Monday, 31 December 2012

The Year in Review

I wasn’t going to do a blog post on this because quite frankly, 2012 was a crap year for me. There were more low points than highlights, things did not go my way at all and at the end of it, I feel broke down and drained. So here’s hoping 2013 will be better.

2012 started with Koffie passing, followed by my mother ending up in hospital several times with mysterious stomach pain (she eventually got her appendix out but that was not actually the real cause), there was a couple of issues early on with family. Conan passed in May devastating my whole family even more, which literally broke me, losing Koffie was hard enough, Conan so soon after was shattering. We got Mojo, that was a definite highlight for sure, soon after that Mum had to have surgery, Bella got a major abscess on her neck from a feral cat (this was her last foray into the great outdoors, she is no longer a cat that goes outside), Mojo’s desexing surgery cut got infected, I ended up broke more often than not despite my best efforts to save, I ended up with two really bad flus throughout the year and to top it off, things got stolen out of our yard last week.

Positively, I got Mojo, I passed my Clergy and was initiated into the Inner Circle of the Council of Elders and got my Herbalism certification but somehow the bad outweighs the good. Not that I am not proud of what I achieved.

Such fun. I actually think I am suffering from some sort of chronic fatigue brought on by the stresses of this year. I’m constantly tired; feel very weak and cleaning out my cat trays tires me. I’ve left everything I am in this year, my spirituality has suffered and I am trying very hard to move forward but I feel like I am walking through molasses. I am definitely farewelling 2012 with more gusto than usual because next year has to be better right?

I haven’t really made any New Year’s resolutions, the last lot didn’t really come to much, so this year I think I am going to let intuition guide me, follow my spirit as it were, to where I need to be. I do have goals but I think if I try to make them firm “must do’s” then I will probably get nowhere. As it is, I am hanging on and hoping for the best, I’m trying to be more optimistic and positive. 

So I say Farewell 2012, Welcome 2013 – I hope you are a better year than the one I am leaving behind.

To all, Happy New Years, have a great one and remember to be safe!

The Broom Closet

I wanted to say thank you for the lovely comments on my Christmas present photos everyone and your thoughtful comments too. The comments about being lucky and having the support of my family really touched me because it made me think about those who don’t. I had a post written but I wasn’t sure whether or not to post it, but here it is (with some amendments), so feel free to comment and share your own experiences because I think in the Pagan community, sharing builds a healthier understanding of each other and could rule out some of the ridiculous elitism and defensiveness that is going on and get rid of some of the trolling and bullying and patronising also going on.

I’ve always come across articles about ‘The Broom Closet’, recently I came across another one and the discussion was about living in/coming out and how to ‘come out’ as it were. I realised that, although I have teaching experience, giving advice on coming out of the closet is something I can’t do because the pitfalls and rejections that can come with “coming out” is not something that is within the realm of my personal experience. I have to say, on the odd occasion I have felt bad about my own story because it is completely without conflict, it wasn’t problematic or painful, it was remarkably easy and stress - free. I do sometimes feel as though sharing my story might seem like the old ‘rubbing it in the face’ but I feel it is important to share my story, if only to help those who perhaps struggle with their decision to know that sometimes it can end up okay.

My story is fairly straight forward. My family has always been liberal, my parents divorced before I was born, my Mum and Stepdad aren’t married but have been together for near on 25 years, my Dad joined with his partner in a Civil Partnership Ceremony 2 years ago, my immediate family isn’t religious, for all intents and purposes my mum, stepdad, brother and myself are Atheist and my Dad is Buddhist. My mum chose not to baptize my brother and I into any religion, she felt this was a decision best made by us when we were old enough to chose for ourselves, something I will be eternally grateful for.

I grew up reading a lot; apparently I used to play with the Faeries in the garden. I read a lot of early fantasy books and grew up watching movies like Willow, Ewoks, Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. My fairytale books are all incredibly worn as are my Enid Blyton’s and so many others.

When I was 13 I saw The Craft and I wanted to be a Witch. Most parents would flip out if their child said that but my Mum and Step dad went out and bought me my first ever spellbook ‘Nice Girl’s Book of Naughty Spells’. They let me send away for pamphlets and such from Wiccan (because I only knew of Wicca then) institutions and schools, and they would buy me witchy bits n pieces. They never had a problem with me being a witch as long as I was serious about it and didn’t do anything stupid. They’ve always indulged my witchcraft whims buying me books, candles, my first tarot deck, made handcrafted ritual tools for me and this year they bought me my very first grown up cauldron. I only have one of those tiny 3” cast iron ones. My step dad even handcrafted me a beautiful, stunning tarot cabinet.

My story is a happy one with no trouble and supportive parents. I almost feel bad for that because so many witches I know (blogwise and personally) seem to have had to come to grips with rejection, fear, persecution and guilt that comes with choosing this path. I feel like when people ask me what it was like for me to come out of the broom closet that I shouldn’t say ‘easy as, no problems’. I suppose it’s because I know a lot of people struggled and to a degree they want to relate to some one else who has had this struggle not some one who had no problems or issues.

I had a different situation and I was incredibly lucky and I am so very proud of the fact that my family supports me and has no problem being involved and helping me on my path. If I share my story I know I shouldn’t feel guilty about it because maybe my story shows that it doesn’t always have to be something scary, that the people you love just might support you. I hope that others do have family that support their choices and do not become judgemental or nasty about it, and let them be who they are not who they think they should be.

I do know that some people have faced horrendous treatment at the hands of their family because of their choices and it pains me to see this, especially when people start with the ‘Be Saved’ nonsense. Or the ‘The Devil is tricking you’ crap. I researched a bit on Christianity because my mind likes to figure things out, and if one looks at the truth Jesus shared, he would be considered Pagan in today’s world, as I understand it, he preached tolerance, love and acceptance of your fellow human being. Somehow Christianity and Catholicism has completely bastardised what Jesus taught and it so different from the original intention. I believe that if Jesus did truly come back, he’d be horrified at what has become of his teachings. Not that much of what he taught made it into the bible, hard to control the masses and subjugate women if you are sharing the idea of love, tolerance and acceptance.

Anyway before this turns into an epic rant, I wanted to share my story to show that sometimes there is no fear of coming out and of course, other times it can be a hard road. Not everyone has a supportive family and I know I got more lucky than most in that respect but I do hope that for those who have found it hard that it becomes easier along the road and that you can find peace and understanding within your own situation and if not, that you stay true to who you are because ultimately (and I firmly believe this) the only person you have to please is yourself because your happiness is the most important thing.

Note: This is probably why I haven’t had a serious relationship in ten years, I don’t want the responsibility of some one else’s emotional well being, I prefer just to look to my own.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Awesome Xmas Haul!

I got some really fabulous Xmas presents!

The Cup of Destiny - for tasseography.

This is a handcrafted tarot cabinet made for me by my stepdad. There are some more pictures further down,
it really is stunning up close and personal.

Finally a proper sized witchy cauldron, it's a size 3, 11 litre potjie pot.
It is 26cm high with a 24.5cm diameter, weights about 7kg I reckon.

Cute watering can, an ebook collection of old cookbooks (some over 100yrs old) and the Naked Chef.

This darling little cutie is Henry the Pilot Bear, how adorable is he? He came with a certificate and everything!

Who doesn't love purple cookwear?

This is my window oil infusion grandstand.

This is the top of the tarot cabinet, it is an adaptation of the Moon card from the RW deck. It is handpainted.

This is the front of the cabinet, hand pyrographed.

This is the inside of it, lined with plenty of space for more tarot/oracle decks!!

The Changes in the Air…Is Something Coming?

I was reading one of my regular must-read blogs this morning called The Deepest Well and Aine had written about the feeling in the air and that there are things to consider and I believe she is right. Referenced are other blogs that share the feeling that something is coming (not the Mayan Apocalypse to be clear), and I have to say there is a strangeness in the air, an almost chaotic vibe that feels as though it is picking up steam, just getting started. So much is going wrong in the world right now and it seems to be a domino effect.  It is almost as though there is an encroaching darkness.

It’s the strangest thing, especially for me because I am not the most spiritually active person in the world. I am a witch yes, but I’m not always true to the path and practicing as I should. Even I feel it, I sometimes feel like something is watching, waiting. I don’t know that I would say it feels malevolent because it doesn’t, just more like an awareness, a shiver, a knowing. And it’s not all the time, but on occasion. I couldn’t say what it is or how it enters into my life spiritually speaking, I would meditate on it but I suck at mediation. I can’t focus long enough to enter a trance state or ‘quiet’ state. It’s a work in progress. Lately I’ve been feeling called toward the Yew, Spirit Work and Baneful herbs. The Yew is not a tree I considered before – my tree has always been the Oak – we have on in our yard and it is beautiful, powerful and old. I’m considering Hawthorn, Elder and Blackthorn too but lately my mind has been saying Yew.

I’m moving more toward spirit work, or at least exploring that area, I wouldn’t say I’m near ready to even begin practicing in that field, but like so many practitioners I wonder if I am being pulled in that area for a reason. When I was younger, I used to spontaneously astral project when I was asleep. I would never really remember where I had been or what had happened, I would wake up because I would slam back into my body hard enough to sit me up. It is the most absolute weirdest feeling in the world, you minimally wake up with “what in the”…. going through your mind. I often used to see a black jaguar (or panther) too right before I woke. The Jaguar (and Black Panther) has strong correspondences – maybe I was meant to walk this path all along but was too young to truly understand what it all meant. Perhaps I am being pulled toward the Shamanistic path; I imagine this is what drew me to the Wildwood Tarot. The card I feel most pulled toward in that deck is number 13, The Journey. When I first showed my parents they commented that it was a little scary but to me this card is beautiful, I understand what it means. I also adore Crows, I think they are the most beautiful of birds.

I am scrambling in a way to catch up to where I feel I should be, however I am allowing for the fact that growth is an organic process, it can’t be hurried. I know when something Big happens, I may be navigating blind because only now am I walking the path I feel I was always meant to travel, but I am The Fool taking the first steps not knowing what lies beyond my immediate vision. The funny thing is I’m not afraid, I’m not scared. I’m curious but that has always been a strong part of who I am, curiosity and the need to know. I will see a hint of something in a documentary or book and I will research it until I understand it, I’ve always been this way. I fear the dark because it is unknowable but whatever this is, whatever may be coming, I don’t fear it, I want to put my hand to it and pull back the screen to see. It may not be pleasant, hell it could be terrifying but at least I will know.

Illogical logic right?

Whatever is coming, I think it will be Big and it will change things. In what way I can’t say for sure, but I tend to agree that it may be a changing of perspective or understanding. I can’t say I’ve been feeling as though the Gods are recruiting me, but I’ve always felt a connection to Nephthys, so much so I took the name for my business and magically. Nephthys is the lesser known sister of Isis, she was ‘married’ to Set and is the mother of Anubis. Her mother and father were Sky and Earth and Nephthys herself is the Goddess of Magic, Dreams, Divination, Intuition, Secrets, Metamorphisis, Death, the Unseen World, Darkness and Hidden Knowledge, she is also associated with the Earth, fertility and change. I’ve also had a message from the Morrigan, this was awhile ago. I’m a little ambivalent toward working with Deity, I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but I’ve always felt a pull toward the Darker Goddesses (Hecate and Cailleach have also been interests of mine).

I feel like I should perhaps begin to prepare by warding and protecting. I made some Black Salt so I might even sprinkle that round the perimeter of our property (on a cooler day; we have three blocks side by side – our house in the middle and two paddocks – I am sooo not walking that on a hot day), to give some added protection. I have a protection bottle I’ve never done anything with so I may even consider using it or creating one with herbs from the garden and bits from around the home to really solidify the connection. I just realised (total duh moment) that at either end of our property we have crossroads....wonder if there is any significance?

So as my rambling comes to a close, I do understand where other Pagans are coming from, that we can all feel it to a degree is interesting and powerful. How whatever this is comes, I think we will all know before it hits. What we can do is protection work, spirit work, journeying and divination to see what we can learn and how we can adapt to the changes. However long we have to wait (I’m not convinced it’s immanent, I think there is still some time to go), time will tell what needs to be done.

Curiously, does anyone feel a particular time frame? I feel like a cold feeling, not so much the energy of whatever it is although there is a slight feeling of emptiness, of a void, but more like it will come during a cold time.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Summer Solstice

How was your Summer Solstice? Any end of the world vibes? I didn't feel any, but then again I've always been of the opinion that the Mayan thing was vastly blown out of proportion because let's face it, they either thought 5000 yrs was long enough and would do another calender closer to the end date - or they got wiped out and so weren't able to do another calender. Either way...

Anyway, my solstice was rather quiet. The night was beautiful actually because it was so quiet. I cooked dinner (I forgot to take photos of it), previously throughout the day I made a Litha incense and completed my Faery ointment which gave me bizarre dreams (that will be for another post), and after dinner, when night had fallen, I did an offering and ritual to commemorate the day. It's actually the first time I've ever done any sort of ritual work on a Sabbat - new experiences and growing on the path.

This was my altar for the day, just a few things that remind me of the Solstice, of Midsummer happiness and of course the never-ending heat we get here.

My Litha incense making session. I've only just really begun to use a M&P for grinding, I still prefer a Coffee Grinder but I felt like being a little traditonal.

My resin base of Copal, Benzoin and Gum Arabic.

Mixed in were herbs of Lavender, Vervain, St J Wort and Chamomile.

My faery ointment.

My attempt at making non-alcoholic mead. Can honestly say not a fan of the taste, I mean I love honey but fresh on bread, not so much in a cool drink.

My offering of brownie and mead for the Fae folk abounds.

My ritual, gold and red candle with a stick of Fairy Dreams incense and of course my burning handcrafted incense. I really love the smell of the incense on charcoal, it adds a whole other dimension to the experience.

So there was my solstice, quiet and lovely. It was nice to take the time to do some introspection. I also did some tarot and oracle readings for myself which I most post later on (with Xmas coming on, I'm a little busy so I shall try to have them up before the new year). The results were interesting but need a little more time for interpretation and understanding.

Overall I hope everyone had an exceptionally lovely solstice whether it was Summer or Winter and I wish everyone the best for the Holidays however you celebrate them!

Merry/Happy Xmas, Yule and Holidays All!!

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Pagan Community

There is a strange feeling in the Pagan community right now; I tend to think of it as ‘more bitching, less growing’. It’s not a community anymore I don’t think. There seems to be this need to push one’s own agenda, and to become a ‘Guru’ and to seem like you know the ‘right way’ or the ‘only way’. There are so many different forums across the internet for Pagans to share their message, their path and their passion but instead it seems to be only all about putting down other people to make themselves look better. It’s sad to see because this is a community that should be pulling together and sharing their passions, not tearing apart other people’s in order to push their own.

As some of you will know there was a big scuffle on Facebook between two parties that somehow escalated into something completely nasty because of the followers of one party (or minions as I like to call them because let’s be honest they were acting like minion trolls) and it got to the point that some parties who were commenting actually said to the trolls and the one party for whom these trolls were going insane that there could legal ramifications including slander, defamation and harassment. Only then was the thread pulled, but this was after near on 200 abusive, sometimes threatening comments. And all of this was over perceived “copying” (using a free template is not copying) and “imitating” of products or services or something. Whatever, we all at one point, if we handcraft things, try ointments, oils, herbs and other things.  To a degree this is why I put a photo of my Wormwood on the previous post, I know the person mentioned above is selling infused Wormwood oil and I don’t want to be on the receiving end of an accusation so here I am proving that I have an enormous wormwood and had it long before I ever began reading this person’s blog. It’s really quite disheartening when we have to cover ourselves this way to protect ourselves from harassment and trolls.

Now it seems there is a trend of ‘New Ager Bashing’ going around. I know that there is some thought that Trad Witches are being negative and unpleasant toward others not of the Trad Path – which is wrong because the Trad Path like any Pagan path is a personal choice – not the ‘right’ way or ‘correct’ way for everyone. It’s funny to think that the original theory behind 21/12/12 is that some sort of spiritual awakening or enlightenment was supposed to happen – if this keeps up, I really don’t think that’s possible. Honestly, for the most part, I think I’ll wake up on 22/12 and life will go on and I will be looking forward to Xmas where I finally get my size 3 potjie pot! My parents bought it all the way back in July because it was on special and it has been sitting there taunting me ever since…. Damn cauldrons!

Anyway I’ve just been thinking lately about the way things are in the internet world, of how easily people insult, ridicule and dismiss others. Instead of everyone trying to prove their ‘Pagan-ness’ how about we actually try getting along with each other and trying some of that thing we like to call tolerance and understanding??


Catnip from the garden, I'm thinking of selling some, the rest I'm going to stuff in Xmas presents for the cats.

Tansy, I've not much used it but I'm always interested in adding to my herbal knowledge.

Here is my rather epically large Wormwood that I made the thrice infused Wormwood oil with. It just grows and grows no matter how much you prune it. I am so hoping Mugwort does the same!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Herbalism Certification

Sooo happy! Passed my Herbalism Final Exam with a Grade A Pass (highest you can get). This means I am now officially a Certified Herbalist. Great Xmas present! Of course I am still going with my studies as I am doing the Advanced Herbalism also but for now so excited! Yay me!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tentative Steps on the Poison Path

It probably comes as no surprise but lately I have been making tentative steps on the Poison Path (as made obvious I suppose by new blog). Baby steps really. I think it is likely an extension of my interest in herbs and my baby hedge witch steps as well. I think likely I’ve always been headed in this direction but it really had to be a time and place thing. I’ve always been fascinated with Mandrake and always grew/grow Foxglove and this was well before I even knew or heard of the ‘Poison Path’. It was a slow awareness, a waking up of what is possible for me. Being some one who is interested in herbs and studying to be a Herbalist, this facet of the Craft interests me. I find it curious and almost a compulsion. I don’t know if once I discover the darker aspects of herbs that I will like what I find or if it will even sit comfortable. I suppose the Poison path is not meant to be comfortable because it is a journey, walking the winding roads of entheogens and their possibilities.

The funny thing is it always sat in the back of my mind. What perhaps brought it forward was the discovery of a couple of different Nightshade types growing around my home. Also, I purchased a Wormwood a few years ago because it was ‘witchy’ but really had no idea of its Poison Path potential, all I knew was that it was perhaps not the best idea to burn it inside because Wormwood needs good ventilation when being burned. Or it could have been buying the Magical Formulary by Herman Slater and all its lovely and interesting recipes, watching Charmed and being obsessed by the mention of Mandrake all the time. I knew reading about the gothic herbs in Garden Witch’s Herbal by Ellen Dugan that I was fascinated. I can’t say for sure when it really bit because the interest has been a pervasive part of my life now for the last few years. I was always interested in Witchcraft, (see my About page for that story) so there may have been an element of inevitability to it.

I really stepped out I suppose when I purchased my first true banefuls in the form of two types of Madrake (Officinarum & Autumnalis) and the much famed Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade). I have a list of other herbs I want to procure along the way – I’m dying to get a Yew tree, I just have to save up my money. I also want to get Henbane, Black Hellebore and Hemlock, I wonder about Fly Agaric also, but that is something I think I would have to purchase elsewhere as opposed to growing myself. I am not rushing, I am letting things progress as they will, rather organically. As I feel called to grow a plant I will. For now, I am comfortable with the Mandrakes and Nightshades. Although I do really want that Yew tree.

I am exploring various paths, the Faery pathway calls to me, the Hedge, the Poison and the Crafting calls to me. I am wholly committed to creating a magical garden because it is almost a calling, a compulsion I can’t ignore. I feel as though I need to walk these pathways because something in me needs to know, to learn and to journey. I’m now doing a lot of reading, books have always been a large part of my life – okay its more like nearly all of my life, I’ve been a prolific reader since before I started school, so my natural instinct is to read. I purchased Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants (Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Christian Rätsch and Wolf-Dieter Storl Ph.D.) and it is a fascinating journey into the history of banefuls across thousands of years. If this is an area that interests you – especially the Greek Pantheon as the herbs associate with them are covered in this book – it might well pay to check it out for yourself. I am thinking of getting Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers by R.E. Schultes, A. Hofmann & C. Rätsch. My list is kind of epic. Mind you, the library I am a part of currently has a One Card Network, it is where 130 SA libraries have joined together and you can order/reserve books yourself and have them sent to your library instead of hassling your library to order them in. I think you can have like 28 – 30 reservations at a time. Want to guess what the majority of mine are?

My advice, from what little I’ve learned so far, is that if this is an area that interests you, start with basic herbs first. Don’t go for the banefuls straight out the gate. Familiarise yourself with your regular herbs, understand their functions and abilities, use regular herbs a lot and get to know what they can do. Eventually you will have enough working knowledge to move toward the more dangerous of plants.

Writing this, I wonder if it is the natural curiosity of the Witch to at some point journey near on to this path, to discover the herbs of antiquity?

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Card #7 The Treasure Witch

I’m a little behind on my Witch Cards – one card in and already not giving it my all – tsk tsk to me. Anyway, the card selected for this week is the Treasure Witch.

“The Treasure Witch brings precious gifts more beautiful than jewels. She endows you with peace of mind, and dream gifts from heaven while you sleep at night. A bedtime incantation or prayer will realign you with deeper energies and reveal the best of your true gift.

News, gifts and invitations arrive as if from a casket of heavenly treasures. These gems will colour your mood with optimism and a promise of divine happiness. Your sincerity is creating heavenly good and deeds that will pay divine dividends.”

Hmmm. So much mention of Heaven – really not me per se but the rest of it I like. As I walk the path of a Witch, I’ve been wondering if I have any gifts at all and at the same time acknowledge that they remain so far unknown because I am crap at meditation and kind of give up before I begin so I know that I haven’t given time to focus on them as much as I should do. I’m not a necessarily material person (although I do believe the more books and herbs the better) but who wouldn’t be excited about arriving gifts? If these are of the spiritual nature and not physical then I am as equally happy. Xmas is coming up though so perhaps the gifts spoken of are Xmas gifts? (Already wrapped and under the tree, my family is on top of and in front of it this year!). However this is to unfold, I am waiting with interest.

Now to the practicalities of helping this manifest: a while ago I purchased a guided meditation cd called ‘The Inner Gift’ so I think one of my goals for this week is to listen to it and see if it helps at all. I might even (gasp) try some meditation and inner focus. I was planning on doing a Banishing of Negativity and Bad Luck ritual this week as it is the waning phase of the Moon so therefore perfect for this kind of thing, and I think it will fit in with the general theme of this card. Got to get rid of the old to make way for the new.

I will say without hesitation that I believe some of the gifts spoken of are my two cats – my beautiful, insane, angelic, demon possessed princesses. I do love them so much.

Summer Colour in the Garden

Pink and White Rose
Orange Lillium
White Foxglove
Pink Foxglove
Blue Cornflower
Bunch of Orange Lillium
More Jacaranda
White Lillium
Purple Gladioli

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Card #12 The Grant Three Wishes Witch - Day 7

(It's a bit late but here is the final day with this card)

Day 7: Full Moon – rather fortuitous timing for the final element of this card. With this card is a ritual, and although previously I’ve not done the spells because they aren’t my normal way of doing things, this one is. I thought I would post the ritual up here for everyone to see because it’s really simple and I think easy for anyone to try.

Grant Three Wishes Witch Ritual from book:

Three Wishes Do Come True

Take three fresh or dried bay leaves, one for each wish, and light a white candle for purity. In front of the flame, write in blue ink one wish on each leaf. Hold the bay leaves in a fan shape and gaze into the candle flame. Close your eyes and visualize each wish individually. Picture how life will be when each wish is fulfilled. If the vision fades, open your eyes, look into the flame, close your eyes again and continue. Kiss the front and back of each bay leaf, place them in an envelope, and put it under your pillow. Snuff out the candle. In the fullness of time, each wish will come true.

I did this ritual, hopefully it comes to fruition. Closing thoughts on the Grant Three Wishes Witch is that it opened my eyes a little and motivated me to move my dreams forward, doing what I can to help the magic along.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Faery Oil/Ointment

The Summer Solstice is almost here, strangely, the Moon has been rising very late. The other night I went outside, must have been about 11pm. The Moon had only just risen over the horizon. It was massive and yellow – looked amazing actually – my stepdad asked if it was getting close to a long day or something. Of course the Solstice is coming up, on the 21st it will be the summer one here. It feels strange leading up to it, I can’t explain it. We are having decidedly non summer weather here right now (which is fabulous because I hate hot weather), we’re having a run of winds, coolness and rain so again, strange. I’m loving it, will love it if it keeps going past Xmas.

Because I have been slowly working my way back toward being more involved with my spirituality and getting to where I want to be, I felt like the Summer Solstice would be a perfect time to rededicate myself to my path and to the journey I want to take. I’m interested in working with the Fae, I’ve recently begun to renovate my Faery Garden (photos later) and I thought the best way to honour them and try to work with them is to use their corresponding herbs to make an infused oil which will eventually become an ointment. So the other night I began the process by selecting my herbs (some from my garden) and infusing them in Grapeseed oil. I’ve also done the same with my Wormwood. The oil is now infusing on my kitchen windowsill getting the sun. I am hoping by the solstice the oil is ready because I will make the ointment and use it on the solstice.

I used a variety of herbs: the most important one is Thyme as this is very much a faery herb. I read once that often an oil of Thyme was used on the eyelids to see the Fae (thus inspiring me to use Thyme), I also used Oak (another famous fae tree), lavender, vervain, rosemary, hawthorn and a couple of other herbs to round out my oil.

So hopefully it is strong and scented beautifully. I really do hope it does what I wish, if the Fae wish to work with me, they shall let me know I think. Otherwise, ti will be a wonderful ointment to use when reading my various Fae decks and working with the natural energies of my garden.

More New Plants

Patchouli & Mugwort

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Free Tarot/Oracle Reading for My Followers

I’ve decided, since I’m vastly out of practice, to offer free tarot and/or oracle readings to my blog followers. I used to read quite regularly when I was a part of Firefly but now not so much since I left. Although I offer paid readings in my store, I decided for those who are kind enough to follow, read and comment on my blog I would do free ones for one month – 30th November to the 30th of December. I’ve been complimented on my accuracy so hopefully I can help you with any situations or issues you face.

Please note: I am fairly blunt, if a message is clear I generally won’t sugar coat or fancy it up. I will tell you what the cards say without hesitation or pomp because I’m not a fan of getting a reading and having it vague, without meaning and meandering. So if you don’t like straight up, please don’t ask for a reading.

  1. You have to be a current follower/subscriber of my blog - this is my way of saying thankyou to those who read and follow me so no exceptions.
  2. One question per reading, too many questions per reading can confuse the cards.
  3. I will do one reading per person per week. Please do not send me a different reading request every day – it won’t happen.
  4. You will receive your reading within 48 – 72hrs.
  5. No health or death questions. No exceptions.
  6. Please put your name that would appear in my subscriber list on your request as well as your real name and question.

THE CARDS I HAVE: (in case you have a preference)

Tarot Cards

Celtic Dragon Tarot
Mystic Faerie Tarot
Wildwood Tarot

Oracle Cards

Oracle of Shadows and Light

Note: The Faeries & Heart of Faerie oracles I’ve not had much practice with yet, so if you choose those ones – could be interesting.

So if you would like a reading please send me an email at staklee84 (a) with your question and I will do my utmost best to give you a clear and concise reading. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as I can only improve if I know where I’m going wrong or where I am getting it right.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

12 Grant Three Wishes Witch - Day 3, 4, 5 & 6

Day 3: Completed my final Herbalism assignment, now waiting for it to be returned so I can send off for my final exam. How is this relevant you ask? One of my dreams is to be a Herbalist, have a little herb nursery and sell herbal products as well as practice as a Herbalist. This was a definite step in that direction.

Day 4 & 5: Personal steps taken to try and get things in line that would mundanely line up to help the magical get a boost.

Day 6: Wasn’t a day I did anything as I was winding up Tafe work and getting things done.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

New Blog

Some of you may know, my interests are wide and varied, generally twisting and turning as I go along this path and to that end, lately I've been feeling called to working with the Banes and exploring the darker aspects of Herbalism alongside my natural interest. I'm not sure where this path with take me or what I will learn along the way but I've created a new blog specifically for these interests. I will of course keep writing in this one because this is my 'overall view' blog and likely - as with the post on Belladonna - some things will cross over from there to here and visa versa. My new blog will explore my journey into working with Bone and Bane and what I learn from it. I'm kind of terrified of walking this new path because it is unknown, it is not clear but I'm sure that in all in our own way we experience this - a pull toward something unknown, unexplored. So, please head over and check it out, I hope I can offer up some interesting information or just a look at something different. Sooo my new blog is:

Friday, 23 November 2012

Growing Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade)

I’m taking my first steps into growing poisons and adding to my small collection of entheogenic plants. I have a very established Wormwood,  two Black/Common Nightshades that pop up seasonally out the front of my house (it’s considered a weed in Australia) and I have begun to grow Mandrakes. My next choice was to try Belladonna, otherwise known as Deadly Nightshade. Belladonna – like Mandrake – is from the Solanaceae family of plants. It is a witch plant of legend and considered one of the ‘Gothic’ herbs. It is deadly, of that have no doubt, so it will be a plant that will be handled carefully. I think its latin name gives the message clearly – Atropa Belladonna. The Atropa is named for the Greek Goddess of Fate Atropos – the Fate who cut the threads of life. Quite telling isn’t it? It certainly gives one pause.

Belladonna has to be germinated the same way as Mandrake, by soaking in cold water for two weeks (to mimic the thaw of snow I believe) in the fridge with the water changed daily. A small pill bottle or something equivalent is good to use, I’m using an old pill bottle, and can be kept in the fridge without taking up much room. I’m keeping mine in the door of the fridge. I’ve made sure to put a note on the fridge so I don’t forget to change the water. Sometimes life gets in the way and I don’t necessarily remember everything I’m supposed to do. My seeds will sit for two weeks at which point I will plant them out in little seedling containers and hopefully before long, little nightshades will appear.

I will likely use the Belladonna for ointments, incenses and such when I have a little more experience of the poisons under my belt. I will also sell the seeds (when I am able to harvest them), dried berries and dried plant materials in the By Bone and Bane Apothecary – but that’s a little ways off for now.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

12 Grant Three Wishes Witch - Day 2

Day 2: For this day I took a step in creating the business I want. Although I have my website, I’m thinking of more eyes on my items through Uncle Fester’s open marketplace. There are a few bits and pieces I have left over from my eBay days as well as some handcrafted pieces that I want to sell. Hopefully this will get them sold quickly as well as put more eyes toward my business site.

200th Post and My New Plants

Lemon Balm, White Sage, Yarrow (Red)

So my new plants come in the mail yesterday - so loving them. I wish I could get white sage to grow like that. Well I got some white sage seeds in the mail today so I'll give it another go if the jiffy pellets don't work out.

This is my 200th post - Wow. I think this is the longest I've ever stuck at blogging but I'm really enjoying it, I think it's helped me quite a bit in my path. So here's hoping for another 200 posts!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Card #12 The Grant Three Wishes Witch

The Grant Three Wishes Witch demonstrates that wishes really do come true. Being naturally intelligent, you understand mysterious secrets that give wisdom to the wise, but entangle the minds of fools. Your heart’s desire will be granted. As your wishes echo in your soul, you will be transformed by love and self faith.

Sounds nice, I hope it really does come true, I could do with some happy wishes coming to fruition right about now. Each day I am going to do something involved with the card and the three wishes – however I won’t share what those wishes are because I think some things need to be held sacred and like spells, if all and sundry know about them, they might not happen.

Day 1: Today I really thought about what it is that I want and what wishes I would like to see come true. I’ve thought about it and I know what they are, they are dreams I’ve held on to for so long but never had hope for them coming true. Now I will change my attitude and move forward knowing this is what I want and that it is possible. I might even take some ‘mundane’ action to help these wishes along.