Monthly Archives: March 2014

My favorite Herbal Resources……….

Happy Sunday! This is a post that is a continuation from my post in The Sunday Stew! Find The Stew here  http://networkedblogs.com/V9cIw      Enjoy!!!

The Witches Cupboard by Autumn Earthsong

My Favorite Herbal Resources

I hope that you all had a very Blessed Ostara and that Spring is springing up around you! This week I decided to share with you some of my favorite sources for herbal information. I have been reading and studying about herbs for many years now and some of my books are well loved and read and some not as much. Here is a list of those I love and use!

Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar

book 1

Rosemary is my herbal guru. I love all her books but this is my favorite. It’s chock full of herbal info, recipes for each stage of life..children, men, women and the elderly. There is info on how to store, dry, grow and buy good quality herbs. How to make syrups, tinctures, balms and salves, teas, infusions, oils etc etc etc. It’s a great book! I think every ailment you can have is covered in this book! I’ll talk more about Rosemary again later in this post

The Wild & Weedy Apothecary by Doreen Shababy

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This book is another dog-eared book of mine and I’ve had the added pleasure of getting to know Doreen as a facebook friend which thrills me to no end. Doreen comes at her herbal craft from a magickal point of view and the importance of Plant-spirit. She encourages you to use local herbs and to wildcraft them..to gather them yourself which I love. She has tons of recipes..arranged in an A-Z fashion for your tastebuds and your body. Delicious breads, main dishes, salads, vegetables etc. …. along with creams, salves, salts, poultices and shampoos! I adore this book and Doreen!

Mugworts in May by Linda Ours Rago

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I came across this darling little book in a used bookstore…looking brand new and I fell in love with it. It is the Wise Woman’s little book of charms and folklore. It’s a delightful book filled with magickal herbal info, poems, quotes and charms. The charms range from protection charms, healing charms, tree, love, plant protection, herbal divination etc etc. Even Fairy charms! There is a nice section on Hedgerow herbs…poisonous herbs that witches are fond of using…with great care. I use her charms when I’m planting or sowing my herbs. You’ll love it!

The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by James Green

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This is a huge book which I think I will never get thru completely! This is the most complete book of how to do everything herbal I’ve seen. Everything from collecting herbs, what you need in your kitchen and pantry, safety precautions etc. How to make decoctions, infusions, hydrosols, flower essences, tinctures, wines, vinegars oils, ointments, syrups, baths and it goes on and on and on. A real how to..to understand the process well. Not that the other books I love don’t..but this book is really big and thorough!! I think every herb lover should have it on their shelf .

The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood

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This is another very complete and big edition of herbal info. This book also has lovely stories and personal experiences of the use of herbal medicines which I love. He talks about the wisdom of the plants…that they have a purpose, an inner life that is Divine given and shared with our own energy and essence can bring us knowledge and healing. I love that!! I think it’s so so true!

Other Honorable Mention books:

Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies by Jude C. Todd

The Herbal Home Remedy Book by Joyce A. Wardwell

The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey

Now for some magickal herbal books by more of our favorite Witches/Pagans.

Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

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I don’t think there is a Witch around who doesn’t have this book on their shelf and for good reason. It is a complete volume of how to use herbs for magick and very well done! I especially love the folk name section, the Elemental ruler section and the breakdown of what herbs to use for what ailments. As I said, it’s a great book for every Witch!

Bud, Blossom & Leaf by Dorothy Morrison

book 7

A most magickal book filled with spells, rituals, & recipes for the Garden Witch. Sections on predicting weather using moon and wind, how to handle the Fae in your garden, even how to plant your garden in a magickal shape! The rituals are amazing and for every season and reason. I love her easy way of talking to us like she’s in our kitchen with us having tea. Just love her and this book!!

Garden Witch’s Herbal by Ellen Dugan

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The first herbal I read and still a favorite. Ellen is quite the gardener herself and bestows us with a beautiful book on folklore, magick, wildflowers, herbs, and flowers from a Witch’s point of view. The herbs are listed with physical description, and spellwork correspondence. There are beautiful botanical drawings as well. I especially love the section on trees and wildflowers! A lovely book!

Honorable mention:

The Green Wiccan Herbal by Silja

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by Catherine Yronwode

Now for some of my favorite magazines!

Herb Companion
Herb Quarterly
Mother Earth Living

Favorite Herbal website and Youtube stations…….

Mountain Rose Herbs
Favorite Source for buying organic herbs and oils and the necessities for making herbals at home. If I haven’t grown it myself, or wildcrafted it, I get it here. I also highly recommend their amazing Youtube videos as well, some which feature Rosemary Gladstar! The videos along with all my books is what got me finally kitchen witchin several years ago. While I love Mountain Rose Herbs..there are many wonderful other online stores. Check them out!

HerbMentor
Another great Youtube station for how-tos of all things herbal! Includes also videos from Rosemary Gladstar, Kiva Rose and John Gallagher. Really great stuff!

and last of my favorites….herbal home study courses.

I am working thru Rosemary Gladstar’s home study course as I have posted here before on my blog. But there are many others out there including from Susun Weed and John Gallagher. Do your homework, check prices and be sure that you will be certified when you’re done if that’s what you want to be!

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I hope this info gives you something to think on. I have been interested in herbology for a very long time and it grows in me more and more every day! If you think you have an interest..any of these books will get you started! Have fun and Learn!!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Blessed Ostara 2014………….

Merry Meet my friends! The first day of Spring has finally arrived! Here…it’s not that warm..in the 40’s… but the Sun is shining, a soft breeze is blowing, birds are singing and I am seeing some Spring bulbs poking out of the ground and trees budding if I look real, real close 🙂

I started out the day greeting the Sun as He rose while having a cup of coffee. I lit a candle in gratitude for the turning of the Wheel and the return of the Sun. I re-filled bird feeders and put out some dried corn for the squirrels once I got dressed. Once I did that, I headed out to the florist (NO tulips or daffodils yet anywhere!) and purchased a mixed flower bouquet. Then I went to the garden center and got 6 herb seed packets and a couple of starter trays.

 

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Now I have started my herbs from seeds for many years, at my old home where I had a perfect place to do it. Here at this house…while I have sunny East facing windows, I can’t put pots of dirt and seeds there with 2 kitties who will have fun with that! LOL. So I’m going to attempt to grow a few in my kitchen window on the sill. I planted 4 each of lavender, sage, basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary. We shall see what happens but it made me happy on this Spring Equinox day to do it. I set crystals on my window sill too and did a seed blessing as I planted them. (for my seed blessing..be sure to type Ostara into the search box on the right).

My altar has been ready for a week or so now, so I added the pretty flowers and I’m ready to go. I have smudged the house and cracked a few windows as well. I’m doing small things to celebrate the day, all day long, and tonight I will do a Welcome Spring ritual at my altar.

 

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Now I am hearing that we will have lovely warm weather tomorrow but probably some rain… then temps will drop back into Winter weather and we have SNOW forecasted for Tuesday! 🙂 Now this is just typical for where I live here in Ohio…give it a day and it will change again. I’m not going to let it spoil my Spring though and don’t you let it either. As a Witch, we can feel the quickening of our Mother Earth. She is awakening most definitely and it won’t be long before we will be merrily working in our gardens and complaining about the heat LOL.

I hope you and your loved ones have a very Blessed Ostara. May Joy, Love, Peace, Abundance and Light be yours today and always!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Flowers, Gardens, God, Goddess, Herbs, Mother Earth, My cats, Nature, Ostara, Seasons, Spring, Winter

Happy Irish Day!………….

thHello my friends! How are all of you this fine day? All is well here…it’s warmed up a little..into the 40’s and it’s been overcast but the Sun is trying ever so hard to make an appearance. I had errands to run and was able to do them in just a heavy  (my Irish sweater actually!) so that was very nice. The Full Moon was hiding mostly..I got glimpses of Her as She was first ascending the Sky then no more. Hoping for better views tonight!

As you may or may not realize, if you’re seeing lots of green today…..that today is St. Patrick’s Day! 🙂 Now, I don’t celebrate St. Patrick, he’s not a favorite guy of mine at all. But I do take this day to celebrate my Irish-ness, my Irish/Scottish ancestors, and the wearing O’the Green! To celebrate, I popped some Irish Soda Bread into my oven, and while it’s baking, I thought I would drop by here and give you my recipe. It’s easy and quick and makes two loaves which is nice for sharing. I plan to pass a loaf over the fence to my wonderful backyard neighbor Jane. If you’ve never had Soda bread..you should try it. It’s not overly sweet and it’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. I also think butter and jam make it really nice and sweet!

 

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Irish Soda Bread

4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsps. baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs

2 cups sour cream

1 cup raisins

1 TB caraway seed

Preheat oven to 325*.  Grease two loaf pans 8″ x 4″.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; add eggs and sour cream and mix just until moistened. (this will be sticky..use floured hands if you need too)  Fold in raisins.

Spread batter evenly in 2 pans. Sprinkle with caraway seeds.  Bake at 325* for one hour or until raised and golden brown,

I was able to remove them from the pan right away by turning out onto a cutting board.

My house smells amazing and you’ll love it!

Hope you all have a great day however you celebrate it..rather it be baking, or drinking green beer or visiting your favorite local Irish pub.  I’ll be taking some time over an Irish whiskey or Bailey’s to send love to my ancestors who watch over me and guide me.

May your heart be warm and happy

With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day in every way

and forever and ever after!

-Irish Blessing-

Slainte!

Autumn

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Filed under Full Moons, Happy Irish Day, Holiday, My Favorite Things, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spring

The Wheel Turns to Ostara 2014…………

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

~Proverb

Merry Afternoon my friends. Hope that you are all doing great this blustery March day?! Well, we had a taste of Spring for a couple of days here in Ohio. It was in the 60’s and the Sun was shining! It was the kind of day that I had my daughter and grandkids over to play outside, windows were open and letting the house air out of old stagnant Winter weather, and we even grilled out for dinner! Today? A whole different day LOL. Winter has come back with snow flurries, freezing cold weather and blustery winds. *sigh* Well, it was nice while it lasted….and it will be back and SOON!! 🙂

I have spent some time today getting ready for Ostara. My Circle has decided to meet for brunch on the Sunday after Ostara ( Ostara is the 20th by the way!) We will have pastries and fruit and lavender lemonade! I’m working on my altar as well. I love the Ostara altar..it’s one of my favorites. Pastel colors, eggs, rabbits, tulips or daffodils, and baskets just lift my spirits in it’s brightness and lightness! I’ll also set up a kitchen altar as well!

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                                                        *Part of my Ostara altar from 2011

Some of the things I love to do for Ostara is to, of course, color eggs and bake breads. Egg recipes are popular for light lunches and breakfasts as well. Egg salad, deviled eggs, quiches, and omelets especially! Another thing I’m doing is perusing my seed catalogs, garden books and magazines and planning for when I can get outside and start working in my gardens again! For the seeds, I love to do a seed blessing ritual..to bless them to grow strong and healthy and to carry powerful Magick within them as well! You can bless and consecrate your seedlings and young plants as well of course! My hands long to dig in the dirt and my barefeet long to be planted on Mother Earth! Can’t wait!

Ostara is also a great time to finish up any Spring cleaning you didn’t get done at Imbolc. Cleaning windows, curtains, throw rugs and blankets are high on my list of things to do as Spring arrives. Also, carpet cleaning, if you have carpets, is good to do too! I also check the condition of my outdoor bird feeders to see if they need to be replaced for Spring/Summer. Winter is hard on them and I often invest in new ones this time of year. I’m also shopping for a new bird bath this year! 🙂

I thought that you all would enjoy my recipe for Lavender Lemonade to enjoy for your own Ostara feast. It is also posted in the Sunday Stew I told you about last time I wrote. I hope that you have gone and checked it out! It is well worth your time.

lav lemon

                                                         *picture courtesy of Simply Recipes

 

 

Lavender Lemonade

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1-2TB dried lavender flowers (organic, chemical free)
*chopped fine

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup fresh lemon juice

In a large saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add lavender flowers. Cover and let stand for one hour.

Strain lavender from sugar water and discard lavender as you wish. Stir in additional cold water and lemon juice. Pour into a pretty pitcher and add ice and sliced lemons.

Makes 6 servings

Don’t forget to type in Ostara or Spring Equinox in the search box on the right here to find all my past posts and recipes..there are a LOT!  I’ll be back soon too.

As much as Winter still has a grip on us, there has been some Spring in the Air for most of us I think.  Enough to remind us that it’s coming and soon!  In the meantime, do some spring cleaning,  set up your altar, buy some seeds to start in your Sunny window, and color some eggs.  Soon it will be Spring in your heart and you will feel lighter!  Honest! 🙂

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

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Filed under Altars, Flowers, Gardens, Herbs, Holiday, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Seasons, Spring, Winter

Bits and Pieces……..

daffodils_in_snow_Wallpaper_caq12Merry Meet my friends!  It’s Sun day….and it’s snowing and blowing outside.  Winter still has us in her grip.  Here in Ohio that is perfectly normal.  Spring doesn’t come for us until April and well into it too!   We were predicted at one point to have up to a foot of snow coming but it has been dropped back to 4-7 inches.  However, I’m not sure we’ll even get that.  We only have an inch so far.  It’s very pretty to watch on a lazy Sun day at home so I’m enjoying it.  Hope you all are safe and sound and tuckered in depending on whether you are getting the rains out west or the snow in the midwest and east.

My post today is about a few things I wanted to talk about.  I have given this blog a lot of serious thought lately. I debated not writing anymore.  I just had my 4th year anniversary here and I just wasn’t sure I had it in me to write here in anymore. I think I was losing my muse to write.  However, after some thought, I decided that I enjoy writing for my own enjoyment and will continue.  I’m grateful to my readers who seem to enjoy it too!  I am going to change up my writings a bit though.  I want to write MORE!  In the future, I’ll be doing posts about herbs, crystals, other blogs I want to feature, books, gardening, recipes, witchy craft pages of my friends,  and just more about my life as a Witch.  How I live it everyday.  I’m excited to take my blog in a new direction! I’ll also be working on my blogroll..updating, taking away those who aren’t writing anymore and adding some wonderful blogs I’ve discovered!

Another thing I wanted to share with my readers is that I have been a “chef” or writer for an online Pagan/Witch blog called the Sunday Stew.  Here is the link.

http://mypaganworld.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-sunday-stew-march-2-8-2014.html

I was asked to come on as the Herbalist Witch and I am enjoying it tremendously.  The Stew has been around for some time..I’ve been reading it for some time.  I was so honored when my friend and blog owner Kallan Kennedy asked me to write for the Stew.  It comes out every Sun day morning.  Lots of great news articles, other bloggers thoughts and ideas, info on totems, tarot, businesses, recipes, spells and rituals and really a great read!  You can follow the blog via email or network blogs to be sure that the Stew shows up in your inbox every Sun day as well! Be sure to check it out.  I started writing at the end of December…so go back and check out my herbal info and recipes!  I have made some amazing new friends amongst the other writers and feel very blessed!

Another thing I’ve gotten much busier with is my own herbal business.  You can find the link here.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/verbenalaneshoppe

Verbena Lane Botanicals has been something I’ve just dabbled in a bit but I’m getting more serious about it now!  Thanks to the Stew featuring my shop, business has picked up a bit!   I’ve gotten more motivated and having a lot of fun kitchen witchin..making up new wonderful products for my shop. It’s something I really love doing!  Be sure and find me as Verbena Lane Botanicals on Facebook as well here……

https://www.facebook.com/VerbenaLane

Along those lines, I have started working, finally, on getting my Herbalist certification thru Rosemary Gladstar’s home study course.  I’m really excited !  I signed up right before I had the brain bleed nearly two years ago, and needless to say, it got set aside while I healed.  Then we moved, then etc etc etc and it always seemed to be put aside.  Now I’m making it a must do and I’m learning a lot!  The course is well written, beautifully presented in a huge binder, and makes you do the homework etc.  It’s just great! I highly recommend it! Here is the link for that!

http://www.sagemountain.com/herbal-home-study-course.html

Ostara is coming up fast!  Yes, my friends, despite the Winter we’ve had, Spring WILL come! We’ve even had a few days here and there that brought to mind a beautiful Spring day!  My mind has turned to my gardens, herbs, being outside with my feet on Mother Earth’s soft ground without snow! I want to get my hands dirty, plan and plant.  As we are in a new home, just a year now, I have more beds to landscape and plan. So much fun to think about doing…and even more fun to DO when I can!

Oh despite the snow and frigid cold days, I can feel the Wheel turning as most all Witches can!  The movement of Sun and Moon have changed, the days are longer, the shadows cast by the trees have changed.  The behavior of the birds and ground critters is different..I’m even seeing Robins!  Even here in Ohio there is Spring flowers trying to bloom and some bushes are showing buds.  As much as I love Winter, I am looking forward to Spring!  What are your plans for Ostara, for Spring?  Spring cleaning? Planting your seedlings indoors?  Gathering with friends to feast? Dying eggs? Putting up new wards and protection for your home and those who dwell there?  Cleansing your tools, altars, crystals and home to prepare for Spring?  All are wonderful ways to prepare for Spring and for the awakening of Mother Earth!

I’ll be back soon…and often! Please do check out the Stew for some wonderful reading and knowledge.  I want to thank you all for being a reader and a friend. I continue to be inspired by those around me everyday….  and just one more word….the old adage…Be KIND to one another!!!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

 

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Filed under Bits of Magick, Gardens, Herbs, Holiday, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Online Classes, Ostara, Seasons, Spring, Winter