Monthly Archives: July 2013

Fate of the Bees

Merry Meet All,

Today I was out in my garden, as usual. The spiders, slugs, bees, and mosquitoes visited too. After I kicked out the slugs, and braved the bites, I watched from inside as chickadees visited the feeder and bees sipped pollen from bee balm, astilble, and the sea holly. Two bees this time. There used to be more.

I am concerned about the future of the bees. I hope you all have seen the picture about the 37 million bees dying from GMOs on the blog page. I have strengthened my pledge to eat only organic food. I am so worried that if the food is not organic, I will not eat it. I will finish what I have and that is it. I have organic face wash, toothpaste, even linens. I refuse to cooperate in the unnecessary and cruel deaths of more bees. It breaks my heart to know that our poor unsung heroes are dying by the millions. We are nothing without bees.

Here are some links to learn more about the tragic fate of the bees: http://www.thepost.on.ca/2013/06/19/bees-dying-by-the-millions

Here is another link: http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/11647-this-is-what-your-grocery-store-looks-like-without-bees.html

The honey in the stores is fake- it was not created by bees and removes the need for bees. This link tells you more about it: http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/11638-petition-stop-selling-fake-honey.html

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/11739-gmo-bee-deaths.html

Please read these links to be better informed about how GMO crops and food are killing the bees. Without them, we are nothing. We will not survive. Refuse to buy GMO food. Alternatives to that crap exist. Since consuming more organic food, I feel better. Be careful. Some companies are lying about what is and is not organic.

Tonight, if you celebrate Lammas, or tomorrow, ask yourself if the God and Goddess would be happy knowing that their sacred bees are being murdered. It is murder. It is beemageddon, it is beecide. It is unthinkable and should be unacceptable. Taking a lukewarm, apathetic attitude is not going to save the bees. We need to act bravely and now. A dystopian society is where we are all headed, if we allow it to be so. Monsanto does not care about the bees’ fate. They produce cheap, plastic food that contains no nutrients.

I dread our future. I went to a food bank and when I came home, I had lots of houseflies in the house. I smudged the house with sage, donated the processed food back to the food bank, and they are gone. It was the negative energy they are attracted to. Please act and make conscious decisions on what you purchase from the stores. The bees will thank you.

Blessed Be,
Heddy Johannesen

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Filed under bees dying by millions, bees fate, Lammas, Monsanto, organic food, processed food

Gods of Lammas

Merry Meet All,

Lammas is almost here! Lammas is a harvest Sabbat and precludes Mabon and Samhain. Though the earth still appears green and lush with life, we know that soon summer nears its end. Lammas is also called Lughnasadh, in honor of the Celtic god Lugh.

Lugh was a god of craftmanship and skills. He arrived at Tara but when he said that he possessed many skills at once, he was admitted entry. Lammas can be the perfect time to invoke him and to thank him for the many talents you possess. You can setup an altar to honor Lugh at Lammas. Use a candle that corresponds with the autumn colors. Chant or invoke the god Lugh with a prayer. Say aloud:

Lugh, of the many skills,
blessed one, Shine your
gifts upon me, and make me
strong in my skills.

Now make an offering to Lugh. It can be something you crafted, a song you wrote, or a poem. Or it can be fruits or wine. The gift should come from the heart.

Dress your altar in corresponding colors and theme to the Sabbat of Lugh. Try oranges, reds, beige, gold or brown. Use candles in similar colors. Clean out the candleholders and dust off your censers. Reflect on your skills and talents and how your skills have helped in what you have accomplished in the last year.

May the god Lugh bless you this Lammas

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Lammas Magic

Merry Meet All,

The Wheel of the Year spins and lands on Lammas. Lammas is almost here! I prefer Mabon, but Lammas can be fun too. Lammas reminds us that the bright summer days will eventually give way to the cool breezes of autumn. Now can be the time to focus on what you have harvested and accomplished in your life. Take the time to reflect on that, and to enjoy the remaining lingering dog days of summer.

I shall post more here as it gets closer to Lammas. Blessed Be!!

Lady Spiderwitch

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Morning Doe

Merry Meet All,

I was out in my garden early this morning and was surprised by an unusual- for me- visitor. A doe stood in the yard, looking right at me, and she was a beautiful doe. She was small and honey brown. I walked into my house to get my camera to take a picture and when I returned, she was gone. Poor scared doe.

I walked out onto the nature trail and found her deep in the thick of the trees. I assume that is where a deer would feel safe. I did manage to get a picture which is included in this post.

Neat to see a doe after Full Moon!!
Enjoy the photo

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Thunder Moon July 2013

Merry Meet All,

Blessings on the July Full Moon eve, everyone!!! May your lunar esbat be magickal and enchanting.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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How to make Strawberry Jam

Merry Meet All,

Every morning, I visit my garden. I am under its spell. The garden is replete with veggies, flowers, and herbs. It is hard to believe that it is almost Lammas. Lammas is the first of the three harvest seasons. I think the year has spun by on magical wings. I wish I could keep up.

Tonight the Full Moon shines over the earth. I plan to dedicate my new black athame that I bought from Sacred Mists. It is so beautiful. It’s a Valkyrie Athame. It is in keeping with my Scandinavian family ancestry. Here is a picture of the Valkyrie Athame.

Want to know how to save money and enjoy organic homemade strawberry jam? I made four jars of organic strawberry jam yesterday afternoon. It is easy to do but requires patience on your part and some effort.

Strawberry Jam

Wash, and hull about 2 quarts of strawberries- or buy frozen organic strawberries.

Measure 4 cups strawberries

In a large saucepan or preserving kettle alternate layers of strawberries with

3 cups granulated sugar Organic sugar

Let stand for 2 hours.
Bring to boil and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Stir in
¼ cup lemon juice

Bring to boil uncovered about 5 minutes longer or until a teaspoonful when chilled quickly has desired consistency. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and skim off foam by turns for 5 minutes. Ladle into sterilized jars. Seal while hot with a thin layer of melted paraffin wax (optional.) Makes about 4 cups.

After I sterilized my jars by boiling them in hot water for fifteen minutes, I used my black heart-shaped magnetic hematite stone to pick up the jar lids to place them on the jars. I just thought I would pass that tip along. I do plan to invest in a good home canning set very soon because now I am hooked. So I now have two jars of elderberry jam and four jars of homemade strawberry jam. That is 6 jars in total. See? You don’t need to buy berry jam when you can make it yourself and know that it will contain no GMOs or chemicals and preservatives. I hope this post inspires you to try your hand at making your own jam. Our ancestors did it that way. People today are returning to the forgotten traditions and alternative medicines.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under Full Moon esbat, gardening, homemade strawberry jam, organic, Valkyrie Athame

How to make Elderberry Jam

Merry meet all,

Today I am sharing a recipe with you. When I was visiting my sister in Pleasant Bay, we made organic elderberry jam. Is it ever delicious! It may seem like lots of work to gather four cups worth of elderberries, but it is worth it. Note: Elderberries are poisonous until cooked. Do not ingest them until the berries are thoroughly cooked. Do not eat elderberries found in the wild. Now, that said, the wild is the best place to gather them. Ask the Elder Tree Mother for her permission to gather the berries from the tree.

Elderberries are made into jams and wine. Hippocrates called the elderberry tree his medicine chest. Folklore comes with this fruitful tree. People still creep around the tree, rather than risk earning its wrath. It is believed that a spirit dwells within the tree. She comes to reclaim her sacred wood. Folkard, in Plant-Lore, Legends and Lyrics, tells us:

“The pith of the branches when cut in round, flat shapes, is dipped in oil, lighted, and then put to float in a glass of water; its light on Christmas Eve is thought to reveal to the owner all the witches and sorcerers in the neighbourhood.”

Hylde-Moer, the Elder-Tree Mother, shares a history with witches:
“The word ‘Elder’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word aeld. In Anglo-Saxon days we find the tree called Eldrun, which becomes Hyldor and Hyllantree in the fourteenth century. One of its names in modern German – Hollunder – is clearly derived from the same origin. In Low-Saxon, the name appears as Ellhorn. which meant ‘fire,’ the hollow stems of the young branches having been used for blowing up a fire: the soft pith pushes out easily and the tubes thus formed were used as pipes – hence it was often called Pipe-Tree, or Bore-tree and Bour-tree, the latter name remaining in Scotland and being traceable to the Anglo-Saxon form, Burtre.”

How to make Elderberry Jam

The recipe is in the book The Joy of Cooking. You will not need to buy pectin for this recipe. You will use apples which contain natural pectin. You require sterile clean glass jars and screw top lids. You will need a kit for making jam. The jars are hot and the tools prevent you from burning yourself. You will need a stainless steel pot with a flat bottom. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture as a wooden spoon will not contain chemicals from a plastic spoon that could leach into your mixture.

The recipe is as follows:

4 cups elderberries
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup water in pot
2 chopped and cored apples. Cut the apples into fine pieces.
If the berries are tart- remember, they are poisonous until cooked, use s scant cup of sugar to 1 cup of fruit. These are not high pectin fruits. Add lemon juice or one to two apples, chopped and cut into fine pieces. Apples have a natural high pectin content.

Measure the fruit, put into the pan, crushing the lower layers to provide moisture. and cook over low heat from thirty to forty-five minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer and stir frequently from the bottom until sugar is dissolved to keep jam from sticking. Cook until a small amount of jam dropped on a plate will stay in place. Mix well and keep stirring over medium heat. Simmer the fruit in the uncovered pot. Bring the fruit mixture to a boil and continue to stir, until no sticking occurs. Reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, and allow for additional thickening as it cools.

Pour the jam into the jars carefully. Keep a damp cloth to clean the rims of the jars nearby. Also, wait to hear if the jar lids ‘pop’. That will tell you the jars are sealed. Fill the jars to 1/8 inch of the top.

Once cooled, store in the fridge. Enjoy your organic elderberry jam!

Sources Cited: http://elderberrylife.com/history-folklore/hippocrates-called-the-tree-his-medicine-chest/

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under how to make elderberry jam, organic berries, pectin, recipe

Diary of my Trip

Merry Meet All,

I apologize for the gap in posting on my blog. I went to the Cabot Trail and while I may have forgot my camera, I have a bunch of good memories to savour from my trip. I had a great time. Below, are the highlights of my trip.

Diary of My Trip

Mom and I arrived in Pleasant Bay this week. We were tired and arrived late in the afternoon. Elsie May squealed in delight to see the car emerge into view in the driveway.

Some highlights of the trip: The horses in the field. One horse was all brown and clearly the dominant horse. The other horse was golden colored with a white wavy mane. They were gorgeous. The sun set in the distance.

The elderberry jam- we collected 4 cups of elderberries to make the jam. I am buying a kit to make my own jam. I loved the outdoor shower.

The hotdogs roasted on the beach. We pigged out on smores. Oh too decadent. My feet are naturally exfoliated. I dipped my toes in the ocean, and walked barefoot in the sand. I soaked my feet in the small lake. Oh my thank you Element of Water.

Good coffee.

Meals eaten at the picnic table. Sun beating down on us as we devour damn good hamburgers. The hamburger meat is grain fed and free range.

Nice people. Always a joy to see Holly.

The chicks in the chicken coop. They are so soft to pet. They are cute. I hope they survive.

The nice hot weather. My sunburn has to turn into a tan. The bug bites I could do without.

I love Niki’s garden. I can’t stop admiring the garden. I can’t stay out of the garden.

The feeling of no pressure all day and that I can do whatever I want. I stocked up on flower heads to grow my own plants. I picked up some gardening tips and tasted borage for the first time. I ate peas off of the vine, ate wild raspberries, and ate good crepes.

That beautiful view of the ocean and mountains. I love that view. I love the scent in the air, oh and the beer. That was good too. I stared up at the starlit sky and the night was so quiet we could hear the seals sing a mile away. They sing at night. I spotted eagles and a hawk. I spotted a moose on the highway. I did spot a snail and a garter snake. It is so quiet as I sleep at night.

Magic ate his first orange. Magic is happy in his cage. I cleaned the shavings and fed him his hay. He is like those chickens. Insatiable.

It was the most amazing magical trip. Gotta love summer!!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Lunar Gardening Magick

Merry Meet All,

The New Moon rules the sky. The moon is waxing. This is a powerful time for our gardens. The moon creates more moisture in the soil during new moon and waxing moon. The sun is larger than the moon but the moon is closer to the earth. The tides are affected by the gravitational pull of the moon. All of the plants in my garden from new moon to waning moon will have more moisture in the soil. I wish that would save me the hard work to water my garden. I have to fill my jug ten times to water my garden. Waxing moon is a great time to do some natural magick in or for your garden. It’s a good time to attract things towards you and to appeal to the God and Goddess or faeries to help your plants grow.

The earth exhales during the waxing moon and the sap goes above ground into the plants. That is a good time to help plants grow that grow above ground. The waning moon is when the sap goes below ground and is when the earth inhales. That is the time to do weeding, pruning, and helping plants to grow that grow below ground. That means that I was on time when my Mother and I pruned the tree suckers and cut the overgrown trees during the recent waning moon.

This is why I waited till waning moon to plant my carrot seeds in the big deep pot. I knew that waning moon is the perfect time to plant seeds, like carrots, because carrots grow below ground. I also planted my radishes in the planter because they grow below ground. Now all the energy will be drawn into the plants that grow above ground.

Work your lunar magick for your garden with these guidelines. May the Goddess bless your gardens!!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Clearing the Trees

Merry Meet All,

Mosquitoes know no mercy. I am mosquito bitten all over and sunburnt. I have been busy in my garden. As evidence, I am scratching all over like a crazed monkey. My Mother came over and applied her intelligence and muscle. Together, armed with tools, we felled the heavy tree branches and suckers growing on or near the trees. We also cut down a pine tree. The result of that effort is a clearer patch where the sun can shine through. I will not have such a dark shade garden now. The clearing should have been done a long time ago. The cats can scamper through the brush easier now, because the trees were cut down and the brush was cut. Cats nap and hunt mice in my garden and the backyard. I have room to plant more plants if I choose. I am happy with this hard work.

I refilled the bird feeder, trimmed the tall grass, and fertilized the lawn and garden. I added a second trellis for the peas, which are flowering and growing taller. The pumpkin vine has a flower and bud. The tomato vine I began from seed is taller and reaches the tomato cage wire. The tomato vine from my sister is flowering. The bee balm, comfrey, and mugwort are near ready to flower. The white echinacea has blossomed. My garden is growing fuller and more beautiful each day. Each morning, I love to visit and worship my garden, coffee in hand. I harvested a pile of red clover and bundled the clover to dry for teas. The astilbe is soon to blossoms. Everything is on the crest of flowering. I cannot wait to see bees crawling over the flowers. I want to help them as much as I can.

Once the bee balm, comfrey, and pumpkin vines blossom, the bees will be busy. The purple coneflower is soon to bud flowers. I can tell. The lemon balm is growing nicely. The garden is growing beautifully. I also had a surprise- I have yellow foxglove growing in my garden.

My garden may be high maintenance but it is the pride and joy of my life. I hope you are all having success with your gardens. Remember to honour the faeries’ help and the insects help in your gardens. Do not use pesticides, instead, attract pollinators to your garden. This will aid you in your garden far more than chemicals.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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