Tag Archives: Magick

I <3 Herbs……Yarrow!

Merry Meet my friends. It has been a rainy, dark day today. Thunder and Lightning and I’ve done some dancing with Thor in the storms. I’m so thrilled that we had a couple of beautiful days here though. I got all our clothes washed and hung out on the clothesline to dry. (I LOVE that!) We got a few things done in the yard…some grass seed planted where a dead tree was removed last Fall….we got a birdhouse put up…a new birdbath put out and we bought a couple of hanging baskets of Calabracia to hang on our patio, a deep purple one and a yellow one. I pulled out the rosemary that isn’t coming back ūüė¶ Added garden soil to my raised herb bed etc. All in preparation for planting! Which we can’t do yet! Ack! LOL. Another week or two I think. For sure by Mother’s Day!

Again, this posting about Yarrow can be found at The Sunday Stew here: http://mypaganworld.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-sunday-stew-beltane-edition.html. It’s the Beltaine issue so be sure and check it out!! It’s wonderful!

Beltane is almost here! As I was thinking about which herb I wanted to write about for the Beltane issue of the Stew…I decided on Yarrow. Yarrow is one of those wonderful herbs that grow wild…nearly everywhere! Usually from June thru September in meadows, roadsides, pastures, ditches etc etc. Easily found. Often thought to just be a weed LOL..but it’s so much more!!

 

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Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) grows from 10 to 20 inches high, a single stem, fibrous and rough. The leaves are fern-like, dark-green, giving them a feathery appearance. The flowers are several bunches of numerous small, white flower heads. Each tiny flower resembling a daisy. Depending on the weather and where you live, the flowers bloom from May to September.

For you gardeners out there, growing yarrow is sometimes too easy, as it tends to take over a plot. It creeps along via its root system, while simultaneously reseeding itself. Yarrow prefers ordinary soil and a fair amount of sunshine. Some varieties of yarrow grow up to 4 feet in height. It comes in shades from white to pale pink…to ornamental yellow and red varieties!

Other Names: Milfoil, Old Man’s Pepper, Soldier’s Woundwort, Knight’s Milfoil, Thousand Weed, Nose Bleed, Carpenter’s Weed, Bloodwort, Staunchweed, Devil’s Nettle

Mythology:

Yarrow carries the name Achillea because the Greek God Achilles in mythology is storied to have given the plant to his troops to stop bleeding in battle. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop the bleeding when he hurt his own heel, and he died from his wounds. The modern terms “Achilles tendon” and “Achilles heel” originate from this myth.

Medicinal Uses:

Yarrow has been a well-known healing herb for centuries. It has a wonderful list of healing medicinal purposes!
Parts used….everything above the ground (leaves, stems and flowers)
Harvesting for medicinal purposes should be done while the plant is in flower.
Yarrow is used medicinally against colds and flu, cramps, fevers, stomach ulcers, kidney disorders, toothaches and abscesses, skin irritations, to regulate menses, and to reduce inflammation. It can aid digestion and increase appetite. Yarrow is a diaphoretic and helps to eliminate toxins and fevers. Yarrow’s astringent properties can also help stop diarrhea and dysentery. Other yarrow uses include coughs, sore throats, lowering blood pressure, hay fever, and more.
Externally, clean yarrow leaves can be used to stop a wound from bleeding. A yarrow infused oil or balm can be used to treat other topical skin conditions including burns, ulcers, and swollen and inflamed skin, and hemorrhoids. Inserting a fresh, clean yarrow leaf into the nostril can stop nosebleeds. Yarrow can also, conversely, start bleeding when needed…for instance, getting clotted nose blood, to un-clot.

 

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Medicinal applications:

An infusion (tea) of yarrow flowers can be prepared by steeping the flowers into boiling water for some time. This preparation is useful for upper respiratory illness. It may also be useful to heal eczema when applied externally as a wash. An infusion or tea is also great for reducing fever. To get relief for varicose veins, soak a cotton pad with the infusion and apply to the veins. The poultice will also aid hemorrhoids. You can also put the infusion in bath water to soothe hemorrhoids and skin issues.
Yarrow oil is useful for any external skin issues such as swollen joints, rashes, or bruises. Also great as a chest rub (add peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil) for congestion of the chest..colds, flu or cough.
Cuts and scratches on the body can be healed by wrapping cleansed, fresh yarrow leaves on the affected area. To clean leaves, place in a bowl, pour white vinegar over them…let stand for a bit. Strain off vinegar then rinse leaves twice to ensure all the vinegar is gone. You can also place a chewed leaf on a sore tooth.
A tincture made of Yarrow is useful for healing urinary disorders and menstrual problems.

Warning:
Pregnant women should not use Yarrow internally! Excessive use can cause headaches and skin irritations for anyone who is sensitive to it.

Culinary Uses:
Yarrow is bitter but used sparingly it works in cheese sauces, soups and salads. Has been used in place of hops to brew beer.

Magickal Uses:
Gender: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Air
Yarrow is used magickally for Courage, Love, Psychic abilities, Divination, Perception, Protection and Purification.
Some ways to use Yarrow for magick are:

-When drank as a tea, Yarrow is said to increase psychic powers and powers of perception.
-When flowers or leaves are burned, if the smoke goes up, it’s a good omen, but if it goes down, it’s a bad omen.
-Use Yarrow flowers in love sachets and charms.
-Place Yarrow flowers under your pillow before sleep and your lover will appear in your dreams.
-Hang flowers over your bridal bed to insure love that lasts at least 7 years. Or place them in your bridal bouquet
-Grow Yarrow near your door for protection or hang some over your front door.
-Carried in the hand or placed in a mojo bag….it is believed to ward off fear. Also to reverse negativity and protect from hexes
-Add to the bath to protect from evil or harm.
-Throw Yarrow flowers across the threshold to protect the house from evil.
-Tie to an infant’s cradle for protection from harmful forces. (an old belief too)
-Place the flowers on your altar to aid in divination
-use it in loose incense for protection, purification or divination

These are just a few ways to use Yarrow in Magick. I’m sure you can find many more. Next time you take a walk, look for some yarrow and bring it home and put it to good use!

A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
and closed them beneath the kisses of night.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‚ÄúThe Sensitive Plant,‚ÄĚ 1820

 

I hope that you all are enjoying both the Stew and learning about herbs. I know I learn more and more as I study them and use them too.¬† I’ll be back in a couple of days to wish you all a very Blessed Beltaine and maybe a recipe ūüôā

Blessed New Moon to you all!
Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Beltane, Discussion, Garden, Gardens, Herbs, My Favorite Things, Nature, New Moons, Our Yard, Poem, Seasons, Spring, Summer

Blood Moon………..

Merry Meet my friends!¬† It’s a gorgeous Spring day here! Sun is shining, it’s quite breezy and warm.¬† I have spent the morning washing all my throw rugs and hanging them on the line.¬† I’ve jarred up new herbs in those awesome anniversary Ball jars that are GREEN!!¬† I love them and need more!!

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I’ve made foccachia bread,¬†did some housework¬†and opened¬†doors and windows¬†¬†to let fresh Air in and stagnate Air out!¬† Wish I could be outside planting but it’s just not time yet as I’ve said ūüôā¬† ¬†I think everyone in the neighborhood is mowing..the scent is amazing!!¬† Hubby mowed a couple days ago and our grass is greening and lovely!

 

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Picture from Yahoo News

April 15 is going to be an amazing Full Moon.¬† It will be a Blood Moon!¬† A lunar eclipse!¬† Can you imagine the terror this must have brought in ancient times and the¬†Magickal energy¬†it’s going to bring to us in these times? About 2am¬†EST the Moon will cross the Earth’s shadow turning the Moon a copper red….A Blood Moon.¬† It will last about an hour. This is one Witch who will be up in the middle of the night soaking in the Energy and Power and watching in amazement!

Another¬†special thing about this Blood Moon…. there will be Four of them in the next year and a half. Pretty much unheard of!! There are sometimes 2 a year, but so subtle most can’t be seen.¬† There was a 300 year period where there were NO Blood Moons before the 21st century.¬† It shows how non-common they are.¬† The dates are April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015. I for one will be marking these in my calendar.¬† I don’t want them to escape me!! ūüôā

I would try to use this magick to the fullest extent!¬† Make Blood Moon Water, energize and cleanse your crystals, jewelry, altar tools….¬†Draw down the Blood Moon energy into yourself…set out powerful wards and protections with the aid of the added energy, ¬†and just sit and bathe in Her¬†Light.¬† Full Moon rituals will take on a whole new meaning¬†under ¬†a red, red Moon! Don’t you think?

“But about the first watch the Moon in eclipse, hid at first the brilliance of her heavenly body, then all her light was sullied and suffused with the hue of blood.”

From: Curtius, History of Alexander.
These quotations refer to a lunar eclipse at moonrise in Sicily and at Arbela, of 20/21 September 331 BC.

 

I wish you all an amazing Full Blood Moon!  May Her Light shine on you and fill you with Magickal Power!

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

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Filed under Bits of Magick, Full Blood Moon, Full Moons, History, Nature, Quote, Ritual, Seasons, Spring

The Wheel Turns to Imbolc, 2014……..

imagesCA48N7RIMerry Meet my friends! Wow..I can’t believe I just typed 2014!¬† Time flies so fast doesn’t it?¬† I hope this posting finds you all avoiding the flu, staying safe and warm in this incredibly frigid Winter we’re having, and that things have slowed down for you a bit! That you’ve had time to rest and relax. After all January is the best month to do that!¬† At least here in the Northern Hemisphere ūüôā

I have been busy, both doing my yearly¬†Imbolc deep cleaning and organizing, AND finding time to read, journal, take a nap, cook etc. Things I enjoy doing.¬† Imbolc is coming fast.¬† I love this Sabbat. As I’ve said before, it’s the first¬†one I¬†celebrated.¬† I mean truly celebrated it by¬†stopping reading about it and getting up and doing something instead!¬†¬†I decided not to try to do all the complicated things I was reading in my books..and just do what felt right….¬† and I haven’t looked back since!

This Imbolc I’m blessed with having my Circle of fellow Witches.¬† We will be meeting to celebrate Imbolc for a breakfast..to welcome the Sun..and we will do it in our jammies! LOL..something fun to look forward to.¬† It’s our first Imbolc gathering and won’t be our last I’m sure.

As I mentioned, I do my Spring cleaning early, for Imbolc, as I know a lot of you do.¬† I clean out closets and cupboards and drawers, getting rid of junk and organizing things better.¬† I dust high and low, move furniture and sweep and mop, baseboards, ceiling fans etc.¬† I clean my Witch cupboard out..dust it and cleanse and consecrate my tools again.¬† I smudge the house the day¬† before Imbolc, and put out new wards and protection.¬† It’s a busy Sabbat and a very satisfying one!

Magickally, I welcome the Sun on Imbolc morning, and that evening there is a fire of course. I burn any dusty old herbs that are still hanging and any greens, pinecones etc that are still around from Yule.¬†Candles are lit¬†all over the house. ¬†We feast and drink and celebrate, knowing that while Winter still has it’s grip on us, Spring and Sun and longer days aren’t far behind! At Midnight, I throw open the doors and invite the Goddess Brighid in to my home..to protect and bless us for the coming year!

I’m already dreaming about my gardens..planning what I want to plant, what I want to add or take away etc.¬† This year, as we have just been in this house one year now, there is LOTS to do yet!¬† Another raised bed will be built for my herbs, there will be holly bushes, lilac bushes and an elderberry tree added in the landscape.¬† We need to add two new trees..maples…one to the front yard and one to the back.¬† I’ll fine tune what I did yesterday, throw out what didn’t work and baby along what did.¬† *sigh*…there is nothing better then the Sun on my back and my hands in the dirt.¬† I can’t wait!

daffodils in snow

As you all know, I love Winter, but even I am getting tired of this frigid cold we’ve had this year.¬† I don’t mind the snow at all, but the cold is something else! I see so many talking about being tired of it already, feeling depressed, or cabin fever etc.¬† I totally understand.¬† All I can recommend is that you take the time to do something that you really love doing and do it.¬† Take a class, paint a room, re-decorate, work on your Book of Shadows or grimoire. Surround yourself with things and people who comfort you, watch great movies, sleep more, take a walk..even when it’s cold..just to get fresh air, read, dance, sing, make love…you get the picture! LOL.¬† Don’t give in to it if you can.¬† I find stepping out and breathing in cold, clean AIR does a lot to energize me..especially if the Sun is shining or the Moon is glowing! And there is always a cleansing bath…that makes everything better indeed!

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For now, I wish you all a wonderful weekend! Leave me messages and tell me your plans, I’d¬†love to hear them.¬† Be sure to use the search box on the right column for previous Imbolc postings and recipes etc.¬† I may be back with a recipe or two a bit later this week.¬† In the meantime, keep your Spirits up..use your Magick! Snow magick is strong!¬† There is a 2nd New Moon this month as well..the Black Moon on January 30..not a real common occurrence! Use it! Bright Blessings to you all! Stay warm and safe and remember..Spring will come!

“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments,¬†embark upon a sentimental journey,¬† and enjoy every idle hour.”¬†
–¬†¬†John Boswell

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Gardens, Goddess, Holiday, Imbolc, My Writing, Nature, New Moons, Quote, Seasons, Spring, Sunrise/Sunset, Winter

Simmering Magick…….

imagesCASSB72UHello again my friends!¬† Yep…it’s me…back again..2 days in a row.¬† Hope your Saturn Day is going great!¬† Mine is!¬† It’s gorgeous out…Sunny, blue blue sky, and in the mid 40’s.¬† I have spent the day Kitchin Witchin and thought I’d share with you one of the things I love to do to bring magick into my home.

I have several cauldrons for stove top cooking… potje pots!¬†¬†I just love them.¬† One was a gift from my¬†daughter Sara and¬†recently I got¬† a smaller one….Size 1 I believe if you look up the pots.¬† Perfect for making simmering herbs and spices on the stovetop.¬† I have done this for years…like 20 years!¬† Some of you may have done it too.¬† Mostly at Yule I would imagine.¬† You know….you put water in a pot on the stove..set on low.¬† Add apple cider, orange and lemon slices, cinnamon and clove etc…smells like¬†Wassail or a clove-studded orange all over the house….Love it!!¬† I had a simmering pot going when perspective home buyers came thru my home I was selling recently as well.¬† I got a LOT of feedback on how great the house smelled!

In recent years I have taken it a step further….adding herbs and other spices..using their magickal properties to make a simmering pot of magick. Whether to calm the house, banish negativity, energize, protect. For abundance or prosperity or health.¬† This morning I put together a pot just for calm, relaxation, peace and threw in some protection as well.

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I started with water….and if you keep the pot going all day, you’ll have to add more along the way.¬† In the bottom I place a couple of small crystals..a clear quartz and an amethyst.¬† Now be careful with this…The heat can ruin crystals..I put in small pieces that it won’t bother me if they are no good anymore.¬† Next..just for scent..I added slices of citrus fruits..orange, lemon, grapefruit lime..whatever you like.¬† I had a lemon and a pink grapefruit in the house so thats what I used.¬† Apples are great too..especially if you cut them sideways to show the pentacle in the center!¬† Then I just added in spices and herbs that did what I wanted the simmer pot to do.¬† I added in cinnamon sticks, cloves, lavender, chamomile and rosemary this morning.¬† The combination smells divine and in the process it banishes negativity, calms and soothes, protects and brings a sense of Peace to the whole house.¬† Say a few words over the pot, to manifest what you want¬†it to do for you.¬† Stir in a pentacle and you’re good to go!!

Try it sometime.¬† If you want a reference….Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery by Kris Bradley…. has a lot of recipes for this very thing.¬† I was thrilled when I got her book to see them.¬† It’s such an easy way to bring magick into your home.¬† As I said yesterday..my Craft is most magickal when it’s simple and easy.

Oh..here is the link for the potje pots!  You can get them thru Amazon and other sites too.

http://potjiepotusa.com/potjie-pots-plat-flat-bottom-best-duty.html

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!  Make it magickal!!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

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Filed under Bits of Magick, Herbs, My Favorite Things, Photography, Protection, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spells, Spice

The Wheel Turns to Mabon 2012………..

Merry Meet my friends! I am late posting a Mabon post this year but I have good reason! ¬†My Life has been crazy busy.¬† We have been working hard on getting our house ready to sell.¬† Also, we went on vacation last week!¬† To Panama City Florida…my whole family…hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandbabies.¬† Took two friends with us as well to help care for my daughter Sara.¬† We had a fabulous time….My Sea Witch Self re-emerged.¬† Resting, relaxing, good eating, beautiful Sunrises and Sunsets, and a waning crescent Moon all made for great magick on the Beach!¬† A good time was had by all..much needed with all we had been through this year.

We were thrilled to see¬†we were coming home to beautiful, Autumn weather.¬† Signs of Autumn are everywhere I look now.¬† Windows and screen doors are open during the day and nights are cool.¬† Leaves are starting to turn, gardens are losing their color, critters are busier, birds are flocking, stores are filled with Autumn and Halloween decorations.¬† Mums, pumpkins and Fall flowers are showing up at garden centers.¬† My mind is turning to my slow cooker, baking, cider and apples.¬† My clothes are changing over to long sleeves and light jackets or sweaters..and yes..even flannel jammies ūüôā¬† Wood is piled in the fireplace and outdoor fire pit..ready to go.¬† ¬†Ahhhhh….I am maybe..just maybe..starting to forget¬†(a little) ¬†how miserable Summer was with it’s sweltering Heat LOL.¬† My soul soars at this wonderful time of year!

Mabon…the 2nd Harvest festival…is Saturday the 22nd.¬† I love all the Harvest Sabbats and this one is no exception.¬† I am planning a great meal, an outdoor by- the- fire ritual, and will be decorating my house for Autumn as well.¬† For me, Mabon is the time to reflect on the coming dark Season.¬† To finish up harvesting our gardens and herbs and putting our gardens to bed for the Winter.¬†¬†Putting¬†the last of the bounty up..by canning or freezing.¬† ¬†I start looking for projects to keep me busy¬†as we come indoors more….like crochet, home projects, and of course Verbena Lane Botanicals is keeping me busy too ūüôā¬† I also read more, journal more, work on my Book of Shadows etc…things that I can’t settle in to do during the Summer.¬† Cooking and baking!¬† This is my favorite time of year to cook….I’m perusing my recipe books like crazy already!

To get the¬†Mabon Correpondences and recipes I’ve posted the last few years…just do a search in the archives.¬† I don’t think I can top the recipes I posted last year but¬† I’m searching out one or two more to post in the next day or so for you.

Mabon is a wonderful Sabbat….so much you can do to celebrate it.¬† Go for a walk and see what treasures from Mother Earth you can find….acorns, feathers, pine cones, stones, nuts, berries, colored leaves…bring them home and throw them in a beautiful wooden bowl with a brown, red, or rust pillar candle in the middle.¬† A beautiful centerpiece for your table or altar.¬† Have a soup party or Oktoberfest party.¬† Go pick your own apples and bake lots of yummy things with them.¬† Take the¬†kids to the pumpkin patch.¬†Rake up the leaves and jump in them!¬† I like to press beautiful leaves¬†… then put them in a book, or frame or my Book of Shadows.¬† Mabon is a great time of year to¬†banish the¬†old and tired and bring in the new…new projects, new energies, new abundance, new thought patterns.¬† Learn something new….try something new!¬†¬†You will have more time to do it…well…hopefully ūüôā

“Leaves fall,the days grow cold.
The Goddess pulls her mantle of Earth around Her
as You, O Great Sun God, sail toward the West
to the land of eternal enchantment,
wrapped in the coolness of night.
Fruits ripen,seeds drip,
the hours of day and
night are balanced.”
–¬†¬† Mabon Sabbat and Lore¬†

I hope you all have a wonderful week and would love to hear YOUR plans to celebrate this Sabbat.¬† I am off to get out my favorite cookbooks and see what I can find ūüėȬ† Happy Moon day and Mabon Blessings!

‚̧ Autumn

 

 

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Filed under Autumn, Book of Shadows, Family, Gardens, Mabon, Nature, Quote, Seasons

The beach and the Harvest Moon……

“At the beach, life is different.

Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment.

¬†We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.”

 РAnonymous

 

 

Merry Meet my friends!¬† Tomorrow evening…my entire family…hubby, 2¬†daughters, son-in-law, 2 grandkids,¬† 2 friends and myself…are¬†heading off to the Beach for a week of fun in the Sun, sand and ocean!¬† We are all so excited, busy getting ready still, and looking forward to it so much.¬† It’s been about 4 years since we’ve had a trip to Florida and we feel it’s about time that we did it again. ūüôā¬†

There will be a lot of walking on the beach, building sand castles with the kids, tanning, swimming, reading by the pool,¬† delicious dinners out of fresh fish, crab legs, clams etc, lots of adult beverages LOL..falling asleep to the soothing mystical sounds of the ocean, ¬†and making memories as a family.¬† My¬† witchy daughters and I are especially excited about the fact that the Full Harvest Moon will be shining on us the first couple nights we arrive!¬† To spend time with the Moon Goddess, beside the deep blue ocean and standing on a sandy beach ….is going to be so magickal and special and something I know we will never forget.¬† We plan to enjoy Her every night!¬†¬†

¬†The beach is also a place where it is easy to find all¬†four Elements; ¬†right there for our use… when drawing down the Moon….the cool sand is Earth, warm ocean breezes is Air, the Sun is Fire, and the ocean of course is Water.¬† If the Sun has gone down…candles will work ūüôā¬† We plan on calling on those elements, working with them to call good things to us while there.¬† Protection for the trip home, love, an abundance of memories, and spells to express our gratitude for the beauty around us and the Spirit of the Goddess within us.¬† I get all goosebumpy just thinking about the magick that will be swirling within and without our Circle. It will be a very special memory indeed.

Vacations are hard to come by these days…it’s expensive and the economy and jobs situation is bad.¬† I know how blessed we are to be able to go this year.¬† I am writing about our trip not to rub it in or brag about it, but to remind everyone of the beauty of Mother Earth, the beauty that is around us..no matter where we are.¬† I love the beach…there are many many people who have access to a beach everyday..go there!¬† My soul soars when I’m in the mountains of Tennessee….if you live near a mountain, go there!¬† My own backyard gives me great joy and peace….but I have to get up and go out there to enjoy it.¬† Maybe there is a lovely lake, a woods, a meadow, a garden, a hidden spot that you love and makes you feel connected to the Earth..GO THERE and do it often!¬† I find when life is getting too stressful, chaotic, busy…that people around me are getting on my nerves, making me grumpy, or I just feel out of sorts….I have to connect with Nature…to let all my cares and woes sink down into the Earth or be carried away on the wind.¬† I always feel better after grounding and centering in Nature.¬† How about you??¬† What works for you..to calm yourself, to lift your spirits?¬† Whatever it is…do it!¬†

So for now I will say good bye for a few days….I will love every minute of being with my family in a beautiful place…and I will look forward to coming¬†back¬† to the place I love the most…Home.¬† After all, that is where all of YOU are…my friends!¬† To my wonderful sisters and brothers of the craft..you all KNOW who you are…..I will send out a Blessing for you..on the Harvest Moon night!

With much love, Autumn

 

 

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Filed under Daughters, Family, Full Moons, Goddess, Grandchildren, Mother Earth, Nature, Quote, Sunrise/Sunset

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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

Rainy days and cinnamon toast…..

   

¬† Merry Meet friends!¬† Hope that you are all well.¬† Things are very busy in my house these days as Thanksgiving is at my house this year and my granddaughter Lily’s 2nd birthday party is the Sunday after!¬† The Fall decorations are down and I’m ready to put up the Yule/Christmas decorations.¬† There is much more going on I won’t go into here but it has been a bit stressful and chaotic at times..which I don’t like at all!¬† I like things calm and peaceful.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Today we had rain all day long..and it was wonderful!¬† We have been in very bad need of¬† a day like this, we haven’t had a good rain in months.¬† It was dreary and cold and rainy.¬† I spent the day at my daughter’s and granddaughter’s house..had a very nice time.¬† When I got home and puttered in the house for a bit, I decided to get a little something to eat and to have some green tea.¬† Humm, what to have…of course, a true comfort food for me…cinnamon toast!¬† You know what I mean, the kind your mom or grandma used to make on a cold winter morning with some hot chocolate?¬† I love cinnamon toast.¬† So thats what I had.¬† While I was eating it I was reminded of a few things I have read about the spice..cinnamon… and thought I’d write about it a bit.

     Cinnamon is the 2nd most used spice in American kitchens.  Cinnamon is the dried bark of Asian evergreens that belong to the laurel family. Sri Lanka is the major source of cinnamon and Portuguese who settled there did so to exploit the rich resource of cinnamon. The British followed the Portuguese to continue the exploitation started by the Portuguese. The tree is indigenous to the island and its bark is harvested twice a year during the rainy season. The inner bark is bruised, slit and then carefully peeled off to dry; it then curls forming the sticks as we know it.  It of course can be bought ground as well.  Cassia is another name for Cinnamon..depending on where the cinnamon comes from.   

¬†¬†¬†¬† Cinnamon is mentioned in Chinese writing going back 2800 years. ¬†¬† In the Bible, cinnamon is mentioned several times and referred to as¬† an ancient spice. Cinnamon was among the Queen of Sheba’s gifts to King Solomon, and Emperor Nero was chastised for burning a year’s supply in his wife’s funeral pyre.¬†Cinnamon was also used for embalming in Egypt.¬†

¬†¬†¬†¬† Witches¬†and Pagans use Cinnamon for many reasons as well.¬† Besides¬†using it in cooking, we may add it to other herbs and spices to make a loose incense..(smells delicious with sage and rosemary) and we may use it in spells.¬† The Magickal Properties of Cinnamon are Spirituality, Healing, and Psychic Powers. You can also use Cinnamon for Protection, Love and Knowledge.¬†¬† Cinnamon is masculine and is ruled by the Sun. Its element is fire. Its magical properties are used to help in spiritual quests, augmenting power,¬†love, ¬†success, psychic work, healing and cleansing. It is used in incense for healing, clairvoyance and high spiritual vibrations. ¬†Use it in prosperity charms. It is an excellent aromatic and makes a good anointing oil for any magical working.¬† I love to use Cinnamon alot at my altar…especially in my loose incense recipes.¬†Here’s a great recipe for loose incense I love….smells delicious!

1/4 oz Benzoin
1 oz Lavender
1/2 oz Cinnamon
1 oz Rose petals
1/4 oz Patchouli
1/4 oz Sandalwood

¬†¬†¬†¬† Cinnamon has many medicinal uses also.¬† In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon is used for colds,¬† nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods. It’s also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation. Cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds also.¬† For diabetes it has been shown that 1/4 tsp to 1 tsp per day, ¬†lowers the blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides. ¬†It’s a common ingredient in chai tea, and it is believed to improve the digestion of fruit, milk and other dairy products.¬†¬†It also¬†¬†has ¬†antibacterial and antifungal properties.¬† It has lots of great uses!

¬†¬†¬†¬† So some ideas on how to use cinnamon…of course mix it with sugar and put it on your toast, ¬†grapefruit,¬†warmed apples, applesauce, ¬†hot or cold cereal, in your coffee or tea.¬† Of course it is used in baking pies, custards, breads and rolls, granola, cookies, cakes and pastries.¬† With the holidays here, I thought I’d post a delicious Wassail Recipe…for adults by the way!

Ingredients:
1 gallon apple  cider
8 sticks cinnamon
1 lemon, washed and sliced
1 orange, washed and sliced
1 Tblsp. whole cloves
1 Tblsp. allspice
1 gallon white wine
2 cups  rum
Directions:
Simmer the nonalcoholic ingredients together for 1-2 hours, then add the wine and rum about 10 minutes before serving  hot.  Great to keep in a slow cooker all day long! 
    
¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†Another thing I love to do with cinnamon is to make a stove top potpourri that simmers all day long to make your house smell wonderful!¬† I just slice down an orange and a lemon and put in a small saucepan.¬† Add a few sticks of cinnamon, some cloves, some allspice, and anise stars.¬†cover with water and simmer all day long.¬† Add water as needed.¬† I have added apple cider to this as well.¬† It makes your house smell like you’ve been baking all day!
     So you can see what a great spice Cinnamon is..keep plenty of sticks and powdered in your home and use it often both for taste, healing and magick!
Now, I’m off to finish my tea and toast, curled up in front of the fire.¬† Enjoy your evening!
Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Loose incense recipe, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spice

Blessed Samhain……

Merry Meet friends!¬† It’s Here!¬† Samhain weekend!¬† The world is full of busy happy witches right now.¬†

There are feasts and bonfires, cooking and brewing, trick or treating and costumes, spells and rituals, Dumb suppers and quiet time with our loved ones who have passed.¬† The veil is thin, the quarter moon shines, and it’s the Witches New Year!!¬† My post is short as I will be a very busy witch the next few days also!¬† I fell in love with this poem and thought it says how we are all feeling at this magickal time of year.

The wheel has turned, the wheel of light,
¬†stoke the fire and make it bright…
Samhain call, samhain come,
 feel the rhythm , hear the drum..
.The veil it thins, the veil it shrouds,
¬†the spirits rise upon darkened cloud…..
The time of orange , time of black,
¬†time to move forward and not look back…
.Pumpkin lit , with candle burn,
¬†away dark spirits this guardian turns…..
Night of the ancients, night of the olds,
¬†remembered in stories now to be told…..
The Crone doth rise upon this night,
¬†look into the shadows without a fright…..
Rituals and rites across the lands,
¬†empowers the soul where they stand….
 Trick or treat, heal or curse ,
¬†the hand should be crossed from a silver purse…….
The Wheel begins its time anew,
¬†the release of the old for the knowledgeable few….
The time to scry to see the path we must take,
¬†and of the choices we need to make….
She comes to us in many guises
¬†the Crow and the owl her favourite disguises….
The Earth gives us her last to give,
¬†the bountiful harvest so we can live…
We feast and drink in a sacred space,
¬†behind samhain masks to hide our face…..
Through darkened day and moonlight night
¬†All hallows Eve is a beautiful sight…..

(C) Copyright Phiona Hutton July 2010

My wish for all of you is that you be a Happy Blessed Witch at this Most special time of Year.  Hugs and love to you and your families!
Blessed Be, Autumn

 

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Filed under Poem, Samhain

Herbal remedies and sisters in spirit…….

Merry Meet again friends…Hope this finds you all well and happy.¬† Here in Ohio we are enjoying a few days of gorgeous Autumn-like weather…its been really cool at night..around 70 during the day…windows are open airing out the house..perfect weather to me!¬† But it is only a glimpse as it is going to warm up again starting tomorrow.¬† But the nights are staying cool so it is a promising sign that Fall..my favorite time of year..is almost here!¬† I just come alive in the Fall..I love the crispness of the air and crunching leaves and the beautiful colorful trees.¬† I love the smell of woodsmoke, good food cooking in the slow cooker, apples, pumpkins, mums, the harvest moon..just magick!¬†

While pot roast was cooking in the crockpot today I decided to either make or finish up some herbal remedies I had been wanting to make.¬† I had brewed olive oil with calendula for several days and wanted to make it into a salve.¬† This works like a do’all skin ointment.¬† Put it on cuts, bruises, reddened or dry skin, callouses, hives, rashes, bug bites, mild burns…just about anything.¬† I also made a lavender toner a couple of weeks ago.¬† I just needed to strain off the lavender buds and bottle it.¬†¬†I also ¬†made a germ fighting spray that was posted online by Granny’s Hearth.¬† I feel so “witchy” when I’m making them and putting a spell on them!

After I get the remedies jarred and bottled..I light a candle and put a spell on them to make them work as they should.  This is what I say:

“In my kitchen, I toil and brew

Making potions with love and magick true

May they soothe and heal and lessen pain

Until all is well and right again

By herbs and oils and with harm to none

By my will and power, this spell is done.”

I have really just started making homemade herbal remedies for medicinal purposes.¬† I have made homemade cleaning supplies, homemade soaps, essential oil sprays for home or perfume, but had never really made homemade salves etc.¬† I have enjoyed it immensely and find that they work fabulously..even better then the over the counter stuff you buy at Walmart and Krogers.¬†¬† To increase my knowledge, I am going to take an online herbal course thru Susun Weed who¬†came highly recommended by several¬†of my facebook friends.¬† I can’t wait to really get some help on the subject and to become more learned in it.¬† I have bought many books and find it pretty simple to follow but I want to learn from an expert! ūüôā¬† I have a lovely sister in spirit who will be taking the class with me…it’ll be great to compare notes and discuss the classes together.

Speaking of facebook, I just have to say that I have got the best facebook friends ever.¬† So many wonderful, kind, funny, caring people.¬† I have a habit of asking a question of the day..and everyday I get people who come and share themselves with me…if there is disagreement it is done kindly and respectfully…there has yet to be any rudeness on my page which I’m grateful for..as I have seen it and don’ t like it.¬† I believe in live and let live and telling someone their beliefs are wrong goes against my grain.¬† I am so grateful for all of my fb friends because they have made my world bigger and lovelier, they have expanded my knowledge, and I feel a true spirit connection with people all over the world.¬† Thank you so much to each of you!!

¬† I also am part of a wonderful online “coven” for want of a better word…my sisters in spirit…my closest fb friends…and they are pure joy to me…They open their hearts everyday to each other…whoever needs comforting, support, someone to listen, candles lit, prayers sent up, questions about anything..we are all there for each other!¬† We share our lives quite openly..we are true sisters in every sense of the word.¬† I am incredibly blessed to have them and I love each and every one of them…Thank you from the bottom of my heart my sisters!¬†

The New Moon is coming soon..for me,¬† this New Moon means a good cleansing and blessing of my home…renewing the protection I have set around my house, starting my¬† “Fall cleaning”..getting the house ready for the cool weather..such as getting the fireplace cleaned and wood ordered, stocking up on baking supplies, and having a list of indoor projects to keep me busy in the lazy months!

May you all have a blessed Labor Day tomorrow and I believe today was Father’s Day in the Southern Hemisphere!¬† Remember to be kind, live in each moment, spend time each day reflecting on gratitude for what you have been blessed with in your life, and send out love to those around you and you’ll get it back.

Merry Part and Merry Meet again,

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Filed under Herbs, Spells