Thursday, 26 March 2015

PDU - Autumn Equinox

Late again - I know, it's shocking but here I am, my entry ready nonetheless.

Autumn is my favourite season, the colours, the cooling weather, the smells - it all makes me feel like I'm in a very sacred place. Plus my birthday is during Autumn - actually just the other side of the Equinox as luck would have it so it all ties together. To me, it always does feel like the season of the witch, my senses tingle and I feel the urge to do more, explore more, learn more. I'm settling in to begin more crafting, herbal making, I'm planning to get my tinctures ready for the winter season and sorting out some more witchy adventures! I always feel more in tune during this season, it's like something in me clicks and I get more energy, I'm looking forward to the cooler weather so that I can begin taking my plans from theory to practical.

I spent this Equinox at a Pagan event, one I was quite involved in. My second year going, my first year being involved. It's a lot of fun with some really fantastic people. It's always hard for me to easily connect with people so it's great to be among those who think similarly. There was a ghost tour of a gaol, a nighttime ritual, daytime workshops (I presented two) and late night chatting. There were new friends made, steps made in solidifying friendships made last year. All around it was a wonderful way to spend the holiday and I'll certainly be looking forward to it next year!!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Lessons Learned or The Country Witch Gets A Reality Check

Spirit/Energy Neutral – that’s me. I have no relationships with spirits or energy because I don’t feel it, it’s always seemed quite pointless to bother forcing something that doesn’t come naturally – or at all as the case is with me. I’ve always been fine with that, it never particularly bothered me. I discovered this last year when I went to Gladstone Gaol for a Pagan Event, the history of the gaol is troubled, not as much as other places but it’s had its fair share of horrors so the energy in the place is quite strong – for others. For me, I felt nothing, no tingle, no chill, nada, zilch, zip (except for the eerie sense of silence in solitary but again – didn’t particularly bother me), so along I trotted in life not bothered by my lack of a spirit/energy radar. I got on with what I am good at – herbs. And life was grand (I’m beginning to think I should have started this story as once upon a time…..).

But life throws some interesting curveballs when you least expect it. Last month I was invited along to assist in a house cleansing/banishing; some damn nasty negative energy was lying around and manifesting some pretty awful behaviour toward one of the residents. Our goal was to trap the energy and get rid of it; to make sure it didn’t darken the doorstep of this particular home again – and in that respect we were all very successful. But the lesson came before we began. I walked into that door and I walked into a reality driven smack in the face. This house taught me that what was true in one place or time in my life was not so much true anymore. It could have been just this place, this month will tell I suppose at the gaol. So we four; the Diviner, the Energy Worker, the Guide and the Witch (as well as the Diviner’s husband) began the task of clearing this house of the energy that had stuck it’s claws deep into one of the residents and would not let go.

I walked through the door and I was immediately struck by a feeling of darkness and oppression. I felt a crushing weight on my shoulders, I couldn’t breathe and my shoulder blade began to hurt (a sharp pain), my head began a slow spin that progressively got worse. Once we were apprised of the situation I went outside because it was too much. The almost funny thing was, I walked past the bedroom (which was in darkness from lack of light) which had the worst energy. I barely even saw it and I think it was almost designed that way – I wasn’t even close to ready for what was in there. The Guide took care of that. I had to get outside into the light to breathe and take a moment, but once I returned inside, the feeling was ever present. The kitchen was the worst for me – but then this is where some of the very physical and unpleasant manifesting behaviour had taken place; apparently the bedroom was worse so I’m glad I missed that part of the cleansing and banishing. The Diviner lead us in our task followed by the Energy Worker smudging and clearing. The Guide tackled the energy in the bedroom and I was in charge of the front of the house. We came together in the kitchen and gave the Energy Worker time to work his Craft. When we returned into the home it was a different place, it was light, calmer, not oppressive and there was a lovely breeze blowing between the two doors. The change was palpable. We finished up with instruction and protective measures and the task was completed. The Energy Worker had to calm my third eye because my head was spinning out of control.

It was an experience I will never forget. It was both a learning experience and a lesson; a lesson not only in cleansing/banishing but also in being too arrogant in your absolute belief of something. I wouldn’t say I’m an arrogant person, I’m not, but I honestly had the belief that walking into this house, the energy wouldn’t affect me because it never has in any situation before. I expected to walk in, render assistance but not be particularly affected or changed by it. I have been, unequivocally. I’m not likely to ever forget that feeling in a hurry, it’s not one I ever really want to feel again and I think the memory of that feeling is going to stick with me for a long while to come.

Friday, 13 March 2015

PDU – Favourite Craft Tool

I’m a bit late again with my PDU post – I’ve been so busy I’ve barely had time to sit down and think. I would say my favourite craft tool (and probably no surprise here) is herbs. I don’t know what I would do without them. I don’t really use any other tools if I’m being honest, although I love my card decks so they would also be my favourite craft tool. Herbs are powerful medicine whether you use the magically, medicinally or mundanely. They’re so ingrained in our way of life that sometimes we don’t even think about them when we use them (like adding a bit of chives to mash potato or paprika to colour your roast chicken). They can be as subtle as a gentle breeze or as brash as a gale force wind. They can be easy to grow or frustratingly hard (mandrake anyone?) to coax from the soil. They provide scent, colour, magic, healing and feed. 

I use herbs in so many different ways. Incenses, tonics, tinctures, ointments, teas, candles, the garden, healing and crafting; my garden has so many different herbs in it I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many, I’m even planning another herb garden in the future (it’ll be an accompaniment to my tiny house). I’m a herbalist so my passion runs deep and I feel herbs on a soul level. Magical, medicinal and all round fantastic, herbs are my tool of choice and my favourite craft tool overall.

(Yes this one is a bit short, I’ve been so busy but the next one is Autumn Equinox and I think that post will be a bit longer given I am co-hosting and presenting there).

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Blooming Poisons

The daturas are blooming and forming their beautiful seed pods, the black nightshade berries are plump and ripe, so begins the season of the witch.

Datura inoxia flower

Datura inoxia seed pod

Datura inoxia flower blooming at night

The poison garden

My Daturas and Belladonnas

One of my Black Nightshades

Berries ready for the picking

I look at my poison garden, my Henbane has been harvested, my Belladonnas grow strong, my lovely Daturas bloom and seed, the Castors grow larger, the Yew new shoots, the Blackthorn bigger, Hellebore to be repotted - it is a beautiful sight warming the heart of this witch.

Monday, 2 March 2015

PDU – The Element of Water

The element of water is a curious one for me. I do love water but I also am hesitant of large bodies of water. I have a small pool for summer, I love long hot showers, the rain, I enjoy watching a river and can appreciate the vastness of an ocean but I’m not one who is drawn by the ocean. (The ocean in SA is very much a dangerous place on account of the Great Whites – they tend to be stealth, ninja sharks). I love nothing more than standing out in the rain in summer, watching it pour down and create rivers in the dirt, I love cold winter nights listening to it hit the roof in its rhythmic frantic tone and I love to go to sleep with the rain echoing on the roof. It touches something deep within me, a primal recognition in the soul.

Water is emotion, dreams, intuition, psychic ability, the Moon, the Feminine, twilight and dusk. It is the cauldron, the chalice, mirrors and the element we are all born from. It is a very powerful being, it can both heal and harm, cause unimaginable destruction or help things flourish, wet a parched soul and relieve drought. Like all the elements it has dual purpose, both creative and destructive. I do love it all the same. It’s supposed to rain here Monday, so if it does, I will be outside standing in it, thankful for the reprieve and hoping there is more to come as we move into the autumnal season.