Luna et Stellae

Tonight is the release of my Luna et Stellae box!

It’s a collection that has been inspired by the moon and stars (as the title suggests 😉 ) , which have always been such a great source of wonder and almost a touchstone in my life. It’s something I always return to, gazing up into the depths of the night sky.

In the box, is a tin of Luna et Stellae tea. It’s a blend of green and oolong teas, with hibiscus, jasmine, and cornflower. The flavour notes are a heady swirl of jasmine, strawberry, and caramel. Each tin contains enough tea for 60 servings, and this tea won’t appear again in the shop unless I release another limited run.

Then is the stunning stars and moons windchime made of white onyx. I absolutely adore the one I have hanging up in my window, the tinkling would truly make for a wonderful soundtrack to looking up at the stars.

For each box, I painted a unique moon and stars piece. A silver moon that contains a nebula, golden stars surround it upon a textured, deep blue background.

And finally is my current favourite tea infuser. It’s a mesh basket that can hold a serious amount of tea. I wouldn’t be surprised if it worked quite well in most teapots.


I’m so excited to be putting something new together in the shop, and I’m already planning the next box. I just love the ability to dream up a vision/feeling of something, and have it come to life with curated items. It’s magick, truly! And it’s even more magickal that I can share that with others as well!

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Book Review – The Holy Wild by Danielle Dulsky

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this book… wait, yes I can, and I will right now!

Holy Wild, A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman by Danielle Dulsky is such a gem of a spiritual book. Though aimed towards those who identify as women, I would say this would be a fantastic book to pick up for anyone who wants to dig deep into the feminine spirit and magicks.

So here’s the layout of the book: each section deals with the five elements and how they relate to the feminine spirit, how they can be expressed by feminine spirit. Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether.
Within each section, Danielle provides a retelling of 5 famous women of history and myth: earthy Lilith, Salome, the Mother of Babylon, the Magdalen, and Jezebel. 

The stories Danielle has imagined for these powerful women realigns them to a more realistic and balanced perspective, their own perspectives. This is so refreshing compared to the frequently damning masculine spin that permeates far too many women’s narratives, or leaves women’s perspectives out completely.
They are also so incredibly relatable and touch on some very deep chords of what the female experience is, in relation to others, and just within ourselves.

Each element section of the book contains three chapters: Verses, Rituals, and Magick. In the verses chapters, you will find those wonderful reimagined stories, as well as the seeds to begin telling our own personal mythology. This often begins with healing the parts of ourselves that become wounded from both the way in which our culture teaches us to be unkind to ourselves, and the harms that may come at the hands of others. 

The rituals provide healing work we need for ourselves, as well as rituals to mark events or powerful emotions that occur in our lives. They also guide us to powerfully claim and embody our reactions and emotions. They are wonderful for continuing to acknowledge, work on, and accept and be radiant within ourselves. 

Finally, the magick chapters provide profound magicks that really lead us to direct our deep energies into changing ourselves, our lives, and our world for the highest good. 

After reading this amazing book that is so full of love, encouragement, and healing, I am looking forward to working through each element for myself over the year and begin down my own path towards being who I truly am, and allowing that to radiate and affect my patch of the world, to others to heal themselves as well, and to carry our world ever onward to the best reality we can make for ourselves. It’s a long road full of toil, don’t be mistaken, but I feel with such guidance that can be found in Danielle’s book, we are that much closer to getting there.

Celebration of Love

I thought I’d share a little more about the creation of my Valentine teas! I also want you to know that I’ll be blogging on my website, but cross-posting here for those of you who find it easier to follow along with the WordPress newsfeed. You could also copy the rss feed of my website’s blog if you use a feed app as well! But let’s get on with this post!

The idea of celebrating love and loving relationships (especially with yourself, self-care is self-love, witches!) is such a wonderful way to remind ourselves how important love is for us as social beings.

Love has been such an important idea and profound experience in my life, I’d say it’s probably the most important thing to me, in fact! As much as I like to say I’m a bit anti-social, I recognize the need for us to give and receive love in every aspect of our lives, from the micro of loving ourselves, to the macro of giving love to all human-kind, all living beings, the Earth, and the universe. Not only that, but being open to love when it is genuine and carries the possibility of greater connection and ability to fill us so full to bursting is something we need to remind ourselves to actively work on.

Love really is the core of my magick, it gets poured into everything I create: the music, art, acting, and dancing in my life is putting love out into the world with beauty and a truth of emotion that can be felt in those mediums. The teas I create and share with family, friends, and you, dear witches, as well as all the food I make, is all crafted with the purpose of bringing ease and joy and deliciousness into our lives. 
These things allow us to take a moment out of the daily toil to appreciate the depths of connection we can have with each other, and to appreciate the beauty of it.

So in my efforts to put more love in the world, I’ve created five teas for the loving season (though all seasons are full of love).

I’ve chosen two of my favourite literary couples as inspiration. Their stories have touched on the deep connection we can have with our lovers and partners in life. Despite all dialogue, there can be a deep understanding of one another, even when we sometimes may not want to say it aloud for fear we are mistaken.

The first couple is Ms Bennet & Mr Darcy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. There seems to be this understanding of each other from the very start. Even though their perspectives become muddied by how they think they should behave, think, and react, they find the truth of each other in the end, the ties that had formed between them, and the love that had grown.

Claire and Jamie Fraser of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon comprise the second couple, and their story of loving each other throughout time and place reminds us that love can bond us so tightly together, even when years separate us.

Lastly is a tea that is more about indulgence and deep deliciousness… Red Velvet. There’s nothing better than sharing good food with your loved ones, or treating yourself to some love in a cup.

So go on, get those candles lit, brew up a delectably delicious cup of tea, read or watch stories that remind you how beautiful connection and love is, and celebrate that we can feel something so wonderful, and so universal, so deeply. It’s the language that connects us all.

November

Happy November, witches!

Just a few things to keep you up to date!

I just released my newsletter, which has info on holiday shopping/shipping, as well as some gift ideas! If you’re not signed up, check out the letter here!


 

Spying Fox by Mia Arsenault © 2018

“Spying Fox” by Mia Arsenault © 2018 Click to view in the shop

I’ve been painting a lot lately, which has been fantastic! I mentioned to a good friend of mine, who I studied music with in college, that it’s been so interesting getting into another creative art where I am so aware of all my thought processes that go into creating something. How I’ve never really done that with music and performance as I’ve been doing that for so long, it’s just ingrained in the whole now unconscious way in which I work with it. It’s pretty cool 🙂

There has also been a lot of magick-making these last few months which has been so refreshing for me. It’s actually been a while since I’ve done some planned and more intense magick. I’ve said before that I am constantly putting magick into all that I do, it’s just part of who I am, however, this focus into it and the things that I am working on have been really good for me. I feel like it has refilled my well a lot, in fact! Huzzah for making magick!

So that’s all for now, loves. Just a quick little update on where I’m at. I have plans to get this blog going again, with both content for the shop and spirituality.

I hope you are doing so very well, and taking the best care of yourself and those you love.

Mia

Raise Your Voices, Work Your Magicks

I admit that this past few years, I have felt unmotivated to blog much. My life has seemed so much smaller and unimportant than what’s been happening in the world at large. In a way, it felt to me that I would take focus away from where it should be, or that my trying to share thoughts would not add anything of value to the conversations we desperately need to be having, the work that desperately needs doing.

I’ve also thought as my business has grown that it was inappropriate for me to speak about things other than, well, business things, and vaguely about my spiritual path. Even speaking about my spiritual path has fallen into “inappropriateness” because I don’t want to scare customers away.

I believe I am just done with that. The Forest Witch is, of course, the name of my business, but I am The Forest Witch. This blog started out as me sharing my thoughts and things I’ve learned on this path, then turned more towards the shop as that started up, but I am still me, my business is a part of me, my magick flows into everything that I make and offer to all who would buy my items, whether or not they believe in magick. I will not separate myself out of the ways I can communicate with you simply because I worry for my business.

I will not silence myself for the sake of making money, and I will not silence myself when I have a little soapbox to rave from when there is simply too much in the world that enrages. Perhaps my words will encourage you, and the more voices you hear with the encouragement to fight will provide you with the inspiration and strength to start and keep fighting.

 

Let’s do this.


 

I’m livid. I am raging on a daily basis, and just when I think I am on the tipping point of overwhelm, the next week brings even worse news of how the powerful enjoy fucking around with those unfortunate enough to be born anything other than wealthy, rich, white, and male. I know many of you, if not all of you, are feeling this too.

Though it’s obvious that the US is a great source of stress and rage for likely most of the world at the moment, Canadian politicians have clearly been encouraged by the rise of populism and Trumpian bullshit too. (Yes, I’m angry my province voted in Doug Ford, brother to yes, the Bob Ford who smoked crack whilst being mayor of Toronto). There has been so much horrendous denial of the condition of our planet’s (not just Canada’s) climate crisis, wasting billions of tax dollars on a fucking pipeline when the green energy industry is really gaining in leaps and bounds not only in renewable energy, but jobs (which our idiot of a Prime Minister, Trudeau, believes doesn’t stack up to oil jobs that are much fewer, and not as long lasting). Not to mention not properly consulting our Indigenous peoples, nor giving proper due course for investigating the environmental impacts of building such a thing. And, yes, completely ignoring the fact that a recently built pipeline on the West Coast burst 6 months, yes, 6 months after being built.

 

But those things are not what’s on my mind today, yesterday, this past few weeks, these last years after beginning to really see how fucking shitty our patriarchy is to women. They don’t give a single fuck. Not one. Yes, I’m talking Kavanaugh, that piece of excrement. The whole sham of a hearing and confirmation process has been such a fucking wake up call to those who have still been wearing their blinders up until this point. This is the point where the politicians, the senators of the loudest country on earth, have said that no matter how credible a woman is, no matter what the people they are supposed to represent want (look at the massive protests that happened across the country not only today, the day they voted to pass him through, but the entire process of this, and other heinous decisions by the government), they simply DON’T CARE. They don’t care to give due process to a proper investigation. And honestly, even if you didn’t believe Kavanaugh raped anyone, his behaviour in his hearing was completely inappropriate for someone being considered to gain a lifetime appointment as a supreme court judge (and don’t get me started on the fact that lifetime appointments should never be a thing).

Let’s change the perspective also to highlight that had Blasey Ford been anything other than a white woman, that hearing likely would never have happened. So while white women might be waking up to this enormous injustice now… women of colour, LGBTQ+ have been enduring this and much worse for the entire history of being around white people, even here in Canada.

 

This capitalist, corporate, money-owns-those-who-should-justly-represent-us culture is overdue for a thorough burning and cleansing. This time is truly The Tower in energy, we are slowly climbing it to all tumble down, the world turning upside down, and hopefully for the patriarchy and the rich to no longer have the power they have.

As much as I hate all this, as much as I rage, and I weep over all of the things we have to endure during each day’s revelations, I feel these are the things that are needed to incite the rage of the people to finally fucking change this bullshit. We’ve had so many revolutions, periods of when the Bourgeoisie would think they can do and get away with anything, only to find themselves and their kings decapitated. However, the power is never equally distributed, it simply goes to those next in power who had not offended the people overly much. Then their children gain power and forget that their parents’ generation endured a culling. The cycle continues.

 


 

We so long for peaceful times, but peacefulness, and the silence the desire for peace elicits leads to allowing those who wrong others to keep wronging others indefinitely. We come down on those who would break the peace to voice injustice.

Think of the way politicians have been saying things have been uncivil from non-politicians. “Civility”, or “peacefulness”, provides them the ability to quietly keep on gaining at the expense of others without much repercussion.

I believe true peace can only happen when we truly communicate with one another to understand each other, and yes, that will require breaking the peace. True peace can only happen when we respect each other as human beings, and understand that we all need to be taken care of in our very abundant society, we all need to be heard, that we need to resolve our problems with each other, and that ultimately, we need justice, reparations, and true accountability for violence of any kind committed against each other.

 


 

So here’s where we round the path back to our spheres of influence.

Our magick here rests largely in using our voices. In enacting our will for a more just world by actually taking action. This is powerful, strong magick that may not seem like magick, but you will feel the power coursing through you, I guarantee it.

Don’t be fooled, there is risk in using our voices, just as other magickal endeavours. There is possibility for backlash, for people thinking you only desire to cause trouble, to break the peace. Do not fall for it. Fight against it. When others who would remain silent see your courage, that magick will flow through to them and provide them with the strength to speak out as well. This magick is powerful.

Think about protests, of thousands of people lifting their voices together to fight against injustices. We would still be peasants under monarchies, though what we have now leaves MUCH room for improvement, had people not risked themselves to fight for what we all know is right. The powerful need to fall when their actions harm or do not protect those who have no power at all.

 

Use your voice magick by:

Voting

Signing petitions

Joining protests when possible

Donating to just causes that fight the capitalist-corporate patriarchy

Calling out abuse

Have those difficult conversations with loved ones who commit wrongs against you or others.

Call the police if need be

Shame those in power who blatantly abuse said power

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY

As a singer, I know that resting and taking care of myself is just as important as using my voice. So take care of yourself and those who cry out with you as you do this work, this magick. Take breaks when you need to. We need to keep our wells full and know what we’re fighting for if we’re going to take this all the way to the end of the powerful getting away with everything.

 

Live joyfully
Delight in all the beauty this world has to give
Love each other fiercely
And fight for everyone’s ability to do so

Jackalope Collaboration with Epiphany Tresors

Jackalope Collaboration with The Forest Witch and Epiphany Tresors

Hello witches! I have some very exciting news for you! I posted about it over on Instagram last night, but wanted you guys to know here on the blog as well! ❤

I’m doing a few interesting and new for me projects this autumn, and this is the first of them… a specially blended tea to pair with Rebecca’s, from Epiphany Tresors, gorgeous Jackalope pendant collection!

Jackalope tea is a deliciously magical blend of earthy oolong, blueberries, and a hint of vanilla.

Each Jackalope pendant in her collection will come with one of my teas, and you can get them only in her shop! I’m so excited to be working with such an amazingly talented sculptress, and she’s even Canadian too!! ❤

You can go check out her instagram where she shares so many of her fantastical creations here.

 

Also… keep it quiet… but we have another magical collaboration coming soon too!!!! ❤

New Witch Brew Teas

Hero image witches brews

Teas meant to aid in magickal endeavours have been a long time coming, witches! It’s interesting how hesitant I’ve been with creating these, wanting them to be just right. Though, I’ll be honest, wanting things to be just right is basically how I create all my teas, and therefore, sometimes the process is longer than I would like it to be. Still wonderful though, as experimenting and the process allows me to learn more about how I want to blend ingredients! It’s all worth it!

So the five new blends are as follows:
Felix Stellae will call upon your lucky stars to bring happiness, luck, and success into your life.

Prosperitas is a lovely prosperity spell in a cup.

Exilio eum Protego will banish negative energies from your life, and ward you thereafter.

Cantata Vesperum is the perfect blend to sip before a night of magick making and ritual.

Amor Verum is the quintessential love potion, delicious and floral.

You can follow the link to each of the teas above to find out what exact ingredients are used and why; or you can click here to see the whole collection!

Lughnasadh Giveaway

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Just a short post to let you know I’m running a giveaway on my instagram account for 2 teas! One is Lughnasadh, of course, and the other would be of the winner’s choosing.

If you’re on instagram, you should go check it out! It’s the same picture as is in this post ❤

Zodiac Tea Sale!

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So since I want to create more space to begin the Yuletide stockpile of tea, I decided to throw a (very rare) sale on my Zodiac teas! There are between 10-20 bags of each sign, depending on the sign, and they’re all 20% off! You can take a gander here.

Next month, I’ll be making some big orders of ingredients and begin making the teas that sell like hotcakes during the holidays (I’ll give you one guess as to which ones those may be!). It will ease me into the busy season, but also ease the work when it gets really hectic in November & December. I can already tell my future self is going to be very happy that I began making lots of teas early!

In other news, it’s been a busy summer! Lots of visiting people, lots of fun adventures canoeing and tubing on the river nearby. Of course I’ve gone out to the lake a few times, though the water cooled down after a rain last week, I was sad that I couldn’t really swim in it! Oh well, it will level out and I would like to bring myself to the beach if not every week, then every other week. I love Kincardine so, and I loooove lake Huron just as much. I feel so very much like myself in the water ❤

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Renewal

20180610_151725-01This winter/spring cycle has been such a lesson for me on how I work, and what my own body/mind’s cycles are. I’ve noticed for the past 5-6 years now that winter is my dead time, and I was alright with figuring that out, I am totally cool allowing myself to nap and veg in the winter.

This past holiday season really hammered in how being a business owner is going to make that just a solid fact as the gift-giving season is just going to drain what energy I have left from the summer out of me. And that’s fine! January was still pretty busy, but I found myself not wanting to do much of anything at all. It took quite a while for me to get to those Sailor Moon teas, which I had begun working on in the fall, and finally released in April, I believe.

I think what this has led me to realize is that I need to utilize the spring/summer/early autumn energy to the fullest extent for myself, not only for my business, but for myself, for my home, for my friends and family. Even just outlining recipes for new teas for the following months, and creating them as is timely to release. To plan out the things I’d like to accomplish for myself in the year, such as bringing dance back into my daily practice, however, knowing that when the busy gift-giving season comes, that it’s just going to fall to the wayside for that time. And that that is fine. Everything has a season.
Knowing that entertaining and visiting is for the fair weather months for me. I’m not a fan of driving in the winter, and with my body requiring sleep and rest, that’s fine. It’s the few months a year that my body and mind will just use the season to renew itself.

 

The only other thing I think really exacerbated my hard fall into sleepiness after the holidays was the fact that my workspace was just not working very well anymore at all. With makeshift spaces with pieces of furniture that didn’t fit well with each other… it was bringing me down, to say the least! So this late winter/early spring, I came up with a plan…
At first, it was a cute cottage that would have been painted with flowers all over the outside; but that idea then turned into the building of a very efficient desk/shelf system that really utilises the space in which it occupies. The little cottage would have been fabulous, and I still maybe want something like that down the line, however, with the current situation we are in, it was simpler to create the desk/shelf space than build a whole little cottage outside. Especially when we think we’ll be ready to buy our first house in a few years.

But this workspace… I can’t tell you how happy I am with it so far, and I’ve barely had time to use it. I was not so happy with it when I was doing all the work to build it, hehe, but now, I can see how much more efficient the space will be, especially when October comes around, and I’m working longer and longer days leading up to Yule.

Not only did I build this workspace to help me keep encouraged to work better, but we also changed the space of our living room, which has also been a boon. Got rid of a coffee table that sucked up the room in there, and made it a pain to dance or do yoga. We bought a bunch of tall bookshelves to fill up a wall, and take all of our stuff that had no place and just lay on the floor or in other very inconvenient spaces (like the coffee table top), and placed everything in the shelves. I did not realize how much we had until those shelves were pretty much filled! Funny thing, that!
Then we got rid of my husband-man’s old, crummy desk that was a vortex for all the things he was keeping there, and replaced it with the desk I was previously using. A nice, open space that makes it hard for him to just leave everything on to pile up.

It’s been kind of amazing to see how much actually making a space work for us functionally as well as aesthetically has let a lot of my stress and anxiety fall away. The spaces we occupy affect us so much, and it’s so important to understand that and then make it work better for ourselves. I feel the weight of these spaces has gone, and I am excited for the coming holiday season knowing I will have plenty of space to work in, to store orders in process, and lots of tea being made and waiting to be put into an envelope.

 

This has all been very renewing, as the title of this post suggests. There is still a lot of work to be done this summer, however. There’s lots of household projects that have needed doing for a very long time, and we’re going to get on that! I have gardening things that need to be done, as this year, we aren’t dealing with a crazy amount of water soaking the yard.

And finally, I have also worked on getting my website back up! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but as you know, my energy levels to take it on have not been up enough to take on that project until this past week. It was quite a few long days updating product listings, adding my art, playing around with some of the code to get things working just right, and I can see that I’ll likely be continuing to work on it still, a constant thing. I will continue to have an Etsy shop, of course, but it’s nice to have a web space that is all my own, the feel of what I want to put out into the world better represented.