Wednesday, 23 October 2013

New Plants

It's always a good day when you get new plants!

Herbal Experimenting

Today, cos it’s a little cold and wet outside, I thought I would have a little fun with my herbs in the kitchen. My first project was a clay face mask from ‘Grow Your Own Drugs: A Year With James Wong’, one of my most favourite herbalists on the planet – although technically he identifies as an enthnobotanist. If you’re interested in seeing some of his episodes, I listed a few from the first series here.

It didn’t turn out the lovely green his did but I think that is because his was made solely of Olive water whereas I added extra herbs to deal with problematic skin. There are more pictures of the complete process on my herbal blog.

I decided to make a homemade deodorant using a recipe I came across on Crunchy Betty for my second project. I decided to test it on my stepdad, his skin is quite tough so I thought, if he had any reaction then I would switch out the bi-carb for arrowroot powder.

I’ve also been considering making a hedge witch type of salve or ointment, as well as making faery ointment like the one I did for myself a while ago, but given the summers we have here, I don’t know if an ointment would make it through the post unscathed. I’ll suppose I’ll wait and see, got enough on my plate at the moment. I’m two assignments and an exam away from completing my Advanced Diploma of Herbalism so that is my priority at the moment. It’s been an amazing course; I’ve got 100% for every assignment so I’m really happy. My tutor told me he really enjoyed marking my assignments – so that was nice to hear.

Well, we’ll see how things turn out as I go along this winding road of herbs and magic. You never know what each day brings.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Around the Garden

Some lovely spring colour from around the garden!






Crab Apple




White-Browed Woodswallow

Friday, 18 October 2013

Let the Herbal Begin

I'm beginning to experiment with different products, it's time to put my knowledge to work and actually begin to make remedies. This is my first order of base products to begin doing it. I'm very excited because it's a new chapter and moving into a new phase of my life which is what I have always wanted.

Look to coming posts of herbal experimentation and fun! 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Celtic Astrology Pt 5

The Raven

Magic, Healing, Creation, Inner Journeys, Dreams

Image Credit

If a raven totem has come into our life, magic is at play.
Raven activates the energy of magic and links it to our will and intention.

With this totem, we can make great changes in our life; the ability to take the unformed thought and make it reality.

The raven shows us how to go into the dark of our inner self and bring out the light of our true self; resolving inner conflicts which have long been buried. This is the deepest power of healing we can possess.

Raven carries magick from the dark void of the Crone (dark mother) to our realm. This void is where great knowledge awaits us. Thus, Raven has a great responsibility to the spirit realm. Those who have Raven medicine will also feel this responsibility and will tend to be those who share deeper knowledge – spiritual teachers, healers, priests, doctors, prophets.

Raven comes when you ask for love, light and healing. When Raven brings his medicine to you, he gives you a heightened awareness, sharper perception and an expanded consciousness. With this new perception, you can look into the heart and soul of people, begin feeling what they feel. This strong empathy can be a burden.

With this refined perception comes a responsibility to use the Raven medicine wisely. Once could abuse it, using it for selfish, nefarious purposes. This is not the way to go. Use the clarity and understanding that Raven gives you for good purposes. That is why Raven comes to you when you need night the most. He does not want you to turn to the darkness because it will eventually destroy you. As long as you use Raven's powerful medicine for the good of others, life will continue to flow smoothly for you as well.

Crow from around my home

The last Celtic Astro animal is the Raven. I love birds from the Corvus family. I’ve always had a love affair with them. We have this majestic Crow that comes to our house every so often. This animal makes sense to me, it is where I am in my life right now and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The Raven is of ‘Magic, Healing, Creation, Inner Journeys, Dreams’ and ‘With this totem, we can make great changes in our life; the ability to take the unformed thought and make it reality’, my life is changing – or rather I am making the changes. The Raven is a magical, powerful bird and is a strong messenger of magic, change and the darker realms – not to be feared but to be heeded and understood.

I live to understand and work with the birds of the Corvus family, they are truly the only birds that feel right to me, that I connect with spiritually speaking. It is probably not a wonder that I have chosen herbalism and the healing path for my life’s passion, work and purpose.


Monday, 14 October 2013

Celtic Astrology Pt 4

The Hawk

Power, Magic, Messenger, Perception, Focus, Protection  

Hawk is the messenger, the protector and the visionaries of the Air.

It holds the key to higher levels of consciousness.

This totem awakens vision and inspires a creative life purpose.

A Hawk totem is filled with responsibility because Hawk people seek the overall view. They are aware of omens and spirit messages.

If you have this Totem, you will be aware of and work towards fulfilling your soul's purpose.
It reflects a greater intensity of energy within your life:  physical, emotional, mental and spiritual forces will all be strong within you.

It is associated with the number "14" with the Tarot card Temperance. This card represents the teaching of higher expressions of psychic ability and vision.

Hawk carries a message in his shrill cry which only those with Hawk medicine can decipher. His piercing shriek slices through the shroud of unknowing, asking you to seek the truth. His cry represents illumination in the darkness of ignorance. Hawk will not let your talents and skills go to waste, instead, he will scope out the situation to make sure you use as much of your talents as possible. Hawk can solve a problem by flying above the situation. He removes himself from it, observing it only as a passive viewer. This allows Hawk to see the big picture. Hawk's broad vision allows you to see the past, present and future all laid out before you. Once you are aware of the opportunities in front of you, Hawk will help you to wisely choose your moves to make the best of your potential.

I like hawks, they’re an interesting yet majestic bird. It is strange that I come to this on this day, given my reading for the Week Ahead puts emphasis on creativity and the hawk represents such. The way the description is worded is more about what the hawk can offer more so than my personality but if I have hawk spirit in my life; I think that is a good thing. I think I am moving closer toward what I see as my life’s purpose and passion.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Celtic Astrology Pt 3

The Fox 

Magic, Shapeshifting, Invisibility, Elusiveness, Agility, Cleverness, Camouflage

Since the fox lives "between times" -- on the edge of land, visible as dusk and dawn, and can guide the way to the Faerie Realm.

A fox can teach you to control your aura so that you can be more in harmony with others and the world.

If you have a fox totem, learning to be invisible is very important in your life. Imagine yourself blending in with your surroundings, becoming part of the background. Be very still and quiet. Through practice you can be unnoticed even at a party or in a crowd.

A fox totem also teaches good eating habits; the fox eats small amounts frequently which medicine is now telling us is better for our health.

Fox reminds all people to stay in touch with their feminine side. Fox people often have an affinity for faeries, elves, gnomes and other magical creatures of the faerie kingdom.

Fox has a keen sense of small, so you may notice odours more then most people or have a stronger sense of taste that allows you to pick up subtle flavors in foods.

I’ve always liked foxes, felt an affinity, I actually have a fox carcass currently breaking down so that I can keep the skull. Farmers in our area tend to shoot them and leave them on the side of the road so I picked a couple up one day (yes this is the messier aspect of being a witch who aside from being green/hedge, also embraces trad practices). One night we had one in our backyard and it was not afraid of us. It stood there eating some scraps that the birds had spread from the compost, we talked to it, it acknowledged us but did not flee.

I’ve always found foxes to be quite a spiritual animal, magic & shapeshifting are two of the words associated so I suppose that makes sense.

Strangely, as it says above, I do tend to notice real subtle odours that others may not smell, I always thought it was me having a weird quirk but perhaps there is more to it.

Reading the profile, I do tend to blend in when I go to places; I think this is because I am uncomfortable in large, social situations. I can’t be around people for too long because I feel like they’re pressing in on me. I wouldn’t say I’m empathic but the energy of others drains me so quickly. Also, given I have an immune disorder, being around people is a health hazard.


Green/Hedge Witch Altar Project #2

A bit late in coming but the Green/Hedge Witch altar project is fairly well complete. I had some decision making to do but I’ve come up with what suits and can be built on for now I think. I have two altars – my indoor altar and my outdoor altar. 

My Outdoor Altar

My outdoor altar is quite simple, it’s not fancy or out there, I prefer simple because this is representative of my practice. Some will remember I got a beautiful altar table for my birthday, this has become my permanent outdoor table, on it I added the candle I made some time ago, as it is an earth candle I thought it entirely appropriate. It sits in a terracotta bowl, rounding out the altar is a tile, a green incense holder and my herbal incense burner. One idea I had was to add a little English box hedge seedling (Buxus sempervirens). 

Why you ask? It represents what I am trying to achieve spiritually. The hedge is a physical representation of the spiritual hedge, it represents my path as a hedge witch, it is green – a living thing which represents the spirit in all things but especially the spirit of the Green Path and all those who dwell along those roads, and finally, it is an English Box Hedge, a connection – however tangible or not – to my English ancestors and my interest in creating my own English wood. It speaks right now of everything that is evolving as it relates to my path. It will sit and quietly grow within its pot, sharing my journey with me. I am not going to stunt its growth in a pot once it gets too big, and I will replace it with another plant, flower or herb that has significant meaning for me. But for now my little hedge will sit on my altar reminding and motivating me to continue the journey I am on.

My Indoor Altar

My indoor altar is a back to basics kind of deal because I don’t actually use it all that much compared to my outdoor altar. On it is a representation of each element but based in a green/herbal context. For example, my altar candle is green and made up of earth herbs and scented with patchouli oil, so although it represents fire, it is still very much earth related. My ‘earth’ representation is a terracotta dish with pink Himalayan salt and earthy herbs. I have a large quartz crystal and a stick of incense as well as a little pentacle and my herbal charm bottle. All of these elements together connect me to my spirituality. 

I also have a small oak container as I identify with Oak as one of my spiritual trees, as well as a print out of two images from the Good Witch/Bad Witch deck that I use for my Witch Cards (I have been very slack there) and a write up that motivates me on my path. I have been thinking of getting one of those little indoor bamboo things to also put on my altar but my one of my cats has a bad habit of munching on any greenery indoors – she loves spinach.

My altar candle

Earth dish

Herbal Bottle Charm

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Celtic Astrology Pt 2

My animals are the Bear, Fox, Hawk and from another site, the Raven. I’ll be breaking them up into different posts otherwise I’ll end up with this lengthy post!

The Bear

Caution, Healing, Leadership, Inner Knowing, Dreaming, Transformation, Introspection, Solitude.

Image Credit

Bear people are very connected to their ancestral roots. Filled with courage and a sense of adventure. Extremely physical, extroverts. Protection, journeying, and sensitivity to the other world.

The power of the Bear totem is the power of introspection. The answers to all our questions lie within us. Each of us has the capacity to quiet the mind, enter the silence and know. 

Just as the bear hibernates during the winter, people with a Bear totem will be quieter during the winter months.  But they must awaken in the spring and seek whatever opportunities are around them.

When you have a Bear totem, you are being guided to a leadership role. You must be fearless in defending your beliefs.

The Bear also encourages you to exercise your abilities as a natural healer.

Bear thinks his actions through very carefully. He is not quick to judge, but rather thinks deeply about his decisions. When you ask Bear a question or ask for an opinion, you can be sure that he will reply with an informed, well thought out answer.

Bear loves to get his paws into sweet things but even more importantly, Bear lives to feel comfortable and warm. Other people feel cozy with Bear. Bear people are often sleepy and tend to "hibernate" more than others.    

Well this one is a mixed bag of yes and no. Certainly not “a sense of adventure, extremely physical, extroverts”, seriously, the idea of strenuous exercise or anything physical is not me. Ask anyone I know, if they saw me doing anything physically exerting, they’d assume I was being chased by Jason Vorhees or something. My sense of adventure is getting up in the morning, and I’m not especially an extrovert (and I really don’t like fish) but I suppose when it comes to my Craft I am adventurous, always wanting to try new things and new ways of connecting spiritually.

The actual medicine of the bear makes more sense as to who I am as a person. I am connected to my ancestral roots, I find myself learning more about them and feeling my blood be part of the lands they came from. This in part, more so than anything else, has moved my Craft along as I look to the lore of my ancestral lands to help build my practice.

The Bear also encourages you to exercise your abilities as a natural healer”, this makes sense, being a Herbalist I tend to lean toward the healing aspect of my craft (even though I cautiously explore the banes as well) and it something that has become clearer as my path in life.

I would say I’m one to give a considered answer “When you ask Bear a question or ask for an opinion, you can be sure that he will reply with an informed, well thought out answer,” I don’t like not knowing something or sounding like a tool who knows nothing. Also, when some one asks me a question and I don’t know the answer, it arouses my curiosity; I must know the answer and all aspects of said answer before formulating a reply. I can’t help it, I’m a seeker.

Bear lives to feel comfortable and warm. Other people feel cozy with Bear. Bear people are often sleepy and tend to "hibernate" more than others”, did I mentioned getting out of bed in the morning is an adventure? I like to sleep, I’m not a morning person, never have been as far as I can remember. A cosy bed, a comfy pillow and I’m a happy little cub.

Overall there are parts of bear that are me and some that must be for more energetic bears. I’m a solitary, introspective sort who enjoys being alone and quiet most of the time (yes, I know, some people would probably call this ‘antisocial’), I enjoy being a hermitess.      


Friday, 11 October 2013

Celtic Astrology Pt 1

I came across something on Facebook awhile ago called ‘Celtic Astrology’ and I was curious about it. It is the Celtic version of the Zodiac using trees as birth signs so I decide to check mine out and see if it matched to who I was or if any of it was relevant.

Image Credit
 My Sign is the Alder. The Alder personality, according to Controvercial, is:

Astrologically, Alder people (i.e. those who were born in the month of March to April) are like the Phoenix—they rebuild after each defeat or set back.  Being psychically aware, they tend to be oracles, but they need to be careful not to abuse their gifts.  They can be brutal in their frankness, but are also kind.  They might sometimes be in need of protection spiritually because others will envy what they have and try to use it or take it from them.  As the Alder takes 30 years to mature, so too Alder people can be very immature, often making rash and poorly thought-out decisions for themselves.

It’s an interesting assessment. I actually agree with most of it, the last part about being slow to mature and making rash decisions is not necessarily who I am – on occasion yes, but I have always been much more of a procrastinator than anything else. I’m one of those people who think of every single outcome before making a decision – I’ll admit, I do sometimes become a bit trying to others because of it.

Image Credit

Impetuous and self-reliant, Alders enjoy risk-taking and are tenacious workers. Being affectionate, gentle, charming and usually accommodating, they inspire great loyalty in others. Magnificent as entrepreneurs, Alder individuals are often flamboyant and frequently attracted to dangerous occupations. In friendship, their personal ego rides high but they possess a need for recognition which often makes them vulnerable. They are great competitors but, if on the losing end, have the tendency to quit and try something new instead. If an Alder can be convinced to channel his or her energy into humanitarian causes, then he or she will be the type of person who is not easy to forget. Psychologically, the Alder is uncomplicated and will usually express any opinion quite openly. With a passionate nature and an inherent desire for love, they are apt to marry quickly but usually make better sweethearts than they do spouses, given their need for personal freedom. As parents, however, they rank among the best than can be found. It is important for Alder individuals to learn the art of diplomacy or they are prone to waste energy in fruitless disputes.

I don’t know if I would necessarily consider myself as being magnificent when it comes to being an entrepreneur but I do like to try to do my own thing and see where it will take me. I love that is says ‘they are apt to marry quickly’ because I never have any intention of getting married – it may change but as it says above ‘given their need for personal freedom’. I’ll be the first to admit that I can be utterly selfish, but I consider it more of a ‘conditional’ selfishness. I’m not sure that I quit if I’m on the losing end of something, but I will admit to a very short attention span, if things don’t keep my interest, I let them go and move on to something else. It’s not wholly practical especially when it comes to getting things finished but it is what it is. 

I do and will express an opinion openly, sometimes its not what someone wants to hear and it can get me in trouble but I am who I am. Overall, as with most birth sign assessments, there are parts that are me and parts that are not me. I think birth signs give a good overview of some one’s possible personality but it’s not always necessarily true to the last word of everyone.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Week Ahead Reading

Due to not feeling well, the long weekend and my mother & brother's birthdays (they're 4 days apart), my Week Ahead Reading is abysmally late. I also had issues with my neck and shoulder - I woke up one morning in pain, no tight muscles or anything just pain. So blogging has been not on my mind but I'm rearing to go and get some new things posted.

Week Ahead using the Wildwood Tarot

Queen of Arrows – Swan

The swan is a strong and regal protector – a state of separation may exist, bringing with it sorrow, privation and misfortune. You may need to break old bonds and find new rivers in which to swim if you are to move beyond this place of darkness and loss.

Ten of Bows – Responsibility

The challenge of dealing with responsibility brings a need for inner fortitude, stamina and determination. The weight of the burden may be heavy and cumbersome but the task that has been handed to you may be vital for the greater good, not just for yourself but also for your family and chosen tribe.

Ace of Stones – The Foundation of Life

The most potent act of the mind is to conceive of an idea and manifest it into practical, material reality. This means being able to formulate and marshal your thoughts to bring about a real-world change, or transmutation of a wish, dream or desire, making it physically happen.

So outwardly, the first two cards are not the most positive of cards but I tend to look at them as they apply to my life right now. I can say when it comes to the Swan card; I’m not currently in a place of darkness and loss in the physical world. Since the Wildwood tarot has always worked for me as tool in my spiritual life, this is where I tend to interpret this deck. The swan, if we look to its correspondence within the magical realm, is of the dream world, helping to interpret dream symbols as well as smoothing transitions and spiritual evolution. 

As you begin to realize your own true beauty, you unfold the ability to bridge new realms and new powers. A Swan totem heralds a time of altered states of awareness and the development of intuitive abilities. Swan people have the ability to see the future, and to accept the healing and transformation that is beginning in their lives. Accept your ability and go with the flow. Stop denying you know who is calling when the phone rings. Pay attention to your hunches and inner knowledge, and Swan medicine will work through you.” From Here.

Spiritually, the swan is quite powerful and it makes sense as the reading heads toward the next card. Responsibility – it’s a word that often freezes the heart because it does usually mean there is a burden to follow. It’s not ideal for sure in some cases but flowing from the first card, and looking toward the way readings have been going the past few weeks – I wonder what is coming or going to happen? I am recalling the basic messages from last week’s reading:

Snake Princess - You are a keeper of the old ways. You are one who cannot flee these changes, and so you must use power with great discrimination. You are also able to communicate with the dead, a talent of the very wise and, some say, the very brave. Please explore this talent if this card comes forth, as an ancestor is willing to share great knowledge with you. With this knowledge you will be free and will regenerate the ancient secrets kept hidden too long.

Strange Companions - Your own fairytale adventure – dramatic, dark, shadowy and wild – is about to begin in an unknown world. Embrace this great adventure; You have help and enough imagination, daring and brilliance to pass every test.

Dragonfly Mermaid - There will be fresh challenges along the way, but magick is all around you and your auric field and life force themselves are highly attractive to wonderful events, people and possibilities right now. Stay on course.

Looking at myself and my life, I’ve made certain decisions, certain choices as to where I want my life to go and although the card says “The challenge of dealing with responsibility brings a need for inner fortitude, stamina and determination”, it is not necessarily a bad thing or a troublesome thing but perhaps a reminder that changes like this, taking one’s destiny into one’s own hands and moving forward knowing that it can fail but going ahead anyway, is a challenge and will help you grow in all sorts of ways. I’ve not ever been afraid of a challenge. If this is spiritually speaking, perhaps the messages of the Shapeshifters will bring their own challenges should everything come to pass.

The Ace of Stones, the large standing stone speaks of making that which is not real, quite real. As it ties into the other cards, I must want what I think with absolute belief and conviction to manifest it in the real world, to make it physically happen, I have to know that it will happen. Dreams are a strange beast, they can often live only in our minds, but taking the brave steps to manifest them can bring its own rewards.

Overall, this reading has got me thinking, as my extra lengthy analysis shows. I’m not sure where I’m heading or how everything will come to pass, hell I’m not even remotely sure if I am ready for it but fate waits for no woman I suppose and somehow I will have to grasp this and run with it. Who knows what awaits me in the future? I am scared a little bit because the Snake Princess warns of great power, ancient knowledge but with that comes the sense of responsibility and right now, an AHA moment – perhaps whatever abilities manifest I will be given the opportunity to use them to help people while I walk this twisted, winding road of the witch and diviner.

Saturday, 5 October 2013


I've been a little quiet as life has been kind of busy for me (which is nice) but I'll be back to posting soon! It's been my mother's birthday, my brother is visiting and, on top of that, I seem to have mysteriously injured my neck and shoulder so I can't really sit in front of the computer...

Oh well, that's life!