Using Feathers in Magick

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This article is, in a sense, the sequel to my previous entry on feather finding.  So maybe you, like myself, have had a great spring and summer season of feather finding.  What now, will you do with all of your amazing finds?  There really are a lot of options.

  1.  Smudge feather fans:  This one may seem obvious because it is a very common way to use feathers.  If you have a large feather with a strong central spine such as a turkey, goose or vulture wing feather, you can use it for smudging even just by itself.  I like being able to use the feather pretty vigorously to waft sage or incense smoke, and to draw symbols or pentagrams in the smoke in the air. Even less hearty feathers though, such as gull or crow, or tail feathers of many birds, can be grouped together in small bunches and attached to a handle to create very decorative and sturdy fans for smudging.  If you’ve never had another person exorcise you using feathers prior to a sacred ceremony, I highly recommend you try it!
  2. As an additional aid to spell releasing:  Many times a magickal practitioner will go out into nature or by a body of water to release ashes or herbs from a spell in order to allow the vibration to spread out into the world.  As an air sign person myself, I realized that this process carried an extra energetic boost if I also brought a handful of my small, fluffy feathers, and after releasing the spell, blew the feathers up into the air off of my hand (as if making a wish) to punctuate my final point of focus.  (Don’t wish though…simply manifest by clearly seeing the intended outcome as though it is already happening)  It is also very beautiful to watch the feathers float through the air, especially if you do this over water and let them land and float away, bringing the ideas you have focused on out into nature with them.  Don’t forget that the element of air (to which feathers belong) corresponds to the realm of thought!
  3. To augment your Book of Shadows:  A Book of Shadows is your personal grimoire- a special journal where you document magickal experiences, words, recipes and spells for your own future use, and hopefully for posterity as well.  Mine is a lovely huge leather job with linen-like pages that looks like something straight out of Hogwarts.  I take great pride and care in crafting the pages so that they beautifully convey the energy of the magickal act of which they speak.  Taking small feathers, even the little fluffy ones, and gluing them in a grimoire adds an amazing energetic and aesthetic touch to your book.  This is especially poignant on pages where air factored into a spell you did, or you wrote an invocation to an air-oriented spirit or deity, or if, like me, you, yourself are a creature of air and it factors into all the magick you do!
  4. Creating decorations, shrines and altar pieces:  Bird feathers can easily be incorporated into frames, mounted on wall hangings, stood up in vases as though they are flowers, and glued to prints that make your sacred space more magickal.  It’s nice to figure out if any of your favored deities or guides are related to specific birds, and use those feathers to decorate the area around a statue or picture of that God/dess.  I always feel honored to receive feathers that are connected to my primary Goddesses, and I am sure to show them and let them know.
  5. Used as charms or protectors:  If you love the feathered nation or have any bird guides or deities/spirit guides with bird associations, a feather is a great item to include in protection charms. Birds are watchful and aware and have the best vantage point to see things coming, and can then give you fair warning.   I always tie some special feathers into a sprig of goldenrod that I dry and use annually for a home protection spell.  Also, if you are ever burying spell contents that you need to keep on lockdown, placing a special feather on top of the buried box can act as a symbolic and energetic guardian over the process on your behalf.
  6. Use it as a quill:  I’ll admit I don’t do this often, but you can, of course, use a large feather with a sturdy spine to write with in ink, just like in the good old days. This is a super cool way to write your spells on parchment.  I don’t know if I trust myself enough to write in liquid ink in my special grimoire though!
  7. Feather finding for divination:  This doesn’t apply to the use of feathers you already have, but I use the actual act of feather finding as a means of divination many times.  It is one of the purest forms of divination I do, because there is no room for personal interpretation to interfere in the message at all.  To do this, I like to walk in a quiet place like a trail or a cemetery alone, and ask a yes or no question.  When I set out to do this, my rule is that if I find a feather before I circle back around to where I started, then that is a “yes” answer to my question.  Don’t perform this unless you are prepared to accept that the answer might be no!  And don’t change your route or walk all day long until you find a feather just because you want the answer to work out to your advantage!  It works very well for me, and with super clear and later validated results.  Also, sometimes when I wasn’t even intending to do divination, but I find a feather that feels very auspicious, I will halt my thinking so I can stop and be clear about what was going through my mind right as I found the feather-  it is usually a validation of some deep truth in that particular thought process.

These are just the feather uses that seem most obvious to me right now!  I’m quite sure there are as many more potential fun and magickal uses as there are birds and practitioners of magick.  Please feel free to share your ideas here in the comments as well. Have a bright and magickal day!

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