You Lucky Witch!

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Today is Friday the 13th, a day widely regarded in North America to be SUPER unlucky. It’s commonly associated with black cats, stepping on sidewalk cracks, and tons of emergency room visits for people’s very unfortunate mothers. Even if you’re not superstitious, the number 13 no doubt brings up a little bit of fear and anxiety, and you might subconsciously avoid it! Next time you stay at a hotel, are looking for your gate at the airport, or even walking down your street looking at the house numbers, check to see if there’s even a 13 to be afraid of – lots of times it’s suspiciously absent.

No one knows why Friday the 13th is unlucky, and indeed other days are considered to unlucky in other cultures (in italy it’s friday the 17th!) but I think everyone can agree it’s got its own special kind of energy now. Lots of witches see today as their day to be EXTRA SPOOKY AND PROUD and even the global focus on luck to do some powerful luck magick of their own.

Here are some ways you can take charge of today’s kind of restless energy – whether you choose to use it or avoid it.

Good Luck Charms

If you like to kick it old school on Friday the 13th, you’ve no doubt grabbed a few good luck charms on your way out the door or maybe hung them over the door before you walked through it? Good luck charm is just another word for talisman – something imbued with magick or energy for a specific purpose. In this case the purpose is luck with a heaping helping of protection. Though you can make pretty much anything a good luck charm, on Friday the 13th it’s good form to stick to the classics.

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Lucky Pennies – “Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck!” Don’t lie, we’ve all sang this to our parents, siblings, and friends through adorable tooth gaps with skinned knees. I love silly little kid magick, the kind you hear on playgrounds in the spring time, and that I’m pretty sure comes from faeries. The exact origin of the lucky penny is unclear, but the general consensus is “everyone loves free money”. Indeed finding free currency, or even just valuable metal, on the ground has always been seen as a gift from the gods. If you still have access to real copper pennies (sorry Canadians!) or can find one on the ground stick it in your pocket for good luck and protection! As an added bonus copper is sacred to Venus and Aphrodite, the goddesses of love, and friday is their day. Couldn’t hurt to suck up to the boss, am I right?

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Four Leaf Clovers – Finding a white clove with four leaves is so rare it’s said to grant good luck to whoever finds it! The clover, or Shamrock, is usually associated with faerie folklore of the british isles – especially leprechauns. Finding a four leaf clover and eating it was said to bring a faerie who would grant you three wishes that year. Clover often grows in rings where faeries, especially leprechauns, dance and hide their treasure. Though I tend to avoid faeries if I can, clover has wonderful magickal properties! That basic white clover growing in your sidewalk cracks, four leafed or otherwise, is extremely useful in removing hexes and curses and protecting you from evil spirits. Stick some in your left shoe to help protect your from evil, and wear it over your heart to grant you better luck in love.

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Made by Familiar Spirits

Horseshoes – I think we can all agree the horseshoe is one of the most popular good luck charms in the world. Hanging a horseshoe in your home, especially over the door, is supposed to bring good luck into the house and protect everyone who lives there. If you’ve ever heard that the horseshoe is supposed to hang facing up or the luck will run out, you can think the british isles again. In other parts of europe, including italy, germany, the Balkans, and turkey, the horseshoe hangs down. As an added bonus, if your horseshoes are made of real iron it serves as protection against faeries and their tricks!

A Note About Lucky Rabbit’s Feet – please don’t buy these. Not only are most of them fake anyways, but them not being fake is twice as bad. I find that having a bit of a tiny dead animal hanging from your belt to be the opposite of lucky. If you’re still not convinced, here is a picture of my own bunny friend, Jimmy Hoppa, playing with a seahorse beach ball. He loves beach balls! He especially loves using his feet to hop around and play with beach balls. I’m just sayin’.

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Protect Against The Evil Eye or Malocchio

I am absolutely obsessively in love with the beautiful blue glass turkish nazar amulets that have grown so popular here in North America recently. To cast the evil eye with a malicious glare is a common expression and action throughout the globe. It’s a non-verbal way to convey annoyance or anger to let someone know that you’re holding them responsible for any wrong-doing they’ve done. In many cultures to cast the Evil Eye was also a means of casting a curse on someone while their back was turned. Italy seems to have the most extensive amount of magick to protect against the evil eye and as a woman with an Italian background… I can kind of see why it’s necessary. I’ve never met an italian woman without a killer evil eye.

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The Nazar or Evil Eye Jewelery – The Nazar which is Arabic for “sight” or seeing” is popular throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean, especially in the village of NazarKoy, Turkey where many are made and sold at a local bazaar.  A typical Nazar is made of handmade glass featuring concentric circles or teardrop shapes in dark blue, white, light blue and black, occasionally with a yellow/gold edge. It’s a common sight throughout the mediterranean where the Nazar is often hung in homes, offices, cars, children’s clothing, or incorporated in jewellery and ornaments. The eye is meant to either reflect someone’s curse back, or to cast it first before they get the chance. I read somewhere that the reason for the blue colour is that throughout the middle east wherever blue eyes show up trouble is sure to follow, and again – who can argue with that? Due to their popularity among tourists they’ve found their way to North America and are popular in jewelry stores and metaphysical stores; often paired with the Hand of Fatimah.

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Wearing Black – This is another Italian trick, though to be honest – I can’t find a source. I’ve known to wear black on Friday the 13th (or 17th!) to protect myself from bad luck my whole life. In fact, most other italian girls I knew joked every friday the 13th that we all looked like we were going to a funeral, but we were never afraid of it either. Since you’re a badass witch, you no doubt have a whole closet full of black so throw some on today. Witches regularly use black candles and stones for protection magick, so why not a little black dress?

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The Corno, Mano Cornuta or The Sign of the Horns – The Corno is a horn shaped amulet popular in italian folklore to protect against evil or the evil eye. You can still find them in many italian jewelery stores, usually made of silver or gold. If you don’t have a corno amulet but feel that someone or something is casting bad luck your way you can do the Sign of the Horns with your hand, or the Mano Cornuta. This common hand gesture is formed by extending the index and little fingers while holding the middle and ring fingers down with the thumb. You know the one, former Metallica fan! Although popular in heavy metal music as a comically dark symbol, it began in India and is widely used in Italy and throughout the Mediterranean to ward off negativity and the evil eye.

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Cimaruta Charms and Ruta Graveolens – The rue plant grows throughout the mediterranean and was used in a lot of ancient healing practices. It’s super multipurpose and healed everything from headaches, to unwanted pregnancy, to the malocchio. Cimaruta charms are an ancient folk charm of a rue sprig with various other religious and protective charms appearing to grow from it. Though it served as protections against witchcraft and the evil eye, modern witches often use it as protection against malicious magick or intent specifically. The smaller symbols on your cimaruta can represent things like the goddess, the moon, the heart of christ, protective verbena flowers, you name it. Though rue itself is fairly dangerous to handle for those who are inexperienced and should never be applied to the body without supervision, you can find rue dilutions, potions, and flower essences at some metaphysical stores to work into your magick.

GET SPOOKY

If you’re like me, Friday the 13th is your DAY. Going with the flow is always the best way to handle chaotic energy and you’ve recently had some good practice thanks to mercury retrograde! Instead of trying to work against the energy, work with it. Use today to cast your own extra lucky spells. The energy of last night’s full moon is still around to grant your wishes and offer up a little extra magick. If you have a curse or hex to cast, today would be the time and to bump it up, try and harness the energy of some of these symbols that are commonly seen as bad luck.

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Black Cats – Let’s be real, is it really ever bad luck is a cat chooses to grace you with its presence? Black cats get a bad wrap, and witches are no strangers to the magick of these special animals, but today is the day to use that. Work with your own familiar if you’ve got one, light black cat candles, use black cat oil, and definitely stop to say hello to one that crosses your path today.

Taken by me! Paige Vanderbeck, The Fat Feminist Witch
Salem, Massachusetts, 2015

Visit the graveyard – Stepping on graves is often a sign of bad luck, but maybe the spirits could use a visit? I find Friday the 13th to be an amazing day to gather graveyard dirt. The trick is to be respectful, and do your reasearch. There are so many proposed methods of gathering graveyard dirt for ritual purposes, and I’ve found all the suggestions to be good. Part of the reason I find this day to be so good for hitting the graveyard though is the ritual of leaving pennies at the cemetery gates and on the grave as a token for the dirt and energy. When it comes to graveyard dirt I find hoodoo practitioners are the ones to ask about collection and use, so check out little guide by Lucky Mojo and make your own ritual.

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Listen!

The Raven and a Murder of Crows- Though ravens and crows are seen as trusted friend to many people who practice a european magic tradition, they’re both still seen as a bad omen or harbinger of death to many. Like the cats, these amazingly intelligent and magical animals have been given a bad rap! Work with the raven and crow in your magick today to help bring your life from shadows to light, or to work with the strong magick that only exist with the light is out. Crows specifically have a lot of mythology about the weather and weather divination surrounding them. Weather witches would do well to include crow imagery in their magick, especially today. If you find a feather from a raven or crow today, I would surely see this as a powerful talisman.

In general, Friday the 13th is an excellent day for magick many consider dark or even counter productive. Spirit communication, cursing, shadow work, and introspection. If you’re lucky enough to have a coven of 13 witches achin’ to make some serious magick, throw on your black clothes, grab your cat, and turn your luck around.

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