Saturday, 27 April 2013

A Little Book Mad

I've just realised I may have gone a little book buying mad this month.

Traditional Witchcraft for the Fields and Hedgerows
Pharmako/Gnosis: Plant Teachers and the Poison Path
The Poison Diaries Novel (previously read but wanted to add to my collection)
The Poison Diaries Artistic Book
Witches by Erica Jong
The Herbalist's Way

Oracle of the Shapeshifters: Mystic Familiars for Times of Transformation and Change - I read really well with my Oracle of Shadows and Light deck, in fact I'm fairly accurate so I am hoping that my level of accuracy transfers to this deck also - will have to wait and see.

Hmmm, the sad thing is I still have a whole lot more than I am wanting to purchase and I literally have no room to put's a bad bad thing....except it's books and that is never a bad thing!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Merlin & Morgana

So, as mentioned in my birthday post, I got Merlin Season 3, having watched season 1 & 2 on UKTV I really wanted to know what happened next. Given my impatient nature I promptly purchased seasons 4 & 5. Then 1 & 2 so I had a complete set.

Anyway, I adored Morgana went she went "bad", I felt so sorry for her half the time when nothing she did turned out the way she expected. Don't get me wrong, I love love love Merlin as he is funny and so much fun but Morgana definitely appealed to the witch within.

I would love to be a HP of the Old Religion (wait...I am) in Merlin style, how fun would it have been? There are flashes of identifiable workings in this, however I did get a bit up it in one episode where they referred to Beltaine as a time to call spirits (Samhain anyone?), but overall it represented Magic (or sorcery as it was called most of the time) in an interesting, balanced light.

I am totally considering adopting the term 'Sorceress' now! Although Hedge Sorceress sounds a bit odd. Although funky, I'll grant you. (Yes my inner nut is coming out now), but seriously, if you get to check it out or see the series at your local dvd store grab it and settle in for a Merlin marathon, you can never just watch one and turn it off.

I loved her dress as she fully merged to 'Bad Morgana', so cool, I would totally wear it.

I also loved the simplicity of her makeup and the adornment of green. I believe this is to symbolise her connection to the Earth and also to represent her being a 'High Priestess of the Old Religion'.

Inside her cottage once she fled Camelot, aside from the not quite sealed roof, who wouldn't love their own perfect witch's cottage in the woods?

Hmm, potion making...still loving the cottage.

Merlin is an awesome tv series, yes it is a bit lighter given it's a family show so how dark Morgana could have been had it been rated up...I only dream. But it is funny without being camp, the humour is excellent but then being British I would expect no less, the costumes are divine and the scenery... can I just drool on the scenery for a while. Also, the series themselves are not that long (each season is 13 episodes I believe) so it is very fast paced - something is always going on.

And did I mention the Dragon? I do so love Dragons.

Wild Growing Banes

The Black Nightshade coming along.

Some ripe berries on my Nightshade

More - will likely be harvesting on Samhain

Little Castor plant coming up - we tend to get quite a few every year,
this time I will harvest some for my poison path workings.

Silverleaf Nightshade, not sure if I will use it but we get it quite prolific up here.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Nature Spirits/Gods

This post is going to seem strange considering I profess to be of the Atheist/Animist persuasion but somehow these ideas and thoughts of Gods and Spirits have been popping into my mind more often than not lately. I can’t say why, I’ve not even begun to explore the importance or meaning of it, but the medium I use most to sort out my thoughts is writing so it ends up in my blog consciously or not. I was reading a post by Woden’s Wandering Witch – again a mysterious signpost perhaps, given my odd dream featuring a wolf called Woden, and it was on the topic of liminal gods – the ones without name who don’t belong to a particular pantheon, the wild spirits and powers of nature, those who walk in shadow and light, existing on a primal level deep in the heart of the world seen and unseen.

They are there, in our world, just outside of our world, straddling the veil, holding the very power of the green world in their hands. Do I know them? Do I have names for them? No. Much like Morgan, I see them as the Green Woman, the Green Man, the Lord of the Wildhunt, The Lady of the Forest Shadows – I think that the names perhaps don’t exactly state their nature, but the truth of who they are remains hidden, to be experienced when the green world touches your own. Are they Fae? Are they Old Ones, before time, before speech, who owned the pathways of the land, who tender the energy within the soil beneath our feet, who tremble the earth and flood the plains, who can give and take on a whim, who grow the forests to hide their kin, to give freer roam to creatures and beings, who walk behind us, with us, in us? I cannot say, I dare not name them for who am I to give them names? They are primal, powerful and green. They are who we seek when we walk the green pathways. As a Green Witch and fledgling Hedge Witch I know on my twisted, winding road I will find them, I want to learn from them, as I walk my first steps along the Poison Path, I ask for their guidance, their wisdom to show me roads not yet traveled, roads I want to walk but almost fear to tread.

These powers are those that walk beyond borders, who create the borders, who guide wandering souls and show them the darker roads, the green roads, the powerful roads, they do not do so lightly nor do they show just anyone, you have to be a willing initiate, giving yourself over to the powers of the green world. It cannot be done lightly, for it is not a simple matter of partaking on occasion, this path is one you must be committed to, ready to open your soul, your heart, your mind to. There are no half measures, for the Green world is one that cannot be defined, but it can be experienced. And so too these powers, the Spirits and Gods of the Green world can be experienced.

Getting All the “Stuff”

I was going to comment on Aine’s post when she wrote it but time got away from me and I was wrapped up in studying and doing homework (less enthusiastically than I should be truth be told), but it stuck in my mind so I thought I would come back to it. I too was guilty of the over-purchase of stuff, although to be fair, later my passion became the purchase of books – of which I still partake most often, my most recent purchase is Pharmako-Gnosis by Dale Pendell (and then there were three other books too) but I digress, my point being that I was guilty of the needing everything. Or rather thinking I need everything. 

I actually remember my first purchase was a box of homemade aromatherapy taper candles and a pack of 25 herbs, from there I bought storage boxes (which is practically minded I suppose) but then there were candles of all sorts, incenses I never use, bit and bobs, knick knacks and ritual tools. I ended up with an overwhelming amount of witchcraft related items that I don’t use. It accumulates, I mean for instance, I have things that I’ve never used but thought I had to have. Before long I was drowning in purchases – but you’ve got to love eBay, best place to offload unwanted things. I took a step back and realised that my Craft was very simple, in fact I only needed a few simple things.

My athame was decorated by hand so there was a personal energy to it, my wand is plain – a stick of oak from our oak tree with an amethyst tip and leather binding, my grimoire is handmade, as is my altar tile and my divination cabinet, and my outdoor altar too. I realised this is where I prefer to be with my tools. Things that are handmade and personal to me (with the exception of my cauldron of course – I wouldn’t even want to attempt to handcraft one of those), they are things that I will use again and again and have for my entire life. I still am completely herb mad – I do indulge in collecting and adding to my herbs. But other than that, as mentioned, my most prolific purchasing is reserved for books. These days I make my own incenses, my own oils, I am involved in my Craft and it works for me because my energy is in the things I use.

I think the lesson for new practitioners is to not get everything right away, learn what your path is and purchase or create items for it. If you’re interested in working with herbs, direct your energies there, if you love candles, spend your money there – or make your own. Don’t go out and buy what you don’t need because otherwise you’ll end up with a tonne of clutter.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Candle Making Adventures

I’m doing an online class on Candle Magick, it’s an area that fascinates me and I do a lot of workings with candles. Since it was a choose-your-own assignment I decided to make an Earth candle. This candle is to help me achieve my inner Earth power, work better with Earth energies and also to be able to transfer that energy to the garden (and also to connect me with Mother Nature and all her lovely earthy garden delights) in order to help my garden become abundant and new seeds to grow strong and healthy.

My ingredients were fairly standard, as was my equipment. Being an earth candle I went for green dye, earth herbs and a nice little hit of patchouli oil to give it a well rounded earthy scent. I used part paraffin wax and part beeswax. People may scoff slightly at the use of paraffin wax but I didn’t have much beeswax and eco palm and soy is not easy to track down. (I refuse to use straight soy or palm given its environmental implications). Paraffin is what I had on hand in the form of some old pillar candles.

I went old school, did nothing fancy, using a double boiler to melt the wax in an old drink can. This I then poured into the mould and let it set. It wasn’t quite smooth sailing because the top of the candle kept sinking. I eventually managed to get it mostly dipp-less at the top but it will definitely be a work in progress.

I really had a fantastic time making it, am quite enamoured of it actually. I have to make two more candles for the class but it is something I will definitely do more of!

P.S The candle smells absolutely gorgeous!

Monday, 8 April 2013

A Bit of Fun

While perusing the net as I often do looking to find out when the third book in a series I liked would be published, I came across this: The Poison Diaries site. It's really quite a bit of fun!

And the books?

The Poison Diaries (bk 1)
The Poison Diaries: Nightshade (bk 2)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

My Birthday Haul!

I thought I would add in what else I got for my birthday. I love my parents - they do spoil me!

TV Series - Camelot, Game of Thrones Season 2, Merlin Season 3 & the last Twilight movie.

I know, I see my cred disappearing - I don't mind the movies per se, never read the books but I am old school in my vampire tastes, after all I grew up reading the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.

Seasons of Witchery by Ellen Dugan and Witch in the Kitchen by Cait Johnson.

My stepdad made me this for outside workings. I love it because it looks old and rustic!

New Plants

It was my birthday last Monday (25th) and my lovely brother sent me some money so I could buy plants (his exact orders were to buy plants lol), so I finally made my decision and they arrived today! There are 8 in total: Pyrethrum, Mullein, St John's Wort, Echinacea, Stevia, Patchouli, Valerian and Scullcap.

They will be going in my new witch's herb garden - a post about that to come!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Round the Garden

Little Crocus' in the garden, randomly popping up each year.

The wild Black Nightshade out the front, I put a tyre around it to prevent it being trampled or parked on.

Not sure what kind of bulb this is, its always been coming up since we've lived here.

Growing Apple Cucumbers.

My Butternut Pumpkin vine.

Lovely red rose.

Hibiscus - pink.

Chilli Plant, this thing gets huge chillis on it and has an incredible output, actually all my chillis this year have been quite virulent in their production.