Category Archives: ritual

Seeds of Hope

Merry meet all,

I love the warm glow of a candle on an overcast wet day. I love gardens and seeds too. I want to talk about how to start seeds in starter pots, because you know, its that time of year!!!

There is more to popping a seed into soil than most people know. It is a bit of an art and a science.

What you will need are seeds, seed starting soil, starter pots, water, and a sunny windowsill. Often, the seed packets come with instructions on where to plant the seeds and how deep and how far apart from other seeds. The size of the seed determines how it gets planted too. Tiny seeds rest on the surface of the soil and larger seeds can be planted deeper in the soil.

Don’t make the mistake I made and put too many seeds in one slot. They will grow better if they are spread out into several slots. I like to fill the starter pot with the right amount of soil and then water it. I let the soil settle then fill the cavity with soil. Then I add the seeds. This avoids the seed drowning in the wet soil and prepares the soil for the seeds. Do not fertilize the soil at this point. That comes much later.

Be sure the starter pot has a hole for water and that you have some form of tray beneath the starter pot. Add the seeds to the soil. If they are large, push them in deep using the end of a pencil. Tiny seeds rest on the surface of the soil. Lightly dust the soil over the seeds. Do not add compost or mulch. Just put the starter pot on the watering tray and then put that onto a sunny windowsill. You can also use grow lights.

At this stage, it is good to wait until a tiny sprout shoots up from the soil. Do not douse the plant in water when you see a sprout. Let the soil dry out between watering. Make sure the seedling gets plenty of sunlight. Also make sure there is a good comfortable temperature in the room.

When a seedling comes up, it will grow its first set of leaves. This is called a cotyledon. Then when it grows the next set of leaves, that is its true leaves. Despite what some sources tell you, its not a good idea to transplant a seedling when the second set of leaves appear. This only confuses the seedling resulting in the plant needing then to put its energy into being moved and adjusting to the new pot. Its energy should be focused on just growing in its present pot. When the roots show beneath or just at the bottom of the starter pot, then you can think of transplantation. Let the plant grow where it is. It is happier that way.

Try not to over water a seedling. It might rot, die off from over watering or its tips might turn brown. When my seedlings were starting out, I added the tiniest amount of water. I knew the sunlight and the soil would sustain them. They don’t need as much water as you believe. Oregano, sage, thyme, these herbs may have come from the Mediterranean. They are accustomed to the hot temperatures there.

Be patient. The seedling is doing the best it can. As a baby plant, like any other newborn, it takes time to grow. It will take a long time to grow to a large size anyway. even years. A true gardener is patient.

I hope this helps you to grow many lovely herbs and flowers!! I wish you luck with it. You can grow anything you want. Once you master how to start from seed, you might not buy seedlings from garden centers again. You will save money starting from your saved seeds too.

I am happy to say that I started a cherry tree from seed outside in my garden!!! I overwintered the seed in the soil. It emerged this spring. I set a circle of stones around the seedling. I also added clean chicken bones to the soil. The bones take 20 to 25 years to decompose or break down. They will become ground bone meal eventually and add nutrients to the seedling. 

I am trying a raised bed area in my garden this year too. I cleared away a patch of dead rotting wood behind the fence of the yard where I live. I used the logs for the raised bed. I plan to fill it with soil then add my indoor seedling transplants I have lovingly tended this spring. I have to clear away weeds and put down newspaper first then I can add soil. I can’t wait. It is my first time trying a raised bed. I am very excited!!!

Blessed  be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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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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The Morrigan

CIMG2888

Merry meet all,

Last night, I crafted up a storm! I crafted a clay statue of the goddess Morrigan and a clay tea light holder. The Morrigan Tonight I created the Morrigan statue out of polymer clay. The clay is red and black. My hands were RED (how fitting), by the time I was done. Her body is red, and the wings are black, and the stand below feet is black. I worked herbs into the clay- rue, rosemary, juniper berries, and mugwort. These herbs correspond to the Goddess Morrigan. Her hair is black. I also made a black and red tea light holder. I made an incense of the herbs too. The night is dark and stormy. Maybe I could have made her taller but I think she is just beautiful. Unfortunately, she doesn’t stand on her own. I sketched in a rune symbol on the front of her torso- Eihwaz, or yew, which is also connected to her. I love the Morrigan statue and I am sure she will bless me with her power. I burned myrrh incense which corresponds to her, listened to music and relaxed. I rediscovered playing with clay, which to me being stressed, felt good. I still have clay remaining and will use it to make her a spear later. 

The moon’s waxing and growing to a Full Moon. On the Full Moon, I will dedicate the statue and perform a dedication ritual. I think the statue could have been bigger and fancier as the statues sold in metaphysical shops but you do what you can. 

I may invest in a fancy statue anyway in the future but for now, it will do. The Morrigan will understand, I am sure. 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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500 Autumn Leaves

trail@night 2

Merry meet all,

If October was a drink, I would be intoxicated. If October was a poem, I would be cross-eyed from rereading it over and over. If October was a slice of pie, I would be falling over in my chair. October is all these things and more. It’s when owls and bats patrol the nights, autumn leaves are painted warm golds and fiery reds then the leaves trickle to the resting cold earth. Pumpkins appear and children cheer. Ah I love October. 

In fact, I think I will make a new vow to myself and I urge you to do the same. Let’s act like it is October every day of the year, not just a once a year thing. I love it and i can’t wax poetic enough about October. Nope. Ahhh

I have had a good month so far despite being impoverished. I won a Halloween costume contest, wrote a short micro fiction story titled ‘Till Death do us part which was published in the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia Facebook page, got a copy of the book I am published in titled Naming the Goddess by Moon Books today from Chapters, made candles with friends, made candles on my own, got a beautiful cookbook titled Celtic Folklore Cookbook and the recipes in that book are wickedly delightful, fed chickadees, saved garden seeds, and collected more witch figurines and bought some pumpkins. I barely have a penny to my name but this has been a good month. 

I just received the latest issue of Essential Herbal magazine today. I rescued the envelope from the torrential rain and eagerly read the issue while crunching on pumpkin-shaped freshly baked scones and sipping tea. I couldn’t put the issue down and have already read 95% of it. I intend to make Fire Cider and other wonderful herbal concoctions. I want to buy a juicer and make apple cider. I baked Barm Brack bread and all I can say is mmmm. It is good! I made mulled cider too. Yeah and I have two mason jars of pumpkin puree in the freezer! Not bad for a starving artist! 

I am also happy to say that a year ago Horror Novel Reviews did an unusual honor of publishing my short micro fiction story, “The Grimm Pumpkin: in their ebook, Horror Novel Reviews: One Hellacious Halloween!! The book is now in print and I am eager to get my kitten mitts on a copy!! I think I’m getting spoiled. ha ha I am including links to these wonderful publications below. 

Essential Herbal magazine is also releasing until November 10, the Second Five Years of the magazine in a great big ebook. This is a tome packed with herbal recipes, lore, advice, wisdom, hopes and dreams, and gardening information. So quick, snatch up a copy. It is a compendium of 30 magazines from 2008-2012 and it is all indexed and arranged. Since I have been a contributor, I get a copy of this. I can’t wait and plan to get a thick binder, get it printed off, then arranged in the binder. All that knowledge at my fingertips. Oh pinch me, I”m dreaming. 

Here is the link for the herb magazine: www.essentialherbal.com 

I also want to happily say that this is my 500th blog post on this blog!! I did it with all of your support and I thank you for your enthusiasm for this blog and my new blog, Paranormal & Pagan Fiction, which is my passion. It is that time of year. It feels good to achieve goals, such as  writing 500 blog posts and reaching 50 blog posts on my other blog and achieving 700 followers on Twitter!! These were my goals and I did it. So a huge thank you to everyone!! Also, Circle magazine has published my reprinted article about Persephone; Death and the Maiden in their latest issue. 

Now… October doesn’t come without its share of dangers. Be careful and calm in everything you do. Guard your feline friends, especially black cats, during this season, and check your kids’ candy for razor blades. People will do some sick things. Watch out for slippery leaves. Don’t slip and fall. Protect your health!! Then, you can have fun. 

Merry Mabon- Samhain!

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Here are the links to what I am published in in case you want to grab a copy!!!

http://www.moon-books.net/books/naming-goddess

http://horrornovelreviews.com/2014/10/21/order-our-collection-one-hellacious-halloween-in-paperback-right-now/

https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/circle-magazine/circle-magazine

http://www.essentialherbal.com

And, lastly, but not least, Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine published my poem titled : Cave of the Goddess, in their autumn issue of 2014. Here is the link: 

http://eternalhauntedsummer.com/issues/autumn-equinox-2014/

The Poem:

Cave of the Goddess

The snake charmer coaxes
a cobra from a woven basket.

The cobra hisses, sways
to the earthy music.

I yearn to be cocooned
in onion skins from the sun.

Mysteries of the desert
pulse in my head.

A red sun rises withered as my tongue.
A river rushes under the sand.

The snake charmer enters the cave,
and sways to the flute’s lyrical music.

I am the cobra who
suffered the scorching sun.

Reborn from the shed husk, I
slither far from charming flutes and baskets.

Blessed Be. 

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Eerie Samhain candles

Solstice 1

Merry meet all,

The time of the Crone is now. Summer has waned and autumn is waxing. Leaves trickle to the earth and pumpkins peek out from their perches on doorsteps. Ghostly cobwebs shiver in the wind. The most horrific season is upon us. Play some scary tunes and get ready for candle crafting in time for Samhain!

Well the chill might drive you indoors but what to do once inside? Make candles, of course. This post is for those of you who are like me and struggling to survive on little cash. You don’t have to break the bank. If you have burned all your tea lights and saved the tea light holders, then you’re in luck.

Clean out the old wax in the tea light holders. When they are empty and clean, set them aside. Make a double boiler by putting a small pot over a larger one. Fill the larger  one with some water, not a lot. Over low heat on the stove, gently melt some wax. I save old candle wax from used candles in a ziploc bag. 

Cover your work area with newspaper to avoid spills and messes. Again, keep old newspaper if you like to make candles. See? saved tons of money already. Wax, holders, and newspaper do work wonders for your dollars. Gather together the necessary items for candle making such as a long wooden spoon, wick, wick tab, and wax putty – mold adhesive, fragrance, dye blocks to change candle wax colours, a pencil to hold the wick, and if you choose, herbs. 

When the wax has melted, you can add fragrances and herbs and oils. You could peruse Scott Cunningham’s wonderful book ‘The Complete Book of Incenses, Oils and Brews for inspiration. Set the wick in the mould and secure it with adhesive or tape or hot glue. Be sure it is centred in the mould- tea light holder- metal tin. Pour the wax into the holder ever so carefully. Make sure there are no holes in the tea light holder. I made tea lights last night and the wax poured out of the bottom of one holder, so be careful. 

Wax will shrink a little so keep that in mind and a little extra wax in the pot. Cool the wax. Let the wax set in the metal tin. I plan to make several orange tea light candles. Why buy them when I can make them and they can contain my energy better because they are homemade? Once you are in the hang of it, you will love crafting your own candles.

 

Trim the wick to 1/4 inch. Enjoy your masterpiece. 

Tip: If you have long white taper candles, try dripping red candle wax down the taper candle for an eerie bloody blood dripping effect!  

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Homemade-Candles

Blessed be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Midsummer Magic at Litha

Merry Meet All,

First, I am proud to announce that my essay about Tolkien’s research on Odin is to be published in the upcoming issue of Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine. The link to the Ezine is included in the list of links on the main page. Also, my article about thyme, that wondrous magickal herb, is published in the upcoming issue of Essential Herbal magazine. I love the cover of the new issue.

I have been working hard in my garden. I believe that every square inch of my garden must have a root or bud or flower. I know roots need room but no no, gotta cover every available inch with a plant. Today the soil was damp from rain while I uprooted several large plants and divided them up in my garden. I divided my organic mugwort, the leopard’s bane, canterbury bells and chives. I do have some large spaces in my garden at the back and i replanted the plants that can take shade.

Litha is almost here! Midsummer is a magickal time. Just one glance at my garden and I swoon. So I can attest to the fun one can have at this green beauteous time of year. Litha is the longest day of the year, leaving ample time for fun and frolic in nature. Decorate your garden by using pretty wires and stands to help tall plants grow. Spring is a great time to divide plants and disperse them in the garden. You can grow more plants from one large plant and best of all, it’s free.

Before you do a ritual, clean up your yard and garden. A beautiful garden is a wonder to behold. Maintain the beauty by storing your garden tools in a shed. Clean up the weeds. Use old leaves, grass cuttings, and old roots for mulch in your garden. Water the garden and rake the leaves. Now you are ready to perform a ritual.

Here are some ways to celebrate Litha:

Go for a long walk in the woods. Bring back some findings and include them in the ritual. Hold a drumming circle. Light a bonfire. Litha is a fire festival. Hold a bonfire at night but be aware of the safety of holding a bonfire. Light some sparklers.

Brush up on your pagan fiction. Write for a pagan Ezine. You can get paid to write for the Eternal Haunted Summer ezine. Read books like The Mists of Avalon, “Stonehenge” by Bernard Cornwell, or Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. The book is very different from the movie. Curl up at the beach with one of these novels for even more fun.

Many blessings upon you.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Ashes and Healing

Merry Meet All,

I apologize for not posting lately. For a few days, I was out of town. I visited my family in Pleasant Bay. I had the most wonderful and the most sad time. The good news first. Aside from the monumental task of babysitting my niece and nephew. I also returned to my home roots.

The land in the family dates back to my great-great-great-great grandparents. We are keeping the land in the family. The rhubarb in the garden dates back generations, too, no word of lie.

My spirit is refreshed. I was lost in the natural wilds of the northern tip of Cape Breton. Eagles fly, coyotes and foxes roam, mice gnaw on the walls, and whales frolic in the ocean. The mountains hug the shorelines. The black flies are vicious. I had quite an adventure. My Mother fell through the step of the Spinning Jenny cabin. I wandered through the ancient woods. I never saw a moose but we had a resident dog for company. His name is Trooper. Here is his photo:

He’s a cutie! Now the sad part. On Friday night, when the moon waxed and was full, I cast a circle for an Esbat. I traced a circle in the soil in my sister’s garden. I could not light a match because the wind was strong. I was not meant to have fire energy. (I lit my cauldron the next morning.) I welcomed the Elements, which were obviously present, and invoked the Goddess. The point of the ritual was to scatter my grandfather’s ashes. He was born in Pleasant Bay in 1919. It makes sense to scatter his ashes there. He also managed the farm there and used workhorses (we once found the teeth of the workhorses in the field.) It was very emotional and powerful. I cried and literally had to force myself to scatter the ashes. It felt so final. Like I was truly saying goodbye. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I stood on that windy hilltop, and opened the box and the bag. The box had a weird energy. It is done and over with. It was emotional though. I am relieved and accepting of the fact that he is at peace.

The rest of my trip was wonderful. I ventured down to the beach and listened to the ocean waves rumbling over the rocky shore. I watched seagulls dive over the waves. It is all so magickal. I walked through the mystical woods. I am so ready to attack my ghost story now because of the time I spent there. My spirit is renewed. I feel better and happy to have spent time with my family. Everyone needs that.

I am working hard on my garden. It is beautiful and crawling with insects. Every garden does. I will keep you posted about my gardening.

Blessed Be
Lady Spiderwitch )o(

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Yule Log Ritual

Merry Meet All,

Yesterday I was out on a walk on the nature trail. I had wanted a yule log and the first day when I didn’t see anything that would be suitable, I gave up. Yesterday I was on my walk and I saw a log on the ground. Perfect, I thought. I picked it up and took it home. It is sitting in my garden, waiting.

However, I don’t have a fire pit or a fireplace. So I will have to figure out something. That is the tradition. People burn a yule log on Winter Solstice. It is a Scandinavian tradition. That’s great, because I am part Scandinavian, and I have been enjoying learning more of my family background and the ancient traditions.

Join with family and friends for the Yule log burning ritual. Enjoy food and wine and make an offering to the deities. Yule logs bring good luck, so keep a piece of the wood for next year’s Yule log burning ritual. Yule is derived from the Old Norse HJOL, meaning wheel, when the wheel of the year is about to rise again.

ANCIENT YULE TRADITIONS

The tradition began in Scandinavia and predates Christianity by thousands of years. They celebrated the Feasts of the Dead and honored Odin, the god of intoxicating drink and ecstasy, and the god of Death. Their customs varied from region to region. They left offerings after their feasts to appease the Yuletide ghosts. The origins of the Yule log were traced back to the Midwinter festivals when the Norsemen indulged in the revelry of feasting and watching the fire leap around the burning Yule log in the home hearths.

Winter Solstice symbolized the return of the light. The days grew longer and the sun began its return. The Scandinavian lasted for twelve days. That was how the tradition began of the twelve days of Christmas. Some Christmas traditions are steeped in ancient Yule traditions. At Midwinter, the Vikings honored their Asa Gods with much religious rituals and feasting. They sacrificed animals such as boars to Frey, the God of fertility, to ensure a growing season in the coming year. The meat was cooked and enjoyed at the feast.

The first night of Yule, which is celebrated for twelve days, is called The Mothernight, and is when Frigga and the Disir, are honored. The Mothernight is the rebirth of the world from darkness. A vigil is held from dusk to dawn. At Yule, the gods and goddesses are close to Midgard. Their deities were known as ‘Yule-Beings’. Odin is called Jolnir, the “Yule-One” and is where Santa Claus originates from.

They burned a huge sunwheel, which was lit on fire and rolled down a hill to encourage the sun to return. This may be the origin of the Christmas wreath. Another Viking tradition was the decorating of evergreen trees with food and clothing, statues of their beloved deities, and runes to entice the tree spirits to return in the spring. They believed the Mistletoe could resurrect the dead. This belief is based on a legend about the resurrection of Baldur, God of Light and Goodness, who was killed by a mistletoe arrow. Frigga cried for Baldur and her tears turned the red berries white.

I hope you enjoy reading about the origins of many traditions we celebrate today. I hope I do find a way to burn my Yule log. I would be proud to partake in an ancient tradition that was honored by the ancient Vikings and their gods and goddesses.

Blessed be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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