June Is Here!

 

2016-05-27 15.55

Fuschia

 

And so is June’s Forest Witch Newsletter! You can sign up through the link if you’re not already on the list. It’s at the least a once monthly email, though sometimes you’ll get smaller emails concerning special things like last month’s early announcement of my Hogwarts House Tea Blends.

Besides that… it appears I’ve disappeared from this blog for 23 days! Holy moly! Now, I do have that little image on the right column that says I’m blogging without obligation, but it sure has been a while for the time of year when I’m most eager to communicate!

Well, it’s been super busy! Each week has had many tasks and projects to do, lots of it concerning the gardens here, my new raised veggie and herb bed for example (though it cost a bit to set up, I’m trying to work smarter, not harder, especially since now I’m running a small business!).

The husband-man and I bought our first car last week, which meant nearly the whole week was full of car things, discussion, phone calls, scanning documents… But in the end, I think we’re both really happy with our new, adorable vehicle!
Now… if only it were electric, and batteries were better! But I think we’ll see that in the near future ๐Ÿ™‚

 

2016-05-27 15.4

Hibiscus & Ivy

 

I have a feeling it is finally going to slow down a bit, but I’ve definitely come to realize that my birth month is one of the two busiest months of the year for me (the other being December). And that’s fine by me since I love the start of gardening season, and being outside, and sitting on patios, bonfires, sunshine, flowers, bees, birds, and good company.

There’s a few more odds and ends to be done for the garden anyhow, but not a whole lot more of the labour and time-intensive things. Although later this summer, I plan on building a greenhouse, and perhaps a cold-frame contraption for my new raised bed. We shall see what I can accomplish with my resources and know-how. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Strawberry

 

And as for teas, oh, I have some big plans, BIG PLANS I SAY!! Actually, if you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll know what those plans are! But I am quite excited about them. The process is a little lengthier, but I’m hoping to finish the project within the next week or two!

Oh, summertime, you are one of my favourite times. Though to be fair, I love all the seasons when they come. I’m excited for many trail rides, drives to the beach, the beach itself, lots of gardening and harvesting and canning/cooking! I have plans for what I hope will be a goodly sized crop of raspberries this year, two jams, a regular and a seedless for my mama. Oh, it all just fills me up with an indescribable joy!

I hope you are enjoying this time of year as much as I am!

Mia
โค

 

Welcoming in the May

Well, hello there, dear gentle reader!
You may have noticed it is quiet here in terms of anything spiritual, and that’s mostly because it’s been quite busy! Spring is always a season of getting shit done, and shit has most definitely been getting done around here!

I’ve been fixing up the bathroom here, and let me tell you, these arms are not meant for doing ceiling work! ๐Ÿ˜› And perhaps that’s a reason I should be working them out, lol.

Then I’ve been filling out many orders and working on recipes that need to be reblended or slightly tweaked. Then there’s the SECRET project that I was wanting to get out last week, but other things keep taking up my time. However, I’m still super excited about it, and hope it will roll out within the next two weeks.

Spiritually, things have been quiet, but looking back, there’s always a bit of a lull this time of year, and I think a lot of it has to do with said busy-ness! I am going to be getting out to the gardens, so that will give me that meditative time, therefore I will have some quiet time for the spring and summer to sit with my Gods. ๐Ÿ™‚

And as for the gardens, I’m done with in-ground. The weeds are just the flipping worst, and I never want to do it again… ok, now that that drama is done… I’ve decided to make a couple smaller raised beds. No huge garden anymore since I never want to grow potatoes again (Colorado Potato Beetles are the worst! Go back to Colorado!!). I want to grow things that are expensive to buy in the store.
I’ve already begun buying berry bushes, currently there are raspberries, blackberries, white and red currants, and a goosberryย bush. I did have blueberry bushes, but unfortunately I live with mow-happy weirdos (no offense, family, I love you), and they were mown over. So blueberries are on the list again this year.

And then in the garden proper, the husband-man wants tomatoes for paste making, I want some for salsas, and then a million kinds of basil, more herbs, zucchini, Swiss chard, carrots, beets, onions, pumpkins, butternut squash, and a few other things I’m likely forgetting.
And since that garden will be smaller, I can have more flowers and be able/have the energy to take care of them elsewhere.
ALSO…. MULCH!

Anywho… that was just a bit of an update on where I am right now… and I wanted to add that the May newsletter went out yesterday! You can find it here, and please do subscribe if you are so inclined! You will receive a lovely little coupon in the first email too! For the most part, I do a once-a-month email, but when I have secret projects, or sales, there will be other smaller letters to let you know first by email! โค

 

Mia
โค

PBP – The Love of Green

This morning, I luckily got out in time before a downpour to check on my garden. I had noticed yesterday that there were seedlings above the soil, but it was much too humid and hot to bother with staying in the direct sunlight to take pictures. This morning, after off and on downpouring yesterday, and rain through the night, it was much more pleasant to walk around in the sun to check on things. I guess I won’t be needing to do much watering for a little while.

As I was walking around a few days ago, I noticed at the back of our property, just behind the fence that houses a swampy area beyond it, there is a grapevine happily growing away, attaching itself to the fence and the pine tree that stands behind it. I was shocked for a moment, as I have been thinking of grape growing, but didn’t know how it would do in my climate, and there it was, just doing its own thing all by itself. I’m thinking I may harvest some leaves for dolmades at some point. Yum. We’ll also have to wait to see how the grapes turn out. I wouldn’t mind using them for food, but would love to make some wine if I think the grapes would make a decent one.

Apparently there are grapes growing in the back yard :D

Apparently there are grapes growing in the back yard ๐Ÿ˜€

This cattail stood the test of this long, frigid winter and hangs out, wafting in the winds. I wonder if the fibers have been used to make yarn before? Must Google.

2014-06-03 096

This lovely, red branched bush is producing flowers, it looks like they will become berries later in the year. Before we moved out west, these bushes had not been on the property, so it’s a new addition, as well as some ferns that have made their way to the fence.

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These beans are coming up quite well. There’s a strange uncertainty that happens when you plant all your seeds, and then there’s nothing left but to water and wait for them to turn into seedlings. I thought a lot about the seeds not producing anything, that all my planning and hard work digging out the plots would all be for naught. It might yet be for naught if some freak weather happens, or some pest or animal comes in and makes a meal of my young plants. Alas, only time will tell.

Bean

Kentucky Wonder Bean

These willows are providing much for me this year. I’ve always had an extreme fondness of Weeping Willows, they were one of my most favouritest trees to climb when I was a child, and now they quietly watch as I putter in the garden. I tell them my secrets.

Weeping Willow

Weeping Willow

This is the delicious Swiss chard coming up. I decided I wanted colourful veggies, and so I picked out Rainbow Swiss Chard, along with some rainbow mixed carrots. Next year, I want purple cauliflower.

Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard

Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard

My potatoes are finally starting to show their sprouts above the dirt. The red more than the Yukon Gold at this point, but I am excited.

Norland Red Potato

Norland Red Potato

This flower, which loves growing around here as I see it on the hiking trails all summer long, has graced one of my garden paths since we can’t get the ride-on mower in there. We’re planning on getting a non-powered push mower with a basket on the back to do the paths and a very steep hill that I’m thinking may eventually house some flowers.

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This rhubarb slowed for a while after I planted it in ground, now more leaves are starting to pop up, so I’m quite excited for rhubarb pies!

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

The onions just kind of shot up over night two nights ago. One day, there were a few little spikes of green coming out of the soil, maybe half an inch long, now there are many, even up to three inches above the soil.

Dutch Onions

Dutch Onions

I’m singing blessings to my seedlings each night as I water them. It puts me in a trance, and then I just hum the tune as it now holds the power of the words to be sung with it. So far, the land seems to be happy with my endeavours, and I’m making fairly regular offerings.

It is so incredibly good to have dirt beneath my finger nails and staining the bottoms of my feet again. Playing in dirt releases chemicals that makes you kind of high, and rightfully so.

On Doing

Peggy's Cove - Miaerowyn ยฉ 2014

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia – Miaerowyn ยฉ 2014

I have finally been able to get out into the yard to start digging for my garden (pictures are sure to follow over the coming growing and harvesting months)! I really planned a huge undertaking for myself, I have to say (perhaps I’ll post the plans for the garden soon), and with the ground being still so muddy and heavy, moving it around has been quite the task. However, I have a ride on mower that I can now use (after two days of digging up the grass and having to wheel-barrow it to various locations on the property) to save my poor arms from the heavy (and I mean super heavy) soil and grass chunks. If you want an idea of how much I have left to do, I’ve just completed one of twelve 4×20 ft beds for all those herbs and vegs.
While it is still a bit cold for this time of year here, I think I’ll be able to grow most, if not all, of the things I have planned (which is a combination of about 66 different herbs and vegetables, not to mention the flowers I’ll be putting into other flower beds).

 

It is unmeasurably good to be out and doing the things that I’ve been planning, for the garden it’s been a few years. My life is moving again, and I am making the things I want happen. It has been a while, I tell you, and I am glad I am out of the stagnation, though it had its place and I had the time to discover some important things.

It’s so weird thinking of the things I want to do and be doing them within a short amount of time instead of pining and daydreaming about it all. Of course some things don’t happen exactly as I imagine them to, but the process of an idea taking form and evolving into something else that still satisfies me is pretty fantastic.

The other thing I have been thinking about today after a hot shower, is that all this doing takes the thinking away. It takes the daydream and puts it into reality, into the now. There’s no room to think when your body is being used up, when all your brain power is put into moving your muscles to create. You just are, without any social construct, any cultural background, any filters. It releases you. It makes you pure. It makes doing some things you think silly/weird/not me/all the excuses easier because you just don’t tap into all of the things we’re taught to think about ourselves and how others perceive us. All you need to do is make sure you have what you need to do what you’ve been over-planning, and just effing do it. No more excuses. Do it.

I am ever thankful for being able to do what I want, that I can physically, and that I have the materials and tools to do said things. This has been such a productive and plentiful few months since moving back to Ontario. I cannot remember being so busy and so fulfilled in just myself for such a long while. I’m very much looking forward to harvest time, to see what the rest of this turn will be bringing, or what my own hands will make manifest.

PBP – By the Light of Candles

candles

Well, it’s been a while, and things have happened, because that’s what things do, they happen ๐Ÿ˜‰ The Man and I have moved back to Ontario with the fur babies last week (end of January). This past year had been so stuck for me, and while I want to be close to my witchy family, I was only putting off what needed to happen for me, I think. With the whole opera career coming to an end (at least a traditional career in it anyway), and all the moseying about with what to do with myself while also dealing with wanting to start a family… yep. Having a family so far away from my own was not an option as my mother would probably fly out and kidnap my kids (this is probably what would happen too, lol), and knowing that I was going to be moving back sometime soon, everything just stopped.

It’s rather bizarre for someone like me, who has known what they wanted to do for most of their life, being driven by it, and all decisions affected by it, to lose what was the biggest part of how I envisioned my life. Again, I think the singing will turn into something non-traditional as I want deep roots, and not a crazy amount of travel all the time that would make it impossible for me to really be with family and friends and be a good parent. It’s also rather confusing now as I realize there are so many things that I can do, like writing stories (which I will be flushing out the one I wrote for NaNoWriMo in November), having our YouTube channel, getting into streaming gameplay attached to our YouTube stuff, and so many other things. It’s so strange not having everything be about basically one thing. Now everything is connected, everything flows into the others, and I guess I’m allowing myself out of a rather small box. We humans, we like our boxes.

Magically, I’ve been all over the place. I’ve had quite the year really delving into meditation (a practice I thought I was beyond, but turned out to be so important for me ), being called upon by Them to learn, to see that nothing is separate from anything else, that we are all connected to Those Who Were and Those Who Will Be, and that that connection is so very important. So much of my year has been about seeing how my connection to people affects them, even though it has also been (for the most part) a year of cocooning and keeping myself out of much interaction with other humans, strangely enough. However, it makes sense as to see something, sometimes you need to take a step back; also I am naturally a bit of an introvert, and learn best on my own, taking time to figure out all the details.

2013 was rough, as I believe it needed to be for me. I am really looking forward to this year back with family (although missing my witch-family), friends, the country side, and a ginormous garden that I will tend to feed us through the summer and fall and canned for winter use. Gardening is something I haven’t been able to do since we moved to London, Ontario in 2008, really, and I am itching like you wouldn’t believe to get some dirt under my nails. I am seeing much magic growing in my garden this summer, cooked into our meals, and canned for remembering the sunshine in the dead of winter. I’m going to allow myself to explore things too, without much of an “end goal”, because is there ever really an ending other than death (at least of life as we know it)?

These are the things I’m seeing lit in my candles of Imbolg for the coming turn of the Wheel.
What fires are lit for your year?

Busy

I’ve been busy making things while contemplating some heavy stuff.
Having to focus on something very precisely, like making jam and following the recipe to a t helps to quiet the mind for a while. It also gives you delicious jam ๐Ÿ˜‰

fresh picked

We picked these Cornelian Dogwood Cherries, and the taste is fantastic! It’s a mix of cherry and rhubarb, with a hint of cranberry. I’ve saved a few pips to plant my own next year. I have a feeling a bit of espalier training will take place!

Breaking down

I just added one of the cups of sugar required to the fruit to get it to soften so that I could easily take out the pips. Or so I thought!
I spent almost an hour with a potato masher pushing the fruit through a strainer while the pips stayed behind.

Sugary mush

What resulted was a lovely paste, and more sugar was added to it! For four cups of cherry like fruit, you add 7 cups of sugar. They say you’re supposed to take the pips out first, but I tend to make my own rules.

Silver sparkle jam

The end result tastes like heaven. The reason why this batch of jam was so urgently made late at night is because I have a craving for crepes. So tomorrow morning will be a delicious one with fluffy, thin crepes with a spoonful of this heavenly jam, all rolled up with powdered sugar lightly dusted on top.

What I love the most about this jam is that I will never find it in a store. The flavours will only grace the pantries of a small amount of people in the whole world who are fortunate enough to have some of these trees around, and interested in making home made preserves.

risen

Oh, have I mentioned I’ve been bread baking?

Oh yes indeed. I’ve delved into what makes a delicious bakery bread delicious. Mostly we think of French bakery bread when we imagine those still warm, lightly buttered slices of bread. I’ve looked into how the French were baking their bread before the advent of packaged or bottled yeasts.
So what’s missing? Eggs? Butter or oils? Milk? What gives it that fantastic flavour?
Two words:
Sour dough.

sponge

So if you’re planning on making an actual sour dough bread, then you’ll use more sour dough starter, but if you’re looking for a delicious French bread taste, then you use much less. Right now, I’m playing around with how much the man and I like in the bread. Mostly I’m just eye-balling it because I always use the same amount of flour for our bread tin.

What I also like to do is to use regular bottled yeast to make sure it rises sufficiently. It can be tricky learning how to wait for wild yeasts to rise, so I’m still experimenting with it. But bread yeast isn’t a huge expense, and it helps with consistent results.

I have a feeling with the mead making and bread making, I’m supposed to work with yeast. It is a most wonderful and magical living organism, full of transformative powers.

I’ve also been planning a garden that will feed us and my parents once we move back to Ontario. I’m trying to implement companion planting, so the plans have taken a long time to finish!

So a busy bee I’ve been.

Elemental Magick – Earth



Earth is the element of the north. If you are experiencing issues with money/wealth, growth, fertility, creativity, employment or your own business, this will be the element you should call upon.

Herbal/Oil/Incense Associations:
Pea, vervain, wheat, turnip, primrose, sagebrush, alfalfa, oleander, rye, mugwort, tulip, beet, oats, fern, corn, cotton.

Stone Associations:
Turquoise, green and moss agate, black and green tourmaline, alum, stalagmite, stalactite, green calcite, salt, cat’s eye, peridot, chrysophase, olivine, coal, malachite, brown and green jasper, kunzite, jet.

Elemental Beings:
Gnomes, trolls,ย dwarfs, beings who live within the earth and rule over precious gems, minerals and the entirety of the Earth herself.

Animals:
Cow, bull, snakes, stags, bison, mouse.

Tarot:
The suite of Pentacles or Coins (for quite obvious reasons). The Empress, the Hierophant, the Hermit, the Devil, the World.

Gods:
Adonis, Athos, Arawn, Ceres, Cernunnos, Demeter, Dionysus, Mah, Marduk, Nephthys, Pan, Persephone, Prithivi, Rhea, Rhiannon, Tammuz.

Magical Workings:
Finances, wealth, riches, prosperity, employment, business, work, promotions, material possessions empathy, fertility, life/death, stability, success, growth, creation, agriculture, gardening, ecology, construction, buildings, food, progress.

Wormwood


Latin Name:
Artemesia absinthium

Parts Used:
Leaves and tops (collect in July and August when the plant is flowering and dry from any dampness)

Herbal Uses:
Can be used as a vermifuge (expel worms from the intestines), as the name “wormwood” describes. Dried and powdered flowers were used for this purpose; however, the essential oil is now used. It is best extracted by soaking in a spirit (alcohol) than by water. Wormwood is also used as a febrifuge (gets rid of fever), and has been used often to treat malaria. The juice of large leaves can be used as a stomachic (pertaining to the stomach and its function), to help relieve heartburn and gas, increase appetite and the efficiency of digestion and prevent nausea after eating. Be careful to not take too strong of a dose, or it will have the opposite effect. The thujone within the herb also helps with depression and can create a more calm mindset.

Magical Uses:
Wormwood is an herb used for increasing ones psychic power, the smell of the plant is said to aid in this purpose.ย Burn with incenses to increase the power of evocation, prophesizing, scrying and divining. Often used with mugwort to increase its strength. Used in incenses again to exorcise and protect. Hung in your rear-view mirror, it will protect you from accidents on more dangerous roads. It is also associated with love and is used in love spells. Add it to your mixtures for dream pillows and use it when working with the spirit world. Make sure to be in a well ventilated area when burning as incense as it is poisonous as smoke.

New Imagery?

So I just found out earlier this week, we can now upload background images to wordpress blogs! It’s about time, I must say! So as soon as I discovered this, I decided to make myself a background. I love Photoshop, I really do! I decided to go with some written words because, well, this is a blog, I do write here!! lol. And some feathers and birds because they are creatures of the air, and air is associated with communication, ideas, thoughts, creativity, the mind. I thought it was appropriate ๐Ÿ™‚

How do you like the new look?? ๐Ÿ™‚

Anywho… strange things a-happening yesterday. We went out to get groceries, etc, and for some strange reason, I was so disoriented and felt very weird. It was like I couldn’t look at enough around me, and for the life of me, I couldn’t focus visually on one thing very well. Had to give the shopping list to the man so he could make sure we had picked up what we needed. Needless to say, it was very strange and I was glad I wasn’t out and about alone. It seemed to clear up when we got some food… strange, very strange. If anyone has experienced this or knows what it is, I’d love to find out! That’s pretty much the first time it has ever happened to me though.

I’ve been thinking about plants again! He-he. I just can’t stop it. The winter weather here in the Pacific Northwest is just so different, that although we’re still in January, I feel like Spring is just around the corner. I feel sorry for my family in Ontario who are dealing with three feet of snow, and crappy winter weather, but am glad all I need are a good pair of rubber boots and an umbrella, lol. This year, I want to finally grow the lovely witchy seeds I bought over a year ago. I think I will buy a few more seeds some witchy (belladonna, henbane, clary sage, angelica) and some for foods ( chiles (jalapeno & ancho), I already have some nice tomato seeds, so salsa and tomato sauce here I come!). I’m also thinking of growing from a bought avocado and getting some seeds to grow my own bay laurel tree. That would be wonderful. Although, I will have to sit down and really think about what I can realistically grow because my apartment is quite small, and the windows don’t bring in an enormous amount of light. I’m also not sure if I will be able to make a little garden in the yard.. will have to chat with the owners about that one!
What are you folks planning for your gardens, witchy or otherwise?

Dreaming of Green

It’s not even the new year yet, and I’m thinking about gardening! I’ve been perusing the internets, looking at those nifty AeroGardens, alas, they are much too expensive for a student such as meself, and apparently for best results, you should continue buying their seed packets and parts. So… I was looking into alternatives, and have found a few.

Basically, there are aero ponics (which is what the AeroGarden is), and hydroponics. I know this is totally gonna make me sound like I’m going to grow the sticky icky, alas, I assure you, I will not be growing the sticky icky, lol (I really don’t want any trouble with the law, thank you very much!). So, both ways are soil-less; aeroponics suspends the roots in air (hence, “aero) and you have a mister spraying the roots with nutrients and such, and give occasional breaks to the roots of being misted; then there’s hydroponics which suspends the roots in water (hence “hydro”), and you just make sure that you have a way of getting oxygen in the water, basically a fish tank aerator.

This is a basic image of what aeroponic gardening would look like:

And here is what a hydroponics system would look like:

 


So, have any of you tried any of these methods… or have other methods to share? From all the reading I’ve done, these seem to produce more yield because the roots are directly getting the nutrients and such, and from all the pretty pictures and videos of beautiful greenery, I think it might be a good thing to check out! Right now, I’m just going to start my seeds in a tray, and make sure I have a lamp on them so they get enough light (cuz in a basement apartment with not a lot of light, I don’t want my plant babies dying on me!). Then, when they’re about ready to be transplanted, I’ll figure out which kind of ponics I’ll go with, lol. That just made me think of “hooked on phonics” ๐Ÿ˜€