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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Merry Beltane )O(


Merry meet all,

Beltane is here!! The spring season is upon us.

I raked all the leaves away from my garden. When I rake the leaves, I am careful not to disturb the young buds underneath. I added fresh soil, six bags of soil, to the garden and worked it in with a trowel. I can now watch my plants grow! Penny sits in her tall scratching post guarding the home at the back door while I putter through the garden. The starlings get Penny’s attention. When I cleaned my yard, I saw a black beetle, earthworms and saw bugs. I also found a blue baby bird shell egg. A bird hatched from that egg.!!!  A sure sign of spring.

Indoors, my garden on my windowsill is growing well. I can’t wait till the frost has passed to transplant them outdoors where they can flourish. The plants are getting big which is good.

BELTANE

Beltane is about spring so use spring colors. That can range from a bird’s egg blue or spring sky to lovely light greens to fuschia. Use these colors in your candles, cloths and rituals.

Add fertility symbols to your altar. Consider using seeds, acorns, antlers or a small Maypole as a centerpiece. Honor the Goddess too by adding a cup, chalice or a cauldron to the altar.

Flowers are blooming everywhere. Daffodils, forsythia, hyacinth and tulips represent spring. Make a floral crown or a floral centerpiece!! Flowers are power

Those items should help you create a lovely altar setup for your Beltane rituals.

Here is a recipe for Beltane incense. Keep it floral and fresh!

Mix mugwort, daffodil, hyacinth, lavender, patchouli and and cinnamon in a bowl. Chant to fill the ingredients with your intent and store in a labeled jar. It will keep for three months.

DEITIES

The main fertility deities of Beltane are popular during this Sabbat. They can be honored by meditating on them, prayer and offerings. The faeries are present now too, since spring has returned. Faeries like shiny objects, milk and honey.

Artemis, Cerunnos, Bacchus, Dionysius, Flora, Hera, Pan and Xochiquetzal (Aztec). They all have different backgrounds and cultures and come from different mythologies but they are all fertility deities.

Merry Beltane

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Garden Work

plantz

Merry meet all,

Spring is here!! I am a gardener and that is exciting for me. Tomorrow I have a few chores to do in the garden, including rake away the leaves, add fresh soil, water and fertilize the soil, and clean up debris. I have to clean the bird feeder and add fresh seed.

The starlings nested in the vent above my garden again this year. They’ll compete for the seed with the chickadees, woodpeckers, gold finches, sparrows and blue jays. The bluejays steal the egg shells I sprinkle on the soil.

The insects will love it that I have cared for the garden. They either eat the plants or help them grow. Its exciting to manage a garden. I have to keep the deer away, while feeding the birds, squirrels, cats and bugs.

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My indoor plants are just blossoming. My morning glories are several inches high. The lavender and thyme are growing well. I started pumpkin from seed, tomatoes, elecampagne, dill and basil. I can’t wait to get to plant them out. I’m growing some for a friend too. I’m ordering mandrake, mugwort, moonwort and monkshood seeds from Horizon Herbs. Last year, I had no mugwort.

I planted a cherry seed and some oak seeds. I want to clean up the dead wood behind the fence. Good luck with your gardening.

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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Ostara Correspondences

witchery

Date: Celebrated on or about March 21st on the date of the Veranl Equinox (a time when the sun passes the celestial equator and day and night are equal in both hemispheres). Also the day the sun enters the sign of Aries.

Activities and Rituals: planting, welcoming spring, coloring eggs, making/wearing new clothing, fertility rites, rituals of balance, herb work – magical, medicinal, cosmetic, culinary and artistic, spells for prosperity/fertility, new beginnings, potential, action

Stones/Gems: Jasper, amethyst, aquamarine, bloodstone and red jasper.

Incense: African violet, jasmine, rose, sage and strawberry

Herbs/Flowers: Honeysuckle, Iris, Peony, Violet, Woodruff, Gorse, Olive, Iris, Narcissus, Daffodils, Jonquils, Primrose, Forsythia, Crocus, all spring flowers, pine tree

Colors: Green, Yellow

Symbols & Decorations: four leaf clover, baskets, eggs, lambs, flowers, chicks, bunnies, budding twigs, flowers, pussy willows, sprouting bulbs, colored ribbons

Foods: jelly eggs (jelly beans), chocolates, lamb, eggs, seeds, leafy green vegetables, spiced or flower cupcakes…

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5 MAGICAL HERBS IN SLAVIC MYTHOLOGY

Yew B. Archer

In every mythology of ancient times, nature has been the main source of magic. Whether it was used for magic rituals, healing purposes or even casting curses, the fact was still there. Our ancestors believed they held a form of energy. So really it’s no surprise today that your granny says to drink tea made from a marshmallow’s root for a bad cough. That being said, here are 5 magical herbs in Slavic mythology which serve us to this day.

1.HAWTHORN

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This magnificent herb which is native to Northern Hemisphere of Europe, Asia and North America has been a source of magical procedures in the treatment of various diseases for centuries by the Slavic people.

The cult of the hawthorn tree has been preserved until today, and has survived the belief that a man who is sick should take a cake made of corn or wheat flour (in many cases…

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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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Organic Choices

calf

Merry meet all,

I keep harping about organic food and herbs. There is a reason for it. I am a devout animal lover. I can’t stand animal cruelty. I have been researching the way that chickens, cows and pigs and even our dear friends bees are treated. All I can say is that it is mostly so inhumane I can’t believe it is for real.

I am now strongly considering becoming a vegetarian. I live on a budget. But there is a good reason why I want to be a vegetarian. If an animal suffers in those torture chambers and I eat the meat, I take that energy into myself. I absorb the torture and suffering the cow, chicken or pig endured. Why would a person do that to themselves? Why should the animal endure such cruelty? How can those people who chop, mutilate and harm these animals live with themselves? I couldn’t live with myself.

I am now making a choice. I will starve before I will contribute to the cruelty those animals suffer. They are forced to suffer. They are not given a choice. We have a choice. We should make the right choice. We can make a choice.

Bees are now facing near extinction. Cows, chickens and pigs are force fed growth hormones and confined into filthy unsanitary cramped cages day in and day out. Their bodies are grossly deformed due to the chemicals they are injected with. Their bodies are swollen and red and sore. Who wants to live like that? Who wants to be forced to feel that way?

I have already demonstrated my passion for helping the bees in my herb garden. I shall extend that same passion to the other areas of my life. There are alternatives to non organic processed meat such as fruit, vegetables, beans and grains. I have already made several awesome meals with black beans and quinoa. It is also easier on a person’s budget. The beans, grains and veggies are healthier and are less likely the result of an animal suffering. I want to help end the madness. I never eat at Mcdonalds. If enough people get together and support local ethical farmers and organic food, then they help end the cruelty. There is a problem though: the government and the corporations count on people being dumbed down. Those are the customers or consumers today that they count on. But I have been to the local Seaport farmers market on a busy day it teems with people who are too eager to buy locally sourced fresh organic meats, cheeses and veggies.

As long as there is demand for the organic foods, then it will be produced. That demand must be maintained and prolonged forever. What if our local supermarkets carried only organic food? I hope one day that is a reality. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Ides of March

CIMG2938

Merry meet all,

Snow huddles over the grass. The air is still cool but March is the in between month. Winter lingers but spring fights back. The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Ostara. Ostara is the second spring Sabbat.

To celebrate the early return of spring, I rummaged through my seed packets stored above my fridge. I kept the seed packs in paper envelopes in a plastic ziploc bag. I put dill seeds, echinacea seeds, lavender and thyme seeds in the paper towels. I prefer growing from seed since you can actually grow more of the same plant that way. I look forward to planting them in the spring.

The spring equinox occurs on March 20th. Ostara, or Eostre, inherits its name from the Teutonic goddess of spring and dawn. The origin of the word ‘east’ comes from many Germanic words for dawn that have in common the root for the word “aurora” which means ‘to shine’. Ostara basically means the vernal equinox.

Ostara means the balance of the earth’s gravity between the extremes of light and day- think yin and yang, the dark of Winter Solstice and the light of spring. Beltaine celebrates the sexual union of the God and Goddess and fertility.

Now is a good time to start the seedlings. I plan to start my tomatoes from seed and pumpkins too. I want to start mugwort and mandrake from seed. I just hope to find an organic seed supplier.

http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=1991

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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I dream of spring )O(

Crow3

Merry meet all,

The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Ostara. It sure doesn’t appear to be spring now. We just suffered a massive snowstorm with a record topping amount of 75-90 centimeters of snow and 100km/ hour winds. More snow is reported to be on the way. The whole city was shut down. We Haligonians have just come out of hiding. This quarantine is starting to drive me a little crazy.

February also marks my kitty’s birthday adoption month. I love her so much. I remember the day she entered my home, my heart and my life. I can’t live without her.

Its almost time to plan our herb and flower gardens for spring. I miss my garden so much. It is buried beneath several feet of obnoxious snow. Its a bit early but this is around the time when seed catalogues arrive in the snail mail. I pore over them and muse on what to grow this year, what I will do different this year. I want a raised bed! That will help me grow vegetables better. Raised beds are beneficial and awesome ways to grow veggies. Nothing is stopping me. I want to complete my rock wall at the back of the first garden, help my  scarlet runner beans grow, order mandrake and moonwort seeds, plant tons more lemon balm and shasta daisies and mint. I can’t wait for spring.

Plan what you will grow this summer. Plan what seeds of new dreams, ambitions, dreams and goals you want to sow this year in your life. Mingle the two in magical ways. Brush up now on your herbal lore and balm and bane plants. Wait for the shiny new seed catalogs and take stock of your gardening supplies. The snow still fills our yards but before you know it, the snowdrops and crocuses will shove their saucy heads above snow to defy winter.

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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