Pretty In Punk
When I talk about being a D.I.Y punk witch I have to laugh. To me the very nature of witchcraft is D.I.Y, so it doesn't necessarily make sense to stress this aspect; but I do know there are some for whom it is far more rigid in structure or who belong to a hegemonic religious faction that is led by someone other than themselves. As for the punk aspect, I could use the words eclectic and secular, however my general penchant for all things punk means that my lifestyle is clearly reflected in my craft.
In fact what I mean by D.I.Y punk witch can just as well be described as something a little more radical, political, and far less luxurious than what others would make you think it needs to be. Sure, it's pleasing to have an abundance of candles, crystals and other correspondences at hand for whatever it is you need to do, but the fact remains the same: your intention is everything.
While re-branding what was formerly known as Curly Sue the question I invariably came back to time and time again was: is this the truest representation of myself? I probably asked it 100 times over as I stripped everything back to the bare bone and started all over again, and I continue to ask myself it even now. Other than the aforementioned aspects to my personality, my foremost thought was always that I don't like complications. I like simplicity. I like practicality. I like purpose. I like intent. So when it came to putting together the first few items for the relaunch I decided to do just that: keep it simple, practical, purposeful and intentional.
Unsurprisingly this is why the first Pretty In Punk collection includes a variety of tools to assist the DIY punk witch. In fact, the set of alchemical element pins meets this self-imposed criteria perfectly. They are perfect for those who want to perform spells on the move, are seeking amplification of or balance from certain elements, or simply want to adorn accessories and clothing with the beautiful symbols. The set contains all four pins and comes in a small black cotton drawstring bag which can be used to store the pins, crystals, or any other witchy wares; but there is also the option to purchase them individually.
As for how they can be used there are three main areas - that pertaining to 1. physical well-being, 2. emotional and mental well-being, as well as 3. external circumstances. If you know your elemental body type this does help but is not essential; further if you know your moon, sun or rising sign(s) this does help, but again is not essential. The only essential aspect to work with the elements effectively is your intent. By knowing what you want to amplify or call upon, you'll be able to deduce which element (or combination thereof) is best to work with; whilst determination, motivation and optimism will help to get you there.
The four elements are usually invoked during a ritual in order to balance energy within the physical space or practitioner, but air can also be invoked independently to lend energy to intentions within its sphere of influence. Harnessing the power of air can help in the following ways (note that this list is not exhaustive):
1. Physical: improve external and internal communication systems (external being hearing, smell or speech, and internal being those related to your central nervous system and other electrical channels), as well as restore and stabilise energy levels. One example in which air could be utilised is to assist in verbal communication, perhaps at work to encourage cooperation or amongst strangers to facilitate friendliness.
Air is also associated with the respiratory system and (at least in part) with the circulatory system - to work with this system most effectively one would also need to harness the power of fire. If experiencing difficulty breathing, poor circulation. chronic fatigue, or recurring problems with hearing and smell please see a medical professional - the below ritual is no substitute for this.
2. Emotional and mental: alleviate the weight of emotional concerns, as well as improve overall mental ability (e.g. logical, rational and intellectual capabilities, in particular those needed for abstract and conceptual thinking). Further, it is also associated with ethereal communication and higher consciousness, thus lending itself to divination, intuition and psychic work.
3. External: facilitate action and change, in particular in assisting with the early phases of a project and helping to establish and grow it. This could cover anything from information gathering to dealing with legal agreements and contracts.
Note that there is a fourth possible area which is far too extensive to summarise in one blog post, and this pertains to enhancing the strengths you already possess (if your sun, moon or rising sign is Gemini, Libra or Aquarius). Of course, if not an air sign, you can also empower yourself with these strengths or those associated with the planets Venus, Mercury and Jupiter. In time I will cover the ins and outs of this in a zine, but in the meantime there is significant overlap with this blog post.
Air is associated with both the waxing crescent and first quarter phases but it's power is heightened tremendously during the first quarter - this starts tonight - so if you want to do a ritual this is the best time period. If you want to be even more specific, Wednesday at dawn is perfect.
If possible gather the following:
- palo santo or sage *
- sandalwood incense (another incense can be substituted) *
- pale blue, violet or yellow candles (grey, silver or white can be substituted) *
- feather *
- air element pin *
- supporting tarot cards: The Fool and perhaps the King of Swords
- supporting herbs, e.g. anise, lavender, lemon verbena, marjoram and mint
- supporting stones, e.g. amythest, azurite, citrine, hematite or turquoise (clear quartz can be substituted)
- any other items that correspond to air for you, e.g. annointing oils, altar decor etc.
* These items are necessary as an absolute minimum.
Begin by gathering everything you will need for the ritual, laying it out in front of you. Cleanse yourself and the space within which you will cast the spell, preferably with palo santo or sage, and crack a window open to allow the stagnant air to be released. Cleanse all of the ritual tools one by one as you set up your altar to focus your dedication to the air element. Pay particular attention to the pin - it must be charged to fill it with energy and power, and to be most effective in charging it with your particular intention it must be "clean" without any residual energies. Ground yourself with a few deep breaths to release any physical tension, shaking out any remaining frustration or stress. Visualise any distracting or negative energies dispersing.
Cast your circle to protect you from negative energies or psychic attacks.
Engrave your candle(s) with the air symbol.
Light your sandalwood incense and candle(s). Look into the flame and start to channel that energy, breathing the incense in deeply. Using the feather, fan the incense onto the pin, stating "this pin I hold and will soon wear, I consecrate with the element air".
Hold the pin in your hand(s) and meditate on your intention. Visualise whatever you want to achieve, and be as specific as possible - this is what you want so don't be shy! If doubt or uncertainty starts to creep in, ground yourself further by describing your intention out loud or in your mind in as much detail as possible. Colours. Sights. Sounds. Tastes. Touch. Emotions that may arise upon achievement. Ultimately, the meditation can consist of more than the words you state out loud or images in your mind, it can be a multi-sensory experience. It can also be very simple, as long as it remains positive and you really feel it. Once you’ve formulated your intention, say it out loud or write it on a piece of paper. As the pin warms with the heat of your hand(s), visualise the steps you need to go through to achieve what you want, as well as it coming to fruition. Feel the energy that has been generated flow into your hand(s) and the pin. Once the energy has peaked, burn the piece of paper or cast off with another gesture - even a simple "I charge this pin with air's energy, to achieve my goal so mote it be".
Ground yourself by visualising any excess energy flowing into the earth. Clean up. Dismantle the altar if you wish. Undraw your circle and then do something mundane, like drinking a hot chocolate.
Wear the talisman and be mindful to create, and keep open, channels that enable energy to flow freely between you and your intention. When you need to tap into that energy, touch the talisman. Repeat your incantation if you wish (out loud or in your mind) to reassert your intention. Do this as often as you see fit - the intention is yours, and yours only, so make sure you follow your instinct.
Note that air's energy can be short lived and transient, so the talisman will need to be charged on a regular basis. I would recommend repeating this ritual once a month for as long as you need the talisman in action.
Photo by: Brodie Vissers