Merry Meet All,
Rain washes the earth and wind swishes in the trees. The earth is being cleansed by the transformative Element of Water. The rain encourages the plants in our gardens to grow stronger roots. THe rain also encourages slugs. I kicked six of them out to the compost bin today. But insects come with the territory.
On this wet afternoon, I skimmed through a book I recently bought. Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery. I love this book for its numerous practical + magical spells. I have tried them and already sense a difference in my apartment. I scrubbed the windows and the doors down with a cleansing mix. I cleaned the drains and pipes of the kitchen and bathroom. I made a wonderful herbal infusion to pour down the drains and pipes. I now have setup a new kitchen altar in my kitchen. The round altar is decorated with a beautiful sarong cloth. The sarong is a beautiful purple decked with gorgeous black and purple crescent moons. Upon the altar, I placed a pentacle, my clay goddess, candles, crystals, a framed photo of my grandfather, fresh sage, a bee tile, and a seashell. I also placed an offering bowl upon the altar. I love the sarong.
I highly encourage you all to try the spells and herbal references from this book. If you don’t have a certain ingredient, you can improvise. Never feel you have to have just the perfect ingredient. That can limit your magick.
The author includes family in the book, which is original and stands out from other metaphysical books. I don’t have a family of my own but I do have a niece + nephew so I could understand. She writes from a blend of magic and practicality. The spells are more easy and enjoyable to do that way. I feel this book has boosted my magickal self at a time when I really needed it. I hope the book aids you on your magickal path too.
Merry Meet All,
Gardening is so much work but worth it. I just fertilized my garden and trimmed the tall grasses. My flowers are set to bloom any time now. The calendula I started from seed can hopefully go out in the garden too. I spied some carrot tops in the planter, too. I have to transplant them now and buy yet another bag of soil to fill the new planter with carrot seeds. I will grow the carrots for Magic, my guinea pig. He loves organic carrots.
Remember to fertilize your plants, mow the grass, and protect your plants from critters and storms. I sprinkled salt on a slug before flicking him into the neighbour’s garden. i bought a wonderful gardening book yesterday. It was worth the long trek to Chapters. The book is chock full of information on saving seeds. The title is The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds- 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Fruits, Trees and Shrubs by Robert Gough. I was up all night last night reading the book and I can’t put it down. Well I can, because I am typing this, but this book is amazing and actually makes sense and shows you how to do stuff. I love this book and I am so glad to have added it to my collection. Every serious gardener has a collection of gardening books. I am no exception. I will use all the information from this book and save the seeds from what I harvest from my garden and may never have to buy seeds again.
Good luck with your gardening and seed saving!
A bee on my coneflower – photo
Merry Meet All,
This is horrifying news. 25,000 Bumble bees were found dead in a Target parking lot. What an ignoble end to such a hardworking insect.
Here is the link: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/25000-bumble-bees-found-dead-target-parking-lot.html
I am just disgusted because I know darn well why this happened. I blame Monsanto wholeheartedly for the plight of the bees. That is a lot of dead bees. They work hard all their lives to pollinate plants. It is an outrage. What will it take for the people to stop dumping such terrible toxins on the earth and expecting the earth to just take this shit?
I am enraged. All bees do is produce food for us and this is how they are thanked. I hope the Goddess raises her horns and stabs Monsanto’s ass with her horns. It is an outrage. It is one of the worst documented deaths of bees in the Western U.S. If the bees perish, we perish. That is how it should be. Go ahead and call me an extremist but I am busting my ass trying to grow a garden to aid the bees. And this is what happens. It is those toxic chemicals.
Boy am I angry. We all should be. No bees, no pollinators, no food. We are in trouble. But don’t we deserve it?
Merry Meet All,
I was surprised to discover that I started a rhubarb plant from seed this morning. I checked my seed flat this morning. I gently dug with a stick to stir up the soil. When I reached something hard, I stopped. I lifted away a tiny bit of soil and there was a rhubarb seed with a taproot coming out of it. I had almost forgotten and given up on the soil. I was so cheered up by the sight of the rhubarb root. I had given up but I should have known better. Well now I can add rhubarb to the garden. My peas are growing well and the radishes- once I speared the planter to make a drainage hole.
I have seen planters with no drainage holes. Every planter must have a drainage hole. You invest so much in the plants, planters, seeds, water, watering can, soil, and whatever else. No exceptions. Every planter must have a drainage hole. If you have a drainage hole in your planter, your plants will not suffer from root rot or disease. If your planter has no drainage hole, create one yourself. Never feel guilty over making a drainage hole. Your plants will drown and rot otherwise. if I see a planter without a drainage hole, I just get so angry and then stab the poor thing.
When the rhubarb grows big enough, it will go out in my garden. It is easy to grow and can thrive on neglect. Preparing the soil before planting rhubarb will help the plant to grow healthy. I can’t wait for the harvest. Peas, carrots, rhubarb, radishes, and herbs!! The first year, you need to resist harvesting the stalks to let the plant establish itself. The second year, you can harvest more rhubarb than you can eat. Rhubarb freezes well so you can store it in the freezer then go crazy making lots of rhubarb crisp.
I am sharing the photos I took of my garden. You can see the planter that my peas are growing in and my radishes. If you are short on space, consider container gardening. Just don’t bring the pots in till the season is over. You won’t get bugs in that way.
Merry Meet All,
Did you all enjoy the Full Moon energy? I sure did. I had a very cleansing weekend. I performed the Summer Solstice and Full Moon rituals. I also enjoyed seeing the beautiful Full Moon outside my apartment. I would love to hear how you all celebrated this enchanting weekend.
Midsummer is a magickal time. The earth is in bloom and our gardens are gearing towards ready to bursting. Why not try some faery magick?
The faeries are helping your garden grow. I have a statue of a faery in my garden. She watches over the garden night and day. I also want to put a gargoyle statue to guard the garden too. Midsummer and a full moon signal that this is the time to banish bad habits and what no longer serves you. To see and enjoy the company of faeries, get out in nature. Nature is the faerys’ home so no better place to be. Find a faery triad of oak, ash and thorn. Walk clockwise or deosil, nine times around the circle to find the entrance to view them. The King of the Faeries loves to dance on thyme. Leave them an offering of rose petals, milk, honey or a shiny piece of jewelry.
So the best thing to do to get this Otherworldly aid with your garden is to let your garden be. I do and i know it takes self-control but I find this is the best way to let the garden magically flourish. The other unseen and diminituve helpers of the garden are the insects. Our gardens are the way they are mostly thanks to the insect kingdom. Not the slugs, of course. You can sprinkle sat on a slug or ship it off to the green compost bin, where it will munch the compost to its hearts content. I was in my garden yesterday and I saw a beetle, centipedes, sawbugs and earthworms rummaging about. They are never seen yet they work hard. The most suffering and the hardest workers of the garden are bees. The bees are suffering unduly thanks to the evil corporation of Mordor/ Monsanto. They are causing the bees to be endangered. We need bees to have food to eat. They are never thanked for all the hard work they do. So I highly urge you to do whatever you can to help attract bees to your garden. We need the bees. We will not survive without them. I hate Monsanto with all my heart. I do everything I can to help the bees. I would have no garden without them. Please help the bees by planting what would attract them.
My lady’s mantle finally flowered, and the dead nettle flowered. I have a new white Echinacea plant that is about to flower. The leopard’s bane is long past flowering but I left a seed head on the plant to brown and dry out to let me collect the seeds. The peas are growing taller and the radish leaves are taking off now. My comfrey is growing bigger and the purple coneflower is growing bigger too. Soon it will grow stalks and flowers. The rue loves its new home, the tarragon too, and the chives are doing well in their corner. My woodruff has claimed its corner. It looks so magickal, spreading down over that patch. Woodruff makes beautiful groundcover and the bugle weed is now too. My onions are doing well, growing behind the woodruff. Woodruff was used in the past to make wine. THe mugwort has grown regal and tall and showing who is the boss. One of my tomato vines is trying to catch up to the larger tomato plant. I divided up the too large leopard’s bane and planted it in different bare spots of the garden. I plan to make a lovely border with more dead nettle. I can’t wait till my calendula seedlings and the lovage are ready to out to the garden. The romaine lettuce and red poppy are slow to grow- might be growing in their roots. No sign of my chocolate mint and spearmint or shasta daisies yet. The pumpkin vines are slow to grow too. But nonetheless, a beautiful and captivating garden. I have shallotts, calendula, mugwort, and mesclum mix inside. The mesclun mix will stay inside but everything else will go outside.It will keep the bees busy. I want some lungwort and Solomon’s Seal to cover up that bare spot in my garden, next to the new flowering hosta. The yarrow, bee balm, Echinacea, astilbe + and Siberian Iris will hopefully be visited and pollinated by our unsung heroes- the bees.
Help the bees!!
Lady Spiderwitch )O(
Merry Meet All,
Calendula – Calendula officinalis
Today we are going to talk more about growing seeds. I have experienced the frustration and joys that most other gardeners probably already knew. Calendula is a seed that is very easy to grow. It is also known as pot marigold. It is an annual flower but if you save the seeds, you can grow more the following spring.
When I opened the packet of the mixed calendula seeds, I was surprised. They did not look like seeds to me. I was unperturbed and immediately planted them in soil in the seed tray. A day or two later, tiny sprouts emerged and I was like, wow! They germinate fast. This makes them an ideal flower to grow. I put the seeds in the spots very close to the surface of the soil and I did not drown them in soil. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch in the soil. That can hinder their growth. Start the seeds six to eight weeks prior to the frost. Sow them outdoors after the risk of frost is passed.
Calendula flowers are grown for their sunny colourful blooms. You can grow the seeds yourself and gain many benefits from this herbaceous flower. It will grow in almost any soil and prefers to receive tons of sunlight. I plan to grow calendula to deter pest insects from eating my tomatoes and pumpkin vines in my garden.
Calendula can grow in pots or right in the soil. You can grow the seeds indoors for an early spring planting. You will grow more calendula flowers if you deadhead the spent blossoms. That forces the plant into more growth of flowers. Calendula self-seeds and will grow like crazy in your garden. It likes to be well watered and to be composted. Also, consider starting seeds indoors to help it withstand the insects munching on it. When the plant is bigger, it can survive that.
Calendula is used in lotions, balms, and salves. Many people grow calendula for those purposes. Wait for the flowers to finish blooming and save the spent flowers to collect the seeds. Dry the flowers indoors well. Check for aphids on the undersides and stems of leaves before bringing indoors. You will know when they are dried when the flower head breaks apart easily. The seeds are big and spiny. These are the seeds. Save them and you will have enough to grow next spring or in the same season, if you wish. Calendula grows well in pots and makes a good cut flower.
The flowers are edible. The flowers are also made into balms and salves for healing.
Lady Spiderwitch )O(
Merry Meet All,
Summer is when herbs and flowers are in abundance. Why not use some herbs to do crafts with to celebrate Litha?
Go out in your garden if you have one and select some herbs that correspond with Litha. You can make an incense from them, a potpourri or a herbal infusion. Here are the steps to make an incense from herbs. You can decide if you want to make some loose incense or make it into a cone or stick incense.
As you mix your incense, focus on your intent. Litha is about the sun and fire. Focus on that as you blend your incense.
Use myrrh, apple blossoms, bay leaves, cinnamon, chamomile, lavender, mugwort and rosemary. Add your ingredients one at a time. Measure carefully, and if your ingredients need to be crushed, then use your mortar and pestle. Fill the herbs with your intent as you mix them. Try saying an incantation, such as:
By the power of these herbs
born of fire and earth
For Litha, herbs of power,
As I will it, so shall it be.
Keep the incense in a dry clean sealed jar. Label the jar with its intent and name, as well as the date of creation. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.
Merry Meet All,
First, I am proud to announce that my essay about Tolkien’s research on Odin is to be published in the upcoming issue of Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine. The link to the Ezine is included in the list of links on the main page. Also, my article about thyme, that wondrous magickal herb, is published in the upcoming issue of Essential Herbal magazine. I love the cover of the new issue.
I have been working hard in my garden. I believe that every square inch of my garden must have a root or bud or flower. I know roots need room but no no, gotta cover every available inch with a plant. Today the soil was damp from rain while I uprooted several large plants and divided them up in my garden. I divided my organic mugwort, the leopard’s bane, canterbury bells and chives. I do have some large spaces in my garden at the back and i replanted the plants that can take shade.
Litha is almost here! Midsummer is a magickal time. Just one glance at my garden and I swoon. So I can attest to the fun one can have at this green beauteous time of year. Litha is the longest day of the year, leaving ample time for fun and frolic in nature. Decorate your garden by using pretty wires and stands to help tall plants grow. Spring is a great time to divide plants and disperse them in the garden. You can grow more plants from one large plant and best of all, it’s free.
Before you do a ritual, clean up your yard and garden. A beautiful garden is a wonder to behold. Maintain the beauty by storing your garden tools in a shed. Clean up the weeds. Use old leaves, grass cuttings, and old roots for mulch in your garden. Water the garden and rake the leaves. Now you are ready to perform a ritual.
Here are some ways to celebrate Litha:
Go for a long walk in the woods. Bring back some findings and include them in the ritual. Hold a drumming circle. Light a bonfire. Litha is a fire festival. Hold a bonfire at night but be aware of the safety of holding a bonfire. Light some sparklers.
Brush up on your pagan fiction. Write for a pagan Ezine. You can get paid to write for the Eternal Haunted Summer ezine. Read books like The Mists of Avalon, “Stonehenge” by Bernard Cornwell, or Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. The book is very different from the movie. Curl up at the beach with one of these novels for even more fun.
Many blessings upon you.
Lady Spiderwitch )O(
Merry Meet All,
Today we are going to look at the folklore of Litha.
At Midsummer, the rural villagers lit bonfires on Midsummer’s Eve to ward off evil spirits. They also leapt over the flames to encourage good luck.
If you performed your ritual outdoors, you can use the ashes to make a protective amulet. This works best if you burned incense with the intention to create protection. The intent will linger in the smouldering ashes. Put the ashes in a glass jar, a small pouch, or knead them into clay to make a protective talisman. Its believed that ashes will protect you from misfortune. You can scatter the ashes onto your garden and your garden will absorb the ashes and protective energies.
It is believed in some parts of England that if you sit in a circle all night long, you may see the Fae. Carry rue on your person to protect you while seeing the faeries or turn your jacket inside out. Leave a faerie plate out and remember to reward the garden spirits for protecting your garden for you. Midsummer is the perfect time for faery magick.
Carry a stone in your hand as you circle the bonfires during your ritual. Whisper your request to the stone. After your third turn- by the power of three times three!- toss the stone into the flames.
At Midsummer, the sun enters Cancer, which is a water sign. Circle the body of water three times, walking deosil, and offer silver coins or pins. Sunwheels are popular at Midsummer. A wheel or bale of straw was lit on fire and rolled down a hill. The remaining burned remnants were taken to a temple and put on display.
Lady Spiderwitch )O(