Wax Tales of Love


With Beltane (the fire festival welcoming summer in its blazing, sensual glory) around the corner, the most common topic asked by tarot clients and seekers alike is about love magic. As a Libra who most definitely wears rose-tinted glasses, I fully believe in love as life’s most renewable resource one can give and receive. Yet with all my interest in the magic of ritual, I’ve been more likely to loan my copy of bell hooks’ All About Love before advising red wax, poppets and love charms. Perhaps because, like most young witches, my first spells were for love, or so I thought.

My first love spell was at age 15 and it worked rather quickly. At the time I was enamored with a pink-haired boy and the soundtrack to this affair was appropriately Bjork’s “Venus as a Boy.” The feelings it caused gave me a sense of awakening, sweetness and adventure. This informed my spell and on a Friday, the day of Venus, I carved various symbols representing love into a small red candle, along with my potential suitor’s initials and mine, using a pencil to carve the wax. Then, I rubbed a blend of rose and vanilla oil into the candle finishing it with a mix of flowers circling the base of my gussied up candle. It was a little messy, full of genuine wish, and goofy enthusiasm, much like myself. (My local new age store provided me with a serious look of “use caution,” as they hesitantly rang me up.)

As I sang out loud to tales of love and crafted this candle, I lost track of time and entered a most wonderful place in my mind, where I could see myself sharing experiences with the object of my affection: buying CDs at Tower Records and going to beach late at night. I visualized all of these things happening with this new friend of mine, hoping that our relationship would evolve into something more. After this spell, our romance exploded immediately and much to my heart’s delight, I attracted exactly what I had envisioned. This sweet, unusual, and witty artist, whom I had a complete blast with, was mine. Yet the passionate part of our union had trouble developing and I realized that what was making me happiest had more to do with having a great buddy rather than a deepening relationship. We quickly discovered that we were in the same queer boat, figuring out our confused states of sexuality. This allowed us to frankly discuss relationships and love in the most honest ways.

While I got exactly what I wanted, even down to cool body piercings and almost identical backgrounds, I also got what I needed. Skeptics may be rolling their eyes at this point and eager to say how magic is just a bunch of coincidences — we were two teenage freaks looking for connection in a suburban town, of course we met! Yet every love spell I’ve done has worked with sometimes frightening outcomes where I wished I could take back what I had shouted out on a Friday night under the full moon.

A botched attempt occurred in my early 20’s when I attracted butch rockabilly types, who looked and oozed Johnny Depp in Crybaby. In reality I found myself becoming a cartoon where I always felt pressured to look, behave and perform constantly. I had gotten exactly what I wanted only to discover that it left me feeling hollow. Like all of us at times in our romantic lives, I curated a very specific mask to protect the part of me terrified of revealing my true self for fear of rejection.

Over the years I found myself hearing similar wax tales of love, lust and loss. Always the romantic, I realized that with spells of love, the universe will send you a lesson embedded within your paramour and it is your job to look past their dreamy eyes. If you ignore the messages of a situation you will be none the wiser and will most likely attract the same emotionally unavailable and ever so fetching human across the crowded room. Love spells work when we can dust away the cobwebs of our own preconceived notions about what a partner or relationship should look like and listen to our body and soul’s messages about how we actually feel in the moment. If you’re feeling obsessed or possessed with someone, that’s not love, it’s intoxication. Being swept away is part of the attraction process, but when we ignore our bodies’ cries for help it can trap us into unhealthy, abusive or manipulative situations rather that situations that facilitate giving and receiving, the equality and balance of relationships.

On the eve of Beltane, April 30, use a pink or red candle and carve your name, the symbol of Venus and a heart into it. Rub the candle with olive oil from your pantry or if you have access to blends like rose, jasmine, patchouli, anything that makes you feel warmth and beauty in your skin. As you light the candle, watch the flame dance and meditate on when you feel most vibrant and full of love. Hold these moments and see where they register in your body, paying close attention to where you feel closed up, tense or wide open. See what memories of bliss or disappointment pop up and take time to write these down in a journal. Love is something we already have within our deepest selves and our heart is a compass leading us to the next level and lesson of awareness.

Header image: Anna Biller’s The Love Witch

Originally published on Slutist


Seeds of Love On The Spring Equinox

“A cold spring, the violet was flawed on the lawn. For two weeks or more the trees hesitated; the little leaves waited. One day in a chill white blast of sunshine, on the side of one a calf was born.” — “A Cold Spring” by Elizabeth Bishop

Springtime always evokes the poet in me and there’s nothing more luxurious than having a moment to wear loose dresses, lounging out on a familiar chair while soaking up someone’s notes from the soul, be it nightmares, wishes or epic heartbreaks. We’re in a paused moment, not quite spring, as us New Yorkers now expect the unexpected when it comes to weather, yet the Spring Equinox (or Ostara) is upon us Tuesday March 20th, right after a healing New Moon in effusive Pisces. On the Equinox, the Sun enters the sign of rebellious and ready to rumble Aries and then rather quickly dear old Mercury goes retrograde on March 22nd-April 15th. The season and symbols of change will start to penetrate our consciousness, our will and our desire to come out and frolic, awakening us from our long winter’s nap.

The Greek goddess Eos was the “rosy-fingered” goddess of the dawn, draped in saffron robes, opening the gates of heaven allowing the sun to rise. Eos was cursed by an envious Aphrodite with a dangerously insatiable desire, after the sweet goddess had an afternoon in bed with Aphrodite’s paramour, Ares. This timely mythology about greeting the warming dawn, the healing powers of light and the elusive entrapments of loves shifts my thoughts to the magic of love spells in all their glory, danger and enchantment. Forever on the quest for a perfect love, Eos, despite her luminescence, never could quite find the right match. With the Spring Equinox comes a time for many types of magic. Planting seeds of love and opening our hearts to the redemptive power of connection may be our soul’s best salve. Eos was also known as Aurora in Roman mythology and for all those raised on Disney princesses, we all know the tale of Aurora, the sleeping beauty awakened by true love’s kiss. Yet in one of the peculiar origin stories, the prince’s mother in law is in fact part ogre and attempts to devour the princess and her children. This uniquely gothic Germanic part of the story is often omitted, yet like many of us in long term relationships, settling down often means signing up for all kinds of surprises along with a sacred pact of partnership. As with love magic, being careful with what you wish for couldn’t be truer, and during the Spring Equinox — the first of three Sabbats invoking the luscious energy of romance — figuring out what you in fact desire is most appropriate at this time. Flirtation, divination and exploring one’s own temperature for desire are all areas to invoke on and around the Spring Equinox.

Oomancy/Ovomancy, or egg divinations, are an old-fashioned and seasonal way — quite similar to reading tea leaves — to receive divine messages. By separating the egg whites from the yolk into water, one can interpret the formations and symbols revealed by the egg white. Firstly, however, one should sit with the egg and meditate on a question. According to Colette Brown in her delightful book, How to Read an Egg, puncturing the egg with a Swiss Army knife and then using warm water in a clear, cylinder shaped container (like a wide vase or empty, large candle holder) will make the process easier. Once you poke a hole in the egg, delicately let the whites pour into a full jar of warm water and focus on the whites. What does the shape initially look like? How does it shift? Most importantly, don’t let others influence the egg’s meaning. Much like gazing up at clouds, your mind in its meditative and magical state and will see something that may be quite different from another.

Another equinox tradition lies in it being a day of balance and the joy of orderliness, hence the tradition of spring cleaning. For those in the Jewish faith, Passover also falls around the equinox and the tradition of cleaning house as well as removing bread and any leavened products (which symbolizes the ego in all of us) is something that has seeped into the secular world as an another association of springtime rituals. Christians, who adhere to the tradition of giving something up for Lent, also celebrate the long-awaited return of Jesus resurrecting from behind the tomb. What does all of this have to do with witchery and love magic one might ask? Religions, spirituality and witchcraft are all paths towards enlightenment and finding what connects us all often leads to the same place: the heart and all the love it contains.

To let love into one’s life often requires removing known and unknown obstacles, phobias, entitlements and past traumas. On the spring equinox, taking a ritual cleansing bath and then ridding your home of old relics leftover from past lovers, giving away clothing that may repress you, and physically cleaning out any soot or grime that is literally polluting your spiritual and physical body is a priority to let in the spring winds of change. In a warm bath, mix pink Himalayan sea salt, fresh rose petals, lavender, any spring flowers that appeal to your fancy and if you’d like add a bit of almond milk and honey. Some occultists joke that magic is more than taking scented baths and while I couldn’t agree with them more, sometimes life’s seemingly easiest rituals are the most profound because of the practitioner’s dedication and focus to the moment. Take your time to truly reflect on winter’s lessons and as you let the water drain imagine snow, outdated fears, tears, addictions, disappointments and any private sadness returning back to the ocean. The spring equinox is a fortuitous time to refresh and define what love looks like, tastes like and feels like in your bones. By the time May Day/Beltane approaches in all its bonfires and merriment, you’ll be open and ready to attract your heart’s happiest and truest desires, with precise magical timing and divine intervention. For now, enjoy the sweet flirtations of spring, cleaning house and clearing the decks for magical action, as we are all buds ready to burst forth from underneath the ice.

Originally published at Slutist

Eve of Imbolc

Brigid at Her Forge

Many of my friends celebrate New Year’s as a perfunctory holiday or as “amateur night,” because the calendar year is a creation of modern times. Pagans and Witches alike view Samhain or Halloween as the “Witches New Year,” despite varying opinions. For me, the new year actually takes flight on the eve of Imbolc (February 2nd) and St. Brigid’s Day on February 1st. One of the 4 main festivals with Celtic origins in modern day Wicca, Imbolc is the midpoint between two starkly different equinoxes, a fire festival celebrating the lengthening of the days and the awakening of the goddess from her wintry slumber, nursing the Sun God, aware that spring is almost within reach. January has been filled with peaceful bouts of silence. With every passing year, my experience of January has turned into a respite of sorts, rather than a reason to cannonball wildly off the diving board towards the oncoming year. Using the brilliant cold as the perfect excuse to stay inside, go inward and reflect on “inner visions,” to quote Stevie Wonder, I’ve savored any opportunity to be alone, enjoying moments of quiet solitude, sketching out ideas as I watch bare branches swaying in the grey skies. What aspect of the Goddess do I need to summon from above, below and within to spring forth with clarity and creativity as I stoke the fires of Imbolc?

This holiday has an added dose of magic this year, with us earthlings experiencing a Supermoon/Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in passion-filled Leo opposing cool as a cucumber Aquarius on the final day of January, the 31st. Mercury will also scamper into Aquarius and there sure will be much to ponder as we enter the cerebral, big vision air sign, representing the collective conscious of the future. I am always dumbfounded with awe when the magic of timing works in the most spectacular of ways. On January 31st through February 2nd such an auspicious time awaits, gifting us with an opportunity to combine the traditions of Imbolc to map out a course of personal action (Leo) in order to benefit the greater good. (Aquarius) With so much interest in what it means to be a witch and the power of magic, this astrological moment really begs the question, what can I do for the world,  not what can the world do for me? Macro versus micro level magic. While I wish I had the brains to cure cancer or even out wealth inequality, everyone practicing witchcraft works with nature for a desired outcome, no matter how noble or trivial the intention may seem. With each magical act, the question of ethics should always be considered. Rather than looking at these opposing energies as clashing, what can the lion teach the mad scientist?


Speaking of seemingly opposite energies, history can be murky in regards to how and if Imbolc influenced the Christian holiday of Candlemas, since Candlemas appears to date back to 4th century AD. Also known as the presentation of the Lord, Candlemas is one of the oldest holidays, a time when Mary presented herself to the temple for a purification ritual 40 days after Christmas and giving birth to Jesus. Saint Brigid’s Day which falls on February 1st was most likely Christianized to appease Celts who revered and worshipped the grande dame of a goddess Brigid.

In the Celtic pantheon, her triple goddess mythology isn’t limited to a mere traditional maiden, mother, crone aspect as there are multiple aspects of Brigid all revealing a rich, complex lore that weaves among Irish towns and tales.
As a saint, goddess, or divine inspiration, Brigid’s talent for poetry, crafting, fertility and divination all fall under the category of traditional “womanly work.” The word itself, Imbolc or Imbolg in Gaelic roughly translates to “ewe’s milk,” and on January 31st when the moon is at her fullest, I will be soaking in a bath of milk and honey visualizing the transition from the winter crone towards the emerging maiden of spring. The Goddess has given birth to the God which reflects the longer days of light reminding us that springtime is just around the corner. After this bath, it’s time for a proper evening of bonfires and quiet yet focused crafts and divination. If one feels extra crafty, use corn husks to create a doll of Brigid or a cross or set up a Brigid’s bed on your altar. This can be made from an old shoebox, with soft fabric or dream pillows added — anything comfortable to welcome the Goddess into your home — bestowing it with blessings and protection. Like all potent magic, don’t focus too much on the external, rather the intent of not only blessing your hearth and home but your friends, neighbors and all those less fortunate who need shelter and food. Go through your cabinets and take unused cans to food pantries, along with coats and any clothing you no longer need. Purification can take many forms.

This time of year can feel more like a rude awakening than sleeping beauty awakening to a gentle kiss. Like all the cross quarter days, it’s a dramatic shift and energetically in Aquarius season, we can all feel the axis tilt. As the first flowers poke their heads up along with groundhogs, all weather prognostication aside, there’s not much time left to hide under the cloak of winter. Use the last moments of winter to shed these layers and visualize yourself one with the world, co-mingling with greater, perhaps unknown purposes, all for your and their highest good.

Originally published at Slutist

Father Time


As an enthusiast of the art of comics, one that I’ve kept taped to various incarnations of vision boards is, of all things, a Christian Jack Chick-inked pamphlet, “Hi, There!” featuring a winking grim reaper, scythe in hand waiting around the corner for a wise-cracking construction worker who is shocked to meet his maker. When I was handed this propaganda about 7 years ago, it was truly auspicious timing and little did the proselytizer know how I received this comic strip as much needed tongue in cheek humor, nudging me to make a major decision in life because time waits for no one. 7 years later, a cycle of Saturn, and at a new crossroad in life, I’m preparing for my favorite holiday/s, Yule (Winter Solstice) and Christmas, which neatly syncs in with Saturn, good old Father Time firmly planting his trunks in his most natural placement, Capricorn, for the next 2 ½ years (December of 2020). Like that grinning grim reaper, Saturn’s big business, commitments and visions are serious as a heart attack and Saturn suffers no fools.

Continue reading “Father Time”

Hey, Jupiter


For my one-year wedding anniversary I escaped to Woodstock and experienced the starry night sky: a cabin surrounded by woods complete with sherbet colored sunrises and falling leaves. For a brief moment, frenetic city life and work-centered commitments were on pause and for two days only pleasure mattered. I breathed in air scented with beeswax and burnt wood. From devouring an apple endive salad to sipping hot coffee next to a table of Golden Girls-esque women — one wearing a leather jacket emblazoned with Gandhi’s face — the joyful spark of Sagittarius season was lit.

A life lesson for me this fall has been about knowing when to take these pauses along with consciously acknowledging what nourishes or depletes my mind, body and heart. Sagittarius kicks off the holiday season and offers a much-needed reprieve from the bombshells dropped during Scorpio’s season of deep revelations. Women telling their stories of sexual harassment and abuse have sprung forth from the underworld, like oil spewing up from a well and a new chapter in the fight for women’s rights has begun. Sagittarius shoots for the stars and the sign of the archer awakens our deep thirst for discovering what lies past the horizon, providing us with an opportunity for discovery, in foreign places or in one’s own imagination. Ruled by Jupiter, who I always see as the King of Mardi Gras, he possesses a regal demeanor, a man of spiritual wisdom, benevolence and always full of laughter, throwing out treasures from his float and dancing with gusto at every second line parade.

To me, Jupiter mythology was a masculine ideal, perhaps because my father is a Sagittarius and he was always brave, wanting to know more and blessed with a style and flair for the dramatic. Yet, Sagittarius is also a wild centaur attracted to the flame, and my father always seemed to be galloping towards other pursuits, not available at critical times, which only made me crave his attention more. Sagittarius’s shadow side can be arrogant, full of bravado that can be downright laughable, and have a brazen approach to honesty that can either liberate or cause deep insult. Like many girls who look up to their father to be an example of “how men should be,” we’re often horribly let down. Jupiter’s jovial, warm and loving image became quickly tarnished. Perhaps it is part of a broader lesson for all children initiated into adulthood seeing their parents as the flawed adults we all are.


With the #metoo revolution in full gear it has had me thinking about how the relationship between fathers and daughters can quickly turn into their own type of five alarm fires if not handled properly. Like most women, I’ve had flashback moments in the last month remembering a multitude of events that I felt weren’t that big of a deal, in comparison to much greater traumas. It’s the devils I’ve made deals with to “forgive and forget” that have been hitting hardest.  I’ve wondered if my father had been able to be involved more in his daughter’s life, could it have prevented a rollercoaster of events? Sounds naïve and the answer is probably not, but there is a part of me that can’t help and ponder would I have been different in my relationships with men if we had a stronger bond? There were some gem moments like when he got really into Hole and we would play “Live Through This” in the car or when he revealed stories of his days as an 18 year old paratrooper all in his thick accent; “it was no big deal, you just jump.” These literally precious moments were always brief and then the suit of masculine armor was donned again. Sagittarius enjoys having a mythology about them but this left an aching distance and my father felt more like an archetype rather than someone who would protect, love and defend me despite such legendary tales.

I saw Tori Amos in concert a few weeks ago and did not have the waterworks and hysterical release of tears that I once had in high school.  I was starting to feel a little cheated but an unexpected highlight showing off her Goddess-given power came through crystal clear when she covered “Real Men,” by Joe Jackson, singing “what’s a man now, what’s a man mean.” I thought about my Sagittarius father and how life has changed him. Less prone to violence and quick judgements, I guess you could say he’s mellowed out. What’s a man mean is a question for serious thought and during this powerful time of reckoning, it will be enlightening to see who can admit their past entitlements and abuse of powers. Fire, after all, is the greatest purifier and during this season, only truth will remain.

Originally published at Slutist

Will-o’-the-Wisps & Samhain Season


“The candles are lighted, the hearthstones are swept, the fires glow red. We shall welcome them out of the night, our home-coming dead.” ~ Hallow-E’en 1917 by Winifred M. Letts

The Celtic celebration of Samhain, popularly known as All Hallow’s Eve, is the high holy day of witchcraft, which marked the Celtic new year and is an evening of reflection, honoring the dead and receiving their wise messages from the underworld. Along with magnanimous planet Jupiter firmly placed in Scorpio for the next year, the Sun and Mercury are also residing in the sign of metamorphosis, mastery and regeneration. Heavy, man, as my older hippies friends would say, barely begins to explain how deep the vibes are penetrating this Samhain season.

The importance of light, in both the magic and mundane world, has been on my mind frequently and I found myself having visions of golden lanterns at my usual 4:00am awakening. For some reason, my personal magic hour seems to be at dawn, just before the sun rises, as glimmers of light creep from the East. I find that magic works best during the “in-between” times of day and Samhain marks the beginning of winter and the waning light. Without light, we are forced to rely heavily on our senses and this creates an opportune time and atmosphere to work magic. Many magicians work strictly in a cloak of darkness and this time of year reminds us of the power of light, whether it be a single flickering candle or a blaze of carved pumpkins.


Jack-o-lanterns are a beloved Halloween tradition for all ages and while I partake in it with glee, this year I’m approaching it in a solemn and more ritualistic fashion, since the Scorpionic nature of worldwide events have forced us all to face the bleeding wounds of our soul in order for a revelatory transformation to occur. Originally the Celts in Ireland would carve turnips or gourds, as pumpkins were not local, for protection and warding off evil spirits, placing them on porches and in windows.

The name Jack o’lantern comes from the lore of Stingy Jack, a trick-loving blacksmith who toiled with the Devil, chasing and trapping him up in an apple tree. When Jack died, he would not be admitted into heaven or hell and roamed the earth carrying an ember that could never burn out, courtesy of the Devil, and placed it in a carved out turnip, his favorite food. Jack o’lantern is also referred to as the will-o’-the- wisps, a mysterious misty ghost light that resembles a lantern over swamps, bogs and marshes appearing at night. Scientifically, it is some kind of phosphorescence believed to occur due to a spontaneous combustion of chemicals such as methane or from decomposing matter. Magically the will-o’-the-wisps conjures up faeires, ghosts and all kinds of unexplained phenomena and science can’t exactly explain the entire pale flames dancing above the marshes.


On October 31st after the frivolity of trick-or-treating, bobbing for apples and other parlor games has passed, let the night envelop you and commune with silence. Be aware of the sensual world and light a flame. Carve occult symbols of protection into a pumpkin, rutabaga, potato or gourd, whatever you have access to, and if possible surround yourself in a circle of lanterns. Their light should be the only light illuminating your space and imagine yourself descending towards the bowels of the underworld. If you have a witches flying ointment or oils of mandrake, henbane or belladonna anoint your temples and feet. Incense, oils, or balms, and a glass of good red wine will often set the mood. Think back on last Halloween, how your eyes have opened and what you’re still grappling with one year later. Honor those loved ones who have passed and raise a glass to their memory, perhaps they will visit you in a dream or through a sign of life. Revel in the warmth, guidance and light that these lanterns and the season of Samhain provide.

Originally published on Slutist

Belt Of Venus


When the sky holds a pink hue along the horizon line a few moments before or after sunset, it’s known in stargazer circles as the Belt of Venus. We’ve ushered in Libra season in the Northern Hemisphere with the Autumn Equinox, and much like Venus’s rosy belt, this time of year briefly holds the Sun’s waning glow before we fully descend into fall. For the next month we are asked to dance the delicate choreography of the “in-between” seasons and work on how well we can relate. Dion Fortune wrote about how “the months of the Equinoxes are periods well known to occultists as being times of psychic stress,” which seems to contradict Libra’s outward appearance of being able to multi-task with a smile. Like a stealth ballerina, all children of Venus know how much discipline goes into making things appear harmonious and balanced.


In Greece she’s known as Aphrodite but the Romans called her Venus, and she was a goddess of victory, prostitution and fertility along with her more famous qualities of beauty and love. Venus wear many shades of lipstick and by no means is simply another pretty face. Over the weekend, I was exposed to Venus in all her aspects by way of the 15th annual NYC Burlesque Festival, in which I found myself seduced and electrified by incredible acts of beauty for every palate in the room. My sister by destiny, The World Famous * BOB * has been a personal Venus to me, and watching her host the show, with flawless wit and style, brought me back to a place of abandonment that often comes from watching people reveal. As a former burlesque performer, I will never forget a specific feeling of power and honesty that comes from owning a stage and holding the audience’s eyes, hearts and loins in the palm of your G-string. That evening, all sides of beauty were showcased with a multitude of interpretations, from the brutally handsome butch to voluptuous femmes and everything in between. Onstage the performers proudly shared their own relationships with love, sex and glamour along with political statements, triumphs over abuse, and steamy personal kinks.


As the audience cheered, I thought how appropriate it was that we’ve entered Libra season, famous for her ability to be receptive to everyone’s story, inviting all to the party because she knows it would be boring otherwise. Libra time is about understanding relationships and watching these powerful seductresses onstage made me think about my own relationship to the elusive and subjective meaning of beauty. Who’s your personal Venus and how does she inspire artful, meaningful moment of love in your life? I’ve heard some astrologers say that Leo is a director while Libra is the actor because they want to fully understand the opposite side of the story. Like an actor, take a few moments each day to observe, appreciate and broaden your definition of what makes something or someone beautiful. To act in service of beauty has nothing to do with vanity, although Venus understands that feeling beautiful is a universal desire and need. As my evening of what felt like a Goddess convention ended, I found myself fulfilled with new interpretations of what makes something sexy, funny and otherworldly. Whether it’s by lending a helping hand to someone and seeing their smile or by giving someone a genuine compliment, use Libra’s grace to fill yourself with the spirit of Venus, in all her forms, this season.

Photo Credits: Cat Cabral