Magickal Connections

Tarot & Witchcraft ~ with author, Amythyst Raine


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Video: Potions~ Black Cat Oil

Here’s my very own recipe from my very own Book of Shadows for Black Cat Oil!…I give you my ingredients, and we make a jar of BCO together.  For more information on Cats, Cat Magick (including Black Cat Oil), Cat Correspondences, and Cat Superstitions, visit my blog (Magickal Connections) and this post:  “Magickal Katz”… https://wytchymystique.com/2011/09/10/magickal-kat


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Our Katz

[Originally published in The Witch’s Corner newsletter, June 2011…Pixie passed away since this post was first published]

Katz

(Salem & Pixie, sitting in *their* spot at the livingroom windows, watching birds & squirrels at the feeders.)

We have six cats, or Katz, in our house, and each one is a unique creature that stands out from all the others with a staunch individualism that only cats can carry off successfully.  There’s Salem, the sleek black prince of the house, who enjoys a great deal of affection, and can’t seem to wait until 5:30am, the time my husband normally rises for work, to come greet us in bed with morning nips to the fingers, purring, chirping, and carrying on. Unfortunately, Salem seems to think that *every* morning must begin this early and in this way…whether the alarm goes off or not.

At the other extreme is our brown tabby cat, Basil.  Basil was born with the soul of an irrascible old man.  He doesn’t want to be touched, he doesn’t really like it when you talk to him, and he puts a lot of effort into pretending not to listen.  He doesn’t even like you to get too close, and goddess forbid, don’t make eye contact.  And just like some crabby old man, he spends a lot of time growling, hissing, and complaining.

(Basil, napping on the back porch.)

Bast is the ‘Mama’ of the group, both figuratively and literally– she’s Basil’s mother.  She also runs our cat community with an iron fist, and if anyone gets out of line– either cat or human– she puts them back into place by giving them a good swift slap to the face.  Apparently this system works very well for her.  So far no one has questioned her authority or tried to usurp her position in the pecking order.

(Mama Bast)

Pixie, also known as “Mistress Pixie Paws”, is just plain weird.  She’s known around the house as ‘Spook’, for the unnerving habit of calmly watching us out of glassy gold-green eyes when we least expect it, and then blinking complacently when we’re startled.  She is a sprite, a magickal creature, one of the elves or nymphs come to spy on us humans.  Her actions are usually slow and deliberate, occasionally totally off the wall and unexpected, and always entertaining.

This cat also has the ability to fall asleep anywhere in almost any position– occasionally even when she’s sitting up, human style.

(Pixie, sleeping on the arm of the couch, where she had fallen asleep sitting bolt upright in a human position, and then gradually slid to the right.)

Pyewacket defies explanation.  He’s a beautiful black angora that is very affectionate, likes to do a little ‘head-bumping’ greeting he has, and absolutely refuses to use a litter box– no way, no how.  Wintering with him in the house is hell.  He is banished to the laundry room, with the entire floor laid in newspapers.  I defy you to pick up one square of newspaper, because if you do, out of this entire room– and it’s big– he will choose that one bare spot of floor to do his business.

We’ve decided that, lovable and affectionate as he is, Pyewacket basically has the heart of an outdoor cat.

(Pyewacket, snoozing in his food bowl on the back porch.)

Baby, aka Duchess, is my ham.  Where the camera is, you’ll find Baby.  She winds up in more of my photos, and photos that I’ll use for particular purposes, more often than any of the other cats.  She also has two names, as you can see.

She is quiet, sort of out in a zone all on her own.  This cat also obviously interacts with beings or entities that only she can see.  We sat and watched her one day in the middle of the livingroom floor, as she circled an unseen being, her hair standing straight on end.  It must have been about the same size as herself, and as she circled it, all puffed up, she would reach inside this space, trying to sniff whatever it was.  Suddenly, it must have startled her, for she leaped backwards, all four paws off the floor.  And then it was gone.  I’m grateful that I had wittnesses to this extraordinary display.

 Cats are lazy, plain and simple.  That’s the truth.  They spend their time eating or sleeping, with a little bit of play and shenanigans inbetween.

But mostly, they sleep…

Sometimes they like to share their space…

And sometimes, they don’t.


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KATZ

It’s said of cats that they can move magickally through time and space, visiting the Land of Fairy, where no human can safely travel.  It’s also said that cats can cross the boundaries of a magickal circle, a witch’s sacred space, without breaking the circle or disturbing the energy.  Cats are also very sensitive to spirits and other paranormal entities, so watch your cat carefully, it will tell you when something is lurking about.  We personally experienced this one day as my girls and I sat watching our calico cat mysteriously circle an invisible something in the middle of the living room floor.  She tightly circled around it, hair standing on end, cautiously reaching inward to sniff whatever it was, and jerking her head back, as though to stay out of its reach.  It suddenly startled her.  She jumped straight in the air, all four feet off the ground, and took off racing out of the living-room.  Had I not seen this with my own eyes, it would have been hard to believe.  I’m glad I had witnesses to this truly remarkable incident.

It is especially unlucky to harm a black cat, as this is a favorite form for spirits to take, and not every black cat you see is actually a cat– but a spirit in disguise.  Black cats have, over the centuries, suffered greatly because of their association with Witches and their reputation as Witches’ familiars.  In Italy, even today, thousands of black cats are slaughtered every year in the name of superstition.  It’s recommended to black cat owners here in the U.S. that they keep their felines indoors over Samhain (Halloween) night, as black cats are often targeted for abuse because of their connection to witches and this holiday.

Cats are independent, intelligent, not likely to suffer fools.  They may be loyal, but the recipient of that loyalty must be deserving of it.  Cats are agile, silent, cunning, excellent and vicious hunters, aloof, and sometimes lazy.

CatnipValerianRue

Catnip is commonly used in sleeping potions, and the herb is well-known for the intoxicating effect it has on cats.  Catnip is also sacred to all Pagan Gods/Goddesses who manifest in the form of a cat or other feline creature– this would include the Egyptian goddess, Bast; as well as the Norse goddess, Freya.

Correspondences:

Element:  Water; Planet:  Venus; Energy:  Feminine (receptive)
Used in animal magick and for healing pets, increases the psychic bond with animals. Use as a tea for happiness and relaxation. Can also be used during meditation, increases psychic abilities. Useful in love magick- try burning dried leaves for love wishes.

Valerian is used in sleeping potions and dream pillows.  It’s said that the scent of valerian is irresistible to cats and if they find it in your garden, they will dig it up.

Correspondences:

Element:  Water; Planet:  Venus; Energy:  Feminine (receptive)
Valerian is a muscle relaxant and tranquilizer. Use for dream magick and sleep protection baths. Keep in the home or grow in the garden to aid in keeping harmony. May be used to purify a ritual space. Useful in consecrating incense burners. Drink tea daily, in moderate doses, during times of purification.

Rue is used to keep cats away, whether from digging in your garden, or hunting the birds gathering around your feeders.  This would probably also work to keep them off your bed and the kitchen table.  Since I find my cats’ presence at both of these places enjoyable, I’ll forego the Rue at these spots.  Cats dislike the scent of Rue, which is purported to have been used in the middle-ages as a talisman of protection against witches and their familiars.

Correspondences:

Element:  Fire; Planet:  Mars; Energy:  Masculine (projective)
Use Rue in purification baths to break hexes or curses; use in exorcism incense; use the magick of Rue to return-to-sender any negative energy or negative magick sent your way.  *Odd Note:  it’s said that Rue works best when stolen and replanted in your garden, where it will– ironically– protect your home and grounds from thieves.

Cats are considered to be the animal that is the ally of gamblers and games of chance; they are believed to bring good luck and success in these endeavors.  Following are spells of luck, gambling, and goddess invocation, through cat magick:

Lucky Cat Spell

Candles in the shape of cats are the figure candles most associated with gambling magic.  Red, black or green candles may all be used.  Let your intuition guide you:

1.  Inscribe the candle with your name, identifying information, and any lucky numbers.

2.  Dress it with Black Cat Oil, or another gamblers lucky oil.

3.  Burn the candle.

Lucky Cat Candle Spell

Lucky cat candles help fulfill your wishes.  Color coordinate to suit the nature of the wish:  use green for money, red for love, and black to resolve problems.

1.  Carve and dress the candle as you will.

2.  Write your wish succinctly and explicitly on a piece of paper.

3.  Burn the paper; use this paper to light the candle, rather than a match.

4.  Murmur wishes, incantations, and sacred verses, at least until the paper has completely burned to ash.

Spirit Petition:  Freya Cat Spell

There is an old Norse tradition of paying tribute to the goddess Freya by feeding milk to cats.

1.  Put out milk for stray cats.  If you don’t live in an area with stray cats, bring contributions to a shelter or adopt a gray stray cat.

2.  Feeding isn’t done mundanely, by rote, but as a conscious offering; speak with Freya simultaneously, explain your needs, desires, or broken heart, and request assistance.

3.  Pay attention– the response may come through the cats

 

 


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Cat Magick: Herbs & Spells

Catnip is commonly used in sleeping potions. The easiest and most pleasant way I can think of to use catnip for this purpose is to make a delicious pot of tea. Catnip is one of the herbs that I grow in my own gardens, so all I have to do when I want to brew a pot of catnip tea is to step outside and snatch a handful of the fresh herb. I usually use both the flowers and the leaves. How much you use is going to depend upon how strong you like your tea and the size of your pot. You can sweeten it with honey or sugar. Since catnip is a member of the mint family, I’m guessing that if you like mint in your tea, you’ll like catnip, though to me it is more pungent.

Catnip has an absolutely intoxicating effect on cats, and it was actually hard getting the catnip started in my garden because my cats wouldn’t leave it alone. I’d plant a nice lush bunch of catnip and the next morning I’d go out to find nothing but bare stems and a garden full of chewed leaves. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve looked out the kitchen windows to watch one of our cats, or a stray cat, rolling around our garden in drunken bliss.

I harvest our catnip not only for use as a tea, but as a treat for my cats and for magickal uses. To make a magickal talisman for your cat, one that he will absolutely love, you can sew two small pieces of flannel together, and just before you sew it shut add a nice bunch of fresh catnip leaves. Consecrate this talisman for your kitty to pass on the magick of good health mojo and protection.

Catnip is sacred to all pagan gods/goddesses who manifest as a cat or feline creature, including: Sekhmet, Bast, Mau, Tefnut, Mafdet, and Freya.

Correspondences for Catnip:

Energy: Feminine (Receptive)
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Magick: cat magick, love, beauty, well-being

It’s believed that a gift of catnip from you to your cat will create a magickal and psychic bond between the two of you. Since I’ve experienced this myself, I have to say that it truly works in beautiful ways. If you make a catnip talisman for your kitty, keep this in mind. Remember that concentrating on your intentions when crafting magickal items imbues that piece with the magick. Catnip is also used in love spells, often as an ingredient in mojo bags or candle magick. Just as the cat finds this herb intoxicating and irresistible, so will the one you target in love magick, using catnip to draw them to you. Hang a bunch of dried catnip over the threshold of your home to draw good spirits and good luck, as well as to draw the blessings of cat goddesses. Catnip is also used in beauty spells, either as a tincture you can use to bathe your face, or with candle magic. It’s believed that this herb will mesmerize those targeted in such spells to see you as youthful and beautiful. This type of enchantment is considered a glamour.

Valerian is also used in sleeping potions and dream pillows, just as catnip is used. It’s said that the scent of valerian is irresistible to cats and if they find it in your garden, they will dig it up. What’s not often said is that valerian stinks. It has an extremely strong aroma that I personally don’t find especially pleasant, and although you can use this herb in relaxation and sleepy-time teas, I don’t know how on earth you could mask the taste. Commercial teas, prepared with valerian, seem to do a pretty good job of this; and I have used them many times, usually in the evenings, to unwind and relax.

Correspondences for Valerian:

Energy: Feminine (Receptive)
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Magick: love, purification, protection

It is the root of valerian that is used in a powdered form and added to protective mojo bags or dream pillows– though I don’t think I could fall asleep with the scent of this herb right under my nose. The calming effect of valerian is not limited to sleepy-time teas but also includes the energies surrounding a space. If there has been quarreling in your home, hanging this herb around your house is said to calm the atmosphere, to settle things down. Valerian is one of the herbs that can be used as a substitute for Graveyard Dirt.

In the Middle Ages rue was used as a talisman against witches and their familiars (usually cats). Perhaps the association was made in the minds of people because cats are drawn to rue much the way they are drawn to catnip, and because they are drawn to it, they dig it up and wreak havoc with the plant. I would imagine it’s the pungent aroma of rue that has something to do with this behavior, just like catnip and valerian. Because cats did this, perhaps people got the mistaken impression that cats hated rue, so they thought they could keep them at bay with the herb. Supposedly rue is used to keep cats out of your garden, away from the birdfeeders, or wherever else you don’t want them, though I suspect the opposite effect. Rue is an evergreen pernnial shrub.

Correspondences for Rue:

Energy: Masculine (Projective)
Planet: Mars
Element: Fire
Magick: health/healing, exorcism, love

Rue leaves are placed on the forehead to relieve headaches, or worn to facilitate healing. Rue is used in mojo bags poppets, and candle magick for healing, for matters of love, and to improve mental abilities. Rue is used to break hexes and curses by using it in a cleansing bath; hanging it around your home; placing it in sachets, poppets, or mojo bags; and using it in floor washes. It’s worn to protect one against poison, monsters, and the evil eye. A sprig of fresh rue is often used to dip into salt water and asperge a space.

Cats are considered to be the animal that is the ally of gamblers and games of chance, they are believed to bring good luck and success in these endeavors. Following is a cat spell that may do just that:

Lucky Cat Spell

Candles in the shape of cats are often burned for good luck, especially luck that has to do with games of chance. This magick is especially geared towards gamblers.

1. Inscribe a cat candle with your name, lucky numbers, numbers needed for a successful outcome, or a specific amount of money.

2. Dress it with Black Cat Oil, or another gambler’s lucky oil.

3. Burn the candle.

Lucky Cat Candle Spell

Burning Lucky Cat Candles makes your wishes come true. Color coordinate the candles to suit the nature of the wish: use green for money, health, and healing; red for love, romance, and marriage; and black to resolve problems, or to break hexes and curses.

1. Carve and dress the candle, maybe using herbs and an oil that correspond with your intentions.

2. Write your wishes on a piece of paper, being very careful to be explicit in exactly what you want.

3. Ignite the corner of this paper, and use this flame to light the candle.

4. Murmur wishes, incantations, and intentions until the paper has burned to ash.

Spirit Petition: Freya Cat Spell

There is an old Norse tradition of paying tribute to the goddess Freya by feeding milk to cats.

1. Consecrate a crystal bowl to the goddess Freya; fill it with whole milk or sweet cream, and sit it out on your front steps or back porch for stray cats.

2. Magickal intentions are important. Consecrating and preparing the bowl and setting it out for the cats is a ritual. As you perform this ritual, consciously invoke the goddess Freya and speak your petitions to her.

3. Watch the cats, pay attention to stray cats. Pay attention to cats who may appear as an image, statuary, art, or through some other medium. This may be Freya’s way of giving you an answer to your wishes or request.


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A Brief: things I love & things I hate

*Note: I may be re-posting a re-post. Quite honestly, I’ve written so much that I don’t remember what I’ve posted where anymore. However, I may have a few things to add to this– yes, I believe I do. I re-read this while having coffee this morning, and there was just something about it that scratched the itch in my soul.

 
witchgirlbrm---Copy1.jpg picture by witch_of_endore
Things I like and why…maybe.
 
I love moonlight— I remember laying on Grandma’s couch in the bay windows of her large kitchen one summer night and raising up in the dark to hold my arms out in the moonlight that was spilling through the glass. My arms looked all puny, and white, and ghostly, and the moonlight felt good on my skin…the same way some people claim that the sun feels good on theirs.
 
Chocolate…this is a mandatory like for all females. It contributes to our feelings of well-being, our energy level, and our rear ends, but in a good way. 😉 It’s used to alleviate guilt, stress, anger, and jealousy. It soothes the soul and adds to the ambiance of our lives– sort of like a gentle ‘Ommmm’, or one of Deuters CDs.
 
I love autumn. I love the beautiful and vibrant colors- golden hues, maize, browns, tans; the warm colors- shades of orange and red. The smell of dry autumn leaves in damp earth is one of my favorite scents. I love deep blue autumn skies as a backdrop for the trees. I love the sound of geese overhead, flying south; the influx of wild birds and squirrels at our feeders; the crisp mornings that are a balm from a hot summer; the bounty that comes with a garden harvest, pumpkins and gourds. I love the occasional foggy, chilly, mist-in-the-air, gray day. I love the primeval urge to bake spicy breads and pies; the smell of hot coffee; and the warm golden puddles of light from my candles, which were lit early to soften the growing darkness.
 
 
 
 
blackcat.jpg picture by witch_of_endoreCats…they wreak of mysticism, they know what they know, and they keep secrets. Cats don’t pressure you for emotions you don’t feel like showing. They know when to crawl into your lap and seek your attention and affection, and they know when to retreat into the shadows and leave your space open and clear. Cats walk with spirits and commune with fairies; they don’t encompass magick, they are magick.
 
I love rain…I love the smell of it, the sight of it, the sound of it. I love the dark steel gray days that go with rain. I love the cozy solitude found indoors on rainy days- someone hunkered over a book in a pool of lamp light; a pretty teapot, full of jasmine tea, nestled on a trivet; cats curled into furry balls on the couch and kitchen chairs. I love the way drops of rain slide down the window-panes. I love the rumble of thunder in the distance and loud claps of thunder overhead. I love the way tree trunks look darker and more well-defined and sidewalks smell of damp forest pathways.
 
 
 
 
Things I hate— and yes, it’s perfectly okay to ‘Hate’ something. It’s an honest human emotion, like love and lust, only no one wants to acknowledge it because we were raised in a mostly Christian society that attempts to pigeon hole human emotions and appetites as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Yep, you go right ahead and hate anything you feel a hankering to hate. Once in a while we hit on something to hate and we hate it so much it gives us enough gumption to change it.
 
I hate the dead of winter…it wreaks of hopelessness and the fact that there’s no way out, because none can be seen at this point. It’s not early enough winter to look pretty, and it’s not near enough spring to look hopeful– it’s just plain dirty and cold, gray and dark.
 
I hate a liar…My grandmother told me that this is one of the most dangerous creatures walking the planet. The very nature of what they are makes them impossible to fight.
 
I hate the idea of legal marriage. It is absurd to think that you need to receive a sanction of approval from a judicial system to be seen by the world as a legitimate couple. Not only do you have to pay a fee to obtain a ‘license’ so that someone deemed ‘legally qualified’ can marry you. Should the marriage not work out, you have to pay a great deal of money to this same judicial system so that you can extricate yourself from what I consider a personal relationship. As far as I’m concerned, Wiccans finally got it right with ‘Handfasting’…after all, if you know that the other party can end the contract with no fuss every year and a day, seems like everyone might work harder to keep the magic going. This sure beats the hell out of the Christian alternative– you stay with someone forever, until you die, whether you’re happy or not.
 
I hate “Mean Girl Mentality”. This phenomena is usually sistered up with “Group Mentality”, and when you put both of these disease ridden syndromes together, it becomes lethal…lethal to common sense, good manners, and courtesy.
 
 
 
 

 

Quote for the day:

People spend a lifetime searching for happiness, looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.
 
 
~ Romana L. Anderson
 
 


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Magickal Katz

Bast, the Matriarch

In the first place, they usually come to you, you don’t acquire them; and if you happen to, they may disappear quickly, quietly, and mysteriously; leaving hardly a trace that allows you to remember they were ever there.

They return like actions for like actions, like emotions for like emotions…if you are cruel, they will return this action in kind, with the grasp of a jaw, or the swiping rake of a claw. If you are gentle, so shall they be, calmly and matter-of-factly washing your hand or your cheek as they would one of their own kind, showing in their own way their acceptance of you– in spite of your human condition. O’ joy, you are considered worthy!

Human outbursts are generally met with two reactions, either a quick departure which wreaks of not only fear but severe disapproval, or an intent stare of disdain, which wreaks of superiority and quiet wisdom. They refuse to remain in the company of one who would wish them ill. They refuse to remain in the company of one who offends their senses. They are what they are, and they do as they do, and in the process they cross paths with the human race and our wearisome state of being. They know, they figured us out long ago.

Baby, The Huntress

 Correspondences for Cat Magick

Day: Monday

Planet: Moon

Element: Water

Color: blue, silver, purple

Herbs: calamus, gardenia, sandalwood, willow, chickweed, bladder wrack, columbine, Dittany of Crete, catnip, belladonna, apple,
African Violet

Stones: chalcedony, moonstone, sapphire, pearl, aquamarine, selenite

Magick: visions, seeing spirits, protection, astral travel, fairies

Bast, at sundown

 Black Cat Oil

Ingredient: sage, bay leaves, myrrh, iron,
black cat hair

Base: almond oil– for romance, to draw a lover to you; castor oil– to draw spirits for spirit contact, for protection, to break bad spells and hexes

The black cat is not viewed as evil by the magickal practitioner. On the contrary, this animal is believed to be imbued with magickal connections to the spirit world. It’s often a favored familiar for a witch because of it’s otherworld qualities; its intelligence and sense of intuition, its beauty, its mystery, its loyalty, and its magick.

Black cats are also believed to be the favored form for shape-shifting spirits. This is why it’s considered bad luck to harm a black cat– this cat may not be a cat at all, but an entity from the spirit world who’s scrutinizing you as closely as you are watching it. Treat the black cat with respect and kindness, and you will receive this same treatment in return…harm this creature, and you may regret it.

Pyewacket

Cat Superstitions

Dreaming of white cat means good luck.

To see a white cat on the road is lucky.

It is bad luck to see a white cat at night.

If a cat washes behind its ears, it will rain.

A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity.

A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it.

A cat sleeping with all four paws tucked under means cold weather ahead.

When moving to a new home, always put the cat through the window instead of the door, so that it will not leave.

When you see a one-eyed cat, spit on your thumb, stamp it in the palm of your hand, and make a wish. The wish will come true.

In the Netherlands, cats were not allowed in rooms where private family discussions were going on. The Dutch believed that cats would definitely spread gossip around the town.

To reverse the bad luck curse of a black cat crossing your path, first walk in a circle, then go backward across the spot where it happened and count to 13.

Bast, on the eve of Samhain

A cat is not a panting, jumping, blindly adoring dog. Strike a cat and you may forever lose their trust and confidence in you. When our cats were kittens, and even once in a while yet, when they need to be reprimanded for climbing on shelves where they don’t belong, hanging from the living room curtains, or some other distinctly mischievous catly behavior, we use a small spray bottle of water in order to tell them that we don’t approve of what they are doing. After you’ve used this method a few times, all you have to do is reach for the bottle and they quickly scamper off the forbidden perch, scattering hither and yon to their secret hiding places within the house.

(The Late) Mistress Pixie Paws

Credits:

The information for “Correspondences for Cat Magick” and “Black Cat Oil” are excerpts from my book: “Natural Magick the Gray Witch Way” © Amythyst Raine 2011; “Cat Superstitions” is courtesy of: http://www.catquotes.com/catsuperstitions.htm