? Vulnerable? Vengeful? Well, now imagine if you had the flexibility and fluidity of being spirit.

A student of mine had a recent problem. He did leave offerings both at the gate and at the plot of dirt of a cemetery and everything seemed find. He left whiskey, candy, coins, and tobaccoat a Jewish cemetery. He went home and had been having minor inconveniences left and right even small scratches on his nose.

“Should I give back the dirt or toss it out, I don’t think these people like me cause I’m not one of them,” he said.

I told him to give to back. My thoughts are that he probably left the wrong offerings. Jewish people don’t leave anything that decomposes as grave offerings. So no food, no flowers or other plant matter. Also, the probably would prefer to not be used and then dismissed.

What annoys me is that my student had asked a lot of experienced witches to make sure he did all the right steps, who all told him that if he did not have permission to take the dirt the spirits would have made it abundantly clear to him in that very moment and they didn’t. He even kneeled down and asked. But spirit isn’t a parlor trick. They’re at rest. A relationship must be cultivated and understood between both parties, and patience.

One of my lovely students wrote to him: “I think unfortunately people in a lot of witch groups have an unfortunate tendency to assume that they will be stopped if they did something wrong. But that’s honestly just assuming that there’s far more order in our world than there is. I think it’s another form of the good things happen to good people fallacy. Some people are just jerks. Some spirits are just jerks. You unfortunately got a jerk. I personally would return the grave dirt and take back the offerings the spirit didn’t like, apologize, and not work with that one in particular any further. There’s a Japanese tradition to rub sea salt on your back before leaving an area where there are angry spirits so the spirit doesn’t follow you any further. I would do that as well.”

Here is the reality about life and getting what we need. We shouldn’t just take. And we must be patient when we ask, because the answer can be no, and we must respect that. But we must be patient. Most of all, it is audacious to assume the answer would be yes from a singular chance meeting. Walk up to a stone’s house and ask for a chair in exchange for a gift. This request to take of their land is just as audacious. But if your nice came to your home with a gift in exchange for a chair that she needs, for which will better her life? Well, she will probably get her chair.

Even spirits don’t have to like us, right?

I don’t necessarily like every person I come across.

Think about the living. We have our own prejudices and our own preferences when it comes to people. So… simply go to a different ‘club.’ We don’t belong in every circle and we don’t make friends everywhere we go. This cemetery is just not for you.

Also, the signs from spirit aren’t necessarily shown right away. AND build the relationship with the rested before taking the very first time. In some cases, you may not be allowed to take from a site.

In Hawaii, all of the land is a burial. You can NEVER take lava rock as it is part of Pele’s body, life, and the resting place of her mortal body. Many have taken the land, wanting a token or a souvenir of their vacation, but this little rock is part of her resting place, her home, and her body. Wouldn’t you be upset if someone took one of your knuckles?

The great Goddess Pele will literally kill you slowly with bad luck and misfortune until you’re hit by a bus or something. She is a God, which the spirits at rest are generally, not; however, spirits have the ability to do the some major damage, especially in a group.

Cemeteries are like book clubs… not all of them are welcoming. Find a different cemetery. Maybe one that speaks to you culturally. Maybe one that just feel comforting. One that you can feel the peace. You are taking part of someone’s home, so shouldn’t you feel welcome in their home, too? Trial and error. Return the dirt, leave the gifts as a “thanks for seeing me anyway” and move on to another book club.

Why spells don’t work

There are many reasons why spells don’t work. Let’s look at all of them.

  1. Self-care is bad
    • If you aren’t taking care of who you are, the energy you put out will be weak. A hammer needs energy to put in a nail. If you are weak, your ability to use the hammer is weak. Same with spells, but regarding energy. If you don’t take care of yourself, you are quite frankly ineffective.
  2. Life Balance is bad – these need to be close to even:
    1. Spiritual life and relationship
      • Your authentic relationship to your faith. Witchcraft is use of supernatural and preternatural. You need faith. Authentic faith.
    2. Social and Family relationships
      • We are social creatures. Build your family and friends strong.
    3. Career & Education aspirations
      • If you are unhappy with how your aspirations are being met, you need to change. You spend most of your life feeding this energy, make sure you aren’t feeding a ‘lemon.’
    4. Money & Personal Finances
      • Need money? Change your life. Happy with how things are going? Then you’re all set.
    5. Health, Recreation, and Leisure
      • Don’t have time to take care of yourself (see #1). Time to make space so you can have your leisure and recreation.
    6. Your home and routines
      • Are you taking care of your home. Like where and how you live? This is important as it is where your energy ebbs and flows.
    7. Relationship with your community and sense of belonging
      • Everyone needs to feel accepted and valued. If your community isn’t doing that, go searching for one that will.
    8. Mental & Emotional health
      • Are you taking care of your mental and emotional health? Are you using creativity? Are you socializing? Are you going to therapy?
  3. The kinds of spells you are doing are not in your talents
    • Many spell books are written from a practitioner. That practitioner has a specific set of beliefs (and if you don’t have the same, they may not work) and talents (and if you don’t have those talents, they may not work). Check your own talents here.
  4. Copies from a faith of which you do not genuinely believe
    • Same notes as above. If you are reading from Aleister Crowley, and don’t believe in the Christian or Jewish pantheon, THESE WILL NOT WORK RIGHT!
  5. Intention is not clear or not strong – you’re just playing with ingredients
    • Without a focus of energy and intention, you are not going to get anything to work. Hammer: If you wave a hammer willy nilly at a nail hoping it will just work, well, it won’t. You have to intend to nail the nail (or hammer the nail?).
  6. Your ingredients are weak
    • Quality matters. A nail made of tin will do a worse job of holding up a heavy picture than a nail made of iron.
  7. How you put your ingredients together are not skilled
    • Without practicing, skill does not develop. Don’t be impatient. Be patient and dedicated to practice until you succeed.
  8. There was no actual ‘cast’ to send the spell or finish it
    • Same spells leave out the part that makes them finish the spell. You need to cast the spell. Just mixing isn’t necessarily enough (depends on the spell). How do you seal the deal?
  9. Unrealistic expectations
    • If it can’t be explained, it can’t happen. But you can explain a lot. You probably can’t turn into a horse through explanation, though.
  10. Asking for too much without the proper exchange
    • Magic need exchange. Energy, ingredients, devotion… Something. Just be willing to do what you need fully. There is no cheating. Everything comes at a cost.
  11. Not Enough Effort (no follow through, and not energetically helping your spell to continue working)
    • Lazy begets lazy results. It’s that simple.
  12. Not enough time to manifest
    • Unless you can bend time (some can), you need to allow for the spell to take place.
  13. Not the way you wanted, but you did get what you asked for.
    • You probably should have been more specific. Just be careful what you ask for.
  14. You aren’t focused
    • If you aren’t paying attention to hammering the nail, you could hurt yourself or damage the wall. Focus.
  15. Not devoting to your deity/ not paying spirits/ not recharging the working
    • If you expect entities of deities to help, you need to cultivate relationships. More than you would with people. Authentic relationships. And if you say you are going to do something, you best do it.

 (and always go back to 2-1)

OK. Happy casting.

If you need help with casting, you can book time with Aly directly to help you figure out what went wrong or how to improve your spell work.

Reasons You Should Become A Shaman

Some people drawn to witchcraft or the hidden faiths are drawn because they want change or control over their life. Some because they feel they have never felt at peace with the faith they were handed when they were impressionable. Some are looking for a way to explain the hideous way the world has treated them. This article is for those last ones.

In almost every faith, there are shamans. Google will tell you that shamans are: “a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of good and evil spirits, especially among some peoples of northern Asia and North America. Typically such people enter a trance state during a ritual, and practice divination and healing.”

However, you’ll find them in Polynesia, in Africa, and in Europe, just under different names. What do they all have in common? They are doctors and nurses, just in the reality of their patient for which is unseen. They heal your soul through various means. Each practitioner will have their own beliefs and techniques to accomplish the same thing, and that is to repair, either through astral projection and soul retrieval, or in narrative repair, or even shadow work.

I have a list of items that if you meet, you should consider looking into shamanism, as it is practiced within your faith. In my faith, we are commonly called witchdoctors. We are doctors of a spiritual and emotional operation. We heal through song, dance, motivating, planning, talking, magical rituals, and trance. What the world could use right now, is more of us. So, let’s see if you’re a good fit.

You might want to consider being a shaman/witchdoctor if:

  • You have a family of ‘gifted’ people, and feel you can connect to others deeply and even connect to spirit
  • Were you born with a physical abnormality?
  • They say that people of African decent or red hair have the ability to contact the dead more than other races and genes, but I don’t have any evidence to back this up.
  • Physical impairments
  • Were you struck by lighting?
  • Surviving a life-threatening experience
  • Have an illness with unrecognizable symptoms, which doctors can’t comprehend – its a strong sign of spiritual illness and a calling to shamanism
  • Coming back from an apparent death
  • Suffering from chronic or incurable pain
  • An uncanny closeness to nature
  • Disliking large gatherings because you’re introverted, and really enjoy spending time with yourself (not alone), despite having a social life. Shamans are travelers to other dimensions, even traveling to the dimension of the person you are talking to by relating and feeling what their experience is, takes much study alone first
  • Deja vu,
  • Seeing in people what they don’t see in themselves, or ways to heal people or situations
  • Are you part of the LGBTQ+ community? Those who are connected to both genders are seen as having a higher connection to humanity and its spirit.
  • Seeing the same animal or teacher in your drams
  • Having vivid dreams
  • Feeling shifts when large people change in our world, either for good or for bad
  • Having feelings of a spiritual calling, but not feeling that the church is the way for you
  • Going through many traumatic experiences prepares you to help others with theirs.

If you have quite a few of these, it may be time to seek a teacher and start your training to becoming a Shaman.

Is there stigma? Sure. I’ve only recently gone public with my practice, but know this deep down: you are helping people. You are meeting your destiny.

You are helping people.

you are helping people

You are helping people.

Remember that you can always start your training with me at http://www.alycardinalli.com. I, like many other shamans, am very introverted, so I do all of my work remotely, working with students and clients through video chat.

And I always recommend that you read read read. Some of my favorite books are: “Animal Speak”, “Shamanic Journeying”, “Soul Retrieval”, “The Way of the Shaman”, and of course I have more if you exhaust this. Feel free to reach out if you would like to being your own healer journey. Let’s make more healers accessible to the world.