Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Meet Mojo

This is when she was about 5 weeks old and I met her for the first time.
As you know a couple of weeks ago my beloved Conan passed. Before we knew how sick he was we had planned to get a kitten for Conan and Bella because they were missing Koffie terribly. We had the kitten picked out and everything but heartbreakingly Conan never got to meet her. He would have loved her.

Soooo everyone meet Mojo. This is the newest addition to the family; we’ve had her for about three weeks nearly. She is a bundle of fun, very playful, very affectionate and completely off her rocker! She has two speeds of action – flat out and stop. She’s a mad climber, easily distracted and very curious.

This was when she was here for about a week.

She’s a delight and it was very easy to fall in love with her, although it seems for my lovely Bella it is not so true. She’s not moved around from civil hostility yet but she will engage Mojo so we have hope.

This was taken yesterday, she's playing in the box her food comes in.
Isn’t she adorable? She has the saddest little face you will ever see, I think when you look into her eyes you see something ancient and old, not the eyes of a baby. She’s very expressive though and we know she is going to be an incredible addition to the family and an amazing cat when she’s grown!

Yay New Book & New Tarot Deck

My new tarot and book!
Yesterday came my new tarot deck The Wildwood Tarot and my new book Witchcraft Medicine by Claudia Muller-Ebeling. I'm so excited to get started reading, I've wanted both for a while now but could never find them at the right price but I did this time so yay!

Why did I purchase these lovelies? I've been drawn to the Wildwood Tarot for some time now, I saw it on another blog one day and was blown away by the pictures, the primal energy of the images touched a spot deep within my spirit and I knew that I would have to have them at some point. The book, Witchcraft Medicine was something I came across when researching herbalism - you know how it is, one link leads to another which leads to another - and it sounded really fascinating. I had borrowed it from the library - am about half way through but because I have to return it, I wanted my own copy.

Both will have reviews written soon......

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Black/Common Nightshade

I was walking out the front of our house the other day and happened to spot a weed looking plant that had black berries on it. Intrigued I asked a friend and was told it was probably part of the Nightshade family. I took some photos and did myself an internet photo comparison and discovered that it was in fact Black Nightshade (also known as Common Nightshade). A witchy plant growing roadside out the front of my house – it’s kind of nifty. At this point I am not planning to do anything with it, I am far from along enough in my Herbalism studies or knowledge to use it for anything but I do know it can be used in witchy ways so perhaps later on I shall delve into the arena of working with poisons – just not yet, although the poison path does fascinate me.

Here are some of the photos I took:





Some information on Black/Common Nightshade from Wikipedia:

Solanum nigrum (European Black Nightshade or locally just "black nightshade", Duscle, Garden Nightshade, Hound's Berry, Petty Morel, Wonder Berry, Small-fruited black nightshade or popolo) is a species in the Solanum genus, native to Eurasia and introduced in the Americas, Australasia and South Africa. Parts of this plant can be highly toxic to livestock and humans, and it's considered a weed. Nonetheless, ripe berries and cooked leaves are used as food in some locales; and plant parts are used as a traditional medicine. There is a tendency in literature to incorrectly refer to many of the other 'black nightshade' species as 'Solanum nigrum' .

Black nightshade is a fairly common herb or short-lived perennial shrub, found in many wooded areas, as well as disturbed habitats. It has a height of 30–120 cm (12-48"), leaves 4-7.5 cm (1 1/2-3") long) and 2–5 cm wide (1-2 1/2"); ovate to heart-shaped, with wavy or large-toothed edges; both surfaces hairy or hairless; petiole 1–3 cm (1/2-1") long with a winged upper portion. The flowers have petals greenish to whitish, recurved when aged and surround prominent bright yellow anthers. The berry is mostly 6–8 mm (1/4-3/4") diam., dull black or purple-black. In India, another strain is found with berries that turn red when ripe.

Sometimes Solanum nigrum is confused for deadly nightshade, a different Solanaceae species altogether. A comparison of the fruit shows that the black nightshade berries grow in bunches, the deadly nightshade berries grow individually.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Pagan Meme #2

From The Domestic Pagan

B A S I C S

Do you have a magical/Pagan name? Yes (although not one I’m going to post here).
What does it mean?  It relates to the energies of an Egyptian Goddess and the energies of a particular moon phase I feel affinity for.
How did you find Paganism? By watching ‘The Craft’ but also from a lifelong love of Fairytales and Enid Blyton books that I grew up on from a young age.
How long have you been practicing? On and off 15 years or so.
Solitary or group practitioner? Solitary (by location not necessarily choice).
What is your path? Hmm, wild witch, herbalist, diviner so I would say the green/hedge path with my own twist.
Are you out of the broom closet? Out.


D E I T Y

Who is your patron God? n/a
Who is your patron Goddess? I am thinking of forming a relationship with the Cailleach as I have had experience with her and it was life changing.
What Gods do you worship? None.
Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddess, or rather respect them? Not at all, I feel pulled toward the darker deities.
Do you worship the Christian God? Uh no.
Do you ever worship animals? No.
Or plants? Sometimes.


N A T U R E

Do you regularly commune with nature? Yes.
Ever walked barefoot in the woods? No woods near where I live.
Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature?  I really hate camping.
Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth? Always do but mostly when I connect with my Oak.
Do you have a familiar? Not yet, we’ll see how it goes with my new kitten Mojo.
Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual? No.
Or a plant? No.
Do you hug trees? On occasion.
Give them gifts? On occasion.
What is your favourite flower to work with? Lavender, sometimes Rose.
What is your favourite tree to work with? Oak.


W H E E L . O F . T H E . Y E A R

What is your favourite holiday? Mabon.
What is your least favourite holiday? Litha.
Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday? No.
Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a Pagan holiday? No.
Do you celebrate Yule on the 21 rather than the 25? Southern Hem so no.
Have you ever felt the veil thin? Once or twice.
Ever danced the Maypole? No.
Know what the Maypole symbolizes? Yes.
How do you usually celebrate the Pagan holidays? By cooking dinner for my family.


D I V I N A T I O N

Do you use Tarot? Yes, it is my favourite form (as well as Oracle cards).
Do you use runes?  Gads no, we do not work well together.
Do you use a pendulum? Yes, I like pendulum.
Do you use dowsing rods? No.
Do you use astrology? No.
Any other form of divination? Tasseography on occasion.


S P E L L S

What was the first spell you did? Truthfully, I don’t remember, think it was prosperity.
What was the latest? Healing.
Ever done a love spell? Once.
A job spell? No.
A healing spell? Yes.
What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever performed? Hmm, may have to think on that, twas a power spell if memory serves.
What deities do you usually call on? None.


C R Y P T O Z O O L O G Y

Do you believe in Vampires? Only if they’re not the Twilight kind.
Werewolves? I do, I like the Underworld version of ‘em.
Shapeshifters? Yes.
Elves? Yes.
Faeries? Yes – the Brian Froud kind
Dragons? Abso-friggin-lutely.
Nymphs? Why not?
Sprites? Why not?
Mermaids? I always did love The Little Mermaid growing up.
Satyrs? Hmm, maybe.
Ever “seen” any of the above? I have seen astral dragons before, maybe Fae.
Ever talked to any of the above? Not so far no.
Ever used any of the above in magic?  No.
Do you have one of them as a personal guardian? Haven’t tried to find out.


R A N D O M

Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon? None of those, I see craters.
Own a cat? Two of.
When you meditate, what does your happy place look like? A forest cottage.
Do you work with Chakras? Not really.
Do you believe in past lives? Yes, studying it actually.
If so, describe a few briefly – haven’t got that far yet.
Do you believe in soul mates? I believe in mates for the soul but not necessarily the grand romantic “soul mate” ideal.
Do you have a spirit guide? Yes.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Pagan Meme #1

From Walking the Hedge

Please describe briefly your Path: Hmm, wild witch, herbalist, diviner so I would say the green/hedge path with my own twist.

Please describe briefly how you practice it: Herbal work, divination, working with nature.

When did you first commit to your Path? A few years ago completely committed I would say.

How is your practice different now than it was then? It has gone from Wicca to Trad witchcraft.

Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then? Very much so, I thought I would be Wiccan and found out it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started? Very much.

What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path? My heritage is mostly British and Irish but there is some European thrown in as well.

What are your main influences for your Path? Herbalism, mythology and divination.

Which do you do more: practice or research? Research.

Do you feel that one is more important than the other? Both are as important as the other, practice makes the witch but knowing what you’re doing helps.

What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice? I had this question the other day and I would say that I don’t interfere with the free will of others however I will do what is necessary to protect me and mine. I generally go with what feels right to me.

What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through? It goes through the up and down cycles, sometimes I’m hugely committed and do a lot, other times I don’t do much at all.

What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come? Trusting myself and my instincts.

How do you see yourself practicing in ten years? Hopefully a more developed version of my practice now.

How do you incorporate your practice into your life? I work with herbs regularly, I do read a lot and I try to do at least one magical thing a day.

Has walking your Path changed you as a person? Hmm, it has made me more reflective, more aware.

Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so? Yes, I am an initiated priestess in the Firefly tradition.

A witch? How so? Very much so, I work with the energies and flow of nature and the otherside.

A shaman? How so? No, but it does interest me.

Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define? Actual practice but vocab helps.

One of the most profound things anyone ever said to you was: The more you learn the less you know.

A defining moment on your Path was: Finding the path that was right for me.

Have you ever taken a “leap of faith”? Eh, no. I am trying to work on the faith thing.

Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice: I can’t say I have but that is more due to lack of practice more than anything.

What is the most frustrating thing about your Path? Being solitary can sometimes be frustrating, hard to find others of like mind where I live.

Have you ever been frightened? Once or twice but that is a long story.

Can you perform ritual without a script? When needs must yes, but I’m not one for being overly ritual in my practice.

Have you ever preformed spontaneous magick/spellcraft? Yes.

What are you still exploring or experimenting with? Hedgecrossing/Otherworld/Fae.

What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path? My herbal works.

Ritual tools are …nice but not always necessary.

Magickal tools are …see above.

The one thing you can’t do without is: My herbs and my books. And my cats!

Seeking personal power is …a life long journey that should be tempered with reason and compassion.

Politics and your Path are … completely separate.

One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is: I am not a ‘white’ witch or wiccan.

Do you teach? Yes.

What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism? To guide, to teach, to help when needed.

When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you? Butterflies in the stomach.

What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, fae etc) None yet, another research topic.

What is your relationship with the Land? It’s good, I’m a mad gardener.

The most important aspect of ritual is: To be in the ritual and experience it.

The main purpose of ritual is: Ecstatic connection with self, experiential workings

What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever for of augury you use)? To see possible outcomes of the future, to work with spirit, to know yourself and to explore the world beyond the seen.

What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both): Drawing Down the Moon – mostly it was difficult to get through because it wasn’t my cup of tea – never actually finished it.

What book do you recommend the most to others? It depends on the path the person is exploring, I wouldn't recommend Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner to a Trad Witch  but I would say that Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft is a good place to start when learning, also The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Witchcraft and Wicca is a great read for a beginner.

What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)? My favourite blogs are Witch of Forest Grove and Ivy on the Path.

If you could impart only one last piece of wisdom or knowledge, or share one experience with the world at large, what would it be? That to be yourself is the most important thing because if you approach your Craft as some one you are not, you will never get anywhere.

Is there an additional question you would like to see here? What is it? (please also answer) No, I think this is pretty good as is.

Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort

Rosemary from the garden

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

All Caught Up

So I've been fairly absent from my blog but I have sort of being doing the '44 Days of Witchery' on my computer, just sort of not posting it. There has been a lot going on in my life, some I've posted on here so I've not had the time nor the inclination to blog but hopefully I'll get back to my Witch Cards and whatnot before long.

Day 25: How do your close ones feel about your witchy path? Do they know? Why or why not?



My close ones know, have known for a long time. My story is elsewhere on this blog but the short version is simply that at age 13 I saw ‘The Craft’ and that sparked my interest. My parents weren’t scandalised or shocked that at that age I wanted to be a witch. For a present they bought me my first spellbook and have always been supportive of my spiritual choices. So they know and they accept it, often help out when I am making things or trying to grow things so all round its not an issue in my life.

Day 24: Your moon sign

My moon sign is Capricorn. Capricorn is the tenth sign in the Zodiac from the constellation Capricornus. Capricorns are earth signs, one of the four cardinal signs and are considered introverts.

If You Are A Capricorn Moon Sign

A capricorn moon sign will have primarily the following traits. Your self-esteem and personal and spiritual growth comes primarily from you acceptance and letting go of any emotional reaction to being labeled something.

Have a look at the list and notice anything which you resist, i.e. it doesn’t fit in with your self-image or you wish it wasn’t part of you.

- Risk adverse
- Likes safety and security
- Hard on self
- Private
- Organised
- Efficient
- Practical
- Patient
- Responsible
- Difficult to show affection
- Overly worrisome
- Ambitious
- Strong willed
- Desire knowledge
- Dislike being idle
- Rarely shows emotions
- Eager to learn
- Materialistic success desired

Day 23: A favourite candle


I chose the first ever candle I handmade. It’s not pretty, hell it’s not even fancy but I gave it my best effort. I will be trying again later because I want to make some for my business but I’m still quite proud of my first effort. It’s a full moon candle scented with sandalwood and rose geranium; it has powdered chaste tree berry and jasmine flowers in it. It actually puts out quite a nice scent!

Day 22: Current moon phase

The current moon phase is New Moon (4% of Full). I actually prefer the dark/new moon to the full moon personally but that’s just me. People often find it strange that as a witch I have no strong connection to the full moon, I don’t know why. I still honour her and speak to her but it is more remote.

New Moon

New Moon is for Beginnings, New projects, Spiritual development, Transformation, Gardening (planting seeds)

Moon rises at dawn, sets at sunset; for full use of these energies, stick to between this time period. Moon is exact from the new moon until 3 1/2 days after.

Purpose: Beginnings
Pagan Holiday: Winter Solstice
Goddess Name: Rosemerta's Moon
Goddess Energy: Goddesses of growth
Offering: Milk and Honey
Theme: Abundance
Rune: Fehu for abundance, Kenaz for openings, Gebo for love
Tarot Trump: The Fool

Day 21: A favourite scent


A favourite scent of mine is fresh jasmine – you know when you walk past a vine on a warm summer’s night and that scent just hits you in the face. I really love it. I also love the scent of books, the smell when you turn the pages – old and new – is fantastic, nothing like it.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Day 20: A picture of a tarot or oracle card, and its meaning


My choice for today is the Death card from The Celtic Dragon tarot. It is my first and favourite tarot deck and I have been using it for a few years now. The reason I love this card is because the image is so evocative, it literally shows the end of something and the beginning of something brighter and better. The dragon shedding its skin is a powerful image, dragons are creatures of power, of ancient wisdom and strength, they represent everything that is spiritual and knowledge.

This particular card as it pertains to what is written in the book means: A significant transformation approaches. An unplanned event requires you to make a dramatic or radical change. Illusions are stripped away leaving you with only the bare truth. A possible inheritance or unexpected money may come your way.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Ramblings

I’m not sure where this post is going to go or what I’m even going to say, generally I type my posts into Word so I can re-read, correct, punctuate etc but today I feel like I just need to free flow my thoughts and feelings without restraint or correction, so I don’t know what this post is going to end up saying or if any of it will make sense but I just need to type.

On Thursday I lost my beautiful Conan, a 6yr old Bull Mastiff with a giant heart and a sizemorphic issue (he really thought he was a lot smaller than he was). He had lymphoma and over the past last week got progressively worse and the heartbreaking decision had to be made to let him move on with dignity. We called the Vet and she came out and we held him, stroked him and loved him as he left this world for the next where his beloved Koffie waited for him. He was my baby boy, my lovely, my heart and I loved him with everything I had. It was especially heartbreaking to lose him so soon after Koffie, it has only been 4 months since we said goodbye to her. We knew he missed her but we had hoped he could go on without her, he was getting better, happier and more playful but I wonder if that was more for our benefit because he didn’t want to see us hurting. I cry every day without fail, I feel his loss so deeply and I still can’t imagine life without him in it. I still leave a bit on my plate for him, I still automatically think it’s time to feed him and I will go into the lounge expecting to see him there. Ok its only been four days and I know it will take longer but my heart feels as though it is dying and I can’t seem to find a smile, anything to keep me joyful. I have many beautiful memories of him, my wonderful boof, he loved strong and he loved well and we gave him the best life we could, he was spoiled no doubt, but he deserved every bit of it. I just want to be able to hug him again, to give him a kiss on his adorable schnozzle, to tell him one more time how much I love him. I am having a hard time surviving the sadness because there is a hole in my heart so large that I can’t even begin to imagine that it will heal. He was loved and his loss is felt so deeply, beyond words.

The next day our cat Bella was feeling his loss, wandering around aimlessly, sitting where his bed used to be, missing him as they were incredibly close. We had planned to get a kitten, picked her out a few weeks ago but we were leaving it for a little while longer, I wasn’t even sure I wanted another pet in the foreseeable future but we had decided as a family that Bella and Conan needed another friend to play with. So we bough the kitten home – I named her Mojo. It suits. However Bella was hardly grateful for the new addition, has avoided her with extreme prejudice since she came here, so I feel like I have betrayed Bella, that I have made her life stressful because she doesn’t want a friend yet. I had hoped that they would connect a lot sooner but alas, it has not happened yet. I’m hopeful as Mojo is a joy; she’s a fun kitten who loves to play and is very affectionate. I think once Bella gets past her territorial issues, she will love her but I’ve never had a kitten before – it can get quite tiring. My brother came to visit on Mother’s Day, he bought his dog with him, it’s a lovely dog, beautiful personality, very friendly but it cut so deep because I kept thinking my Conan should be the one here today, he should be the one getting the ear scratches and pats but he wasn’t and I liked being able to hug another dog but it was also especially hard. Conan had a lot of treats left and so I gave them to my brother for his dog. I’ve never had to divide the assets of a pet before and I broke down, I couldn’t help it, I felt as though I was giving away the last parts of Conan, silly I know because they were only treats but they were his treats. Bagging them up was so hard, letting go so soon after, it can destroy you. I know that they are going to a good place but it doesn’t ease the heartache.

I am so behind on my studies, three assignments on one module, one on another and my holistic therapies courses? I’ve barely continued. I have no motivation, I can barely function right now and I know I have to do the study, especially the TAFE one but I sit in front of my computer and my mind goes blank. I don’t want to think about school work, I don’t want to think at all because thinking leads to feeling and feeling leads to tears. I am crying as I sit here writing this because I don’t know how not to right now. It’s sad that I lack any sort of want to do this because it has been my dream to be a Herbalist for a long time now, and I am doing well in the assignments I’ve done so far – A’s but right now, I can’t even look at them. I just can’t.

I was also getting enthusiastic about re-doing my business; I was researching, and working toward making new products, growing new herbs and just trying things I had never tried before. My enthusiasm there has gone; I can barely put two thoughts together about where to start again. I can’t even find the strength to go outside and clip some rosemary and lavender to make smudge sticks. I want to be motivated again because I was enjoying the challenge of putting it all together but right now getting up in the morning is a challenge because I used to feed Conan in the morning, it was my reason for getting up early…. Now it’s gone.

My spiritual side? Where to begin…. I’m not sure its even there right now. I haven’t been thinking about it, haven’t been acknowledging, I guess I feel it leet me down when I tried so hard to make Conan better, nothing changed, nothing happened. My confidence is shaken and I don’t know if I even trust myself anymore. How come I couldn’t make him better? I’m not arrogant enough to think I could heal his terminal illness but I don’t see why I wasn’t able to give him a little more time. Time to say goodbye, time to love him that little bit more. We all just needed more time.

I’m tired, I’m exhausted, and I’m drained. I sound like I’m throwing myself a pity party. I’m aware of how all of this sounds but I needed to get it out, to write it down. I know some will think ‘he was only a dog’ and I say to those people: You have no heart if that is what you think. Love is love in all its forms.

I’m heartsore and I feel broken. I wonder if I will ever feel whole again.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Conan - In Loving Memory



Conan
4th Oct 2005 - 10th May 2012

Yesterday at 3:15pm we said goodbye to our beloved Conan. He was an incredible, fun loving 6yr old Bull Mastiff.

Conan was the most enjoyable dog in the world, he loved us and he loved life so much. He was a mad food addict but he did have his standards - no lettuce, no kidney and no honey. He was also really flexible for a large breed dog - you would not believe what he could do with himself if he tried hard enough. He was a dog who loved to play, to run around and go completely mental, he could throw himself around in 360's and run around like a loon. His bark was rich and loud, he did love to hear himself speak (I think he learned this from Koffie).

His favourite food was fruit, oranges especially but he did have a soft spot for peaches and nectarines. He had a funny habit of barking with no noise, his gob would move and no sound would come out. He also liked to gob your face, this involved him opening his mouth and putting it on your face - slobbery loves. He was affectionate, proud, protective and so very very loved.

Conan was diagnosed with Lymphoma but he did not let this get him down and he fought until the very end until he let us know that he was ready to let go and move on. With tears in our eyes and love in our hearts we said goodbye to our amazing baby boy!

Conan passed away at home on May 10th 2012 with those he loved surrounding him.

He is survived by his darling Bella who misses him greatly.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Lack of Blogging

I am sorry for my lack of blogging of late, I've not been overly inspired. This year has been a trial for myself and my family and unfortunately it doesn't seem to be getting any easier. Earlier this year we lost our beloved Koffie, an amazing and wonderful dog. My Mum has also had some serious health issues and recently had to have surgery with more to come, and this past Monday we found out that our other beloved dog Conan has lymphoma (cancer of the lymphnodes) and does not have long left.

He is just the most beautiful and loving baby boy you could ever see so this is just the most heartbreaking situation. He is only 6 and a half years old so having this happen is a nightmare that I can't wake up from. I don't know how long he has left, we are giving him all the love and care possible to make sure his final days or weeks are the best possible quality he can have before it is time for us to say goodbye.

Sometimes I don't think I can survive the sadness.