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Put a Cork In It - Charmed Life Charm

The next time you enjoy a beverage sealed with a cork, keep the cork. This does not have to be a champagne cork—they are all lucky. When a bottle is shared and the occasion is a happy event or joyous moment, secret away the cork from the bottle, making a wish for repetition of the pleasure as you do so, and placing a coin in a slit in the top of the cork.

Now you must sleep on the cork every night (under your pillow) and keep it in your pocket all the next day. Rub the cork any day thereafter when you wish to hear from the other person or people who shared the bottle with you; do not wish for love but rather for continuing happiness. The cork symbolizes buoyancy, not love.

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Make a Wish Upon the Wind: A Happiness Ritual

Bluebirds are so famous they have given their name to the bluebird of happiness. The robin has been associated with the same signs of cheerfulness and joy. Seeing a bluebird or robin, you should immediately make a wish: it must be something unselfish, and not dependent on anyone else. As the bird flies off, set your wish ascending. Wish hard for steadily increasing happiness and release from strains. Whether a bluebird or a robin, if you see the bird again with a few days in exactly the same place, your wish will certainly be granted.

Here are some more magical wings and prayers:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Feeling the Rhythm of May

I Fell in Love With the Djembe

There's nothing quite like the sound or the feel of slapping a djembe for the first time. The smooth, organic touch of the taught drumhead can produce the cleanest, crispiest tones. There's variety too: the higher pitched sounds will snap through the air, while striking the middle with an open palm, fingers curled upward, will reward you with a resonant, booming bass. Shaped like a chalice and used in many a drum circle, djembes can be as small and portable as a mason jar and large enough to require straps and a carrying case if you want to stand and play it to your heart's content. The djembe also has a deeply spiritual and communal history.

I'd always loved the sound of drums, from enjoying a band to anticipating a parade. It was when an old friend of mine in Chicago formed an all-female drumming troupe and they began to host public drum circles that I developed a serious interest in learning to play.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



Thunder to my right hand

Lightning to my left hand


Fire before me

Frost behind me


Heaven above me

Earth below me


Earth to Heaven

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Time Is On Your Side Spell

A gift of a clock is lucky. Luckier still is to hear two clocks chiming together at a happy moment. If you are kissing, happy in company, meeting someone you like, concluding a business deal or launching a project, or indeed, in the midst of any other hopeful occasion, and you hear two clocks striking together, link fingers with the other person, or kiss them on the cheek.

Say aloud:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



Several decades ago, writer Paul Kingsnorth went to West Papua to document the physical and cultural genocide being perpetrated on the local Indigenous peoples by the Indonesian army.

Traveling with some men of the Lani tribe, he (and they) came to a break in the trees, where they saw

a great sweep of ancient forest rolling off towards the blue horizon. Blue, green: there was nothing else. Everything could have been here at the Creation.

Spears on shoulders, the Lani men turned and sang together, quite matter-of-factly, a song that, Kingsnorth later discovered, was a song of thanks to the forest (Kingsnorth 16).

That Song of the Forest has haunted him ever since.


His life since then—assiduously documented in yearning, visionary prose—has been a search for what those tribesmen had, a state of being which his ancestors also once had, but which has long since been lost: a living community in spiritual relationship with the Living Land.

He left environmental activism, moved his family to a remote farm in western Ireland, hooked up with the local Alexandrians. (I gather that Alexandrians are thick on the ground in Ireland.) Still missing the Song of the Forest, he left the Alexandrians, and was recently baptized into the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Well, Paul, I wish you luck in your journey, and the Sun and Moon on your path. But what would you say if I told you that I could teach you the Song of the Forest? Not the Lani Song of the Forest, but the one that our ancestors used to sing?


In truth, I can't teach that song, to him or to anyone; I don't know it either.

But here's the thing. Kingsnorth seems to have despairingly concluded that, since it's been lost, it's lost forever. But my experience over the past five decades leads me to conclude that, though we may not know the Song now, some day we will.

No, I don't know the Song of the Forest—yet. But let me tell you some of the songs that I do know.

I know the song that you sing when you see an eagle.

I know the song that you sing when you make offerings to the Fire.

I know the song of the Mask that the Horned wears when He dances among His people at the Grand Sabbat.

Fifty years ago, I didn't know any of these songs. Now I do. For this reason, I feel confident that our Song of the Forest is on the horizon, only a matter of time.


Ten years ago, a young woman—now a friend and colleague—came to ask me to be her teacher.

Naturally, I asked the question that you always ask under such circumstances: Why me?

Because what you have is the real thing, and I want it, she replied.

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  • Helga Hedgewalker
    Helga Hedgewalker says #
    So mote it be, and the sooner the better!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Wishbone folk magic conjures up memories of holiday turkeys. Chickens have wishbones too, though, and the other day I found one. Traditionally, two people break a wishbone together. Each person grabs one of the sides, they make their wishes, and on a signal, they pull at the same time. Whoever ends up with the connector piece gets their wish. So what happens when I'm alone in the house when I find a wishbone?

I thought about drying it for later use. I was not sure if that would work, though, since finding the wishbone while eating was part of the magic. Just like finding a bay leaf in the stew or finding a prize in a king cake, finding is part of what makes it folk magic and not just regular magic.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    This reminded me of a wishbone spell I read in "Hex and Spellwork" by Karl Herr on page 109, but for that you need some red yarn,

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