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December 02, 2008



Hi Cat, I'm a rookie spellcaster and your blog has been very helpful and an interesting read. Since I'm a little strapped for cash, I cannot afford to buy some expensive herbs like cardamom, and some of the herbs specified (like catnip, poppy seed, licorice, calamus, and Irish moss flakes) aren't available in our country. I'm from the Philippines. Do you have any recommendations as to what inexpensive and/or more accessible substitutes I may use? Thank you very much in advance. Blessings be.


Alright, well the best thing I can give you with a few of those (for example, poppy seed is widely available...can't you even grow poppies if need be? Well, you need seeds for them - and they are a popular plant,) or things suchas catnip (which is cheap and popular in the USA,) can be ordered via mail.

As it says in my FAQ, I am not into "substitutions," and you're asking for several. ;) Normally my answer is "the essential oil of x herb," but in your case, I'm going to recommend you try using the internet to order these items. While customs may be leery of ordered poppy seeds if they are not customary in your native diet, I can say there must be seeds to poppy flowers (only one is the opium poppy, so try oriental-poppy seeds which cannont make opium,) in a gardening shop... And also try out Mountain Rose Herbs ( which offers a wide selection but also can tell you alternate names of the same plant. For example, calamus is often called "sweet flag."

Just persevere in looking for what you want. :) I've been known to order items from across the world just to get the best item. A lot of us need to struggle to get different items. If you feel you can't locate any items, and it is that much of a problem, you may try checking out a different form of spellcraft. :S

After all, just as there is no real substitute for real chocolate, nor any "REAL" substitute which matches exactly what you're looking for (Sorry) what you've asked here is asking me, "Can I make chocolate chip cookies with substitutes for chocolate chips, flour, butter, chicken eggs, sugar, and brown sugar?" 0_o Well, no, you need to get the right ingredients and missing that many means you might want to seek a different type of spellcraft.



I understand. Am also taking this seriously and I know that sometimes, no substitutes at all will do. So that means I just might have to look for friends who can bring me back some specific plants/herbs/seeds from other countries. ;)

Anyway, I'll be looking around for available herbs first (not an easy task here) because I do enjoy reading your blog and love your take on the craft, so am raring to try some of your spells.

Thank you so much for the advice. Am looking forward to reading more of your posts! :)


any particular way to dispose of the jar after the 7 days & the candle has burnt out? or just throw it away?


Some people throw out the glass chimney (I do,) others reuse the chimney to burn a "pull-out" seven day candle, but you can defintely just throw the chimney away when your are done with the candle.


how do you anoint a skull candle?


Are you trying to bring something to you, keep something with you, take something away? Wirhout being aware of your purpose, I can't say and be incredibly brief at the same time. ;)


for all the figure candles, etc, genitilia, skull, cross, pyramid. human figures. is there some source out there or book that can teach or give direction in anointing the candles? can we create holes in them too? maybe you can be the first to give us exact methods in a book or online to do the candles in their various purposes.
i would be the first to buy the book


and some people put glitter.... whats the glitter for?


Well, I do tell you how to anoint candles and I do go over how to dress and bless particular shapes - you just need to be on the particular post where I do. If I was going to put down a guide that didn't require anyone to do the actual work of looking in the blog on a particular spell, I'd recommmend looking in my upcoming book. :) Keep your eyes peeled.

In the meantime check out the spells and spellwork and Questions You've Asked Me posts.


Glitter is generally solely for decoration.


This has been EXCEPTIONALLY educational! Thank you for posting this.

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