My Salem Massachusetts 2 Day Trip Itinerary

So in the last week of June my partner and I will be going on a 10 day vacation and one of our stops is going to be 2 days in Salem. So I thought it would be fun if today I kind of post our itinerary and then the Wednesday after our trip I make a big post about what exactly we did, what we thought of each thing and then some pictures!

Also key to note that any prices I provide are in USD.

Day 1:

So day one will be spent absorbing all the knowledge I can get.

  • First stop will be the Salem witch museum.
    • For your knowledge the pricing is $13 for an adult, $11.50 for seniors, and $10 for kids 6-14. Presumably kids 5 and under are free.
  • Salem witch trials memorial is the second stop
    • I read online that one should do the museum first (as we plan to) to have more context. As long as you aren’t doing a tour this is free to my knowledge.
  • Charter st cemetery is third on the list
    • This cemetery is right beside the Salem witch trials memorial so it is a good spot to head to right after there
    • I would assume it is free as long as it isn’t a guided tour
  • The Howard st cemetery
    • This is said to be the cemetery that Giles Corey was pressed to death
    • And as the rest of the places of rest should be free

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Day 2:

Most of this day will be just appreciating the city for what it is a city. We’ll go and check out local stores and just see other none witchy sites. However if the day end up drawing out a bit I have a couple places we could go to check out.

  • The Witch House
  • Witch History Museum
    • I found the price at one point but can’t seem to find it again
    • I read that this museum focuses more on witchcraft rather than the trials.

One thing that we will be doing later on in the evening is going on a walking tour. The tour we are going to go on is by hocus pocus tours. I’ll leave a link here if you want to know more about it. However if you just want to know the price it is Adults: $17, Seniors (65 & up): $15, Military Service Members: $15, Students: $15, Children (Ages 5-12): $10. Prices change a bit in October.

So that is all for today’s post. Make sure you stay tuned so you can hear about how the trip went and what I think of the various locations. Have you been to Salem? Let me know if you think there’s place I should visit that I haven’t mentioned, along with any other thoughts or questions you may have. Make sure you follow me here and on twitter so you get notifications when I post and when I upload videos to youtube. Until next time, Blessed Be!

 

 

Weekly Tarot Series: Grief Tarot Spread

Hi everyone, if you’ve read last weeks post you’ll know that I’ve been having a very hard month or two. If you follow me on twitter you will also know that my Nan passed away Wednesday afternoon. I wanted to find a way to continue my coping but also be delivering you content. Since this is Tarot Friday I thought instead of doing the next tarot card in the series I would do a tarot spread that may help you if you are going through a time of grief.

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Here is the tarot spread I chose to do. I found this super helpful and really brought me some peace.

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The cards I pulled

Card #1: Represents myself internally right now (Queen of Wands)

So this card actually surprised me. This placement is supposed to be about how I am doing internally right now. I assumed it would just tell me I’m miserable but instead it focused on how I am extremely focused, courageous, determined, and still doing my best to be positive, uplifting, and joyful.

Card #2: Represents the deceased (Five of Wands)

At first I didn’t quite understand what this card was telling me but then I realized it was saying that Nan had worked through her troubles and she did not have any more issues to worry about. It really just confirmed for me that she is at peace finally.

Card #3: Represents the relationship between you and the deceased (The Hanged Man)

Once again this is another card I had a hard time interpreting given what it was supposed to represent. Still don’t feel totally confident in my interpretation so if someone understands it a bit more feel free to let me know down below. Essentially what I gathered was that our relationship in the physical world had to be sacrificed in order to move forward. So her death was necessary (and the way it happened specifically) for me to be able to move on.

Card #4: A lesson the deceased has taught you (Justice)

This card says that Nan taught me firstly that decisions have long-term effects. But also that truth is essential in all things — one must learn the truth about others and yourself and one must speak and know the truth before judging others.

Card #5: Something that will help me move on (five of pentacles)

What I did with this card was a little different than how I normally read a card. I used the upright version of it (as I pulled it upright) to determine how I was feeling and then I used the reverse meaning to determine what will help me move on from those feelings. So the card said I was in a time of hardship. It also said I was feeling cursed and as though I had bad luck and I have actually said this out loud to my coworkers, so it really struck home. However how I will move on is that to recognize that brightness is coming into my life, that change is coming soon, and the worst is now over.

Card #6: How can I connect with the deceased going forward (Knight of Cups)

Pulling this card was really cool because the knight of cups actually acts as a messengers. And despite how cliche it sounds this card seems to be saying that I can connect with her by listening to my heart and trusting my intuition.

Card #7: A Message from the deceased (Ace of Wands)

This was a really nice message to receive from her and once again made me feel really at peace. Her message was to be creative and bold. To find and use my own voice. Also to follow my instincts and just go for it.

All in all this is a really great tarot spread that I would thoroughly recommend you use if you are struggling and going through a hard time. It has brought me a significant amount of peace. However that is all for today. Let me know if this spread was as helpful to you as it was for me down below in the comments, along with anything you think I missed, questions, or thoughts. Make sure you follow me here and on twitter so you get notifications when I post and when I upload to videos to youtube. And until next time, Blessed Be!

 

Grieving as a Wiccan

Lately I’ve been grieving a lot. This last month or two has been pretty hard. So today I want to talk to you about that. I’ve wanted to talk about it for a while but I wasn’t sure how to format it. So I’m just deciding to write. It may be super long or super short but I think writing this will get it off my chest. My writing style may be a bit different than it usually is, it may not be… I dunno. Regardless I hope you don’t mind.

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The Thursday before the Easter weekend I was contacted by my family, while at work, that my great grandmother wasn’t doing very well. She’s hasn’t been super healthy for a couple years now but nothing crazy. However this time was different. My mom usually tells me that it isn’t anything to worry about yet, but this time she said I might want to come home and see her. So there I was in front of my preschoolers that I teach and I just cried. I told them what was wrong and let me tell you, 4 year olds are so compassionate and loving. They loved me and snuggled me all day long. It was so beautiful. I went to see her that weekend. I live about 3 hours away from my family. My partner and little sister went in with me to see her. She had a hard time talking cause her breathing was very laboured but we had a great visit. That’s the last time I will see my great grandmother. She’s still alive though. When I went to see her she was at her home. Now she is in a hospital and has been for a couple weeks now. My mom says she isn’t the same nan we know and love and that she wouldn’t want me to see her this way. She’s in a lot of pain and is just waiting to die. Every morning I wake up and check my phone to see if I have a message telling me she’s passed. I hope she does soon so she can be at peace. She really hates hospitals. So this is when my grieving started.

Back in March one of the little girls at my preschool (we’ll call her Mabel for privacy sake) went to Florida with her family for a trip. The second day in she got very sick and started having seizures. She had to be put in the hospital. She had what they call F.I.R.E.S. I am not super knowledgeable on what it is. All I know is it’s rare, it started as a common cold, and she had seizures, also 30% of those who get it die from it. However I didn’t know that at the time. It never occurred to me that she would die. Maybe that is naive but that’s how I felt. For two months I had very few updates other than a gofundme page and occasionally something would get written on her classroom attendance sheet about it. Then I came in to work last Friday (the 10th) and was told she didn’t make it. Mabel was 4 years old. I know a dead 4 year old. I was nervous for my kids to find out. I didn’t want them to be sad or scared they were going to die. But when you’re 4 years old 2 months is a long time and a lot of them didn’t remember Mabel very well. I was lucky in that sense so instead of being sad they just had a lot of questions which was a lot easier to deal with. This last Thursday (the 16th) I went to Mabel’s funeral. I wore a pink dress (everyone was in bright pinks and purples as requested by Mabel’s family). It was one of the saddest things I have ever experienced.

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I’m telling you all of this for a couple reasons. One reason is that talking about this I hope will be a little therapeutic for me. I also wanted everyone to understand why my posting has been so inconsistent these last few weeks (also why it may continue to be inconsistent when my nan passes). But also I wanted to share how I am coping as a Wiccan (or if I’m not already doing these things they are things I want to start doing to cope).

What is helping me cope with Nan is first and foremost I know that her passing is going to bring her peace. But also I know that her soul will reincarnate and I will meet it again whether in this life or the next. I’m really trying to focus on the fact that she lived such a great and beautiful life and not on the fact that she’ll be gone.

What is helping me the most when it comes to coping about Mabel is also related to reincarnation but it is a bit different. If you’ve read my post about the signs you are an earth angel you will know that many of these people die as a child. When I think about Mabel, and the beautiful energy her soul had, I confidently feel she had the soul of an angel. Without a doubt. So despite the fact that I don’t totally understand how she died, I can understand why she died and that to me brings great peace.

However other than thinking about these things I have not done much to cope but have just not been thinking about it and it’s probably not the most healthy method of healing. Things that I want to start incorporating into my coping process that you can try too is reiki (be it self reiki or receiving reiki from someone else). I also want to pray more. As I’ve mentioned in my post about my relationship with praying , I tend to stray away from it because it reminds me of Christianity. I think grieving may be a great way for me to change that relationship with prayer because at the end of the day you can pray to whoever or whatever you want, not just the Christian god. So I’d like to reach out to Gaia and Pan more for strength and you can do the same with whoever you matron or patron is. I think meditating and grounding myself will also help me stabilize my emotions. And the last thing I want to suggest for myself and for you is divination. Do spreads to help sort through your emotions. Do spreads for how to cope. Do spreads to talk to those that have passed on if you think that will give you closure. Do a spread to see how your future will be after you’ve moved forward from this hard time.

I hope that this post gives you some ideas on how to cope with what you’re struggling with and also lets you know that even if it feels like you’re all alone and no one understands that there are people who get it (yikes that was cheesy but bear with me). Let me know down below how you use your Wiccan/Pagan faith to get you through times of grief along with any other thoughts or questions you have. Make sure you follow me here and on twitter so you get notifications when I post and when I upload videos to youtube. And until next time, Blessed Be!

 

Freyja

A few weeks ago I made a post about Aphrodite which triggered a post request from a subscriber. She follows the Norse Pantheon and asked if I would do a post on Freyja. Since it is still the month of love I figured I would make this for her.

Freyja’s Associations

Freyja is the goddess of love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death.

Her symbol is the Northern Lights

Her sacred animals are cats and wild pigs

Her sacred plants are cowslip, primrose, and daisies

Freyja Mythology

Freya was the Norse Goddess of beauty that no man could resist when she wore her enchanting necklace known as the Brisingamen. This necklace was made for her my four dwarves. They demanded that as repayment she spent a night with each of them in turn.

Although she had many affairs she loved her husband deeply and when he went missing she cried tears of gold. She set out to find him by transforming herself into a bird with her magical cloak.

When she found he had become an ugly sea monster. Freya remained by his side and became enraged when he was murdered, threatening to kill the other Gods. To placate her Od was offered a place in Valhalla despite not dying as a hero on the battlefield.

Gotten from https://www.goddess-guide.com/freya.html

Ritual for Freyja

Greeting Freyja

It will be helpful to have:

A couple of candles

A space to set the candles and make a simple ve or shrine for Freyja

An offering to pour for Her (Mead is good, so is any sweet or strong drink.  Lacking those, use sweet teas or fruit juices.  Lacking those, use water.)  The Lady is going to be your guest, so at least provide Her with the kind of drink you would offer to a mortal guest.  There are many other gifts and offerings that are appropriate for Her; some are listed here.

Cleansing

First we do a cleansing.  Most traditions have some sort of cleansing rite, to prepare you and the space for the presence of and interaction with the divinity that you are calling.  Flames have been used to bless property in some places in Northern Europe, where a torch or light is carried to all parts of the property and the shadows chased out.  Some Heathens call on Thor in the Hammer Rite, but as I don’t have a regular practice involving him and She is perfectly capable of helping with this work I call to Her for it.

Take a candle and light it.  Say, “Sacred flame, in Freyja’s name, cleanse and bless this space.  Banish from it all baleful wights and wills and make it whole and holy.  In Freyja’s name, oh sacred flame, so be it.  Hail Blotgydja!”  Pass it in front of and around your body.  Walk with it around the space, making sure to shine the light in corners and dark spaces especially.  Set the candle down in the space you want to use.

Invocation

Set up a space for Freyja.  Include statuary images, or things that are important to Her, especially amber if you have any.  Face your shrine and call to Her.  You can say Her names, write out a wordy invocation (I like doing that, but that’s me) or sing to Her.  Here is a sample invocation that you may use if you like:

Hail to Freyja, cat-chariot riding,

Hail to Freyja in passion abiding,

Hail to Freyja in red-gold lust screaming,

Hail to Freyja in deep seidh-trance dreaming,

Hail to Freyja on falcon wings flying,

Hail to Freyja in dwarven bed sighing,

Hail to Mardoll in brightness and beauty,

Hail Blotgydja in your sacred duty,

Hail to Freyja in passion and power,

Hail to Freyja, bright Vanaheim’s  flower!

Hail, Freyja, Vanadis!  Be welcome in your shrine, be welcome my home, be welcome in my life.

Make Offerings

Now is the time to present Her with any offerings.  It’s good to come with gifts when meeting friends, whether new and prospective friends or long term ones.

Light a candle for Her, and say something like, “I light this candle in your honor.  May its warmth and brightness and sweet scent please you and bring you joy.  Hail Freyja!”

Pour the drink for Her, and say something nice about it.  “For you, Freyja, I pour this mead, the essence of honey transformed.  May its gold be like your gold, its warmth suffuse you, its flavor please you, its honey give you health and power.  Drink deep of it and may you find within it all that you want and all that you need.  Freyja, accept my offering!”  You can take a drink as well, sharing with Her if you like, just don’t do it from the portion offered.

If you have any other gifts for Her, talk them up and present them nicely to Her.  It’s not inappropriate to sing to Her.  She likes to have Her names sung and is known for a fondness for romantic and bawdy music.

Once you’ve given Her gifts, tell Her why you’ve called Her, even if it’s as simple as curiosity.

Then be silent.  Spend some time being quiet internally and externally, eyes closed or focused on an image that brings Her to mind.  You may feel Her presence as feelings of warmth and love.  You may see or hear Her in your mind.

Or you may feel nothing.  Sometimes it takes some time to recognize the presence of a deity and sometimes they just don’t seem to respond.  The Lady tends to be responsive to people, and She’s been growing more and more present over the last few years.

After you’re done thank Her and leave the space to end the rite.

gotten from https://www.patheos.com/blogs/theladysquill/2016/12/greeting-freya-a-simple-rite/

Spell to do with Freyja

you may burn a pink candle for Friday or an amber-colored candle to honor the goddess Freya. It’s completely up to you. Light the candle and repeat the charm:

Freya’s day is Friday, and the thirteenth is today,
Let’s work with these energies in a magical way.
Freya, mistress of magic, bless us with your wisdom,
As the candle burns away, the good luck spell begins.
This good luck candle spell is spun from the heart,
Worked for the good of all, with a Witch’s art.

gotten from https://www.llewellyn.com/spell.php?spell_id=3644

Thank you so much for reading today’s blog! I hope you enjoyed. Do you worship Freyja? Let me know in the comments along with any other thoughts or questions you have. Make sure you follow me here and on twitter so you get notifications when I post and when I upload videos to youtube. 

Wheel of the Year: Samhain

Hi everyone! Happy Samhain, or Halloween if you will. Samhain is the minor sabbat that occurs between Mabon (fall equinox) and Yule (winter solstice). It falls on October 31st every year. Even though this sabbat is considered to be a minor one it is actually one of the most celebrated sabbats. We are half way to reaching the darkest day of the year since it was last balanced.

Samhain marks the day that the sun god passes on and goes to the underworld. This causes the veil to the spiritual world to be at it’s thinnest. Due to it being so thin spirits can easily travel to and from their realm and ours. This means we can communicate with them much easier. The goddess also transforms to her crone form on this day and spends the next couple months grieving the loss of her partner.

Since the veil is so thin this is a time we use to reconnect with our ancestors. We invite our ancestors to our home by leaving candles (or pictures of these loved ones) in our windows. We also sometimes have a feast of the dead. This is essentially when we set up an extra place at our table and leave a meal for our ancestors. Ways we may contact our loved ones is through divination (tarot cards, pendulums, scrying, etc) or through a Ouija board (not sure if I recommend this one though, at least not for beginners in necromancy).

After Samhain we look forward to Yule which is when the God is born again and spring is on the horizon.

To celebrate this day you can carve pumpkins (used to protect your home from any extra negative energies lurking around), go trick or treating/dress up (Christian’s used to dress up to disguise themselves from demons and monsters), divination (since the veil is thin messages will come through your cards easier and clearer), witchcraft (since the veil in thin there will be an abundance of energy to do you magick with), go for a walk to see how the seasons are changing, and as always do a ritual to honour your deities.

Some gods you can celebrate during this time are: Anubis (Egyptian), Osiris (Egyptian), Yama (Hindu), and Hades (Greek)

Some goddesses you can celebrate during this time are: Morrigan (Celtic), Hel (Norse), Freya (Norse), Demeter (Greek), Hecate (Greek)

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a great Samhain. If you’d like to hear about Samhain instead of reading about it make sure you check my youtube channel  tomorrow! Also, make sure you follow me on here and on twitter to make sure you get notifications when I post. Until next time Merry Meet and Blessed Be!

The Diet of a Wiccan

In Wicca there are numerous different ideas on what is okay to eat and what isn’t. The answer to what is okay is completely based on your personal belief system.

Some Wiccans are totally vegan. They don’t eat any meat or animal by-product. That means no milk, no eggs, no honey, etc. The idea behind this is people believe anything that comes from an animal is harming that animal. They believe milking the cows is harmful (physically or emotionally), they believe eating eggs is harmful because it kills the chick embryo inside, they don’t eat honey because they believe the process one goes to get the honey safely is harmful to the bees. Essentially they take the line “harm none, do as ye will” and interpret it in a way that makes the only thing they can do is be vegan.

Then there are Wiccans who are vegetarians. So they eat animal by-products but not meat. When they interpret “harm none, do as ye will” they don’t view milking cows, eating eggs, and and taking honey as harmful. Or they believe as long as you are granted permission from these animals to use their by-products that it is okay.

There are numerous different types of vegetarians. Up until recently I have been a pollo vegetarian. This means that the only meat I eat is poultry. The only reason why I did this is because I don’t feel I could have healthily been a complete vegetarian, as I am a bit finicky compared to the average person.

Lastly, we have your typical meat eaters. I think there are 2 main types of meat eaters. You have the ethically sourced meat eaters and then you have just your average joe. I am currently trying to be an ethically sourced meat eater. This means I am looking to purchase my meat from farms that I know have treated their animals well before they were put on my plate. So you can do this by hunting yourself, you can purchase a whole cow at an auction for slaughter. You can also purchase at local farmers markets or buy free range meat.

As for the regular meat eater they just don’t believe “harm none, do as ye will” is referring to food consumption. They typically believe the purpose of an animal is to be eaten and that’s that.

There is no right or wrong answer though (thankfully). What people eat is ultimately up to them and no one (let me repeat: no one) should be shamed for the meat they eat or don’t eat. No one is right and no one is wrong. Everyone has their own path to walk.

Thank you for reading! What are your views on meat/animal by-product consumption? Let me know in the comments along with any other thoughts or questions. Also, make sure you follow me hear and on twitter so you get notifications on when I post. Until next time, Merry Meet and Blessed Be!

Tarot Series~Major Arcana Card 13: Death

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When pulled upright this card is about being about to go through a major change, transition, or transformation. The old you needs to die to make room for the new you. This may seem scary because you are likely unsure of what will happen in your future. Despite being scared welcome the change because you are opening new doors. This card can also mean that you need to let go of unhealthy attachments that you have going on in your life. Moving forward is one of the lessons of the death card.

When pulled in reverse this card is about you resisting change. You may be holding onto the past or you may be unsure of what changes are happening for your future. But limiting the change and holding on to the past can limit your future. It is okay to be afraid but you still need to move forward. The death card doesn’t have to be about regret especially if you listen to its warning. 

Here is a tarot spread that focuses on the death card. It is great for dealing with change and recognizing your initial reactions to it. First I would take the death card out of the deck and meditate on it while thinking about changes going on in your life. Then shuffle and deal the cards as you see fit.

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Card 1: This card is the change, the Death. This is the sun setting, the inevitable force that cannot be stopped or slowed.

Cards 2, 3 and 4: These cards represent things that have died, aspects of yourself that are gone or have been cut off. They can represent your innocence, ignorance, blind faith, control, something in its bloom. Name them.

Card 5: This card represents the person you were before, that which you no longer are.

Card 6: This card represents you just after the change, ways to mourn, sorrow to acknowledge before you can go on. Also acceptance or ways toward acceptance.