The Practical Witch's Almanac

This year’s printing of The Practical Witch’s Almanac was funded by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign and is experiencing a wave of popularity. The classic almanac is in it’s 24th year of production and for 2021 the theme is all about creating your own personal style of magic and spell by using ancient, proven techniques from around the world.

The almanac will be available worldwide and in stores such as Target, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Amazon, and can be ordered from your favorite independent bookstore. But Arkansas Pagans have a special treat!

The Parlour Hot Springs Witch Shop
The Parlour
340 Ouachita Ave
Hot Springs, AR 71901
(501) 701-4444

↓ Sneak Peek Below ↓

You can get the first copies available retail at The Parlour in Hot Springs, and on Saturday, September 26th from 3pm to 7pm you can meet the author (Friday Gladheart) and have her sign your copy!

If you can’t make it Saturday, the author is available to sign your copy of The Practical Witch’s Almanac or to answer questions, formulate a custom magical item or spell, or help you with a tarot reading on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 5pm.

ISBN-10 : 1621060659
ISBN-13 : 978-1621060659

Are you a writer? Do you have Art Pieces you want the World to see? Arkansas Pagans are searching for content.

We Need Articles!  With writers and contributors from a variety of backgrounds, we are searching to find articles about anything under the Moon!  Maybe a Witchy recipe, spell, or a new ritual.  Open to opinions, reviews, trip guides and so much more.

Please Send Submissions or questions through the contact form here on the website.


During these times, it is good to reflect on the cosmology that underpins and surrounds and infuses the ritual.  As with most healing and cleansing spells, this one invokes the most powerful and the most foundational of the spirits, the gods, the lwa in the tradition.  I’m only going to discuss those within the vodun tradition itself, although as my own practice has developed, I have come to understand the presence of these gods and their influence tracing even to the ancient Greeks of thousands of years ago.  Perhaps in another conversation, those connections and their powers might be explored.

The lwa involved here are some of the most powerful – Grand Bois, Maitre Carrefour, Baron Cimitière, Papa Legba, Ogoun, Erzulie, and Baron Samedi.  The first three, the Triad of Magicians, are utterly foundational, although much less known that the latter four.  Grand Bois is the earth, the forest, the bayou, the world that gives us birth and through which we move throughout our entire lives.  Maitre Carrefour is the lwa of the crossroads.  Not to be confused with Papa Legba, Maitre Carrefour is the actual lwa who preserves all crossroad magic and who watches and makes possible the changes and decisions made at crossroads, actual and metaphysical in life.  While it is usually best to do crossroads magic at an actual crossroad, Maitre Carrefour’s powers allow those crossroads to be met and those critical decisions to be made even away from an actual, physical crossroad.  Baron Cimitière, also Baron of the Cemetery, is the lwa of the end.  Incidentally, for those noticing a relationship between the Maiden, Mother, Crone of both the ancient Greeks and many Wiccan traditions, you have not gone amiss.  The Triad of Magicians syncretizes with both, although their focus may have slightly different emphases.

The other four lwa invoked in the spells are more familiar to a popular audience.  Papa Legba is perhaps the most famous of the four.  In this context, Papa Legba fills his crossroads role as well.  Only, the crossroad has a different dynamic – Papa Legba governs the communication link between humanity that the divine.  So, at the crossroads, it is Legba who accepts or rejects the request to communicate with the divine.  Baron Samedi is often a fearsome individual, one whose gaze is generally avoided.  However, much of that is because he deals in death and the underworld.  But, his influence is very similar to that of Hades of ancient Greece – the god of the underworld is not himself evil, but necessary.  Erzulie, wife to three lwa husbands – Ogoun, Agwe, and Damballa – embodies life itself.  Hers is the passion that motivates us forward, the seeks to explore each new opportunity, that is the zest for life.  Ogoun, one of the husbands of Erzulie, is most easily recognized as syncretizing Haephaestos, the Greek God of the Forge.  He is the god of iron, the warrior god, and most importantly for our purposes here, the god of medicine and healing.

To prepare for the central ritual, it is important to first do the invocation properly.  While it is best to perform this at midnight and during a waxing moon, it is possible to do it at any time, and if you have a sacred space, it is possible to have it as a continual ritual to project a continuous energy into the service of healing and health. 

The Invocation

Needs: Salt, eight small candles, one large green candle, a large candle for later, a bowl of water, seven iron nails.

Place four small candles – one in each corner of the sacred space.  Place a pinch of salt beside each one. 

In the interior of the sacred space, place one candle (preferably green) and three other candles in a triangular pattern around the central candle.  Place the last small candle one the ground in front of the central candle.  Place the bowl of water and the seven iron nails beside the central candle.  If you have plans to extend the spell into a constant energy, place another large candle in the center for the end of the ritual.

Light each of the candles in the triangle and say reverently the name of each – Grand Bois, Maitre Carrefour, Baron Cimitière.  Then, say loudly and forcefully the names.  Then, again a third time, quietly but with conviction.

Then say, “I invoke you with the power of your name.  In your names, I command all evil spirits, all negative energy – depart this place, and do not trouble yourself to return; depart this place, and do not trouble yourself to return; depart this place, and do not trouble yourself to return.”

Having invoked and cleansed, you are ready to move to the second stage of the ritual. 

Go to each of the four corners.

Light the first candle and say, “Papa Legba, we stand at a crossroads. Come and open the crossroads for us.”  Sprinkle salt into the flame.

Light the second candle and say, “Erzulie, we have need of your spark of life.  Come and open your passion for us.” Sprinkle salt into the flame.

Light the third candle and say, “Baron Samedi, we have need of your spirit. Come and open your compassion for us.” Sprinkle salt into the flame.

Light the fourth candle and say, “Ogoun, we have need of your healing strength.  Come and open your power for us.”  Sprinkle salt into the flame.

Situating around the center, use the candle that is lying on the ground.  Light it from the three candles in the triangle, and then, while lighting the central candle, say, “Ogoun, god of iron and medicine, hear us.”

Having lit the Ogoun candle, focus your meditation on the flame.  While taking slow and deep breaths, gazing into the flame, think of every person (by name, if possible) in need of healing or strength.  Holding them in your mind, pour the rest of the salt into the bowl of water.  Stir the salt water with each nail as you place it into the bowl.  Let the nails soak while again thinking of those in need of healing.  Say, “Ogoun, you are a warrior and protector, protect those who strive to heal.  Ogoun, you are a physician and provider, place your healing spirit in those who need healing of body, mind, and spirit.”

Take the nails from the water.  As they are dry, touch each one to the melted wax of the central candle and set them aside.  If you want to keep an ongoing energy flow, light the other large candle and place it in your sacred space or altar. 

Say, “Thank you Ogoun, for your healing and protective spirit.” Put out the central candle.  Move to each of the outside candles.  As you put out the candle, say thank you to the lwa who have given their spirits to the ritual.  Move to the center and thank the Triad as you extinguish the candles.

Finally, take the wax-dipped nails and bury them in the earth, outside.  Place them, with points facing out and the heads of the nails touching in the center.

This meditation and ritual spell opens up our own energy, merges it with the power of the ancient gods, and sends it into the universe to enhance the healing power in the world.  If you focus on the character of each of the lwa as you perform the ritual, it will focus your own mind more precisely and your own power more intensely.

Arkansas Coven Call

What is the North Door?

The North Door has two parts:

  1. North Door Study & Exploration group (NDSE) is an open outreach of the North Door coven. Four times a year we hold events, workshops, or outings that are of interest to a wide variety of people. The NDSE is a great way to meet others in Arkansas and nearby states, and to have some fun!
  2. The North Door Coven is a more traditional coven in Arkansas. Member are like family. The coven is a three-degree initiatory group. Teachings have a foundation in Gardnerian, Alexandrian, and Dianic traditions however, we are very eclectic. The primary coven is normally closed to new participants, however this year we are offering classes and accepting initiates!

Over the years, members of the coven have moved to new areas of the country. Although they still visit for the larger NDSE gatherings, they are not able to attend every Sabbat or Esbat. Also, several long-standing members have passed into Summerland. We are ready for fresh faces and new ideas.

As a coven, we strive to learn and grow from each other and the world around us, support each other in times of need and in times of celebration, and contribute in a positive way to the world around us.

“Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices.”

Classes and events are held once or twice a month in areas in and around Hot Springs, Mount Ida, Glenwood and Mena. Rituals are held at the coven’s 10-acre sanctuary and teaching garden that adjoins the Ouachita National Forest in Montgomery County.

This coven is inclusive and welcomes diversity! There are a few simple steps to take in order to join the coven:

Step 1: Dedicant

Contact Friday and let her know you are interested in becoming a Dedicant. You must be 19 or older. We will meet in a neutral, public place at your convenience to discuss what is expected from you, and what you expect or need from the coven.

Dedicants are expected to attend training classes, Esbats rituals, and Sabbat celebrations as often as possible. After a few meetings, you should decide if you are interested in full training and initiation. If you are, let Friday know and your application will be submitted to the coven. If you are not interested, you may continue to enjoy the NDSE outings and public events to meet other solitary Witches in the area, and other groups.

Step 2: First Degree Initiation

When a Dedicant’s application is accepted by the coven and local elders of nearby groups, you will receive a formal invitation. If you accept, your First Degree Initiation ritual is held and formal training begins.

If initiation is chosen, a first-degree initiation is held and you will begin your Year and a Day as an initiate. First Degree Initiates are expected to design and officiate at one Esbat while attending as many coven classes and other events as possible.

Step 3: Second Degree Initiation

After your first year and a day of study and practice, you are eligible to become a second-degree initiate and your Second Degree Initiation ritual is held. More advanced training begins and you will be asked to choose some areas of focus such as divination, environmentalism, counseling, kitchen witchery, healing, etc. You are expected to design and officiate at one major Sabbat celebration and one Esbat ritual, and are assigned community volunteer and outreach projects.

Step 4: Third Degree

A year and a day after you become a Second Degree Initiate, you are eligible to become a Third Degree. After Third Degree initiation, you are a full covener, may be entitled an “elder” at certain events, and have additional responsibilities. Sabbat and Esbat officiation is rotated among Third Degree coveners and you may select which rituals and celebrations you choose to organize. For this year of your experience, there is a stronger focus on clergy (ordination) and counseling training along with public service. You will also be given the option to establish a permanent cabin at the 10-acre sanctuary and teaching garden, home base for the coven. You can stay in this cabin at any time for events, workshops, and rituals, or rent it out through services like Airbnb when you aren’t occupying it. You may also be asked to join the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization.

What’s the Name About?

The name “North Door” came about because we are in a conservative area of the U.S. In old churches, a northern facing door was left in the church to allow local country folks (Pagans) to enter into the church (which was often built upon sacred Pagan sites). It has been theorized that the northern direction was the traditional entry point into sacred sites and that Pagans at the time wished to enter the church discretely. This doorway came to be called the “North Door” or the “Devil’s Door” and although we aren’t bumpin’ it with the devil, we often feel like we are quietly going about our Witchy business among the otherwise Christian community in our area of Arkansas.