February Handcrafted Faves

Foxy Love by Studio Taro Shop
Rhodonite Self-Love Necklace by Wrap Me A Crystal
The Great Rite (amirite?!) Incense by Blue Moon Magick Shop
Freyja Candle by The Wytch of the North
Aphrodite by Emily Balivet
Night In Massage Oil by Green Envy Cosmetics
Tree of Love Dreamcatcher by Seidkona Cascadia

Summertime

I always say that I love each season as it comes, and I do! They’re all my favourite when I’m enjoying them. And right now, I’m in love with Summer.

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There’s been lots of barbequing, watering and weeding in the gardens, riding on the trail, and just generally enjoying being outside in the warmth and the green. Flowers have been blooming, lavender, a second round for the fuschias, hibiscus, and now the portulaca has begun to flower its many different coloured blooms. The strawberry plants are sending out shoots for new strawberry babies (which I think is telling me I need to plan a strawberry bed).

It’s so easy and peaceful outside right now. Sure, it may get a little overly-hot now and then, but that’s what a shaded deck and cold iced tea (or beer) is for!

I know I’ve mentioned my favourite place in the world, Kincardine, before, and we finally got out there yesterday to enjoy the beach. That place calls to me, and once it’s possible, I know we’ll be moving there. There’s nowhere else I’d really rather live. London was good, very tree-dense for an Ontarian city! There are plenty of different kinds of food to be had too. Vancouver was gorgeous, feeling like a small town with how many trees there are, and space between houses. The enormous, fantastic-smelling cedars, and the mountains, they are something I really do miss (not to mention the people <3). Moncton, I could really care less about. I was born and raised for a while there, but meh. I never found it appealing, to be honest. I could totally live in Nova Scotia or PEI, but not New Brunswick so much, unless on the coast.

But Kincardine. My love. I told my husband-man that I’m married to Kincardine. That when we move there, it’ll have as much priority as him, lol. In a sense, I’m probably not wrong about it though. It’s a place I actually want to go out into town and walk around. I feel safe there, and people are incredibly friendly (a woman yesterday sung happy birthday to my mom because she heard my dad say so at the DQ counter; I asked mom if they had known the woman when we lived there… nope!).
What I think also helps is that the town celebrates it’s Scottish heritage, which translates often to the old importance of hospitality. I find that’s something that isn’t really emphasised in North American places where there is not any sort of specific culture (even a North American culture). Plus I’m in love with all the Celtic culture that’s celebrated there. There’s a Celtic festival every summer, Highland dancers, Celtic musicians, and Scottish Games. And a bag-pipe band every Saturday in the summer.

The husband-man also asked if perhaps I was a selkie from around Kincardine. I said there may be different kinds of unseelie creatures there, from long before the Scots came to occupy that bit of land… but I wouldn’t put it out of mind that perhaps a selkie or few had come over and made their home there.

I don’t think I’m kidding when I say I’m in love with Kincardine.

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But besides all that being in love with a place, enjoying the summer with my gardens and trails around here has been good. I collected my first garden haul with my niece, so we’ve got snap peas, yellow wax beans, raspberries, three kinds of basil, rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme. The herbs will be drying, later harvests of basil will be made into pesto, and the rosemary thyme and sage into a healing salve with some plantain. But this little batch will be dried for spicing food.

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So as for the shop, there has been frustration with Canada Post and the Postal Workers’ Union being wishy washy about whether or not they’re going to have a service disruption. Looks like they won’t let that come to pass, so that’s good!
I have some tea ideas to be working on, and reworking some older recipes that need a quick update to my current tea making system. AAAAAAND… a very SEKRIT PROJECT! This is unlike what I’ve done before, and I am so excited about it, I. CANNOT. EVEN. πŸ˜€

And so, dear gentle reader, I hope you are enjoying your season, whether it’s summer or winter, and I offer many blessings of the wilds and waters.

Mia
❀

Inanna Tea

 

InannaA deep, earthy and sweet cup reminiscent of long warm days in wind-swept desserts. But fear not, Inanna will bring the much needed rains.

Rooibos and honeybush teas create a warm, sweet, woody and fruity base whilst roses bloom nearby as you nibble on apples and peaches dripping in spiced wine.

Offer up a cup to the Queen of HeavenΒ Herself, or share with Her. You are most definitely welcome to simply enjoy this delicious cup if you wish!

You’ll find Innana’s tea here, and if you’re looking for Someone else’s tea, click here!

Reading for the Week – Sept 13-19, 2015

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Beginning of the Week
IX Cups
You will feel like you have everything that you need, or want, and are ready to share it with the world. There is a generosity that comes in the message of this card which stems from security and confidence. Look at how the woman is firmly seated, the wind blowing, yet she is solidly in place, a smile on her face. Take comfort in what you have in your life that is abundant.

Mid-Week
II Cups
A partnership of some sort, whether romantic or no, is going to be a boon to you. Where you fall short, your other half picks up the slack, vice versa. Where you may be feeling overwhelmed, or sad, or even ill, they will carry you forward, knowing you will be there for them in kind one day. Appreciate the love and support you share with the ones close to your heart.

End of Week
Ace Cups
Another cup!
The Ace of Cups is filled to overflowing, where perhaps your well may have been dry or dwindling down to the last drops, now you have more than enough water flowing up to quench your thirst.
This is all connected to the spirit, the things that bring you joy; if you were feeling as though life was becoming void of things that truly fulfil and nourish your heart and soul, even work, now is the time when that is turned around.

It seems as though the coming week is going to be plenty awesome, lots of love, lots of contentment. I think it bodes well as autumn is beginning to blanket the land, and it’s generally the time of year to take stock of what we have.

If you enjoyed this reading, please head on over to my shop, The Forest Witch, and check out the readings I offer there.
❀

A Month for Baldr – 17 – Love

“For the bravest of souls, there is love. The most heart-wrenching of tortures and sweetest of ecstasies. As much as we try to save ourselves, don’t save yourself from love, even when it has ripped you apart. It is the food that nourishes the soul, whether to strengthen or delight. “

-Baldr

Month of the Ivy

Ivy - by Vulkan

Ivy – by Vulkan

Dates:
September 30 – October 27

Latin Name:Β 
Hedera

Celtic Name:
Gort

Folk Names:
Bindwood, lovestone

Hedera helix (English Ivy) - Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thome; Flora von Deutschland, 1885

Hedera helix (English Ivy) – Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thome; Flora von Deutschland, 1885

Parts Used:
Berries, leaves

Medicinal Uses:
A drachm of the flowers which has been decocted in wine is said to keep dysentery in check.

The yellow berries are said to be good for those who spit up blood, as well as against jaundice.

According to Culpepper, ivy for nerves and sinews should be used externally, never internally.

The tender twigs used to make a salve will aid in healing sunburn.

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Associations:
Dionysus, Kissos, Zeus, Jupiter, Sun, blue, yellow serpentine, resurrection, positive strength of the ego, sacred to Osiris and Saturn.

Magical Uses:
It is carried by women (especially brides) for good luck. It’s also used in charms for fidelity and love.

Wherever you grow it, or wherever it grows naturally, it guards and protects the area from negativity and disaster. However, if the ivy should die and fall off (be especially wary if it is your house), it is said that misfortune is sure to come your way.

Because ivy naturally spirals as it grows longer, it is connected with cycles, resurrection, rebirth. It also seeks light and food sources through many obstacles, associating it with strength.

It has many magical uses such as the general protection, healing, exorcism, and cooperation.

On New Year’s Eve, if you place a leaf in water, and it is still fresh on Twelfth Night (January 5th), the coming year would unfold favourably for you. For the Yuletide season, holly and ivy together make for traditional and beautiful decorations.

Crowns made of holly and ivy are worn by a couple who are handfasting. A crown of just ivy was worn by poets as it is thought that ivy brings divine inspiration. The Greeks in Corinth would also make victory crowns of ivy for those who won at the games held in the city.

Oregano

From wikipedia.org

From wikipedia.org

Latin Name:Β Organum vulgare

Common/Folk Names: Kekik (Turkish), wild marjoram, winter marjoram, Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano, mountain mint, wintersweet

 

From FoodUniversity.com

From FoodUniversity.com

Medicinal Uses:
It has been shown to be most likely effective for riding oneself of intestinal parasites.

Oregano has proven to be high in antioxidants, and in tests, it has shown antimicrobial activity against certain strains of listeria.

In traditional Austrian medicine, oregano consumed as a tea or used topically as an ointment Β is used to treat respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and nervous system disorders. This hearkens back to Hippocrates’ use of oregano as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments, along with use as an antiseptic.

From homegarden-journal.com

From homegarden-journal.com

Magical Uses:

Ruled by the planet Venus, the element of Air, and associated with Aphrodite.

Work with it for luck, happiness, tranquility, health, and protection. It can aid you in letting go of a loved one, or deepen existing love.

A crown of oregano worn during handfastings will bring happiness to the partnership. If also worn on the head whilst sleeping, it is said it will aid in psychic dreaming.

Because of oregano’s ability to bring joy, work with it to celebrate joyful occasions, or to bring more joy into your life. Wreaths or bundles of oregano can be left upon the recently deceased’s grave to ensure they find joy in the next part of their journey.

Of course, with all culinary herbs, use it in your food to impart the joy and happiness of oregano to your friends and family. Being easily recognizable as an important ingredient in Greek and Italian cuisine, it conjures up images of large family dinners, all are laughing and telling stories to each other, enjoying each other’s company. Keep these images in mind as you stir that pot of spiced tomato sauce, or as you mix together that olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano dressing.

A Fantastic Look At The Power Of Beltaine and Sex

Flower of Life – Georgia O’Keeffe

This is a post from Galina Krasskova’s blog, Gangleri’s Grove… All I can say is YEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!

Women especially are penalized for enjoying their sexuality. Then, what to me seems even worse, I see people who are never touched. I’m not talking sex, i’m talking simple physical contact. I see people every day who haven’t been hugged in a decade. I see people who are starving physically and emotionally for basic human contact. There have been scientific studies done proving that if infants are denied human affection–skin to skin affection–they can die. Why should it be any different for adults? Even if they don’t die in body, they can wither away inside in their hearts and minds and spirits. Moreover, Β I see people who have never touched themselves and now I am talking sex and I think it a moral crime to fill someone with guilt and shame for the pleasure their own body can give them. We should love our bodies. We have to live here after all. Let’s take some pleasure in that…in our own bodies and those of our partners’ too.

Read the rest here.

Let’s put the sacred back in sex in all its forms!

The Month of the Willow

Salix_alba_Morton

Latin Name
Salix babylonica (Weeping Willow), Salix alba (White Willow)

Celtic Name
Saille (sail-yeh)

Common Names
Willow, Tree of Enchantment, Sough Tree, Pussy Willow, Witches’ Tree, Tarvos Tree, Sally, Saille, Withy, Withe, Aspirin, Witches’ Aspirin, Osier, Salicyn Willow

Dates
April 15 – May 12

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Parts Used
Bark, wood, twigs, branches, sap

Medicinal Uses
The bark and leaves of the willow has long been used for pain relief as it contains salicin, which the body turns into salicylic acid, which was isolated and synthesized in order to create the pain relieving aspirin many people use today.
Because the bark is quite astringent, it can be used as a diuretic, to ease rheumatic conditions, and combat heartburn.
The sap gathered from a flowering tree aids in skin blemishes and dandruff problems.

Constituents
Phenolic glycosides (which include salicin, salicortin, salireposide, tremulacin), tannins, flavonoids, catechins.

800px-Young-catkin

 

Associations
Water, Moon, silver, Hekate, Athena, Artemis, Demeter, Persephone, Hera, Mercury, Circe, Orpheus, Selene, Luna, Brigid, Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Rhiannon, Audhumla (the great Cow in Norse mythology), Hel, Idunna, Loki, Nanna, Nerthus, Ran, Sif, Sigyn, Sjofna, Skadi, the Feyfolk, moonstone, hawk, snowy owl, Beltaine

Magical Properties
Dark moon magic, magic associated with water: creativity, emotion, love, divination, female energies/rights of passage, inspiration, binding, protection, healing, death, wishes, peace, joy.

When willow is placed in a home, it protects against malicious energies/witchcraft, and evil; if a willow is grown near your home, it protects it. The tree is also welcome in graveyards.

If you carry a bit of willow in your pocket (a twig or the like), it will bring you courage and help you to overcome the fear of death.

You can tell your biggest secrets to a willow tree, as it will trap the secret inside itself.

They will also grant your wishes, if you ask properly.

Willow and sandalwood burned together during the waning phase of the moon encourages spirits to more easily be conjured.

In love magic, the leaves are commonly used, as well as to forge friendships, alliances, pacts, and loyalty. If you’ve been spurned by your lover, wear a willow charm, and they should find their way back to you. At the end of the year, to discover whether you’ll be married in the new year, throw your shoe up into the willow’s branches:
”Throw your shoe high up
into the branches of a Willow tree;
If the branches catch and hold the shoe,
you soon will married be.”

 

It’s all about the Love!

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So if you haven’t noticed in my side bar, I have a link for The Wigglian Way Pagan Podcast, my favourite pagan podcast, and, my coven-mates. The Wigglian Way has just posted their 100th episode, and I am so very excited about this! They are the sweetest, most loving people, and I’m so happy to practice my faith with them and find great friends in them!Β 

If you haven’t listened to the show before, you should give it a try! They are silly, full of laughs, and impart wisdom you won’t find in your average 101 information out there based on their own experience with the All.Β 

Β 

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