Monthly Archives: January 2011

Imbolc Altar and my Book of Shadows……

Merry Meet my friends!  Hope you all have had a wonderful weekend.  Imbolc is just a few days away.  As I have posted here, I have been busy with my cleaning and organizing and getting ready to invite the Celtic Goddess Brighid into our home and to celebrate the coming of Spring.  Monday, I will do the more “everyday” cleaning like dusting and sweeping and wiping down bathrooms etc.  Tuesday I will smudge the house good.  Wednesday..Imbolc..which is also the New Moon by the way….I will spend time celebrating with my family.  That night I will be doing a ritual and lighting candles all over the house..and throwing open the doors to invite Brighid and all the good that Her coming brings. 

When I posted about Imbolc on a previous blog post, I wrote all the correspondences for this Sabbat.  When I put together my altar..I kept those in mind of course.  My altar cloth was a simple white cotton cloth.  I threw a green scarf across it to represent Brighid’s Mantle.  I then put all the tools that are always on my altar, my athame, wand, cauldron, elemental representative of candle, incense, salt and blessed water.  My pentacle tile and statues of Gaia and Greenman which are definitely appropriate for Imbolc. 

I then added my Goddess/God candles..red and my Fire candle is also red.  I place crystals of  Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, onyx, moonstone, and red jasper. I have a gorgeous cherry quartz point in the center of my candles.   I have a bit of sunflower seeds and some healing herbs there as well.   I have a printed picture of Brighid in her Maiden aspect..beautiful as I picture her.  A poetry book to represent her being the Goddess of poetry.  Silver candlesticks and celtic symbol to represent her being the Goddess of smithcraft and honoring her being Celtic (as am I!).  My potted daffodils and   cakes and ale will be added when I’m ready to work at my alter.  I’m making the Lemon Poppyseed Bread I posted here..and I’m going to have spiced wine to drink.  I also have added 7 tealight candles in red and white…those are for  one of the rituals I’ll be doing Imbolc night…along with some special sisters of mine.  I look forward to working at this beautiful altar which I find magickal and beautiful. 🙂 After looking at this, I realize I forgot my lamb statue..I’ll add that in also..remember Imbolc means  ewe’s milk. 

I have been spending time when I can adding to my Book of Shadows…it seems to be a never ending process.  I am always adding information from books I’m reading, or from my facebook friends or from groups I belong to on facebook, and from the internet.  I DO use my computer to make up my pages.  Now I know that can be a controversy…many will say it should be all handwritten.  But my BOS is a very beautiful, fairly expensive book..and I have terrible handwriting…I want not only for me to easily read what is there..but I plan on passing down this book to my children and grandchildren and  I want them to be able to read it as well.  I love being able to change the fonts, the print size, add pics and flourishes.  There is some of my handwriting in the book..I make notations, add info etc in my own hand. 

Here is my BOS and a few examples of some of my favorite pages………

These are just a few of the pages I’ve done….I am getting more creative as I go along 🙂

When I look at my altar and my Book of Shadows…I feel so much pride and inspiration.  I try to live my life everyday in a way that speaks to my soul, that makes me happy, that honors the Divine, Mother Earth, the Elements.  I am proud of my path! Being a Witch, discovering my true self…has been Goddess sent…I am soo blessed to have the joy of all that this path I’m on entails.  I know so many of you know exactly how I feel.  When my day isnt’ the best day, or my mood is poor, or I feel overwhelmed,  all I have to do is have a sit at my altar, or go outside.  Light a candle, or grab a crystal.  I can read one of any beautiful inspiring quotes or poems in my BOS or just connect with the Goddess by sitting quiet and listening for Her message.  And then there’s the Moon! Ahh the Moon…how wonderful that we are so aware of Her mysteries, Her energy, Her power.  How wonderful to be a Witch!

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Book of Shadows, Goddess, Imbolc, Photography, Spring

Day 7…My Pantry….

Merry Meet my friends.  Hope this Thor’s Day finds you safe and warm and happy!  If you are in the East of the USA I know you are getting walloped with snow and have been for a few days.  We still have snow on the ground but you can see grass peaking thru now…however we have fresh snow coming this evening, but only about an inch or so.  Our weather hasn’t been too bad as far as being cold, but it has been very gloomy..no sunshine for a few days.  Though I love Winter, I love it more when the sun is shining! 🙂

So, today was a stay at home day for me.  I took advantage of it to get my pantry cleaned and organized…Day 7 of my 14 days of cleaning.  My pantry is lovely.  Its a nice size with great shelves and a pegboard but I haven’t given it a good cleaning for a while now.  So I rolled up my sleeves, put on some great witchy music (more about that later) and boogied my way into that little closet and got busy.  I had picked up some storage containers in pretty colors and they came in very handy as well.  So here are the before and afters……

Before……

After……………..

Before………

After…………….

Before………..

After………………

Big improvement!  Now this job took me about 2 hours really…but that was because I went thru every can and box etc checking expiration dates..you would be surprised how old stuff creeps to the back of the canned goods LOL.  It also took me a little time to decide what I wanted on what shelf…but I’m very happy with the outcome.  Good thing the trash pick up is tomorrow as well…4 bags of trash!  I also have a dozen or so items to go to Goodwill and a couple of things I’m passing on to others.  So….another day of cleaning done and I still have the evening to enjoy reading, crocheting, relaxing…while feeling that I got something BIG accomplished.

Now as I had said earlier, I put on my “Witchy” music while I was working.  I have an Ipod and I have a playlist that is nothing but music that I feel inspires me, or is actually sung by Pagans/Witches or by artist I think MIGHT be witchy! 😉  Some of these artists are Inkubus Sukkubus (one of my favs), Loreena McKennitt (Another favorite), Enya, Evanescense, Within Temptation, Wendy Rule, Kelliana (who I just discoverd and love) Jenna Greene (Hi Jenna!), Lisa Thiel, SJ Tucker, Celia, …and some instrumental music.  Of course the soundtrack to Practical Magic and some Stevie Nicks as well!!  There is Nightwish, Blackmore’s Night.  I am always looking for more, so if you love someone I’ve missed..please let me know!  There are others on my list I can’t think of right now as well I’m sure.  I love the pretty music and I love the music that makes me get up and dance!!  The more upbeat the better when I’m cleaning too.

So tomorrow, I’m going to tackle something simple as I won’t be home part of the day.  Oh yes, I also redecorated  our guest bathroom just for fun.  My hubby has kind of taken over it, so I “manned” it up a little bit for him 😀   Got rid of the flowered shower curtain..brought in earthier colors…he’s going to be very surprised! 

I am planning on picking up a potted bulb flower ..hopefully a daffodil or tulip in yellow.  My Imbolc altar is finished other then that..and of course the “cakes and ale” which always comes to the altar the day of.  I will post pics and talk a bit about why I chose what I did to place on it.  Imbolc, in case you didn’t  know yet, is also the New Moon…so the magick will be strong.  I wish you all a wonderful evening..Be safe, stay warm.  May the Goddess wrap Her arms around you in love and may you feel the comfort She brings.  Curl up with a blanket, a fire, a good book..relax!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Cleaning & Organizing, Music, My Favorite Things, Photography

Day 4…..more cleaning!

Good evening lovelies!  I had a nice day today…very busy and productive as well.  I had some errands to run this morning and I hit Target and got new bright green storage containers and some new olive oil/vegetable oil bottles for my stovetop.  I bought fresh oils…organic of course..and filled them and they look great!  The storage containers will be used in different areas..some I used today, the rest will be used in my linen closet when I get to it.  I sure hope you all aren’t getting bored with my cleaning posts.  Blogging about it and posting pics is part of the program my daughter is doing and I want to do it as well..and its sooooo motivating for me seeing the before and afters pics. 

So today, all my work was in my kitchen. I had planned to do under my sink and a drawer but ended up doing quite a bit more..took me about 40 minutes maybe.  So here are the pics..they speak for themselves.

After….

Before……

After……

Before…..under kitchen sink….

After……

Before……medicine drawer…..

After……

Before…..baking drawer….

After……….

I actually did my dishtowel drawer and a cupboard where I keep my teas, seasonings etc…but didn’t take pics so as not to bore everybody…so I was pretty productive today.  I also wiped down the fronts of all the cabinets and of course wiped them all out.  As I said, this took me about 45 minutes..and I just love opening the drawers and seeing how great everything looks.  I’ve never had super messy drawers and I’m pretty good about cleaning them out..here and there…but doing this project has been great and getting so much done at once is great!  I’ll be so ready for Imbolc very soon! 🙂

I have to show this pic as well…this is my kitty Jasper…now you will have met both of my beautiful fur babies…..

We adopted Jasper from a humane society about 6 1/2 years ago…Harley and Jasper are good friends, play hard at night, and love to hang out in my altar room when I’m working there..which I love!  They also love to stay close to us and they lay on my daughter Sara’s bed with her very often..which she loves.  I love dogs too though we have lost both of our dogs now..at the age of 15 and 13.  But I have to admit that I feel such an affinity with cats..and I’d have more if my hubby would let me 🙂  I’m working on that! LOL

Today I recieved another witchy book in the mail I had ordered recently…Doreen Valiente’s “An ABC of Witchcraft”…I have not read any of her books yet and I’m anxious to dive into it!  I had to buy it used..but its in great shape..has that good old book smell! 🙂  One of the things I’m going to be adding to my blog is book reviews.  As I finish a book, witchy or otherwise, I’ll talk about it here.  (Thanks for the idea Owl and Tracy!) I think one of the things that all witches and pagans have in common…is that we all love to read and learn.  We all love books and knowledge.   If you quit reading and learning, or think you “know” it all and don’t need to read anymore..well, in my opinion, you stop growing.  So I plan on reading as long as there are books out there I haven’t read! LOL

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Thanks for putting up with my cleaning pictures…I won’t post them everyday…I promise!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Cleaning & Organizing, Photography, Quote

Days 2 & 3 Cleaning & some of my books………

Merry Meet everybody!  Hope that you have all had a nice weekend.  It is VERY cold here…negative chill factors, high of 15* but it’s been sunny and I have been enjoying seeing the Moon Goddess the last few nights.  Yesterday I worked on my Book of Shadows and my sister was here and helped Sara work on hers as well.  I love working on it, seeing all the information I’ve collected for years coming together to make something I not only will enjoy having and using, but can pass down to my daughters and grandchildren.  Soon I’ll post a few pics here and talk about how I have gone about doing my BOS.  Today, my hubby and I had breakfast out, bought stone tile to redo our shower, grocery and then home for football and hanging by the fire.

Yesterday, I was having so much fun working on my BOS I did not get any of my 14 days of cleaning and organizing done.  So today I did double duty! 🙂 I started with a kitchen cabinet that had everything from recipe boxes to supplies for making my herbal remedies.  Here’s the before pic……

Sorry about the blurriness..not sure why.  This was fairly easy to clean up..but where was I going to put my herbal supplies?  Here’s what it looked like after….

LOL  this is my kitty Harley..a stray that came to our back door about 6 years ago..and stayed 🙂  She thinks it looks good.  I have room for more stuff now!  I took all of the herbal remedy supplies and put them in the space in another cabinet I had cleared some time ago for that purpose..looks like this:

Hummm got room for more supplies too 🙂  Next I cleaned out a drawer in my parlor coffee table..I had to find some place to put all the pretty papers I use in my BOS, and my granddaughter Lily’s coloring books and crayons.  Before:

Afterwards:

Ok..these were all pretty simple.  Now, I was on a roll so I tackled our entertainment center in the parlor.  This cabinet has our tv and other components, but it has these great hidden shelves where I keep my printer, printer paper, and lately..I have been shoving my witchy books in there too..the ones I’m studying from, the ones that are new and I haven’t read yet, and the ones that I refer to often.  Here’s the cabinet before..its bad  LOL..

I am almost embarassed to show that…really bad.  But I worked on it and came up with the idea of doing away with the CD racks on the 2 shelves on the left and turned them into flat shelves that would pull out….Perfect for holding my printer and easy access.  Here is the after:

I am sooo pleased with this job.  Before I go on to talking about my books a bit..if I know all you witches out there..you want to see what books I have..Right?  LOL  I am that way, always scouring peoples bookshelves..even the ones in pictures.   Anyway, this 14 days of cleaning is coinciding with my daughter Kate’s blog and I wanted to participate …but I am reaping so many benefits from it.  A feeling of accomplishment, drawers and cupboards I don’t mind if somebody looks into..and I’m getting my house in order for Imbolc cleaning!  I also am getting rid of junk!  Taking things out of here that aren’t needed, used, loved..well its a good thing.  I take them to goodwill where it becomes someone elses treasured find!  It really only takes a few minutes to do this…a drawer or two, a cupboard, a closet…and by the end of 2 weeks..I am going to throw open everything, give it a good smudge, and I am ready for Imbolc! 🙂  You should think about doing it too..you won’t be sorry.

Ok..here are some pics of my books:

What do you think?  Pretty good books huh!  I can’t wait to read all of the ones I haven’t yet.  This is not all of them either..I have two shelves full in my bedroom as well…ones I have read..well mostly!  These are more of the newer ones I’ve gotten recently or the ones I’m studying from..like the runes and the tarot books.  I love when I get a new pagan book or discover a new author and I often ask the question on my facebook page..what are you reading?  To get great ideas for books I need to read.  I keep a list in a notebook and refer to it often.  I also visit our half price bookstore for some on my list at great prices.  I have always loved to read, but I especially love to read while I’m LEARNING!!  Its just the best thing ever!

So after all my great cleaning and cooking and busyness today..I’m going to curl up by the fire with one of these books……and read.

Blessings and light, Autumn

*Sorry about all the pics but I’m working on learning how great my new camera is too…LOL

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Cleaning & Organizing, Imbolc

A Big Thank You!……

I just had to do a quick post to thank my readers soooo much.  I have exactly 5000 hits on my blog just now!  What a wonderful thing!  I also now have 61 subscribers.  I am sooo appreciative and excited that what I write is getting read by someone! 🙂  It’s encouraging and helps me to keep writing, to keep exploring, to keep researching about what I write.

Thank you again and Blessings to you all! Autumn

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Day One of 14 Days of Organization…….

Merry Meet friends!  Today the sun came out and the skies cleared up and the snow is shimmering..it’s just a beautiful day but very very cold!  Tonight I should be able to finally see the Wolf Moon just in time before she starts waning.  I’m so glad!  I could really use the connection and seeing her makes it so much better! 🙂 

My daughter Kate writes two blogs..both of which are linked to my blog.  Just Chasing Moonbeams is her witchy blog, Living the Vintage Life is her non-witchy blog…you know……muggle friendly! 🙂  On her Vintage Life she has started a wonderful idea….of organizing your home in 14 days.  Here is the link so you can read about it………

http://livingthevintagelife.wordpress.com/

I have decided to participate..basically you clean out drawers, cupboards, closets, bookshelves ..whatever needs done.  You take before pics of your daily project..then  pitch what needs to be pitched, give away what you don’t want, and organize what you keep.  You should pick one closet, a couple of drawers or a cupboard or two each day.  Then take an after picture to show how great it looks!  I love this idea…makes me look forward to seeing the great results. AND…it helps me to get ready for Imbolc!  Imbolc is all about cleaning and getting rid of the old junky stuff!   Be brutal in what you get rid of…if it isn’t useful anymore, or you haven’t used it or worn it in a year..its time for it to go!! 

So today I decided to clean out the 3 drawers in my foyer dresser.  Now this took me all of 15 minutes…I pulled a trash can right up to me, pulled out the sweeper to sweep out the crumbs and got busy.  Here are the before and afters for each drawer……

Drawer #2

Drawer #3

Looks great doesnt’ it??   I decided that as that had gone so fast I would do one more quick thing…right around the corner, a cupboard that was a real mess..had everything from river rocks to soap making supplies…time to clean it up!

There….much better!  I need to get a small plastic basket to put the oils for the soap making supplies into…and a long flat basket to put my taper candles in…but otherwise, I’m happy with my work.  I took me about 20 minutes in all…easy peasy.  Humm ..wonder what to do tomorrow??  I’ll be back and continue to shoe my progress!

If you want to follow along, feel free.  Take your own pics and past them into a spiral notebook or post them on your corkboard or refrigerator.  It’ll inspire you to keep going!  Happy Cleaning! 

*I apologize for the small pics….but the bigger ones didnt’ fit on the page!  LOL  Get out your magnifying glass! 🙂

Blessings, Autumn

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Home Protection…..

Greetings my friends!  I hope this Wolf Full Moon time has been magickal for you and that She continues to shine her energy on you.  I have not been able to see Her unfortunately…we have had heavy cloud cover, fog and about 5-6 inches of snow so far today.  The snow is beautiful but has made for some slippery roads, busy grocery stores, sore backs from shoveling and smoke coming out of many chimneys.  I stepped outside earlier for a moment and the smell was incredible from the wood smoke and the sharp cold.  A beautiful snowy night despite the fact the Full Moon Goddess is hidden from my sight.  Though I can’t see Her I can feel Her incredible energy and after having a tough couple of days, her magick is most appreciated by me!

On my facebook page today I asked the question..Do you have protection established around your home to protect you and your loved ones.  As per usual, my wonderful, amazing, smart and funny friends came through with many responses.  In general they DO have protection set up.  Everything from rosemary in their garden…to a broom over their doorway….to a witches bottle buried at their front door.  I learned about cutting an apple so the natural pentacle shows and burying them in your garden beds.  I learned about something called bindrunes which I’ve never heard of and am waitingly anxiously to hear about them.  I had friends who of course smudge , place crystals and/or salt in the corners of their house or property, have a pentacle on their front door, and use blessing oil on their doorways and windowsills.  

Putting protection spells on our homes is easy and smart. There are spells to protect from intruders and storms.  We can also protect ourselves from negative vibes sent our way, those who may put a dark spell on us, psychic vampires and the like.  There are many simple spells and rituals that can be done so I thought I’d post a few of my favorites for you. 

This first one is so easy and basic.  Choose your item carefully!

Home Protection Talisman Spell

  Make or buy an item to display in your home that you can charge with protective energy. This could be a wreath, ornamental plaque, a painting or statue.. anything you can display. Before you hang it or put it in view, place the item in a circle of salt. Sprinkle the salt clockwise as you say:

 Salt of earth, Guard this home,

While I’m here, or when I roam

Keep it safe, and all within

For good of all, this bond begins

By my will, with harm to none

By Earth power, this spell is done!

 *Not sure where I got this but it’s very possible it’s from Ellen Dugan…the charm sounds much like her. 🙂

Think about what you would want to use.  A statue, a piece of china or pottery, a painting, a candle holder.  I can picture using a statue of a faery, a dragon, a large crystal point.  You could use something from nature like a river rock, a large bird’s feather, a sea shell.  Use something that you will love to display.

Another talisman spell I like to use is making up a charm bag that you will literally hang over a doorway.  I think this one is really fun because of all the things you can gather for it.  Use what has meaning for you…what item means protection to YOU!

 Home Protection Talisman For When You’re Away From Home.

To make this talisman, choose at least 3 of the following dried herbs and place them in a charm bag that is white or gold.

Nettles                         Oak Bark                   Bay

    Anise                           Basil                           Linden

   Pennyroyal                 Valerian                      Wormwood

        Broom                         Angelica                      Yarrow

       Calamus                       Hazel                          Hawthorn

      Mistletoe                      Myrrh                         Thistle

      Meadowsweet             Garlic                          Flax

      Clove                           Cumin                          Frankincense

       Cinquefoil                    Black Pepper

Then add any amount of any of these stones….

Gold Pyrite                Malachite                     Cat’s Eye

   Tiger’s Eye                 Topaz                          Amber

    Mica                            Quartz Crystal            Red Zircon

      Flint                            Beryl                          Bloodstone

    Tie up the bag and with a permanent marker, make 3 large X figures and place the talisman over a main entry point of your home.  Then spell it with the following words of power! 

This dwelling is never empty,

Though I be not at home;

I leave behind a talisman

to protect it while I roam.

No intruder great or small

May gain entry past this line;

Protected, sealed, and warded,

     By my will, safety be mine

   I finish this charm with harm to none;

    By herb and stone, this spell is done!

 

 

Some other things that you can use for protection is a protection oil…you can use it to anoint your doorways and windowsills.  I like to draw a pentagram with it!

 

Protection Oil

 4 drops Patchouli

 3 drops Lavender

 1 drop Mugwort

  1 drop Hyssop

*You will add this to 1/8 cup of a base oil like olive, almond, jojoba..whatever you like.

Another simple way to protect your home is to put salt around the outside of your house, lay it in your windowsills, place it inside your house in the outside corners.  Now if you are a very picky house keeper, you might want to keep it outside.  Also a word of warning here…be sure that anything you have laying around is safe for your pets…you don’t want them to get sick from eating salt or some herb they shouldn’t.  That would not be good.

For me the ultimate protection is the Witches Bottle…. this is also one of the most fun things to do!  Remember in the movie Practical Magic when Sally (Sandra Bullock) goes around and collects her magickal items needed for her perfect love?  Gathering the items for your witches bottle?  Yes, it feels like that! 🙂  I feel very “witchy” doing it LOL..but it IS serious business too.  You really want to be sure, each step of the way, to put your full intention into the items and the ritual.  I put my bottle together on a Full Moon night for the added strength and I renew it at least once a year…

 

 Witch’s Protection Bottle

You will be burying this bottle in the ground at your front door.

Gather items needed:                                                   

-A Sturdy, clean, wide-mouthed bottle or jar with a tight lid.
-Soil or sand from the area surrounding your home.
-Something sparkly or shining like small tumbled crystals, beads, sea glass

-A rusty bent nail.
-A piece of broken glass
-Dried herbs

*Mint, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme
-A new penny or other coin
-Some loose hair from any pets in your home
-A piece of hair from every person in the home

-A magickal spell candle
   

Find the appropriate spot in your yard to bury the bottle. Work on the night of a Full Moon at the height of the Full Moon,  or on the Full Moon right before Summer Solstice. Have all your items with you and a shovel. Use salt to purify the space.

 Cast a circle around your working area.  Light your working candle while you do your work. Dig the hole in the earth, try to keep the top sod in good shape to replace over the hole. Sprinkle with salt. Ground and Center.   When ready, say these words:

With the Goddess and God working for and through me
according to free will and for the good of all.
I now fill this bottle.

As you say the next part, actually add the items that you are naming as you go.  Take your time putting your intention into each item you place.

 

 
 

Earth anchors this magick in the ground.
This rusty nail, bent, now repels anything and anyone negative or life-denying.
The sparkling, shiny small pieces of crystals hold the light for me and my deities.
A broken piece of glass to deflect harm to anyone it is intended for.
These herbs infuse the bottle with their living properties…

 

 Mint for money and protection
Parsley for protection
Sage for wisdom and protection
Rosemary for love, healing, and health
Thyme for health, love, and courage.
This new penny manifests abundance in my home.
 Hair from my beloved pets to protect them.
Hair from my loved ones who dwell here, to protect and draw away negativity.

 

This home is divinely protected and effectively safe.
Nothing and no one can enter without my permission
Only those people and beings through whom the Goddess and God work
Can stay here, can visit, can touch this place.
 

Only Positive Magick lives in this place
In safety, protection, abundance, love, and joy
According to free will and for the good of all!

Start to bury the bottle, and replace the sod you dug up before hand and then say:

 

I now bury this bottle
It is invisible to all but me
And its magick continues
And so mote it be!

     By the time you have finished this spell, the bottle should be buried. Cover with leaves or something appropriate to make it truly invisible. Under the ground, it will continue to work until you choose to remove it. If you leave that area, it is best to dig up the bottle. Then perform this again at your next residence.

If you’re like me, your home is your sanctuary, your blessed space, where the people and fur babies you love the most of all, dwell.  You are the most comfortable, the most loved, the most ..YOU…when you are there.  Of course you want to do all you can to protect it and those who live there with you.  I wish for all of you a safe 2011 and all the Blessings that Goddess can bestow!

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Full Moons, Goddess, Herbs, Oil Blend Recipe, Protection, Ritual, Spells