Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Versatile Blogger Award….for me??….:)

Merry Meet friends.  I have had a wonderful thing happen to me….My friend Melissa at Melissa’s Meanderings wordpress blog has passed on a Versatile Blogger Award to me and I’m quite thrilled and flattered!  Its my first blogger award and I can’t tell you how excited I am!  Thanks so much Melissa!!

Now my understanding is that there are some rules involved once you receive this award..so I’m going to follow those rules right now.   The first thing you do is thank the person who awarded it to you which I’ve done on her blog and mine.  Then you post  7 things about yourself….then you pass it forward to 7 bloggers that you feel deserve the award as well!  So here goes with the  things about me….hummmm..not easy to do.

-I am a registered nurse who used to take care of sick or disabled children in their own homes..as a home care nurse.  I went to school to become a nurse after a terrible car accident my own family had.  My then 6 year old daugther Sara was paralyzed in the accident and I found that I had a natural talent in taking care of her.  So I went to nursing school while she was cared for by nurses in my own home….and I went out to help others.  I am retired now and just care for my own daughter, but the lessons I learned were invaluable.

-I have done a lot of geneology on my family and have discovered so many wonderful things about my mostly Irish family.  I also have some Cherokee thrown in for good measure.

-I love cemetaries!  I love to walk around them, wondering about the people who are there and what their lives were like.  The peacefulness I find there.  My favorite is Woodland Cemetary in Dayton Ohio. 

-I love to read and have read since about 1st grade when my grandmother, who was a 2nd grade school teacher for 50 years, passed on her love of reading to me.  I will read just about anything!

-I always wanted to be a writer but never felt I was creative enough to come up with the idea for a book.  My blog has helped me to realize that dream a bit..and who knows, I’m still young enough! LOL..I also have journaled for about 20 years.  I find keeping a record of my life helps me to be grateful for what the goddess/gods bring my way.  I have learned that despite some hardships in my life, I am most blessed.  I am happy that someday my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have those journals so they feel they know me.  Wish I had that from my grandparents.

-As you can see here, I also like to teach what I have learned..maybe I should have been a teacher instead of a nurse?  I think that I learn better from helping others with what I have learned and what I know.  I am very much enjoying to bring out my “green” witch more and learning to be a healer and a herbalist..perhaps its the nurse in me that is wanting to do that.  Knowing there is so much here that Mother Earth has left for us to take care of our health naturally..well its a amazing.

-I am really getting into photography lately…find myself taking pics of all kinds of things…and I have shared many of those pics here and will continue to do so.  Sometimes I feel like I have too many irons in the fire so to speak…hobbies that I love, plus keeping up with my Book of Shadows, a business idea I have, my family, my home and all those wonderful things that keep a witch busy!  But I love it and revel in it and I’m one happy witch!

Ok….thats a bit more about me…

Now the 6 bloggers I’ll pass it on to are……

* Unifaith Daily

*Bringing up Salamanders

*Rue and Hyssop

*The Keeper’s Path

*Wandering a Wise Woman Path

*Groggy Froggy

*Tarot Mom

-Living the Vintage Life (of course..its my daughters excellent blog)

I will notify these bloggers tomorrow so they can come and get their award!

This has been a lot of fun and thanks again Melissa for thinking of me!

If you don’t have a blog, start one!  If you have one I don’t know about..please tell me!  You will enjoy it!  And for the bloggers I picked for the award…I really enjoy your blogs and keep up the good work!

Blessings and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Award, Thank You!

Countdown to Beltane……..

Merry Meet again my friends!  As March is almost over and April looms…my thoughts turn to Beltane…another Spring festival….festival of fire and love and lust and fun!  Beltane..always on May 1st is  known also as Bealtaine, May Day, and Walpurgisnacht, which means “Night of the Witches.”  It is the festival of passion, one of the two greatest Sabbats in the Pagan year, second only to Samhain, which lies directly opposite it on the Wheel.  Beltane (named for Bel, the Celtic Sun God) was traditionally begun on the eve of April 30, when great bonfires were lit using bundles of nine different woods sacred to the Druids ( Birch, Oak, Hazel, Rowan, Hawthorne, Willow, Fir, Apple and Vine)  These fires had healing properties; herds of cattle were driven between them and people would jump through the flames to ensure purity and protection.

Beltane is  a celebration of sexuality and fertility.  Ancient Pagan traditions say that Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desires the Goddess.  They fall in love, lie together on the greening earth, and unite.  The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God.  A Maypole was set up and was the focal point of the old English village rituals. The Maypole is an ancient symbol of the Great Rite, the sexual union of the God and the Goddess, celebrated by lovers everywhere on May eve.  

The villagers  would rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and branches to decorate their homes.  Women traditionally would braid flowers int0 their hair.  Men and women alike would decorate their bodies.  Young people would spend the entire night in the woods “A-Maying”, and then dance around the Maypole the next morning.  Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night. All night trysts in the forests between young lovers, called “greenwood marriages,” were common magickal practice and children conceived of these arrangements were known as “merry-begets,” and were considered children of the gods. I told you it was a fun and lusty Sabbat! 🙂

There are so many ways to celebrate Beltane.  May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.  Collect overnight dew and wake before Sunrise to wash your face with it to ensure beauty in the coming year. Make May baskets…a small basket, jar or paper cone filled with Spring flowers…to put on your family, friends. or neighbors front doors.  Knock and run away so they don’t know who left it!  Celebrate this Sabbat with bright, fresh colors, especially red and white, considered traditional for the ribbons of the Maypole.  A tall straight, branchless tree or a flagpole, as many ribbons as there are dancers, bells at your wrists and heels, and merry music….. weave the May!  Make a mini Maypole for your altar.  Build your own Beltane fire of nine different woods, then leap over it to purify and cleanse yourself of unwanted things. (Be careful!)   Or create a smaller blaze and write what you wish to eliminate on colorful ribbons of paper, then burn them to ash in the flames.  Your cauldron or fireplace would be great for this! Take an early morning walk through a local park or woods.  Gather up some plants or flowers to display in your home.  Make flower crowns for the ladies and wear them thruout the day! Make a great feast…Make love…drink May wine….Eat, drink and be Merry!!

Beltane Correspondence

*Element/Gender-Air/male

*Threshold-Dawn

 *Symbolism-Sacred marriage of the Lord and Lady, arrival of the Tuatha de Dannan in Ireland, Fertility festival, 1st day of the light half of the year.

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations-Maypole and ribbons, flower crowns, fires, bowers, fields, May baskets, white flowers and red ribbons, daisy chain, white wine in clear crystal glass, chalice, seasonal fruit

 *Herbs-Almond, angelica, hawthorn, hibiscus, ash tree, bluebells, cinquefoil, daisy, frankincense,  ivy, lilac, marigold, meadowsweet, primrose, roses, woodruff, yarrow.

 *Incense/Oils-Passion flower, frankincense, tuberose, vanilla, lilac, rose.

*Colors-Red & white (symbolizing the God and Goddess), dark green, dark yellow, blue, rainbow, pastels, all colors.

 *Crystals/Stones-Emerald, orange carnelian, sapphire, rose quartz, lazuli, bloodstone

 *Customs/Activities-Maypole, dancing, bonfires, mating, picking flowers, flower (May) baskets,  feasting, drinking and music, walks in nature, moving herds to pasture.

*Foods-Dairy, honey, oats, red fruits, herbal salads, red/pink wine, punch, large round oatmeal cakes, sweets.

 *Gods-May King, Jack in the Green, Herne, Green Man, Bel, Gods of the Hunt

 *Goddesses-May Queen, Flora, Aphrodite, Flower Goddesses, Lady of the Greenwood,  Goddesses of the Hunt

*Spellwork/Rituals-The Great Rite, love, romance, fertility, elf and faery power, offerings to Elementals, crop blessings, divination, re-lighting sacred fires.

This correspondence information will help you to decorate your altar and your home.  It will help you to know what foods to prepare for your feast, what goddess/god to invite to your circle, what spellwork/ritual you can do…but most of all….this Sabbat is about having fun, being outside, celebrating Love!   Remember the saying “In Spring all young men’s thoughts turn to love”?  Remember prom night?  Remember your wedding night?   Ahhhhh….now you are getting the picture!  Let loose..no matter whether young in age or young at heart!  Dance around your fire….let your heart soar….celebrate Spring and the coming longer and warmer days!  Be light of heart and joyful!  Beltane is a glorious Sabbat and I hope YOU enjoy it to the fullest!

“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.  For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.”
–  Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur 

Blessings and light, Autumn

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Filed under Beltane, Correspondence, Flowers, God, Goddess, History, Spring

Playing with Herbs…….

Merry Meet again my friends.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend planned.  After the amazing weekend I had last week, I’m pretty much planning on  reading, crocheting, puttering and just taking it easy.  I had so much energy this past weekend and then as the week has gone on, I’ve felt a bit drained and tired.   I bet many of you have felt that way as well.  I’m planning on making some bread and my delicious veggie soup on Sun day. I also have some new herbs I need to get put into jars and labeled. Speaking of herbs, I spent a couple of days this week making some tinctures, oils and a healing salve.  Thought I’d show you some pics and talk about it a bit here for you.

I have decided to bring out my “green” witch a bit more by really diving into learning more about herbs for medicinal purposes…not just for magickal purposes.  My daughter Kate and I have dabbled in it in the past and we are both interested in doing more then dabbling.  My friend Mossie and I (Hi Mossie!) also have decided to make potions and lotions together..though she is in Canada and I am here in Ohio..LOL! We have discussions and decide what we are going to make together.   I have been purchasing books like crazy and weeding thru what I would realistically not only make, but use on a daily basis.  I have some new favorite herbal books and I’ll talk about those in time….in my library and/or here in the blog text.  

So this week I made three tinctures, two oils and a lavender/tea tree oil antiseptic salve. I gathered my supplies and got busy. Now tinctures are very simple as I’m sure many of you know.  You can use just about any herb, I use dried, about 1-2 ozs depending on the weight of the herb.   Place the herbs in a jar that has a twist lid (I love canning jars for this), and add 100 proof vodka to fill the jar.  You can also use 80 proof and you can use Rum instead of vodka.  Rum will actually help to “sweeten” herb tinctures that will have a bitter taste like stinging nettles.  Shake the jar well to mix.  Always label your tincture with the name of it and the date.  Now just put it on a shelf for 6 weeks.  The first week I shake it every day.  After that I give it a shake every couple of days.  After 6 weeks, strain the herbs out of the tincture.  Bottle it and you are good to go. 

I made three tinctures..Valerian which will aid sleep, Yarrow which has antiseptic properties and will bring down blood pressure, and stinging nettles for my seasonal allergies.  In 6 weeks I’ll be able to start taking a dropperful every day.

I also made calendula oil and St. John’s oil….both which will be made into salves in a few weeks.  The instructions are the same as for tinctures.  You can use any kind of oil you like.  Grapeseed, virgin olive, almond, sunflower, jojoba.  For my purposes I used organic grapeseed but any of these oils will do.  The other thing I did a bit differently was that I gently warmed the oil with the herb in it to give it a good start in releasing the good stuff from the herb. 

This is the calendula…isn’t that pretty?  and it smelled wonderful!  When the oils are ready, I’ll show how to make the salves from that oil here on my blog. Here is my finished jars.  So now I’ll just be shaking them and opening them to smell them etc.  You may need to add more vodka or more oil if necessary. I’m pleased with my work! 🙂

Today my daughter Kate and I made our lavender/tea tree antiseptic salve.  This salve is good for anything going on with your skin..from dry red skin to minor cuts and scratches.  Good stuff..we use it alot and it smells great!

For this recipe I used about 1 1/2 cups of jojoba oil, 2-3 ozs of beeswax beads, 20 drops of tea tree oil, 50 drops of lavender oil, and a 1/2 tsp of vitamin E oil. Now you can use another oil like peppermint or wintergreen instead of lavender if you’d like, but the tea tree oil must stay.  You can adjust also how much of each you put in the mix…make it smell the way YOU like it!  Gently warm the oil and the beeswax until the beeswax melts.

Drop in the essential oils and vitamin E oil and stir well.  Pour quickly into clean dry jars before it sets up again.  This is my beautiful daughter Kate doing just that.  (and yes, she is carrying my grandson Charlie Matthew who will be here in about 9 weeks!)  Can’t wait! 🙂

It only took about 20 minutes for it to set up then.  Be sure and label and date the jars.  With the tea tree oil being an antiseptic, this salve lasts a long time.  But it won’t because you will find lots of uses for it! It’s great on diaper rash too! 🙂  I keep the ingredients to make this in my home at all times. 

If you haven’t worked with herbs before…these are some of the easiest ways to start.  Be sure to learn what the herbs will DO for your body and be sure always that they don’t interfere with any prescription medicines you’re taking and that your doctor knows you’re taking them.  I hope to use these remedies to REPLACE prescription meds eventually.  There are so many great videos on youtube, online herbal classes etc to help you get started.  Your local herb shop or health food store will also be a great place to find what you’re looking for and to get valuable information.  And Books…there are so many books about just this thing.  Here is some of my favorites…..

-The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey

-The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood

-Judes Herbal Home Remedies by Jude C. Todd

-The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by James Green

-The Herbal Home Remedy Book by Joyce Wardwell

-The Wild & Weedy Apothecary by Doreen Shababy

-Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar

and anything by Susun Weed

I’ll be talking alot more about herbs and remedies as my dabbling turns into serious learning.  I have even signed up for an online course..though basic..it’ll be a great place to start.  To give me a good foundation to move on to possibly becoming a Master Herbalist.  For now, I’m a green witch..still learning and enjoying the process!  Anybody care to join me? 

“We have finally started to notice that there is real curative value in local herbs and remedies. In fact, we are also becoming aware that there are little or no side effects to most natural remedies, and that they are often more effective than Western medicine.”
Anne Wilson Schaef

Blessings and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Daughters, Discussion, Family, Herbal remedy, Herbs, Photography, Quote

Blessed Ostara and Blessed Supermoon……..

Merry Meet my friends.  Wow, did you see the SuperMoon last night?  She was amazing!  Came up red/orange..then orange..then yellow and then bright and light!  The energy coming from Her was amazing and I spent as much time as I could out with Her.  It was actually quite cold here and my hands were freezing but my soul and heart were soaring from the beauty and energy.  My windchimes were softly singing, coyotes howling, stars twinkling and it was a most magickal night.  I hope that you all experienced Her as well.  She is there for us….all you have to do is connect!

Today is the first day of Spring!  A time for growth and renewal.  The Earth is alive again!  Grass is greening, trees budding, flower shoots poking up, critters scurrying again and our hearts are singing and feel lighter as the Sun makes our days longer and warmer.  I hear mowers running again and motorcycles on the road and people are leaving their coats at home and opting for light jackets.  The garden centers are open, my herb seeds are planted, and thoughts turn to being outside.  There is even a smell in the air….green and earthy.  Ahhh Spring!

“In the Spring, at the end of the day, You should smell like dirt!”

                                             –  Margaret Atwood

LOL  I love this quote.  How wonderful to smell like dirt! 🙂  That means that you have put in a good days work…in your gardens or pots, growing your herbs, flowers, veggies or weeding.  The best way to truly connect with Mother Earth is too work in her rich soil, getting dirty, sweaty, your muscles aching…..then sitting back and looking at your handiwork and knowing that your hard work will reap beautiful rewards.  Have you planned your garden or pots?  I know my garden books and magazines are being perused greatly..and the internet is of course a wonderful way to research as well. 

Things to do for Spring?  Oh there is so much you can do!

-Have a picnic on a warmer day..take wine, cheese, fruit, bread…its all you need…oh and take someone you love too.

-Go visit a garden center.

-Take a drive out in the country with your windows open

-Visit a farm or go on a bird watch. 

-Go fishing or mushrooming or hiking or biking.

-Sit on your porch, drink a lemonade and peruse a garden book.

-Fix a delicious light meal using fresh fruits and veggies.

-Go get an ice cream cone!

-Start a new project around the house..outdoors preferably.

-Find a path and walk it!  Take your camera and start taking pics of what you see. Make a scrapbook of your photography!

Make the most of everyday my friends.  The seasons are here for us to enjoy.  To find Joy!  and Spring is here for our renewal after a long hard winter. 

The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.
~Julian Grenfell

How I wish you could come and sit with me for awhile.  I’m sure we’d have so much to talk about.  I’ll make some cookies and tea and we would just chat and enjoy the scenery.  The warm Sun, soft breezes, the feel of the earth and grass beneath our feet and the easy feel of friendship between us.  How magickal would that be?  Lovely indeed…:)

So let your hearts feel light and find a way to celebrate Spring!  Blessings of Spring to you all with Love….

Autumn

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Filed under Full Moons, Garden, Herbs, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Photography, Quote, Spring

My Ostara Altar and Ritual……..

Merry Meet everyone.  I hope that you are all well and I continue to pray for Japan and the victims of all the terrible things going on over there.  The risk of a nuclear meltdown is very real  now and I am praying it doesn’t happen…..would not be good for the entire world for that to happen.  I am doing my best to stay positive and not to let it drag me down to the point I can’t help.  If I don’t have positive energy, I can’t send it out to the Universe.

So today I am undergoing a very unpleasant day of prep for a medical test tomorrow so I am close to home.  Yes, at my age, and some history, I’m having a colonoscopy tomorrow.  Nuff said.  Ugh.  It’s raining and gloomy so I finally took the time to get my Ostara altar completed and wanted to post some pics here for you.  I am quite happy with it.

I posted the correspondences for Ostara in a previous post so I’m not going to list them again.  I think the items on my altar are pretty easy to understand why they are there, but I’ll talk a little bit about each picture.

Sorry for the pics being a little dark..but well, its raining out and I don’t have a lot of light where my altar is.  This is the left side of my altar.  As you can see, in the center is my usual working items to represent the elements..they are always there.  I have fresh cut tulips, an egg basket, lamb, chick, bunny for obvious reasons.  My little goddess my hubby gave me for Yule, cauldron where I will burn my Ostara loose incense, Gaia, and my illuminator and goddess candle.  I picked all pastel colored crystals..rose quartz, blue calcite, amethyst, citrine, green flourite..just because I love the way they look 🙂

Right side of Altar…  Greenman, god candle, my pentacle and chalice, then I have a bird house and birds nest which speak of Spring to me, A garden faery for the same reason.  Another bunny I love..looks like he’s praying to me 🙂  and my altar tools. I wanted to put some seed packs here too but I did that ritual already as I posted a couple of days ago..but that would be a great idea too! 🙂 

 

Sorry agan about the darkness…my altar cloth is pink checked by the way….very soft and Spring-like.  I used soft green and pink candles..would have loved to have added some yellow elements but I had a terrible time finding pastel colored candles this year.  Was actually told at my local craft store that nobody uses taper candles anymore! LOL..I told them I beg to differ.  Oh well, I’m happy with it and it will feel most magickal to me on Ostara night.  And I know that you all KNOW there is a Full Moon the eve of Ostara..a SuperMoon actually….so it will be a most magickal weekend!  Make the most of it!

Oh yes, I also do a simple altar on my kitchen counter for the Sabbats as well.  Here is the one for Ostara I finished today as well.  I am wanting to get a potted plant for it but the tulips worked for now. I love the sparkly stones around the candle…so pretty.  As I’m in the closet with some family members, this altar is perfectly accepted as an Easter altar 🙂  But I add the crystals which gives it the witchiness I need. 

So my altars are ready and I have decided what ritual I’ll be doing as well.  Thought I’d post another here for you all..again, I have no idea where I got this as I’ve had it for sometime.  It may have come from the internet or it may have come from a book…I’m keeping better track of those things now that I’m blogging, but I didnt’ use to unfortunately.  I love this one because it should be done outside!  A great one for the full moon and Ostara this year!

 Ostara Ritual for Outdoors

Gather the supplies you’ll need:

-Two chalices of wine or water

  -Two white candles or pastel if you’d like

  -matches or lighter

  *Two bowls are necessary if working indoors

   Arrange a small altar placing one candle to the left of the altar and one to the right.  Place the chalices next to the candles.  If working indoors put the two bowls on the floor on each side. Offer prayers of thanks to the Lord and Lady for the blessings of Ostara.  Say them out loud being thorough.  Then say:

I stand at the center and balanced be,

the change of seasons meets here in me.

From wintertime’s dark and lonely nights,

to summertime’s warm and lively light.

     

  Light both candles:

 Now at the center at Ostara am I,

not light or dark to dominate the sky;

but a time of lengthening light and day,

as we pass from balance to summer’s days.

 

Extinguish one candle to represent the balance of light and dark.

Take the chalice to your right and hold it up, saying:        

 God of the Sun and Lord of Light,

I honor your spirit in which I delight.

Pour the water or wine onto the ground to your right or into the bowl to be poured onto the ground later.  Then take the chalice to your left, hold it up and say:

 Goddess of the Earth and of the night,

I honor your spirit as the earth turns light.

 Pour the contents of this chalice on the ground to your left or into the bowl.

 Spend as much time as you’d like at your altar, speaking with your deities, meditating, praying.  When you are ready, extinguish the candle and thank the Lord and Lady.  If you performed this ritual inside, take the bowls outside and pour them on the ground as an offering to Mother Earth.

 This is a very simple and beautiful ritual that will add beauty to the Sabbat for you.  As Spring comes in…whether like a lion or a lamb…honor Mother Earth and her greening.  No matter what is going on in the world, one thing is constant.  We can count on the turning of the wheel of the year, that Spring will come again after a long, cold, snowy winter.  That trees and flowers and grass will bloom and grow, that critters will come out and bask in the Sun and gather food again, that we will shed our heavy winter clothes and head outside to our gardens, porches, picnics, and we too will re-connect with the Earth Mother.  And She will re-connect with us.  I wish you all a Blessed Full Moon and A Blessed Ostara.  May Spring bring you great joy!

Love and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Easter, Faeries, Flowers, Full Moons, Garden, Goddess, Holiday, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Photography, Ritual, Spring

Devastation and Regeneration…….

Hello my friends.  I write this with a heavy heart.  Today has been a terrible day in Japan and other places in the world affected by the 8.9 earthquake and resulting aftershocks and tsunamis. I know that you all join me in sending love, comfort and healing to the victims of this terrible tragedy.  Mother Earth is shifting and the effect is very dramatic and devastating.  There are earthquakes so often and they always seem to be  worse “someplace else”,  but we are all here on Earth together and the tragedy does indeed and should affect us All.   Many are saying that Mother Earth is angry and wreaking havoc…well that may or may not be true.  I prefer to think that She is not doing anything to hurt us or to punish us. That does not sound like the beautiful, loving Goddess I know.  I DO believe however that She has a right to be angry with us.  We have done Her great harm as a people.  Our treatment of Her has not been good for Her or the creatures,  plantlife, sealife, air we breathe, water we drink….we have done serious damage to this Earth we love so much.  Pagans feel the pain She is going thru as we have such an affinity for our Mother and want to take care of Her, Heal Her, treat Her better!  As my heart goes out to the victims of this day..my heart also goes out to our Mother Earth.  May this be a reminder to take care of Her the best we can. 

“How I do love the earth. I feel it thrill under my feet. I feel somehow as if it were conscious of my love, as if something passed into my dancing blood from it.”

                                                                                               James Russell Lowell

It is almost Spring and every witches heart is turning to thoughts of her garden….the flowers, herbs, and veggies that we will tenderly plant, and watch grow, and harvest and use in mundane and magickal ways.  Digging in the dirt, feeling it in my hands and under my feet, the rich smell, is one way to connect with the Earth Mother.  There is no way you won’t appreciate what She gives to us after planting a garden.  With that in mind, I planted my herb seeds today…to try to connect to the Earth while this terrible day unfolded.  I had shopped for my pots, soil, markers and seeds last week and the time is right to plant here in Ohio..and the Sun came out and melted the night’s snow away..put me in the mood for sure.

As you can see..I’m all set to get started.  The pots are peat pots that you can plant right in the ground or outdoor pots when your seeds are ready.  They just become part of the soil.  I bought herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, lavender, chamomile, dill, organo, cilantro/coriander, parsley, catnip…hum..just realized I didnt’ get mint yet.  I also got soapwort flowers…haven’t grown them from seeds before but thought I’d try.  The first thing you do is fill each pot with good soil to start seeds.  Mine is organic which I find necessary in my book 🙂 

As I fill the pots, I visualize the dirt as rich in nutrients and see my herbs growing big and strong because of it. As I filled mine..I got a visitor…my little Harley..who is always by my side..came to help. 🙂

After filling, I water down the pots and soil til the pots are damp.  Then comes the fun part.  I love to see the seeds, what they look like, do they have a scent? 

 I just poke my finger in the pot, drop in the seeds, press down the dirt and place a marker with the name of the herb in the pot.  Once done, give them a good watering again.  That’s it..all done.  Now place in a sunny window..water frequently and watch them grow for the next 6 weeks.  Transfer to patio pots or the ground once you get past all chance of frost. 

All done..easy peasy?   Nah….I’m a witch..there is another step.  I have to bless my seeds.  Spell them to grow as magickal and strong as they can be….for use in future spells, teas, medicinal remedies, loose incense recipes, cooking…I want them to be full strength!  I like this seed blessing for its simplicity……I found it on Llewellyn’s spell a day but changed up the words a bit to suit me. 

Seed Blessing Ritual

Spread your seed packets on your altar or kitchen table. Burn a green candle dressed with vetivert. Spend some time visualizing the beautiful garden you’ll have this year. Hold your hands over the seeds and say:

Blessed Gaia, mother of us all,

Make these plants grow strong and tall.

Herbs and Flowers sweet and bright,

 
Blessed by the Sun and pale moonlight

 I’ll tend them well as they grow

So magick will abound and flow

By my will and with harm to none

By fire and oil, this spell is done.

 Then you will go ahead and plant as I’ve described above.  I have been perusing my herbal books and buying new herbal books and am working with a friend on learning more about herbalism..even taking an online class.  I have made some herbal remedies here and there but I intend to do so much more in the future.  This is another way that I can get closer to the Earth…to plant, grow, harvest, dry, and make herbals is a great way to honor Her.  Living off the land so to speak. 

I wish you all well with your gardens this year….put all the magick you can muster up into your work and you will be blessed with an abundant garden filled with sweet smelling herbs, colorful flowers and warm from the Sun veggies.  Feel blessed in your hard work and know that you are connecting with the Divine Mother. 

“He who would have beautiful roses in his garden

must first have beautiful roses in his heart”

                          Samuel Reynolds Hole

Blessings of Love and Light, Autumn

 

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Filed under Discussion, Flowers, Garden, Granddaughter, Herbs, Mother Earth, My cats, Nature, Photography, Quote, Ritual, Spells, Spring

More Ostara Recipes……..

Merry Meet!  Hope you all are having a great weekend so far!  It has rained here for 2 solid days!  I have been able to stay inside and out of the weather.  Hanging by the warm fire, crocheting, reading, house puttering.  I had the pleasure of watching my little granddaughter Lily last night while her Mommy and Daddy attended a special family event out of town.  Lily and I had alot of fun.  We read books, built castles and towers out of blocks, watched Care Bears and Cat in the Hat, and I listened to her talk non-stop and marvel at how brilliant she is! 🙂  I’m really not kidding..she is so smart, and adorable and I just love her!  Tonight my family all went to dinner at our favorite pizza place and celebrated my husband’s birthday which is tomorrow.  That was worth going out in the rain for!  Tomorrow I am going to buy my seeds, organic pots and soil so I can start my herbs to growing.  I’m also going to the craft and fabric shop to hunt for an Ostara cloth for my altar and maybe I’ll find some items worthy of my altar as well.  So fun looking! 🙂

I promised to write more recipes as soon as I got one I was looking for from a facebook friend.  I received it this morning so here it is along with a couple of others

Irish Stew …..from Nancy-ann Sorrell (thanks Nancy-ann Hugs!)

4 to 6 servings

1 1/2 lbs Lamb, cut into cubes

3/4 cup sliced onion

 2 sliced carrots 

2.5 Lbs potatoes … sliced or cubed

Put in bottom of a heavy pan a layer of potatoes , a layer of meat , and a few slices of onion …repeat twice , ending with potatoes on top …season each layer with salt and pepper … add to the pot … 1 bay leaf … pour over the layers : 2 cups boiling stock or water … and two tbs.  finely chopped parsley …

Bring to the boil… cover …. simmer gently for 2.5 hours or until meat is tender … Shake pot from time to time to keep potatoes from sticking to the bottom … when done moisture should have been absorbed by the potatoes.

You can also bake in a moderate oven…just watch it closely.
Nice served with fresh green beans / or frozen peas and squash .  Sounds delcious Nancy-ann..can’t wait to try it!

Fish is a perfect food to serve for Ostara to go with all those fresh fruits and veggies.  This is a favorite!

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

*Feeds 2-3 double if necessary

3 -4 tilapia fillets, depending on size

1/4 cup breadcrumbs or 1/4 cup crushed Ritz cracker

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

salt

pepper

garlic powder

olive oil

 Thaw and wash tilapia fillets if frozen. Pat dry on paper towels. 
 Combine crumbs, parmesan, italian seasoning and garlic powder on a plate, mixing well.  On a different plate, pour 1 tbsp lemon juice.

 Working 1 at a time, place a fillet on the plate in the lemon juice, sprinkle with desired amount of kosher salt (be careful about how much salt is in your parmesan, crumbs, and other seasonings), black pepper, and garlic powder. Turn the fillet over in the lemon juice and sprinkle seasoning on the other side.

Dredge fillet in the parmesan mixture patting it all over to coat.

 Place in an oiled baking dish, repeat with remaining fillets.

Sprinkle a little lemon juice over fillets and drizzle or spray them lightly with olive oil.  Bake at 425ºF for about 20 minutes or until they easily flake with a fork and edges are browning (you can sprinkle some more parmesan on top if desired).

This is so good with crusty bread and a salad.  Add a baked potato if you’d like! 🙂 

and now for dessert!

Strawberry Refrigerator Cake

1 Strawberry Cake Box Mix

2 (10oz) pkgs sweetened frozen sliced strawberries, thawed

1 pkg vanilla instant pudding and pie mix

1 cup milk

2 cups whipped topping

Fresh strawberries for garnish.

Preheat oven to 350*  Grease and flour 13″ x 9″ baking dish.  Prepare cake as directed, bake and cool.  After it is cool, poke holes in the cake using the handle of a wooden spoon about 1″ apart.

Puree thawed strawberries and their juice in a blender.  Pour evenly over top of the cake allowing the mixture to soak into the holes.

Prepare pudding mix following pkg directions using just 1 cup of milk.  Fold whipped topping into the pudding.  Spread over the cake.  Garnish with fresh strawberries.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours before eating and keep refrigerated until gone.

This cake is really good!  It is very refreshing and light..you will love it!!  I’ll tell you a secret too.  If you want to really simplify it..after putting the strawberries in the holes, just put whipped topping on the cake!  Simple and easy and still delicious!

I have given you enough recipes now to choose something delicious to make for your family for Ostara!  All easy, wonderful recipes.  Set a pretty table. Use pastel colors with white dishes or pastel dishes with a nice white tablecloth.  Make a centerpiece of a basket filled with eggs and bright colored “grass”.  Or fill a vase with daffodils or tulips.  Something I love to do is to put a thin clear glass vase inside of a larger clear glass vase.  Then fill the space between the vases with jelly beans!  Put flowers and water in the inside vase.  It is so cute and will draw rave reviews!

Next time I write about Ostara, I will be posting a ritual and pics and ideas for Ostara altars!  Blessings of Love and Light until then.  Oh, I am most grateful to those of you who not only come and read my blog, but who leave me lovely comments and come back again 🙂 

Blessed Be, Autumn 

 

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Filed under Family, Flowers, Granddaughter, Holiday, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spring

Living a Magickal Life…….

Merry Meet friends!  The Sun has come out for 3 days now and signs of Spring are showing up here in Ohio!  There are shoots coming up of daffodils and crocuses, wildflowers are popping up, chipmunks and squirrels are out and about, my crabapple trees are starting to bud and my fish are moving around in the koi pond!  All wonderful signs of the return of the Sun god.  I have been enjoying gorgeous sunrises earlier in the morning and the Moon comes out later at night.  Ostara or the Spring Equinox is less then 3 weeks away…ahhhh..Spring 🙂

I recently read a newletter  from Patti Wigington at About.com that I thought was a great article and I wanted to talk about it here on my blog. She talks about how we come to this path for various reasons and that finding our way of practicing our craft and honoring our Deities should be something we think about and “do” everyday.  There are many of us who may only celebrate at Full Moons or on Sabbats or perform a spell occasionally when the mood strikes us.  They may have read a book or two or three and think that they know everything they need to know.  She calls them “Weekend Wiccans”.

“Living a magical life is something that one does twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Depending on the needs of your tradition, it may involve something as complex as daily ritual, or as simple as taking a moment to thank your gods each morning when you get out of bed. It means being in tune with the spiritual world around you, and staying in balance physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

A pagan or witch who really grasps the meaning of living the magickal way of life…finds some way to celebrate everyday.  They take notice of the small things throughout their day to day life that brings joy and magick to them.  Everything they do is with purpose and intention…to honor their deities and Mother Earth  and Her inhabitants,  and to increase their own power in manifesting the life they desire for themselves and their families. I am sure that you know  someone who does this and does it beautifully.  How do they do it?  How do they find the time?  Well, lets talk about that.   This newsletter brings up some suggestions and I have a few of my own.  You see I am one of those witches who strives to find magick in my everyday life.  Some days I am wonderfully successful, some days I’m mediocre, but I DO try, every day, to make my home and my life magickal.

-My very first suggestion is to watch a sunrise or a sunset and moonrise.  Watching this wonderful moment in time..everyday…will remind you of the wonder of the turning of the wheel, of the day that is starting or ending.  I can’t watch a sunset and then the mystical moon without feeling so blessed in my path and to thank the Goddess for it. 

-Know the phases of the Moon..pay attention to when the Moon will be full or new,  or if She is waxing or waning.  Pay attention to how you are feeling during the different phases.  Knowing the phases will ensure that any spells or rituals you perform will be as strong as they can be if done during the right phase of the Moon.  It connects you to the flow of energy, the changing seasons, etc.  The Moon rising and setting is what keeps the wheel of life rolling.

-Read everything you can get your hands on..never stop learning!  I have been reading witchcraft books for 13 years now and there are many, many I still havent’ read or want to re-read.  Everytime I read a book I learn something new..and can apply it to my practice or discard it as not helpful to me.  With the internet at our disposal and our witchy facebook friends, we get alot of differing opinions and ideas thrown out as facts.  Being knowledgeable about your craft will help you to decide what feels right to you.  

-Be a caretaker of this Earth we live on.  You can do magick everyday by being mindful of  your relationship with nature.  Recycle, compost, reuse, watch your energy usage.  Also you can plant trees, vegetables, herbs and flowers.  Collect rainwater.  Be close to Mother Earth, dive into her dirt, sit under a tree, feed and water the birds.  Be aware of the subtle changes in the seasons.  These things alone bring awareness of the magick in our everyday lives.   

-One of my favorite ways to bring magick into my everyday life is to light a candle with intention.  I light a candle everyday with the intention of sending healing to someone I care about.  There are so many ways to be witchy. Make loose incense, burn it in your cauldron and smudge your house with it to clean out the negativity.  I love grinding herbs and resins with my mortar and pestle and make a sweet or spicy incense.  Carry crystals with you for the purpose you are needing that day such as healing or protection or to draw love.   Take a few minutes everyday at your altar to meditate or send a prayer to the Goddess/God.  Have a cup of tea that you have made yourself from your own herbs grown in your garden.  Give an offering to the fae and ask them to aid you in your garden.  All of these things just take up minutes of your day or no time at all. 

-Be empowered.  Be aware of the power you have to manifest your desires yourself.  Be honorable in word and deed.  Use your magick for good and to better your life.  Be helpful, loving, respectful to others and yourself.  Giving love is what we are all here for after all.  Be responsible for you own actions.  If you are unhappy or living a life much less then you should be, take the steps to fix it.  You deserve your best life!

-Find happiness in the small things in life.  A gorgeous sunny day, a moonlit starry sky, a good simple meal of fresh foods, a good book, the smell of woodsmoke or lavender growing in your garden.  Keep your home harmonious, clean, happy.  Live a balanced life.  Be aware of small things with big impact and be grateful for them.  Focus on the positive and let the negative go.  Be happy!

-Honor Goddess/God everyday in some way.  A morning prayer for a good day, an evening thank you for the things you are blessed with.  Go out and look at the Moon goddess and draw Her in….feel the energy you can receive from Her!  Sit in the Sun and feel the warmth from the Sun god.  Be aware that they are within you..not without!  You can draw strength from them by looking inward.  When you are still…they will talk to you.

-Keep a BOS or journal.  I have journaled for 15 years and writing down my thoughts and feelings and the things that are going on in the world or just my world is very important to me.   It is a record of my life that will be passed down to my children & grandchildren.  It helps to free my mind from all the thoughts floating around in there as well. LOL.  A BOS is a witches most important tool besides themselves.  It is a place to go for information to aid you in your magick, your spells and rituals.  It makes life easier to have that information in one place when you need it. 

-Bring magick to the mundane part of your life.  When you cook, put all your love into it…no matter how simple the meal, your love will make it delicious.  When you bathe or shower, use yummy smelling products that remind you of your garden or your favorite spice.  Picture all the negativity washing away from you..any bad feelings or anger go right down the drain.  Listen to music that soothes your soul or makes you feel positive and happy and energetic.  If you are washing your car,  place protection all around it to keep you safe.  When you clean your house, wash out the stagnant air and bring in fresh air.  Place protection and love all around your home while dusting it.  Picture your home as a place of love and harmony and balance.  You are manifesting a better life for yourself when you do this.

-Give Love to your family and friends everyday.  Never be too busy to take a few moments to let them know you love them.  When you give love, you will receive it back!  This is something you all know..you brilliant witches 🙂

Now I know that some people will be saying that they do NOT have time to do all of this.  After all, you have jobs, kids, furbabies, errands, extended family, appts, etc to take care of.  But many of the things I mentioned above, you are already doing.  Just change the way you look at what you are doing every day.  Don’t look at it as a chore, look at it as a chance to bring magick into your day.  Find a way to find the time for your craft everyday.  If all you do is spend 10 minutes outside…to connect with nature….then you will find that magick and want it so bad that you will find other ways to get it…I promise you.  The more you practice..the better you get at it! Picture in your mind..you ….at your best witchy self and you will achieve it!

My life as a witch just keeps getting better and better and I understand more and more that magick and the divine and nature is all around us.  There for us to enjoy and take in.  I can make of my life what I want it to be.  Even when everything seems to be going wrong, I can find the silver lining on a cloudy day.  So can you…just look for it…MAGICK! 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Discussion, Family, Full Moons, Garden, Goddess, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Spring, Sunrise/Sunset