Sunday, 26 May 2013

New Purchases

Bought a Yew and Elder today - also Datura and Mullein seeds. I've been feeling pulled toward the Yew for some time now so it will be exciting to feel its energies!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Witches by Erica Jong

Of the many books I've purchased recently, this is one of my favourites - Witches by Erica Jong. The artwork is simply stunning and it takes you on a journey which I consider to be fairly important when reading. I love books with such evocative art - I've put a post on The Poison Diaries on my BBB Blog.

If you're a little antsy about nudity, this is perhaps not the book for you but it is really quite lovely so if you can get it, I would certainly recommend it!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Being Sick

I've not been posting as I've had a rather horrible flu for the past couple of weeks. I literally got sick out of nowhere, I was fine one minute (had a stuffy nose but otherwise fine) then I started coughing, my throat got croaky and I became very ill. All in the space of about an hour. Two weeks later I still feel crappy and am still coughing - haven't gone to the doctors as I loathe antibiotics which unless this is viral, is what he will give me. I went through a period of my life where I was on antibiotics almost constantly for near on three years and now whenever I take them, I get most of the side effects so I'd rather just put up with being ill but that is a personal choice.

So anyway, hopefully I will be back to blogging soon, I'll know its time when the screen doesn't swim!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Learning To Journey

As I’ve been slowly exploring Shamanism and how I can apply it to my growing practice of hedge witchery, I’ve been trying things mentioned in books. One of the first was journeying to find my totem animal. I wasn’t sure what to expect as who can say what will become your totem animal? I admit curiosity, how do I know it? What will it be? The books I’ve been reading lately consist of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Shamanism (it’s a fantastic book on giving the overall feel of Shamanism) and Hedge Riding. Both seemingly share similarities which make it easier to move between books yet keep the vein of understanding and thought moving forward.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I thought to try it before I went to sleep – this is when I am at my most relaxed – right before the raging thinking begins (have you ever noticed how much you tend to think before going to sleep?), if I could keep that at bay I was hoping to move forward with the journeying experiment. I centered my mind and imagined a tree with a door, upon entering the door I was in a field surrounded by woods and forests, there were many animals in the field but none that spoke to me (literally and figuratively).

I felt a bump on my palm and looked down to see a rather large black panther. This was my animal. I knelt down and it rubbed its face all over me, booping me (a term I use for what my baby girl Mojo does) and generally being very friendly. I took this as a sign because when cats rub themselves on you, besides being an affection thing, they are marking their territory, marking you as their own.

Image Credit here.

The Panther told me her name was Lehaine/Lahaine – not completely clear on the right spelling as yet. It was the strangest thing for me because when I was a child, I would wake from random astral projection (which I can’t do anymore unfortunately – when I was a child it was simple, I would go to sleep and then project, I would only know I had because of slamming back into my body) there would be a big black cat in front of me – every time. It seems even then my totem animal was protecting me. I actually thought part of her name was Luna, but after doing some research I believe she was telling me she was a lunar creature.

So what is the meaning of having the Black Panther as a totem?

Image Credit here.

The Panther, Leopard or Jaguar is a very ancient and powerful totem. 

It embodies aggressiveness and power but without solar influence. 

A Black Panther’s power is lunar. 

People with a Panther, Leopard or Jaguar totem have the ability to do a variety of tasks at the same time.

They tend to be loners, very comfortable with themselves and are often drawn to other solitary people. 

You must learn to pace your work and not push too hard. Women with Panther, Leopard or Jaguar totems often find themselves raising their children alone, whether it be through divorce or just circumstances of the job.

Panther, Leopard or Jaguar people can develop clairaudience, the ability to hear communications from other forms of life or dimensions.  They should trust their thoughts and inner visions as they are based in reality. 

A Panther, Leopard or Jaguar totems gives you a guide to help you on your path – in the form of a real person – a mentor or teacher. 

The Black Panther is endowed with great magic and power and this power will increasingly be experienced.

The strange thing is, part of this really does ring true. I am a loner and comfortable with my own company, I don’t need copious amounts of people around me – in fact I tend to avoid situations where there will be a lot of people if I can. I prefer the night to day, I do on occasion hear things that are not there (very faintly) and I am really hoping for a teacher, some one to connect with on the physical plane who shares my passion for witchcraft.

During this journey I went to visit Morgana Pendragon in her hut in the woods; however the hut was more of a cabin with extensive gardens. Before you think I’ve completely lost my mind, she was symbolic of what I would like. To meet some one who has knowledge and power within the Craft, it also represents my desire to continue to grow and learn the Ways of Old. In Merlin, Morgana is a HP of the Old Religion and so therefore practices the kind of Craft I do, the traditional form that embraces light and dark, but of course my own practice is missing the special effects and telekinesis (oh what I wouldn’t give). The message at this point was to come back, also moving forward to focus on my dreams and to immerse myself more in my Herbalism. It will be interesting going back to see what comes next.

Image Credit here.

My first experience was interesting, tiring though. I was completely knackered when I finished, I slept well which was a bonus but I think for now my trips will be short, at least until I’m a little more experienced.

Creating My Own Path/Tradition

I was reading an article by The Huntress of Ways on crafting your own path. I have found throughout my journey that trying to fit into a box of some one else’s making is never particularly comfortable, and can oftentimes lead to confusion and stagnation because you think you should be doing what everyone else is. I’ll be the first to admit that in the past I’ve read blogs by witches and thought that what they did is what I wanted to do. I tried it and it just didn’t work. For whatever reason, I could not fit it within my practice, this is not a bad thing, other things I have adopted and made work, but more often that not, it doesn’t happen. I know this is because each path is unique; no two people walk the same path or take the same road.

This has become evident to me in its entirety when it comes to my personal observation of the Sabbats. There are those who do the full ritual, call on whatever spirits or entities they work with and have elaborate altars. Personally, I set up a small family altar and cook my family tea; this is how I celebrate them. I might on occasion be moved to burn a little handmade incense and light a candle or two, say a few words but more often than not I don’t. At first I considered it laziness on my part but then I realized, the celebratory aspect, the ‘ritual’, for me was the cooking, the creating of the dinner. It’s funny because I don’t see myself as a kitchen witch and it’s not necessarily a path I would claim but it suits me in how I work. (I’m a hermit homebody at the best of times).

Samhain this year I did the same thing, but this time I went and harvested some Black Nightshade berries to dry. I felt it was the perfect time to do so, leading up to it I also put out some baneful seeds that will hopefully grow. This is what was done by me for this Sabbat and I felt like this was the right way for me to celebrate it. But I’ve not done any ancestor work yet, or personal rituals because I don’t quite feel that the veil is thin yet, I’ll know when I do and work accordingly.

It was not only the Sabbats that brought this realisation to me but also that my practice is so ingrained with the other things I do. My herbalism and witchcraft are tied together; in fact herbs were the first ever ‘witchy’ thing I bought, as is my passion for books. Seriously, I have a lot. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a book witch, I read more than I do but reading for me is a magical experience because it is my passion, the thing I love to do. Moving forward on my herbalist path, creating things is sacred to me; I feel connected most to the green part of myself when I work with herbs.

I probably did the one thing most recommend not to do, I created my own ‘tradition’ as it were, something that describes my path and how I work it as best as I can put it into words. I call it Greenfae Witchcraft. For me it is the practice of working magic with the natural elements of the Earth. Greenfae is inspired by traditional witchcraft, incorporating elements of Hedge, Garden, Green, Fae and Cunning Craft. It draws heavily from the path of Green Witchcraft, working with natural energies, Otherworld and Fae energies and embracing the crossing of the hedge. It also means working with the land and having an animistic viewpoint, of creating things from the land (tools, herbal things etc) and of course having a healthy eco-attitude. It’s similar to Green Witchcraft I suppose but it also covers a few other traditions. I’ve tried not to overly appropriate but I’ve not really taken from established traditions, more so just taken the parts that work for me and put them together to create my own path.

It’s not for everyone but it works for me. It takes in all my interests and moulds them together. If I started a coven or circle it would likely be in this particular tradition but again, I’m flexible and eclectic so things could change along the way.

I’m truly not one for labels but as I move toward trying to build something that can be grown and even used by others if they so desire, there was a need to have a sort of outline of what it is I do. I considered that if I am going to try and build a circle or coven, I needed a working idea of what I would like the group practice to be – although I am one who completely embraces eclectic thoughts and ideas, I felt like if I am going to bring people together, I needed something to say ‘this is what I do’. But also for me, I really do think it shows my commitment and journey as I walk the darkended, winding roads of the Green World.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Having A Bit of Herbal Fun

I've been fairly quiet lately but that is because I've been doing so much. Friday I decided to have myself a bit of herbal fun in the kitchen and do some experimenting. My stepdad wanted me to make him a salve for his cracked heels and I was testing out something I read online to help with dandruff.

The Cracked Heel Salve, you can read my post about it on my herbal witch blog.

And this is my bi-carb based dandruff treatment also posted about on my herbal witch blog. It made my hair boof a little, putting some of the natural wave in it after I brushed it. Usually my hair boofs when I wash it and leave it to dry but flattens out when I comb it, this seemed to keep the wave in.

I figured, I'm a herbalist so I best start acting like one!