So, here we are – a blog – a few things to mention, I am not a Wiccan, I have no interest in Wicca, though fully support and embrace those that are. So, witchcraft eh? Or just ‘the craft’ – oldest of all beliefs, and wonderfully uncomplicated, non-judgmental, all inclusive and damn useful too! How long have I held these beliefs? Well, always it just took me some time to feel comfort enough to not give a flying one about what others may think. And here we are, me rambling about my journey, my experiences and thoughts. I love a question, so feel free.
But let’s start off on the right foot, I will not tolerate hate, bigotry, politics or just plan dumb-fuckery, so there you are. Be nice or move on.
So, here we are – a witch, a wise woman, a herbalist, a hippy and free spirit choose your poison or plain and simply someone who feels the old ways and traditions should not be lost. What is the world coming to! OK, here it is – I felt that some of my experiences, my discoveries, triumphs, failures and continued journey, learning, growing should be written down and chucked out there for all to see.
So, to get started:
I am not a Wiccan, that is not my path
Am I a ‘good/white’ witch – don’t be ridiculous – who is perfect 24/7 and this is not Harry Potter?
Devil worship – AGAIN lets not be ridiculous, the devil is a christian construct and outside of TV/Film land nothing to do with witchcraft/herbal-ism, the natural path etc..
I am no time for ignorance, bullying, bigotry, politics – basically let’s keep the dumb-fuckery to a minimum
This blog is based on sharing, honesty, tolerance, learning, love life and all it’s tribulations – a no hate zone please, if you wish to spit your vitriol – please move along
Yes, I can be a tad grumpy
Another reason I have done this, on good old Facebook, I see a lot of confusion and people just wanting to know more without being judged. So, along the way I will address a few points and if I can I will answer some questions.
So, summoning up my motivation has been a struggle, still a struggle. but, over the last few weeks i have got going again and feel so much better for it.
Small back-yard herb garden is growing really well, I am very please – my wild Angelica is going mental and the feverfew is also growing really well. The comfrey is also going a bomb, but i expected it too as a very easy and prolific plant.
In this little space I have:
Comfrey, wild Angelica, mint, spearmint, thyme, sage variegated mint, feverfew, Bergamont, Valerian, Oregano, Agrimony, Sweet Cecily, White Betony, Rue and Yarrow.
Beech Leaf Noyou, doing it’s thing. I managed to get a beautiful pale green colour from the gin and leaf infusion, but upped the brandy when I added it (i like it that way) and i only use natural sugar, so no nasty bleached white stuff, which means sadly i lost the pretty colour. But, some of this in a hip-flask in the winter whilst on the allotment will be perfect!
Comfrey drying in the shed, i will be making infused comfrey and lavender oil and some comfrey hand lotion, and salve – will add some essentials oils and lavender – or it will smell ‘socky’.
Elderflower cordial made!
Brownies & Blondies made!
Random cat picture…..
New crochet project, just loving the colours in this one, my favourite so far.
Treated myself to new slippers….
So there is my last month! Onto other musings, i have seen a few posts on various FaceBook pages i follow so i am going to address some that have pricked my interest (and pissed me off in equal measure). Here goes…
Satanism…..really? I mean really? Let’s look at some basic and (IMO) irrefutably true facts – Satan is a Christian construct, so to believe in Satanism is to believe in God, one goes with the other. It is purely ( again IMO) putting a scary figure to darkness, badness, ‘evil’ if you will. There is a balance in all things light and dark, good and evil, night and day. Nothing in this world is purely ‘light’ and Satan helps Christianity put everything in a nice neat box and keeps the masses under control.
Wicca/Witchcraft/Paganism – Wicca is a religion created the the early 1900’s by a chap called Gerald Gardner and have are too many Freemasonry connotations for my liking….so i don’t , but if you do and disagree then that is marvellous, as we all have our own path.
Paganism, is a relatively new (still bloody old) term, for those who follow nature based ideals and lifestyles, and i beautiful in it’s own right.
Witchcraft or The Craft or the way of the Wise Ones is the traditional path, the one i follow. But all these things are subjective, and i like to think that the whole community of Witches/Wicca’s/Pagan’s just let each do their own thing, embrace our differences and learn, that is key – we must always learn, and always help when asked.
Baby Witch – you are not a baby f*cking anything, you are a grown arse human…..ppffttttt really annoys me, why would you demean your beliefs this way. Please, just don’t – as there are no ‘Baby Christians, Baby Jews or Baby Muslims’ out there they just ‘are’ because they that their shit seriously, it just makes the belief system seem like a joke, like we all look like we have stepped out of Hocus Pocus….as much as i love that film and others.
It is lovely to see groups on FB support each other, on the whole the message is clear – we are a wonderful tolerant bunch – grumpy (me – yes). And one thing i was told by a very experience witch – always help when asked, and i always will.
So, I bought myself a lovely meditation cushion, which was promptly nicked by the cat. I know, I should just hoist her off it, but this is MF Jones…..named after Jamie Foxx’s character in the film Horrible Bosses, she is a wild girl, and she will bite me if I try chuck her off, not that I am scared or anything…..pppffftttttt, that would be daft 😬
I do love my fur-babies, but Jones is a challenge! Cause I love my cats I try not to use chemicals where I don’t need to. So this week I made some natural Shake n’ Vac (I know, i am a child of the 70’s), so with some bicarbonate of soda, lavender and some essential oils – job done, left it to infuse all week, used it this morning – bloody lovely…..even if I do say so myself 🌿🌼🌻🍃
This is when we hit that perfect point of balance on the Wheel of the Year. Night and day, are of equal length and in perfect harmony – dark and light, male and female, all in balance.
The light defeats the dark, the natural world is coming alive, the Sun is gaining in strength and the days are becoming longer and warmer. Beltane is getting closer and is fulfilled in the evident and abundant fertility of the Earth at Ostara.
It is the first day of Spring! Ostara takes its name after the Germanic goddess, Eostre/Ostara, who was traditionally honoured in the month of April with festivals to celebrate fertility, renewal and re-birth. It was from Eostre that the Christian celebration of Easter evolved, and indeed the naming of the hormone Eostrogen, essential to women’s fertility. The Goddess Ostara has the shoulders and head of a hare. The Symbols of Ostara are:
Hares are an animal which represent illumination, intuition, promise and balance. They are strongly feminine in their energy and often come into your life when you need to look within and figure things out. Time to calm down and take a moment!
How lovely is that! so next time you catch out of the corner of your eye – some hares boxing in a field or leaping across a corn field, take a deep breath and centre yourself.
The Egg – and we should include all seeds here as they are the start of all life. It symbolises rebirth , the fertility of the Earth and all nature. In many traditions the egg is symbolic of the universe. The egg contains a balance of male and female, light and dark, the egg yolk and egg white. The gold of the yolk represents the Sun God enfolded by the White Goddess, perfect balance, so it is particularly appropriate to Ostara and the Spring Equinox when the balance is perfect for that moment in time, and underlying it all is the energy of growth.
Me, I just love the beautiful primroses that pop up along the hedgerows and borders, some gorgeous pink ones on one of my walks, I was so tempted to pick some – but they belong where they are, under the sky – they belong not to me, but to all.
So, like most other I am working from home, so the 2.5 hrs I now save a day with no commute, in that time i have started a project I have been meaning to do for a long time. Creating a book of herbs and their uses.
Now, i am no artist – unlike my wonderful friend D and my sister – they have all the natural talent, I have not let that stop me tho’. So with some cheapo watercolours and colouring pencils I have made a start in my lovely leather bound, tiger-eye embossed book. Only two painted, with medicinal and magical uses listed. Although, what an expert would call naive in style – I have really loved doing these and look forward to doing many more !
So, as someone who is trying to embrace the old ways, a more natural approach to life and looking after myself and my loved ones, comes the questions “so do you do spells and stuff”, well lets me start off with what I am not :
Such a cool lady, but nope…..
Still no…though the nose is close….
Reality…i’m so ‘normal’ nowadays, after a wonderfully mis-spent youth it’s painful – sometimes i feel so un-rock n’roll I have to pinch myself and remember the hangovers, ‘refreshing’ my hair with Fabreeze, and falling asleep at work during the day with my head on the till…..and embrace being in bed by 9pm with a cat on my head.
So, no – not in the way people obviously think, just like I do not expect a Christian to walk on water or part the oceans, it’s all about intention and thought, harnessing natural remedies and rhythms of the Earth to bring to life/fruition/happening what I feels may need changing adjusting or balancing in my life (and my loved ones). So no, I do not flail around naked under the moon – unpleasant for all concerned at my age….
I do follow certain rituals, yes – yes do – but more often it’s meditation, mindfulness, having my own space – even the tiny little nook I have created for myself is enough. More over it makes me happy, I have not felt so grounded in years.
I had started to read up and start my Master Herbalist course, life as it does got a bit in the way, so I will be picking it back up again and sharing what I learn, sharing my creations as I am very keen to make some more tinctures, some natural soaps and other remedies.
So, on this damp, grey Tuesday I am feeling full of joy, that will be partly down to the passing of the retrograde and the full moon last night – feels like a shift, a lightening, new beginnings and maybe if we are lucky – the sun might peek out from behind a cloud some time soon 😉.
Take some time today, we will have a fabulous Full Moon, the Worm Moon – when the wheel turns a little bit more and all the green lovely things start to grow the soil will begin to thaw and earthworm casts will be visible on the ground again. This will prompt birds to return to feed again, signalling the beginning of spring. It will be a Super Moon as well – such treats – but let’s face it all Moon’s are pretty bloody marvellous!
We also get a New Moon on the 24th March -March is making me merry, so get out your crystals and special precious things, jars of water, get them out and under the Full Moon – and get charging, enjoy doing something ancient and primal.
So, life has been busy so bottling up my tinctures has taken a back step, but i was back on it this weekend. I hasten to add, the Fruit Pastille Vodka has been drunk – yep it has been that kinda few weeks…
Got all the kit out for straining, jug, sieve, muslin cloth. And here they all, all lovely and dark, steeped goodness!!!
Sterilise the bottles with boiling water & leave to dry.
Get to draining through the muslin, and don’t forget to give it a damn hefty squeeze – there is wonderful herby goodness in there!
Fill em’ up & Label
All done, and now all tested – didn’t die (bonus) did have two lovely nights sleep, so my work is done!
The house and my hands still smell a bit arse-watery however😉
So, i am happy with my results, enjoyed the process, LOVED the vodka. We all have this knowledge hidden within us, never be afraid to explore it, engage with it and embrace the ancient ways.
How much would I love to curl up on one of those sofa’s and read, for days – the bliss!!!
JOY, PEACE & Knowledge – I mean, this is what books bring me – everyday.
I have been a bit poorly and had an Op on my jaw, so was confined to rest, little talking, soups and yoghurts (trust me it gets DULL very fast…) and two weeks off work (that was a good part).
So, was able to spend time doing one of my favourite things (other than watching trashy Sci-Fi films), I got hours of peaceful reading in. I read though some books on herbology, getting together plans for my next creations, mucky-mixtures and experiments! I also got to re-read Green Heart by Alice Hoffman, which along with Practical Magic as beautiful books – in fact, just read her books they are a delight start to finish.
I also did some ‘learning’, as well as the books listed below I am doing an online Diploma in Master Herbology, I am also starting to draw and list the properties if herbs, plants, trees etc…so I can use it as a reference when I am out and about – you never know what you will find during a gentle country walk, as though there are some excellent suppliers out there (I use Baldwins, they are very very good) nothing beats collecting your own. I am a bit cheeky, I dry them as work – as we have big old cast iron radiators, and popping a bunch under one of them is perfect for a slow dry. I then store them in coloured jars (to protect them for the sun and fading) or good old Tupperware, they bring me joy just looking at them, apart from Mugwort, which is really really useful – but a bit wiffy, and urmmmm interesting when burnt!
So, get reading – lose yourself in a book, it’s a unique magic.
Recent Book list:
The Handmade Apothecary: Healing herbal remedies: Kim Walker & Vicky Chown
The Hedgerow Apothecary: Recipes, Remedies and Rituals: Christine Iverson
Tonics & Teas: Rachel De Thample
Illustrated Herbiary, The (Wild Wisdom): Maia Toll
Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The complete guide to the use of aromatic oils in aromatherapy, herbalism, health and well-being: Julia Lawless
Herbal ABC’s The Foundation of Herbal Medicine: Dr Sharol Tilgner
The Herbal Remedy Handbook: Treat everyday ailments naturally, from coughs & colds to anxiety & eczema: Kim Walker, Vicky Chown