A small white porcelain horse figurine stands on a wooden surface. The horse is captured as it rears up on its hind legs.

White Horses

I want to write “It was the first time that I truly followed my intuition” although of course that is not true.

But I do think it was the first time that I consciously decided to just follow a pull without questioning ‘why’ too much, or doing lots of research, or endlessly talking myself into and out of the decision.

I think it was following a breadcrumb dropped by @candicebrathwaite that led me to andcrystals and to order a crystal reading.

Reviewing Katie-Jane’s document again today, it piques my curiosity to wonder how - or if - a reading today would differ.

One of the lines she wrote was this: “[in a past life] you had a beautiful connection to horses, you visited them and received healing from them. A white horse strongly comes up as one of your animal guides protecting your heart. The white horse symbolises freedom, strength and courage.”

The whole reading was very moving. I immediately started to use blue lace agate on my throat when I felt I was choking (frequently) and a few days after I received the reading I also found this little white horse figurine in a thrift shop in Canterbury, for sale for just a few pounds.

He has stood on my bedside table ever since. And, ever since, when I am desperate for a sign from the universe, a white horse appears.

Just a few weeks ago, as I drove on a tedious errand, my ego was chattering away to me that ‘a white horse is not a good sign, it’s too rare to see a white horse, I need something commoner, a butterfly or a feather or something.’

And as I crested the hill a field appeared on my right with not one, not two, but at least five maybe seven white horses peacefully grazing in the sun.

Or the dog walk last week, after a particularly wobbly morning, where I actively strode out searching for signs - and this beauty appeared to lead me into the woods.

A white horses, photographed from a distance, being ridden along the edge of a field with trees in the background
White horses

A traditional Anima Sola image on a small picture stand, with a shot glass of clean water and a lit tea light candle in front of it.

Memento Mori

Memento mori. Or, remember: you will die. Possibly today.

The idea, central to Socratic philosophy has been practiced for centuries and is currently espoused by celebrated modern thinkers.

And as an happy aside, it obviously combines effortlessly easy with ancestor worship; getting dead relatives on side powerfully supports magical growth.

Currently, this anima sola receives my morning ritual. Soon after my feet touch the floor as I rise from sleep, and certainly before a drop of liquid passes my own lips, I offer refreshment - cold, clean water - to the dead.

To my grandparents and great grandparents, uncles and cousin, dear friends who have passed, and the ancestors I never knew. I remember them, and ask them to remember and look favourably upon me.

To the dead whose bones we walk upon as we move about our life. I remember them.

To those long dead souls with none left to remember them. Their fate belongs to us all. I remember them.

To death itself - be a friend, walk with me, help me to die (release) every day and be fully present in this beautiful, miraculous incarnation, in every interaction with the people I love and the activities I engage in.

The morbid tone certainly appeals to the nineteen year old goth in me, but the practice also brings clarity, focus and motivation to live every day as if it were our last, through the profound question:

If this day were my last, what would matter?

Magical Consciousness: a primer

I’m keen to write about miracle farming, but first it is important to speak about magical consciousness.

You have heard, I expect, of the reticular activation system. Personally I have been lectured on the subject by uninspiring business coaches of various stripe, the most usual example given, being: we purchase a particular model of car, and suddenly we notice the same model wherever you go.

The lesson being: whatever you prime your mind to be alert to, you will be alert to. Imagine!

This is deeply and undeniably dull.


We can also apply the reticular activation system to joyful synchronicities, hilarious plot twists and enlightening messages from unexpected sources (including animals and inanimate objects), which is altogether a far more compelling proposition.

(Those of us with prior experience of psychedelics and/or mania will be at a positive advantage, but I have every confidence that it is within the grasp of everyone with an imagination.)

Here is an introductory exercise. Go for a walk, today if you can, with no destination or purpose in mind. As you walk, focus your mind on considering questions like: what is the meaning of that bright blue string, tangled in a fence?

What are those birds letting me know by flying in that formation? What does that snippet of a song, heard from a passing car, mean to me?

What are the Gods saying through those images in the clouds? What wisdom are the trees singing, in my direction?

Say: this a dream - I am the dreamer of this dream.

Allow your eyes to widen and your jaw to drop slightly at the incredible realism in this absurd hallucination where _everything_ is loaded with meaning, as you walk with loose, dreamy limbs towards yet more unexpected messages from every corner.

The more deep your sense of wonder, and the longer you can sustain it, the better.

Soon, your mind will start to present the messages, synchronicities and signs to you, instead of the sensible family cars it had mistakenly believed you were interested in.

Is it real magic if you’ve purposely generated it? Of course! Of course not! Either way, It doesn’t matter. The beauty is, you decide. Repeat this exercise as often as necessary.

A small skull carved from a piece of jet on a wooden surface, with a partial view of a candle holder in the shape of a pink lotus flower.

Loving Your Shadow

I had in mind to write a lovely essay for you on magical consciousness and the benefits of previous experience of psychedelics and/or manic states. But my office is already overheating and I must go and recline in a shaded hammock.
Instead, I pose this question:
What if ‘loving yourself’ meant actually *loving* all of those icky parts? Not loving yourself in spite of them - not loving yourself in order to ‘release’ them - but actually loving them;
Loving your struggling business; loving your emotional instability, even the fear and despair; loving the nagging pain in your hip; loving your propensity for rage; loving your apparent inability to apply yourself to that nagging work task;
Loving your inability to muster any motivation for housework; loving your daily frustration at the impossibility of juggling work and childcare over summer; loving your envy, greed and sloth;
Loving and celebrating that darkest part of you that revels in difficulty, disappointment and struggle with no interest in the ease and grace that your ego constantly searches for.
Does that feel impossible? Or very much within reach?
Because I promise you that this is when magic happens.

A pearl necklace on a wooden dresser. Interspersed with the pearls are eight Howlite beads carved into tiny skulls. In the background is a small offering plate with a bright feather, another necklace strung with a white tooth, and a small white horse figurine.

Skulls & Pearls

Daily affirmations. (*groan*) I KNOW. Although it pains me to deploy such a hackneyed trope, I am also forced to admit it has been remarkably effective.

Five minutes three times a day is the goal. Twice a day is the reality.

I added these howlite skulls to a freshwater pearl necklace with a dual purpose; first, to add a little more shadow to the jewellery, and also to use like prayer beads, or a mala, to count off affirmations rather than resorting to an electronic timer to interrupt the mantra.

And of course I wear the necklace for client calls or any other time I wish to feel formidable in a Babayaga way. Because not only am I wearing a string of skulls around my neck, it has also absorbed those hundreds of recitations of the outcome towards which my work points.

A semi-rural street intersection in Kent, UK. The intersection is a crossroads with a 'god cake' on one junction. A god cake is a small triangle of grass found at some rural junctions in the UK. The crossroads is a traditional site for many magical rituals.

Renewal of Word

When my magic doesn’t work - when I’ve been trying to create something for weeks and nothing seems to be incoming - it’s time to renew my word.

You see, in order to be a powerful magician, our word must mean something in the world. If, in a fit of masochism we decide to commit to jogging every day, or to decline second helpings of pudding, but give up in the first week, our word is broken.

Nobody is harmed! - except, of course and most importantly, our own relationship to our will and commitment.

I’ve been taught to treat commitments very seriously, and include an element of ritual to strengthen my word if it is broken.

This is the ‘god-cake’ at a nearby crossroads where I go when my goals are not met or my commitments broken. I leave an offering of coins and recite an invocation to Hermes to strengthen my will and my word.

July’s commitment was to desist from controlling and complaining: as you can imagine I was there often, and the neighbourhood children are all riding new bicycles.

The Unicorn

I was quite clear (though, you will see, not clear enough), that owning equines was a *long term* goal.

The way it happened was this:
My sister gave me a card about ponies, for my birthday in July. Also, I had been playing around with sigils with my friend Stefanie. A sigil is a symbol representing a desired outcome. None of my sigils included owning horses…

(… although… now that I think of it … I believe an earlier batch may have done so. Oh dear.)

The day after our coven meeting a new book was delivered. It also included a chapter on sigils (so many of them seem to). I liked the author’s approach to identifying a desire: instead of, “I want £2,000” he used, “How did I come to own this beautiful piano?”

That weekend the owner of the yard where my daughter has a half hour weekly riding lesson told me that Mikey the pony was on the brink of being sold. She wanted to give us first refusal as she knows how much we adore him, but an enthusiastic buyer was calling her daily. I asked for a little time, but promised a decision by Monday.

For the next 24 hours I stalked the world with my hair on end from scratching my head, turning the question over and over in my head “How did I come to own this fantastic pony?”

The answer came suddenly, and extremely clearly. “You own this pony by paying for it with the money that is already in your bank account. You don’t need to raise extra funds to do this. And you will pay his keep with the money coming in through your businesses.”

And to my surprise and delight, my husband felt as confident as I did that I will be able to support this new addition. From someone as financially cautious as he has been, it felt like a tremendous validation and vote of confidence.

And that, friends, is my story about how I suddenly and unexpectedly came to be a horse-owner. Magic does indeed happen; but please learn from my lesson and be specific about your timeframes, if that is important to you.

Oh, and a final note. To the untrained eye it may not be apparent, but little Mikey is, in fact, a unicorn. In the equestrian world, a ‘unicorn’ pony is one who is safe, sane, sound and vice-free. So there we have it.

My little girl, riding a unicorn.

A delicate red poppy flower, gently held in Anna's fingers. It is almost translucent, backlit by the evening sun, and shockingly bright red against the muted green field and trees in the background.

Denying your Magic

Ways to tell if you’re denying your absolute magic (I just wanted to hold that colour in my hand):
☾ You fear the future and the unknown
☾ You believe yourself to be powerless
☾ You mistrust and ignore your intuition
☾ You don’t have time to do things you want to do
It’s eminently understandable, sweet ones. We all do it, one way or another. We’re taught that we ‘can’t pour from an empty cup’ as if we can only fill our cup once it’s empty, and only for the purposes of pouring again. This is what patriarchy has taught us, and, in my experience at least, it became particularly weighty with motherhood.
We have been taught to fear what people will think of us, the names we may be called, if we reclaim our power. If we say ‘no’. If we treat ourselves with deep, radical love.
Disowning and outgrowing these beliefs is hard work, but power and pleasure is fresh air so sweet you will gulp it down in great laughing lungfuls, wondering what took you so long.
If your own sweet fulfilment isn’t motivation enough just yet, do it to show the womxn you love that it’s possible. To show your children that they don’t have to accept what is handed to them.
You may, like me, have spent years ignoring and denying your intuition. You may have so successfully repressed it, you don’t even know what you are listening for any more. In which case, maybe you are more familiar with the ideas of “interests and imagination”. When something catches your eye, follow it (like Alice following the White Rabbit) and see where it leads. This is the journey, my loves. This is the journey.

The Helter Skelter traditional fairground slide on Herne Bay pier in Kent, UK. The sun is shining on the ride but there is a brooding, stormy sky behind it.

Helter Skelter

To begin practicing magic, you will need:

- a vivid imagination (even if slightly atrophied from under-use)
- the ability to concentrate for short periods of time
- a willingness to make mistakes and laugh about it.

Now I see it written down, it strikes me that it’s similar to the list of requirements for starting up in business.

It can help to throw open your wardrobe and mine it for the clothes, shoes, accessories that have the best stories attached - but only if that is fun and easy for you. It’s just to tickle up the imagination. A devastatingly glamorous headdress will serve the same purpose.

Pick a spell or ritual. There are many interesting titles around 025.431 in the Dewey Decimal System at your local library, or wherever else you may turn for information.

Avoid money magic to begin. It works, but can provoke watching and waiting (leading to more watching and waiting).

You don’t need any special equipment. Use what you have. Don’t wait until you’ve purchased the blue candle or six quartz crystals.

Magic is a practice, so best to make a start, then refine. And it *loves* a workaround - a shared language, you see.

You must keep a record of your experiments - note everything from the date to the intention, your mood, the day of your cycle, the astrological weather, your tarot card of the day.

Study yourself: for now you are a magician.

“We do not need to know how magic works, only that it does. We prove this by doing the work, recording the results, and sharing our information with other magicians.” - Grant Morrison

A wooden gate is set into a tall hedge. In front of it, partially blocking the path, is a four foot high self seeded Mugwort plant.

Mugwort in my Way

For several weeks I’ve been infusing oil with, drinking, and even occasionally smoking mugwort, a sacred herb used to assist divination, sleep and lucid dreaming, and is used for smudging for protection and purification just like sage. My dreamscapes have been so wild and blissful I can’t help but want more and more, and also to be able to bring them back into awakeness with me.

And just yesterday I noticed that the very large plant, which has been almost in my way and which I pass multiple times per week (as I go through ’the gate in the hedge’ one of my most favourite portals) is - I am fairly sure - Mugwort.

I think maybe it’s saying I need more ;)