Category Archives: potted herbs

Ostara- Balance of light and dark )O(

Merry meet all,

The weather outside is frightful. Ostara is a few days away. I am trying to believe that spring is coming. Yet my snowdrops are buried under wet freezing rain/ slush. Snowdrops are sacred to the Goddess Brighid. I dedicated my snowdrops to her for that reason. Every early spring they grow. More flowers are on the way.

The sky darkens early here still. I may be the only one here but I love the dark half of the year. My dark side reveals itself a lot. I downloaded a cool photo of a skull resting on the open pages of a book. It is such a cool picture. I am currently reading Spirit Conjuring for Witches by Frater Barrabas. I have a ways to go yet. I will post a review when I have finished reading it. I will miss the dark time but I also embrace spring. I can only take so much of wearing a heavy winter coat and boots after all.

I do miss my garden. I have started echinacea, dill, thyme and lavender from seed. I hope to plant them in my garden once all chance of frost has passed. I also have rosemary and calendula cuttings which I hope will develop roots and be ready to plant in soil. I would love for once to successfully grow rosemary. I learned that rosemary doesn’t like to be moved. Dill has deep roots. Calendula will bloom if you overwinter it indoors if there is enough sun. The more I work with herbs, the more I learn from them. I intend to order mugwort, moonwort and mandrake seeds if I can. I am determined to grow a pumpkin patch this year too. I will grow beefsteak tomatoes too and peas, beans, carrots, herbs too, I planted my garlic last fall. I can’t wait. I hope to get hyssop and feverfew to grow from seed too. I have the room in my garden for all this!

I am ready for spring. I look forward to reviving my garden and not being weighed down by a woollen winter coat.

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

For your reading pleasure:

http://www.epicgardening.com/white-sage-plant/

https://www.gardendesign.com/plants/witch-hazel.html

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Ostara Ritual for a Solitary

Ostara Gardens

Merry meet all,

Once you have decorated and dedicated your altar, think about performing a ritual. You can perform this as a solitary and it is best performed outdoors if possible. You won’t need much to do this ritual outdoors. Be awake early to do this. If you want to cast a circle, do so now. 

You will need three candles: one green, one yellow and one purple. You will also need one bowl of milk, and a bowl of honey or sugar. 

Begin by noticing the air around you. Try to sense the arrival of spring. Inhale the fresh air deeply. and sense the change in the seasons. The air may have an earthier aroma. Light the green candle to symbolize the awakening earth. As you light the candle, say: 

The Wheel of the Year turns once more, and the vernal equinox has arrived. Light and dark are in balance, and the soil stirs to life. New life springs forth once more in the eternal cycle. 

Now, light the yellow candle, and say:

The sun draws ever closer to us, pulsing the earth with its warming rays, Light and dark are in balance, and the sun warms the earth with radiance. Life grows once more in the eternal cycle. 

Finally, light the purple candle. Purple represents the Divine in us and in all life. As you light it, focus on the presence of the Divine. Say:

Spring has come! Let us be thankful. The Divine is present all around, in the air, earth, fire and water. We are blessed on this day. Welcome! Life giving Light! Welcome!

Take a moment to meditate on the flames and what they symbolize. Consider your relationship to the Divine. Now blend the milk and honey together, mixing carefully. Pour it as a libation upon the ground, around the altar space and as an offering to the earth. As you do, say:

I offer this milk and honey to the earth, As thanks for the blessings I received and those I may some day receive. 

Once you have made the offering, stand for a minute facing your altar. Feel the cool earth beneath your feet and the sun’s warmth on your face. Feel the balance of light and dark. When you are ready, end the ritual. 

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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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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The Essentials of Herbs

Merry Meet All,

It is that time to start thinking about herbs. I’m growing a pot of thyme and sage indoors. I bought them this winter and I plan to grow them indoors all year. The reason is, that these plants don’t always survive in the garden. Thyme and sage need full sun, and certain soil conditions. Besides, the sight of the potted herbs enchants me and makes me smile.

I have been writing for an herb magazine for a year now. Here is the link: http://www.essentialherbal.com/index.php. I love the magazine for the recipes and that I can learn from other herbalists. I have been able to share my knowledge of herbs with the readers and learn from them. Essential Herbal magazine is gaining stellar reviews, which the magazine deserves. No matter the season or time of year, there are always excellent recipes to be found in the pages.

Their website is awesome. You can download a free copy of the magazine, just by clicking on the link on this post, do puzzles, read their blog, read about the current issue, their latest news, and even buy e-books on their site. They have a group on Yahoo and you can read articles about the basics of soap-making. The wizard behind the magazine, Tina Sams, is the tireless editor of the magazine. She is a great person and a talented herbalist and brings her endless enthusiasm and knowledge to the forefront. Essential Herbal is in its second decade of continued publication. I am not surprised.

I encourage you all to click on the link and learn more about this fascinating magazine. Refresh your knowledge of herbal lore in time for spring with Essential Herbal magazine!

The photo above is of my Ostara Altar. Please feel free to post your photos here of your altar or contact me if there are any complications with downloading files. Enjoy spring.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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