Being an eclectic witch is the inspiration behind Coventry, more specifically, why the word Coventry was chosen 25 years ago as our company name. When I first looked up in word in an old 1980’s dictionary the definition I got was “A gathering place of witches”. Today as I look it up, that definition has faded away to be overtaken by “a state of ostracism or exclusion.” That makes sense if you think about attempted reassure of witchcraft, anyplace where witches gathered was considered a place you wouldn’t want to go. Thank goodness we have a new take on witches and a reclaimed definition of Coventry. We look at Coventry as a gathering place of traditions, especially traditions that have been ostracized and excluded by the traditional religions.
There are as many paths to the divine as there are humans looking for connection.
How could the vast presence of the universal creator be embodied by only one perspective? I see the divine as a finely cut diamond and we can only see one facet at a time. We are all blind to the totality of our god/goddess experience with only our time bit in focus. At Coventry we want to open up to many more facets and bring validation to others like us. It’s in our bones and it’s in our her-story.
In 1990 when Coventry was first conceived of, I was heavily into the study of the Wiccan traditions. I got there thru the love of the Christian mysticism and my journey thru a 12 step program. These three ideals shaped the Blessed Herbal Candles, the Affirmations, Blessing kits, and Witches Brew line.
My journey didn’t end there. I studied with a teacher from a Krisha Temple, a shaman, a transformational healer and a Santeria house. All of these paths brought me to a wider understanding of traditions around the world and that we need to honor those who kept the traditions alive in a time where they would have been erased. My study of Conjure and folk magic from around the world brought us to the creation of the Motor City Hoo Doo line and the World Magic line.
Patty keeps us in balance with her foundation in Christianity, Reiki, and transformational healing. Her influence along the way helped keep every product we make relevant to the changing needs of people today. (We are working on a few new lines that speak closer to these paths)
What we do here is ensure that we are authentic in our magical creations. We don’t make products that we have not become intimately acquainted with their tradition or energy. We have to connect profoundly with the message and recipe, that’s why when Dorothy Morrison and I were talking about products, it took us 2 years to create the Wicked Witch Mojo line. It had to be right, not just marketable.
We have come and gone with many product lines, and our current passion is the limited editions that speak to the energy of the moment. (Hekate, Ghost, Firecracker, Crossroads, and Peace candles.)
Coventry is made up of many traditions and yet we all travel in the same direction, a deeper connection to our higher power. We invite you to experience our products to awaken your own divine connection and create your own powerful personal magical tradition.
Visit our website to browse the many Coventry candles lines and make sure to check out our new Witches Union swag. This line of fun products celebrates the powerful witch in you and your part in our community.
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How much of your magical teaching is relevant in the 21st century? How many of you can pee in a jar and put it under your front stoop for protection? Not as many as you think, so what does the 21st century witch do in such cases? They become the creator of their own magical tradition.
Traditions must evolve to survive and stay relevant. Are you brave enough to be part of the evolution?
The foundation of tradition is critical. That is the experience and wisdom of those who inspire you, of course understanding the foundation of your spiritual patch brings you stability to explore further. Foundations can be the stability or they can be the limitations. I like to look at the foundations of my spiritual path the requirements of the age and culture of those who crafted that path. The magical needs of the hearth witch of the 1500’s is not the magical needs of today. I don’t even have a hearth, I have a furnace and central heating.
Thank goodness that the hearth witch of long ago tested her spells and paved the way for me. Now I get to pave the way for that magical practitioner 100 years from now who may stumble across something I tried and succeeded with. Who knows, they may have to figure out how to do a candle spell in an age where paraffin candles are no longer available. I tell you, my sister in the future, grab the idea and the spirit and make it your own.
In every class I teach I remind my students that someone and sometime had to decide what magical uses each plant, rock, or animal has. If they can decide, so can you. Someone decided that red was for love and someone else decided red was for war. Each of these magical practitioners had a strong feeling about their definition and they had to have some type of success with it to validate their decision. That is how tradition is built, trial and error, experience and myth, results and cautionary tales. This is also how you can build upon your own tradition.
When I started making candles for fun, I didn’t agree with the traditional recipes and colors. I read, learned and did my own trials to come up with my candles. I even changed the color of protection from white to black. I felt that black would pull in all the protection you would need and build a stronger fortress. This was not the tradition of any of my teachers and many initially refused to use a black protection candle. I stuck with it anyway. Now I read in some of the newer books on magic that black can be used for protection. I was the decider of my own tradition and others decided that they agreed.
We get the best of both worlds, we get the strength of tradition and we get energetic pop of creation – use them both and be the magic maker.
Visit our website to browse the Blessed Herbal candles and more and make sure to check out our new Witches Union swag. This line of fun products celebrates the powerful witch in you and your part in our community.
Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter here, for more Coventry magic delivered right to your inbox.
Ding, ding, ding, ding!!!! Thus begins our 25th year in business. It’s humbling to think of how many candles we have made and more importantly, how many lives we have touched. Over the years we have gotten life changing stories from our staff and our customers – both their lives and our lives have been changed by them.
In honor of our 25th Anniversary, here are our 25 most powerful stories starting with how Coventry has changed the lives of its owners.
1 – Jacki’s personal evolution. I have to start here since I started Coventry over 25 years ago. Creating and using my own product has taken me from a shy, insecure woman who always looked to others to lead her to the redheaded freight train you see today.
2 – Patty’s personal evolution. When Patty started at Coventry, she was a healer in training. I’ve watched her go from the best support person a girl can have to a leader in the healing community. Teacher, author, leader, coach and entrepreneur are talents that have all developed while using our products to heal and grow.
3 – We have gotten people jobs – There are so many stories of using Coventry products in the job search that I had to talk about this first. Just recently, I got a testimonial about the limited edition Firecracker/ Blockbuster candle helping breakthrough months of unemployment into a dream job. From the New Job Blessing Kit to the Querent Caller Motor City Hoo Doo, we have a candle for that.
4 – We have helped start families – Whenever I feel like giving up I think about an anonymous voicemail I got in the late 90’s. I will never forget the teary voice and the cooing baby in the background. This woman talked about using a combination of Blessed Herbal candles for an effective conception spell, then she talked about using the Healing and Heart Blessed Herbal candles to help grieve when she miscarried and then the Inner Balance, Happiness and Prosperity combination of candle she used to conceive and then give birth successfully. Yah – I still get teary over that one.
5 – We have helped people commit - Daily and weekly we get customers asking about how to get their love interest to commit into a relationship. It’s so hard emotionally when we may have picked the wrong love interest and want to mold them into who we want them to be. One of my most successful magical coaching was for a customer who transitioned from obsessing over Mr. Right Now into drawing Mr. Right to her. It was a lot of healing layers and lots of candle to help the process. They are still together.
6 – We have protected sacred land – In our first 5 years of business we got a phone call from a woman who inherited land that was wild and undeveloped. It was in her family for generations and they wanted to preserve it. She didn’t have enough money to pay the taxes on it and a developer was trying to get it from her. Her boyfriend bought her a Blessed Herbal Prosperity candle as a last ditch attempt to save this virgin land from development. Later that week, the survey team that the developer hired spotted a bald eagle. That immediately made the land protected and it just so happened that the nesting radius of the bald eagle was the same size as her family land, protecting the whole parcel.
7 – We have helped businesses get started – We have heard this story several times, but the one that sticks is pretty recent. A woman who uses our products faithfully was at a crossroads and decided to start selling them and advising her friends on using the Coventry candles. She quickly grew to have a storefront in an area that was lacking any spiritual or insightful stores. Her store continues to grow and now other similar stores are popping up making her area a spiritual mecca.
8 – We have kept businesses going – Our products have been called the “Rent Makers” by many of our loyal customers. They know if their Coventry stock is low their sales are low. This moniker humbled us so much, we worked on improving our turnaround time for orders, back order system and our display and signage program.
9 – We have fed dozens of families over the years – Over the past 25 years we employed over 100 people. Some full time, some part time but always have paid above the going rate for our kind of work. Keeping Coventry a positive work environment has been a value Patty and I hold to a high standard. We didn’t understand how life changing these two ideals were until we had a few employees that thanked us for helping them feed their families and have a decent life. This humbling reality is at the core of every decision we make and every risk we take. We cannot be Coventry without the team that is our foundation.
10 – We have helped save the whales – For years we have donated boxes of candles and other products to a foundation that protects the whales on the northwest coast. We love helping when we can and thank that group for all that they do.
11 – We have helped send kids to college – Coventry is a proud sponsor of the Michigan Pagan Scholarship fund. I love that this fund exists and give a 4 year scholarship that totals $2000 to a pagan college student that would never have access to some of the more religious foundations.
12 – We have helped educate kids on bullying – Through yearly product donations we were a part of a foundation that went to schools to help kids who were bullied based on their alternative religions. Although this foundation no longer exists, we have continued to seek out other empowering programs and supported them with products and volunteer hours.
13 – We have taught kids that alternative religions are ok – By going to schools and allowing kids to come here, we open a dialog on religious practices outside of the norm. We do this by talking about intent, the wheel of the year and other things that became part of the standard American holidays.
14 – We have helped women find safety – After 25 years in business we have had a few female employees that needed our help in getting out of a bad situation. I know about this first hand as my first marriage was abusive and dangerous, making this one on one help so important to all of us. We have as a group collected clothing and supplies for women’s shelters and have donated many items for auction and support whenever we have been asked
15 – We have changed the way people think about magic - This has happened gradually in so many ways. I remember back in 1992 how new age stores and unity book stores were terrified by the Blessed Herbal Candles. It was too magical, too occult for them. Now, I get calls from all over telling us that the Blessed Herbal Candles are the standard of candle magic for them. Patty and I have been asked to teach and speak at different Unity churches about the magical properties of intent and prayer. I have even got the guys from my business groups burning candles for their mainstream businesses.
16 – We have helped people lose weight – I am reminded specifically of a friend whom I had lost touch with finding my book Coventry Magic and using the Seven steps to help him lose the weight he has been struggling with after a big life change. Over the years, other customers have told me that they used the Energy candle to keep them going, the Needed Change candle to help with their physical transition and the Spiritual Cleansing candles to clear out the old emotional junk that was sabotaging them.
17 – We have helped patients in hospice – Another time a customer letter made us all bawl is when we got a letter from a woman in hospice with end stage cancer that said burning the Healing Blessed Herbal Candle was the only time she felt at peace during her process. We sent her a case of candles, lots of love and a donation to a local hospice care.
18 – We have helped Pride events happen – Equality and human rights is a big deal over here at Coventry. It’s such a big deal we help the local Pride festival. I have taken on a co-chair role as art director for a few years and we have sponsored in varying ways for years. The freedom to live a life of joy and comfort is a guiding light for us.
19 – We have helped Marriage Equality become real – In 2014 I had the honor of facilitating a local community ritual in support of marriage equality in Michigan. The Coventry candles did play a part in this, but more importantly it was the power of magic tapping into love that is ever living and growing. I’m not saying our ritual changed everything, but I will tell you the weekend after the ritual the Judge ruled in favor in Michigan.
20 – We have made magic easy – The calls still come in asking us “Did I do this right? I think I messed up my magic.” I love it when we can set someone at ease and let them know that when using the Coventry products it’s really hard to mess up your spell. Magic can be easy, straight forward and fun and we have been teaching newbies how to make easy magic for decades.
21 – We have made magic accessible – Remember when I talked about new age stores being scared about Coventry products in 1992? It was hard to find items to use in spells and magic and I was determined to change that and normalize these ideas. Because we kept looking for more and more stores to sell our products in, embraced the internet when it became part of our daily reality and kept up with the times, we changed the idea of unattainable magic. We took magic from something you have to leave your daily life to find and turned it into part of your daily routine.
22 – We have protected children from continued abuse – Back in 1995 we held a fair to raise money for a Children’s Defense fund. That was our first foray into using our business to raise money and help create change. Since 1995 we have chosen different causes and rotated our attention.
23 – We have helped women become empowered – Patty and I have spent time with other women who are starting businesses, are students in our classes or clients for our products and services. Thru our words and deeds, Patty and I work on lifting up women in our community. We mentor, hire and train women to help them heal and level up in whatever area of their life that they need to. In Jan of 2017, I went with a group of women to march on Washington and my life is forever altered from that experience.
24 – We have taught generations of people to make magic – I will never forget meeting a 20-something woman who was excited to tell me she grew up using Coventry products. I just about died from feeling ancient. As soon as I recovered I was humbled and asked the young woman many questions and sure enough this was part of her spiritual training as a child. I watch my own daughter talk about magic, intent and manifesting with the same familiarity as she talks about anime and schoolwork. This understanding of how many lives were touched by our products puts into perspective how small and how important we all are.
25 – We created an industry – I see products like ours all the time. I know there are companies that literally copied our size and style. I see other companies making similar products and instead of feeling ripped off or stolen from, I feel proud. We started something, paved the road, took a risk and opened the door for candle magic to be normal, welcome and every day. I am proud of Coventry and all the magic makers that have come and gone to create what we have today. We are still a small factory of about 10 -15 people, churning our magic one batch of candles at a time. I am grateful every day that we can make the products you are looking for.
Thank you all for being part of the 25 year experiment of making magic happen all around the world every day. Without you, we are just wicks looking for home to burn bright in.
Happy Anniversary, Coventry – the world would be less bright without you!
Having healthy boundaries is the topic of conversation this month at Coventry. I drew Coventry Magic Oracle cards on them, Patty is writing about healing boundary issues, and our Witches Union Spell caster card is about sending someone out of your life. I want to take a slightly different tact on boundaries in this month’s Live the Magic article and talk about how to keep your boundaries fluid and influential.
We don’t think about these things every day and except in crisis, “How are my boundaries feeling today?” is not top of mind. We only pay attention to where we end and someone else begins when there is pain and drama. What if I told you that you can use you’re your boundaries to create magic? Not only can you, you do it every day. In my book Coventry Magic with Candles Oils and Herbs, I dedicate a whole chapter to “Spheres of Influence.” Spheres of influence are your boundaries in action.
“Take a moment and think about who influences your life. No, not Prada, and it’s time to let the Reagan Era go. I am talking about who really influences your day-to-day life. If you are still living with your parents, then I would say that they are influencing your life, but the guy who sits next to you at work influences your life as well, and so does the salesperson who told you that outfit looked great. Your every day is influenced by many people and people you don’t even know.” Coventry Magic, P13
Where our boundaries touch each other is where we influence others and in turn are changed by their perspective.
“In world political terms, the sphere of influence is when one governmental power has influence within or over another government. In personal political terms, it is all the people who are affected by your actions and all the people who affect you. You place yourself within others’ spheres by the choices you make and the way you act within those spheres of influence. So what in the world does this have to do with candle magic?
“Think about it this way: When you send out a ripple into these spheres, it does end up returning to you (they are circular). When you want something, cast a spell for something; it does fill your own sphere. You send out fishing lines of energy to see if anyone responds and can help manifest this energy. It’s not like you took out a billboard on the side of Route 66; you are not recruiting for Amway. The energy of your spell is looking for a response and a way to manifest so it will test what and who you know first. Any intention you create needs the connection or influence of another body to manifest.” Coventry Magic, P13
You make magic when you consciously and with intent, send ripples through those spheres. As your sphere touches another, theirs touches another and on and on and on.
“These spheres of influence are the stepping stones to attaining that magical goal. There is that old saying, ‘you are your friends.’ If you surround yourself with people (including family) that are negative, then it takes a lot of energy to break through that. I can’t count the number of times I have sat in counsel with clients who just want to be able to make the rent every month. When it came down to it, they were surrounded by family that just sucked up anything positive that came their way. Then there are the clients who worked in such a toxic situation that it scrambled their brains until they thought there would never be another job for them ever. It is very hard for your magic to take root in toxic situations like these. Even mildly toxic situations, like a friend who is always in crisis, can suck up your energy so there is nothing left for you.” Coventry Magic, P15
In other words – network you magic! It takes 2 people to manifest any spell so send it out on the wire, talk about what you are looking for, get advice, make contacts and see how much faster you are able to make that intent into reality.
Try this, take the Intuition Affirmation candle (and holder) and place it in the center of a large circle drawn on paper. Light the candle, say your intent and ask for the magic to ripple through your sphere quickly to bring to you what you need. Then draw another circle intersecting that first one, then another circle that overlaps both and on and on until you fill up the paper with interlocking circles. Around the edge to the paper, write your intent and draw arrows toward your candle to bring it to you faster.
The Intuition Affirmation candle helps you instinctively know where to connect to make magic happen. For the next three days, tell three people what your goal is. You will start to see lots of sign that you message is getting through and your intention fulfilled. You have to look for these signs as they don’t necessarily come in the way you expect.
Burn the candle for 9 days total, or as long as the candle lasts. After the 9th day, discard of everything from this spell and release it to the universe. The bigger your intent and change, the longer it will take to get to you, make sure you put in the work.
Aunt Jacki says – go make some magic!
You can find Coventry Magic with Candles, Oils and Herbs as well as the Intuition Affirmation candle at www.coventrycreations.com.
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