Saturday, 31 March 2012

Ahh Plant Shopping

So for my birthday my wonderful, lovely parents got me a gift card to the nursery. Dangerous thing for me because I do love to plant shop. With a little extra, I managed to get quite the haul!


From left to right: Lilac tree, Port Wine Magnolia, Chinese Wisteria (purple), Larkspur, Verbena, Parsley, Mint, Pansies, Foxgloves and Snapdragons.


I also got some veg. White onions, purple lettuce, purple cabbage, cauliflower and red onions.

Flying/Witches Oil

I was inspired when reading on a blog about Flying/Witches Ointment. Sarah of Forest Grove makes them and although she is experienced with the stronger and more potent herbs and flowers I am not. I decided to try it with herbs that have the spirit/flying correspondences and make an oil. I am doing a Herbalism course and no doubt as I move through the more advanced stages of it I will learn about the more ‘dangerous’ herbs, but for now this witch is happy to try things and see how they work out.

I took the list of her herbs, deducted some and added others of my own from researching this particular type of ointment and then I decided to make it an oil, not having any beeswax on hand and since I live in the middle of nowhere, wasn’t possible to duck down the road and find some – although, I will be looking to purchase some in the near future to give it a go. (I also watch ‘How to Grow Your Own Drugs’ and want to try some of the recipes).



So I tracked down a nice bottle, ground my herbs up, popped them in the bottle and added some grapeseed oil. I also put in some Myrrh and Dragon’s Blood essential oil. I can’t tell you if it will work, I won’t know for some time yet. I have to let it soak and work its elements together but I am hoping that it does work. I am wanting to let my spirit soar as it were or let myself go into trance because I am looking at becoming a Fae Worker and I know that I have trouble letting go of my mind and heart (I suck at meditation) and I would love for this oil to help aid in that. Like I said though, I won’t know for some time, I have to let it ‘brew’. It is currently sitting on my bedroom windowsill as it gets most of the sun during the day being eastern facing.

The Herbs I used for this were: Poppy Seed, Mandrake Root, Mugwort, Wormwood, Yarrow, Vervain and Sage. Do not ask me in what quantities because I don’t really measure. I generally go with instinct and feel my way through. Of course, later on if I decide to use more baneful herbs – measuring will become an exact science.

For now I will wait, I am hoping to get some of these herbs up and growing so I can use fresh herbs in the future.

Besom Project Part 2 – The Staff

The staff part of my besom is completed. I am really happy with how it has turned out and I can’t wait to put all of the elements together.



The Staff

This is what it looked like when I first selected the length of Oak I wanted. We have a huge oak tree and had branches lying about from the last time it was pruned. I wanted Oak because it is very connected to me.


Post Barked

Let me tell you, de-barking oak is not an easy process. It took me ages and the pain, oh the pain let me tell you! Because oak is a hardwood the bark is not as easy to remove as you would think. It took me a good two hours and even then I knew it would need copious amounts of sanding to get it cleaner.


Sanded

This is what it looked like sanded. Oak is a lovely wood to work with and the thing I like most is that the character stayed in the wood even after I sanded it (yes, hand-sanded).


Waxed

This is what it looks like finished – insofar as being waxed and polished. It smells divine as it has a lavender beeswax polish. I am really happy with the overall end result and I can’t wait to put it all together! I chose to leave the knobby bits and other parts on the staff as I think it gives it a tonne of character and makes it look really old. (The wood itself is actually quite old because the tree is).

More pictures of the waxed finished staff



Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Trying to be motivated

I am probably one of the laziest witches you will ever meet. I do, with all good intention, write a list of things I want to get done, things I want to try and it never quite seems to work out the way I had hoped. I tend to consider doing it and then I never actually do.

So here is my plan. Each week I am going to pick something witchy to do but instead of being a small spiritual lesson it will be a larger project. So for instance, I’ve been lagging on my besom making project, I sort of half sanded it but haven’t picked it up again yet. That will be my project for this week. Finishing my besom.

Next week I might do some work on my Faery Garden. I had it all done and everything but I let it go over time and now it is an unattractive patch of dirt with a couple of garden ornaments. I want to make this more than a fae garden, I would also like to make it my personal outdoor space, other places around our home are either reserved for pets or can be seen. Plus it is right under our oak tree and I do have a strong connection with it so any outdoor magicks I perform, I think I would like to do near this tree. So here goes and we shall see. Sunday, hopefully I will be posting a fully finished Besom….

Hopefully.

Day 17: Picture of Nature - Fire Element


Snapdragons at sunset, taken last year in my garden. Why Snapdragons for fire you ask? Fire is the element associated with these wonderful, fun and colourful flowers.

#5 The Happily Ever After Witch


The Happily Ever After Witch predicts a lucky time, promising a happily ever after for you. You make wonderful progress, and many happily celebrations result from your surprising magical esteem.

Heaven sent new people, new places and unique opportunities now appear like never before. You have very special choices to make that will never again come your way.”

Wow, road to positivity and luck here I come. I can’t say for sure that I completely agree but this is just my naturally pessimistic nature popping and ruining the party. I want to believe this with all that I am and previously I had done tarot readings that indicated great times ahead but I don’t buy it at face value because

I have learned over these part 28yrs that although part of my heritage is Irish, I most certainly do not have the mythical ‘luck of the Irish’. I want happily ever after, I want joy to the world and all the rest of it, but I have to believe that it is not that simple.

I wonder if this card is pointing to me as the vehicle of my happily ever after. Maybe I have to drive the journey to get to the destination. I am curious about those special choice and unique opportunities….

The Witch

Behold the Witch, strong as any man.
Know the Witch, as she walks upon the land.
Respect the Witch, her powers to beguile.
Admire the Witch, her understanding smile.
Honour the witch, as pure as mother's love.
Applaud the Witch, as destiny she moves.
Acclaim the Witch, her patience over time.
Regard the Witch, her inspiration deep.
Commend the Witch, her family she keeps.
Approve the Witch, as standards she upholds.
Revere the Witch, her faith and will, extol.
Appreciate the Witch, as nature she raises.
Venerate the Witch, for she keeps the ancient lores.
Become the Witch, and these values will be yours.


From Hearth n Home Witchery

Monday, 26 March 2012

The Heart of Faerie Oracle

by Brian and Wendy Froud


Ooohh I love this deck, colour me in love. This is another fabulous artistic offering from the Frouds and I will say, I kinda like this one more than the first. It appeals more to my wild fae side I think.  Although, it is not more welcome or less welcome than Faeries Oracle into my every growing oracle card collection as I see them as sisters. They are different yet so completely related; when I begin to work with them I will better understand their relationship to each other and hopefully begin building one with me.

 

Like it’s predecessor it has a stunning hardcover book, it also has 68 wonderful cards – 3 of which are not labeled and have no written meaning – this is left to the diviner to discover. It has a gold border and the writing on the cards, thankfully, is easier to read than the first deck. The book is 138 pages long; it has suggested spreads and even an interview with Brian and Wendy Froud.


It is so easy to get lost in the cards, to sit there and just stare at one for some time because the detail grabs you, there is so much to see and know within these cards. You can never see it all at once and I know that a card will never have the same meaning twice because you will never see exactly the same thing twice.

I think I am going to be able to build a tight working relationship with these cards. Lately I have been feeling a pull toward the Realm of Fae (more on that later) so I feel like these cards will help me get there.


My favourite card so far in this deck is the Queen of Hearth and Home. There is something really earthy and understated about her but at the same time she is definitely powerful, beautiful and ancient.


But I also really love the Queen of Passage. This card is beautiful and it is dark but it also speaks to me of taking the journey, of walking paths unknown and finding your ‘rite of passage’ or passage to another world.


The Crone speaks to me on a visceral level, not sure why but it is something that I know I will discover sooner or later.

Overall, like the first offering, this deck is fabulous and I think it is going to be an interesting ride! I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Day 15: Thoughts on the afterlife?

I think there is an afterlife although I’m not sure I see it as some great land in the sky. I think it is more that we choose our own afterlife based on our passions. We go where we are most happy or fulfill a dream before moving on. I’m going to be a Past Life Therapist so I also believe that our soul moves on to another life after we leave the current one.

I see the afterlife as a time of rest, of reflection, of putting together the lessons we’ve learned, catching up with loved ones who have not yet reincarnated and just breathing for a time before beginning the life cycle again. I suppose you can tell by my rambling it is not something I tend to think about. I have enough issues in this life to worry about what might happen after it ends.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Preserving the Harvest

I had some baby beets in my vegie garden this year and so I (or rather my stepdad requested) that I pickle them. I did them yesterday for Mabon. It seemed fitting - preserving the harvest on a harvest Sabbat.


Here they are getting all boiled up.


You have to love the colour of the water!


The big jar is the baby beets. I had some pickling liquid left over so I also did a couple of small jars of sliced onion.

My Mabon 2012


Here is my Mabon Altar. The wheat looking thing is actually the tops off one of our corn stalks. We try to grow corn, we have so-so luck, it depends what insects are currently going mental in the garden.


This was my altar for the ritual I performed, although it wasn't so much a ritual I guess. I'm not overly formal. I basically used my regular altar, lit a green candle for prosperity, healing and giving thanks and used The Lady of the Harvest and The Oak Men from my Faeries Oracle as focal points. She's an amazing card, very bountiful.

I actually felt completely connected to the Sabbat last night and it was incredible. I managed to work up some energy which is often hard for me. I am really happy with the day, I even managed to do some harvest preserving!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

#4 Final Reflections

The Healing Witch points to a new direction in my life but I think she is also telling me that I have all the tools I need to succeed. I think I also need to heal in some ways and be able to move on from past disappointments. There is a new way ahead for me. I am what I need to be to get where I need to go….Me, in part, a healer. Who knew?

#4 Meditating with the Healing Witch

She sits with her altar in front of her. Bottles of potions, candles, a mortar and pestle and herbs adorn it; tools of her trade. The Healer, physical, spiritual and magical, she heals the spirit and encourages you to as well. She is one with nature and uses the energy of the natural world to heal. As the saying goes ‘A Witch who cannot Hex cannot Heal’ and so it is the way of the Witch to truly understand and embrace that.

#4 In The Cards


The Arrow Master

The Arrow Master is all about focusing your mind on your goals and aiming for that target. He teaches you to shoot straight for the stars and being deliberate about focusing your dreams and desires with intention and also aligning this intent with Spirit.


The Mildew Fairy

Time to clear out stagnant energy and emotions and approach things with a new attitude. Take time to find fresh ways of thinking and don’t let yourself get stuck. She is here to tell you it is clean up time!

This makes sense. I have goals and in order to approach those goals, focus and clear thinking is needed. If I am going to get where I need to, fresh ideas and thoughts are in order as well as making sure I am definite in my desires because as most witches know – intent and focus is half the battle.

Day 14: A favourite pagan holiday that you celebrate


On the day that I write this it is actually also my favourite pagan holiday – Mabon. I couldn’t tell you exactly why it is my favourite just that I truly feel a strong connection to it. It is the Sabbat I chose for my first initiation at Firefly as a Priestess of the Outer Circle and it is also the Sabbat I chose for my initiation as a Priestess of the Inner Circle (which I will be performing tonight) and also because it is close to my birthday. I’m a true Autumn Witch – bred and born (she says cheekily).

It signals to me that autumn has truly begun, the weather cools and it is time to harvest things grown and look to the future of what will be. It is a time for making plans and of putting those plans into action. It is also a time when I feel most connected to performing divination – perhaps the cooler weather lets my braincells function better. It is also close to daylight savings time, when we put the clocks back and this witch gets an hour extra of sleep – but it also signals that the nights are longer. I love autumn because it holds so much potential and promise, it leads to winter and the cooler months.

Mabon is the start of this, it calls to my spirit and I find that I really do love to feel the onset of autumn.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Day 13: What are some of the witchy books that influenced you?

The first truly witchy type book I ever read was ‘Witch: A Personal Journey’ by Fiona Horne. Now I know these days she doesn’t have much witch-cred but back then this was one of the few Southern Hem related books on Witchcraft. When you’re a solitary in the middle of nowhere you can’t be too picky.

I was influenced by Scott Cunningham’s herbal related works:

Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
Incense, Oils and Brews
Magical Herbalism


Although I no longer identify as Wiccan, his book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner was one of the first books I got to read so it played an important part on setting me on this path.

Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft series
Green Magic was the first one I bought in this series but I closely followed it with her three Green Witchcraft books. These books definitely lean toward the Wiccan side but it still is a very interesting read and it lead me toward the green path.

Crone’s Magical Words by Valerie Worth
This was one of the books I read that got me thinking outside the confines of Wiccan philosophy. It had curses and all sorts and it was truly fascinating.

The Celtic Dragon Tarot
My first deck, the book is really fantastic in helping you connect with dragons. This deck is still the deck I read best with, the one I am most connected to. This is done by D J Conway and Lisa Hunt.

Dragon Magick by D J Conway
I’ve always loved Dragons so this book is fairly self explanatory.

Nice Girls Book of Naughty Spells – Deborah Gray
This was my 1st book on witchcraft bought for my 13th birthday by my parents.

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft
Really a must have in any witchy library. It is a wonderful book and a great resource of information.

Tarot for the Green Witch – Ann Moura
This lead me to look at tarot differently. It is an excellent tarot resource and I would definitely recommend it to any tarot enthusiast.

The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells and the Element Encyc of Witchcraft – Judika Illes.
These books are fabulous and HUGE. Full of great information from all around the world, it delivers across the board on any subject you could possibly be looking for.

Garden Witchery, Cottage Witchery, Natural Witchery by Ellen Dugan
Ellen is a wonderful writer, she has a very conversational style that is easy to relate to. She does not put on airs or pretend to be something she’s not. Because she is completely down to earth in the way she writes, it is very easy to get caught up in her books.

In the Circle by Elen Hawke
I like this writer. She has a wonderful style and she really gives you a sense of her practice but there is also a touch of magic in the way she writes. This was also another one of my first books.

Book of Shadows by Phyllis Curott
This is the story of her journey into Wicca, an interesting read, very evocative and it gave me some ideas of my own to work with.

Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk – Edain McCoy
It was the first book I got on Faery Folk. It has an encyclopedia, some spells, rituals etc. A great starting place if you are looking to working with the Fae.

So this is my list of influential books – or at least the ones that were influential early on. My tastes are constantly changing depending on where I am heading in my learning process at any particular time. These were my first books, so very interesting and taught me a lot. Granted a lot of them are Wiccan flavoured but that is the thing with most Pagan style books these days. I am now moving toward purchasing from more boutique publishers who sell books of a more traditional non Wiccan nature.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Day 12: A Picture of Nature (Air Element)


Aren't they just the cutest? We had some Willie Wagtails hanging about, they loved to chase my cat. I think this was taken when they were breeding and quite fierce. I know they are technically animals but because birds can fly and therefore can be actively in the element of air, I chose them for this day.

Being Eclectic

I’m part of a witchcraft forum for trad witches (those not of the Wiccan persuasion and who practice and enjoy the pre-Gardenerian Wiccan traditions. Basically practicing and enjoying old school folkloric witchcraft) and a post was posted about the word ‘eclectic’. It seems it is considered a dirty word in the pagansphere because it denotes a lack of commitment to one specific path or makes one appear quite ‘fluffy’. It is also apparently considered a Wiccan term.

I don’t agree. The thing with Traditional Craft is that it is so open to interpretation; everyone has their different style and different way of doing things. I tend to think trad witches are eclectic by nature because they pull from different sources in folklore, some practice family traditions, others adopt traditional practices from other countries and make it their own. Any Craft that is not mainstream or specific to a tradition is eclectic in my opinion. I don’t think it is a term that should evoke a sense of derision, it is a term used simply to say that one does not necessarily follow one particular tradition. Most witches who are eclectic will take from these traditions and create their own path, it is not invalid nor is it wrong, and it is some one making it work for them. A true path is complex because it has many elements and many truths, Wicca is great for those who like structure and order but for those of us on a different road – well we like the adventure of the unknown.

My path is a long and winding road with many different branches. I pull from the green/hedge/fae path – green to me incorporates green, garden and hedge witchcraft but also includes the ‘green world’, the world of Fae or Otherworld as it is sometimes called. I am also interested in exploring the cunning craft and wise woman working of old. Although I am new to the Fae/Hedge paths, having not explored them and being hazy (or lazy) on the actualities of these paths – they are areas that interest me and areas I will incorporate into my ‘craft’. Again this makes it eclectic because I am pulling from different traditions and ideas – creating my own path specific to my needs while honouring the traditional practices of those who came before me. A lot of my path and practice is traditional; it doesn’t mean I can’t add to that from other places – to see this as ‘fluffy’ or ‘non committal’ makes no sense to me. The Craft as it stands is fluid, ever changing. If we got down on people because they find their path to be eclectic….it’s ridiculous because all things must change, must grow else they stagnate and become stuck.

So if anyone happens to wave the ‘bad word’ flag at you when you mention you are an eclectic witch, ignore it. Be who you are and know that your path is yours and no one else can offer an opinion on it because they are not you. Only you know what roads you travel and if they are eclectic embrace it.

For some great definitions I have linked articles from “The Witch of Forest Grove”, one of my favourite blogs.

Traditional Witchcraft
Hedge Witchcraft
Green Witchcraft
Cunning Folk

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Mabon Correspondences


Symbolism of Mabon: The completion of the Harvest begun. Day and night are equal and the God prepares to leave His physical body and begin the great adventure into the unseen.

Symbols of Mabon: all harvest symbols, corn, autumn flowers, red poppies,nuts, grains, leaves, acorns, pine and cypress cones, oak sprigs, wreaths, vine, grapes, cornucopia, horns of plenty, burial cairns, apples, marigolds, harvested crops. wine, gourds 

Colors : Orange, Dark Red, Yellow, Indigo, Maroon and Brown.

Goddesses: Modron(Welsh), Bona Dea, Harvest Dieties, Persephone, Demeter/Ceres, Morgan(Welsh- Cornish), Snake Woman(Aboriginal), Epona (Celtic-Gaulish), Pamona(Roman), the Muses(Greek).

Gods: Mabon, Modron(Welsh), Sky Father, John Barleycorn , the Wicker-Man, the Corn Man, Thoth(Egyptian), Hermes, Hotei(Japanese), Thor, Dionysus(Roman), Bacchus(Greek) and all wine Deities.

Tarot Cards: Judgment and The World

Altar Decorations: Acorns, pinecones, autumn leaves, pomegranate, statue of the Triple Goddess in her Mother phase.

Mabon Herbs: Rue, yarrow, rosemary, marigold, sage, walnut leaves and husks, mistletoe, saffron, chamomile, almond leaves, passionflower, frankincense, rose hips, bittersweet, sunflower, wheat, oak leaves, dried apple or apple seeds.

Foods of Mabon: Cornbread, wheat products, bread, grains, berries, nuts, grapes, acorns, seeds, dried fruits, corn, beans, squash, roots (ie onions, carrots, potatoes, etc), hops, apples, pomegranates, carrots, onions, potatoes, roast goose or mutton, wine, ale and ciders, breads, apples, pomegranates

Animals: Dogs, wolves, stag, blackbird, owl, eagle, birds of prey, salmon & goat, Gnomes, Sphinx, Minotaur, Cyclops, Andamans and Gulons.

Element: Water.

Incense: Pine, sweetgrass, apple blossom, benzoin, myrrh, frankincense, jasmine, sage wood aloes, black pepper, patchouly, cinnamon, clove, oak moss

Mabon Stones : During Mabon, stones ruled by the Sun will help bring the Sun's energy to you.clear quartz, amber, peridot, diamond, gold, citrine, yellow topaz, cat's-eye, adventurine.

Customs: offerings to land, preparing for cold weather by bringing in harvest, cutting willow wands( Druidic), leaving apples upon burial cairns & graves as a token of honor, walks in forests, gather seed pods & dried plants, fermenting grapes to make wine,picking ripe produce, stalk bundling

Spellworkings of Mabon: Protection, prosperity, security, and self- confidence. Also those of harmony and balance. Taboos:It was considered unlucky to cut down the very last of the Harvest, and so was also left to stand in the field by some traditions.

Activities of Mabon:
  • Select the best of each vegetable, herb, fruit, nut, and other food you have harvested or purchased and give it back to Mother Earth with prayers of thanksgiving. Hang dried ears of corn around your home in appreciation of the harvest season.
  • Do meditations and chanting as you store away food for the Winter.
  • Do a thanksgiving circle, offering thanks as you face each direction - - for home, finances, and physical health (North); for gifts of knowledge (East); for accomplishments in career and hobbies (South); for relationships (West); and for spiritual insights and messages (Center).
  • Decorate the table with colorful autumn leaves in a basket.
  • Display the fruits of the harvest - corn, gourds, nuts, grapes, apples - preferably in a cornucopia. Or decorate with wildflowers, acorns, nuts, berries, cocoons, anything that represents the harvest to you.
  • Like its sister equinox, halfway across the Wheel of the Year, the Autumn Equinox is a good occasion for a ritual feast. Plan a meal that uses seasonal and symbolic fruits and vegetables. You can serve bread, squash, corn, apples, cider and wine.
  • Make some homemade wine or cordial gather and dry herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods.
  • Make grapevine wreaths using dried bitter-sweet herb for protection.
  • Use ribbons of gold and yellow to bring in the energy of the Sun, and decorate with sprigs of dried yarrowor cinnamon sticks. Make a protection charm of hazelnuts (filberts) strung on red thread.
  • Make a witch's broom.
  • Tie dried corn husks or herbs (broom, cedar, fennel, lavender, peppermint, rosemary) around a strong, relatively straight branch of your choice.
  • Make magic Apple Dolls Gifts of the Harvest can be used to make tools and emblems that will remind us of their bounty all year round.
  • Look for colored leaves. Collect fallen leaves and make a centerpiece or bouquet for your home. Save the leaves to burn in your Yule fire.
  • Vist an apple orchard and, if possible, pick your own apples. Hang apples on a tree near your home. Watch the birds and other small animals who will enjoy your gift.
  • This is also the time for replacing your old broom with a new one. As the broom corn is ripe now, besom making is traditional and magickal this time of year. Begin the festival with a vineyard or orchard harvest. You might check the farm lands in your area to see if there's an orchard or pumpkin patch that allows customers to harvest produce for themselves.
  • Traditionally Sabbat festivals begin at sun set on the eve of the Holiday. You can use the daytime hours of this holiday eve to prepare baskets for harvesting the next day. Baking a pumpkin pie (from scratch if possible) is a wonderful way to bring in the fragrance of the holiday season.

From The Crone's Cottage

Day 11: Witchy tools: oils

I don’t really know what to write about oils. I don’t use them all that often to be honest. I do on occasion anoint candles. I did create a herbal oil not that long ago so perhaps I will let it do the talking for me. You can read it here.

101 Posts

I just realised I posted my 101st post. Yay!

Faeries Oracle



Welcoming to the family today is The Faeries Oracle by Brian Froud. I have wanted to get this deck for ages and when I had the opportunity to purchase cheaply on eBay I took it! There is something about the artwork that speaks to you, even if one never intends to use it as an oracular tool, the meditative value alone is worth it – especially if you are a fae worker or wish to become one.

Brian Froud is the creative visionary behind films such as Labyrinth and Dark Crystal; he is an extremely talented artist whose faery images are both evocative and visionary. I don’t doubt for one minute this man is on intimate terms with the Fae and Otherworld. He lives in Devon, England (the West Country), a very magical and mystical place with his wife Wendy who also builds and creates the magical creatures seen in the movies and art.



The Faeries Oracle has 66 cards; it even has a blank one for you to draw a picture of your own faery guide. The cards are tarot sized with golden borders and have all manner of brownies, boggarts, faeries, pixies, goblins and more. Some of this art you will recognize if you have read his book ‘Good Faeries/Bad Faeries’. It has stunning 208 page hardcover book (I love that it is a hardcover) with text by Jessica MacBeth. The cards have the Topsie Turvies as the back and the names of the cards are written in a lovely script style font (although on some cards it can be hard to read properly).

The beautiful thing about this deck is that no matter how many times you look at a card there is so much more to see. You will never take it all in because each and every time there is something new to see. I have looked at each card a couple of times and I always spot a new face, a new friend in the cards.


Take for instance the card ‘The Faery Who Was Kissed by the Pixies’. There is a lot in this card, so much so that every time you think you’ve seen the entire picture, something new jumps out at you.


One of my favourite cards in O! That Gnome. So funny and so cute but also powerful because gnomes are earth creatures and they know so much, have so much to offer and to share.


It also has some nice sketched cards like Geeeeeooo the Slooow, giving the deck a quieter and different dimension.

Overall this is really a fabulous deck and I am looking forward to working with it both an as Oracle deck and as a meditative tool. I’ve been feeling the pull of the Fae for some time now and so I look toward that path with both excitement and trepidation because when it comes to the Fae, one never knows what they will discover.

I am also looking forward to getting ‘Heart of Faerie’, this deck is by Brian and his wife Wendy. It should be here next week!!

The Country Witch’s Pumpkin Soup

I love this time of year, winter veg are coming in and it is nearly time to put away the summer clothes and pull out the trackies! It’s a time when you start making soups and casseroles and enjoying the warmth of home cooking. This soup is a variation on my Mum’s Pumpkin Soup (best ever you will taste). She’s in hospital at the moment but will be coming home in a couple of days and this will be the perfect food for her to have to get her strength back, she’s very excited about the prospect of having pumpkin soup.


Ingredients

½ Queensland Blue*
½ Butternut*
2 Cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 onion
5 peppercorns
5 cloves
Salt to taste

*You can use any pumpkin varieties, use one whole pumpkin or three or more types – it is up to you.


Method

You will need a big boiler saucepan for this recipe.

1) Peel and chop the 2 pumpkins, the potatoes and the onions.
2) Put into boiler with 2 cups of chicken stock and the remaining ingredients.



3) Let the ingredients boil down until they are soft. I tend to remove the cloves at this point but that is a matter of preference.


4) Blend in a food processor or put through a sieve if that is your preference.



5) If the soup needs thinning add water (again thickness of soup is personal preference)


6) Serve in a bowl topped with cream and a light sprinkle of black pepper.

Ahhh Autumn deliciousness…………

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Baby Beet Haul


So here at the first lot of autumn vegies that are not tomatoes (of which we have been getting copious amounts, seriously, its been a tomato invasion), I do love the colour of beetroot - don't eat it myself but I think it has the most luscious colour. I am going to pickle them as my stepdad likes them pickled and he will be the only one eating them!

Day 10: Your sun sign


My Sun Sign is Aries – The Ram (March 21 – April 19). I tend to find that a lot of the personality descriptions of Aries don’t always fit me – some parts do, others don’t. The list below is perhaps the most accurate I’ve seen as it relates to my personality as an Aries.

Aries Strength Keywords:

- Independent
- Generous
- Optimistic
- Enthusiastic
- Courageous


Aries Weakness Keywords:

- Moody
- Short tempered
- Self-involved
- Impulsive
- Impatient


From: http://zodiac-signs-astrology.com/zodiac-signs/aries.htm

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Day 9: A favourite mythological animal

My favourite mythological animal is the Dragon. I’ve always had an affinity and love for them. I collect figurines; one adorns my altar out of respect and love for what they represent.
 

For Xmas my dear brother bought me a Dragon Castle. Cool isn’t it? I aspire to work with Dragons magically but I’ve not yet begun to do so. I think it is something that needs to be approached with knowledge, Dragons don’t suffer fools lightly. The following info is an excerpt taken from my Independent Study for the Spiral Priesthood at Firely.

The Dragon


Dragons are mythological creatures; often spoke of in awe or horror. Each culture around the world has Dragon legends or myths, though in today’s society most people associate Dragons with the Asia’s and Europe, the representations of Dragons in each of these cultures are what people generally think of when the word Dragon is mentioned. They are often described as reptilian in appearance, mostly serpentine in Asia, with a thick neck and tail and wings in Europe.  The popular image is of a fearsome beast that breathes fire and kidnaps innocent maidens waiting for the noble knight to slay the Dragon and save the day. In Asia Dragons are often revered and treated as Gods, they are respected and honoured as a primal force of nature, an embodiment of the elements. They are also used in Feng Shui as protection for the home. As an embodiment of the elements, as primal force and chaos, Dragons make excellent Co-Magicians and can add tremendous power to any ritual or spell if called upon to help.

Some practice magick with Dragons as Co-Magicians simply because they love the Dragon, some have Dragons as familiars and now there is a branch of Wicca called Draconic Wicca. This incorporates Wiccan beliefs with a Dragon Code of Honour. It is based around working rituals and spells that include the powerful assistance of Dragons. Dragons live on the Astral Plane, so one must contact them to pull them into our reality. However the first rule of Dragon Magick is to treat them as equals with respect and reverence, if one tries to treat a Dragon as a servant it will not work with you and all attempts to contact Dragons again may fail until they feel you are ready to stand before them without arrogance and superiority. Dragons can also see into the soul, they will know who is true and who is only after power. When working with Dragons, be clear on what it is that you want to achieve because Dragons will act without mercy, they will help you manifest your desire but perhaps not in the way you want, without clarity they will take the course of action they believe will work and sometimes there may be unforeseen consequences. But if you work with them and always present an offering (Dragons love crystals and gemstones) they will be faithful and powerful co magicians.


Dragons, like fairies, pixies, elves and all manner of other magickal creatures, appear more easily to children than adults. It is thought this is because children are innocent and often take things as they see them without a skeptical or jaded eye. They especially like to appear to children with natural psychic ability, it is also said that Dragons are most helpful during divination works because they like to feed on the leftover psychic energy used during Tarot readings, scrying, pendulum works, runic work and other Divination activities.

There are several different types of Dragons, one for each of the elements and ones for the dark and light areas, just outside the elements. Sairys is the Dragon of Air, Sairys oversees the dragons of breezes and winds, they also work with winds and storms. Fafnir is the Dragon of Fire, he oversees fire and sunbeams but also the volcanoes, deserts and arid regions. Naelyn is the Dragon of Water. Naelyn oversees the dragons of sea, springs, lakes, and ponds. At times Naelyn will also work with the Air Dragon. Grael is the Dragon of Earth. Grael oversees the dragons of mountains, lands, minerals, gems and moonbeams.

There are also Dragons of Light and Dark. They are the Dragons that rule the centre of the circle and balance the other elements. Dragons of Light rule positive energies and vibrations, Dragons of the Dark rule negative energies and vibrations. There are also young Dragons called Guardian Dragons. They come in various shapes and sizes and are often referred to as “apprentice” Dragons. Guardians will work with Witches as this helps them learn about humans and their powers. They are great for matters such as protection, friendship, love, divination and crystal work. They will help develop psychic powers and ritual work and are quite protective of their charges.

A common symbol of alchemical work is the Dragon holding its tale in its mouth, this symbolizes eternity and this is what I most love about Dragons. They are infinite, wise and wonderful. They are the forbearers of all ancient knowledge and power and can offer us the chance to reconnect with those who went before us. To know the Dragon is to know part of ourselves, our inner desires and perhaps even the subconscious spiritual knowledge we possess but can’t or don’t know how to access.



I know it seems fanciful but I still choose to believe that deep within our earth the Dragons sleep, waiting for the day when they can wake and return to this world without fear of persecution and help grow spiritual awareness and acceptance in this world. To create a society that has no fear, has reached a higher state of understanding and spirituality and will bring about better change for all humankind.

SourcesDancing With Dragons – D J Conwayhttp://www.fox-moon.com/dragon.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon
http://www.angelfire.com/sd/shedevil/Dragonpath.html

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Day 8: A photo of a magical place outdoors.


This is where I normally set up for my outdoor workings. It is on our front verandah so it is concealed but also open. It looks really lovely at night time when I light incense and candles. This particular altar in my magical outdoor space was set up for the Full Moon.

Too Cute!

#4 A Healing Altar


Since it seems my current path lay in the healing arts to varying degrees, and I was guided to choosing The Healing Witch I thought I would put together a healing altar. My mum is not feeling very well at the moment and I always do put together a little healing thing for her when she is not well, I decided to combine larger elements together and see if it could help her feel better.

I combined the usual elements I select for her healing altar. A Healing spell card, a Chakra Healing candle and Bloodstone but this time I added Sodalite, Carnelian (both healing stones, an Earth Feng Shui candle for grounding and healing and a small branch of Oak. Oak has powerful healing properties and was often burnt to cure a house of illness.

While my mother is at the doctors, I will charge it for her and place it beside her bed for when she comes back. I am hoping these healing elements will come together and move her along the path of wellness.