Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The Blue Moon heralds a time of great change and while the change may not always be pleasant, it's essential to life and very powerful. There are two sides to everything: both benefits and detriments, and it's important to recognize that while the strength of this moon can be a benefit when it comes to magick and spell casting, the degree of that strength can be overwhelming for some and if one isn't careful this can have negative repercussions. This moon ups the intensity of that part of the year in which it falls. Everything during that time is affected: the power of the moon, the sun and planets, potions, spells, and people. It's important to be aware of it all before you call on the power of this moon in any undertakings. Spiritually, this will be an amazing moon for honoring the Goddess and Drawing Down the Moon.
Native American belief states that the animal totem for this moon is the snake and like the snake, this is a very mercurial and often misunderstood full moon. Regardless of whether you choose to harness some of its power for magickal work or just ring in the New Year with friends, be sure to take a moment to enjoy and honor this beautiful Blue Moon.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
In Germany it was a holiday custom to eat as many greasy pancakes as you could consume on the night of the Winter Solstice and then leave a few of them out for the Winter Hag as she made her rounds from house to house. If you foolishly forgot to leave her a few it was believed that she would become so enraged at this slight that she would hunt you down and with an enormous knife, cut open your belly and steal the pancakes right from your stomach. The reason that you had to eat those pancakes really greasy was that the grease would make your belly so slippery the Hag would be unable to cut into you. Her knife would just slip off your slimy tummy and no matter how hard she tried, she wouldn't be able to steal your pancakes away from you.
I don't know about you, but it had to be one hell of a long and frightening night for children, eh? I know if I were a child then, I'd be dreading that night all year long.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Ancient chant of unknown origin courtesy of earthwitchery.com.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I will talk with you all soon. Blessed be to everyone who pops in here for a quick read or two.
Friday, December 4, 2009
I bought my needed item and then wandered about the shop looking into the humidors. My beloved Uncle Fred was a cigar salesman for many, many decades but oddly as soon as I went looking for the maker he worked for, I suddenly couldn't remember their name. When the shop owner asked if there was anything else he could help me with, I mentioned that my uncle worked for a cigar company but for the life of me, I could not remember the name of it. He asked my uncle's name and when I told him, he immediately pointed across the shop to the humidor I was looking for. He said he knew my uncle and that upon meeting him for the first time he instantly recognized my uncle for the amazing man he was. He added that my Uncle Fred was considered a legend in the cigar business, one of the most well-respected men in the industry who everyone loved and admired. I agreed, saying that he was also an amazing man in our family's life and is very sadly missed. He told me some Fred stories and I shared a few of my own.
As I was leaving I realized that not only was I going to be honoring some of my ancestors at the next full moon, but that I had just honored another much adored ancestor with not a single prop and with no formal ritual whatsoever. Two complete strangers connected with the only thing we had in common: my dear uncle and the joy he brought to both of us and the way he touched each of our lives in his own special way.
I went into that shop with the intention of creating a moment of pure love for those who went before me and I did just that, in more ways than one. Perfect synchronicity.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Today is the Full Cold Moon, so named by the Native American tribes of the northern and northeastern lands for the biting cold that begins this month. Another Indian name for this moon is the Long Nights Moon (which is also its neo-pagan name as well). Some other names for today's moon are the Christmas Moon, the Bitter Moon, Snow Moon, Oak Moon and rather inexplicably given this time of year, the Peach Moon.
Given that today's moon is in Gemini, which is the sign of communication, take a moment to tell those around you how much you love and value them. Have a tender talk with someone you care about. Listen and learn and feel the peace, light and love of this Yule season. And in case this season wasn't special enough, keep in mind that on December 31 we will be blessed with a rare Blue Moon whose powers will be felt intensely by all.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
4 parts powdered myrrh
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I decided to use herbs that would strengthen my convictions and give my wishes a little kick in the pants, and being the moon of the Maiden Goddess, I bundled those herbs in a small white cloth, the color of the Maiden, tied with a healing fat blue string. I used a simple ceremony with my circle pretty much stripped down to its barest and I summoned the Goddess Diana to aid me in my work by the power of the new moon. I used the power of the four elements and seven carefully chosen herbs in my magickal sachet. And I've kept this little bundle of herbs with me each day and on my night table by night and so far it's working quite nicely.
It's a beautiful thing when it all comes together: the power of the moon, the elements, the deity called upon, and even the more mundane aspects of spellwork. It's enervating and exciting.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Hawthorns are frequently found near holy wells and on ground considered to be sacred and as a result are frequently seen with offerings left at the base of their trunks and decorations hung amongst the branches. The hawthorn is known as the wishing tree and there are many famous ones throughout the world that to this day have wishes, requests and prayers hung on them or coins driven into their trunks.
Along with oak and ash, hawthorn is the third tree of the powerful triad of trees inhabited and enchanted by faeries. Hawthorns represent the three realms: the underworld, the middleworld and the upperworld, as well as being symbolic of the three stages of the witch: the maiden, the mother and the crone. The hawthorn is one of the nine sacred woods of the sabbat fire as it represents purity.
The hawthorn is associated with the planet Mars, vibrates to a masculine energy, and is ruled by the elements of air and fire. Wear hawthorn for luck and happiness on your wedding day or use it to cleanse an area before ritual. It can used for spells that open the doorway between the mundane world and the faery realm, to attract love, in protection spells, to attract love and to commune with the spirits of those who have passed before us.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Knowing absolutely nothing about it, I tried my local library for a how-to book on it, but with no luck. I then went online and found a great book, but in the meantime took a quickie self-taught crash course online for the basics. As I had no actual pendulum, I got out a cherished ring that belonged to my father and a strand of rather thin yarn. And as usual for me, I got started in the wee hours of the morning (my favorite time of day), so there wasn't a whole lot of time to spend working on it. Besides, I fully expected to quickly be less than impressed, or for nothing at all to happen, and then I'd head off to bed. Boy was I surprised!
I sat there for a few minutes concentrating on making my makeshift pendulum swing vertically but nothing seemed to be happening. I carefully watched my hand to be sure it wasn't moving in the least (being an artist, one thing I do have is a very steady hand) and also made sure to not get too discouraged and to stay focused. And then it happened. Slowly at first and then faster and faster: the pendulum moved just as I had wanted it to. Likewise for a horizontal direction and then a small tight clockwise circle. It took me some time to get it going in each direction, but get it going I did, which blew me away! The three fingers I was using to hold the yarn were also humming with energy inside them and swirling about them on the outside. I wished that someone, anyone was awake to share it with, but only my dogs were up with me and they weren't in the least impressed.
So I guess I now need to find myself a pendulum, one that calls to me while all the others just lie there lifelessly before me. I need to spend more time with it and learn how to really use it. I find the thrill of a new form of divination very exciting and I can't wait to jump into it with my heart and soul.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
This is a brand spanking new group and we're looking for anyone who fits the above criteria, seeks to enlighten themselves, wants to learn the mundane and the magickal from others and likes to talk! All faiths, belief systems and lifestyles are welcome with open arms.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Personally, I think it should be called the Moon With More Names Than Any Other Moon of the Year.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Necromancers use skull-shaped candles in their rituals to summon the dead. Anise essential oil is used to anoint candles used in spells to conjure spirits, while orris oil is a known protection against accidentally conjuring evil spirits. Ancient lore states that lavender oil can be used to give a witch the power to see ghosts.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Did you know that cabbage stalks were once used by early Christians to divine whether or not they were going to go to heaven or hell when they died? A person would be blindfolded, sent into a cabbage patch and would then pull up a stalk at random. The stalk was then carefully examined. If it was clean and light-colored, it was said the person was sure to go to heaven. But if it was darkened by frost and rot, that person was going to burn in hell for all eternity.
In England, it was believed that if an unmarried woman went into a cabbage garden at midnight on Halloween and cut a stalk of cabbage, she would see an apparition of her future husband. If she saw nothing, she was destined to die a spinster. It was likewise for single men as well.
Personally, I prefer to eat my cabbage indoors on a cold Halloween night rather than stumbling blindfolded through a dark and chilly garden hoping for a bright future!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
The early snow yesterday has me wondering just how severe this winter is going to be and for those who also prefer to consult nature over the five o'clock weatherman's predictions, here are a few things to watch for, courtesy of our Native American ancestors, to tell you if the upcoming winter is going to be a cold one.
Geese will be seen to fly at much higher altitudes
Oak trees will bear an excess of acorns
Chipmunks will be in abundance
Lakes and rivers will freeze later than usual
Onion skins will be thicker than usual at harvest
You'll see squirrels gathering a much larger supply of nuts
Woodpeckers will appear earlier than they do before a warmer winter
Corn husks will also be thicker and stronger at harvest as well
Friday, October 16, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I also bought a strand of tiny jack o' lanterns that light up and that I put on the mantel over the main fireplace in our house, letting them meander where they chose. And with a few of the little pumpkins hanging whimsically off the face of the mantel and with some small sized real pumpkins and a few little skulls, I'm pleased with the way they look. Thank goodness, as it would have been really depressing if I couldn't make anything work to my liking.
I use my sideboard in the dining room for my ancestor altar and today I pulled from my cellar the boxes labeled "Samhain" and began going through the items that I traditionally place on my shrine to those I love- and those I never knew but am bound to by blood- who have passed. Crows, skulls, large paper flowers I made years ago to replace the live flowers traditional to "Day of the Dead" celebrations and which are unattainable in New England at this time of year, candles, items that were personal to some of the people whose photos grace my altar, and more. I usually start to set it up about a week or so before Samhain and take it down on November 2. In the last days leading up to the sabbat I'll add fruit, vegetables and vegetation fresh-cut from the wild.
For me the act of going downstairs, pulling from my cellar the cartons where I store all my Samhain items during the year, bringing them up into the house proper and opening them is much like opening gifts on Christmas morning. I always get a small thrill when I see all these beloved things that have shared with me the passing of the seasons and likewise so many loved ones, and who in their own inanimate way have marked the years I have spent in the Craft. This is my favorite sabbat of the year and I can't wait until it's October 31.
Even if I never find a spot for those damn fairy lights!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Planetary influence: the Sun
Colors: yellow and gold
Herbs and spices: cinnamon and orange peel
Work magick on Sunday for money, prosperity, success, energy, life force, the divine power of the God, blessings, new projects and to heal those issues related to the aforementioned.
Planetary influence: the Moon
Colors: white and silver
Herbs and spices: lemon rind and wintergreen
Work magick on Monday to bring about conception, any issues to do with mothers and motherhood, the divine power of the Goddess, home and family issues, clairvoyance, women's mysteries, medicine, dreams, the sea and any and all emotional work.
Planetary influence: Mars
Colors: red and black
Herbs and spices: allspice and chili pepper
Work magick on Tuesday to enhance your passion for fighting personal causes, courage, politics, competitions, rituals involving men, self assertion, defense, war, problem solving, and any and all protective or aggressive magick.
Planetary influence: Mercury
Colors: orange and purple
Herbs and spices: dill and celery seed
Work magick on Wednesday for good communication, travel, creativity, speed, all things related to studying, learning and teaching, divination and predictions, celibacy, self improvement, and to improve good luck.
Planetary influence: Jupiter
Colors: green and royal blue
Herbs and spices: sage and nutmeg
Work magick on Thursday for prosperity, abundance, leadership, healing, wealth/poverty/monetary and legal issues, luck, expansion, fortune, and material possessions.
Planetary influence: Venus
Colors: pink and aqua green
Herbs and spices: thyme and sugar
Work magick on Friday to draw or send love, heal relationships, romance, beauty, fertility, incense making, the arts, partnerships, pleasure, entertainment and all rituals involving women.
Planetary influence: Saturn
Colors: black or deep purple
Herbs and spices: Most of the spices associated with Saturn are poisonous, but for banishing spells you can use garlic or onion, fresh or dried
Work magick on Saturday to enhance boundaries, protective magick, restrictions, eliminating debt, finding a job, reincarnation and death, purging of pests, funerals and wills, the elderly, and all banishing and binding spells.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Due to the seasonal tilt of the earth at this time of year, the Harvest Moon often looks more colorful and unique than any other full moon during the year. I love to look up and see my beloved moon sporting shades of golden red or orange. Not only is it beautiful to look at on its own, but it's in perfect keeping with all the colors the earth is wearing at this time of year and to me it lends an even more fall feel to this season.
Sometimes this moon is known as the Hunter's Moon, but that isn't completely accurate. The Harvest Moon is always the moon closest to the equinox, but only up until October 13 and no later. If the full moon falls later than that, it's then called the Full Hunter's Moon, which is always the moon after the Harvest Moon. Today's moon is also known as the Kindly Moon, the Blackberry Moon, and courtesy of the Sioux Nation, The Moon When Quilling and Beading is Done. The neo-pagan name for this moon is the Blood Moon.
If you're out tonight Drawing Down the Moon or even just taking a moment to enjoy the crisp night air, be sure to first bathe yourself in the beauty of autumn's splendor above your head and enjoy one of the most beautiful moon's of the lunar year.
Friday, October 2, 2009
So given the fact that it is that time of year when folks get sick with change of season allergies and we're about to lurch headlong into the heart of the cold and flu season, herbal cures and remedies just might be the thing most needed right now. So if you aren't feeling well enough to get to the store, most of these remedies can be found in your kitchen right now. And most or all of these ingredients can be combined together for some even more potent medicine.
Cinnamon is an anti-microbial and cinnamon oil can be used in a steam bath to open the lungs and nasal passages. Keep in mind to not put the oil directly onto your skin so as not to burn yourself with it. Make yourself some cinnamon toast with ground cinnamon sprinkled on it, or a tea made with a cinnamon stick in hot water with added honey drizzled into it.
Eucalyptus and Peppermint are excellent for relieving respiratory distress and opening clogged lungs and bronchial passages. Either can be used as a nasal steam bath with a few drops of the essential oil placed in a large bowl of steaming water and then inhaled. Also, either the crushed leaves of the plant, or a few drops of the essential oil from it, can be mixed with a bit of olive oil and warmed to make a soothing rub for the chest (take care with what you're wearing though so as not to stain it with the oil!).
Lemon is an antibacterial that also helps to flush the lymphatic system. A soothing tea made with hot water and fresh squeezed lemon juice is a great cure for a sore throat and the hot liquid will loosen clogged sinuses.
Onions. Onions contain many volatile oils all of which make for very effective medicine. An onion can act as an expectorant that breaks up mucus and phlegm, as an anti-microbial that has been proven to kill streptococci bacteria, ease asthma attacks and relax bronchial spasms, and can stop a simple cough as well. To ease sinus congestion you can do something as simple as cut a fresh onion and breathe in the vapor from it or eat a sliced raw onion to ease your throat pain. But for those who prefer their onions cooked, here's a few more suggestions. To clear lung congestion, fry an onion in olive oil and sprinkle with cayenne or curry powder. No cayenne or curry? Fry up a couple of onions by themselves and they'll work almost as well alone. Onions are a great expectorant without any added bells and whistles. To make a tasty cough suppressant, grate an onion and mix with honey to taste, fry in a bit of olive oil and eat.
Oregano is wonderful for relieving a fever, a cold or the flu. Keep in mind though to not put any oregano essential oil on your face directly without it being mixed in a fatty oil as it can burn you, believe it or not. This is an herb that in oil form is considered "hot" and will heat up and tingle in no time at all. To be safe, make a rub with some crushed leaves or a small amount of essential oil placed in a warm olive oil solution and have someone rub it onto your upper back to relieve muscle pain and lung congestion. And obviously it goes without saying that the herb itself it can be eaten in a delicious recipe too!
Sage has been used for centuries to treat upper respiratory troubles, such as coughs, colds and fevers. It can be eaten in a dish prepared with it or an infusion made from the leaves and stems can be used as a mouthwash. Gargle with it to cure sore throats and coughs.
Thyme is a natural anti-microbial and expectorant that heals throat, lung and stomach infections, as well as urinary tract issues. If you have a sore throat or chest congestion, make a tea using fresh thyme leaves in place of tea leaves. Gargle with it to heal your throat and drink it to loosen phlegm and heal your lungs. When the volatile oil in thyme reaches your bladder and kidneys, it will heal any condition there as well. Thyme can also be used in a steam bath to loosen your sinuses and bronchial passages. Simply take a small muslin bag of fresh thyme or use several drops of pure thyme oil and place in a bowl of steaming water. Drape a towel over your head and steam your nasal passages to clear them. All varieties contain the same active ingredient, thymol, so choose whatever type you prefer.
It obviously goes without saying that if you are really sick or think you may have an infection, you should please see your doctor right away. While I may use herbs in my daily life, I would never shun proper medical attention when I needed it. Even the Wise Women of old knew when something was beyond their knowledge and it was time to call the village physician!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Robert Frost, 1913
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
In Europe during the Middle Ages, it was believed that witches' homes could be easily identified by the smoke from their chimneys. On the morning of the first Monday after Halloween, you must climb to the top of a hill above your village, one that affords a good view of the whole town below. You must then watch the smoke rising from all the chimneys of all the houses and the smoke from a witch's fire will be seen to travel against the wind rather than with it, thus making it easy to spot her amongst the villagers.
I especially like this one as I live in a house that used to sit alone in a vast field. When we bought it, a great deal of the land had just been sold for new construction and we're the only ones in our neighborhood who not only live in a very old house, but also the only one with fireplaces and (obviously) chimneys, so our winter smoke stands out amongst all our neighbors' homes. If this belief were truly possible, then it would be a good thing that we have the only chimneys as far as the eye can see as given the fact that a witch does live in this house, I'd be in some serious trouble!
Thanks to Gerina Dunwich and The Pagan Book of Halloween.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I don't have an athame or a wand, nor do I own a white handled knife. When I cast a circle, I use my hand and when I need to cut herbs I use an old knife that belonged to my father who was an executive chef. My utility knife has a very worn brown wooden handle and a blade that's been sharpened countless times over many decades, but it speaks to my heart and when I use it my father is right there with me. I will admit that I have thought about finding a lovely fallen branch and crafting it into a wand but I haven't yet done this, probably because I know that I most likely wouldn't use it in ritual. Perhaps one day I'll make one anyways.
My circle altar has no fancy statues or decorations. I don't use special silver and gold goddess/god candles, but one simple fat white pillar to represent them both. I haven't a special dish or chalice so my offerings of food are served up on a plain dish and in a simple cup. I do have a nice incense burner because I grind my own incense rather than use sticks, but that's about the only thing that I've purchased from a shop. My cauldron is an antique that took me years to find, plain cast iron without any fussiness, and used for centuries by women who came before me.
And in circle I keep myself as simple as my tools. I've read about a gajillion books by witches and I have to say that while most of the authors are extraordinary in their talents and knowledge, they're also all utterly delusional. While it would be wonderful to have the time to bathe in a tub full of purifying oils by candlelight prior to circle, who actually has that kind of time? I'm lucky to have the time to cast a circle at all. I try to always wash my face and brush my teeth beforehand, but if I have to choose between the time for ritual and the time for cleansing myself in preparation for it, I'm going to choose circle every time. And given that I bathe every day, I seriously doubt that I'm so filthy as to insult the divine ones. I don't wear any special robes or clothing, but I am always barefoot. I've read in a few books that there is a "rule" about never wearing any hair adornments while in circle, but when I had long hair I always wore it pulled back and out of the way. I'd rather be breaking some silly rule than setting my head on fire. Sometimes common sense far outweighs the romantic notions set forth by those who revel in making ritual as intricate as it can possibly be.
There's something to be said for stripping it all down to the plainest way possible. Remove the glamour and you're left with what is most important, what it's all about. What so many might find boring is what speaks volumes to my soul and that's good enough for me.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I've been feeling the Mabon vibe for a couple of weeks as I've been working to put my yard to bed for the colder months, cutting back the unsightly plants that have completed their life cycles for this year and marveling at those who are just beginning to come alive as the season ends. The trees haven't turned yet, but there have been a few leaves here and there that are showing their glorious colors of red, yellow and orange. And every time I leave my house I drive by farm stands selling apples, pumpkins and gourds and I itch to stop and buy a car full of everything they're selling.
I celebrated today very quietly, with a simple circle to give thanks for all I have been blessed with. I would have preferred to honor the equinox tonight, but as I won't be home I grabbed the only time I had and it was still quite sweet, if not dark. I made oat cakes last night for an offering, not only because they're made from harvest grains, but because I felt it appropriate to offer something old, something that has been feeding people for millennia. I like the idea that people were eating these when the Romans were subjugating most of the world. There's something very earthy about using a recipe that's that old. I also finally got around to consecrating my cauldron. I didn't intentionally hold onto it until now, but as this is a day with much meaning for me, it felt appropriate to ritually prepare it during this circle. It's now ready for its inaugural use on Samhain, my favorite sabbat on the wheel!
This is the recipe for the oat cakes. It's been tweaked a little by me, in the interest of making it contemporary and simple. After all, we aren't going to be pounding the grains by hand, nor will we be slaughtering our pigs for lard and then slaving over our hearths as we cook our cakes on a iron griddle in the flame. They still taste delicious and are nice and crunchy, as any self-respecting oat cake should be. They can be used, really, for any sabbat, not just the harvest ones. Enjoy!
Traditional Oat Cakes makes approximately 48 3" cakes
3 cups rolled oats (not minute or quick)
3 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, slightly melted
2/3 cup cold water, approximate
Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Grease a baking sheet.
Combine the oats, flour, sugar, soda and salt. Mix well. Add butter and stir till blended. Mixture will be crumbly. Add the water a little at a time. The dough should be moist enough to form into a ball but not so moist as to be very sticky. It should hold its shape nicely, like a cookie dough used for rolling. Roll dough onto a well-floured surface to 1/4" thick. Cut into 3" circles with a cutter and place on sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden in color. Cool and store in an airtight container.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
"Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and owlet's wing, For a charm of powerful, Like a hell-broth and bubble."
Thursday, September 17, 2009
But on the other hand, I've found that most of the fictional books about witches aren't very good. 'Practical Magic' and the like aside, they tend to either be very bad chick lit that have very little to do with anything wiccan or more in the vein of the Middle Ages 'Excalibur' costume fantasy-type story, of which I'm not very fond. I'm just not a bodice-ripper kind of girl, even if there is a witch in there somewhere. I've also noticed that for some reason that I have yet to figure out, almost all books about witches now seem to be crime mysteries, a genre that is also not a favorite. Still, I have compiled a list of about a dozen books that may have potential and that I'll be looking into at my local library as the urge to read one presents itself, as it inevitably will.
And it was at my library that I started reading, quite by accident, a series about a group of friends who happen to be witches and all of which take place in the town I grew up in, oddly enough. I only read the first one to see if the author portrayed my hometown accurately, but ended up finding the stories appealing, despite the fact that they're mysteries.
By Delores Stewart Riccio
Circle of Five
The Divine Circle of Ladies Making Mischief
The Divine Circle of Ladies Courting Trouble
The Divine Circle of Ladies Playing With Fire
And another series that was brought to my attention by an internet acquaintance, again crime mysteries with a witch (and in this case also an empath) at their heart, are nice light reading as well.
By Madelyn Alt
The Trouble With Magic
A Charmed Death
Hex Marks the Spot
No Rest for the Wiccan
Where There's a Witch
Still, my quest continues because sometimes one just has a hankering for a good, even fun, book about witches and witchcraft. It can be a nice diversion from life for a little while.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I had a nasty virus over the past weekend and by Wednesday was in dire need of some emergency (and really horrible) dental surgery on top of it. What I wanted was to spend some time in circle, hoping to generate some positive healing energy to help me make a speedier recovery, but I just didn't have enough gas in my tank to pull it off. In the past I've been ill and struggled to help me help myself and have had positive results, but what happens when you can't do it alone? That's where my much longed-for witch friends would come in. This week would have been much more tolerable with a little bit of witchy help from others who know me well.
And having some witch friends to share in my everyday healthy life would be a blessing as well: casting circle together occasionally, sharing recipes and potions, celebrating the sabbats together, and just being friends in a way that fills a void in my life that my other non-practicing friends and family sadly can never fill.
Being a solitary witch is for the most part fine with me, but every once in a while I find myself yearning for someone to share my journey with, and this week was one of those times.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Photo courtesy alyz on deviantART.com
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tonight's moon is known as the Full Corn Moon or the Barley Moon, the Fruit Moon (courtesy of it being apple picking season), the Nut Moon, and the Mulberry Moon. The Native American name for this moon is the Harvest Moon, although the English gave that name to October's moon as it falls closer to the actual harvest. The Harvest Moon is also the neo-pagan name for tonight's moon. My personal favorite would have to be the Singing Moon, the Celtic name for September's moon.
If you hold a moonstone in your mouth at the full moon it will reveal the future, but keep in mind that it's unlucky to look at any moon over your shoulder.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I should have known where my life was headed, not only because even as a child I was drawn to my ancestors' Native American heritage and beliefs, as well as possessing a near-psychotic respect for nature and animals, but that my favorite TV show was Bewitched. I could think of nothing more wonderful than having the abilities that Samantha Stevens had. And that thrill has never left me through the years and through countless movies and shows.
I value my knowledge of herbs and the ability to cast a circle and channel energy, but I'd simply adore being able to fly (broom or not), or to wiggle my nose and have my house instantly cleaned. To be able to travel through time or even just to teleport from one place to another in the blink of an eye would be grand. I'd find it a rush to be able to turn myself into another object or living being. How about bringing back the dead? Creepy? Perhaps. But come on, it's pretty cool too. If real life could be a Harry Potter story or like a feel-good movie such as the aforementioned Practical Magic, or even the more freaky The Witches of Eastwick or The Craft, life would be far more interesting and fun.
Don't get me wrong, I don't spend all day long wishing for the spectacular in my very quiet and simple life in the Craft, nor am I sad that I possess absolutely no supernatural abilities, but occasionally I ponder the joys of living with some real magickal talents, ones that would turn the world on its ear.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Delicious Tomato Soup makes 4-6 good size servings
2 28 or 35 ounce cans of organic whole peeled tomatoes
a couple of fresh ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges (optional)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 quarts (8 cups) water or stock
1/2 cup chopped organic parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat oven to 375f degrees. Drain tomatoes and reserve the liquid. Halve canned ones and put those and the fresh (if using them) in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, toss, add the thyme and roast. Turning them once or twice, roast for about 30 minutes. If they begin to dry out or stick, add a bit of the tomato liquid as needed.
Put the remaining olive oil in a deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook just until it begins to color, in a minute or so. Add the carrots and onions and cook, sprinkling with the salt and pepper, stirring for about five minutes. Stir in the stock or water, along with the contents of the roasting pan and the reserved tomato juice.
Turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat so it bubbles gently. Cover and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and serve.
This is an amazingly vivid-colored soup, vibrant with the reds, golds and oranges of autumn and Mabon and it tastes delicious. Serve it with a loaf of buttery rich homemade corn bread and you have a simple, yet perfect, meal for this time of year. Enjoy and rejoice in the impending arrival of the Great Harvest and the autumnal equinox.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Apple is one of the nine sacred woods of the sabbat fire in which it symbolizes love. Apples are a common ingredient in Pagan ritual and spellwork. Slice an apple in half across its middle and what will you find? The seeds laid out in the shape of the pentagram. Apples are given as offerings to the dead at Samhain to aid them in the process of rebirth. And the game of bobbing for apples at Halloween was first played in ancient times: if you were lucky enough to win, it meant that you would be blessed by the Goddess for a full year.
Apples bring prosperity and the good life and are believed to be good for the digestion.
The apple tree is ruled by Venus and the goddess and its energy is feminine. Apple vibrates to the elements of both air and water. Besides being used for prosperity and a healthy tummy, apples can be used to attract a lover, to cross over into the faery realm and to foster strength and protection.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Scott's books were the very first ones I read when beginning my spiritual path in Wicca and pagan worship, and to this day I still refer to them on a regular basis. His herbal dictionary is indispensable and his incense and oils encyclopedia is also something I could not live without. It's such a shame that such a powerful voice and a gentle, thorough teacher was gone so soon from this plane.
Cuuningham's Book of Shadows: The Path of an American Traditionalist, published by Llewellyn Books, 288 pages, ISBN-13: 9780738719146 is due in stores on October 1, 2009.