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Happy Tuesday! Are you in need of a little bit of magick today? How about a little *sexy* magick? Have I got a giveaway for you, and they are named after two drool-worthy Scottish men from my Spiral Pathways series:


First, meet Alex. This is the front of Alex:



....and this is the back of Alex:


Alex is a hand-poured and hand-painted one of a kind resin statue by Idol Hands (get on over to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IdolHandsCrafts). His gorgeous self is 4" tall and would make a killer paperweight to keep you company at your desk. If you win him, he comes with a package of blue-themed Faerie and butterfly stickers for your journal or what have you.


And then, there's Thomas:


He's got a little bit of gold glitz on his wings, and also has a nickname: "The Magician" (perhaps because of the magick he stirs up, raaaawwwwrrrrr.) Here's the back of him:



Look at those...wings. Yes, you should definitely be captivated by those...wings. Not his tush. Definitely not his tush. If you win him, he comes with a pack of lovely pale yellow Faerie and butterfly stickers.


To enter, go HERE:


and fill out the form! Giveaway ends at 5 pm on Tuesday, March 5th, and we'll announce the winner that night!




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Hello all! We're starting a new weekly feature on the blog called Our Pagan Circle. Each week we'll be featuring a different practitioner, organization, organizer or artist who works in the pagan community. First up is Melissa Harvey of Whispering Willow Wellness, and she does A LOT. Once each person or group is featured, their info will reside on a new community resources page that will be added to the blog shortly for future reference.


Want to apply to be featured? Contact me at tavabaird@gmail.com!


Our Pagan Circle: Melissa Harvey


It's nice to meet you! Please tell us your name and business name, a brief description of your business or practice, and how long you have been working in the pagan community.


Hi, I’m Melissa Harvey. I’m the owner of Whispering Willow Wellness LLC. I’m also the organizer of the Silver Moon Emporium Market. Whispering Willow started out as an energy healing practice in August of 2020. I am a Certified Reiki Master Teacher, who is also certified in Sound healing, Crystal healing, Access Bars, and other modalities. I work with both people and pets. Over the years Whispering Willow has evolved to include intuitively created jewelry, healing dolls/poppets, and other handmade items that are unique and intentionally created to help individuals on their healing journey.


Where are you geographically based?


I’m currently located in beautiful Old Town Manassas.


Do you have a shop or website or both?


I have a physical space where I primarily do my healing services. I do keep some retail items in store and also offer workshops and other pop up events there as well. My website is in the process of being updated. It’s still visible to see the services I offer, but I removed my online booking temporarily as I work to reframe my schedule and add retail to the site. Appointments can still be made, it just requires an email, a text or a phone call for now.


What first drew you to this line of work?


I’ve always known I wanted to help people. What I didn’t know is what that might look like. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but then quit because I knew that path wasn’t quite right. It was a little too much of “everything has to fit in a box and be labeled” life doesn’t always work that way and I needed something more open. While psychology has its place and benefits, I believe it’s not always a stand alone fix/approach. I got to a point in my life when I hit, what felt to me like rock bottom. I felt lost and began having panic attacks and I knew that something needed to change. I started learning meditation and eventually stumbled onto a reiki level one class. Although, I didn’t know much about reiki at that time, I have never felt so called to take a class. So I did! It was a life changing moment and it opened so many doors for me. Not just in a healing aspect, but professionally as well.


Please tell us a bit about your background. How did you end up doing what you do today?


I would say that the first half of my life I wasn’t allowed the opportunity to be who I was. I was always told you have to follow guidelines and be the perfect image of what society thinks is acceptable. Many aspects of this never sat well with me. Once I hit that rock bottom moment everything began to change. I knew I needed to find my own way and truly learn who I am. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m constantly learning and evolving and it’s amazing how much I’ve grown. Along that journey of self discovery, I felt called to help people in anyway I could. It started as just a dream of someday opening a business, and I thought that’s all it would ever be, when the universe basically handed me the opportunity. It was amazing and unbelievable, but I accepted it, along with all the fears and self doubt that came along with it and here I am. It’s not exactly how I pictured it to be, but I wouldn’t trade it. As a part of my business I also open my space up to new practitioners to use as needed. This is my way of paying forward the opportunity that was given to me.


Please share with us a bit about what inspires you.


Being alive, really. There are so many things that inspire me. Sunsets, my kids, books I read, conversations. There is beauty and inspiration in everything, sometimes it’s not obvious but it’s always there.


What new projects do you have in the works for 2024?


Right now I’m mostly working on poppets and healing dolls. I was recently inspired by a book series I just finished, and have been working on a line of Greek God/Goddess inspired dolls. These are great for altar decorations, deity work, and self healing/inspiration. Each doll is as unique as the individual who chooses them. I also recently finished a new line of necklaces that are all witchy-inspired with specific crystals used to match the intention I had in mind when creating them. I only make each of these necklaces once, and while similar beads, pendants may be used the intention and patterns are always different so there will never be another one exactly the same. I have so many new ideas so who knows what else will manifest into reality this year!


Any upcoming events can we find you at?


I have several booked for this year currently and will be adding more. Here are my first few.


My first market of 2024 will be the Silver Moon Emporium Ostara Market. Sunday May 3rd at the Salisbury Center in Manassas. This event is free to the public. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/silver-moon-emporium-spirit-of-spring-ostara-market-tickets-792497109187


You can also find me at Raven Conjure in Winchester on 3/17 for their Ostara Market. https://www.facebook.com/share/VFayDGEQapSQZtyd/?mibextid=9l3rBW



The Metaphysical Market at Mountain Run Winery 4/28 in Culpeper: https://www.facebook.com/share/KRRXMDRt6TS4x1rs/?mibextid=9l3rBW


What is your favorite part about interacting with the pagan community?


The people for sure! For the most part the community is open minded and welcoming. Of course there are always exceptions, but overall it is a wonderful community of people.


Do you have any favorite pagan websites, authors, artists, musicians, groups, podcasts or practices you'd like to share?


I have many pagan favorites but I feel mostly called to share this one, if you’re into podcasts I would recommend Keeping Her Keys: At the Crossroads of Modern Life and the Deeper World by Cyndi Brannen. Also not to sound like I’m sucking up, but Tava Baird is also a favorite of mine (Aww shucks, thanks, Melissa! -ed). Her talent is amazing as an author, an artist, a teacher, and even just as a person she is all around amazing and inspiring! She has been a big inspiration to me in many ways and also was the one who taught me about poppets and making them which truly inspired a love for creating them within me!


Anything else you'd like to share with us?


If you’re interested in learning more about my healing services visit my website www.mywhisperingwillow.com Free consultations are always welcome. You can also find me on Facebook, Whispering Willow Wellness LLC and Instagram @whispering_willow_LLC to stay up to date with upcoming events, classes, or sneak peaks at retail items. And thank you Tava, for this opportunity!


Thank you, Melissa!


Here are some of Melissa's poppets and jewelry to enjoy!



Persephone Poppet



Apollo Poppet




Medusa Poppet



Jewelry by Melissa Harvey


Hello, everyone! Tonight's post is something that I often share with people individually, and I thought it was time to share it with a wider audience who might appreciate having it in their practice. As pagans we feel a strong connection to the earth and the animals in it, and so many of us feel a deep sadness when we see animals who have been killed at the side of the road. There is a small rite I've been doing for them for decades whenever I was driving around, and I thought it might be useful to you as well. I've also used it during crossing over ceremonies for pets, and at my altar for animals who are at the mercy of factory farming.


The inspiration for this ritual came from an old book called Magical Rites from the Crystal Well by Ed Fitch. Published in 1984, it was a compilation of articles and ceremonies from a pagan newsletter, The Crystal Well, that was around in the 1960s and 1970s. The book, with its original deep purple cover, was a bit hard to get for a time (I believe it was out of print...I have to hunt down copies for my students at used bookstores), but I am happy to report that it appears to be in print again with a new cover on Amazon. I'm not an Amazon advertiser, but here's a link if you want to take a look, for your convenience:



It is an amazing book to add to your witchcraft library, and it has a rite of release in its pages that inspired my own mini-ceremony that I am about to share here.


It is generally believed that the spirits of wild creatures have a much easier time returning to nature than us modern humans, who often set ourselves apart from the wild. Nevertheless, the deaths of these creatures are often sudden and violent as being hit by a car can be, and I often worry that sometimes the souls might be in shock and unable to move on as gently as we would like. i also worry for the kin of the animal who might be suffering a loss nearby. let's face it, you can't stop by the side of the road to do a ritual for every animal you see - in some cases, doing so might put you at risk of becoming a road kill yourself - and so I try to offer my assistance in the form of a ritual as I travel nearby.


Upon seeing the body by the roadside, I make the sign of the Horned God with my fingers (you can also just use one finger) and draw an invoking pentagram (starting and ending at the top of the star) to begin the rite. I then say the following words after a moment of silence in respect for the life that has passed:


May your spirit move on to that good and kind place

May your suffering be at an end

May you know peace.

May you and yours never be lonely,

May you travel through the next realms easily

And may you know joy.


I then think of sending strength and healing to any clan the animal has, and then picture a doorway of white light opening in the air to the east of the body. I picture the spirit leaving the body, and the empty body settling, ready to be returned to the earth. Through the doorway is a beautiful, unspoiled natural habitat for the creature, and I encourage them to move towards it. They move through the doorway, and it fades. If the animal is very young, such as a fawn, I picture a herd of deer on the other side of the door, waiting to welcome the deer into their herd. If the animal looks like it was a lost pet, I send energy to anyone who was looking for them to find peace and healing in their loss and on the other side of the doorway is a cottage in the country, with a warm hearth and one of my ancestors waiting to welcome them inside for food and comfort. I then use inscribe a second pentagram in the air, starting and ending at the bottom 9that's the way i was taught) to close the rite.


If performing a ritual such as this fits your practice, please feel free to use mine and pass it on, or to craft one of your own (and I hope mine provides inspiration.)


We are witches. And witches heal, and guide the way towards the wild in all of us.

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