Category Archives: early frosts of spring

Spring Sprouts

Merry meet all,

My project for herby sprouts is working!! I am amazed at how a whole huge plant can start from a tiny seed. I now have a garden on my windowsill. I’m growing snapdragons, lavender, thyme, basil, moonflower and morning glories, tomatoes, pumpkins, elecampagne from seed. My calendula overwintered and is now flowering! I also just bought black rose seeds.

I accidentally snipped a calendula flower and stem. I put the stem in a glass of water and waited and waited. Several weeks later the stem grew roots which I planted back into the same pot with the other calendula. I have three sprigs of rosemary in a glass of water to grow roots.

Patience is important when growing from seed. Try not to over water the plants. That killed my dill sprout. Just add a tiny drop of water every other day or if the seedling looks limp. Keep the starter pots by a sunny window. I have a plastic bag around the starter pots which helps to trap the water. Use good seedling potting soil. It is geared towards starting plants from seed. Let the seedlings grow on their own.

My moonflower just germinated!! It is weeks away till I can plant them but it is fun to watch them grow and help them along. I use a small clear plastic mister bottle which I have watered the seedlings with. You can also water from beneath. That prevents the seedling from root rot and dying. If you do water on the surface of the soil, add a tiny amount of water.

Small to tiny seeds lie on the surface of the soil. Water the soil prior to planting the seeds so they don’t drown. Bigger seeds are planted deeper in the soil. The sprouts still push through soil. So now we have sun, soil, water and time… what else? Love. Be gentle to your plants. Let them grow and just trust that they will grow. Before you know it, you will have a full fledged garden of seedlings waiting to bloom once the frost has passed.

Don’t disturb or transplant young seedlings. Let them grow where they are. You can if you want magically empower the seeds to fulfill your magical intention. The roots take time to be fully developed. Transplanting them too early can put the seedling in shock and damage it. They are content in the home that they germinated in. When it is time to harden the seedlings and plant them outside, then you can uproot them. Again, patience is key.

My morning glory seedlings )O(

Starting your plants from seed indoors has a few advantages. They are protected from the frost, can grace your window with their beauty and you can be sure that you will have a beautiful plant growing. If you start from seed, you control the growing conditions. You can grow several of the same plant without paying a fortune. Your plants will be ready to go once the frost has passed, saving you the effort of buying the same plants from the garden center.  

I’m starting the nasturtiums from seed outside. They are easy to grow and grow well there. Snapdragons seed heads look like skulls, which is one of the reasons why I bought the seeds. I also like the sound of the plant’s name. I’m running out of room for more seedlings. This has been a magical and fun project. 

My snowdrops have bloomed. My spring bulbs are growing slowly too. I can’t wait. 

Happy planting!

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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The History of Imbolg

Ewewithbabylamb

Merry meet all,

Imbolc springs to life soon in February. Imbolc is the next turn in the Wheel of the Year. Imbolc is the first of the three spring Sabbats, the other two being Ostara and Beltane. It is one of the great Celtic fire festivals.

Brighid is often honored during this time. She is a goddess of fire and fertility. Imbolc is a time of magical energy related to new beginnings, the goddess and fire. Life stirs within the soil. The sun brightens and the days slowly grow warmer. In the Irish Gaelic,  Imbolc is called oimelc, meaning ewe’s milk. At this time, the cows and ewes are nursing their calves, a common precursor to spring. Imbolg also means “in the belly”. Imbolc is also known as Candlemas,  the Feast Day of Saint Brighid, Le Fhelle Brid, Imbolc has a Celtic connection. Brighid is a triple aspect Goddess. She is a keeper of the sacred flame and a guardian of the hearth.

To our ancestors back to the Paleolithic times, the winter season was a true horror. Imagine dealing with glaciers, frigid winds and cold, and scarce food. The wind howls and you hear the ghostly voices of your ancestors. The wind cuts like wolf fangs, its so cold. The clan chews on the last of the mammoth meat, starvation is close. Any sign of spring then was a sign of survival, a cry to the soul. The Crone was valued then in the clans, but she finds it hard to keep up as they hunt for elusive oxen. The Crone was the wise woman, the one the clans turned to for hope, wisdom of how to survive and store food. She knew the early signs of the coming spring.

The Maiden doesn’t transition and emerge till the cold fierce time of the Crone is passed. Winter even in our time is still upon us. If you listen closely to the wind, it might whisper messages to you. Be sure to heed them. The Crone’s cloak of darkness and snow still hovers over the earth. Spring is a few weeks away. Soon the ice shall thaw to leave room for crocus and tulip bulbs. A common symbol of spring is the Bear who awakens from hibernation. When animals emerged from hibernation, it was a favored sign of spring. The idea of the goddess in bear shape was a reality through the Paleolithic times in Europe.

Bears are protective of their cubs which made the bear a popular mother figure. Sheeps and ewes correspond to spring.

I shall post more about Imbolc in the future. For now, stay warm and keep posted.

 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Decorating for Imbolc

Sblossoms2

Merry meet all,

Imbolc is almost here!! Imbolc is the halfway point between the rages of winter and the onset of spring. For all you southern hemisphere readers, you are now entering Lammas. The Wheel of the Year spins eternally, this time it settles on Imbolc. 

Many Witches honor the Goddess Brigid at Imbolc. The traditional colours are red and white. Blood is connected with life. White reflects snow. Brigid is also tied to the colour green. She wears the colour green on her mantle and for the life beginning to stir under the snow. 

The altar decor should reflect the theme of Imbolc. Try adding spring flowers to your altar such as daffodils, hyacinth, snowdrops and crocuses. You could decorate the altar with both flowers and candles. 

Make a Brigid’s doll from corn or use a corn doll you made in the past (I don’t believe in burning them) and dress her in a white dress made from simple cotton. Add an anvil or hammer, a book of poetry, sacred animals such as cows or swans, and herbs. 

Burn lots of white candles and decorate your home and altar area in flowers. Imbolc is the first of the three early spring Sabbats. 

I wish you all a magickal Imbolc

Blessings

Lady Spiderwitch 

 

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Seeds of Hope

rosy tulips

Merry meet all,

I am just in from seed planting. Yesterday I bought some organic topsoil. I wheeled the soil home and put it all on my new garden patch. Today my garden looks beautiful even in the rain. The rocks get that sheen and the green vibrant plants stand out among the earthy rocks and soil. 

I cleared away more weeds and removed rocks from the soil. A Witch’s work is never done! I just planted hollyhocks and lilies in the garden. I hope they germinate. When they do, I will thin the seedlings more and enjoy watching the hollyhocks grow! I can harvest more seeds from the stalks come fall. The witch hazel is also coming along nicely. The flowers I planted at the base are doing well too. 

The photo above is one I took of the beauteous tulip growing in my own garden. It’s a double-petaled deep mahogany red tulip and the hybrid is called Uncle Tom, (mundane name, if you ask me.)  The scent is amazing!! I also watered the seeds and my garden with my organic Neptune’s Harvest organic fish emulsion fertilizer. 

I shall continue to post more here soon!! The Full Moon shines on June 2nd. The moon is waxing. This is a good time to get out and do some gardening!! You can plant seeds that grow above ground now, because the moon is growing full!!

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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A Garden to honor my ancestors

Seedling Magick

Merry meet all,

Tonight I’m sipping coffee and I occasionally peek out to my blossoming garden. It cheers my heart to see the plants grow. I also take pride in it for a different reason. 

I am carrying on the work of my ancestors. I am part Celtic and part Viking. My maternal grandmother is from Scotland. My maternal grandfather is from Cape Breton-French Acadian. My father was Norwegian. 

They would have worked hard in a garden to provide the food to feed their families. It was a produce or perish way of life then. They would have raised livestock. I don’t raise livestock but I do have two familiars. A garden was necesary. I also know how to fish, saw wood, gather and store wood, and operate a real wood stove. I know how to identify animal tracks, herbs and berries, and cook homegrown food- and ride horses. I often practice slow cooking, as opposed to eating processed food out of a can. Yes I do know to work a coleman stove. 

Allow me to elaborate here. One time in Pleasant Bay, my sis Niki harvested some root veggies from her garden. She cooked a pot of stew and it was cooked on the wood stove. I love the sound of a stainless steel kettle rattling on the wood stove- and a woodpecker pecking at the outdoor house walls. Then I was given the pot of soup and I held the pot of stew on my lap the way to the main house, where we all enjoyed it. I mean, it was delicious. Well it was made from totally locally grown vegetables and cooked on a wood stove. What was there to not like? 

I also can sew and clean. I know you may be thinking these seem like such domestic chores- especially since last fall, I was in the kitchen literally cooking all day. But I filled glass dishes with the plastic red lids with four different soups and I was able to feed myself all winter long. 

I have a fresh stash of lentils and beans. I know what to do with them. Performing this work is satisfying because I feel like I am carrying on a tradition. I have occasionally gone camping, maybe not as often as I should. Spending so much time in Pleasant Bay has helped me appreciate going for a simple walk. Well today was rainy. I also know how to make candles, make crafts like candles, jewelry, and bind books But my main pride and joy is my garden. I fail to understand why no one started a garden in the backyard here before me. Oh well my job. And I love it! I bought a celtic cookbook to also honor my ancestry. 

I am studying the different gods and goddesses in the Celtic pantheon. That is just fascinating to me. I do have a hard time getting my hands on books and information on the Vikings so I could honor that side of my family. I hope to learn more about them. 

I plan to make good use of the raspberries in my garden in jam and maybe eat them with pancakes. I plan to grow tomatoes, kale, lettuce, carrots, beets and radishes, potatoes, chives, garlic, rhubarb, and onions. For someone who lives on a meagre budget as I do, this is a lot of food. This includes the herbs and flowers I shall also harvest in the fall. The Witch Hazel will be cool. I haven’t planned on what to do with that yet. I can also harvest roots, seeds, and flower petals for various magickal uses. 

I let my Samhain pumpkins compost in my garden all year. The orange pumpkin was closer to the house. The white pumpkin composted over the tulip and garlic bulbs. When I raked the leaves this spring, I didn’t find the white pumpkin. I guess that is how well it composted. But the soil, bulbs and bugs would have benefitted from the nutrients from it. I did find the dried crumbling remnants of the orange pumpkin. I know it helped the soil. 

I planted snowdrops because I read they were sacred to Brigid. This is one of many ways I hope to explore and deepen my connection to my ancestors.

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Season of Change

Penny

Merry meet all,

Who besides me hates winter? Let’s see a showing of witch hats. Yeah I thought you would all agree. Last night’s full moon was the last of the dark winter full moons for the season. It gets exciting from here. Spring is on its way. So you can all breathe a sigh of relief. I am. 

I think winter affects us in more ways than just seasonal affective disorder. I have not felt any inclination to do any magick at all. This is not like me. I do enjoy it. It could be because I live alone and never have any company for an esbat. It could be because it is hard to know if you are growing or not when you live alone. These things all contribute to how and when and if people perform magick. It certainly affects me. I performed a simple meditation last night. That is all I had the energy for. 

Yet I managed to manifest a cat. It sounds like I need more confidence in myself and trust in myself. So I propose to try to have more confidence and trust in myself. I do suffer from anxiety and depression, which can take over your life. I usually try to not let this affect me. I have to keep thinking Spring is almost here. The Spring Equinox occurs later this month. Who couldn’t be cheered up that? 

So I can assume that this depression I am going through could possibly by seasonal. Let’s hope so. By the way, I hope you all check out the amazing movie The Theory of Everything about Stephan Hawking. I watched that movie yesterday and I really enjoyed it. I was so engrossed in the movie I forgot about everything else. You will cheer for Stephan Hawking. He is inspirational. 

You can view the trailer here:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2980516/

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch 

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Snowy moon of Imbolc

CIMG2258

Merry meet all,

Tomorrow is Imbolc!! I am happy about that and I hope you are too. The weather here is scary enough to make me seriously reconsider stepping out my house. The road is icy and slippery and rain has fallen over the snow. it is a recipe for disaster. It cheers me greatly to know spring is on its way. 

The magickal colour today is brown and the magickal incense is sandalwood. The moon is waxing to full and will be full on February 3rd. When the moon is waxing, it represents the maiden or starting new projects. I just transplanted the sage and milk thistle seedlings into new pots. The moon is in Cancer now. Cancer is a water sign and transitions. 

Saturdays are ruled by Saturn. Saturn corresponds with inheritance, discovery, real estate, protection, structure and reality. Imbolc is fast approaching. The full Snow Moon in Leo is on the 3rd. The snow piles higher now, which is how the full moon in February gets its name. 

I plan to clean my whole apartment and cook myself something nice tomorrow. I also plan to perform a ritual tomorrow night. 

Merry Imbolc blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Imbolc

witchhazel-late-winter

Merry meet all,

Imbolc is almost here. I get a huge burst of creativity at this time of year. Imbolc is  a lesser Sabbat and first of the three spring Sabbats. Imbolc honours the Goddess Bride. The ewes bear calves. Spring is on its way too. 

Imbolc is called “Oimelc”, which translates to ewe’s milk. The colours red and white are traditionally associated with Imbolc. Make your altar decor reflect the Sabbat theme. Imbolc is a sign of spring, so include plants that symbolize new growth. You could add potted bulbs such as forsythia, crocuses, daffodils, and snowdrops- which are sacred to the Goddess Brighid. Make a Brighid’s crown as a centrepiece. 

Brighid is the Goddess of Celtic peoples. Add a celtic design to your altar such as a Brighid’s Cross or other Celtic knot work. Other symbols are cauldrons, a small anvil or hammer, a Brighid corn doll, animals such as cows, sheep or swans, poetry, fairies and herbs. Candles, of course. Use a white and red altar cloth or you can lay down a fresh clean white altar cloth and a red strip of fabric across it to symbolize the traditional colours. 

Tomorrow I will talk about rites and rituals and recipes!!

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Sagely Wisdom

b400c-echinacea1

Merry Meet All,

Imbolc is almost here!! Sorry for the pause in the posts, but I have been so busy trying to write a novel proposal that everything else has been- and that includes my entire life, has been on hold. Now that some of the maddening, gritty work is done, I can concentrate on other things. 

…like Imbolc. I’ve germinated garden sage and milk thistle seeds so far. I put the seeds in a folded damp paper towel in a ziploc bag. The seeds germinate much faster. I found loose sage leaves at the grocery store then discovered the sage was from Israel. What? i was shocked. So I rejected the sage and instead, bought a bag of seeds. 

Now I know where my sage is coming from. My own garden or windowsill, which I prefer. The sage from Israel would be useless to me. The magic properties that sage is known for would be long gone. The power of the herb would barely exist by the time it reached Canada. I couldn’t believe it. I would rather grow my own, which is highly possible as I have a garden. 

I wanted to buy the sage to steep in a teapot and do my sacred magic circle of sage tea all around the perimeter of the apartment here. But I wouldn’t use sage leaves from Israel. Sage is known for increasing longevity, aiding in protection and offering wisdom. How much of the natural wonderful properties remain in it by the time it is on the store shelf? Not to mention that the leaves are sprayed with a pesticide and preservative. Ugh Who wants that? 

Ah I am now left to the wonderful chore of growing my own. I have a young sage plant in my garden but it is buried under snow. I won’t harvest from a young plant I will wait till it is established. I can’t wait to plant my seedlings in the garden in the spring. 

I often read my copy of Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs. I love that book. I couldn’t live without it. It is an excellent reference book that should be on the book shelf of every serious Witch/ Pagan or Hedge Witch. 

Grow local! Grow your own herbs. My Genovese Basil was unintentionally uprooted this fall so I potted it up and brought it indoors. I can’t believe how it is flowering. The plant gets lots of sun from the southern window. My sage seedlings are growing next to it. Soon I shall have a few lovely sage plants blossoming in the garden, when spring arrives. I will have all the chemical-free sage  I want for casting protective magic circles!! 

I’ve been reading and enjoying Raven Grimassi’s articles in Witches and Pagans magazine. I now have new fun ideas to try on my herbs and plants thanks to him. I want to buy his books. I like his approach. I hope they include more of his writing. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Ostara Crafts- Ostara Tree

Merry Meet All,

That came as a surprise. It is snowing out when just yesterday I was admiring my snowballs and crocuses that bloomed in defiance of winter. It is not time yet for plants to emerge, brave as they are trying to be.

While we wait with bated breath for the true arrival of spring, we can be preparing for Ostara. Find out if there is a public ritual to be held by like-minded people in your area.

Make an Ostara Tree

You will need:

several tree branches
florist’s foam
a flowerpot
acrylic paint
spanish moss
spring decorations

Paint the pot with spring images such as flowers, rabbits, birds, insects or eggs or use stickers. Allow the paint to dry. Cut a chunk of florist’s foam, and insert the branches into the foam to form a tree shape. Hang the decorations on the branches. Use the Spanish moss to cover the florist’s foam in the top of the pot. You can paint the tree branches with acrylic paint and glitter, if you want the tree to look fairyish or leave the wood natural. Sprinkle glitter on the brnaches and decorations. Ask the faeries to assist you as you empower the Ostara Tree. Place the tree on your altar and use it in a ritual, or as a tabletop decoration.

Try to use branches that are already on the ground.

Good luck with your Ostara Tree!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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