Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hearth & Home Magick

Good Morning,
Ever since I announced I would be teaching public classes again in the St. Louis area, I have been bombarded by requests for online classes. No worries, I currently offer six different affordable online classes to choose from.

With Imbolc just around the corner I thought it would be fun to put the "Natural Magick for Hearth & Home" class on sale. It is usually $40.00. However from now until March 1st, this class is only $30.00 dollars. 
There is a huge amount of material included in this particular online course. I did not trim the information down... just the price.

This online class is based off my book Cottage Witchery. The course is filled with new and fresh ideas for kitchen witchery, and spells for your abode. Which seems like just the thing to do at this time of year. Snuggle in and work on improving the vibe, and the magickal atmosphere of your own Witches cottage.

Witch homes are eclectic. And while we all may long for the kitchen from the movie set of, Practical Magic, there is no reason not to incorporate a bit of enchantment into your decor. While I have a thing for shabby chic or "cottage style" decorating... even a minimalist modern home could be improved upon with some touches of magick. No matter what your decorating style happens to be.

For Yule this year, my Hubs gave me a small apothecary chest. Its wicked cool and hangs on the brick wall in my kitchen. I plan to fill those drawers full of magick herbs from the garden this spring. For now it holds a few bottles of dried herbs and makes me smile every time I walk into my cottage style kitchen. I have dreams of it eventually looking something like this little vignette above... but I can only imagine the havoc my calico cat, Brie would inflict with glass jars displayed upon my kitchen counter... Still I'd love to have an apothecary sign like that- I'll have to ask the hubs to make one for me.

Look around your own witchy cottage this winter and see what sort of magick you can conjure up. If nothing is inspiring you and you want to give the place a good magickal makeover to improve the energetic atmosphere, check out my online class. Be sure to grab it while it is on sale, or read my book Cottage Witchery.

Either way, create a magickal and loving home for yourself and your loved ones... all it takes is a little bit of witchery!
Blessed be, Ellen


Monday, January 23, 2012

Practical Magick Class Series

Hello, Here is the information about the new live in person classes I will be teaching. This is a series of four classes. You may take them separately or together.

Practical Magick Class Series
Ellen is teaching classes locally in the St. Louis area again! Ellen will be teaching her classes at the Wellness Center. Located in St. Charles, MO. at 1600 Boone's Lick Road. The first series of four classes will be on various topics of Witchery and Practical Magick. Ages 18 and up are welcome.

Class Dates: Sundays- February 19, February 26, March 4 & March 11
Time:  2:00pm
Class fee:
$30.00 each- or attend all four classes for $100.00 and save! (Payment for all four classes in the series is due in full at the time of the first class.) Cash or Check only.
Place:
Wellness Center (Chapel of Love & Light)
1600 Boone's Lick Road
St. Charles, MO. 63301
Ages 18 and up are welcome.
Need more info? For more information, directions to the Wellness Center, or to pre-register for classes, please contact Ellen via email at edugan_gardenwitch@yahoo.com


Candle and Crystal Magick: Going from Basic to Advanced-
This first class will be held on Sunday, February 19.
Candle and crystal spells are the stock in trade of most Witches and magickal practitioners. The trick is how do you take the basics and turn them into more advanced practices? In this first class of the four part practical magick series, award winning author Ellen Dugan, shows you how to advance your Craft. This class focuses on candle and crystal magick, and shows you how to think outside the box and how to personalize your spells. The law of correspondence, and vibration will be discussed, as well as a look at how lunar timing, and the magickal days of the week can work in your favor. There will also be information on troubleshooting your spellwork. This 2 hour class will end with group candle and crystal spellwork.

Green Magick and Herbalism-
This second class will be held on Sunday, February 26.
Join award winning author and Master Gardener Ellen Dugan for a lecture on Green Magick & Herbalism. Ellen will discuss the fundamentals of the green path, and the magickal tools of the green trade- which may surprise you. Discover the magick of plants, trees, flowers and herbs that can be easily incorporated into your own style of witchery, in practical and profound ways. This class will inspire, and motivate you to take your magick to the next level. A group green magick ritual will close out the 2 hour class.

Practical Prosperity & Abundance Magick
The third class will be held on Sunday, March 4.
Join award winning author Ellen Dugan for a class on prosperity and abundance magick. Times are tough, money is tight and what is a Witch to do? You tackle prosperity magick of course! This new class focuses on bringing abundance and prosperity into your life in a practical way. Learn to avoid the classic “Rookie Witch” mistakes when it comes to prosperity magick. This prosperity magick class focuses on major magicks and teaches you how to combine herbs, crystal and candle magick to bring abundance into your life. Learn tips for the “Witch at Work” and learn more about astrological and lunar timing to fine tune and to personalize your prosperity spells. This class will also conclude with a group ritual designed to encourage abundance and success in your life.

Practical Protection Magick
The fourth class will be held on Sunday, March 11.
Join award winning author Ellen Dugan for a class on her newest book Practical Protection Magick. This class will cover your psychic strengths and weaknesses, explain how to diagnose a magickal problem, and discuss the difference between a hex and a crossed condition. This live class has been popular across the country and Ellen is delighted to offer it for the first time here in Missouri. This protection magick class will explore real-life psychic self-defense, and it gives practical advice on dealing with emotional and uninvited psychic vampires. Several techniques of protective spellwork will be discussed, and you will also discover what the phrase “Magick follows the least path of resistance”, truly means. This class also closes with a group protection ritual.

Contact Ellen at edugan_gardenwitch@yahoo.com for directions to the Wellness Center and for more information.

Hope to see you there!
Blessed be, Ellen

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?

Good Morning,
Lately, I have been challenged on a personal level in the mundane world. I've been hip deep in alligators and assholes. (Oh what fun!) It's been tough and I have had to keep a tight rein on my magickal temper. I knew I had lost my grip on it when I found myself planning on casting angry spells and visualizing the delicious outcome, all without a damn for the repercussions. Once I realized I was loosing control of my magick, it gave me a hell of a jolt- and that snapped me back.

I stopped what I was imagining/ plotting. Took some deep breaths, grounded and asked myself if I was working from a place of neutrality, or just rationalizing it all because I was furious?

My hard- earned neutrality was in fact gone. All I had left was fury. My temper danced around me inviting me to turn it loose. It made my teeth clench, my face grow hot and gave me a pounding headache just holding it all in. That's when I knew it was time to cool off and to consider my future magickal actions very, very carefully. So, I yanked my temper under control, tried to calm down, squelched the angry magick and got through the rest of my day feeling magickally hung over.

Yes, I do have a lively sense of humor and often that saves me. However I also have a temper- a bad one. I keep a lid on it most of the time because when it blows, I take no prisoners.
Fact: I am not perfect.
After almost 30 years of being a practicing Witch, I know my dark side and I respect it.

I know exactly what I am capable of when I loose my temper. I have seen the damage that anger and magick can cause. Over the years I have had to learn the hard way how uncomfortable karma and magickal backlash can be. Yes, I have made magickal mistakes in the past. I don't have a problem admitting that. Most importantly I have learned from them and I do NOT repeat them.


Helen Mirren in The Tempest
Oh sure there are bad days when I picture the problem people in my world cowering at my feet while lightning strikes down from the sky. The clouds boil and the earth shakes from the sound of my voice, while my foes quake with fear in my presence.... wait where was I?  Oh yeah, I was explaining how I have learned from my past magickal mistakes. Ha.

So this is what I do. I typically give myself a 24 hour cooling off- no magick- time out. That way I can think. And it allows me to consider all of my options, and to ponder if any magickal intervention on my part would cause even more complications with the situation.

It pays to be cautious and to rely on that inner-wisdom. To think carefully and to consider your actions and whether or not one is acting from a place of neutrality.
Here is a favorite personal phrase to remember, my witchy readers.

"When in doubt, take a magickal time out."  

If your anger has the best of you, and you are plotting magickal revenge, calm down and go talk to some friends. In my case I called a couple of women who I knew would give me a no-bullshit answer and practical magickal advice. Oh, and did they.

After 24 hours had passed I was able to move forward with a clear head. I worked my magick calmly, ethically and neutrally. I was business like and best of all, it felt right.

So when you loose your temper and common sense goes out the window... before you cast a spell, ask yourself the age old question. Are you a good Witch or a bad Witch? Because you will have to live with whatever your answer truly is.

 Blessed be, Ellen



Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Feline Familiar

Thousands of years ago cats were worshiped as Gods. 
Cats have never forgotten this.
-Anonymous
Good Morning,
I have enjoyed having the past few days off and accomplished quite a bit. Got my hair cut, colored and highlighted, got the house whipped back into shape. Finally scrap-booked all of the pictures from our 2nd annual Gothic Halloween party... and just puttered.

This morning I was awaken by my little calico cat named Brianna. We call her Brie for short, and she pounced on my head to make sure I was awake, as I had done something unheard of and had slept past 7:00am. Once she assured herself I was still among the living she snuggled into the quilts on the bed, on top of my legs, and ignored me.

When I finally did get up she followed me around the house taking a fiendish delight in knocking things off the counter and yowling at me for reasons only she knows. Here she is on the left- posing at the Halloween party on the witchy welcome mat. Yes, that is a triskel on her collar- tri-colored cat- triple knot symbol... It works for me.

She's a tiny kitteh... only eight pounds and dainty- most of the time. When I staggered back to my office this morning, hot chocolate in hand, she lay sprawled across my keyboard and purring. As I sat there running through possible blog topics she kept staring at me with her gold eyes looking wise and mystical. So I asked her what she thought of a couple possible topics. Nothing got a reaction until I said "familiar" that got me a dainty meow and a head nudge to fulfill my duties as her human and to pet her.
So... Witch's familiar blog coming up.

A familiar is an animal, a pet that shares a psychic and magickal connection with a Witch. They are very protective and often clue in their human when magick is afoot or the energy is off. Cats are the classic familiar, but dogs, birds and ferrets also are popular familiars. For this blog however, we are focusing on the feline familiar.

But here is the trick. You do NOT choose your familiar- they in fact choose you. Yes indeed your beloved pet may be your familiar, or they may not. You will know the difference because a familiar can not keep their feline nose out of your magickal supplies, tarot cards, magickal books, the spell candles, or your work space.
If you are working magick, they are there. Sitting politely at the boundaries of the circle, or are lounging across your workspace, twitching their tail and keeping a careful eye on the proceedings. If the coven comes over they want in on the action and will nose their way into the ritual. Or the familiar tends to find the one person who needs kitty- magick therapy and plops down on their lap and claims them for the rest of the evening. (Something I have seen Brie do on a regular basis.)


Your pet will let you know if they are interested in becoming your magickal working partner. So treat them with respect and affection, and do not force the issue. Familiars boost your energy by being close and working with you as a sort of magickal partner. In the simplest of terms they lend you a paw by boosting your energy.

Now, your enchanted cat may be one of those feline guardians who takes their role as protector of the homestead very seriously. If they constantly position themselves by the doorways and seem intent on watching out the window for possible interlopers on their turf, you have a guardian cat energy going on there. This type of guardian cat partnership would be a added bonus for any type of protection or hearth and home magick you perform. Basic rule of thumb, just like a human working partner, you work with your cat in the same way, with respect, kindness, honor and love.

For more information on the feline familiar, cat deities, folklore, history, and cat-spells, please check out my award-winning book, The Enchanted Cat: Feline Fascinations, Spells & Magick. Oh and yes indeed it is available on Kindle.

Blessed be, Ellen and Brie, the witchy calico kitteh




Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Looking for my Inner Goddess

"...there are days I feel beautiful and days I don't, and when I don't, I do something about it."
-Cheryl Tiegs
Good Morning,
For the past three days I have had a migraine, it is finally fading but when you combine stress, with unseasonably warm temperatures that swing into cold and then back to warm, allergies, and did I say stress? Its a nasty combination. 

About a year ago I went to get a haircut before a big author event and it was the haircut of nightmares. The stylist butchered my hair. Yes, I went back to have her "fix" it.... that did not go so well. It was worse. You know its bad when women walk up to you and say very quietly, "Honey, what happened to your hair?" Then start patting you on the back and recommending a stylist. 

So, I have been on this "letting the hair grow out" kick since last April. My hair has not been this long since my children were young. I have had several trims in the past year  to straighten out the damage from the original hatchet job. A few months ago I had my face framed in an effort to get rid of the "shelf" that was on the left side of my hair, and it looks somewhat better. I hit it with a soft ash brown hair color and called it good. Boring, safe, but livable. Lately, when I see myself in the mirror I look tired, predictable and like a middle-aged-glasses-wearing mom. (That's scary). Yeah I wear bifocals now- I can wear my contacts but I'd have to have readers. Its part of the perks of being 48 years old.


No I am not throwing a pity party. Nor am I fishing for compliments. I just have a walloping case of the January blahs. Maybe its coming off a three day migraine and the prospect of having three days off in a row.... but I am itching to go do something to my hair. Highlights, a major cut, something.  So I'm not sure where Im going today but I am going to hit a salon, and let some brave hairdresser work their magick. 

I think maybe if I freshen up my appearance it will inspire me to resume my regular work outs. I have been so overwhelmed with working outside the home again, feeling down in the dumps, and dissatisfied with my appearance, that I have not been eating very healthily, and I need to take better care of myself. And to snap outta my funk.

However, before I go to the salon I'm going to work a quick candle spell for inner beauty and to call out my inner goddess. 
There is a simple candle spell that I wrote for "Finding your inner Goddess," in my Go-Girl-Power book, How to Enchant a Man.
I think I'll work that this morning and see what happens. This particular Inner Goddess spell is on pages 31-32 if you are interested. 

Wish me luck!
Blessed be, Ellen

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Wolf Moon

Hello!
The full moon in January is often called the Wolf Moon. Here is an article I wrote for the Llewellyn 2007 Witches Datebook about the Wolf Moon, and a spell to go along with it.
On this first full moon of the year, traditionally called the Wolf Moon, take some time to stop and reflect on the magick and medicine of the wolf. The wolf is a popular animal ally with Witches and magick users, as the wolf is a pathfinder, leader, and a teacher. The wolf has an incredible sense of family, as well as a strong sense of independence. The wolf also encourages the teacher within all of us to step up and share knowledge and information with others. 
At this time of the Wolf Moon, perform a spell to assist you in tapping into your intuition and inner wisdom. Whether you wish to share your knowledge with circle or coven mates, or decide to formally teach a class. Calling on the wolf will give you the strength to walk your individual magickal path, and to assist others to find theirs, with courage and shrewdness. 
Set up your altar with white candles and a representation of the wolf. This can be a small statue, or a photo. As the full moon rises, turn and face the moon and call upon the magick of the wolf. When you are ready, repeat the spell below three times.
On this enchanted night of the full Wolf Moon,
Send wisdom to me, by this Witches’ tune.
Ally and friend, I honor the moon at which you bay, 
Help me to teach and lead in the best possible way.


(Allow your spell candles to burn in a safe place until they go out on their own.) Happy Full Moon!
**This article and spell are copyrighted material and may not be reproduced without the author's written permission.  
Blessed be, Ellen
PS. Don't forget that I offer an online class on the Full Moons of the year. This class has had its lunar information updated for the year 2012. It features magickal lessons and 14 lunar spells. The class cost is only $22.00. You can sign up for the class on my website at www.ellendugan.com. Order any class before Feb. 2nd and I will include a FREE Imbolc ritual!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Witch at Work

Good Morning,
I thought it would be an interesting first blog of the year to talk about how Witches are often perceived by the general public. I am re-experiencing this first hand as last fall, I went back to work as a floral designer.

I made damn sure my prospective employer knew about my beliefs because lets face it... I am not exactly a low profile Witch.
That, and I wanted to be sure they would work around my fall book tour schedule last October, so the witchy cards were on the table during the interview.

Other than a couple of silly comments about hoping I would hex someone for the new boss. (I immediately informed her that it did not work that way.) It's been pretty mellow.

I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing at one co-worker who announced that she went to the book store to see if I truly was an author, and I was informed in a shocked tone complete with very wide eyes, "Oh-my-god, you have really written like a dozen books!" 
Did she think I made that up? Sheesh.

Oh sure, occasionally I get a nervous squeak or two out of various folks (especially around Halloween) but, as I am pretty normal individual, and just go about my business it helps to keep the anxiety down.
So I have some thoughts for best results on this Witch at Work, scenario.
1.) Be polite
2.) Be yourself
3.) Work to get along with other employees
4.) Having a sense of humor is wonderful- However, do NOT crack jokes about cursing and hexing- it freaks folks out and no matter how funny you think your comment was. 
5.) Ask off for full moons or sabbats well in advance.
6.) You may certainly use magick to smooth your way at work, but tossing a lot of magick around- that may affect a large group of employees- tends to boomerang in unexpected ways.
7.) Expect there to be questions about your beliefs. Keep your answers brief, short and to the point.
8.) Report any and all harassment to the management or the HR department. All employers have the anti-discrimination laws posted. If they don't, ask them to post them.
9.) Don't be surprised when other Witches come out of the broom closet. It has happened every place I have ever worked. 
10.) Resist the urge to do magick for your friends at work. Do not fall for the Darrin Stevens Syndrome. I did a blog on that topic last year. You are not a magickal drive-thru. If someone wants magick to fix their problems- encourage them to do the work themselves.

Okay, deep thoughts for the day are finished. Now I need to go make my lunch and get ready for work. Have lots of Valentines, and spring arrangements to make today. It is so weird to work a season ahead, but at least the flowers are cheerful and bright and they have no glitter!

Blessed be, Ellen