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The Wheel Turns to Mabon 2015 (Autumn Equinox) ……….

imagesCA3138JFMerry Meet!  It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Ohio.  While last week we had very HOT weather for September, this week we are having lovely days of seasonal, Autumn-like weather.  Today the Sun is bright, there is a light breeze and we have some leaves starting to change color.  The garden beds are pretty well done, except for the Fall plants like sedum, hydrangeas, mums and such.  The birds are still content at the feeders, I’m still seeing hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, but the squirrels and chipmunks are busy collecting now.  Autumn is on the Air for sure.

I have been busy in my garden beds, cutting back the spent flowers, harvesting the last of my herbs, and planning to plant my Spring bulbs next month.  Cutting back what was once so beautiful and gave me such pleasure, is a little bit sad. However, I know that Spring always returns and I just enjoy the process, the scents, my hands again in the dirt. My herbs hang happily drying, and scenting my kitchen with the amazing scents of spice and mint and the green outdoors.  Sigh..I just love it!  They will continue to give me joy throughout the Winter as I make my tinctures and teas and incenses.  The abundant harvest gives me great pleasure and pride in the work I did over the Summer.

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My last herb harvest happily in place!

Mabon is upon us, the Autumn Equinox, on Wednesday the 23rd.  It promises to be a beautiful day here. There will be equal day and night and then our days start shortening, our nights lenthening.  We come into the dark season of the year.  This is a good thing for many who love this time of year. Many of you mourn the loss of the warmth of the Sun, being outdoors constantly and the long days. I feel for you if you are one of them.  Way deep down I do lol, but I’m very happy for those like me!  For me, Autumn, Winter and the dark time of the year is the best time of year.  As Mother Earth ages into her beauty of the season with the brilliant color of her foliage, as her green grass turns gold then brown, as her trees grow alive with color then down to bare, stark trees, it reminds me that is time for me to enjoy the lovely, last days outside, and prepare to come indoors for the long, dark, cold nights. I love the comfort of home, a fire in the hearth, the feel of warm, cozy, dark nights. Winter will be here soon and there is much to do to prepare for it.

A bit of color!

A bit of color!

But first, we have beautiful Autumn!  Most of my witchy friends will tell you it’s their very favorite time of year!  Of course it is!  We are heading to Samhain, the very best Sabbat! The adjectives to describe this season are some of my favorite words in the dictionary…..cool, crisp, woodsmoke, fires, colorful leaves, pumpkins, apples, sweaters, boots, scarves, jackets, crunch under feet, black inky nights, harvest, Harvest Moon, stars, simmering soups, apple cider, cinnamon and spice, blankets, hayrides, haunted houses, Mabon, Samhain, thinning veil, ancestors, and on and on the joys of the Season go.  What are some of your favorite words to describe this time of year?  I know there are so many more!  I find myself as I take a walk or take a drive, looking for signs…a bit of leaves turning on some of the trees, some trees and bushes are forming berries, burning bushes are turning red, farm stands are changing from corn and tomatoes, over to apples, pumpkins and gourds. The stores are filled with Autumn and Halloween decorations (next to Yule decorations ugh) .  The apple picking farms are bustling.  Shops have their summer clothes on sale and racks filled with cold weather clothes.  Hobby shops are selling yarn like crazy as needle-workers start making new scarves, mittens, hats and such. You know that song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”?  yep…..that songs fits this wonderful time of year! 🙂  🙂

I spent some time setting up my altar the last couple of days…I plan to go out tomorrow to my beautiful park/pond to look for a few items from nature such as leaves, greenery, seeds and nuts etc.  But I’m happy with the altar I created to represent this Autumn Equinox.  Here is a peek 🙂

My Mabon Altar, 2015

My Mabon Altar, 2015

My coven has decided not to meet for Mabon this year. Instead, we are going to attend our local Pagan festival together. I think it’s so important to support our community by attending.  Some of us have been before and report a good time had by all.  Those of us who are attending for the first time, are really looking forward to it.  I haven’t attended yet because I’m usually out of town that weekend.  This year, I made sure I’m in town to go.  I look forward to communing with those who walk the same Path as I. Do you attend your local events?  If you haven’t, perhaps this is a good year to do so!

I’ve been perusing my recipe books and will be back, maybe tomorrow with some Mabon recipes.  In the meantime, you can search Mabon or Autumn Equinox in the search box on the right to get previous years recipes. There are some excellent ones.  You can also find Mabon recipes on the Sunday Stew…see the link on the top right to go there.

I have to add a note here as I haven’t said anything in my blog about this.  This time of year was the favorite for a dear Witch sister of mine.  However, she isn’t here to celebrate it this year.  Snow Moon (Susan Herman) passed away unexpectedly in her sleep a few months ago. She was a fellow writer for the Sunday Stew and Samhain’s Sirens. As  Samhain’s Sirens is about to launch again on October 1, and Mabon brings our favorite time of year, I can’t help but think of her with great sadness.  She was a bright star that went out too soon. One of the most thoughtful, selfless people I had ever meant.  She made everyone feel they were her best friend..including me.  She is very much missed.   Snowy..I love you and miss you very much. ❤ ❤ ❤

For my readers, if you want to see what Samhain’s Sirens is all about, just click on the link on the right for a month of Samhain fun..from my recipes to some wonderful crafts, blog posts, music, great give-aways and so much more.  It’s a gift to the Pagan community from some very dedicated witchy writers.  You will love it!

So I’ll be back in the next day or two with a recipe or three. In the meantime, enjoy these last couple of days of Summer, and prepare for another wonderful harvest celebration!  May the Goddess bless you on this day and always.

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Love and Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Autumn, Autumn Equinox, coven, Flowers, Gardens, Goddess, Herbs, Holiday, Mabon, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, Nature, Pagan, Photography, Sabbat, Samhain, sisters, Sun, Winter, Witch

The Wheel Turns to Imbolc 2015…….

“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle

 a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.

 And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”
–  Barbara Winkler

imagesCA48N7RIMerry Meet my friends and Blessed Imbolc Eve!  I have been very remiss about writing in my blog and I’m sorry for it. Before I go further though, this post is my 200th blog post and I have been blogging now for 5 years! I can’t believe it’s been that long! I want to thank you all so much, my readers and friends, for showing any interest in my writings. I very much appreciate you!

Since the holidays I have been busy enjoying Winter!  I have been reading like crazy which was one of my goals I set at New Years.  Even following a couple of book challenges and I’m enjoying it tremendously.  I’m one of those people who have a house full of books, including some shelves of books I have yet to read.  I love reading and Winter for me is the perfect time for it.  How about you? Are you reading more when forced to be indoors more?

Another thing I’ve been working on is making up an herbal chest for medicinal use.  If you’re a fan of Outlander ..books and series…by Diane Gabaldon, you might know what I’m talking about. I adore everything Outlander!   I made up a chest much like Claire’s “wee” box of medicinals.  I’ve added all the herbs that to me have a purpose of use for good health, healing, calming etc.  I’ve of course added essential oils, and things like gauze, bandages, scissors, tweezers, thermometer, and some modern day meds too.  Have a tummy ache, I have candied ginger, fennel seeds, or peppermint herb for tea. In pain, I have nettle tea or arnica salve.  Have a cut, I have my own healing salve. You get the idea 🙂  It was a lot of fun to do.

But while we are smack dab in the middle of Winter here in Ohio, tomorrow is Imbolc.  When day and night are equal and we recognize that the light extends each day and takes us to the first day of Spring in March.  We honor Brighid on Imbolc by keeping a fire on the hearth and inviting her into our homes with the use of a corn dolly, Brighid’s cross, or Bride’s bed.  I like to light candles all over the house, and at midnight swing open the doors and invite to come to my hearth bringing peace, protections, joy and abundance to my home for the year. Imbolc is also about doing our Spring cleaning both in our homes and in our own attitudes and situations. Throwing out those things that are no longer useful, old, raggedy, ugly, joyless…clearing our spaces of clutter leaves us open to new possibilities and bringing light into our dark places.

I have been working on my home for a couple weeks now. Attacking the cobwebs in the corners, cleaning out drawers and closets, making the hard decisions of do I really need this or want this in my home? Rugs and curtains and throw blankets and bed linens all getting washed and scented.  I have used herbal vinegar waters to mop and clean windows (not that you can tell after the rains lol) I organized my file cabinet, pitched papers no longer needed and filed what I do need in a better way.  Even my Witch cupboard got a good cleaning out today…pitching old herbs and incense (or burning them in our fire) cleansing crystals and my tools, salting and saging everything.  It was fun and it looks and smells great!  (picture isn’t great because our power was out for awhile today..but you can see how neat it is lol)

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Gardeners are beside themselves knowing Winter is halfway over.  I know several witchy gardeners who have ordered their seeds, planned their garden beds and are dreaming of digging in the dirt again.  I myself ordered 18 packets of seeds today….a mix of herbs, veggies and flowers.  Can’t wait to get them.  Planning your gardens are a great way to spend these cold Winter days.

 

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Tonight, it’s pouring rain.  We didn’t get the snow expected..like nothing! I’m so bummed lol.  But it’s a good night for quiet and contemplation, lit candles and fire.  Besides writing this blog, I’m journaling my thoughts for what I want to manifest in the Spring.  I have written down and will burn those things I want to release in my life.  Old angers, hurts, frustrations, poor habits are all good things to let go of.  I bet you have some of those things you can let go of too?  Try burning it..it’s so satisfying!!!

Imbolc has been one of my favorite Sabbats, as I’ve said before, because it was the first one I really celebrated.  That magickal feeling I got when I washed my floors and windows with herbal washes, lit white and red candles, cleansed my home and invited Goddess Brighid to join us in our home…well, I get that feeling still 16 years later. I want to wish all of you a very Blessed Imbolc.  May Brighid bring you all wonderful things for the coming year.  May the rest of the Winter be kind to you too…remember Spring will come!

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Books, Cleaning & Organizing, Flowers, Gardens, Goddess, Herbs, Holiday, Imbolc, Photography, Protection, Quote, Seasons, Spring, Sun, Winter

The Witches Sabbat……Samhain!

Merry Meet!  It is October!..the favorite month of the Year for most Witches, including this one!  The wheel of the year has turned, Mabon has passed and October has come, bringing cool crisp days, brilliant foilage of reds, golds, rusts and browns, jackets and sweaters are coming out of the back of the closets, garden centers are loaded with Mums, pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks, the smell of woodsmoke hangs in the air, and the Witch’s heart and soul quickens…for Samhain is coming, the New Year…the thinning of the veil….and there are things to be done for the favorite night of the year! I’m so excited!

 

       “A white lace of frost webs the sidewalk a kaleidoscope of leaves.  Hillsides are ablaze with flame-colored trees, fields lie fallow and dark, and cornstalks dry to the color of bone in the low golden sun.  The sky promises rain tonight and winds rise to torture the clouds.  Fog swirls down the darkened street, shrouding the candlelit grin of a glowing jack-o-lantern, and the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead grows as thin and insubstantial as the mist.”      from Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan

 I love this description…it is so perfect for this time of the year.  Samhain (pronounced Sow-en)  known also as All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween  is the third harvest festival of the year.  The God has died, returning to the Underworld, to wait to be reborn at Yule.  The Goddess is a Crone, mourning for him, leaving the world in darkness for a time. It is  a time to honor our departed loved ones and the night when  it is believed the veil between the material world and the Spirit world is at its thinnest and that the dead return to commune with the living.

In ancient times,  Balefires burned on every hillside and great feasts were held.  A place was set at the table for family members who had passed on to the Spirit world.   For the Celts, tis was New Year’s Eve.  In some traditions, Samhain marked a “time out of time,” the ending of the old year, the new year not beginning until the Sun’s rebirth at Yule. Samhain is considered the oldest and most sacred of the Sabbats because it honors the cycle of Life and Death. 

Samhain Correspondences

*Element/Gender— Water/Male

*Threshold— Midnight

*Symbolism— Death and transformation, Witches New Year, wisdom of the Crone, end of summer, Honoring our ancestors, thinning of the veil between worlds, death of the year, time outside of time, night of the Wild Hunt, begin new projects, end old projects, Magick, knowledge.

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations—  Jack-O-Lanterns, Balefires, Masks, Besom, Cauldron, the Waning Moon, black altar cloth, oak leaves, acorns, straw, black cat, Crescent Moon, grain, bare branches, pictures of ancestors, candles.

 *Herbs— Allspice, broom, comfrey, dandelion, deadly nightshade, mugwort, catnip, ferns, flax ,mandrake, dragon’s blood, sage, straw, thistles, oak, wormwood

 *Incense/Oils— Frankincense, basil, yarrow, lilac, camphor, clove, wood rose, wormwood, myrrh, patchouli, apples, mint, nutmeg, sage, ylang ylang

 *Colors— Black, orange, indigo,

 *Stones/Crystals—  Black stones, jet, obsidian, onyx, carnelian

 *Customs/Activities—  Carving jack o’lanterns, spirit plate, ancestor altar, costumes, divination, the Feast of the Dead, feasting, paying debts, drying winter herbs, masks, bonfires, apples, tricks, bats, cats, ghosts

 *Foods—  Apple, pumpkin pie, pomegranate, pumpkin, squash, hazelnuts, corn, cranberry muffins, bread, ale, apple cider and herbal tea.

 *Gods—  Horned Hunter, Cernunnos, Osiris, Hades, Loki, Arawn, Anubis

 *Goddesses—  The Crone, Hecate, Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Caillech, Baba Yaga, Bast, Hel

 *Spellworking/Ritual—  Honoring/consulting ancestors, releasing the old, foreseeing the future, power, understanding death and rebirth, entering the underworld, divination, dance of the dead, fire calling, past life recall.

 How can you celebrate Samhain?..besides of course trick or treating, visiting corn mazes and haunted houses, hayrides and Halloween parties?  One custom  of this Sabbat that I love is the “Dumb Supper.”  This is setting a place for the spirit of your departed loved ones at your table and lighting their way to your hearth with carved pumpkins and candlelight. I have done this for several years now and it’s really a special thing to do.  You can set a picture at the place setting or settings of the person you are inviting to join you.  Turn off all the lights and just have candles lit at the table.  Make it a silent meal..no talking….just focus on your loved one you are remembering, and maybe THEY will have something to say to you! 

Dress up for the occasion..whether you wear a costume or put on your best witchy clothes, hat, robe…  It’s your night…dress for it!  Have a bonfire under the Moon.  Throw your dried harvested herbs in to make the smoke even more magickal.  All forms of divination are paramount on Samhain Eve.  Dark mirrors for scrying, Tarot cards, runes, or pendulums are all perfect tools to take advantage of  the heightened spiritual energies at this Sabbat. Set up a table by the fire and do some tarot or rune readings for your friends and family or just see what the Universe has to say to you on this night.  If you are blessed to have some time alone, contemplate the coming winter, and use this time out of time to let die old ways of thinking, outworn beliefs, and negative patterns.

Leave some bread and wine outside as an offering to the wandering souls and the Faeries.  Make sure you have some jack o-lanterns or luminaries lighting the way for them to your home!  The grinning pumpkins provide protection as well 🙂 

One of my favorite things to do just before Samhain, is to have a Harvest Soup Party.  I invite some friends and family over, telling them to be sure to dress warm.  I set up about 3-4 crockpots of different soups…like chili, veggie, potato, and corn chowder.  I have bowls of toppings such as crackers, shredded cheese, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, sour cream, croutons.  I have a pumpkin tureen filled with warm spiced cider..some vodka or rum can be added for the adults.  A couple of desserts such as pumpkin pie and apple crisp round off the menu.  A bonfire is going, bales of hay with fleece blankets are great for extra seating, and bandannas in orange, black, brown and red are great to use as napkins!  You can have a table set up for pumpkin carving for the kids..with the adults help of course. Tell ghost stories and roast marshmallows to finish up the evening.   Everyone loves a great night outdoors with good food and good company….they will look forward to your party every year!

I’ve got my Autumn decorating mostly done today…decided I needed to shop for a few new things for the house and the weather will be perfect this week to go pumpkin and mums shopping and apple pickin is on the agenda too. I’ll be making my famous Amish Apple Pies this next week as well.  Yummy!!

October is a wonderful month and it seems to go so so fast..at least for me it does. LOL!  Be sure to enjoy every minute of it…take a walk or a drive and take in the brilliant color. Visit an apple farm and have a caramel apple or sip on some apple cider. I love to bake and cook this time of year.  When you do cook or bake, make up some extra and take it to a neighbor or someone you know would love it.  Don’t forget the critters! Put out Indian corn, peanuts, and bird seed for those who are gathering for the long winter ahead.  Bring in the last of your harvest before the first frost.  I have herbs to get in and I need to do it tomorrow as we have frost warnings already! 

I’ll post blog soon with some of my favorite Autumn recipes.  In the meantime, enjoy the cooling weather and the change of the Seasons….Happy October!

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
Humbert Wolfe

 

 

Bright Blessings, Autumn

*Sources..my BOS & Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan.  Pictures from the internet. 

 

 

 

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Filed under Autumn, Correspondence, God, Goddess, Quote, Samhain

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

Day 7…My Pantry….

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

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

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After……………..

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Before………..

After………………

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

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

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

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

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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

My Samhain Altar………

Merry Meet my witchy friends!  Today I finally got my Samhain Altar ready…my favorite altar I think for my favorite time of year!  I had so much fun choosing the fabric for the altar cloth..and I found the perfect one.  It is in indigo, black and orange..the colors representative of Samhain…it has Jack O’Lanterns, witches hats and witches brooms…just cheerful and fun.

My Samhain altar is about fun and seriousness at the same time.  The fun stuff is the owl, the pumpkin and raven, black roses, skulls etc.  The serious stuff…the pics of my ancestors who have gone on before and I will be calling on on Samhain night!  The witchy stuff..an orange Goddess candle to represent the last harvest festival, and the black God candle, to represent him dieing and waiting to be reborn in the spring.  Other harvest reps are the pumpkins, indian corn, acorns and leaves.  Crystals are jet, obsidian, black tourmeline, red river carnelian, orange carnelian and orange jasper.  There is a large piece of obsidian that could be used for scrying..as diviniation is very powerful at Samhain.  I have the reps for the quarters as always, one change is my cauldron is representing Air as I  will be burning loose incense rather than a cone or stick.  My atheme and wand are always on my altar of course.

My ancestors pictures are precious to me…these are mostly pics taken when they were young.  My maternal grandfather, both grandmothers, both sets of great grandparents and a great great grandmother.  An aunt who died when she was 2 years old..all mean much to me.  I call on them often and I can’t wait to visit with them again on Samhain night!  There is also pics of my two chihuahuas..Pepper and Charlie…my girls are in the pics too..but thank Goddess they are still with me!!  The thinning of the veil is a very magickal mystical night for all witches.  Who would you like to hear from that night? 

I just had to post this pic too..this is my male cat Jasper…1/2 of my familiars…coming to bless and approve my altar.  He does this everytime..the minute I’m done setting up…here he comes..he jumps up..sniffs around..bats the crystals around..plays with my wand and then jumps down.  He is a very witchy cat and I love him!

I mentioned that I would be burning a loose incense recipe on Samhain night…my next post will be about that..the recipe and the how to’s….I’ll post in the next day or so.

Merry Part until then..Samhain Blessings to each of you, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, 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! 🙂  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