An Uncommon Wishlist


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I love this time of year. The season of the witch, or the dark half of the year, as it is known. So many of my friends and family have their birthdays during these cold months, which means that hardly a fortnight goes by without celebrations and gift-giving of some sort. We sometimes end up exchanging small presents on Halloween, Samhain, The Winter Solstice, Christmas, New Years...and then my birthday roles around in January. Sometimes we create and cook up these gifts ourselves, but I also love to find new, quirky businesses to support when I'm buying for my clan, or asking for myself. What I've picked out above is just a tiny selection of all the nifty magical things I spotted at UncommonGoods. I'm especially impressed with their range of handmade jewellery, everything is so beautiful! I'm always far too pleased when I get jewellery from a lover but there's lots more gifts for your girlfriend here, if she's a slightly unconventional type like me, who wants all the things.

I find buying for friends a bit easier than buying for romantic partners, but sometimes I still draw a blank even though I pride myself on pulling cute and original ideas out of the bag when I need to. My aim is usually to get them something they didn't know they needed, that will be a complete surprise. I really like the literary-themed soy candles above, and the chakra-balancing bath salts (they even sell spell candles with hidden crystals inside!) both cool gifts for the Ravenclaws among your peer group. For more ideas for your pals, check out this page.

No matter who I'm buying for, filling up stockings at Yule is always the most fun, because it's where I get to really take risks and get random with my presents for people. In my family we're never able to guess anything that's in our stocking; they're like little bundles of tokens reflecting our personalities and our interests. We like to pack them full of laughs to get us going early on Christmas morning. Even though it's only November and I don't tend to start buying gifts until Advent on December 1st, just thinking about all the celebrations ahead and what gifts I'm going to give has its own kind of tender excitement. We're almost there.

How I Celebrate Samhain

When I was little, I used to throw very extra Samhain parties, with the whole house decorated like a haunted mansion and big buckets of sweets everywhere. We'd play games and perform pranks on guests, dress up however we wanted, and dance. I still love to attend those kinds of parties, but my own celebrations at home have become much more low-key. These days it's mostly a time for introspection, witchcraft, baking and mental preparation for the long winter ahead.


Samhain (pronounced "sow-en") is the Celtic New Year, on which many nature-based religions honour their dead and celebrate rebirth, whether that be in the form of reincarnation or simply returning to the earth from which we came. It is the last of the harvest festivals, heralding the start of winter and the "dark half" of the year. It's also supposed to be the best day of the year to do divination; perfect for Tarot reading or envisioning the new future you want. The veil between worlds is said to be especially thin, so the idea is that it's easier for spirits, guides, ghosts or deities to contact us, should we wish to speak to them. This is why lots of people try using a Ouija board on Samhain night, which I wouldn't recommend, to be honest. Most Wiccans and Pagans will put out pictures of their deceased loved ones, or a plate of food and drink for them. Pumpkins, leaves, dried herbs, conkers, and skulls are all used as altar decorations. However we celebrate, festivities always revolve around endings, closures, our ancestors, letting go of the past, looking back on what we've accomplished, looking inside ourselves to face our shadow, and killing off old habits or relationships that no longer serve us and will not last the winter. I like to carve elaborate pictures and characters into my pumpkins as well as scary faces, and cook comfort food. We rarely get trick-or-treaters at my top-floor apartment, but we still get in heaps of sweets and chocolate for ourselves and whoever should come knocking. One must never turn away a visitor on Samhain night!

Some Wiccans don't like the way people associate Samhain with fear and horror; they believe that this demonization of life's natural darkness only shows our immaturity as a society. To me, the release of fear and a celebration of our shadow selves is a cathartic and a necessary process for the soul - not in a Purge kinda way, mind - and hedonism has its place in the cycle of life. Fear is to be embraced if we are to overcome it. Especially on Samhain. So, I tell ghost stories and I honour my dead. I watch horror movies, and I work magic. It's a time to embrace the skeleton woman, to dance with the devil, to dive deep so that we may find treasure. By doing this we learn to revel in the darkness as well as the light. Samhain is reaping time, when things must die if we want to continue our journey, our life cycle, and our growth. We can perhaps go a little further into our own minds on this night, to meet the demons there, and find them friendlier than we thought. 

Basic Witches

When I was really young, a teenager who didn't quite know the length of her limbs yet, I liked to read Silver Ravenwolf books. They've aged a fair bit by now, and they show it here and there in problematic language with a 90's American mentality, but those books taught me a lot. They taught me that magic isn't about controlling the outside world, or bending it to your desire. In fact, they stressed the importance of respecting free will, and of never dishing out that which you aren't happy to receive in return. It gladdens my little rebellious, moon-worshiping heart when I see books like this emerge for a new generation, who might be drawn to the idea of witchcraft, but not know where to start. I was lucky, I had wise women I could go to for advice, but not everybody is so fortunate. 

Basic Witches, by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman, is an utterly beautiful-looking book. The illustrations, courtesy of Camille Chew, are pretty magical on their own. If you're looking for instruction on rituals, the witch's calendar, goddesses and gods et cetera, then it probably won't be very helpful, and it doesn't claim to be. More than anything, I feel it's a kind of feminist manual for discovering, or rediscovering, your own personal power and balance. It guides you through caring for your body, creating your life, and nurturing your friendships in a deliberate way full of witchy intention. It's packed full of many cool, simple spells that are easily adapted to suit your needs, if that kinda thing is up your street. You don't need any prior knowledge of witchcraft to have a go at them. Throughout the book you'll also pick up some of the associations witches connect to colours, crystals, days of the week and such, so that you can begin to create your own spells (in my opinion, spells you create from your own knowledge are the most effective and fulfilling) but these aren't the main point or substance of the book. It deals with some weighty and very current issues; body positivity, contraception and abortion, imposter syndrome, consent, libido, abusive relationships, self-care, social media, and mental health are all up for discussion. These conversations are woven through with more light-hearted magic, such as emoji runes, pop culture witches, cutting your own hair, whipping up your own makeup, and choosing a pet familiar. There is levity in the substance, and vice versa. You never feel talked-down-to or silly, and I would have loved the chapters on Glamours (beauty magic) and Enchantment (love and sex magic) to be a bit longer, as I found them so enjoyable.



The finished product is a book about witchcraft that feels very accessible, grounded, and modern. It's a sisterly work filled with witty and progressive advice for anyone, regardless of gender or religious background, who relates to the archetype of the witch: one who is persecuted for taking matters into their own hands, or for possessing too much knowledge. I would especially recommend it to people who might not consider themselves "magical", or "spiritual". I read a lot of books about the craft, about the ins and outs of herbalism, astrology, sex magic and goddess worship, but I also love to dive into books like this just as much; ones that are less about ceremony and more about the badass spirit behind all witchery. You don't have to believe in anything to read this book, except perhaps the power and potential within women, and the marginalized of this world. The magic being cooked up here is all in your mind, and there can be little debate about the power of the mind. Whether you're an atheist or just starting out on your journey into nature-based religions, there's much fun to be had in Basic Witches, and also much empowerment. Let's raise hell.


This post in NOT sponsored, but items were sent for consideration. All opinions are my own and completely honest, as always. For more, see my PR page.

Witchy Wallpapers For Your iPhone



Pentagram and roses, via Pinterest // Magic rose, by Natacha Birds // I'll put a spell on you, via Pinterest // Witch, please, via Pinterest  // Moon and sky, via Pinterest // We are the weirdos, mister via Pinterest // Magic powers, by Natacha Birds // Hand and moon, by The Moon Bacon // Spell jar, via Pinterest

I have a fairly old iPhone 5S that has served me well for about three years now. I like buying phones outright, and never get contracts. I don't really feel an urge to have the latest model of anything, and much prefer just waiting until I can afford to pay cash on the barrel for whatever I'm after. Until the day my 5S finally kicks the bucket though, I'll be dressing it up with cute wallpapers to make it feel all pretty and new. Here's a selection of my favourite witchy and autumnal ones, to tide you over if you're waiting to get a new device, or the one you have needs some magic. 

If you want to make your phone extra witchy, another cool thing you can do is take a picture of your Tarot card or spread, and set that as your wallpaper to remind you throughout the day. Sometimes I set a screenshot of my horoscope as my background too. Right now I'm using the beautiful bottom middle illustration by The Moon Bacon. So simple and otherworldly.

Planning My Wardrobe For Autumn

Autumn brings out the minimalist witch in me. I always have a huge clear-out around this time each year, and I feel the need to go back to basics. During September, October, and November, I want to buy black t-shirts, statement jewellery, oversized coats, plaid skirts. My personal style is very similar to the look and feel of my blog; mostly black and white, with accents of bold colour and metallics, and an otherworldly vibe. I like great shapes and tailoring. I try to buy at least 80% of my clothes second-hand, and the rest must be high-quality enough that I know I'll get many years of wear out of them. I'm always up for going thrifting, but never more so than in the autumn, when rummaging through old bracelets and band t-shirts feels like a picturesque experience from You've Got Mail.

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In Cardiff, Sobey's is my number one vintage spot; the rose-gold triangle ring you can see below is from there! It's a little big for me so I wear it on my thumb most of the time. They sell gorgeous button-down shirts and old Converse in every colour of the rainbow. For new clothes, one of my first stops is always Urban Outfitters. I love their homeware, lingerie, and books as well as the pretty dresses and jumpers. For the colder months, I might invest in a new coat through Lyst.co.uk (In an ideal world, I'd get this one by Whistles) and keep an eye on their site from the comfort of my bed on those days when I know exactly what I want but I'm not sure if it actually exists. In reality, my budget will probably stretch to one of these Twin Peaks-style babies from Missguided (all the Madchen Amick vibes). For minimal and delicate spooky details, have a look at Eclectic Eccentricity; they sent me the crescent moon and cluster necklaces pictured above. All their stuff is gorgeously magical and exquisite, and I'm newly obsessed.

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Part of the reasoning behind having a clear out and rebooting your wardrobe is that you rediscover things you already own. If I get rid of enough tat, eventually I find a few gems underneath the rubble. One item I had almost completely forgotten about is this simple black bag from SkinnyDip. I picked it up in the sale during some sleepless-night internet shopping. I've also remembered a passion for acrylic nails, especially in black. The ones above are from Elegant Touch but I hear there's a place in Cardiff market that will do you a set of gels for £9, so I may have to go and give them a try.

Witchcraft For Self-Care



In recent seasons I have moved away from body "goals", and beauty "routines". I've started to embrace sensual rituals that make me feel good and more at home in my body; more magical practices that leave room to create, and become more in tune with my true self. Human bodies, especially women's, are constantly flowing and evolving, shedding, growing, and changing. Patterns and repetition are crucial for keeping yourself healthy (getting enough sleep, remembering to brush your teeth, taking your medicine or supplements etc) but a routine can't tell you what your heart craves on a deeper level. Eventually you'll have to go digging. Instead of scolding myself into following a regimen of self-care, I'm trying to listen to myself. As I become accustomed to interpreting the signs, and responding with love, magic is mostly how I nurture this kind of intuitive self-care.

witchcraft-for-self-careAttempting to keep my heart open is one of the most difficult things I do to care for myself. I often instinctively close, shut down, get on with things, go numb, whatever you want to call it, and then when a situation arises where I need to be loving and show my vulnerability again, it can catch me off guard if I haven't been making a conscious effort to work through any unhealed wounds. Warmth is a simple physical way to begin shifting this. All too often we stiffen our bodies from the cold, creating nervous tension, and then stiffen even more from the nervousness, a vicious cycle that is most easily interrupted on a physical level. I like to lay in a hot bath filled with Heart Chakra Love Bath and hang one leg over the side, breathing deeply or singing (LUSH's soundtrack for The Comforter treatment is one of my favourite magical CDs). Making a colourful masterpiece through water and flowers has often helped me, albeit clumsily, through. Feeling the elements in my hands and enveloping my skin as I sink into a potion of my own design brings me back into my body slowly, and with kindness. In times when I feel I cannot create, I can usually at least create a bath, which then shifts my physiological state into something better. If a bath isn't an option I wrap myself in a dressing gown and warm my feet and hands. Dragon Herbs tea helps calm my nerves and ground me into my body, but any loose-leaf tea can be a soothing process. Find one you like or get witchy and mix your own. Making tea with a loved one often opens up the space to talk about whatever we're going through.

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I am terrible at meditating, but creating a small empowerment spell from natural ingredients or a spell candle (I used this Aquarius candle from House of Intuition) helps me focus and recharge. I like to write down some notes on what I would like to manifest, then read them and see what words or phrases pop out, and use those to build a spell. Try keeping a diary for this purpose, so that you have a place to pour out your heart and make powerful, authentic magic. If your spell produces a talisman or charm, so much the better. A talisman can be anything from a small rock you used in your magic to a whole bag of ingredients, or a piece of jewellery. I carry a piece of dalmation jasper during anxious times, then hold it in my hands and focus on its smoothness and its shape when I need to. I take rose quartz with me whenever I want to have an open heart; it reminds me of my intention and helps me balance my emotions a bit faster. House of Intuition spell candles all contain stones or shells that will be supercharged once revealed.

In my sleeping space, I use an aromatherapy lamp like these ones that changes hue and pumps out mist made from whatever essential oil you put in it. Being able to choose the colour it emits also helps control my mood, as I'm sensitive in that way. At night I tend to stick to lavender oil, and I also burn lavender incense for its calming properties. During the day I find the scent of pine helps brings the outdoors in, and make my room feel less stuffy. If I'm clearing my space, lately I've been using some distilled Violet Water to wash down any surfaces, and even my floor. Violet helps to cleanse and release negative energy, so I use it to clean my altar and crystals too, and I add it to baths if I need to literally and figuratively wash the day away.

Finally, all witchcraft is in essence, an act of radical self-care. Witchcraft centres its practitioner, whilst also looking out onto the world with love and responsibility. It frames each and every one of us as our own goddess, or god, with the emphasis on personal power, free will, and positive manifestation. As it brings you closer to yourself and your own nature, knowing what you need to feel whole gets a bit easier.

Some of the products mentioned here have been sent for consideration but this post is NOT sponsored. All opinions are my own, as always. For more info see my PR page.

Showgirl Wishlist

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I've said it before and I'll say it again, stripper heels are the most comfortable heels you'll ever wear. The skintight plastic means they never rub or give you blisters, and the plush cushioned soles make it possible to dance and run around in them all night. The pair I usually wear are only 4" with no platform, from the Pleaser bikini-fitness range (a great option for tall girls, or dealing with low ceilings). However, now that I have some auditions coming up and will be performing in different venues, doing different shows, I want to get a more theatrical pair just for stage performances. I have my heart set on these rose-bud beauties. I want to frolic like a woodland Barbie.  

I also want to get myself feeling fierce for September and book in for rose quartz or amethyst acrylic nails. Crystal and marble effect nails are my new favourite thing, check them out on Pinterest if you don't know what I'm talking about. I was going to get eyelash extensions too but seeing as I sleep on my front, I think I'll stick to falsies. A new Pacifica perfume would be great too, and some Urban Decay Setting Spray. In an ideal world I'd be filling my closet with fantastical outfits from Love Child Boudoir, like the gorgeous flowery harness top above. I'm also going to re-read my copy of Striptastic by Jacq The Stripper, which the utter babe sent me a while back! I insist you check it out, it's red-hot, scorching genius from a fellow ripper babe. All of this stuff will be thrown into a new weekender. Hopefully a cute eggshell one from Victoria's Secret PINK.

Unblocking My Creativity

My creativity ebbs and flows. It dips and rises in sync with the seasons of my life. When I feel like I am being pushed forward relentlessly, my urge to make things simply disappears. I cannot find the energy to reflect when I am focused on living, on finding my way out, or through. I'm not talking about periods of depression; I'm talking about the outward-facing or exhausted dark times of the soul. Times when maybe some part of you is being forged, and you cannot stop to describe it. The days (weeks, months...) afterward can be even worse for my productivity. Numb and quiet days spent staring at my phone, or consuming art instead of making it. Although I should be used to them, times without creativity still scare me. That never goes away. It always feels as if they will never end. Is that it, I ask myself? Will my ability to bring new ideas into the world just run out some day? Has it run out already? Am I going to feel bored forever, unable to shift? You never get used to it. It is hard to have faith.

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Everyone is different, but here are some things that help me when I get stuck like this. Re-reading the chapter on creativity in Women Who Run With The Wolves. Designing a playlist of brand new music for inspiration. Remembering that this has happened before, and will happen again. Plenty of time spent alone, drinking coffee. Forcing myself to move, as difficult and unnatural as it feels, pick up my camera, my notebook, my laptop, whatever, and make something. Asking myself as gently as possible to remember and to recreate the parts that hurt. Come to terms with the fact that whatever you make will be shit. The finished result is not the point - the point is to unblock yourself. I am clearing out my creative drain. I don't need to have something for Instagram at the end of it. It doesn't have to feel good.

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Limiting my time on social media also really helps me. The other day I went out and bought a pin-board, and some cute rose gold pins from Paperchase. It just felt like something I wanted to do, and I'm glad I did. It's provided a physical space where I can work on visual ideas quickly with my hands, without picking up my phone and falling into a vortex. I haven't added a page to my kink scrapbook in a long time, even though I have more than enough raw material to draw from. I'm planning to make a series of works inspired by my last stint as a stripper, and for that, I know I will need all my skills warmed-up and ready to go. I also want to do a few pages on magic and witchcraft. The pin-board is practice space, an experimentation and reminder. I'm taking more pictures, writing more posts, and I have a clear vision of my autumn content. Bringing it all into the world has already begun, but for me creativity is a wave that I have to ride, as I wait patiently for it to reach its peak. I have a tendency to burn myself out faster than I need to, and speed up the repetition of the cycle. As I grow older, I want to learn to accept the waves however they crash, and learn to harness them better when they come. For they will come.

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