NEW HOME FOR TEA!

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Hey lovely people!

You know I’ve been pulling my offerings together into The Enchanted Academy (AKA TEA)? Well if you’ve seen my social media today then you’ll know that I’ve built a shiny shiny new website for TEA, which launches officially today! Please go and check it out and subscribe to receive regular “Grimoire Pages” and announcements for new courses at www.TheEnchantedAcademy.com.

(TEA Logo)

Contained within its pages is a new course – Foundations of Witchcraft – which starts on Monday and is available for £15 one off, or to my Patreon patrons at the £5 and above tiers.

(Foundations of Magic – Learn the keys to start practicing The Craft in your own way, from considering theory to casting your first spell.)

Which does mean that I’ll be continuing my more rambly posts here… Which I’ve gotta assume you enjoy as you’re still here! Honestly, the biggest news on this front is that I’ve finally taken the plunge and gone full time freelance witch, or “professional pagan” if you will (which honestly makes me giggle a little every time I hear that!)

Like many (though far from all) of us I’ve had plenty of time to re-evaluate my life over the past 18 months and I’ve found myself in a really good place so I figured, really, it’s now or never! Oh, and I passed my Viva (with minor corrections) last month so by this time next summer I’ll have finally finished my philosophical studies.

Time to seize the day, and walk my talk, and all that.

Thank you for being along for the ride with me, as ever. Life is such a huge adventure and, although the path ahead is unclear, we can choose to follow our hearts each step of the way, closer to the magic.

In delight and enchantment,

~Halo (nearly Dr) Quin

Writer, teacher, witch

Now go! Check out the very snazzy professional glamour and come back to let me know what you think!!!

The end of a chapter

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And that’s it. This month, on Imbolc eve, I finished my PhD corrections and submitted the final FINAL version. This week I got confirmation that it has been accepted!

I’m officially Dr Halo!

The thesis! Yes, I have a theme… “The power of storytelling to re-enchant the world” fits it quite nicely, don’t you think?

I celebrated with a trip to the bookshop, hot chocolate with friends, dinner for one and a movie… Then cuddles from my fella the following night, of course!

I started by letting my brain decompress and dealing with those bits of life that now need dealing with, like clearing out some old books to make space for the new ones! And contemplating where I go from here… With a foxy companion for Imbolc reminding me that spring is emerging from the dark, just like me. 🥰

If you’re on my mailing list you’ll know that I’ve got a whole bunch of monthly discussion based classes that I’m offering through Patreon, or which you can sign up for individually if you’d rather, starting with an online elements of magic workshop next month, on 16th March at 7pm GMT. (And in April I’ll be kicking off a ten week course working with them too…)

Uncover your inner witch - magical workshops in 2023 with Halo Quin - background image of lit candle on a beach at night.

And the Goblin Masquerade is coming together! Last autumn I was chatting with fellow changeling poet Kate Garrett, and somehow got the inspiration to host a goblin market followed by a Masked fairy ball this spring. Everything is coming together and we have music, talks, dancing, and even the steampunk debut of an Ominous Folk of Hopeless Maine show. It’s going to be a lovely day of community and play, and I’m considering it my party for escaping studenthood with a Doctorate at last!

Flier for the Goblin Masquerade in Borth, Ceredigion, Wales, 12th March, from 1pm. Free afternoon market, evening ball £6. Click for more details.

I’ve also been researching ADHD and neurodivergences… There’s so little support for adults with ADHD and we can do amazing things with the right help! So I’m writing occasional thoughts on that over here… On the newsletter “Living with Squirrels” not sure where it’ll go but you’re welcome to sign up if you like.

So I guess I do know where I’m going next… To play with the goblins and re-enchant the world!


PS: If you want to get workshops, extra posts, advance access to material, and more things as and when the goblins inspire me… And support my adventures so I can keep building the academy into something sustainable you can sign up to my Patreon here:

Book Review: Sekhmet

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve long known of Sekhmet, that lion-headed, powerful Goddess of healing and rage, but I have never really known much about her. Olivia Church’s book has definitely changed that.

A pile of books on top of a laptop, "Pagan Portals: Sekhmet" on top, with a small black cat statuette, and a red and gold background.
Yes, I know that’s Bast.

Heavy with the weight of history, Church’s slim book clearly arose from a deep academic understanding of the sources and research surrounding the vengeful Lady of Flame and Pestilence, but the depth of direct experience also shines through. This is not a dry, dusty, text. Although it is dense the language is graced with rich and poetic illumination, and a bright passion for both the Goddess and her culture.

I now know much more than I expected to find out about this ancient Egyptian power, and would certainly use this as a reference book, and for inspiration if I ever choose to work with this multifaceted deity.

Despite the concise nature of the Pagan Portals books, Church has succeeded in including a both breadth and depth of information, and has in no way diminished the Eye of Ra, Sekhmet herself.

The short version: beautifully written, research heavy, introduction to a multifaceted Goddess, crafted with obviously personal, passionate, devotion.

Pagan Portals – Sekhmet, by Olivia Church (Moon Books, 2022)

Quin's Books - Bookshop banner - gold writing on red background, trying to look fancy.
Find this and other magical books, including mine, at Quin’s Books. (affiliate link)

Book Review: Intuitive Magical Practice

Tags

, , , , ,

This is a sweet book with lots of thoughts about intuition and examples from the author’s own practice and life. It is very much a sharing from the heart of a personal practice, with a lot of vulnerability and plenty of inspiration. And I love how it weaves the elements so deeply through all of the chapters, and makes intuitive magic so accessible.

This is the kind of book that you really need a highlighter app for (or those little translucent sticky notes!) to mark the things that jump out at you so you can go back and try them, as it is filled with examples and ideas throughout the prose, and they’re sometimes easy to miss. Little gems in a hoard of treasure! 

Clarke has faith in her readers to already apply their intuitive understanding of the world, leading to the potential for people to improve their intuition by handing the details over to their spirit/deep self. For example, the expectation that readers can just “raise that vibration” in themselves, without explanation, assumes a lot of skills, but since these are natural skills that we can all do, if the reader simply places their trust in the author and does without thinking, there’s a good chance they’ll do well. 

Image Description: Intuitive Magical Practice viewed from above with a pot of tea, because is is cosy like a cuppa.
(Image Description: Intuitive Magical Practice viewed from above with a pot of tea, because is is cosy like a cuppa.)

I don’t agree with everything in this book, and the gendering of intuition does not sit well with me personally. In the introduction Clarke says her primary audience is women, and explicitly writes her material for women in chapter 15, so that’s worth bearing in mind if you’re, well, not. That’s not to say there isn’t beautiful, useful material in the chapter though. Personally it seems weird to me to gender a human ability that everyone has, but as the author is writing from her perspective and personal practice with intuition and the divine feminine it makes sense, and there is still a need for space for women to heal that piece of themselves so it is an important chapter for that. 

So in short: “Intuitive Magical Practice” by Natalia Clarke is a sweet, open hearted sharing of intuitive practices within a pagan perspective, primarily aimed at women, working particularly with the elements and the divine feminine. It is packed with inspiration and personal experiences, to really show how intuition can be integrated into one’s pagan practice.

~~~

Buy a copy from Quin’s Books here! (affiliate link)

Or you can order your copy from your local bookstore, or directly from the publisher here.

Please Note: I was given a copy of this book to review by the publisher.

Book Review: The Bird Atlas

Tags

, , , , , ,

Now my PhD is winding down, I’ve finally started reading books again and I want to start sharing the gems I find.

Enter; The Bird Atlas by Anna McKerrow.

Firstly, I want to talk about this as a magical text. While you could read this as pure fantasy, if you’re magically inclined this book could be used to learn the basics of spirit flight, aka astral travel. Within its deceptively simple lyricism is guidance in several magical techniques which one could explore. I’ll definitely be recommending this to people on that basis.

And then, there’s the story itself…

I started this at bedtime and that was a mistake… I was so enchanted that I read the whole book in one sitting!

Read this if you want to dream while wide awake, to drift into an otherworld alongside ours, to touch mysteries that open your spirit to wondering, or if you want a primer on what it is like to journey between the worlds and be a part of the magic.

This book may be listed as fantasy, but there are real lessons in magic, and life, contained within its sweet and haunting pages. The whole tale has a dreamlike quality to it, the atmosphere of a faery tale which weaves a legend both timeless and for our time.

Oh, and to top it off, the concept is great!

Magical realism done so beautifully I am still under its spell.

💖

Anna McKerrow's The Bird Atlas - a book with a blue cover with a painted raven flying towards the viewer. On a red and gold patchwork quilt.

(Please Note: I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy to review, but every word is true.)

If you like haunting, touching, fantasy, with real magic… find Anna here, and order your copy of The Bird Atlas from your local bookseller.

An Ode to Books

Tags

,

Oh books! You glorious creatures of paper and print and pixels, light and shadow dancing before our eyes in invocation of mind to mind, heart to heart, spirit to spirit communication!

The chanting of audio books summoning otherworlds and deep knowing. The arcane sigils of the alpha-bet holding fast the hard won wisdom and wit of moments past.

Until we open you, oh wells of wisdom, and allow you to weave your spells upon us, losing time to your enchantments, and finally returning, forever changed. 

All of which is to say ; I’m glad I’m reading more widely again, and I’ve got some book reviews lined up for you all soon!


PS: if you too like books you can buy mine here, and support me to write more here!

Still a Witch

Tags

, , ,

Eleven years ago I wrote a piece about what it means to me “To Be a Witch” because I was wrestling with the title I’d claimed for myself as a teen, trying to work out whether I really felt like I was entitled to it. In recent years I’ve gotten more wrapped up in the tension between its history and the way it is used today, but still, it is what I am. I have recently reached a new stage in my magical journey and so I’m reflecting on what I choose to carry with me into the next chapter… Looking back over what I wrote then, it is still true, so I’d like to share it with you, once more, tonight:


I wonder what it takes to be a Witch, what it means.

I feel like it is a title that should be earned, and I feel that you earn it by working on yourself, constantly working to be the best you can be as a human being; as part fey, part animal, part divine.

I feel that it represents an inner power, earned through clearing yourself and connecting to the realms beyond the physical, beyond the so called  ‘mundane’. To be a little Fey, deep down.

I feel that it involves a balancing act between the light and the dark, in yourself and in the world.

I feel that it involves a deep sense of Pride which, in its true form, includes humility. Pride is knowing your place in the world, knowing your value and valuing all other beings in the world, knowing everything has a place and a function and is sacred, including yourself.

I feel that it involves acting in alignment with your values, your beliefs, walking your talk and speaking your mind.

I feel that it involves constant attunement to the flow of nature, the flow of magic, coming back to yourself when you notice you are distracted, reconnecting at every moment possible.

I feel that it involves magic, striving to know your True Desire, True Will, who you are fundamentally, and changing consciousness (and the world) in accordance with this.

I feel that it means someone fiercely joyful, deeply compassionate, righteous in their anger when necessary, powerful in themselves, truly honest  and eternally loving.

I feel that it involves doing your best, not Perfection, but a process of improvement.

I feel that to be a Witch is to do all these things, and with a particular flavour, of deep forest greens and cool nights, of full moons through starlit skies, of Northern landscapes before the snow. The emerald lands of home.

I strive, every day, every moment, to do these things, to live connected, aware, to reconnect when I find myself scattered and distracted, to know myself and act in accordance with my Self, to be passionate and compassionate and full of joy. Mine is not a path of yellows and oranges, of sand or smoke or baking sun, but of cool deep forests and winter’s rain, of the hearth fire that holds the damp at bay, and the sun which warms but rarely burns. I am not perfect, but I am in process, and so I claim the title ‘Witch’

by Halo Quin, June 2010

It is all to easy to get wrapped up in the academia of things, and whether or not something is correct. And that does matter. But also, so often there is something utterly essential in remembering what is in Truth. Within magic there is an important piece about being True to your self and having faith in your Truth, in knowing when to trust your feeling, or more accurately intuition, about something. And in reaching into the heart of the matter and finding spirit there.

So I still stand by this today.

I am a witch, of the cunning folk, 
I am fey and human and divine.
I dance with the gods and the shining ones,
and weave magic with this heart of mine,
I sing the song of the forest-folk,
and honour the dead of my clan,
and under the light of the moon, sun, and stars,
I've enchanted since all time began.

Do you call yourself a witch, dear reader? Or a druid? Or magician? Or Seeker? Or maybe something else? What does it mean for you? Drop a comment below.


PS: You can support my work and find guided meditations, resources, and ponderings over on Patreon. You can follow me there for free, or become a Patron yourself to get early access, bonus material, writings and courses (depending on the tier).

Find my Patreon Here.

And you can subscribe to my newsletter for notifications of updates to the blog, and occasional announcements and excitable thoughts of a happy Halo seeking her witchy way through the world, here; Halo’s mailing list.

In delight,

~Halo

Cycles and Stillness

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

🌞 Happy Solstice! 🌞



I found this monument to the sun* this week and thought it was very striking. By the following day it had been washed away by the tides and that got me thinking about the practice of creating fleeting beauty, as an act of joy and pleasure rather than as a construction of permanence.

Cycles and change.

There’s no going back… All we can do is cherish our happy memories, appreciate our strengths, and be present in the now.

Of course, the now is where we lay foundations for the future… And honestly I’m really excited about what this next season is bringing, the space being made by that which is ending and the warmth and joy that is growing still.

Happy longest/shortest day, dear ones, what foundations are you building and building on today? ☺️

PS: Last summer I recorded this meditation for Solstice days when the sun stands still, as a gift for you, and if you’d like to support me there are various tiers (which I’ve just updated, building on old foundations in the face that is opening up!) at which you can do so there:
https://www.patreon.com/posts/solstice-38437372

~~~

*that’s my interpretation anyway 😉

5 ways to do magic when you feel disconnected

Tags

, , , , ,

Last month I had one of my “I’m not quite feeling it” phases, where the sparkle just kinda gets ironed out of the world. I wasn’t unhappy, just not sparkly. It happens sometimes, and I often get to a point where I worry that it’ll last forever… it’s the “but what if I never get that magical, enchanted feeling again” or worse “what if the magic is gone?””. That’s normally the thought that kickstarts me into using my tools and finding the magic very quickly. It wasn’t gone, just out of sight for a little while. And these always help me, so I thought I’d share them because maybe they’ll help you too.

1. When I’m tired it’s really hard to *feel* the magic, but that doesn’t mean it is gone. It just means my senses are tired! Instead of trying to push myself and work harder at feeling it, I trust that it is there and look for ways the universe and my spirits are supporting me. What signs are they sending me that I am not alone? So look for those signs. The white feathers that appear when you think of your ancestors, perhaps, or the unexpected tip…

2. Rather than pushing my personal energy at these times, I lean into kitchen witchery. Add ginger to your meals for a bit of extra fire. Soothe your nerves (and your stomach) with peppermint tea. Let the plants support you.

3. A daily practice can help ground you and carry you through rough times. Even something as simple as a prayer at bedtime for restful sleep and sweet dreams can help nourish your spirit and strengthen the relationship between you and those you pray to.

4. Candles. Fire is magic. Light a candle (safely) and let the fire warm your spirit and light your way. Using the aesthetic aspects of magic engages our senses and gets more of us in alignment with magic again. If you’ve got the energy, make a ritual of your candle lighting and let it be an act of magic that brings the sense of magic back.

5. Go and sit with a tree, or a river, or the ocean. Spend some time outside with one of the bigger beings that hold a steady connection to spirit. Let the waters, or the woods, hold you for a little while and wash away the muck of daily living. It’s good for you on all levels.

And as a bonus:

6. Rest and refill your creative well. Read something that inspires you, doodle or play with something creative, or have a cuppa with a friend (in person or over a video call). Magic is hard when you’re depleted so refuel, sleep well, and trust that things will feel better soon.

How do you recover that spark of enchantment when life starts getting grey? What advice would you give to someone struggling to reconnect to their magic? Let’s support each other in the comments and remember our way home together.

In delight,

~ Halo x


Originally posted on Patreon. Thank you to my Patrons for your support! If you like what I write then please do consider supporting me as a Patron here. Your support means I can write more for you! And you get the posts early… *tempts*

You can also tip me via ko-fi, it all helps!

You can also Follow the blog, Share this post, and find me on Twitter to join in the conversation for free!

Over to you in the comments.

(Comments are moderated for spam so may take a day or two to appear.)

Priestessing

Tags

, , , ,

One thing I love doing is Priestessing. Facilitating ritual and magic for others makes my heart sing.

Holding that space just for myself though? Prioritising that can be really hard. Making the time to let go of what I’m told I *should* be doing to perform a ritual just for me feels decadent sometimes.

And yet, it’s important.

We can engage with the world magically every day, but making time for ritual adds an extra layer of connection, of honouring our selves and our gods and spirits. It can give structure to the passing of time, and support us through changes. More than that, it gives structure and space to our relationship with the divine in our lives.

We can nurture this relationship by praying and making offerings, but also by consciously wearing jewellery or colours that honour them, by keeping an altar, tending a garden, by dedicating our creative acts to them. Like any relationship, doing things with our gods brings us closer together.

Me exploring being a Priestess of Freya and the deities of love, magic, and sex – photo by Ruth Hogg, editing by me

I am both a witch, weaving active magic everyday, and a Priestess, honouring the Divine in the world. You may be one or the other, or both. You don’t need to work with gods to practice magic, and you don’t need to practice magic to honour the gods.

But if you do walk the path of priest/ess/x/hood, then I’d love to hear about how you connect with your gods every day, in the ways that aren’t flashy, that people outside might not notice. Please do comment below…


One of the ways I enact my devotion is through my writing, so my first two books are offerings to the Faery Queen and Gods of Wales. You can buy them here.

I am also a devotee of Freya, as Lady of Magic & Passion and The Crimson Coven is a collective or creative, magical folk founded to honour her and the other gods & powers of the Divine Erotic… You’d be very welcome to join us.

The Crimson Coven