The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More about the spell I cast last night!

 Good Evening,

Wow, you came back! After the previous discussion concerning planetary hours? Well, good for you! Yes, I know working with planetary hours can be a bit . . . um . . . complex . . . if you will.  But tonight, I will talk a bit more about the spell, and we will put the planetary hours aside, except for the fact we cast the spell during the tenth hour, the rest of the spell I think may be interesting to you. This is what I did.

First I gathered 4 green spell candles and 2 each of silver and gold.  I washed my hands well, and used a brush to clean my nails as I like clean hands always, but especially when I'm about to conduct and work some magick. I made sure the area I would work in was tidy and not cluttered and televisions, radios and cell phones are turned off.

Then I took each green candle and used a finger nail as I have long nails and carved words into each candle. You may use a boline, a toothpick, but using my nails adds another personal magickal layer to my spells. You must be careful to spell the words carefully and correctly. No computer age abbreviations with spell casting!(muttering under my breath "lazy witches, .  .  .  I think not!  No lazy witches on my watch!" )

I put down the words need, money, abundance, financial security and such on the candles. No, not all words went on each candle. Also the names of the interested parties, such as the name of Enchantments, my name the town where the store is located, etc.

I placed each candle in a holder and made sure with a bit of liquid wax that they were secure in their holders and wouldn't topple when lit. I then covered their area which had an altar pentacle in the center of the small glass round table, with magickal stones that work for me to bring in financial and abundant energies. This cute little side table sold as a novelty rather than a serious piece of furniture, I really enjoy it because of the metal five pointed star under the pane of glass.  Pentacle tables! I have several and I use them all over.

I then cast a simple circle and when invoking the watch towers right at the beginning, wove into the welcoming the purpose of the spell and asked for their assistance.

"Hail watchtowers of the North, powers of Earth,  I call and invite you to attend this sacred rite to bring in abundance, financial energies and to help me as I cast this spell, to bring in the desired goal of bringing money and wealth into the store of Enchantments in Manchester, CT."  Be sure to state the location verbally also, not that the God/dess needs a GPS! But because there may be others by your name, and being specific helps the energies to formulate and condense and then find their way back to the place you need them to be.

I went around to each watchtower and welcomed the guardians with a special mention of the goal of the circle that had been cast.

Then after the circle was cast and sealed, I then lit each gold and silver candle and spoke to the Goddess and God as to my desires and the magickal goal I needed to manifest with this spell. I spoke to them as one would a highly respected, authoritative figure in your life. Like a judge in a court of law.

It sounded something like this: "Goddess / God, I ask you to take heed of my petition as I cast this spell and I thank you for the aid and assistance you give my magick, so that it will manifest as I desire.  I have great need to have this spell manifest and with your aid and assistance I thank you for making this spell manifest quickly and without resistance, easy and free. So Mote it be!"

After each gold and silver candle was lit and placed carefully around a center green candle burning on the altar pentacle, I then picked up the green candle I had placed in the North part of the tiny round table.  I turned to face the Northern Realms with my back to the altar and held the candle and lit it, then spoke from the heart of my desires and the magick I needed to have manifest. It sounded something like this:

"Guardians of the Northern Realms, I thank you for your presence here tonight. I ask for your assistance in aiding me with this spell. The security of your foundational stones, the financial abundance your assure with this spell coming to fruition speaks of your realms and the powers that lie within the great Mother Earth. Please aide me and assist in the manifestation of this spell and as I will it, So Mote it be!"

I then held the candle, closed my eyes and visualized the energy of the candle. Each time I did this, I saw waves of green, emanating out from the candle, waves after waves of green. When my mind and spirit felt connected and in sync with the candles energy, I placed it back on the altar. Then moved to the next direction. 

I performed this presentation of the candle to the watchtower it represented and spoke my spell's desire. I spoke to each elemental direction, striving for eloquence, proper respectful speech and a reverence of those things greater and more mysterious than us. There is a great magick in the universe and as a witch we work with but a tiny portion of it, at any given time. But to have worked with it, to have truly felt and delved into it, makes you aware of a power so much greater than anything we could fashion ourselves. It is this power that truly works with us and within us, creating what we call magick.

One of the most difficult questions I am asked  is "Does this stuff really work?"  for the answer is almost insulting in its simplicity. "Yes."   "It does."  The study, practice and experiencing of it after that simple point, is the path that continues on into the future and the unknown. I can answer 'Yes" but to explain further is very difficult unless the person has some understanding of magick and a belief that it can exist in their lives.

Why would anyone spend their life on a path that wasn't fulfilling, life-enriching and magickal? I don't know. I've spent almost all of my life in a magickal world, and I hope you're enjoying my telling you of my stories and experiences. I am very much enjoying sharing with you.

After my candles had burnt out,  about 40 minutes later, I had opened the circle and had moved onto other things, I was a bit tired, but not inordinately so.  It's a common misconception that one needs to be wiped energetically when doing spell work or other magicks for that case. Actually, after I was finished I went with a friend on a walk that was just shy of six miles. Now after that, I was tired but spell casting, if anything energizes me and gives me a sense of inner balance and peace.  This is the place you will want to strive for, as you learn to set aside nerves and excitement and focus on the spell at hand.

I also allowed myself to put the spell away, as my friend and I kept up our conversation during the walk it wasn't a topic of conversation. It was just one of the things I had done that day.  Newer students are still very excited when casting spells in the beginning years, and rightly so. You are creating magickal manifestation and changing your life in wonderful ways, you should be excited! But after a time of practice, after months if not years, you come to a place of inner certainty. Of an inner knowing, that your spell was cast, So Mote it be!
That's where I get to right after a spell is cast. I know it's been given up to more capable hands than mine, and I trust in the Guardians of the Elemental realms, I trust in the Goddess and God, and I trust in my magick. Most importantly, I trust in the witch that I am. I cease to worry about it, and trust and believe in its manifestation.

I will wait and see how this spell manifests.  Oh it will, just sometimes considering all sorts of influences, it may not manifest as we had first envisioned.  My visual? Toasting in stemmed glasses with sparkling juice the continued success and manifestation of Enchantments staying open, in business and providing to the magickal community and to you, my magickal supporter.

Peace and Happiness





Please check out my newest blog The Life and Recipes of a Medieval Cook @ http://thelifeandrecipesofamedievalcook.blogspot.com


© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

. . . about the spell I cast last night . . . working with planetary hours.

 Good Afternoon, and what a beautiful day it is.


One of so many beautiful days we've already experienced this summer.  I wonder if we will remember them once we are caught again in the grip of winter's fist?  Well, I for one try to spend time enjoying a day as lovely as this and I will close my eyes for a moment and just feel the energy of the day.  Then I open my eyes and look at something beautiful, like the cloud formation in the sky overhead, or at a garden  I am working on, perhaps a bird as it careens slowly in the sky above.  This helps me imprint the day for me to remember at a time when the day is not so lovely.



Well .  .  .  let me tell you about the spell I cast last night.  I wanted to do a money spell, a financial abundance spell and so I started by looking at the day, Monday. The Moon's day, and a day especially strong for magicks wrought by women.  I decided to use planetary hours and this is the part I wish to discuss with you.




I formulated the planetary hours for yesterday, and this needs to be done for each day you wish to work with. .  This is a tad complex and don't feel its necessary to do, but I like adding the strength of the specific hour of the specific day to the serious spells I cast. 

Let me explain what planetary hours are and how they can asist in your spell work. 

First there are sunrise or daylight planetary hours and sunset or night planetary hours.  We will work with daylight hours for this discussion. We may have 12 hours of daylight during a specific day, but are each daylight hour a complete hour? No, most likely not. I will use yesterdays specifics to help explain how I formulated this information.

First you need to know the time of sunrise.  Yesterday for my location on the globe the sun rose at 5:17 am.  A tad early to rise if you ask me, but hey, I'm not the sun!

Now find out the time of sunset, which for yesterday was 8:29 pm. This information is available online at any almanac site.  Switch your hours into minutes. For example, the sun rose at 5:17 and if I convert the first five hours and 17 minutes into all minutes I end up with 317 minutes.  Now I convert 8:29 pm into minutes and I do this by multiplying 20 times 60. 8 pm is the twentieth hour and 29 minutes added equals 1229.

Now subtract the daylight hours from the sunset time  1229 minus 317 which equals 912. Now divide 912 by 12 and you get 76. That's how many minutes are in each daylight hour.  Hey, that's way more than 60!
Now you know that each daylight hour for yesterday was 76 and you know that the first hour of daylight started at precisely 5:17 am, you add 76 minutes to 5:17 and you get 5:17 to 6:33, the second sunrise hour is 6:33 - 7:49 and so on.  Still with me?

Your sunrise hours look like this for June 227th, 2011
  • Planetary sunrise hour 1  5:17 - 6:33 am    
  • hour 2                             6:33 - 7:49 am
  • 3                                     7:49 - 9:05 am
  • 4                                     9:05 - 10:21 am
  • 5                                     10:21 - 11:37 am
  • 6                                     11:37 am - 12:53 pm
  • 7                                     12:53 - 2:09 pm
  • 8                                      2:09 - 3:25 pm
  • 9                                      3:25 - 4:41 pm
  • 10                                    4:41 - 5:57 pm
  • 11                                    5:57 - 7:13 pm
  • 12                                    7:13 - 8:29 pm                     
Now that you have this information it's very important to use another formula to make this information work for you. The planets that rule that specific hour of that specific day.  Each day of the week is different. Use this chart to find out what planet rules which hour of which day.

For your sunrise hours the week looks like this

Sunday Mon     Tues    Wed        Thurs   Fri     Sat          Hour
Sun      Moon     Mars     Mercury   Jupiter  Venus  Saturn     1
Venus  Saturn     Sun       Moon       Mars    Mercury Jupiter  2
Mercury  Jupiter Venus      Saturn     Sun      Moon      Mars   3
Moon     Mars      Mercury  Jupiter   Venus    Saturn   Sun      4
Saturn      Sun       Moon       Mars     Mercury  Jupiter Venus  5
Jupiter   Venus     Saturn      Sun        Moon      Mars   Mercury 6
Mars    Mercury  Jupiter      Venus    Saturn     Sun     Moon     7
Sun     Moon      Mars       Mercury   Jupiter      Venus Saturn   8
Venus  Saturn    Sun        Moon        Mars       Mercury Jupiter 9
Mercury Jupiter  Venus    Saturn      Sun          Moon     Mars   10
Moon     Mars     Mercury  Jupiter   Venus       Saturn    Sun     11
Saturn    Sun       Moon      Mars      Mercury    Jupiter Venus   12

Ah, now you know that yesterday on Monday the third and the tenth hour of the day coincided with Jupiter, the financial and abundance planet. Since the third hour really was early for my day between 7:49 and 9:05 and I had lots to do, I decided to cast the spell at the tenth hour or between the hours of 4:41 and 5:57 pm.



Curious as to how the other planets can help you with your spell casting? A simple primer to follow is:
Sun- bright positive potential, money as in gold, success, fame and excellent beginnings
Moon- women's mysteries, magicks cast by women, uncovering illusion and deep interspection
Mars - success in battle, business success and overcoming obstacles and challenges
Mercury - communication, intellect and winning by using your wits
Jupiter, we already discussed but to review, financial abundance, prosperity, business financial increase
Venus - love, passion, romance, relationships
Saturn - banishing, eliminating and getting rid of that which no longer serves you

I know, I know, it's kind of complicated and a bit intense, but remember you don't have to use every layer available to craft and cast your spells. Just use what works for you and leaves the rest behind, it may be meant for another.

I used green, gold and silver candles and I used 4 green candles and petitioned each watchtower of guardian of an elemental direction for their assistance. I used the silver and gold candles to petition the Goddess and the God for assistance with my spell.  Petitioning the guardians and Goddess/God I feel is a lot like agruing your case in court. Be eloquent, clear and determined that this is what you need. 

Using the planetary hours just adds a bit of ummph to your spell casting. 


Peace and Happiness




Please check out my newest blog The Life and Recipes of a Medieval Cook @ http://thelifeandrecipesofamedievalcook.blogspot.com 

© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. 

If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Nature of Spell Casting . . . it's all around us, but do you recognize it?

 Good Morning,

Yesterday I spent a lovely day at Enchantments, first conducting our Summer Solstice ritual, a week late, but I was recuperating last week and yesterday was a perfect day to celebrate the sun!  Don't get hung up my 'witchlings' on stressing about celebrating the Sabbats at the exact moment!  The God and Goddess care not what we mere mortals do, while we play in the playground they created for us.  As long as we're happy and we love, I think that's what makes them happy.  So, yesterday was a perfect day with the sun shining and the warmth returning, actually right after the ritual concluded it became quite lovely out. 

The Magickal studies class held on saturday mornings at Enchantments made poppets before the ritual and we blessed them in the circle, then went upstairs to the classrooms of Enchantments and had a Sabbat feast with all sorts of goodies!  After everyone went off to enjoy their weekend I found my day open and free. So, I went to the local plant nursery and bought a few flats of beautiful annuals and I spent the day planting and watering and getting muddy and loving every blessed moment of it!  I felt well and truly happy! 

One beautiful little annual plant I found and fell immediately in love with was a pink flower, also in red, called Pentas.  Penta from the Greek meaning five.  We see this root word in our words of Pentagram and Pentacle, meaning our five pointed star that we use in modern witchcraft.  These tiny flowers are truly star shaped and grow in compact clusters about 6 inches tall and in diameter.  I planted over 60 of these pretty little plants and look forward to seeing their happy little faces all summer.  Here are some pictures of these great little plants!


 Pentas

Well, the topic of this discussion today is the nature of spell casting.  I started to think about this as I was waiting at a large intersection yesterday, and noticed a car in the lane next to mine. It was a small car and the back window had been painted with white and blue letters proclaiming the class of 2011, and the school the graduate (presumably driving the car) graduated from.  I then noticed the side window towards the back of the car had "Health Tech" painted on it, carefully and unlike most graffiti, this car and many like it are carefully designed with pride.  One can safely assume the driver had graduated from this school, this year (just the day before we had graduation in our town) and had dreams of becoming a health technician and was planning on going to college for this goal.

Well my dear, everything about this little car shouts spell casting to me!  Now, now the driver most likely has NO idea that his or her carefully designed and decorated mode of transportation could be construed as a spell!! Some might be 'horrified' to think so, but let's discuss, as I see the elements of effective spellcasting in this persons car decorating scheme. 

Firstly, I'll assume for ease of discussion that the driver was female, as I couldn't quite see. Firstly she chose colors, color magick, from her school colors as I know the school she graduated from has the colors white and blue.  Using the school colors strengthens the energies she was putting into the decorating. Yes, red, yellow or florescent orange might have been more vivid and eye catching, but the school colors create a magickal bond with the driver and her school, she is leaving to pursue a higher education.  Then she boldly stated her intention or magickal goal, to become a health technician.  She obviously put some thought into what she wanted to pursue, as many graduates are unsure and take general studies the first year or so of college to find out what may work best for them.

She decorated her car, carefully as none of the needed windows for visibility when it came to safe driving were affected and she then drove the car around as she went on her day, instead of say for example, she parked it on her front lawn for people passing by to see.  It went everywhere she did. She would see it every time she went to drive her car, reinforcing the image and the concept that she will become a health tech.



Following my anatomy of a spell, as described in my book 'Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies' on pg 133, let's see how the future health tech did when it came to crafting an effective spell. 

1. Magickal Goal,  she wants to be a health technician and that was clearly stated in white paint
2. Method, in this case she used her car, a personal item.
3. Charge, enchant, incant - she painted her car, personalized it and used the school colors and it was obvious she put some time and effort into it, as it was nicely done.
4. Cast the spell - Ah, this she did by leaving the painted words on (and not washing them off immedietly after graduation) and driving the car so others could see and most importantly she would see the car everyday, hopefully for a week or longer thereby reinforcing her desires and goals within, every time she sees her car.
5.  Trust - we can only hope she believes in herself and her dreams and from what I know of young people they have tremendous belief in their dreams because they are many times too young to have allowed life to make them bitter and jaded by their experiences yet.  

Everything about that little car, proudly emblazoned with her accomplishments, a graduate of the class of 2011 and her dreams of the future tell me she will achieve her dreams and I personally wish her the very best of luck. Whomever she or he may be.

We see this type of spell casting in other areas of our lives, especially in the superstition ridden arena of professional sports.  Have you seen the sports fans painted the colors of their teams, especially all over their faces and bodies.  This is a modern reflection on the ancient tribal magicks as employed by aboriginal tribes around the world.  \



I have also often felt and seen direct correlation to superstitions and magickal practices for many years.  When someone knocks on a piece of wood for instance, throws some spilled salt over their shoulder or insists you eat chicken soup when sick, these all have more magickal practices to them than mere superstitions can explain. 

We, many of us, employ magickal spell casting at least once a year, every year.  When you blow out the candles on your birthday cake, you have cast a spell that goes back over 5,000 years ago to the Greek temple of Artemis and the wish you wished, if she's listening to you, will be answered. 

Ah, soooooo, what spells will you cast today? 



Peace and Happiness




  Please check out my newest blog The Life and Recipes of a Medieval Cook @ http://thelifeandrecipesofamedievalcook.blogspot.com 

© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Friday, June 24, 2011

How is your garden doing so far?

 Good Afternoon,

I wanted to give you an update of what's been happening in my garden of late.  I HAVE HUMMINGBIRDS!! Yeah!  This year I made my own hummingbird nectar and it's working!  We saw a big, green and blue hummingbird just a day or so ago.  The seemingly constant rain has put a damper on many peoples plans for outdoor activity, but our gardens and lawns are so happy with it.  It also saves us from having to water everyday, sometimes twice a day!  This rain will give our gardens and the annuals planted this year a nice start and a deep root system, making them better able to withstand the hot, dry weather we're sure to be experiencing before too long.


This is how you make hummingbird nectar. It's really easy, inexpensive and they really love it!  The formula is one part sugar to four parts water, and a few drops red food coloring.

1 cup sugar
4 cups water
place on the stove and heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. It does not have to simmer or come to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add a few drops of red food coloring, this color attracts the hummingbirds. Put nectar in hummingbird feeder, these do have to be purchased as it's a special design that the hummingbirds seem attracted to. Remaining nectar does need to be refrigerated and this is important!!  Replace the nectar and thoroughly clean out the feeder every three or four days!! If you don't the hummingbirds could catch illness from mold and other contaminants in the nectar and then your hummingbirds will be no more. 


I have butterfly weed self sowing along my drive and it's different from the butterfly bush that you may know. Butterfly weed is a plant that grows only about 2 feet high and has nice orange heads.  Butterfly bushes, I have a few, aren't doing too well this year. I haven't checked into the whys of this as I've been so busy making sure everything else is happening, but I'm planning on dosing mine with some fertilizer and we'll see if that gives them a much needed jump in growth. 

 Butterfly Weed 
 Butterfly Bush

The St John's Wort is cut down, having been harvested at the Solstice when it was at its peak, and I've also harvested some holly as the bush needed a good trimming.

I'm trying to grow one of those upside down tomatoes in a special holder. ? We'll see. So far I'm not impressed, as I am a bit old fashioned and think plants should grow as nature intended, but it was a gift and so an experiment to see how well an upside down plant does grow.  I suspect it would do well if it was tended to daily or multiple times a day, but this witch does not have the time for such hand holding. 

Take note, it's almost the end of the time when you can purchase annuals from your local nursery, and many are offering specials like buy one get one free.  Just be sure to remove a third to half of the root ball of small potted plants in the little six packs as they are sure to be pretty root bound by this time. Use your fingers to spread the roots apart to give them a chance to absorb water and nutrients when planted. Leaving them exactly as they are right out of the six pack will only succeed in their dying a slow, starving death in a month or so.  Also, if you remove part of the root system, be sure to trim the top of the plant, even to the extent of of cutting off the blossoms. This will give the tiny plant a better chance of survival and it will put off new flowers before you know it.

Make extra sure you check your yard this time of year for hidden, standing water. Turn over or eliminate anything that can hold water, especially with all of this rain we're experiencing in the south of New England, as these water catches are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.  Many have heard of West Nile Virus, a nasty disease spread by mosquitoes, but they also carry malaria, encephalitis, and a host of other illnesses you just don't need!  I had a water garden without a pump system, and I found the mosquito dunks placed in them to kill the mosquitoes are harmful to cats, dogs or any other animal that might wander by and take a drink. I have possums, woodchucks and the occasional skunk that has gone through the yard looking for a drink or something to eat. I find it safer for all to not provide any additional food for them, and certainly not any poisoned water.

So what's happening in your garden? Remember to take a moment to sit out in it and just observe and enjoy! 



Please check out my newest blog The Life and Recipes of a Medieval Cook @ http://thelifeandrecipesofamedievalcook.blogspot.com 

© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer Solstice - A Sabbat we call Litha

 Good Afternoon,

Today is a special day, in addition to being a lovely Tuesday, it's also Litha. Known to many as the Summer Solstice.  First I wish to address a confusing aspect of this holiday.  In the United States the 21st day of June is traditionally considered the first day of summer. (?) That has always confused me a bit, as for centuries in Europe and still, it's considered midsummer, at least anywhere from the 21st to the 24th, depending on the actual timing of the sun.   You've heard of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream?  Well he was referring to evening of midsummer or the 24th of June in his time. 

How and why the 21st became considered the first day of summer I don't know, yet I suspect the end of school and the start of summer vacation has something to do with it.  As for the reason school ends and summer 'vacation' begins is because over 100 years ago, the farmers needed their offspring to help out on the farm and in the fields during the summer months, so kids left school and hard manual labor started! Tell that to the young ones today!!  Today for pagans everywhere it is considered our midpoint of the summer season and we celebrate it as such.  Of course our traditional first day of summer was back on May 1st, Beltaine.  I personally like to celebrate the traditional days as set forth centuries ago, they just seem to make more sense to me.  But good news! You can celebrate as you choose.

We call this holiday Litha which comes directly from Bede,  a Northumberland Monk,  in the year 725,  who wrote "De temporum ratione"  The Reckoning of Time which is an Anglo-Saxon Treatise which was written to introduce the traditional ancient and medieval view of the cosmos as well as to describe a variety of ancient calendars, including the Anglo-Saxon Calendar.

The focus of Bede's The Reckoning of Time was to calculate of the date of Easter,  for in which Bede described the method developed by Dionysius Exiguus. De temporum ratione was also written for those who wished to calculate the date of the Easter full moon, and also for following the motion of the Sun and Moon through the zodiac, and for many other calculations related to the calendar, a Farmer's Almanac of it's day, so to speak.

Whereas Bede gave this Sabbat  it's name, Pagans and Witches have been celebrating the Summer Solstice long before it was given the name Litha.  I once came across a taffy recipe that reputably had been made at a castle in Northern Britain for over 1000 years at the summer solstice. We made it one year during a Sabbat celebration, and I remember it being sweet, sticky and delicious.  This was an example of celebrations spanning back through time for centuries as the age of the taffy recipe attested to. Taffy of any kind during the summer months has been enjoyed for a very long time, so I've included a modern  (ish) recipe for taffy.

Unfortunately I cannot seem to find my notes concerning this information, the recipe of this taffy made many, many years ago at my summer solstice celebration with my first coven, or it's origins.  Grrrrrrrr.  So, I've come up with my own recipe, that has not been made for any length of time or has any historical significance! Ha! It's just yummy!


Modern Medieval Taffy
 This photo looks exactly like the recipe I had at one time, and made during a Solstice celebration. It's more brown than white and tastes of slightly burned sugar, though I can't say if that was the intention of the ancient recipe or my early skills as a cook?! 


- this recipe employs the ingredients and cooking instructions as we would fine back in medieval times, a particular favorite historical time of mine. Modern insertions are found in parenthesis.


1 cup sugar
2/3 cup honey or molasses - molasses will make a stronger tasting recipe. 
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup water
flavoring, as desired  - peppermint, lemon, orange were flavors commonly used back then. Cutting up, very, very tiny pieces of the rind of lemon and orange or mincing finely the mint leaves, these would be added for the flavoring, as extracts were not in use at this time in history. (Flavored extracts, a few drops can be added)
 
  • Melt butter in a saucepan, add sugar, honey, and water, stirring until sugar is dissolved. 

  • Bring to the boiling point and boil without stirring to 160°F ( use a candy thermometer) or until it forms a hard ball when dropped into cold water.
  • Pour onto a marble slab or a counter top that bags of ice have rested for a small time, making the surface cold and wet to the touch.  

  • Drip onto the surface of the candy and extracts or colorings desired. Do this quickly as the candy needs to be folded right away.
  • Using large buttered metal spatulas, (sprayed with cooking spray), fold edges over into the center before they have time to get hard; by doing this the candy will be kept soft. Do this gently until the candy cools enough to handle.
  •  As soon as candy is cool enough to handle, knead it until it becomes firm, add flavorings, then two strong people are to pull the taffy.until it is lighter and in color and silkier in texture.

  • Stretch the taffy into rolls, snip with an oiled scissors into bars or 1 inch pieces and wrap in oiled or waxed paper. Let it sit out, just in its papers for a few days in a dry, cool area away from insects or other pests. Then store in an air tight container in a cool, dark place until desired.

Regarding the information I utilize in my discussions with you, I do find, as I write for you and report on historical and cultural lore, one needs to cite their sources, and in this field of study, that can be difficult.  Little did I know when starting out as a young witchling over 30 years ago, that I would one day be telling you my story.  So that information, which I can relate sources for,  I will. I'll be as clear as I can about things I've learned through experience and practice and .  .  .  some of what I know .  .  .  I have no idea where the information came from that's in my head.  I just know it's there and it makes sense to me.  I hope it makes sense to you, but if not .  .  .  no worries.  There's an awful lot of information available nowadays.

Back to the Solstice. Sol for the Sun.  The Sabbats are solar celebrations, celebrations of the God force, the Sun's energy and the turning of the wheel of the year.  I personally feel that it makes sense that so many of the Christian holidays seem superimposed upon the ancient Pagan holidays, as we see with Ostara/Easter, Yule/Christmas and others, because of the emphasis of the God force at this time. The male energy of creation.  Yes, the early Christians fashioned the known holidays around the calendar on ancient Pagan celebrations, everyone knows that. But studying different cultures teaches me that every culture has many holidays, celebrations and days of honoring their many gods and goddesses.  The early Christians chose a few, a handful of sorts to play out around the wheel of the year. These are specifically tied to the Solar based Sabbats and I see a strong correlation between these holidays and the God being celebrated.  As such, bonfires are often burned in many cultures to celebrate this holiday.



Many Pagans today focus almost solely on the Goddess energy, and some groups and individuals such as myself work with and honor both the God and Goddess energy.  It's a personal choice that only you can make.  Beware of individuals or groups who tell you who you can or should work with when it comes to Deity.

The Summer Solstice is also the longest day of the year and the shortest night. The sun is at its zenith, also a reason the ancients rightfully saw this day as the mid-summer point.  For magickal folk, it's the first harvest, yet not of food stuffs or grains. It's the first harvest  for medicinal and magickal plants. Gathering any medicinal, magickal or any plants used in your magick today will ensure they have their peak of magickal power encased within themselves, ready to be released when you desire.

Today can be celebrated many ways.

  • Harvest some of your magickal or culinary herbs today. 

  • Just spend time on your garden.

  • Eat an egg! The egg is a symbol of the sun as well as the whole of the universe and the center of creation. Wow, pretty heady stuff for a simple egg. 
  • Dance in a field under the brilliant sun and allow yourself to feel the energies of the earth today, as she is at her peak of magickal abundance. 
  • Have a feast with your family. All Sabbats are celebrated with a feast of sorts. Everyone bring a dish and sit and partake with one a other and savor the nourishment and sustenance the earth has put forth. Even if it's a pie from your local supermarket, it is no less sacred because of it's origin.
  • Look around you, what is in season right now? Strawberries, almost blueberries, lettuces, greens, cucumbers, sugar snap baby peas and herbs are wildly abundant and ready for picking and serving. Serving fruit salad with fresh mint sprigs, a strawberry fruit punch with sprigs of sweet woodruff reminiscent of Beltaine yet still delicious nonetheless.
  • Plant a tree! This really is the last opportunity until fall to plant shrubs, trees and other perennials, as the heat of summer will become too strong, very soon, for transplanting. The shock of the transplant can combine with the severe heat and make for a dangerous situation for new trees and shrubs.
  • Take a walk
  • Be with a loved one

  • Oh yes! Make Taffy and enjoy it warm! 

    There are many ways to celebrate today, and even if you celebrated last weekend or plan to this coming weekend, doing a little something today will have a magick all of its own.  Me? I'm about to publish this post and go out into my garden and dead head the spent blossoms ensuring more happy blossoms pop out in time for this weekends Sabbat Celebration. What a glorious day!!  

    Gazing at this photograph brings all the magick of Litha to mind. Isn't it just beautiful?

    Happy Litha to you,

    Peace and Happiness














    Please check out my newest blog The Life and Recipes of a Medieval Cook @ http://thelifeandrecipesofamedievalcook.blogspot.com 

    © 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Squirrels, crows, chipmunks & deer - Pests or a lesson for us from Mother Nature? One witch's opinion

     Good Evening,

    Tonight I want to talk to you about nature and our role of co-existing within it.  For that is what we do, co-exist with the natural world around us.  Whether we grow a lawn of deep, lush green grass or grow a plant indoors, have pets we care for or the squirrels and chipmunks we slow down for on the roads, we live on this glorious planet with all the animals and birds  as our neighbors.

    Many of nature's wild creatures never come within our living area but as we continue to develop more and more land, turning forests and woodlots into neighborhoods and backyards as we also attempt to assert our standards of control over the land we now claim as ours. 

    We can drive by hundreds of acres of wooded land that borders our roadways, at least in New England, and give nary a thought to the little furry creatures scampering amongst the dried leaves and underbrush as we pass. Yet let us develop some of that same forest and put in a yard, pretty ornamental trees and hang up a bird feeder or two, well, then suddenly those same furry, little woodland creatures become Public Enemy No 1. 


    Don't misunderstand me, I eat meat and eggs, fish and fowl, but seldom do those who dislike the little squirrels and chipmunks care to eat them. They just find them a nuisance and want them rid of.  People either like or dislike deer, squirrels, crows, chipmunks, snakes, possums, woodchucks, rabbits and mice.  People will shoot, poison, trap, beat and drown these 'pests' without a second thought, but would be horrified themselves if anyone abused a dog or cat.


    I'm not telling you, gentle reader, what to do, if anything in these situations. That's entirely up to you.  I'm just making some simple observations. Perhaps to people who would kill them,  these wild animals lives mean less because they are smaller? Not 'domesticated', or they are 'wild?', scary or foreign to what we are comfortable with? I don't know. 

    I know for me, I grew up in the country. We had all sorts of wild life around us always. We had squirrels scampering in the trees, chipmunks playing on the stone walls, all sorts of birds at the feeders including the crows and black birds and deer, woodchucks, possum, skunks and mice around. 

    We had tad poles, frogs, turtles even gigantic prehistoric looking snapping turtles, quail, wild turkey, partridge and once I had the experience of an incredible, huge snowy white owl fly right over my head while walking deep in the woods one day.  I grew up around all of these creatures of nature and always felt as if I fit in with the natural world around me, not the commonly held belief that the natural world should fit in with my world.

    I've often thought it would be difficult for me to live in the heart of a major city.  Not having nature just outside my door would be a big challenge for me. I often look about me and see what types of animals are around me that day, then I look up the 'animal medicine' or totem of the various creatures. 

    The term 'animal medicine' is a Native American term that refers to the natural magickal properties of each animal and these magickal properties can be correlated to you and your energies the day you spot one of these animals.  We can  learn a lot from animals, nature and the natural world around us, if we would but take a moment to observe and listen. 

    For instance the animal medicine or magickal properties squirrel brings into our lives is  'Gathering'. The squirrel is the boy scout of the animal world, always prepared. Squirrel medicine teaches us to gather and collect our energy and strength for times of stress and crisis.  Squirrel also teaches us steadfast dedication to gathering and putting away for the cold winter months, to prepare for the lean times by putting away enough in times of abundance.  As many will notice, determination and perseverance are also strong traits of the squirrel, who will not give up when searching out a new food source or trying to figure out a squirrel proof feeder.  They are also very intelligent and have a complex communication system amongst other squirrels. 

    I saw a documentary several years ago that depicted the attempts of engineers and scientists to develop an obstacle course that had to be followed precisely for a squirrel to 'break the code' and get to the food source.  This obstacle course by the end of the experiment was extremely difficult with ladders needing to be climbed, little cars driven along plastic tube roads and ropes to be shimmied. The squirrel needed to go through many complex, difficult problem solving situations before they were rewarded with the food reward, peanuts (which they love above all else!) and though some of the obstacle courses designed by the scientists took a month or more for a squirrel to 'break the code' the amazing thing is after one squirrel figured it out, in less than 24 hours every other squirrel in the neighborhood was also able to negotiate the obstacle course to get to the reward, proving to scientists that squirrels have a complex, advanced communication system with one another, that we are just starting to appreciate. 

    Seriously folks, I know people who can't follow a simple set of directions with GPS!! Yet we treat squirrels as if they are simply furry vermin with no use or gifts for us. 

    Chipmunks have gifts for us also, actually all animals can aide our existence if we can get down off of our 'top of the food chain which makes us better than every other living thing' pedestal  for a moment or two.  When Chipmunk appears in your life,  it is important to look at your home and completing projects around the house. Chipmunk builds a complex burrow that offers protection for their young with several exits and storage areas. Taking care of home projects and responsibilities is the medicine of Chipmunk.  Also Chipmunk teaches us to put away for a rainy day like squirrel, and this animal totem can teach us to read the voices of others, to know the truth and lies in their voices, teaching us to trust what we hear in their voice rather than their actual words.
     
    Deer, beautiful and gentle (who didn't cry when Bambi's mother died?) teaches us gentleness, love and compassion for others, especially those with wounded spirits.  If you are fortunate enough to have deer in your yard, place deer feeders on the edge of your property to feed them. They are the larger of the animals found around these parts and we are crowding them out and starving them out with our gardens of flowers we selfishly refuse to share.  There are many deer resistant plants you can plant that will keep the deer just grazing the grass and leave your gardens alone. This takes effort and planning, as learning to co-exist with other beings may take effort, yet its worth it. I have not had a deer in my yard since I moved from the country over 30 years ago, and I sorely miss the sight of such gentle, beautiful creatures that only wish to exist in peace.

    The Crow totem teaches us Law. The crow is the keeper of sacred law, Crow can bend the laws of the universe and shape shift. Crow teaches us to live our life according to our personal law, the rules which make us authentic. Crow causes us to see the differences between man's laws and sacred law, which are not the same. For the sake of this discussion human law allows us to eliminate these animals or 'pests' from our lives by killing with various methods all acceptable and according to man's laws. Yet sacred law asks me where I get the authority to take another's life, not to eat, nor to help with survival, to cloth or create shelter.  It asks me where I get the authority to eliminate  a living creature just because I don't wish it to be where I wish to be, thereby labeling it a nuisance, or perhaps it causes damage to buildings and structures. Ah, does that give me the right? Sacred law says no. 



    I guess my point is, co-existing with other creatures on this earth isn't always easy. Should it be? Just because I am capable of taking an animals life with no consequences to me, because its easy, should I? 

    I feel as humans with the abilities we have, that we have been given a tremendous responsibility to care for this earth and its creatures.  In many cases today, many of these creatures can no longer exist without us!

    Perhaps our co-existing shouldn't be so easy, not when one is so obviously the dominant force thereby making the other less significant because we deem it so.  Hey, we've created an amazingly complex, advanced and technological civilization. We've surpassed every other civilization that has every existed when considering modern technology, science and medicine.  Shouldn't we put just a little bit more effort into trying to find a way to co-exist with animals and other creatures of nature?  For sadly, if we can't or can't be bothered to, then any hopes or prayers we have for world peace amongst humans is just a fantasy that we have no intention of ever fulfilling.


    Peace and Happiness


    Some of the information concerning animal totem medicine was taken from  these sources:

     Medicine Cards written by Jamie Sams & David Carson published by St. Martin's Press

     http://www.linsdomain.com/totems/pages/chipmunk.htm



    Please check out my newest blog The Life and Recipes of a Medieval Cook @ http://thelifeandrecipesofamedievalcook.blogspot.com 

    © 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website.

    If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    This is what I did today . . . and a lovely day it was!

     Good Evening,



    Today was a beautiful day and I was able to spend it outside planting and working in my magickal gardens surrounded by nature.  My day started with a cup of coffee as I watched the squirrels and birds eat breakfast on my kitchen balcony.

    I placed items I'm reusing from other garden spots in my newly created whimsical garden.  I have removed an in-ground shell that was a water garden.  A small pond that at one time I thought was a great idea! But I found it high maintenance and lately simply a mosquito hatchery!!  I'm very careful about keeping mosquitoes down to a minimum due to our increasing loss of the little brown bat found in North American, which is dying off in rapid succession.

    So I eliminated this water garden and instead  filled in the hole and placed flat stones making a sunken whimsical garden.  I placed fun items from other gardens around the house and I am planting begonias and marigolds between the cracks of the stones tomorrow.  I placed some hummingbird liquid food in a hummingbird feeder and placed this in the garden also.  Hummingbirds are like little fairie spirits to me and I enjoy having them in my garden. The begonias will also attract them.  I will plant some bright red salvia along the wall to bring in a bright spot of color and again to attract the hummingbirds.  I have a small seating area right above this little garden and it faces West so I can enjoy the sunset while enjoying this little garden of fun and fantasy.  Here's a picture of this garden, but remember I have yet to plant the flowers. 
    Then after placing some items I went out front and mowed down a small hay field that had grown in a front garden. Daffodils and tulips had gone over and a strain of field grass took hold and got a nice start as I decided what I wanted to do with this older garden.  Many of the sun loving plants I had planted as perennials had died out and that's because the area was now mostly shade as the maple tree at one corner grew and flourished transforming the area into something new.  This phenomenon happens as some plants or trees do well and other ones don't.  So I now have a full shade situation and after some thought and planning I dragged out the lawn mower, I really needed a tractor with large cutter for cutting hay! I relentlessly mowed the entire area, dismantling a wishing well I had made out of bricks, dry stacking them. I moved these to the side to reassemble at a later time and mowed everything down.  Then with the help of my sister we laid down black plastic to kill the field grass that had taken hold and placed brown cedar mulch on top. A full 4 yards of mulch. That's 36 bags and .  .  .   that's alot.

    I then planted impatiens, a shade loving pretty annual, in small clumps of three plants each. I put three plants in one hole and they should make a nice rounded plant in a month or so.  I will need to water daily, so out came the trusty sprinkler, and buying fertilizer is on the list.  While I was planting each little plant, I carefully took each plant out of its plastic tray, used my fingers to split the root ball of dirt to help spread out the roots and thus giving them a larger area for the roots to grow.  Especially with root bound plants, by not separating the roots allowing some air in they will die. (in heavily root bound plants, I actually will cut a third to a half of the root ball away and using my fingers to brush out the roots so they hang freely and not bound together). Failing to do this will result in no growth and sudden death of your plants.  I do a little more, than the average gardener, when I take each little plant, it's roots free and open, I bring it close to my mouth and breath a breath of air onto the roots along with a blessing that they grow strong and vibrant, healthy and abundant. Then I place the three little plants into a hole and cover them up with mulch. Then I watered them very well, for over an hour, and after today, twenty minutes of watering in the morning and again at night should do the trick of getting them firmly established and growing strong.




    I will fertilize after they have been in the ground for two weeks.  Fertilizing too soon after they are transplanted, along with transplant shock can cause the plant to become burned with fertilizing causing over stimulation, so let the little plants rest after their big ordeal of being transplanted and feed after at least a week, better two.  The breath is sympathetic magick as you breath life into the little plant as it is placed in its new environment.

    While working all day in the front yard I had a very inquisitive cow bird visit me and he kept up quite a lively conversation as he chatted with me and perched on top of the rock, the sundial and here on my Harry Lauder Walking Stick shrub.  He's a bit hard to see as he's a dark gray but if you look closely .  .  .    His voice was much brighter I assure you!





    I was able to spend some time today also admiring some of the plants that have been with me for many years.  I have a beautiful climbing rose bush, called 'Zepherin Drouhin' and its a unique rose because not only is it thorn-less, but it is designed to be grown in the shade! The only rose bush that I know of so specifically developed.  It also has an amazing  Old English Rose  aroma.  





    Then I went to check out my Rhododendron that I had trimmed last fall on top of an 8 foot step ladder.  If trimmed properly and with care, you can cause the bush to almost be completely covered with blossoms with no gaps.  It takes some tricky trimming but I'm really pleased with the results.  This was heavily pruned, shortened by at least 6 feet,  just last November, so I was happy  it did not need a year of recovery before putting on an amazing blossom display.  Here, let me share it with you.


    I trim my Rhody into a tree, so the lowest branches are at least four feet above ground, but its blossoms are so heavy its hanging close to the ground. So incredibly beautiful this year.  To think this bush was a small plant purchased at KMart in 1975 for a couple of dollars.  By trimming the Rhody into a tree, I get many benefits, from ease of cleaning the garden bed in the spring and fall as well as being able to plant shade loving annuals and perennials underneath its amazing branches. So I get color even after the early summer display.

    Then later in the afternoon I had a nice conversation with the neighbor girl next door, who being recently married is starting to branch out into different gardening ideas and experimenting. I brought over some scrap books I've made over the past thirty years of designing and planting the gardens at my home and it was very cool to see her in the same place I was almost thirty years ago. Just starting off, wanting to learn so much and plant everything, but trying to be cautious and reserved and not go gardening crazy. What fun!!

    I chose to wear a pedometer today to see how much mileage I put in just working in the garden today, and it came in at a little over 10 miles. Oh my.  Hmm, I think I'm a little weary, but very happy.  But I'm not finished with my day.   .  .  

    For dinner,  I made gluten free Panko breaded sea scallops, along with homemade, gourmet seasoned french fries sauteed with sweet onions on the gas grill ( I love to cook outdoors!) and served dinner with  a small green salad with a freshly made balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  For dessert I made gluten free chocolate chip cookies and served two with whipped creme and fresh decaf coffee. 

    Hmmm, come to think of it, I'm really tired, but I had to share with you.  This is what life is all about. Days like today, that you look forward to experiencing and look back on with fond memories. What was so very special, is I knew that,  while I experienced today and that's priceless.

    What did you do today?

    Please check out my facebook wall.  Faith McCann, Manchester, CT USA.  It's open for anyone to view and it would be great to be-friend you.  If you like this, you can click the facebook like button on the right hand column of this article. Thanks!  Hope to see you on facebook! 


    Peace and Happiness


    Please check out my newest blog The Life and Recipes of a Medieval Cook @ http://thelifeandrecipesofamedievalcook.blogspot.com 

    © 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Green Witchery - a short primer

     Good Evening,

    Tonight I'm going to touch upon a subject I have been asked about often.  What is a green witch?  I will answer this briefly as it is a vast subject that can cover many areas..  Firstly, ts important to realize that the world of magick is littered with labels and assumptions put out there by people.  The problem is, most of these people that insist on labeling things do not often agree with each other.  Some speak with authority on what a green witch is and who is one and who is not. Foolishness! YOU DECIDE! No one can decide for you. So, it's  key to realize that I only speak for me, from my personal experiences and that my definitions may very well be different from others you may read.  

    A green witch, of which I have been since the tender age of 12 or so, is firstly a person that can sense the energies inherent in naturally created objects and elements.  Whether one senses these things naturally or with training, matters not, as one can learn to enhance their personal energy sensing abilities. I know its possible to teach people who cannot initially sense these energies because I have,  I teach students how to sense energy. 

    All naturally occurring and created items such as rocks, minerals, crystals, herbs, seeds, pods, grasses, fruits and vegetables, actually food magick falls within this area also, have inherent magickal  properties that attract or repel certain energies.The natural magick that can be found in essential oils, colored candles, animal parts freely gifted such as a naturally shed feather or cat's claw can all be found in the green witch's purview. 

    My green witchery I did not learn from books, or other sources, regardless of how reputable these cauldrons of knowledge can be, I learned it from the only source I feel I can learn it from.  Nature herself.  Yes, I have my years of study and research as has everyone else in this field, researching and practicing Wicca and general witchcraft as put forth by the 'Magickal Masters' as I call them. I refer fondly and with great respect to Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente, Leo Martello, Starhawk, Margot Adler, Laurie Cabot, Janet Farrar, Gavin Bone, Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor-Grimassi. The last five individuals I have been honored and delighted to have met and visited with a bit, as well as continuing to learn from them.

    When I say everyone has learned from these pioneering Magickal Masters I mean just that. These individuals are the ones that wrote the books that allowed us to take feelings and inner energies and give them a name, a label if you will.  They taught everyone of us Wicca as we know it today. Or they taught the ones who taught you, by their published works.  Remember the internet has only been around a scant 20 years? at this point, and personal Internet access has been around a lot less time.  We can learn from so many reputable/dubious sources today but the originally published authors are the ones that did the real work, the real research for us, thus paving the way for so many today.  

    What I have learned from nature is the basis for my magick.  I learned from the masters the arrangement of a magical circle, how to set an altar and how to cast a spell.  But I learned from nature that burning a green candle while gardening allows me to focus on a level that allows me to shift between the world of reality, dirt under my nails, shovel digging into the earth, planting the seeds and roots in the earth, tamping down the soil and the world of the unseen and magickal. The world where I catch glimpses of fairies underneath the lower leaves of the peony bush and I start to channel the energies of the plants and herbs, feeling their energies within me and a knowing of how they work and what they can do.  This is a brief story of how this works for me.

    Once our dog came across a skunk on the back porch and .  .  .  well .  .  .  as these situations often become a losing proposition for anyone not a slunk, our dog got sprayed and was declared the loser in this fight.   Have you ever driven by a spot on the road where a skunk got hit? Well, I assure you, it's 100 times worse to have your back door sprayed directly. Our dog was in front of the back door, hence the target.  Even worse, our dog was an inside dog. She would go out daily but always slept indoors, except that night!  I spent the very next day doing something about the smell, and the tomato juice concept is not an effective one. I have tried that in the past.  I grabbed a large cauldron and put it on an outdoor fire filled three quarters of the way with water. 

    I proceeded to walk slowly around my yard, touching plants, herbs, grasses, leaves from trees and quietly asking them if they could help.  I knew a lot about their magickal properties already as I would study feverishly about a new plant every time I planted one. It didn't matter if it was a common herb like basil, or something exotic like sweetgrass, I would study the magickal and other properties of the plant.  I soon had several plants chosen and I heavily snipped and harvested from them.  There were mints, grasses, eucalyptus, various herbs, flowering plants and leaves and bark from sweet birch trees. I brewed and stirred, incanted and spell cast.  Candles were lit and additional exotic ingredients like stick cinnamon and candied ginger added. Many of the plant materials I used had banishment properties. They also contained deodorizing properties.  I first scrubbed the poor dog, Sweetie was her name, with as strong a soap detergent that I could safely use with her, to remove as much of the skunk oils from her hair and skin as I could.

    Then I rinsed her with a solution of vinegar, apple cider and water.  Then I rinsed her with the cooled solution I had brewed.  Another shampoo and another rinse with the solution. I even had some of the mushy vegetation that had cooked to a pulp and mashed that into her skin to help eliminate any oil residue. Rinsed with the reminder of the solution, it was easily 10 gallons if not more, and she was able to sleep in the house that night.  She had virtually no remaining odor of the skunk.  Talk about the 'need' in this magickal situation!

    The plants told me what I needed to know. I clipped what I needed and stopped when it felt that I should.  Other areas of green witchery I have discussed with you previously:  How I enjoy and must have magickal stones on my person or close by and I often employ green magick while creating foods for loved ones. Using the naturally occurring magickal qualities found in natural ingredients can enhance and enchant your life.  This to me is green witchery. 

    I find that when obligations and responsibilities demand I spend a majority of my time indoors, that after a time I actually suffer from lack of exposure to the sun and the open air, and develop physical symptoms that only are relieved by being outdoors.  This green witch is happiest and healthiest when I have plenty of time outside. 

    Casting a magickal circle and conducting a ritual outdoors, under a full moon can really help one connect to the energies found outdoors.  Remember to do the ritual barefooted to truly connect and bond with the earth's energy.  Take lots of time, between each step and aspect of the ritual, to feel the energies that surround you.  Close your eyes and just breath in and allow the energy to expand within you and then allow it to seep out and surround you completely. 

    These are some of the lessons I've learned from Nature herself.  If you wish to try your hand at green witchcraft, do it.  Get one plant and plant it.  If you're comfortable with that, get a few and plant a garden.  Be sure to keep a green journal and record all that you learn. Your teachers will be the plants themselves.  Just a simple journal with occasional notations throughout summer. List the magickal properties of the plant, the botanical properties (is it poisonous?) , the growth conditions it requires, and where you plant it, and of course how well it does there.  You'll discover the other notations you should record, from the plants themselves.  It's a simple task but valuable in discovering the green witch in you. I hope you get out and enjoy nature!


    Peace and Happiness 




    Please check out my newest blog The Life and Recipes of a Medieval Cook @ http://thelifeandrecipesofamedievalcook.blogspot.com 

    © 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.