July sees us enter the second half of the yearly calendar. The hard work of planning, planting and nurturing are over. Now we only need to maintain our efforts until harvest time. Busyness gives way to a more relaxed time when we can sit back and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. This month is for resting, rejuvenation, divination and dreamwork.
The respite gives us the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and to do some inner work. We are called to identify our shortcomings and work on them, as well as heal ourselves through cord cutting and energy recall.
The heat and extended presence of the sun brings fire energies to the forefront, so magick involving fire, healing, destruction, self-knowledge and transformation are all more potent this month. You can bring the energies of fire into your magick by the use of candles, crystals such as lavastone, fire opal and ruby, by wearing red, orange and gold colors, and by engaging in strenuous physical activities.
Work on Yourself
Divination for Shadow Work
Divination can be a helpful aid in doing inner work. If you aren’t aware of your blindspots how can you work to overcome them? This time of month can make shadow work a bit easier because its energy is very relaxed and the extra sunlight can help support you while dealing with emotional turmoil and trauma.
Runes are also good for inner work. You can start by asking the runes what it is you need to work on. Then ask how it is affecting your life, what tools you need to work on your issues, how to use the tools and what the result of your work will be. (If you don’t have a set of runes and want to try your hand at making some, check out my post here on the topic.)
When doing shadow work make sure to take your time and be patient and kind with yourself. Inner work is a continual process. Make aftercare part of the work, including a cleansing and relaxing bath or some other self-care routine. Include roses in your treatment to promote emotional healing.
Now is a good time to clean up any unwanted entanglements that might have attached to you, as well as any you might have attached to others through cord cutting. There are a variety of ways to perform this work, but I prefer to keep it simple. I cleanse and consecrate the space around me with incense. Then I visualize the cords I wish to cut as threads of energy that emerge from my aura and lead off to whoever they connect me to. I use a pair of scissors to snip through those threads.
While cord cutting is often used in context of personal relationships, especially with regards to when a romance ends, it doesn’t have to be limited solely to other people. Institutions and structures exercise influence on us, some of which can be harmful. You can do a cord cutting on capitalism, racism, or any other outside influence that is entangling you.
Calling Back Your Energy
If you have spent the first half of the year casting spells, you might want to call back any stray energy you’ve sent out into the universe that no longer needs to be there. It’s the magickal equivalent of picking up your litter. That energy can then be reused or grounded.
This is also the time to look over the spells you’ve cast in the past six months and see which ones have worked and which ones have fizzled. If a fast money spell you cast in January is still sitting on your altar, now is the time to dismantle it and call that energy back to you. If cash hasn’t manifested, it most likely won’t, and you would be better served casting another spell rather than leaving that stagnant energy lingering.
To call any loose energy back: sit or lie in a meditative position that is comfortable to you. Cast a protective bubble around you to keep out any energy that isn’t yours from being called in. Breathe meditatively until your body is relaxed and then call back your energy to you. You can do this verbally, for example saying, “What is mine and not engaged return to me” or use a signal, ringing a bell or striking tuning fork, etc.
Visualize energy coming back to you. It might take the form of clouds, balls or shards of light, cords winding back, or the energy might present itself in some other way (as sound or smells, for example). As the energy returns to you and passes through your protective bubble, you will see that it gets cleansed, as anything that isn’t yours that might be attached to the energy is left on the outside of the bubble and only your own energy enters. Draw the energy into yourself.
When you are finished, burn a cleansing incense of frankincense or pine to cleanse the space around you of any stray, unclaimed energy.
While the nights are still shorter, this is the perfect time to pay special attention to your dreams. Midsummer’s energy still lingers. Take some time to refresh your bed and turn it into a space for dreaming.
Start with making your bed with fresh sheets, pillowcases and blankets. You can make a linen spray from two ounces of distilled water, two teaspoons of witch hazel, and twenty drops of an essential oil like lavender (to promote peaceful sleep and dreams) or lemon balm. As you make your bed, spray the sheets, blankets and pillows. This will infuse your bedding with support for your dream work.
Burn silver or blue candles to bolster the chances of prophetic dreams. You can dress your candles with an oil made by adding fifteen to thirty drops of mugwort or passion flower essential to one ounce of a carrier oil (such as olive or sweet almond oil). This will enhance the Morphean qualities of the candles.
Lemon balm is well suited for dream work, especially any in which you are attempting to tap into your psychic powers. It has magickal properties that aid in developing psychic abilities, strengthening your mental powers and in bringing about success. Drink a tea made from lemon balm leaves before bed to not only help you get to sleep but to aid you in your dream work.
You can start a meditation practice this month either as part of your inner work or as a separate activity. Meditation is an important exercise for witches. It trains the mind to be calm, and helps you improve your ability to focus. Being aware and present in the moment are also benefits gained through regular meditation. All of this is vital to witchcraft as spellwork often involves things like breathwork and visualization. And meditation, as you might have guessed, helps you strengthen those.
There are as many different types of meditation practices as there are types of people out there. Play around with a few types until you find one that works for you. Then set a goal of meditating regularly through the month. Even as little as ten minutes a day shows benefits.
Summer nights offer the perfect opportunity for stargazing. You can turn that activity into a divination session as well. While astrology is the most popular and well known way to divine via the stars, you can treat the night sky as a scrying tool. Much in the same way that other scrying oracles work–you soften your gaze and interpret the images you see in the medium (be it water, fire, ink or other)–star scrying only requires you to look up.
Lay on your back, or sit comfortably. Look up at the stars and let your gaze go “soft” with your eyes unfocused. Stare up at the sky and wait for any image that may come to you. You may see constellations drawn between the stars, or the alternating darkness and light might provide the images. Scry for about fifteen or twenty minutes and then write down what you saw.
To help you interpret your visions you can research what stars figured in them. There are even apps that will show you in real time what constellations and stars you are looking at.
Star scrying is good for “big picture” matters or anything dealing with the future in a year’s time or more. It does require you to be able to see some stars, so if light pollution is high where you live, choose a night on the waning or new moon so the stars aren’t competing with moonlight.
However you decide to spend this month, I hope you make it magickal.