Category Archives: rituals

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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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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Divining to meet the dead

Witch

Merry meet all,

October is a time when people like to remember the dead, or those who  have passed on before them. The veil grows thin, enabling contact between the living and the dead to be more possible. There are several ways to reach out to your deceased loved ones. 

Necromancy is the art of divination of contacting the dead. A great book to read to learn more is Christian Day’s book The Witches Book of the Dead. I can’t recommend this book enough. 

First of all, do protect yourself. Christopher Penczak wrote a great book about psychic protection, which I recommend you read before delving into divination. It is important to protect yourself from unwanted energies. You can tell me about whatever you encounter. I will believe you. I have seen a shadow person. It was so scary I nearly fell through my chair. But there are good energies too. He also wrote a great book titeld The Mighty Dead. 

You would look both ways before crossing a street, right? I hope so. Okay the same implies here. 

Ouija boards. I have never used one. Yes I have heard the horror stories but I tend to reserve judgement until I try something. Use caution and be respectful. I have no idea if it would work but I recommend trying this with a friend.

Crystal balls, candles, tarot, and scrying with liquids in cauldrons are another method of divination. If you want to, here are some cool tips for better divination. When scrying with fire, look at the blue flame which is the gateway to better contact with the dead. Watch to see if your candle does anything unusual while doing your magick. Make note of it in your BOS. Put some olive oil and water in your cauldron. Gaze into the bowl. Wait and see what psychic impressions you receive. Have an open and ready mind. 

It’s a good idea to physically clean your sacred space before hand and cast a protective circle. Use your besom to sweep any negative chi away. Cleanse the space with sage and cedar. Light a white candle for purification. When performing your divination, use black candles because the candles draw in energy and attract spirits. Use a black altar cloth and wear black clothing, Spirits are attracted to those who dare to be different. 

Taper candles work best. These candles burn longer, giving you more time to do your thing. Votive candles are good too but tea lights would burn out too fast. Incense that corresponds with Samhain is best. Mugwort, mandrake, poppy, foxglove, belladonna, sandalwood, and datura are best suited. 

Consider acquiring a skull to use for divination. Make sure you get the skull legally. More information can be found in the above mentioned books. I found an animal skull on a hike and kept it. I used the skull in a spell. I placed my hand on the skull, concentrated hard, and as soon as I did, I sensed my grandfather. He is probably watching over me now. I saw him clearly and so quickly when I closed my eyes. So it does work. A skull is a gateway to spirit. It doesn’t matter if the skull has a jaw. That too can affect the magick you perform. 

I shall post here more about divining to meet the dead as the month goes on. 

Happy Hauntings@

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch 

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Magical Cleaning

CIMG2736

Merry meet all,

The Eastern Quarter corresponds to the Element of Air. The bathroom fan in my apartment here was broken. It made the most awful cacophonous harsh sound when I turned the bathroom light on. Now it is fixed. In Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic Spells and Recipes, she lists fans as representing the Element of Air. Now that the fan is fixed, the blockage is removed. It is harmonious and now I love being in my bathroom. It is the first room people see when they come in, so naturally I want it to be nice. 

After the fan was fixed, I set out to clear my altar area. It needed a good spring cleaning. I debated with myself about whether to lift my altar off the dusty floor then made my decision, I am glad I did. I placed the altar on a round table. Behind the altar is a beautiful painting, which is why I had my altar on the floor. But I never used my altar much and I think it had to do with it being on the floor so low. I love it now that it is placed so high on a table. It is easier and I can clean the floor beneath it. It is finally easier for me to access the altar and feel comfortable. But since my altar has accumulated so much energy and has been used in so many rituals, meditations and spells, I will continue using it. 

I also cleaned and smudged every altar tool. My bookcase full of witchy tools was so crammed, dusty and disorganized and now it is so clean. I love the feel in my bedroom now. Everything feels fresh and clean. I smudged the altar, the tools and I mopped my floors. Everything is fresh and clean in time for spring. I even found my hammer. Now that’s some cleaning!!

Have you cleaned your altar areas in time for spring? Now’s the time. 

Good luck spring cleaning and add magick to the cleansing!

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch 

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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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Spirit of Samhain

Mabon altar 2

Merry meet all,

C’mon, where’s a flash fiction story? I haven’t seen any yet. Send ’em in!

Even though the frost is almost here, I’m amazed at my garden. You can’t stop a plant from growing. I will still collect peas, a shallot, flower seeds, and other herbs for storage during winter. The flowers growing in the garden aren’t intimidated by a frost. My garden is winding down and still beautiful. I keep the leaves on the garden all winter. 

October is a magical time of year. I watched a lovely video last night about how a Witch setup her Samhain altar. She had great ideas. I admit a bit of jealousy with her amethyst sphere. Now I need one. But I also learned something from her video. I setup my own altar wrong. Perhaps she arranged her altar according to her tradition, but she put her goddess items to the left of the altar. I fixed mine. But she knew so much about Samhain. I am unable to find the video or I would have shared it here. 

Samhain is the time when the veil between the world of the living and the dead are thinnest. Samhain’s a great time to contact spirits and hold a seance. I have two reference books about contacting spirits. The Witches Book of the Dead by Christian Day and Nocturnal Witchcraft by Konstantinos. I can’t recommend these books enough. They are grounded, practical yet magical texts chock full of information on how to do it safely. I’m writing a ghost story myself, a novel, and these books were beautiful research resources. There is also my blog you can check out for information. Christian Day is a master on the subject. Weiser Books published the book. But his authority shines in the book. 

I own a round table and I plan to setup a black velvet altar cloth upon it and arrange my tools and hold a seance of my own. I know how to do this safely and have fun. Remember to concentrate on positive energy. I always place a photo of my grandfather on my altar. One important thing the Witch in the video mentioned was to only place photos of those who truly have passed on. You don’t put a picture of a living person on your altar. Also, she said if you wish to collect graveyard dirt, to do so respectfully. I will post more tomorrow about seances, incense, altar setup, and more about Samhain. 

I have to get on my broomstick and go shopping. But I wish you all a magical day. 

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch

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October Magick is in the Air

autumn 2

Merry meet all,

I am home from a peaceful and invigorating walk on the trail. I love walking on the nature trail. I always have a coffee in the am, but the trail walk woke me up more than coffee. 

I encourage you all to enjoy every  minute of October. The month of October only comes once a year. So enjoy it to the last!! Hoist your mead and munch on those roasted pumpkin seeds. You do have organic roasted pumpkin seeds, right? Ok. The photo above I took while out on the trail. Squirrels visited my feeder and birds chirped and flew overhead. Leaves fluttered to the ground. This is a magical month. I will post more on how you can get the maximum enjoyment from Samhain, whether you are a solitary, as I am, or in a coven. 

 Many Mabon blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch

 

 

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Litha

Merry Meet All,

Litha, or Summer Solstice, is just around the corner. Litha lands on June 21st in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a fire festival and honours the longest day of the year. The sun is at its highest point in the sky. During this time of warmth and splendid greenery the crops are growing and the planet teems with abundant green life.

There are different ways to celebrate Litha. The best place to celebrate Litha is outdoors. I plan to do a ritual in my garden. Performing the ritual outdoors also adds some magickal oomph to my magickal tools. You can recharge them as you perform a Midsummer ritual in your garden.

Keep watching for more posts about Litha.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Beltaine Lore

Merry Meet All,

Beltaine is tomorrow. April gives way to a fertile earth. The songbirds fill the air with their songs and grass turns green. Beltaine is here!

The deities of Beltaine are: Pan (Greek). This agricultural god watched over shepherds and their flocks. He roamed the woods and pastures and played tunes on his flute. He appears like a faun, and is often honoured as a fertility god.

Flora (Roman): The goddess of spring and flowers was celebrated annually from April 28 to May 3rd. The Romans wore bright robes and floral wreaths, and attended festivals in her honour. They offered milk and honey to the Goddess.

Let’s not forget the Fae. Leave an offering in your garden to welcome them back to guard and nurture your garden to grow. Hang a garland of green over your door for protection. Collect some morning dew on the morning of Beltaine. Use the dew to clean your face, and in ritual as consecrated water, to invoke the goddesses Diana and Artemis. Bake oatcakes to ensure you will have abundance of your crops for the year.

Merry Beltaine

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Merry Ostara!!

Merry Meet All,

Tomorrow is Spring Equinox!! I hope you are all as excited as I am!! Dust off your cauldrons and broomsticks for a ride into the wild green wilderness with the Goddess and the Green Man. Bump into some hares and eggs on the way.

I am proud to announce that Eternal Haunted Summer has released their Spring issue on the website. My article, The Fires of Beltaine is published as well as fascinating contributions from other writers. Here is the link to Eternal Haunted Summer: http://eternalhauntedsummer.com/ Be sure to read this amazing issue. I took a peek and it looks great. I especially enjoyed the poem about the Goddess Morrigan and the interview with a successful Pagan author, Elissa Wilds.

I would love to hear how you plan to honour Spring Equinox! Please feel free to comment on my blog and share your altar photos. I am sure your altars are all already beautifully decorated. Do share.

For those of you who dwell in Haligonia, there is to be a ritual at the Universalist Unitarian Church on 5500 Inglis Street at 6:30 pm on March 29th. There will be a ritual followed by a feast and a gifting table. Feel free to join in the fun.

Merry Ostara to all of you pagans and witches!! The wind may be cold but the sun is on our backs. May March go in like a lion and out like a lamb.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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