The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Do you know how to harvest a wand?





Good Afternoon,


This Saturday, my class and I are headed to the woods of CT to harvest wands. Do you know the correct way to harvest wands? Let me tell you. Many people feel that any branch lying dead on the ground is acceptable. Actually it's not.You want the living energy in the wand, so therefore one needs to harvest their wand from a living tree.

Firstly, determine which type of wood you want. For example, Apple wood is good for bringing in love, healing and using during divination. Rowan is good for bringing in psychic power, protection and strength. Cherry is good for, divination, animal magick and healing. Pecan is good for employment and money spells, and Maple is good for longevity, focus and success. Just to name a few. To find out the magickal properties of other woods get a good book on magickal properties such as Scott Cunningham's Encycopedia of Magickal Herbs. This book lists the magickal properties of many trees as well as herbs, grasses, shrubs and vines. A great reference book to have on your magickal library shelf.

Once you've decided on the magickal properties of the wand you want, as well as the wood from where it will comes from, head to the woods. Another good book to have for tree identification is the National Audubon's North American Tree Identification book. These books are split into regions, so for us here in CT we would use the Eastern United States book. These are available online or at your  local bookstore.

Once you find your tree, and hopefully it has a living branch somewhere close to where you can reach it, take a small handsaw and cut it at least an inch or two away from the trunk. Cutting flush to the trunk could actually cause disease to enter the tree and it could die. Once you've separated the branch from the tree, continue to hold the branch up to where it had been cut and using your athame or index finger 'cut' the etheric body. What I mean it, run your finger in the air between the branch and tree as if following the original cut made to separate branch from tree. This will seal the natural living energy into the branch and soon to be wand.

Before you leave the site where you harvested your wand be sure to leave a gift for the tree. A few coins, a piece of bread, some small sprinkles of fertilizer are all suitable gifts for the tree. 


Then you can do as you wish with your wand. You can cut it to length for you. Typically a branch made into a wand is cut to fit from the inside of your elbow to the end of your middle finger. See how this feels. I've at times cut them longer, but never have I ever cut them shorter. Then you can sand down the bark, remove it altogether or leave some of the bark for the handle at one end. The handle is the largest diameter of the wand or the end that was closest to tree when it was removed. The narrower end is the wand tip and can be dressed with a crystal point, by wrapping a bit of silver or copper wire around it. You can also decorate your wand as you desire, with paints, a wood burning kit, drilling and inlaying gemstones etc. The possibilities are endless and totally up to you.

Once you've decorated your wand cast a full magick circle and bless your wand. You do this by running it through the incense smoke, dripping blessed water upon it and then running it through a candle flame. Then open your circle and your wand is ready to use. A wand is used to cast a circle if you desire, open a circle, directing energy and using it to direct your energy to where you wish it to go.

I keep a wand on my tarot table to aid me in divination and one on my personal altar at home. Yes, one can have more than one wand. It's beautiful outside and it's Summer! Now go on, get out of the house, commune with nature and go get your wand.


Peace and Happiness





© 2010-2014 Faith M. McCann. 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. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 


 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.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blessing your Gardens







Good Afternoon,

The students of Enchantments will be planting flowers in the gardens of Enchantments this Saturday as a part of class. They will learn how to deal with root bound seedlings, separating the roots for the best growth. They will 'breath' life into each seedling to also give it the best chance of growing to it's fullest potential. 

Once the plants have been planted and mulch surrounds them, we will conduct a garden blessing. You can do this at home if you desire. First cast your magick circle to encompass the entire garden. If you don't know how to cast a magick circle, no worries just have a few ingredients at hand. Incense, water, a small amount of salt and a green candle. Also some cake and juice if you wish to conduct the cakes and ale ceremony, described below.

Light the incense, the candle and put three small pinches of salt into a bowl holding about a cup of water. First take incense and go around the circle, starting in the North and allow the smoke to waft as you walk in a clockwise circle, going from the North to the East to the South to the West and back again to the North.  Then take the water with the salt in it and with your finger tips flick water out into the garden also following the path you took with the incense, starting and ending in the North. Then finish with the candle, taking the lit candle and holding it aloft to the North and saying 'Goddess and God, please bless this garden', walk to the East and holding the candle aloft say the same thing, again in the South and finally again in the West.

You may do the cakes and ale ceremony also if you wish.  Take a piece of bread, cake or cookie (one for each person present plus one) and hold it aloft and say "by the God, may you never hunger" and eat the cake. Then take the extra piece and place it on the altar or on the ground. Be sure it's not chocolate as a stray animal may come by and eat it, and we don't wish to make anyone sick. Then take a small cup of sparkling cider, ale, wine, water or what have you and also have one extra. Hold the tray of cups aloft and say, "by the Goddess, may you never thirst" and then drink the libation. Then take the extra cup of juice and slowly pour it on the ground. The cake and ale for the ground is for the nature spirits of the garden. The Fae if you will. This will assure you of a protected garden with happy spirits in it.

This concludes the garden blessing. Now, place a chair somewhere close by so you can see your garden, sit in it and enjoy.


Peace and Happiness






© 2010-2014 Faith M. McCann. 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. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 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.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Time to plant the gardens!

 Good Afternoon,

Yes, I know people have already started planting flowers and vegetables but I'm a bit old fashioned.  I still believe the old adage not to plant until after May 15th, in these parts. That's the date when hard frosts should cease. I don't want to lose any plants. And if it's cold enough for a frost, it's really too cold for any substantial growth to happen to the plants.





This is a picture of our gardens last year at Enchantments. I will go with the same color scheme this year, as it worked out so well. We even received a beautification award notification from the Manchester Garden Club last year. So we definitely did something right! We're going to plant pink petunias again, with some white and purple sage spires to give some texture to the gardens.

We already have Star Gazer lilies coming up and a small lavender plant and a few roses. The sages from last year are also coming up and looking robust. It's a nice garden because it borders the busy road in front of Enchantments RT 6/44 East Center Street. The town of Manchester reported that between 30-35,000 cars pass by daily! That's a lot of people looking at our gardens. So we want them to look special.

The students of Enchantments will be helping plant the gardens in the next week or so and we'll be doing a garden blessing on the day we plant. I'll tell you more about blessing your gardens next week! In the meantime, go out, get some lovely plants and start planting your garden. Commune with nature and become one with the Earth and Sky. I hope you have a lovely week.


Peace and Happiness


 

© 2010-2014 Faith M. McCann. 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. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

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, May 6, 2014

Beltaine Memories and Women's Spirituality Group Meets this week!


 Good Afternoon,

What a lovely Beltaine I had on Saturday! The sun was shining, the birds singing, the sky a brilliant blue with white fluffy clouds. So perfect for our day of celebration. We held the ritual with a comfortable number of people, 14 total. Then we wrapped our living May Pole, our Rowan tree in the front garden, with beautiful ribbons, as everyone danced around the tree.  Here's a picture of the final results.






In a couple of weeks, I will unravel the ribbons and cut them to about three feet in length and let them flutter in the breeze as they stay attached to the Rowan tree for Spring and Summer. In a couple of months I will remove them altogether so the Rowan tree has a chance to grow and thicken it's branches. 

In addition to the lovely ritual, May pole dancing and feast held afterwards, I was pleasantly surprised by my Magickal Studies Students who, in honor of Enchantment's 10th year anniversary, took it upon themselves to rebuild the front garden altar by putting a new base on it. The old base of wooden logs was quite old and the wood was starting to crumble. Here's a picture of the new altar base with the altar stone re-positioned on top.




Then the students surprised me with a lovely Lilac bush, already in bud and ready to bloom. They planted it in the gardens of Enchantments, right next to the drive where you will be able to smell it every time you come or go. And, as if that wasn't enough! The students went out and purchased cedar mulch and mulched under my Maple tree where I sit in the summer so it would look and smell nice while I sat there this year.

What a very lucky witch I am. Very blessed and fortunate to have such a thoughtful and considerate group of students who just want to, in their words 'give back.' 

Also happening this week, is our bi-monthly Women's Spirituality Group which is meeting this Wednesday, tomorrow, May 7th from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.  This groups topic of discussion will be " Challenges I have faced and how I overcame them'. I am asking the ladies to bring with them stories of challenges they have faced in life, on their spiritual path and in the course of their day to day lives and how they overcame these challenges.

Refreshments will be served. There is no charge for this meeting, and it is open to any lady in the community that wishes to discuss their spirituality with others. I look forward to seeing you there.



Peace and Happiness




© 2010-2014 Faith M. McCann. 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. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 


 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.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy Beltaine & Happy 10th Anniversary of Enchantments!!!!

 Good Afternoon!

May 1st, 2014. Ten years ago today, it was a Saturday, I opened Enchantments. Meant to be a school for the magickal arts and witch shop, it has become all that and more. Every Saturday I find myself teaching a wonderful group of interested, witchy students who just want to make the word a better place. It is very rewarding for me and I enjoy it so much.

This Saturday, May 3rd, we will hold our annual Beltaine celebration and our 10 year anniversary party. It's open to the magickal public and if you want to come, be sure to be there by 10 am to be part of the magick circle.  For those who wish to dance the Maypole dance, bring a ribbon 12 feet in length. We will have a ritual feast following the ceremony and we ask everyone to bring a dish to share with others.

Beltaine is the Celtic start of Summer and we look at it as such. Waiting until June 21st as so many do seems to waste a lot of summer to me. June 21st has been known in Europe for centuries as Midsummer, and to us it still is.

Beltaine is a fertility ritual, with the focus on love, lust, sex and procreation. Fertilizing the fields and fertilizing your life and the projects and goals you've set for yourself. It is the lover's holy day and as such lovers should spend time together and make the most of this wonderful holiday.

Even if you are celebrating this holiday solitary, do something to make it special. Plant some seeds or a seedling, tie pretty ribbons onto a small tree in your yard so the wind can pick up their tendrils and blow them into the air, something that makes you feel good.

I wish you all a Blessed Beltaine!


Peace and Happiness







© 2010-2014 Faith M. McCann. 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. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 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.