Category Archives: herbal crafts

Harvest Time

Merry meet all,

The harvest season is here. The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Mabon. My garden is vibrant, full of beautiful flowers. Birds, cats and insects visit it many times. I don’t have the veggie harvest  I hoped for but I can still harvest a cucumber, a tomato, a Chinese lantern and many herbs and leaves.

I am not growing veggies anymore. The area for them is full of roots and rocks. It is impossible. I will instead attempt growing herbs and flowers there instead. I also tried growing carrots. The rain washed away the seeds. So I know herbs and flowers are likely to grow. The herbs I want to grow are mandrake, lots of mugwort, monkshood, sage, more lavender, more comfrey and calendula and moonwort. I would grow mandrake for its root. I am also going to harvest garlic!!! Mmmmm

That will happen next spring. I will harvest raspberry leaf, woodruff, lavender, winter my rosemary and calendula indoors, oregano, lemon balm, chives and comfrey. I can use comfrey for fertilizer or healing. I plan to grow chives indoors. Chives give food flavor that can’t be beat.

Mabon is a time of balance. Mabon is the second harvest Sabbat. I love Mabon as it always feels truly magickal to me. Mabon is about yin and yang, and a time when day and night are in equal balance. Mabon is the autumn equinox. The symbols of Mabon are gourds, pumpkins, corn, apples, pomegranates, grains, horn of plenty, and pinecones. The colors of Mabon are reds, greens, brown and gold. The incense is benzoin, myrrh and sage. The gemstones are tigers eye, sapphire and lapiz lazuli. The activities of Mabon are Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.

It ushers Samhain in. Mabon is a magickal time and I hope you all have a wonderful harvest.

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Once Upon a Fairy Tale )O(

Merry meet all,

I had a ton of fun at the Once Upon a Fairy Tale Faire. I dressed as the Lavender Fairy. I suffered it out in a corset, the costume and wings. I absolutely loved the Faire.I had the most wonderful time.

 

I was sorted by the Sorting Hat (same one as at Hogwarts0. I got Hufflepuff. I then set out on having fun and wreaking mischief, though I had a lot of the former, not the latter… well….

So I set out to see the different vendor’s pretty wares ok some scary. There were great swords too heavy for me to lift, fudge for me to sample (mm), costumes, jewels, elf ears, leather wares, deer and horse skulls, herbal teas, Mad Hatter Tea Parties, and so many other wonderful treasures. They were all made possible because of the crafts people’s dedication. There was a huge castle made of balloons, yup I know, a large, mock fencing tournaments, and lectures about the herb mandrake, having faeries in your home. It was so much fun.

I bumped into Cathy Kempton, my first witchcraft mentor, and a few other people I knew. I was delighted to see her again. This kid walked in and wanted to know where the faires were- so the father asked me. Yup I was a fairy. A lot of people loved my costume and even took pics of me. If they only knew how I suffered in it……

I got a beautiful fairy butterfly necklace, a vial of fairy dust, a fairy offering of a teapot and tiny tea cups, incense, herbal death teas, I sampled teas and fudges, and was even treated to tea and cakes by the Red Queen in the Mad hatter tea party – I got a ticket from soneone when I wasn’t supposed to have a ticket.!!!!!! I curtsied in front of the Red Queen!!!

i did collect biz cards. Good thing I didn’t have a $100 could easily have spent it there on such magical wonderful treasures. I took many pics. Doing it all over again next year. I loved every moment of the magial faire. I would do it all over again. I felt truly pretty and light with the wings and skirt. I fairy blessed everyone- my friends, children and some adults too.

 


There were many fairy homes made of moss and this stuff. I fairy blessed everyone. I had pizza and pop for lunch I Sure suffered in a corset and wings.What a time I had trying to sit in a chair or in my friend’s car or even get through a door way in wings. Oy or even sit on a toilet or even wrap my shawl around my shoulders. We visited Mike at work and we found out he wanted the glow in the dark ouija board. So we went back to the fairy event, bought it for him, and gave it to him at the witch shop. His grandmother forbid Mike to own one so we had to return it.

It was hard going in a costume. I leaned forward during rides in the car with wings on, I perched carefully in a chair at the fairy event, I tipped my wings way forward, put on my shawl and then stood up and got my wings back on my back and adjusted my shawl in the bathroom. Eventually I learned to remove the wings in the car on rides. I had two necklaces. When I got out of the wings, the wings caught on my crown twice and on my outfit. I had to get detangled. Ugh what a time. I would do it all over again.

Blessed Be Lady Spiderwitch


Heddy Johannesen <heddyjohannesen@gmail.com>

Jun 24 (2 days ago)
to hj1

There were many fairy homes made of moss and this stuff. I fairy blessed everyone. I had pizza and pop for lunch I Sure suffered in a corset and wings.

What a time I had trying to sit in a chair or in Marks car or even get through a door way in wings. Oy or even sit on a toilet or even wrap my shawl around my shoulders. We visited Mike at work and we found out he wanted the glow in the dark ouija board. So we went back to the fairy event, bought it for him, and gave it to him at the witch shop.

It was hard going in a costume. I leaned forward during rides in the car with wings on, I perched carefully in a chair at the fairy event, I tipped my wings way forward, put on my shawl and then stood up and got my wings back on my back and adjusted my shawl in the bathroom. Eventually I learned to remove the wings in the car on rides. I had two necklaces. When I got out of the wings, the wings caught on my crown twice and on my outfit. I had to get detangled. Ugh what a time.

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch

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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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Flu Season Tips

CIMG1137

Merry meet all,

I know it’s been a few days since my last blog post. I have been brutally ill from a flu bug that nearly bit the very life out of me. It was the most horrid flu bug I have ever had. I ached all over from head to toe, and thought I would die. I spent 3 days in bed. I won’t go into more gross detail but I also had to go to a dental appointment first thing in the morning, first brutal day of the flu. I almost fell on the floor while I was there. I am here to give you some much needed survival tips on how to combat the flu and emerge a victor.

First things first…

Time. If you suspect you have the flu and feel the commonly known symptoms of the flu, cancel major appointments and important business meetings and travel plans. You can’t go anywhere if you are too sick to move and you risk infecting others with the same illness.

Provisions. Stock up on plenty of fresh ripe lemons, organic honey, toilet paper and Kleenex boxes, food that is sources of protein and vitamins such as colorful ripe vegetables, meat and shellfish, and beans and grains. These foods are rich sources of Vitamins A, D and B. These foods also contribute to boosting your immune systems. That is necessary to healing from the illness. Ginger and ginseng are also good for you.

Rest. I spent 3 shameless days in bed feeling like the world was going to end. I really did believe it. I was dizzy when I stood, my eyes burned, my back felt broken, I couldn’t help but sleep, and I sniffed and coughed uncontrollably. If that is not enough, I could only remain awake for 15 minutes at a time between long sleep intervals. So it is a good idea to cancel those meetings and travel plans and just stay home. No one else wants your cold. It is a hard cold fact of life.

Treatments. Get plenty of rest, don’t think you will be staying home watching videos or finishing your adult coloring book. If you have the flu as horribly as I did, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the sleep you need. Take the proper recommended doses of Tylenol or Ibuprofen at the right times. Stay hydrated. Take plenty of steamy showers to loosen up the mucus in your sinuses. Blow your nose often and keep the wastebasket near your bed. Extra tip: Line your wastebaskets/ cans with a plastic bag so it is easy to remove when full. Grocery bags are perfect for that. Keep a tray or a table near the bed but that is not in your way but makes it easy for you to access something if you need it in a hurry. Unplug the phone and internet, and close the curtains. I could barely stand so I welcomed the solitude. Fill the kettle early on in the day.

Health Boosters. I steered clear of Red Rose tea and only drank a bit of coffee. I drank a LOT of organic honey and lemon tea. Not Neo Citran- which is pure artificial sweetener, the real stuff. It was a savior scent from heaven, that concoction of awesome goodness. I cherished every drop. I lost my appetite but I still forced down a few healthy meals: an apple, pasta + brussel sprouts, seafood chowder,  lentil soup, sweet potatoes. These are the foods that give you your much needed health back.

A plan. Do go see your doctor. Your doctor can and will advise you if you have influenza, a viral infection or pneumonia. They can give you medicated pain and fever relief. If they do an x-ray, those will tell the doctors more about your condition. Try to take a cab or arrange a ride to and from the hospital. Try to avoid using the metro transit, if at all possible. People might be sick on the bus or you might infect them. 

Spoiling. This is the perfect time to spoil yourself. Go ahead and if you can handle it, have that spa day or staycation. I took hot showers. I also enjoyed a 20-minute soak in the tub. I added sage leaves I crumbled in my fingers, salt, Epsom salts, and clove essential oil. I exfoliated and scrubbed my finger and toenails. I made a natural mask for my skin of olive oil and honey, which I put on my face for a few moments than washed off after. I felt great. Go get lots of herbal teas for colds and keep them handy. Avoid alcohol and excessive amounts of caffeine. Read a nice health magazine. Recover in a clean apartment and bedroom. Change your bed linens once you are back on your feet. 

This is how I did it. I am finally on the road to recovery. For a while there, I wasn’t sure if I was going to live. But I must have some stoical endurance in me to have survived. With some luck, you will too. I hope you enjoyed reading my post and now have lots of ideas to guard your health. 

More tips: Do keep your room clean. Put some flowers in a vase. Dim the lights. Listen to soft low volume music. If you can handle it and won’t choke, sleep with a lozenge under your tongue as you sleep. Don’t choke. If you think you would choke, don’t do it. I managed to remain alert enough to not swallow the lozenge. Keep lozenges or a glass of water nearby instead as you sleep. Don’t have flashy lights or throbbing techno music booming in the background. Put off collecting the mail or throwing out the garbage. Just stay home. Your aching senses will thank you. Think Enigma, world music or Enya. Meditation can help as well as breathing exercises. Have plenty of Kleenex or toilet paper at hand. 

Good luck!

Blessed be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Brigit, the ancient Goddess )O(

Sblossoms2

Merry meet all,

The Celtic goddess Brigid is typically honored in the beginning of February. Brigit is an ancient Goddess with mysterious origins. She became hugely popular in Ireland and Britain.

Brigit is one of the Tuatha de Danaan, or people of the Goddess Danu.  Legend tells that Brigit was the daughter of the Dagda, the Lord of Great Knowledge. Other legends tell that she was Dagda’s consort, not his daughter. Brigit is a triple goddess: smithcraft, poetry and healing. She has been compared to Minerva, a Roman goddess and Vesta, a virgin fire goddess.

Brigit is revered for her healing powers. She is a goddess of fire. She is famous for her healing springs and wells. The Druids linked Brigit to the late winter arrival of light and the early promise of spring. Brigit’s connection with the growing season also gives her a role as a fertility goddess. She was a patroness of domestic animals and crops. Brigit is the one who sparks the “fire of the poet’s heart, of the healer’s hands and the fire used by the smith.”

Brigit is knowledgeable about healing herbs. She was a patroness of many healing springs and wells. She is a goddess of smithcraft. Smithcraft was viewed as pure magic, the ability to make to transform stone or ore-bearing rock into tools and weapons. She held sway over poetry and creative arts. Poetry was an oral tradition held by the Celts. Much of their history is lost in the mists of time because the history, family lineage, and mythology  is all orally kept. The bards told of all that in their songs and poems.

Brigit continues to inspire her followers today. Light a candle or many candles in her honor this Imbolc. Ignite the flames and follow a tradition kept by our ancestors. Blessed Imbolc

 

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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In Memory

samhaingarden

Merry meet all,

‘Tis near Samhain. ‘Tis near the Witches Time. The view of my backyard right now is so beautiful. As Samhain draws close, I am reminded of those who have passed before me that I cherish and love. I found out today that someone I knew passed away 2 days ago. Thompson Rahr was a friend of my brother’s and was there when I discovered I was a Witch. I had that powerful intuitive experience. I will always have a good memory of him. I lit a beeswax candle on my altar to honor him. I arranged the chinese lanterns around the candle on the seashell on my altar. I carved his initials onto the candle. He deserved better. He fought kidney disease bravely for 21 years. I will always remember Thompson. 

Soon I have to clean my garden, put away the gardening tools and decorations, and lime the garden. I have to add necessary minerals to the soil. I can then plant my spring bulbs. I might add vermiculite too. I keep the leaves all over my garden all winter. They insulate my plants from the bone chilling cold snow. I dread winter but I rapturously love autumn. I am not alone in that sentiment I am sure. I will leave an offering to the nature spirits this fall. 

Samhain is a time to- well you can do this all year- but especially at Samhain, to remember and honor those who have passed away. I have been doing housework all day. I wanted to give my space a special cleaning to have it all nice and special for Samhain. I think that a clean home is nice to have, especially since it is Celtic Witches New Year. I am not a messy person but I was stunned by how much cleaning I had to do. A New year is best started on the right buckled shoe, if you follow me. 

On a similar note, while we honor those who love us, and many other cultures do this too, such as the Mexican Day of the Dead. I think that October 31st doesn’t have to be limited to the Celts. Anyone of any background or what have you can remember their cherished dead. So now my apartment is so clean you could almost eat off the floor- not necessary to, but it is clean. Also, a clean altar- that’s next, and home shows you respect the dead too. Now I just have to decorate it and prepare a dumb supper menu. I can’t wait to perform the dumb supper. 

I should also make a soundtrack of music to enjoy as I perform the dumb supper menu. I plan to burn incense and enjoy some nice red wine. I think red wine is a safe choice for being preferred by those who I choose to honor at the supper and myself. I hope to make beef stew, and I already baked 2 loaves of barmbrack bread, have cheese, crackers, my Mom’s nice sourdough bread, and Black Magic chocolate cake- frosted. I will have coffee after to enjoy. I lucked out with the Black Magic chocolate cake. I think the spirits will approve of that. 

I will set up a black tablecloth, use black plates, silver cutlery and a black cup. I have no idea where anyone ever finds black cutlery. The spirits are forgiving if one doesn’t have black cutlery. Silver or stainless steel can add a nice touch anyway. I will place photos on the table of those who passed before me and the offerings near the photos. I will wear a black dress, cloak, and get all done up. Black attracts Spirit. It is most appropriate. 

During the whole ritual, of course, I won’t say a word. I should make sure my furbabies are taken care of then before starting the meal then. I got lots of inspiration from a Halloween magazine for ideas on decorating. 

I so look forward to the experience. This year, I am not attending the Samhain Ritual on the Commons. I am at odds with most of them anyway. I am fed up with their treatment of me and their behaviour towards me. I practice as a Solitary. I am sorry but some of them need help. This leaves me with more time to do what is important to me anyway. Quite often, in preparation and in attending the Ritual on the Commons, I feel quite stressed anyway. 

The Full Moon shines on October 27th. Be sure to perform a drawing down the moon ritual. 

I hope you all enjoy your Samhain. Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Autumn Cooking

Allium Harvest at Lammas

Allium Harvest at Lammas

Merry meet all,

Today’s post is about foods to enjoy at the time of Mabon/ Samhain. I know pumpkins immediately come to  mind-but- they are not just for carving. 

Pumpkins can be baked into breads (yum!), into cookies, and soup. I always buy a few pumpkins to cook with not just carve. There are plenty of them in stores. I want a couple white ones too. White pumpkins make me think of ghosts. 

Apples are popular now. Apples can be made into applesauce, pies, and apple crisp. Which reminds me, I have plenty of rhubarb in the freezer. Mm I might bake rhubarb cobbler with apple. 

Some popular spices and herbs for baking during the autumn season are: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, basil, clove, anise and orange. Add lavender to cookies. Another fun thing to try is halloween cookie cutters. I have a wide range of cookie cutters in the shapes of moons, coffins, bats, pumpkins, tombstones and witches. Add sprinkles, frosting, or even  natural food dye for ghoulish delights! 

Cocoa will keep you warm this fall. Cocoa can be combined with espresso in coffee or a batch of brownies. 

Nuts like walnuts, sesame seeds, coconut, dried fruit and almonds add health and flavour to your food. Mix up a batch of tasty morning granola with the ingredients mentioned in this post for some health and immune boosting breakfast!

Some popular recipes to try are pumpkin bread, soups, stews, other dark breads, and root veggie recipes. Doesn’t this all sound good? 

Gather some lentils too for lentil soup or save your potatoes and get a leek or two from the local organic farmers market for an invigorating bowl of potato and leek soup. I love my cauldron pot. It looks like a cauldron pot. I brew many a soup or stew in that pot. I use a blender that my Mom owned since I was a baby. I puree the soups, pumpkin or squash in it and it still works like a charm. 

Cooking food from scratch has some advantages. It is more effort to be sure. You have control over what ingredients go into your food. You can freeze the soups for later use. Empower your meal with energy for health or other things. You can see how it’s made and add your own special touch to the recipe. I personally prefer to be a die hard slow cooking kitchen witch, concocting my own recipes and know that I am not adding too many processed food ingredients. Yuck. I have GMOs. 

My witch hazel tree flowered! I also gathered herbs from my garden. I got calendula, lady’s mantle, leopard’s bane, woodruff, and lamb’s ear. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch 

 

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New Moon harvest

CIMG0765

Merry meet all,

Today I bound my garlic cloves from the garden with an elastic and hung them to dry. I chopped off the onion stems and stored the onion heads in a dry clean basket. I will leave the garlic and onions to cure for a number of weeks. Then I hope they store well for the winter. The bluejays steal eggshells I leave in the garden. I wonder why. I believe I shall harvest more rhubarb too. I do enjoy some raspberries from my garden too, though not as many as I’d like. 

The sky’s overcast here today. The sun’s trying to shine through the clouds. The oak seedling in my garden’s doing well. The garden sage is doing well. I can’t wait for another big harvest from my garden. I love to garden and I am sure it shows, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment and brings me peace. I love my garden. It’s been a lot of work and I am seeing the results of my labour, which is part of what Lammas is about. 

The New Moon shines tomorrow night. The New Moon phase is a good time for new beginnings and starting new projects. Cleanse your crystals and burn a candle to meditate or reflect on what you would like to do. I am seeing August as a good time to get my writing and sewing done and up to date. September always signals a change for me. 

Many New Moon Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch 

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Litha Rites

tomaotoes

Merry meet all,

Litha is almost here!!! Well, today it’s raining. But I sure hope for sunshine on June 21st!! Here is more info to help you prepare for an awesome Summer Solstice. 

This celebration focuses on the sun. Use solar colours when decorating your altar. Reds, oranges, golds and yellows are associated with the sun. Try setting your altar outdoors to truly get the most out of the ritual or at least near a sunny window. 

Litha is also a time of balance. The light and dark are in battle with each other. Perhaps a Brighid’s cross or a yin yang symbol would do. Decorate your altar with pinwheels, sun wheels, oak leaves and acorns, and sunflowers. 

To decorate your home for the Solstice, bring in washed flowers, herbs and vegetables from the garden. Leave the food in baskets and arrange the flowers in vases. Burn yellow and gold candles. Arrange flower candles at the base of the candlesticks. Braid herbs into a herb wreath and hang it on your door. Collect seeds and store them in a pretty cloth pouch or a seed envelope. 

Celebrate Litha either as a solitary or with your coven. Go outside! I plan to take a cauldron outside and burn incense on charcoal  in the cauldron. It will smell beautiful. I also plan to spend the day or part of the day tending to my garden. I will burn incense as I tend to my garden. The scent will help carry me away. Midsummer is a magickal time. 

Hold a bonfire, welcome fairies into your garden, share a special meal outdoors with friends and family. The choice is up to you how you enjoy the day. Go for a nature walk and go wildcrafting or clean up trash as you see it. Be sure to wear gloves. 

Have a fun Litha!

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch  )O(

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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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