Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Magic for the Memory impaired

I have a kind of funny memory.  I am absolutely horrible with dates and names, but I can remember songs and chants that I haven't heard in months or years.  I talk a lot about internalizing information, because for me, that is the moment when something is well known enough for me that I remember it.  Sure, if I don't access that information for a long time it can get lost, but it normally only takes a little refresher for me to be able to recall it.

There is a definite stigma attached to memory.  It is a pretty common attitude that if you 'really knew your stuff' then you would have it memorized.  This is partially true for a lot of people.  The more you study something, the more you have practiced it, the more familiar you are with the information.  You may find that you don't have to look stuff up if you work with it every day or over the course of years.

But not everyone works this way.  Some people will never have that kind of recall, even if they work with something every day for years.  They may not need much prompting to recall lots of details, but they do need a little boost.

I was lucky enough to go to a high school that took a bit of a different approach to learning.  We didn't have to memorize a lot of things.  Sure, we had the odd project here or there that would require reciting a poem, or some very common math or science formulas that we would have to know by heart, but most of our classes focused on comprehension instead of memorization.  We would have access to reference materials and as long as we knew how to apply them, we got good grades.

This has definitely shaped how I approach life today.  My books are my reference materials, and I use them often.  Sometimes I still find myself judging myself poorly because I don't remember things.  I couldn't tell you someone's sign if they told me their birthday, and even things like Sabbats that I have been honoring for decades now, I can't reliably rattle off the dates.

Instead, I make extensive use of calendars....almost to a crazy level!  I have several paper calendars (for different areas of my life), as well as digital calendars.  My computer calendar tracks things that I may need to remember to do months down the line.  I can set it to make a little window pop-up as a reminder, which is very handy and means I don't actually have to go look at it everyday.  I have a dateless date book (sounds contradictory I know, but it's one of those that lists every day of the year, but not for a specific year) that I use to keep track of birthdays, holidays, festivals and other things that happen on a specific day.  The great thing about this kind of datebook is that you can decide what you want to remember and what is important for you.  And every month you can look to see what is coming up.

Because I don't have a lot of things memorized, I have developed better organization skills.  I tend to know where I can find the information that I want.  My books, especially my BOS and journals are highly organized and labeled for this reason.  If I want to look up something on moon phases, I know which books to look in and where in them to look.

Journaling, or some other form or writing, is a huge part of how I learn.  By thinking about a subject and sorting those thoughts into words, even if they are just sort of stream of thought words in a private journal, that serves to help me organize my thoughts and really ask deeper questions.  It is doubly beneficial for me to write about a subject, then let the writing sit for a while...until I can't remember it all exactly.  Then I can come back and read what I have written and often I will have new thoughts on the matter.  It can become quite the never-ending cycle, but I always walk away with new insight which is great!

I have also learned the ways that help my brain to link information together.  It's not just about writing stuff down, but how you write it down.  For me, art is a powerful tool for memory.  Drawing a stick figure and adding a bit of color will help me remember something much better than just writing the word.  I use this all the time for remembering symbols.  I'll take the symbol, think about the meaning and then draw a little sketch that uses the symbol to illustrate the meaning. 

Rhyme is also a big tool for me.  If I can make a little chant for a thing, I can practice that and it helps me remember things much easier.  I can add in key words that will remind me of other stuff and end up with a fair amount of information in a few lines.  I could never remember which way the moon changed until I learned the phrase, "Light, right, getting bright," which reminds me if it is the right side of the moon that is illuminated, then the moon is waxing (wax getting brighter and more full).

One of the other areas where it is common to expect memorization is with divination.  Especially with rune sets and cards.  While many cards are based off of a fixed set of symbolism, there are so many decks now that break the mold.  I am mostly an intuitive reader, but I am fascinated by divination systems that use numerology, the fools journey, and other sets of correspondences for each of the cards.  I can not remember them!  I actually just started a divination spread journal because I always see these lovely and interesting card spreads, but when I sit down to read I either end up going with the basic Celtic cross (because it was the first one I learned and the one I have done the I remember it) or I sort of free-form and just ask questions and turn over cards.

I was part of a discussion about divination and reading methods recently where someone really opened up my eyes about tarot and memorization.  For them, the way they read cards was to lay out a reading, and then refer to the book.  They use the little booklet that comes with most decks, that lists like 20 words for each card.  I always hated those books, because for me, that list of words has no context and is just sort of a jumble.  But they saw it as a second layer of divination!  They looked at the words for the card, and some of them would jump out to them.  It was different every time they read cards, so it was another way for them to tap into what the cards were saying, much like in forms of book divination where you flip to a page and read a sentence and then use that as your guidance.

There are so many ways in which our minds can retain and process information.  Memorization is only one!  So whether you are someone who remembers things easily, someone who never remembers anything, or someone like me who remembers some things well and some things not at all, never fear!  Find a system for keeping information on hand that works for you, and don't let anyone make you feel like less because you can't rattle off every association for the color blue when asked.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Practice when you just don't feel like it

I think we all have days where we are tired, drained, out of sorts, sick or for whatever reason just can't find the energy to do the things we may want to.  And especially when it comes to our spiritual path, we want to be able to commit ourselves to our actions, to really be present and fully centered in our actions, but sometimes we just don't feel up to it.

We each have our own rhythms and some people may have more up days while others may have fewer.  You may have these great and wonderful ideas in your head about how you would like things to be, but when you think about actually doing them, you can't seem to get yourself moving.

I have my fair share of days that I just want to sit around, toss something meaningless on the tv and do absolutely nothing.  Sometimes it's a physical thing, I'm under the weather, didn't get enough sleep or am run down for some other reason.  Sometimes it's an emotional thing and I'm just sort of in a dark place where nothing seems worth it.

I don't think there is anything wrong with taking days off, even with forgoing your regular daily practice, whatever it may be.  I have skipped days of my regular routine.  Sometimes it's because life got in the way...if I need to be out the door at 6:15, I am not likely to do my regular stretching and meditation when I wake up (because boy would I be cranky to have to get up early enough to do it!).  Sometimes it's because I just can't drag up the desire to do it. 

I do know that almost always, if I do manage to get myself motivated and do something, even if it wasn't the full thing I had planned on doing, I'll feel better and more balanced.  The trick is finding the things that you CAN do, the things that work for you, and letting your practice build from there.

One of the things that hasn't always been a formal part of my practice is Sabbats.  Being a solitary practitioner who has had a family for the bulk of my personal practice, as much as I would love to have big, fancy rituals every month and a half, with a full circle cast, themed feast and drink and seasonal personal work.....realistically it just doesn't happen.  I do try to keep my altar refreshed for each Sabbat (though I am still working on collecting items for all the Sabbats), even if all I do is give it a thorough clean and change out my altar cloth to a more seasonally appropriate color.

I love candles and lighting them.  There is something intrinsically magical to me about candles, and flame has always been a beautiful thing to me.  I also adore the smell of a candle that has just been blown out (one more reason why I love to light a candle for prayers right before bed).  But I have cats, who aren't very smart about candles.  I used to leave them burning while I went about my day, but popped out one day to check the mail, and came back to the smell of burning fur and one of my cats standing with her back to the candle....and her tail hovering close enough over it to be singing!  She didn't seem to notice....I was very relieved to see that she only lost a little fur and didn't get hurt, but that was the end of me burning candles when I wasn't sitting right in the room with them.

I also don't like burning candles too close to my computer...which is where I spend most of my day.  I am sometimes quite clumsy, and the last thing I need is to smack a candle and spatter hot wax all over my keyboard.

So what does all this have to do with practicing when you are down?  The act of burning a candle might lift me up, but having to manage the candle while it is burning (so that I make sure it's not dangerous) isn't always something I want to be bothered with.  It has changed what kind of candles I tend to stock up on.  While I still have lots of pillar and tea candles, I prefer to light them when I know I'm going to have them burn for at least half an hour...otherwise they just burn a hole down in the middle by the wick.

Instead, I like taper candles for my prayer candles...I can burn them for short periods and blow them out and they burn down just fine.  When I am worn out and not able to do full prayers, I can still light a candle, bow my head and sit in silence for a breath or two.  Or even just talk about how I am not feeling right (my prayers are highly informal, conversational style).

I also always have birthday candles on hand for quick spellwork.  Plus, they are small enough that I can easily burn one in a small bowl and keep them contained!

I run into a similar issue with incense.  I have a ton of incense sticks, both full sized and the little mini size, as well as cones and loose incense.  Incense can be a double whammy for me.  Sometimes, it is too strong inside, especially as our apartment isn't huge and is not open.  While I feel less concerned about the safety of the burning incense, I still prefer to be nearby as it is burning.

I've come to love burning bay leaves as incense.  The smell reminds me of some of the Asian temple incense that I love.  They flare up and crackle and burn up about a half inch of the leaf before the flame dies, then you can watch the little embers consume the burnt part.  Even with a large leaf, having to relight it about five times to burn the whole thing, it still only takes a minute or two, and it is a sort of entrancing practice.  I light a candle (so I don't have to hold a lighter or match to burn it), and use a metal spoon rest to catch the ash (and so if I need to drop the burning leaf, it's not going to scorch my table...)

I also love the very simple practice of lighting a match.  Much like I love the smell of candles that have just been extinguished, I also like the smell of a match being lit.  I like matches for quick banishing.  You can write a single word on the stick, or just hold it in your hand and think about what you are releasing.  Then light it up and watch it burn!  (I think I just like burning stuff, but this always makes me feel slightly better)

I love to meditate, but this is definitely something that if I am in an off mood I can't always do.  Or at least I can't do in my normal way.  Some days, I'll just lay on the floor...often on my back, with my arms stretched out, but sometimes on my stomach with my arms folded and my head resting on them.  I don't actually DO anything...I just let myself lay there.  It's a grounding and meditative practice, but it's entirely passive. 

Another thing I do is listen to music.  I'll find a song that fits my mood and let myself just listen to it.  Normally I'll close my eyes, I may or may not sing (sometimes I mouth or whisper the words....that often feels more tuned in to me for some reason).  If I had wanted to do a larger ritual but wasn't up to it, I might pick a few chants that fit what I wanted to do and play them. 

Ultimately, I don't feel that there is any shame in not doing full ritual or regular practice when you aren't up for it.  I have never felt that spirit is disappointed when I am in a low place and don't do something (even if it was something that I had made a previous commitment to doing).  Some days, just thinking to myself, "Well, I had wanted to do a ritual today, but there is no way I can, I'm sorry," makes me feel better and reassures me that I am okay.  For me, showing up and doing anything, even just acknowledging that I can't do something, is better than beating myself up for not doing a bigger thing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Familiars and totems and guides, Oh My!

Whether you have a pet or not, animals feature quite prominently in many people's paths.  Almost everyone feels some connection to certain animals, and many of us have animal companions that share our daily lives.

When you speak of a witch, you often also think of a witch's familiar.  According to legend, a familiar is an animal or spirit which serves as an aid to the witch.  Depending on the legend this spirit can be demonic or even a humanoid shape, but most of the time it is an animal.  Often the animal is depicted as having human-like intelligence.  Sometimes there was something 'off' or unusual about the animal.  Some legends suggest that the familiar must feed from the witch in order to sustain itself.

While many of these concepts have faded with time, the idea of a familiar is still something more than your regular adoring pet.  Many people feel that a familiar should take some kind of active role in your practice, either joining you in circle or meditation or otherwise participating in your magical workings.

There are a lot of varying theories about animals and magic.  It is a common belief that animals can see things that we typically can not (like:  fae, ghosts, energy).  Some people find that their animals will not cross the edge of a cast circle while others feel their pets slip in and out of the circle without breaking the circle.

I have had several cats over the years, and while I have been close with them all, one definitely stood out.  None of my cats have shown much interest in most of my practice, they don't care about the circles I cast and they are more likely to want to sleep on my tarot cards or bat at my runes than they are to be helpful.  One of my cats does like to sit in my lap in the mornings when I meditate (that is the only time she comes up and wants to be on me when I'm sitting on the floor....which is quite often). 

I do consider my cats familiars, even if they don't fit the traditional concepts.  They are my companions in life, are with me all day long when I am in the house alone.  They follow me into whatever room I am in and get upset when I go somewhere they can't go (like the bathroom).  I talk to them, and they meow back at me.  When I am upset, they will come and snuggle with me.  All of them sleep in the bed around me (one up right next to my pillow, where I can tuck one hand against her while I sleep).  The one that I formed the closest connection to passed over this year, but I still feel her around from time to time.

Some people think that you shouldn't call your pet a familiar unless they 'do' familiar things.  I am not in that camp.  My cats make my life better, which makes me happy and content.  They bring joy and peace to my house and my family.  They raise the energy of our home.  I don't need them to fetch me bits and bobs or pick cards from my deck for me. 

Another way many people connect with animals is through the concept of totems.  This is a controversial topic with some people.  It is a well known enough concept that it is one of those buzz phrases that often gets asked (along with:  what's your sign and what element are you).  Some feel that it is a misused term, though the concept of an animal that you are connected to (either personally or through a group you belong to) is one that is found around the world and throughout history.

Totems often befall the same fate as Past Lives:  everyone wants the glamour.  If you ask people about their Past Lives, you will find many famous people or important people....rarely do you find farmers or common people.  With totems, you will find way more people who identify with the big ones (for example:  wolf, bear, eagle) than with less powerful or beautiful animals (like:  mouse, cockroach, sea cucumber).

Totems encompass both the idea of teacher and of guardian.  Some might consider them to be your own spirit in animal form.  This is how I personally think of the term totem:  it is a reflection of your inner self.  Your totem might represent qualities about yourself that you love or ones you hide from the world.  Understanding and connecting with your totem helps you notice patterns in how you interact with the world around you.  Many animals will approach the same situation in completely different ways, just like people do.  Turning to your totem for advice and help you see the best way to do things for you.

Now I know what I just said about people tending toward the powerful and beautiful totems, so bear with me a moment here.  I have felt Wolf has been my totem since grade school.  I have always been an animal lover, and predators in particular, but Wolf has been with me since I can remember.  I am a huge reader, so I saw more than just the image that is popular in media.  Wolf is a predator, but Wolf is also a pack animal (and sometimes a loner).  Social structure is important to Wolf, and the pack works together to hunt and survive.

Ultimately, when you feel you have found your totem, it doesn't matter what animal it is.  But be prepared to accept both the good and the bad, to look at the whole animal and not just the face it shows to the world.  Wolf is territorial and wide ranging.  Dominance and submission plays a big part in their social structuring.  While they can exist without a pack, the survival rate is much lower.  I see both the good and the bad of Wolf in me.

The other thing about a totem is that it typically doesn't change.  Your totem is with you for life.  A group that has a totem has it as long as the group is formed.  A family that has a totem will carry that animal throughout generations. 

When we have animals that pop into our lives for shorter periods, they are often functioning as guides.  Animal guides can act as teachers or warnings.  They have messages for us, and can stick around as long as needed, but may depart once their voice has been heard.

Pay attention to things you see in the world around you.  Not every animal is an animal guide, but if you notice a particular animal popping up a lot, it might be wise to pay attention and to really listen to what it is trying to tell you.  And animals don't have to show up in person.  You might start seeing penguins everywhere:  stuffed animals in a store, in advertisements on tv, as icons on webpages. 

I also think that animal guides can be any animal:  real, fantastical or domestic.  I think that they all have different messages to teach us, and sometimes those messages might not be what we expect.  Much like totems, when you are working out what an animal guide is trying to tell you, look at all their aspects, not just the good and dominant ones.  Dragon might be telling you to be fierce and face down all your opponents....or it might be telling you to stop hoarding your gold.  Cat may be saying you are self contained and independent or that you need to take more naps.  Horse may be telling you to run free and wild or to accept your blinders and pull the cart where you are directed to.

We can also call upon animal guides when we need to learn a particular lesson.  Deliberately connecting to an animal can be considered a form of shape shifting:  we are trying to take on the characteristics of behaviors of the animal.  This can be a very powerful tool!  And like many practices, it is something that becomes easier and stronger the more you do it....and the more you connect to a particular animal, the more solid your connection will be.  

We share this world with animals, and they can share our path as well.  Whether you want to invite them into your home or just into your practice energetically, animals bring a wealth of knowledge that is outside of our normal realm.  Animals can teach us all kinds of things, from serious life lessons to the value of play and the pure joy of existence.  We just have to let them in.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Getting started with chanting!

I love chanting....but I really didn't know much about it until my friends at Wyld Garden introduced me to chants around five years ago.  I have always loved songs and poetry...and I enjoy singing, so it's a perfect mix for me.

But I also know it can be very intimidating for a lot of people!  Especially if you don't feel comfortable singing or are worried about messing up the words.

That first night, I knew no chants.  I don't think I'd even heard "We all come from the Goddess."  And there I was, with my friends, but there were only four of us (or possibly 6, I can't remember exactly who was there, but it was a very small group, I know that).  I knew none of the words, I just had to jump in and follow along.

In the time since then, I have chanted in small groups and larger groups.  I have chanted as part of big rituals, in small social gatherings...and of course in the shower (which totally confused my hubby one day, because I was doing the high and low parts of a chant and he couldn't figure out how I had gotten a radio in the bathroom)! 

And let me reassure all that time, no one has EVER commented when I flubbed words, did the wrong line or cracked my voice trying to hit notes I probably shouldn't.  Even when there were only a couple of us, and I was sharing a new chant...and completely forgot the words!  We just looked them up and started over.

It is actually easier in a larger group, because the more people you have the less one voice stands out. 
And even better if you have someone on a drum or other musical instrument....or have a recording of the chant to play and sing along with.

There are a ton of beautiful chants out there that are really easy to learn.  The majority of the chants I know are in a voice range that is accessible to most people...whether you think you are a good singer or not!  There is a huge selection of chants that are between 4-6 lines, so not a lot to remember.

I also keep a chant has pretty much every chant that I've come across that I like or want to learn.  I often take it with me to rituals or to gatherings where I think there might be chanting.  If I feel rusty on a chant, I can pull out my book and follow along until I am comfortable.  I can also share my book with people who might not know a chant at all!

I learned a lot of my first chants from people....we would do a chant, and I'd jot it down to practice on my own.  But I have also looked up a lot of chants online.  While many chant sites list the words, I like to find ones that also have audio clips so I can hear the tune.  Here are a couple links to sites I really like.

Ky's Pagan Chant Library   (the name is coincidental!)  This has a lot of the more common chants, with both lyrics and audio for most.  It also includes additional notes and info on some of them, which can be neat to read.

Panpipe's Pagan Chants  This one has a lot of unique chants, with both lyrics and audio.  I really enjoy a lot of these chants, they range from very simple to more complex.

The Singing Witches  I just found this one recently, but it has some lovely chants, with lyrics and audio.

I have also just browsed on YouTube.  I often do this for chants that I have lyrics but no audio for.  Often you can find a chant by typing in part of the first line (or I Google it first to see if the chant has a name)

I think chanting is an amazing tool, both for personal use and for group work.  It is really fun to chant with a group, and adds a lot to rituals.  We've used chanting as part of the meat of a ritual, to raise power or otherwise direct the energy.  We've also used chanting to create appropriate ambiance...chanting while we entered circle or while other things were going on to create atmosphere.  We also often chant after ritual or when just hanging out!

So how do you get started?  Well of course, you can always learn chants on your own.  I have playlists of chants on my computer to listen to.  When I am first learning a chant, I like to put it on loop for a while (especially while I'm doing stuff like housecleaning...then I can chant along and practice).  Writing it out not only helps me learn the chant (copying stuff by hand helps your brain retain the information better), but as I keep my chants all in a nice little book, it makes it handy to brush up on chants when I need a reminder. 

You can also suggest chanting as a group project!  If you have a group that meets regularly, everyone can find one chant they really like, and teach it to the group (you can spread them out too, adding just one new chant each time you meet to help people feel more comfortable with it).  For a group, it can be helpful to share the chant ahead of time, that way everyone can hear it and write out the lyrics if they want.  Or, if you don't know ahead of time who will be there, print out copies of the words and have a recording of the chant to play. 

I would definitely recommend learning 'We all come from the Goddess'.  Not only is it probably one of the most well known chants, it also has several verse variants, though the basic verse is the most often used.  And it's basic rhythm and tune are shared by a lot of other chants.  So once you are familiar with this one chant, it makes it easier to learn a lot of other chants as well.

And never be afraid to create your own chants!  You can pick a chant you like the tune to and make new words.  Or you can find a bit of song that you like and that fits your need and use it as a chant.  You can adapt poems or bits of poems as a chant.

I highly recommend giving chanting a go!  Try it on your own, and try it in a group (really not trying to go all Seuss on you  There is a different feel to chanting by yourself in different environments.  If I am outside, chanting by myself, I feel very connected to nature.  If I am in the shower, chanting by myself, it feels more divinity oriented.  If I am chanting as part of my prayers or personal rituals it brings different flavors of power.  Chanting in a group can be haunting or celebratory, depending on the chant!  The same chant, done in different places or with different people can feel completely different, which is sort of amazing!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Everyday Magic: Whats in your Wallet (or Purse!)?

A lot of times, when we think about magic, we think about lofty spiritual goals or very goal-oriented "I need a thing" type of workings.  We think about beautiful tools, elaborate or simple rituals, and setting aside time to 'be magical'.

But there are a ton of things we do everyday, that can either be enchanted to bring things we want in our life, or to repel things we don't want, or they can become triggers to remind us to take specific actions.  The great thing about this kind of everyday magic is it uses things we have on us or around us every day, things that we interact with in our regular, daily life.

Today, I'm going to focus on stuff you carry around with you when you leave the house:  stuff that goes in your wallet, pockets or purse (or whatever bag you might cart about with you).  Some stuff is things that pretty much everyone has, and some stuff might be new to you.  So take a trip with me, into my purse...and lets see what magic we can dig up!

First I'm going to mention keys.  They are something we all use, in a variety of forms, and almost always something you take with you when you go places.  But I've already done a whole blog post dedicated to keys!  So, I'll add that link right here:  Keys and invite you to check it out.

I will talk about key rings though.  Most of us put our keys on something...whether it is just a simple split ring, or something more elaborate.  I personally have a leather loop on mine, that I can hook them onto my belt or to a strap.  I also often have a D-ring on my bags that can be used to hold my keys.  I tend to loose things that aren't attached to me, so making sure my keys are hooked onto something makes me feel more secure.  Whether you have an attachment on your keys or not, your keyring is a great thing to enchant with the intent that they stay with you.  If you want to be really thorough, you can also add a charm or secondary trigger that if they do happen to be misplaced that they will find their way back to you (and you can use this charm as a symbol to focus on if you loose them so that you can figure out where they went to).

Speaking of charms, that is a great way to add any kind of spell you want to your keys.  Think about all of the times a day you use your imagine if every time you used your keys, you saw the charm and said a prayer, sent energy towards your goal, or said an affirmation.  That is a LOT of reinforcement, and comes with a handy reminder to do it!  Make the charm something that stands out from your keys and something that reminds you of your goal.  When you add it to your keyring, set your intentions and decide what you are going to do every time you see the charm.  If you happen to forget, don't fret!  Just do your action when you remember that you forgot to do it.

My keyring also houses a small collection of store membership cards (grocery, bookstore, office supplies, gas, department).  You know, those little cards they scan to give you discounts or what have you.  I prefer to have mine on my keyring, but you might have the card ones in your wallet.  Each little card has the potential to be blessed in order to help whichever area of your life it pertains to.  Consider the gas station card:  why not empower it to keep your car from running out of gas (of course you will still have to stop and buy gas...but we have all had times where we needed a little bit of extra luck finding a gas station with good prices, or making it to the next station on a long trip).  Bless your grocery card so that you can find the foods you want to purchase for a price you are willing to pay (and so they are in stock when you need them!)  Just think about what you buy at the stores you are using your card for, and then think about either what you want when you go there or what you don't want.  So the office supply card I might charge with the goal of never needing to have emergency computer work done.

Many of the cards in your wallet can follow the same concept:  bless your insurance cards to keep you in good health, bless your driver's license to keep you safe on the road (or off police radar *grin), bless your credit/bank cards to always have money in them.  In fact, if you are like me, you probably get credit card applications in the mail from time to time.  If you need more money in your life, why not fill them out, and do a ritual to seek more abundance in your life (you can then burn the application, put it in your wallet to encourage the money to come there or keep it in your altar for further blessing).  Or, if you already have a lot of debt, why not use those fake cards that get sent with the application to absorb some of your debt..then destroy them!

It is my custom to always keep some kind of money in my wallet.  This is an old Chinese tradition:  empty wallet leads to scarce money.  Even if it's only a penny tucked somewhere, I never spend my last coin.  I also make sure that any extra wallets/purses always have a penny tucked somewhere in them too....don't want to be holding on to empty money traps!  If you want to know more about coin symbology, check out my other post on Coins

Most wallets have little slots for cards.  This is a great place to tuck any spells or paper charms you want to always have with you.  If you have symbols of protection, safe travel, prosperity or anything else you want, tuck them behind your cards or in those hidden slots.  Remember to recharge them from time to time (when you clean out or organize your wallet is a great time....otherwise you can recharge them once a month, using the moon phases to remind you!)

We almost always take our phone with us too nowadays.  Many of us have phone cases, which are another great place to slip in a little paper charm or spell.  You can set your wallpaper or lock screen to an inspirational message or picture that fits the season or a goal you are working on.  I've used my lock screen as a reminder to take a breath, say an affirmation (I've written them right on the lock screen picture) or even just to smile. 

There are tons of apps you can add to your phone that can be useful when your on the go.  Add some meditation tracks of spiritual music to listen to on your commute.  Play a mindfulness app when waiting in line.  Check in with a tarot or divination app when you need a bit of guidance.  Use a zen game to bring you back into your calm mind when life gets you frazzled.

One neat thing to do is to add blessings or protections in your phone address book.  You can add them as notes under people's names.  Or you can set their picture to a symbol or picture of what you want (this is especially good for people who call you a lot...when they call you, their picture pops up and reminds you of what you want to send or block).  If you don't want it to be obvious to people who might look at your phone, write out your spell longhand before you add it, then drop all the vowels and write it out as just a string of consonants.

I keep a paper calendar in my purse.  Calendars are great places to set intentions for upcoming events.  If you have a doctors visit you are particularly worried about, when you add it to your calendar, bless the notation.  Think about the news you want to receive and send that intention into the calendar.  You can anoint the date with an oil and add symbols to enhance the effect, or write the appointment in a special color.  Calendars are great for setting reminders for other things too.  I am highly time oblivious, so I like to mark things down like moon phases, Sabbats, Holidays, planned rituals....anything that I have coming up really.  I also like to leave myself reminders of prep-work.  If I know I want to do a big ritual on Saturday, I might leave a note on Friday to check and see if I have everything I need all gathered up.  If I am writing my ritual out ahead of time, I may make a note even earlier in the week to work on the ritual writing.  If you are like me (and often forget to do things), you may like to do a ritual with your whole calendar, blessing it to help you keep on track and to remember to check it.

I always have a pen in my purse as well, and I like to have the kind that screws apart.  You can easily slip papers into the pen (and still have it function) to bless anything you write.  This is especially great if you write a lot of checks, but also I often use my pen to sign receipts or other documents.  Since the signature is a major identifier for many people, consider blessing your pen to protect your identity (you can also bless your id, your wallet or any of your cards for this).  Or, you can bless your pen to draw wealth to you (bless the ink to be a magnet for wealth, so even as you are spending your money, you are drawing new money back to you).  If you tend to write yourself a lot of notes or journal on the go, bless your pen for inspiration!

I also like to carry wetwipes in my purse.  Mostly for purely practical reasons (sometimes you just need to clean something!), but I think they have a lot of magical potential as well.  Definitely, if I am going to set up a little ritual somewhere on the go, I would like to be able to clean the stuff I'm using.  The wipes let me cleanse myself as well, washing my hands.  In a pinch, they make a nice little disposable white altar cloth (or white paper to wrap a bundle in...)  I definitely use them for getting rid of unwanted energy or a situation that is trying to stick to me.

I also carry dental floss...again, partially for it's intended purpose, but also because it is waxed cordage.  The stuff is amazingly strong and easy to work with, comes with it's own cutter, and I get the mint kind, which for me is cleansing and uplifting.  I use knotwork a lot, so having string of some kind is pretty mandatory for me.  I will use knots to bind a working (not just for binding, but to symbolize the finalization of any work).  Things can be tied together to bring their properties into union.  You can 'draw' a symbol with the string as a focus for a ritual (and then use the floss to make a bundle with your ingredients if you want to carry it with you).  You can make temporary (or permanent...I've used floss to make beaded necklaces before) jewelry by stringing on found objects, or just tie an appropriate amount of knots and then wear it on your wrist as a reminder.

Chewing gum is another great medium for spellwork.  Again, it can be used to bind things together, and the wrapper can be used to make bundles or to draw symbols on.  It can also be used as a focus, you set your intention before you pop it in your mouth, and then reinforce your intention as you chew.  If you have something you want to be rid of, find something to symbolize it (you can always write out what you want rid of on the wrapper, or smoosh the foil into a basic effigy), then chew the gum, thinking about softening up your problem, and finally encase your symbol in the gum, surrounding it entirely and then toss it in the trash.

Well, I hope I've given you a few ideas about how you can use the things you have on you all the time, the things you use every day, to bring more magic into your life!  Take a look through your own wallet, purse or pockets and challenge yourself to find new ways to use them in your path!  Just because something has a mundane purpose, doesn't mean it can't also be a powerful magical tool!