The holidays are coming. More precisely, the holidays are here already! Where did the time go? Suddenly family is arriving in town. The not so distant sound of car doors slamming foretells their arrival.
We all know the feeling. Whether the family is coming to your place or you’re going to theirs, there is a moment. The one where the doorbell has been rung and you can feel the crowd on the other side. You can hear the scrape of chairs and the shuffling of feet. You take a deep breath, straighten your outfit, and the door opens.
Chaos ensues. Aunts pinching your face even though you’re almost thirty. Your mother asking when grandchildren will come. Your father who still refers to your long term same sex partner as your “good buddy”. A small herd of young cousins screaming and running through the house. One of which most certainly has the flu, or Ebola, and will undoubtedly give it to you.
So, what can we do? We can arm ourselves with magick! The following is a list of charms and spells to help smooth out your holiday season!
The first thing you’ll need is a small bottle of “Four Thieves Vinegar” to help fend off the colds and flu that come from winter gatherings. “Four Thieves Vinegar” was allegedly created during the Middle Ages to ward against the plague. It was said that four thieves made quite a haul robbing the homes of the sick and dying, as well as the graves of those who had been taken by fever. The miracle was that none of them seemed to get the plague even though they were in close contact with the infected.
Since then everyone has ended up making their own recipe, so there’s tons to choose from online. Here’s how I do mine: To a pint sized mason jar, add 3 sprigs of fresh Rosemary, 1 sliced Garlic clove, a sprig of Sage, and several spoonfuls of Oregano leaves. Fill the jar to the top with apple cider vinegar and cover with wax paper before screwing the top on (vinegar will cause metal to rust).
Let this sit for several days and then you can strain it and put the liquid in a small bottle to bring with you. You can either take it internally to boost immunity, use it as a spray to disinfect surfaces, or even wear it on you (on the hands, temples, behind the ears etc.) as long as you don’t mind smelling like a medieval grave robber.
Now what do we do about the overly critical family? You know, the aunt who never fails to notice the weight you’ve gained, or the cousin with the perfect job and husband who always tells you to “hang in there” with a pitying look. The Evil Eye is real folks, and no one gives it better than your family.
To create a charm to ward against their bad vibes you’ll need something blue. It can be anything, a piece of jewelry, an article of clothing, a scrap of fabric or paper, whatever. You can even get a blue glass eye charm if you think it won’t cause too many uncomfortable questions.
Once you have your item you’ll want to make an infusion (strong tea) of protective herbs such as Rue, Agrimony, Bay, Vervain, Clove, etc. Dunk whatever your chosen blue item is in the infusion and let it air dry. If you’re using something large like a jacket, scarf or sweater, put the infusion in a spray bottle and mist it. Once it’s dry, carry it with you or wear it for protection. If it’s a piece of jewelry or clothing, wear it as usual. If it’s a scrap of paper or cloth, hide it close to your heart. An inner jacket pocket, shirt pocket, or bra work wonderfully!
If you are hosting, you can preemptively work magic to help things go smoothly with a “Happy Home” lamp. Lamps are often used in Conjure tradition because candles weren’t always available back in the day. A lamp is a great low maintenance way to spread steady, long lasting, energies through a space.
Gather a mix of Lavender (to calm and relax), pink Rose petals (for love and happiness), Cloves (for protection and friendship), and Rosemary (for clarity and healing). You can sub Hyssop in place of Rosemary if you need to promote forgiveness within the home. Put a little of each into the chamber of an oil lamp and fill the rest of the way with ultra-pure lamp oil. Not only is it a festive light but it’s magick hidden in plain sight.
Last but not least, when you get home it’s nice to be able to cleanse yourself with a spiritual bath. My most favorite and basic cleansing bath is a handful of sea salt and two limes. Juice one of the limes and add the juice directly to the bath. Slice up the other lime and toss the slices into the bath as well. This will help clean away any nastiness you may have picked up amongst the family.
These bits of magick have saved my butt on more than one occasion, both together and when used individually. With these tools, you too can survive the holidays! Now get out there and have some fun, knowing you have protection and remedies should you need them. Happy Holidays!