It’s been a month of magic here, in the darkest coldest part of the winter I’ve been lucky to be conjuring love and light and warmth. Last night was my online book launch for “Crimson Craft – Sexual Magic for the solo witch” and it was an honour to share some magic with those that came (even with the tech trouble!)
Then this evening was spent hosting the local moot’s cocreated ritual, celebrating the growing light of love and inspiration. Brigid made an appearance, we sang together, and there was light, of course.
Imbolc is the festival where we mark the emergence of new life, from lambs to snowdrops to baby songs to tiny humans to the rising hope that we’ve made it through the winter, into the world.
This month is also FAWM – February Album Writing Month – a challenge to write 14 songs in 28 days. I love that it starts on Brigid’s day, the festival of Santes Ffraid (in Welsh), saint/Goddess/midwife of creating, healing, and, importantly, inspiration.
I’ve been secretly writing songs and been mostly too shy to share for years, and now I’m ready to change that. This past year, I’ve been practicing making the songs… But haven’t felt ready to show them to many people. I finally realised that truth, which is so often the case: we rarely feel ready. There is always something else to tweak, to edit, to perfect. And so, in the supportive space of FAWM this month, I’m aiming for 7 sharable songs as the light blossoms brighter.
I asked for Brigid’s blessing on this Imbolc night to overcome the perfectionism that holds me back from sharing the joy that arises when I make music, however unpolished it is…
And as declarations have their own kind of magic, let me be clear on my intention: Over the next month I’ll be sharing a little about my musical journey, the lessons it’s teaching me on magic, and, of course, some of my music.
And I’m offering a new workshop rooted in the magic of the Crimson Craft on “Courting Divine Love” on 15th February ’23. In this workshop you’ll be guided by the gods in connecting to Divine Love, uncovering both self-love and self-trust within yourself, and laying the foundation to manifest the magical life your heart desires.
My new book of sexual magic is out!!! This is the longest book I’ve written to date, and I’m so proud of it. It is a work of healing, of magic, of embodied, sensual, loving, witchcraft. If you’re looking for an inclusive, gentle guide to uncovering your own inner sexual power, exploring ritual and creative ways of healing and becoming more embodied, and of opening the possibility of deep, devotional connection with the Divine… then Crimson Craft was written for you.
Crimson Craft felt both vulnerable and deeply healing to write, to share the ways in which I’ve healed myself, built relationship with the divine, and tapped deeper into my own inner power through pleasure and embracing the erotic. I deliberately wrote it for a solo practitioner because this is one key way we can reclaim our own personal authority, and take responsibility for something that is so often presented as dependent on others (with their own needs, challenges, wounds). But also to make it inclusive, to offer up these tools and processes to people of all and any gender and genitalia, because, honestly, sexual magic goes much further than what might be in our pants.
As living, embodied beings we are capable of great pleasure, and the magic that arises from being alive. In this, the power of eros is our ultimate guide.
Crimson Craft is not your normal sex magic book, rather than focusing on the casting spells powered by orgasmic energy (though that definitely gets included!), this book takes us deeper into healing the perceived split between body and mind, opening up greater power and magic for use in all our witchcraft.
It also discusses working with deities of love and passion in building loving relationships with one’s self and one’s gods, the foundations of ecstatic mystical union, and the shadow work of facing cultural and personal taboos.
And it lays the foundation for self-love, which is a fundamental act of rebellious magic in a world that would rather keep us small.
Alongside the book, I have opened up a space for people to come together who want to explore and discuss, ritually, creatively, and respectfully, their journeys with the magic of embodiment and pleasure. In the Crimson Coven Collective there are discussion/journal prompts, creative inspiration, healing rituals, and mutual support.
On Monday 30th January we’ll be kicking off the live online events with a Book launch party and ritual, and then, on the full Moon, Sunday 5th February, we’ll gather for a healing Imbolc ritual. Come and join us to be a part of this magical collective!
Well, in case you’re not following me on social media, or have missed my emails on my mailing list, here’s the short version of the subsequent events of 2022:
Goblin Masquerade! Great success!
I had a couple of weeks off adventuring in Glastonbury with my coven, and then at an Aurora gig.
And then I ended up in hospital for a night in so much pain I couldn’t walk. Still not sure why.
Recovery. And more recovery. And very, very very slow walking. (I’m much better now, btw.)
I did mentoring for the NDSA (NeuroDivergent Self-Advocacy forum) and studied for my Life Coaching Certificate.
Aaand I learned songwriting and music production. I’ll be sharing more about that very, very soon…
As much as the world was opening up in 2022, I was back in hermit mode, adjusting, healing, rebuilding my foundations. As autumn went on and I got stronger I returned to teaching cycle 3 of Star Club (multi-disciplinary training for Magicians), opened a little space in the local market – The Rabbit Hole – and an online space, The Crimson Coven Collective. All with lots of rest-time factored in.
Adjusting Course with the Witches Compass
It’s not unusual to have to adjust course, for something unexpected to happen (plot twists abound!) and we can look for the story of “why”, or we can focus on the “next right thing” as the trolls advised in Frozen 2.* While this certainly felt like a stumbling block, I didn’t feel like I’d been thrown entirely off course, which is always a risk if you’ve got a dream.
Instead, I came back to my heart, my compass, my guiding star.
I definitely spent a bit of time wondering how the hell I was going to travel if I could barely walk, when one of my big dreams has always been adventuring and exploring the world, but I didn’t wallow in this too much. Instead I asked myself the questions that guide much of my life.
What do I dream of? How do I want to feel, today?
What can I choose, at this point in time, that feels like a step towards my dreams?
How can I take that next step?
Rather than relying on a set plan for the journey ahead, I follow my compass, my heart. Asking in each moment how I can make this now closer to what I most long to feel. Perhaps the next step isn’t the last one needed but allowing myself to be guided each day in what brings more joy now means I’m enjoying every part of my life as much as I can.
I invite you to try it. When life gives you a plot twist, look for how you can feel more like you choose to feel in this moment. Ask yourself what the next step towards your dreams is from here. Ask yourself what tiny change you have control over that will support you in your adventure-called-life and help you feel more joy today.
Not everything is fun and games – ouch, seriously – but when we carry our compass with us we can always point ourselves towards our True North, our dreams. Let your heart guide you.
The witches pyramid is a useful model to help with this, and is sometimes called the “witches compass” because it is a guide to the steps of our magic.
And that’s what we do when we find our path disrupted. We ask questions of ourselves so we KNOW what we dream of, and the feeling we desire that we think the dream will bring. What we long to feel. And then, we set our WILL toward it. We choose to orientate ourselves towards our chosen feelings and our dreams. And then we DARE to take that leap. The final step, of KEEPing SILENT, means we don’t reveal things before it is time. Often our dreams are tender things and there is a lot of pessimism that can encourage doubt before we take the steps we need, so they need the nurturing dark of the soil, the silence of the night’s sky, to hold them safely while we carry them into the world.
(*I finally watched this and I loved all the elemental stuff, the animistic environmentalism, the magic, there’s some fun music… it’s far from perfect but there is a lot I liked.)
Well, firstly, you can join The Crimson Coven Collective where we’re exploring how to embody our magic more fully! There are journaling and creativity prompts, and online circles, and I’m active there every week.
From the group description:
“The Crimson Coven Collective is for magical, creative, and ritual exploration of embodied, sensual magic.
Do you want your life to be magical, filled with playful, pleasurable, practice?
Do you want to be curious, to get creative with your magic, to explore what feels good and learn how to feel what’s right for you?
We aspire to be…
* Open hearted explorers of wyrd, enchanted, possibilities.
* Creatives conjuring beauty and desire.
* Divine beings embodying sensual spirit.
* Witches delving into the darkness and light of magic.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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
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.
~ 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*
Spring arrived, and with it went my focus. It’s always an inspirational time of year for me, the rush of energy bringing so many new ideas, so much potential, that I find myself led astray by beautiful new possibilities… And some things get dropped in the whirlwind romance of life. Like consistency.
Once upon a time I’d have felt guilty for that.
Coming to honour my cycles is a really important step in not beating myself up, and I don’t think I’m alone there. Each of us has cycles and seasons, and for some of us the effects are more pronounced than for others… Have you noticed that? Have you noticed your energy and attention fluctuating with the moon, or the sun?
I definitely go with the seasons, the kiss of the sun on the land… Each season feeding into the other, a circle that repeats every year.
And each year I know a little more, recognise it a little sooner, so the circles become spirals, the same shape but a little further ahead, building a little higher than last time.
At least, that’s my goal.
And so far it seems to be working. I’ve noticed myself wanting to chase all the gorgeous idea-bunnies and remembered to pull myself back to centre. Those inspirations are wonderful, and if I follow them all I’ll forget the garden one been tending.
Do you find this? Do you find you cycle through patterns each day, month, year? Do you tend to overdo it in the summer, like me? Or do you let it go and take a holiday when the sun shines?
This Spring I’ve been nurturing a few writing seedlings which are strengthening day by day. The Enchanted Academy (TEA) with my courses on magic is one, the Crimson Coven is another, and if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen today that I’ve just signed contracts for two new books!
I decided years ago that I wanted to write books and teach, and that’s the spiral staircase I’m climbing each year… Each revolution, a little further along the path of doing what I love, even when my energy waxes and wanes with the seasons.
Whatever the sun is doing, I keep my dream in mind. If you hold true to who you choose to be then, every season, every revolution, you’ll have spent a little longer doing what feeds your heart’s garden. Don’t let the down times make you forget that.
Oh and learning your cycles and patterns, recognising the flow of the world around you, and learning to work in tune with both, is part of the craft of the witch, too.
In an attempt to get better at this while “making a living writing” thing, may I just remind you that I have books for sale! You can find them in my new online bookshop, Quin’s Books, or at your local bookshop. Or, if you’d like, you can support me on Patreon and unlock bonus audio content and early access to magical writings…
I wanted to invite you over for tea, but the world being as it is, that’s a bit tricky… so I made an academy for us to all hang out in instead. An Enchanted Academy… The Enchanted Academy, to be precise, or TEA for short.
This is where I’ll be hosting classes and hang out sessions – I’m hoping for a free live chat once every month or two – and you can use the text based forums whenever you fancy. To avoid too many trolls turning up I’ve set it up so you have to register for my mailing list to get an invite link but I do hope you’ll join me there!
I would really love to know what you’d be interested in chatting about, so do drop me a comment below if you’ve got a curiousity about anything magical which you’ve seen me mention, and I’ll see what I can do.
Next up I reckon I’ll do something on divination… with a focus on Tarot. How does that sound?
So, if you haven’t signed up already, here’s a button!
The launch party for All That Glitters was really lovely, thank you to everyone that came! I’ll be sending a link out to the recording via my mailing list soon… *grins* Next up on my writing pile… The sacredness of pleasure, and the divine erotic. Given how important embodiment is to the pagan path, and my kinky poetry book, Twisted out last year I think it’s time to engage with that Iron Pentacle point of Sex (including pleasure, desire, and lifeforce), don’t you?
As spring is here I’m thinking about the allotment I’ll be working on this summer, and that reminded me of my indoor plants and of course the thought train then got all metaphorical…
People tell me that indoor roses are fussy and mint is impossible to kill… But roses were the first plant I managed to keep alive for more than a season, and this is the first potted mint plant that has recovered from meeting me… And trust me, I’ve tried many times!
Perhaps those of us that are “fussy”, “difficult”, “sensitive”, or “too much” are simply in the wrong environment… And the apparently hardy ones are mostly just getting more of what *they* need? I’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating…
Plants are tenacious, and so are we. But we all need different things. Look for your magic, your relationship with the world, your rhythm and home, in the places that make sense to you. Don’t treat yourself like mint if you’re a rose, or rose if you’re a mint.
But remember, either way, to breathe, rest, bathe in the growing sunlight, and drink your water!
I’m learning to do better with mint, at least. And I’ll be repotting both (separately!) soon.
(Oh, and there’s a meditation up for my Patreons for the Equinox – Spring or Autumn – use whenever you need a moment of calm before a change.)