Thursday, December 31, 2009
I'm not doing any ritual work tonight, just spending time with loved ones. This could be a good night for ritual work though. Be careful however, because Mercury is in retrograde right now. So if you do any spellwork in the next few weeks, make sure that your intent is very clear, so that nothing gets all confused. Mercury rules communication and travel, so clarity and safety are important right now.
Recently, I bought a copy of the Tao Te Ching, and I am very interested in it. I've decided to start studying it. The book is split into numbered passages, which are very short. Each week, until I'm finished, I'm going to read, study, and meditate on one passage from the Tao Te Ching. My intent is to learn from it, and hopefully understand how to apply some Taoist wisdom to my path of Hedgecraft and Natural/Kitchen/Green Witchery.
I will try to post every week about my ideas and meditations, and if anyone wants to read and study along with me, that would be great! If you are interested in doing an online Tao Te Ching for pagans/witches study group, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
(sambucas nigra, sambucus canadensis, sambucus laciniata, sambucus racemona)
Ruling planet: Venus
Sacred to: the Mother Goddess
Used for: exorcism, protection healing, prosperity, sleep.
Elder goes by many folk names, such as trom (the Irish name) Frau Holle (German), Old Lady, Yakori bengeskro ("devil's eye" in Romany), and Lady Ellhorn, to name a few.
Elder sap is red like blood, and it has been though that elder trees are home to spirits. When cutting a piece of elder, a witch or folk healer would say:
"Lady Ellhorn, give me of thy wood,
And I will give thee of mine,
When I become a tree."
It is sometimes associated with grief. In Christian tradition, Judas Iscariot was said to have hanged himself on an Elder tree.
It is used to ward off demons and negative spirits, as well as protect against sorcery or spells against you.
Hang it over your door to protect the home.
It has been used in burial rites in Britain, and is sometimes used to protect the dead on their journey into the afterlife.
The flowers are used for wine, cordial, flavor syrups, ice cream, and Sambuca, an Italian liqueur.
Medicinally, ederberry is used for fevers, coughs, colds, and sore throats, among other things. (I recently took elderberry lozenges for a very sore throat, and they helped alot, and tasted really yummy.)
Certain people, including some Gypsies, think that it is bad luck to burn elder wood, so it is never used in a campfire.
Elder is very popular for wands and flutes. Scott Cunningham says "Make flutes from the branches and call forth spirits with their music. Best done at midnight in a deserted place far from the haunts of humans".
Ruis (elder) in the Celtic tree calendar is from November 25 to December 22. Each tree in the calendar corresponds to a line from "The Song of Amergin", which purportedly comes from the Chief bard of the Milesians when they invaded Ireland circa 1268 C.E. The line "I am a wave of the Sea" corresponds to Ruis/elder.
I hope that you found this helpful, I certainly learned a lot about elder when researching it! I want to make my own elder wand, and dedicate it to the Mother Goddess. I can't wait for Samhain! I am currently working on compiling some purification techniques for a hardcore Samhain purification. I love a good purification, it always feels so good!
Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
"What is the Celtic Tree Calendar?" by Linda Kerr
The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl
The Ultimate Herb Book by Antony Atha
The White Goddess by Robert Graves
Saturday, October 10, 2009
For those of you that read NewWitch and/or PanGaia magazines, you may be wondering what happened to them. I suppose that they just weren't making enough money to continue, so they have both closed down, unfortunately. The good news is that the people from the two magazines have come together and created a new magazine that is sort of a combination of the two, called Witches and Pagans. It is available at this website: http://www.bbimedia.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=488&zenid=c5eb6d261149d7af8088e47c0a60f90d
In my town, October is officially Earth Religions Awareness Month. There seems to be at least one event every week. Although I don't go to many of them (I'm a bit introverted), I am glad to be blessed with the opportunity to discover more about paganism and earth religions. So many people live in areas where coming out of the broom closet could cause them to be ostracized or even put them in danger. The only resources they have are books and the internet, and don't know any other pagans. Until pretty recently, there weren't that many books, much less the internet! I just want to thank God and Goddess for the wonderful pagan community I have here.
October is my favorite month, ever since I was a little kid. Witches, magic, and the unknown surround us this time of year. So soak up the mystical energy that is October, honor the God and Goddess, your ancestors, and the darkness. Prepare for the turning of the wheel. Samhain is a great day to cleanse your home. I plan on cleansing my home, in both the mundane sense, and cleansing any negative energy that could be lingering.
On the upcoming new moon, I plan on taking down my altar, and setting a new one up on Samhain. I will put up new candles and a new cloth, cleansing and reconsecrating my tools, and preparing all of my items for the new year.
My homework for you this month is to purge lingering negativity and clutter. Get rid of old magazines, sweep and mop the floors, smudge your home often. Meditate, let the negative energy flow out of you, channeling it into the earth to be recycled. Think about bad behaviors or things you want to get rid of (smoking, old grudges, etc.) and make a resolution to change things. The darkness can be powerful for looking within and finding out what you feel that you need to change. Cleanse your home and yourself, and you will go into the new year feeling refreshed.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Have a blessed Mabon everyone!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My point is, all symbols, words, numbers, etc are meaningful if you want them to be. So, if 999 is meaningful to you, then great. If it isn't, that's ok too.
9 is my favorite number, because it consists of three sets of three. So 999 is three sets of three sets of three. So I like to think of today as good luck, because my favorite numbers are in alignment. So I'm going to draw on that good luck energy, and use it to increase my happiness, health, and prosperity.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I am going to go and harvest the last of my herbs in the next few days, and then dry them, and get ready for the cold. September's herb of the month is going to be coming up soon, this month it is Chamomile. I would love suggestions for October, so let me know if you want me to feature anything specific.
I hope that you feel blessed as the first leaves of autumn fall down from the trees.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Hermes was the son of Zeus, and the nymph Maia (one of the Pleiades and the child of Atlas). He was born in secret (so that Hera, Zeus' jealous wife would not find out), on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. When he was born, Maia wrapped him in cloth, and exhausted, fell asleep. Hermes, although a newborn, was very intelligent and cunning. He broke free from his clothes, and ran off. He finally came to Thessaly, and found the golden cattle of Apollo. Hermes stole the herd of cattle, and made his way back to Mount Cyllene. On his way back, he killed a tortoise and removed it's shell. He took the shell, and the intestines of one of the cattle, and created the first lyre.
In the morning, Apollo saw that his herd was missing, and being a god, knew that it was Hermes who had stolen his cattle. He went to Mount Cyllene to confront Hermes. Zeus was called to judge Hermes' actions. While Apollo told Zeus what had occurred, and the trial went on, Hermes began to play his lyre. Apollo, who is the God of music, was enthralled by the beautiful sound of the lyre. He then made a deal with Hermes. Apollo agreed to let Hermes keep the cattle in exchange for the lyre.
I always loved this story. I like the idea that the beauty of art or music can cause people to put their differences aside. That is one of the things that I take away from this myth.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thanks you so much for following my blog. I really appreciate it. I really want to share my experiences and my path with others, especially since there aren't too many books on Hedge witchery, although there are more popping up lately. I have been studying the craft and the occult for 9 years now, and I finally feel like I have enough of a foundation to share my ideas publicly like this.
I want to hear your ideas too, so don't hesitate to reply to my posts, or to email me at email@example.com
And please, if you like reading my blog, let your friends know about me!
Again, thank you for reading.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Bless this home and all within,
Mothers, Fathers, Children, Friends,
Keep safe and calm this hearth and home,
Never here let evil roam,
Protect this house from darkest sorrow,
Bless this home, now and tomorrow.
I like to chant this while going around my home smudging it with sage (or other incenses). This can be done every full moon, month, week, day, whatever you prefer.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
1. Try guided meditations. I find these very helpful, and I still used them all the time when I meditated on my own. I know that cd's and mp3's cost money, but luckily there are many good guided meditation podcasts available for free on iTunes. I personally enjoy Wynyfryd's Meditation Room and Meditation Oasis. These guided meditations can provide structure and can help you focus and concentrate. You can also learn techniques that you might want to use in your own personal meditations.
2. Practice often. Practice makes perfect, and the more often you meditate, the better at it you get. When you are used to meditating often, you will be better able to fall into a meditative state. This can help with other aspects of your craft too.
3. Keep a journal. This can be tedious, but it really helps. Write in it even if you can't concentrate and you don't really meditate. You can find connections, like maybe you have more trouble concentrating if you meditate before work, or if your best meditations happen in the afternoon. It is also a good place to keep a record of any spirit guide meetings or astral journeys that happen.
4. Consider mantras. Find a personal mantra to chant either aloud or mentally, or use one that already exists. Om (Aum) is a powerful sound that can aid in meditation and deep breathing. You can also try using a pagan song or chant, such as "We All Come From the Goddess" or "Isis, Astarte, Diana..."
5. Set the mood. Try different kinds of music, candles, incense, etc. (since you will most likely have your eyes closed, be careful to observe fire safety precautions). Find some things that work for you. I enjoy listening to Enigma when I'm meditating. You can find some wonderful music at import stores (I have one that I bought in an Indian import store that has some eastern music themes and a techno beat).
6. Learn what works for you. As always, use your intuition. Try different things, and you will learn what you like, and how you prefer to meditate.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Sacred to: Hades (Pluto), Hecate
Used for: Money/Prosperity, Lust, Healing, Travel, Exorcism, Protection, Attracting Good Spirits.
Magickally as well as medicinally, apple mint is used for pretty much the same purposes as other mints.
It is grown as an ornamental plant (look at the pretty green and white leaves!), and used in jellies and teas, and some recipes (see below for a recipe for Apple Mint Couscous).
All mints are sacred to Mintha (Mentha, Menthe). Mintha was a nymph, who fell in love with Hades, and he loved her as well. Persephone (his wife) became jealous, and trampled Mintha, killing her. (In some versions, Demeter, Persephone's mother, is the one to kill Mintha). Hades was saddened by the death of his love, and he raised her up as the first mint plant.
Apple mint can be used to fight headaches, and calm stomach problems. It is often eaten or drunk in teas. It can also be used in a balm to soothe muscle pains.
Worn around the wrist, mint protects against bad health.
To attract money, place or rub a few mint leaves in your purse or wallet.
To expel evil, sprinkle salt water with sprigs of mint, rosemary, and marjoram.
Place it on the altar to attract good spirits, it is extremely useful for this purpose.
Keep some apple mint close to you for protection, prosperity, good health, and to attract good spirits to your home and hearth.
Apple Mint Couscous:
* 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter, in all
* 1 cup peeled and finely chopped sweet apples
* 1 tablespoon minced shallots
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus extra for garnish
* Salt and pepper
* 1 cup couscous
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 2 ounces crumbled feta
* Fresh rosemary
In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter is melted, add the apples, shallots, garlic, and mint. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the couscous and olive oil and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil, stirring for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining butter and remove from the heat. Cover and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Fold in the feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Mound the couscous in the center of the platter. Lay the carved lamb over the couscous. Garnish with fresh rosemary and mint.
(courtesy of Emeril Lagase, http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/apple-mint-couscous-recipe/index.html )
Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
Green Witchcraft by Ann Moura
The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl
Thanks so much for bearing with me!!! I am really going to try my best to keep this blog up to date. I know I am a month or two late on starting Herb of the Month, but I'll continue doing it. Stay tuned for September's Herb of the Month: Chamomile!!!
Monday, August 10, 2009
On another topic, the Mother Grove, a Goddess temple in my area has been recently given official non-profit church status!!! This is such a wonderful thing. They have yet to get their own land, so light a candle or say a blessing for them! Check out their website here.
Also, tell your friends about my blog!
The other day, I went hiking with my boyfriend Nick. We hiked up to see some local waterfalls. I am very out of shape, and it was about a three mile hike to the bottom of the falls (we didn't go to the very top, because it is very difficult terrain, and for more advanced hikers). I almost gave up, but I pushed myself just a little harder, and I made it. It was so incredibly beautiful there. I felt so peaceful there. There were butterflies everywhere! Different kinds, tiny purple ones, large yellow ones, and a medium sized blue one. I told Nick (who is very rational minded) that maybe the fae were there, and he smiled. It was amazing, seeing those different kind of butterflies all gathering there. Nick and I went for a swim in a small pool below the falls. The water was frigid, but it felt good on sore muscles. I felt the energy of Mother Gaia all around me. I felt like I could have stayed in Her waters forever, but after a while we gathered our things and walked back down the mountain. I felt so amazing, and I was glad to share the experience with Nick.
I love living in the mountains so much.
I hope that everyone had a blessed Lammas!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Things are finally getting warmer here, so I am starting to feel the transition from air to fire. As a fire sign (Aries), this is always a pleasant time of year for me. I am looking forward to hiking in the woods and feeling the warmth of the sun. My boyfriend and I are going to go hiking very soon, so that will be great.
I got my first cauldron the other day, and I am so excited. I am looking forward to some sigil burning this coming New Moon. I love the cleansing properties of fire for banishing negative behaviors. (I am quite overweight, and I'm finally working on changing that).
I think the fire energy is much needed this year, not just for me. So many people I know feel totally drained after last year, and I think the summer is going to rekindle some good energy.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Here are some things associated with fire (I took these from Asiya's Shadows at http://www.asiya.org/article.php/FireCorrespondences) :
Direction - south
Gender - male
Energy - projective, pro-active
Qualities - hot and dry, light and active
Colors - red, orange
Power of the Sphinx [also referred to The Four Words of the Magi] - to dare
Point of pentagram - Lower right
Season - summer
Hour of day - Noon
Time of life - young adulthood
Elemental spirit - salamanders
Nature - fire, sun, stars, volcanoes
Part of body - heart, spine
Human senses - sight
Keys - Light Principle, Action
Virtues - courageous, self-assertive, chivalrous, enthusiastic, passionate, experienced, virile, energetic, daring, faithful
Vices - self-centered, ruthless, fanaticism, vindictiveness, anger, hatred, stubborn, greed, jealous, vengeful, resentful, egotistical
Excess - hot, hyper, flitting thoughts, insomnia, anger, dominating, egotistic, violent
Stage in the cycle of creation - the desire or Will to manifest the idea, the driving life force, the principle of change and transformation.
Emotions - intense and urgent, but usually passing quickly: desire, anger, joy, panic. Without Fire to prod the other elements along, the world would likely settle into a rather uninteresting fixed state.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I'm growing cilantro, sweet basil, and lemon thyme right now. They are all coming up pretty nice so far. I'm also growing some flowers and veggies. I really want to grow some of the more expensive herbs, so I don't have to pay for them.
Monday, May 11, 2009
3 parts bergamot oil
3 parts hyssop oil
1 part roman chamomile oil
1 part petitgrain oil
3 drops lavender oil
mix with an equal amount of base oil, like grapeseed oil
You can shake to mix it, but shake very gently. Don't mix this oil if you are angry, anxious, or otherwise stressed, because it can affect the energy of the blend.
Mix the oils delicately, and enhance the oil with your own calming, healing energy.
So welcome to the Hedge Witch's Garden! (Thats me, your friendly neighborhood Hedge Witch.) What is a hedge witch, you ask?
Well, there are two kinds of Hedge Witches, and sometimes the two kinds overlap
(These are my ideas of what a hedge witch is, and no one can really agree on the exact definition.)
The first kind of hedge witch is similar to a shaman. They do work with the other realms of existance, like the astral realm, the underworld, faerieland, etc. They communicate with spirits and do divinations.
The other kind of hedge witch is more of a kitchen witch. They use herb lore, cooking, potions, fae energy, low magick (by low magick I mean magick that isn't heavily ceremonial, not that it is not as good or effective.) and work healing magick, protection, and divination (like tarot or scrying). Midwifery and herbalism are practices associated with hedge witchcraft. Some of these witches are craftswomen and men. Home, hearth, and garden are important. Some of these witches prefer the term Green Witch.
Most hedge wtiches fall somewhere inbetween these categories.
I draw mostly from the latter category. I use herbs, cooking and potions. I would call myself a Hedge Witch, also a Green Witch or a Kitchen Witch. I mostly work healing and protection magick, but I do a little divination. I work with the fae spirits, elemental magick, and I do astral projection and spirit guide communication. My practices are heavily celtic wicca-based, but I also draw from ancient greek philosophy, hoodoo, native american religion, shinto, buddhism, taoism, and hinduism. I am also a craftswoman, I made woodcrafts, leathercrafts, I sew, I do cross stich, etc.
My craft and my religion are tied together (although not all hedge witches share the same beliefs.) I believe in the Mother Goddess and the Father God.
I'm going to post spells, charms, recipes, poems, prayers, chants, or just whatever I'm feeling at the time.