This Old Witch

Ever wonder what happens when a country witch crosses paths with a city witch? We did too. This Old Witch is a podcast that brings together a country witch (E. Massey) with a city witch (Alexander Cabot) to share their perspectives on witchcraft, spirituality, and magick.

Guests speakers have included Stephanie Taylor Grimasi (wife of the late Raven Grimasi), Orion Foxwood, Silver Ravenwolf, Ivo Dominguez, Sorita d’Este, Selena Fox amongst others.

I am delighted and extremely humbled to soon be included to this list of guests as I will be making my appearance on the This Old Witch show at 7pm on Saturday, 15 May 2021 (American Eastern Standard Time) – which is around 8.30am Sunday morning (16 May) here in Adelaide.

I first became aware of E. Massey (the country witch of the duo) some five or six years ago when he contributed a piece of his artwork to my anthology, Call of the God: An Anthology Exploring the Divine Masculine within Modern Paganism. It wasn’t until March of this year when our paths crossed again as we both presented at Witchcon. So when E. contacted me and asked if I would like to be a guest on their show, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

You can join us live 7pm Saturday night (American EST) or 8.30am Sunday morning (Adelaide time) where our chat will be recorded live on the This Old Witch Facebook page as well as on Spreaker. You can also listen to the previous shows through these links.

Online with P.A.N.

PAGANdash hopes to better group pagan religions and this may help the Australian Bureau of Statistics to reduce the number of inadequate description responses which is over 137,000 respondents. Pagan Community Project, and specifically MorganAkasha asked Pagan Awareness Network (P.A.N.) to take over the running of the PAGANdash campaign after the 2006 census. In 2011, P.A.N. dedicated much of its early focus to the PAGANdash campaign, providing the website and all free downloads from it for all pagan groups across Australia.

One of the reasons behind specifying an “Other” religion is not necessary to provide a more accurate number of people within Australia who identify as pagan but also so to show the social acceptance of paganism and the gradual removing of any stigmas associated with pagan paths.

On Wednesday, 12 May 2021, at 7.30pm (Sydney time) P.A.N. will be going live on their Facebook page to not only launch this year’s PAGANdash campaign, but there will also a line up of speakers, including yours truly who has been invited as the key note speaker.

You can join the Facebook live here.

Update on COVID-19 and Events

With the World Health Organization having announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic, the Temple of the Dark Moon is doing whatever we can to assist in following governmental advice. As such, we have postponed all events until May 2020 – however this was be extended pending updated advice.

The SA Health web site has a number of resources freely available including what exactly COVID-19 is and how it can be spread, home isolation, and much more.

As of this afternoon (22 March 2020), the South Australian State Government has announced that all people entering South Australia will need to isolate themselves for 14 days from their arrival. The exemptions to this ruling can be found on the SA Health web site.

As COVID-19 is a new disease, it is important to keep in mind that there is currently no existing immunity known which means that this virus can spread widely and quickly. One way to prevent this is for all of us to take self-responsibility and do whatever we can until more is known.

The current advice about COVID-19 is that the virus can spread from person to person through:

  • close contact with an infectious person (including in the 24 hours before they started showing symptoms),
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze,
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.

The most important health advice widely circulated is the emphasis on hand washing, as is evident by this poster produced by the Tasmanian Health department that especially highlights spots that are often missed when hands are washed.

If you do find the need to self-isolate yourself then it is not the end of the world, unlike what some people may feel. Already, thanks to social media, numerous ideas and suggestions are being shared of what to do during these 14 days. Even the Red Cross has a number of suggestions on their web site from learning new skills (or refreshing old skills) to catching up on outstanding projects around the house.

Remember that not everyone can handle self-isolation. On the Lifeline web site there is some important information about dealing with loneliness and isolation.

Should I personally find myself in self-isolation then there are a number of outstanding projects that I hope to finalise. One of these is making available the “Little Book” series that offer various insights into the practices of contemporary witchcraft. The first of the series is A Little Book of Wicca which is nearly completed. This 60 paged book offers a much needed starting point for seekers or those of a curious mind living south of the equator.

Important: Event Changes due to Covid-19

Due to the Australian government today imposing a 14 day self-quarantine restriction on  all travellers into Australia, it has been decided that ALL events being offered by the Isian Centre of Metaphysics and the Temple of the Dark Moon will be deferred until after 13 April 2020.

The events this will effect will be:

Monday Night Meditations – tomorrow night’s meditation (16 April) has been cancelled with the meditations resuming on Monday, 20 April 2020 due to the 13th being Easter Monday public holiday.

Gathering around the Cauldron – due to take place on 2 April has now been moved to Thursday, 16 April 2020.

There will be NO Reboot Your Life sessions available until after Easter.

At this stage all other events will be taking place as per usual.

Protective Four Thieves Oil

Copper engraving of Doctor Schnabel (ie, Dr Beak), a plague doctor in 17th century Rome, circa 1656

According to legend, in 1413 while large parts of France was being devastated by the Bubonic Plague (aka the Black Death), a group of four thieves were charged for stealing from the sick and dying.  In considering their sentence (death by burning), the judge was curious as to how come they never contracted the plague themselves. According to legend, the thieves disclosed that as they were actually unemployed perfume and spice merchants who had devised an essential oil concoction that when applied to their hands, ears, temples, feet and a mask over their mouths, kept them safe from infection. The judge apparently stayed true to his word and while the four thieves were not burned alive, they hanged for their crimes instead.

While the recipe tends to differ depending on source, some of the more common oils tend to be clove bud, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus and rosemary – all of which have various anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.

One recipe for Four Thieves oil is to mix together the following essential oils into a dark glass bottle:

  • 40 drops clove bud essential oil
  • 35 drops lemon essential oil
  • 20 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil

This recipe will result in the base essential oil blend that must be diluted for safe use as the essential oil content should only account for 1 to 2% of the total formula. This means that when formulating homemade cleaning products or other creations, six to 12 drops of essential oil can be added per amount of carrier oil or other menstruum. 

To freshen the air in your home or workplace, add a few drops of the base essential oil blend to an essential oil diffuser (consult diffuser’s use guide for amount) or a pot of simmering water on the stove. Diffuse for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

To make an all-purpose spray for cleaning your home or workplace fill a spray bottle with half water and half 91% isopropyl alcohol and add the base essential oil blend at a 1 to 2% dilution rate. Shake before using and then spray on countertops, desks, and other surfaces.

To make a massage oil for weary muscles and tired feet, mix the base essential oil blend at a 1 to 2% dilution rate with jojoba or olive oil. (Test on a small patch of skin first in case of personal skin sensitivity).

Place 1 to 2 drops of the base essential oil blend in a bowl of hot, steaming water and inhale the vapors under a towel to help relieve nasal congestion.

Safety Note: Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that can be harmful if not used carefully and properly. Contrary to the advice some makers may offer these days, when I underwent my training in essential oils back in the 1990s, it was strongly advised NOT to ingest them and that the majority of oils (save for an extreme few) should ALWAYS be diluted in a base/carrier oil when being applied to the skin to prevent any possible irritation. Essential oils should also be kept out of reach of children.