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Ask A Witch: All About Morning Routines, Deities, And Self-Love

Culture
Photo by Alexandra Herstik

You do *not* want to insult your deity

In "Ask a Witch," Gabriela Herstik answers your questions about channeling ancient wisdom in the modern age. From spellcraft to finding your path, explore what it means to be a millennial witch.

Hello witchies, welcome back to this column. As always I have some magick to share with you, and this month is a bit of a mixed bag! But these are the subjects that are inspiring me, and I hope that by talking about them I will help you tap into your own magick as well. It’s a bewitching world out there, and we’re all trying to navigate it together. So strap in and let’s talk about morning practices, deities, and self-love.

Question: I’d like to know more about your morning routine. How do you prepare yourself spiritually, emotionally, etc.?
Answer: If you follow me on Instagram (where I post a lot of witchiness!), you may have noticed that I’ve been sharing more and more of my morning practice. I’m going to be honest: I love sleep, and being a freelancer means I can sometimes be lazy since I don’t HAVE to get up at a certain time. That's why having a morning practice helps me get up with excitement, by giving me structure. Although it doesn’t always look the same, and though I don’t do it every day, I make an effort to stick with my routine consistently and at least do a couple of these things daily if I can’t squeeze it all in.  

Here’s my typical morning practice:

Wake up around 8:30am or 9am and say, “GOOD MORNING GODDESS” at the Venus print that hangs in front of my bed.

Wash face, brush teeth, put moisturizer on.

Twenty minutes of yoga. I usually do a few sun salutations and then a lot of hip openers since I carry a lot of my stress and tension in my hips. I’ll also do some twists, folds, and whatever else my body needs. The key with any morning practice (and magick) is to listen to your body. Sometimes you’ll need a heart opener, sometimes you’ll need some warrior poses, sometimes you’ll need to do some twists. Depending on how I’m feeling and how much time I have, I may also add some core exercises to the mix.

Ten minutes of meditation. I use the app Insight Timer and put on a guided meditation, or some singing bowl music on Spotify (I love Sonic Yogi), and meditate. Sometimes I’ll meditate with mala beads and a mantra; it just depends on my intention for the week and how I’m feeling. I like to meditate laying down with crystals on me. I find this feels really delicious and is another way to add some crystal healing to my work. 

Journaling my intentions and gratitude. Usually when I journal I have to do a brain dump and get whatever is in my head out of my head (it's an Air sign thing). Then I’ll set my intention for the week or day. I like having a theme that I can carry with me throughout the week. So, last week, it was keeping my heart open; the week before it was receiving. I’ll journal about this intention and then write down everything I’m grateful for. The key to this? To write what you already have that you’re grateful for, and to write what you want to have as if you already have it—and like you’re grateful for it, too!

Drink tea or green juice; depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll either make some herbal tea (ginger turmeric, dandelion, and chamomile or rooibos) or a green smoothie (coconut milk, kale, banana, mango, coconut oil, almond butter).

Tarot cards: I pull two to three tarot cards each morning to see what I can expect from my day. I’ll often write this down in my journal or grimoire and reflect on it later in the day or week. Sometimes I’ll also use my tarot cards for outfit or makeup inspiration as well.

I don’t always have time to do all of this, sometimes it’s just five minutes of meditation and tarot. But having a consistent spiritual practice I can come back to is so important. I notice that I feel more centered and aware and grounded after my morning routine. But, again, what works for me may not work for you! Maybe you do breathing techniques instead of yoga, or work with astrology instead of tarot. Maybe you do 20 minutes of meditation and no journaling. Think of how you can have bite-sized pieces of your practices in the morning and then create your own routine. The goal is to feel embodied in your power, centered and grounded in your energy, and ready to take on whatever the day holds.

Question: How do you safely begin a relationship with a deity you’d like to work with? If I were to begin a relationship with a deity to later realize I no longer want to be in a relationship with that deity, how do I end it safely and with integrity?
Answer: First things first: Like humans, deities are all different. They all have their own agendas and their own rules and ideas. So there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this, although I will do my best to answer this as holistically as I can! Oftentimes when we’re drawn to a deity, it’s because they want us to work with them. My first tip is research! Learn about the mythology of the god/dess, what they rule over, what offerings or correspondences to leave them. Feel your body when you read about them. Do you feel like you have a spiritual connection to this god/dess? Learn about the culture from which they come, how they may have been honored in the past. 

The idea is to really make sure you vibe with this being before you begin a practice with them. Once you’ve done your research, my suggestion is to set up an altar in this being's honor, or to at least get a photo or statue of them. Talk to them! Tell them about your connection, how excited you are to begin working with them, and also about any fears or worries. The key word with a deity is "relationship." You can also try communicating with this being in meditation. You can find a guided meditation online or in a book, or simply ask to meet your chosen deity in an environment you know they’re usually in. You can ask them any questions or just talk to them. Make sure to thank your deity before leaving them, or after talking to them. 

Leaving a deity you’re working with offerings is also really important! This is an energy exchange, so leaving honey, sweet bread, wine, tobacco, liquor, or something specific to the being with whom you're working is a really powerful and important gesture. I love to have an altar set up for the god/dess I’m working with, and I love to leave offerings here. Having a four- or five-day candle for your deity that you light every day is also a powerful way to continue this relationship and have some consistency. Work with this being in magick, invite them to ritual, write to them, make art in their honor; your relationship is YOURS and as always, do what feels right while remembering that a god/dess has their own agenda as well, and that it’s important to be respectful of this and them!

As far as ending a relationship with a deity, my suggestion is not to dedicate yourself to a god/dess and not to say that you’ll be working with them for a set period of time if you’re not going to follow through. It’s okay to work with different deities over time, but you don’t want to lie to them or tell them something and then change your mind. You can create these relationships and then after a few months feel like your work is finished—and that’s okay! My suggestion is to go back into meditation and speak to the deity about your feelings and ask if your work is meant to be finished. They’ll often tell you what to do—though, not necessarily in words. Finish burning whatever candle is on the altar, tell the deity that this isn’t an end of the relationship just a transition. Again, each being will have their own energy, and as long as you are respectful and haven’t lied to them, you should be okay when it comes time to end. 

Leave a final offering, thank them for their knowledge, and take some time to feel into the transition.

Question: Should all love spells be transmuted with self-love?
Answer: YES! I love this question, and at first, I wasn’t sure how to answer it, but I’m just going to go ahead and say YES. The thing is, if we’re doing love spells and looking outside of ourselves for love and validation, we’re always going to be separate from the love we’re drawing in. If we transmute this through self-love (like we’re simultaneously casting a love spell toward ourselves and whatever our desire is), we’re embodying this magick as much as we’re casting it. 

So instead of doing a love spell to attract love from outside of ourselves, transmuting this through self-love means we’re allowing our magick to move through us, allowing ourselves to embody the love we want others to give us. We treat ourselves the way we want others to treat us. The thing is, it’s not always easy to love ourselves! We gotta fake it till we make it sometimes. But when we’re casting love spells, the strongest way to do this is all through how we feel. And when we allow ourselves to see the vibrant, beautiful, strong, and bold spirit that we possess, and when we own that with love and compassion, there’s no way the love we’re calling in won’t be changed because of that.

Photo by Handout / Getty Images.

From selling probiotic supplements to picture frames and umbrellas

A Kardashian-level of success doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly doesn't happen without proper planning. Kim Kardashian West clearly knows this because, according to TMZ, she has already filed for trademark protection on the name of her two-week-old baby, Psalm West. From personal appearances and entertainment services to probiotic supplements and scrunchies, she is leaving no stone unturned in terms of possible business opportunities.

Apparently, all of the Kardashian parents file these kinds of trademark protections for their kids even if the businesses never come to fruition. It's done as a precautionary measure to keep others from profiting off of their name and to make sure that, should they ever want to start a business, they don't have to worry about someone else getting to it first. The sheer length of this list speaks to the huge earning potential of baby Psalm, who can't even control his own neck muscles yet, let alone go into business. Still, this brings a whole new meaning to "securing the bag."

Below, a list of all the things Kardashian West is seeking usage rights for.

Hair accessories

Barrettes

Bands

Bows

Clips

Ties

Ornaments

Pins

Scrunchies

Chopsticks

Twisters

Wrap

Hair extensions

Ornamental novelty pins

Entertainment services

Personal appearances

Skin care

Probiotic supplements

Toy figures

Doll accessories

Computer software

Clothing

Baby bottles

Furniture

Strollers

Beverageware

Swaddling

Blankets

Skin moisturizers

Lotions

Creams

Bubble bath

Fragrances

Body powders

Shower gels

Body oils

Skin serums

Nail polish

Nail polish remover

Nail care preparations

Puppets

Puzzles

Toy jewelry

Toy cameras

Toy food

Bath toys

Baby gyms

Playground balls

Electronic action toys

Baby bouncers

Baby changing tables

Baby walkers

Pillows

Mirrors

Cushions

Picture frames

Playpens

Baby carriers

Cosmetic bags

Toiletry cases

Duffle bags

Umbrellas

Clocks

Watches

Key chains

Calendars

Books

photo albums

Stationery

Stickers

Writing utensils

Collectible trading cards

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Well, actually it's crocodile, but she looks out of this world so...

Winnie Harlow walked the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday on her way to a screening of Oh Mercy!, wearing a showstopping gown.

The sheer black dress featured green embroidery on the front and back, which Ralph and Russo confirmed was in the shape of a crocodile. She belted the dress with a black crocodile skin-like belt and finished the look off with some strappy heels. She didn't leave it at just that. For beauty, Harlow packed on full lids of sparkly purple eyeshadow. She kept her hair sleek and simple.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Though the brand says otherwise, as Game of Thrones fans, we'd like to think the embroidery is reminiscent of a dragon's skin. Not to mention, Harlow looks out-of-this-world beautiful in it.

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Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

That denim kimono!!

Marion Cotillard shut down the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday at a screening for Matthias Et Maxime. Instead of an extravagant gown that's expected of the event, Cotillard wore a matching black crop top and shorts. Despite wearing an outfit I typically don to a hot yoga class, she looks incredible. She completed the look with an oversized denim kimono, a statement necklace, and heeled booties.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

At first, I was drawn in by the crop top and hotpants duo, but, after looking closer at the kimono, it's clear that it's the real scene-stealer. The floor-length Balmain piece was decorated with artful rips and dragon motifs. I would like to live in it.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Let's all bow down to the Khaleesi of Cannes.

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MORE in VIDEO
Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

"It doesn't make you weak to ask for help"

Singer Billie Eilish is continuing to open up about mental health, this time in a new PSA video in partnership with the Ad Council and Seize the Awkward.

In the video, Eilish insists that "it doesn't make you weak to ask for help." She doubles down on the importance of asking for help, and stresses the importance of friends and family being there when their close ones reach out and checking in on them as well. "You should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it." According to Eilish, there have been times when someone reached out to her at the exact moment she needed it, and it helped.

It was particularly refreshing to see Eilish acknowledge that there are things she still doesn't know and has to learn about her mental health. At the very beginning of the video, the interviewer asks her to reflect on her mental health journey, and all Eilish can do is let out chortle. "I think when people hear, 'Remember to take care of your mental health,' they think that everyone else is, and that is not at all accurate," she admitted. "You know, for me I'm trying to learn still to make sure that I stay okay."

Check out the PSA below.

Billie Eilish On Mental Health & Friendship | Ad Council www.youtube.com

Photograph via @kimkardashian.

"#NotOnMyMoodBoard"

Kim Kardashian has definitely been accused of borrowing a design now and then. But when Instagram influencer and Kardashian look-alike Kamilla Osman claimed the entrepreneur copied her birthday look for a Met Gala after-party, Kardashian was not going to let it fly—and shared plenty of photo evidence to shut down the claim.

Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada first noticed Osman's claims on Instagram and shared side-by-side images of Kardashian's Cher-inspired outfit designed by Mugler and Osman's dress. "Never get confused with who 'inspires' who. They won't give you credit but they will copy," Osman wrote on her IG story. "I designed this dress for my birthday last year. Nobody had a dress like this was an original design."

Kardashian responded by posting the true inspiration behind her look: images of Cher, in similarly sparkly, plunging-neckline dresses and wigs, and of model Yasmeen Ghauri walking a Mugler show in the '90s. In fact, the only similarity between Osman's and Kardashian's looks is the bodycon mini-dress style, which the two are not the first to wear. Among the images, Kardashian included a blank slide with the hashtag "NotOnMyMoodBoard," making it clear that this was in response to Osman's claims.

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Though I am with Kim on this one, Kardashian does have a history of co-opting other people's work. From being sued over her Kimoji app, to claims she copied makeup palettes and perfume bottle designs, to being accused of copying Naomi Campbell's entire style, it's far from the first (and probably, far from the last) time Kardashian's name will be mentioned like this.

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