Category Archives: roots

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

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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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New Moon harvest

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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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Sagely Wisdom

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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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500 Autumn Leaves

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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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Sweet Roots of Mabon (Llewellyn Recipe)

Merry Meet All,

Celebrate the festive magic of autumn with this delicious recipe. The recipe is from the Llewellyn datebook of 2011.

Sweet Roots of Mabon

1 large red potato
1 large yellow potato
1 sweet potato
4 carrots (depending on how many you’re cooking for)
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon grated ginger root

Scrub all the potatoes and carrots, leaving skins on. Cut off ends. Chop vegetables into 1-inch cubes and combine in large bowl.
In small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, honey, paprika, salt, and grated ginger root. Pour over veggies and toss gently to coat all the cubes.
Grease a 9 x 13-inch cooking pan. Spread the vegetables in an even layer in the pan. Cook at 325 degrees for 60 to 90 (30 should suffice) minutes. Every 30 minutes, use a turkey baster or wooden spoon to baste the vegetables with liquid from the pan (or extra honey and vinegar). All vegetables should be tender when done.
Elizabeth Barrette.

* I have added my own notes to this as I have found what works for me with the recipe. Sixty minutes seemed too long to cook the vegetables.
I like using a wooden spoon. Wooden spoons are natural, earth-friendly and reliable and least likely to contaminate food.

Enjoy
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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