Bugs and Symbolism in Spellcraft

Today’s prompt is brought to you by one of the Discord servers that I am a member of.  Just as a side note that I usually include with these discord questions… The reason I do not link these Discord servers is because each server has their own rules about if you’re allowed to share them publicly and how, and it’s a pain in the ass to look it up for each one so I just don’t share them.

On to the question… “What bug associations do you hold?

caterpillar

Like the use of crystals, and the use of herbs and plants, there are often times when bugs are used in magic.  Not just in predictions and omens, but also occasionally in spellwork and the like. This is not something that I personally do all that often, as I feel much the same about using bugs in my spellcraft as I do about using animals.  That is to say… they cannot give their consent to be used in this manner, which means it’s unfair use and disrespectful of me to do so.  That said, I do have certain associations with different bugs.  I’ve listed those below…

Ants – hard work, strength, community
Aphids – sneaky, hidden, persistence
Bees – collaborative work, success, the sun
Butterflies – rebirth, hope, renewal
Caterpillars – growth, slow organic change (usually positive)
Cicadas – deeply personal transformation, vocalization, inner truth
Cockroach – sloth, resilience, hardiness
Cricket – good luck, happiness
Dragonflies – sudden or abrupt change (not always positive)
Firefly – inner light shining bright, authenticity
Flies – filth, decay, guilt
Gnats – hunger, annoyance, persistence
Ladybugs – wishes, good luck
Locust – deceit, greed, bad luck
Mosquito – blood, medical field, usury, vampirism (energy or otherwise)
Moth – addictions, temptations, the moon, the subconscious
Praying Mantis – independence, betrayal
Pill Bugs – passive defense, being guarded
Silverfish – greed, gluttony
Spiders (most) – meticulousness, organization
Termites – perniciousness
Ticks – tenaciousness, burrowing energy
Wasps – anger, backbiting, over the top protection, warning

Keep in mind that these are my personal associations with each of the bugs listed above.  I have no idea what the “official” metaphysical associations and symbolism is for each of them, although I would imagine that I’m on the right track with most.

With that said, obviously these are not all of the uses, associations, and symbolism that these bugs can possess.  I tried to wrack my brain for as many different types of bugs as I could think of without doing an internet search for bugs, which would be sure to set off my arachnophobia like nobody’s business.

#TarotCollector a (non) VR to MoonBaby

Today’s post is inspired by Brant’s #TarotCollector challenge over on his channel, Moon Baby on YouTube. Your most expensive deck

The Fairy Tale Tarot by Lisa Hunt

Your most expensive deck: The Fairy Tale Tarot by Lisa Hunt (English Edition). I had this one a handful of years ago when it was first published and it was destroyed in an accident. I paid a hell of a lot more than the publisher’s price to replace it when I finally got around to replacing it. It’s one of the few decks that I’ve kept the box for.

Student Tarot No.5
Student Tarot Version 5

Your least expensive deck: I have a number of decks that I’ve gotten for free over the years, either as gifts, prizes, etc. But this is my least expensive deck that I actually paid money for. It cost me just a few cents under $3. I’ve had a few playing card decks I’ve payed less for over the years, but I was trying to primarily stick to tarot for this challenge (although you’ll see I did deviate on an answer later on).

The deck other collectors want to steal from your collection: See the first question above. I probably have a good number of decks that people would like to steal from my collection, but since my motivation for collecting seems a bit off from others’ I’m not sure I have a very good idea which ones they’d be. Probably a good number of my Il Meneghello decks.

Deviant Moon Tarot Borderless Edition
Deviant Moon Tarot Borderless Edition

Your strangest deck: Okay… so I confess. I have a LOT of really strange decks. I’m a big fan of really strange decks. And, I know that a lot of people don’t find the Deviant Moon Tarot to be a strange one, but I do. Definitely. And as many other strange decks as I get? This one always tops the list for me. So I’m going to say that my strangest deck is the Deviant Moon Tarot.

Hokusai Tarot and 22 Talismani in 22 Arcani Tarot
Hokusai Tarot and 22 Talismani in 22 Arcani

The deck other collectors are least likely to have in their collection: Honestly? Any of a number of my Il Meneghello decks would fit in this category probably. Not just because they are limited run decks, but because they are not really all that well known. Add to that that a number of those Il Meneghello decks are majors only decks and… well I picked two of my favorites and went with them.

Gypsy Witch Fortune Cards c.1920
Gypsy Witch Fortune Cards c. 1920

Your oldest deck: This one, I went by publication date. And it’s the only category that I strayed away from tarot. My oldest deck by publication date is my mother’s set of the Gypsy Witch Fortune Cards that was printed in 1920. Alternately, I also have my great great (great?) grandmother’s canasta set that she used to read divination with, but I have no idea what the publication is on that one so I didn’t include it here.

Sacred Circle Tarot
The Sacred Circle Tarot

The deck you’ve had the longest: For this question, I switched back to tarot only I started with tarot when I was fourteen years old. Before tarot, I was taught lenormand and playing card reading and I have had decks of both far back into my childhood. But I honestly don’t remember which was my first… or second… or fifth. I do, however, know which deck was my first tarot deck and thus, the one I’ve had the longest. That would be the Sacred Circle Tarot. As you can see from the pictures? I have modified the fuck out of this deck.

Tarot of Trees and The Revived Gassmann Tarot Marseilles
The Tarot of Trees 10th Anniversary Edition and The Revived Gassmann Tarot Marseilles

Your newest deck: In my last visit to the post office, I had a good handful of decks come in, but the two that really stuck out to me the strongest were these two. The Tarot of Trees 10th Anniversary Edition is a beautiful large-card version of the earlier deck that came out in small cards. And The Revived Gassmann Tarot Marseilles that came out this year from Patrick Valenza.

Herbal Tarot and the Hanson Roberts Tarot
The Herbal Tarot and the Hanson Roberts Tarot

The deck that made you want to collect decks in the first place: After the debacle of the Sacred Circle Tarot as my first deck, I was a bit discouraged as I couldn’t connect to the Sacred Circle at all. Then I got my hands on the Herbal Tarot and the Hanson Roberts Tarot within weeks of each other, and it made me realizes that there was a great deal of potential out there to tap into. I’d made a mistake with my first tarot deck, and ended up with something that didn’t work for me at all and thus was extremely difficult for me to read. When these two came along, it was a breath of fresh air and I’ve been collecting ever since.

Tarot of the Hidden Realm and The Stolen Child Tarot

Your favorite deck from your collection: I am unable to pick one but I can manage to whittle it down to two. My two absolute favorite decks are the Tarot of the Hidden Realm and The Stolen Child Tarot. There are a couple of runners up tho….

Hush Tarot, The Brady Tarot, The Botan Tarot
Hush Tarot, The Brady Tarot, and The Botan Tarot

The three above are my runners up to my favorites. The thing is? Interestingly enough all five of these are relatively new decks. I’ve been collecting decks for eighteen years, and other decks besides tarot for even longer, but it hasn’t been until these last few years that I’ve actually managed to find decks that I deeply connect with. I had favorites before them… absolutely. But the connection is not the same as what I have with these decks mentioned here now.

Samhain and Halloween In My Practice

Today’s post is brought to you by one of my Discord servers. Below are some discussion questions that were posted for a “witchy chat” that they had on their server. Although I couldn’t attend the chat, I thought I’d answer the questions here.

Samhain Questions

  • Is Samhain a holiday you celebrate or intend to celebrate?

Absolutely. Samhain is a holiday that my sister and I celebrate together each year.

  • What does Samhain mean to you?

Samhain is the time of year when the veil is at its thinnest between our realm and that of the spirit world. It is a time to acknowledge and honor our ancestors and those loved ones that have passed on. It is also the witch’s new year, and marks the end of the wheel of the year’s cycle. After Samhain, the world goes into dormancy for a time and will then begin to rouse once more following Yule in December. This makes Samhain a perfect time for letting go of the past and past habits.

  • What are your Samhain plans?

Each year my sister and I have a dumb supper to honor our ancestors and loved ones, followed by a ritual with much of the same theme. At the end of the ritual we include spellwork to assist in the letting go of things best left behind as we move forward and step into the energy of a new cycle on the other side.

  • Do you consider Samhain to be the start of a new year? Do you have any “New Year” traditions you enjoy on Samhain?

I think I pretty much covered this above. L has shifted her new year to Beltane in the spring, but she still also participates in my celebration of it during Samhain in the fall. So in essence, we’re celebrating two new years, each one distinct from the other. For the fall new year, we often will write out things we wish to leave behind on bay leaves and cast them into the fire to release their energy from our lives. This part of our ritual is something we include each year without fail.

  • Do you celebrate any other holidays around the same time as Samhain? What are they? How do you celebrate?

No. My previous holiday was Mabon in September, and my next will be Yule in December. That said, there are a lot of concepts of Samhain that are shared by other holidays in other cultures, a common theme and common thread of beliefs connecting these different holidays around the world.

  • What do you think of the way that October has become “the season of the witch”? Do you enjoy that witch-themed things become more mainstream for at least a little while?

I don’t mind it. I guess the commercialism of it all should bug me. But the thing is? It is a time of year that makes it easy to find certain supplies and decor that you just can’t seem to get your hands on any other time of year. It opens society to a more accepting (if commercialized) view, which in turn makes it less dangerous to be a witch in the first place. So, in accepting the good with the bad, I suppose a little “Season of the Witch” each year isn’t an entirely horrible thing.

  • Do you separate Samhain from Halloween and celebrate them distinctly from each other?

To me “Halloween” is about candy, parties, and trick or treating. It’s about costumes and fun and games. So yes. It is very much a separate thing from the solemn and respectful theme of Samhain.

I absolutely do celebrate both, sometimes with more leaning on one than the other… but always both.

#31DaysofWitchcraft Prompt 20 (non)VR to Heather Carter

Heather Carter on YouTube put together a series of prompts titled #31DaysofWitchcraft that she’s been working her way through since the beginning of May. I really like this idea, but I can’t handle the responsibility of any more daily posts, so I thought that for the next few weeks, I would do one (or a few at a time) for the end of week “My Pagan Perspective” posts and work through them a bit at a time.

witchyfunk

20. What do you do when you are in a witchy funk?

“Witchy Funk”.  That is such a weird term to me when I read it and I’m not sure why.  Maybe it is because my spirituality and my witchcraft are so wrapped up into one?

The thing is, witchcraft is an act.  It is an activity.  You do not have to be Wiccan or Pagan to practice it.  There are Christian witches, Hindu witches, Atheist witches… there’s all kinds.  It is not a spirituality, it is an act… a tool.

Paganism, is not an activity.  It is a faith.  A religion.  A spiritual path.  It is a path of belief.   How someone walks this path may vary from person to person.  Some Wiccans, for example, do not practice witchcraft.  Some Pagans don’t either.   And others do.

For me, these two things were interlaced and so very woven together that they grew together like gemeis, two trees that grow together into one. The inosculation in this natural phenomenon between trees is a good comparison how witchcraft and my spiritual path have grown together over time until there is no clear separation between them any longer.

So when I see the words “witchy funk” it feels strange.  How does one have a “funk” from their belief?  From their faith?  From how they believe the world works and how we interact with it?   I’m… not sure that’s possible. I mean, maybe during major depressive episodes and I essentially retreat from every little single thing in the world?  But I definitely wouldn’t call that a “funk”.

Are there times when I am more active and engaged than others?  Absolutely, but we can say that about anything in life, can’t we?  Everyone goes through phases and cycles.  Sometimes our attention gets drawn away to this or that, and then we slip back to center again when the newness wears off or we accomplish what we’d been distracted by.   I also don’t consider these a “funk”, but more of a natural cycle of interest and curiosity balancing out with just how much time there is in each day.

So I’m left wondering… do I even have witchy funks? What exactly -is- a witchy funk anyway?   I’m not sure.