On the calendar, November is the first month of winter. It ushers out the harvest season and brings in a period of rest. It is the month of winding down and getting comfortable. For some ancient and pagan calendars the year ends at Samhain in October and so November is the start of the new year. Thus the energies of the month are all about releasing, banishing, protection, and transformation.
Finish your preparations for winter by making and then freezing some nutritious soups and stews, blending the herbs you’ve gathered into teas and even incense. Rearrange your cupboards so that your mugs and bowls are accessible. Pull out your heavy bedding and give it an airing and a spritz with some lavender spray for sweet dreams. Finally, make sure your cold weather clothes–sweaters, socks, slippers, etc.–are in good order and don’t need mending.
It’s time to get cozy.
Protect your blindspots
When people perform magickal house protection, they often focus on the big areas: the walls, the doors, floors and ceilings. There are other parts that tend to get overlooked. These include windows, drains, and toilets. As we close up our homes against the colder November weather we run the risk of leaving ourselves vulnerable, trapping any energies or spirits in.
Start by opening your windows. You can open all of them or only one. Ring bells or smoke cleanse with an herb like rosemary. You can add a Midwestern “welp” to announce that it is time for those unwanted energies and spirits to skedaddle.
Once you’ve cleansed your space, close the windows and give them a cleaning with the homemade recipe below. This recipe is an adjusted version from my book The Scent of Lemon & Rosemary: Working Domestic Magick with Hestia. The sun water brings in the protective energies of the sun, the vodka and vinegar also have protective properties while the lemon essential oil is a spell enhancer, boosting the protective properties of the potion.
- 1 1/4 cup sun water
- 1/2 cup 80-proof vodka
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 8 – 10 drops lemon essential oil
Mix all the ingredients together in a spray bottle.
Use to clean the inside of all your windows, starting from the top and rear of your home and working your way to the front door of the house. When you have finished the windows, pour a little of the remaining cleaner down any drains (sink, tub, basement) and flush a little down each toilet.
How to make sun water
Sun water is made in much the same way as moon water. Pour water into a clear jar or bowl and set it out where the sun will shine on it for an hour. I recommend setting the bowl out at noon, as this is the sun phase most strongly associated with protective magick. Once the water has been charged by the sun, store it in a tightly closed container in a dark place.
Want to know more about the sun’s phases and other magickal timings? Sign up for my mailing list to get a free ebook Magickal Timing for Better Spellcasting.
Release your trauma
November’s energy of release is different from that of earlier months. This release focuses on emotional trauma. As the season invites us to turn inward, we are faced with the unaddressed issues that the activity of spring, summer and autumn distracted us from. Now, as the night lengthens we are left alone with our own thoughts. It is time to face those emotions and thoughts that have degraded our mental health.
This spell is also not a replacement for therapy and medication. One benefit of witchcraft, however, is that it gives us a small portion of control when we might not otherwise have it. This spell may need to be performed several times, especially with deep-seated trauma. Starting in November and then working it once in December and then in January taps into not only the releasing energies of those months, but also the energies of new beginnings.
For this spell you will need:
- A poppet made from leftover thread OR a pen and paper
- Dried sage leaves (garden sage, not white sage)
- A fireproof container
- Matches or a lighter
Perform this spell during the waning moon. Work in a well ventilated area. This spell involves fire and smoke so keep things like smoke detectors in mind when you are performing it. Gather your materials and perform any prespell rituals that are part of your practice.
Start by placing a few leaves of dried sage into the fireproof container and lighting them. Sage promotes emotional health and courage, and has protective and cleansing energies. Let the smoke from the leaves waft over you and embrace you. Know that the work you are about to do will help you release negative emotions and trauma.
If you are using the poppet, take it into your hands. Say to it, “You are my emotional trauma.” Dredge up your feelings and gather them into your chest. Once you have them formed into an emotional ball, push the emotions out through your hands and into the poppet. You can visualize the emotions as black smoke or energy, or they may manifest as a sensation or smell or even a sound. However they present themselves, keep pouring your trauma into the poppet until it is suffused with your emotional energy and you feel empty.
If you are working with only pen and paper, draw or write out your trauma. Project all your emotions through your pen into the paper. Be as detailed and specific as you are comfortable with.
Place more sage leaves into the container and lay the poppet (or paper) on the leaves. Set the leaves and poppet alight. As the poppet (or paper) burns say, “I release my trauma. I release my pain. I release my sadness. I release my grief.” List all the emotional distress that you are releasing. Be as specific as you feel comfortable with. Know that as the smoke disperses it is taking all that negativity with it.
When the entire poppet (or paper) is consumed, gather the ashes up. Bury them away from where you live, preferably at a crossroads. When you walk away from the spot, don’t look back.
Make sure to practice some self care after performing this spell.
In the United States, resting isn’t as cherished as it should be. You are entitled to take time to yourself and to recharge. Wrap yourself up in a blanket, sip some tea, and take time to enjoy yourself. The changing of the seasons tells you it is the right and proper thing to do.