Monthly Archives: June 2015

Dark Magickal Herbs and plants

Round the Cauldron

Merry meet all,

You may all love to brew herbs in mysterious potions as part of your spells. But what if you could grow them yourself? Not only do you get to have control over how organic and natural they are, but you can tend them and grow them to suit a specific purpose. 

If you don’t have room for a herb  garden, then grow them in pots. From seed to harvest, have fun growing the darker family of herbs. 

MUGWORT Believe it or not, you can order organic seeds. I bought my seeds from a local supplier, Annapolis Seeds, and from Horizon Herbs. It spreads through underground rhizomes. Mugwort is made into teas, dream pillows, and aids with psychic development. It should be in every Witch’s garden. 

ROSEMARY A good herb for memory. Its pleasant earthy scent reminds me of the earth’s scent during rainy afternoons. Use in teas and incense.

BELLADONNA Use this sparingly. If you don’t  believe me, watch Practical Magic. It is used as a sedative. 

CHINESE LANTERNS. I warn you, these plants are invasive. If you plant them, plant them at the back of the garden or near a garden. They grow those orange pretty dry paper like flowers. The seeds are inside. But they are perfect for arranging into an autumnal design. Dry them and save for a potpourri, wreath, or for a horn of plenty. 

GARLIC Plant garlic in the fall and watch as sprouts bloom in spring. The stems grow a few feet high. You can save one clove from each bulb you harvest and then replant in the fall for a spring crop. You can braid the scapes or cut them and eat them. When you harvest garlic, wait for the stems to turn brown and dig them up carefully. Include the roots and dry them to cure the garlic. The flavour is amazing. Use garlic to keep away psychic vampires! Garlic is renowned for guarding health. As you plant the cloves in well dug composted soil, charm or empower each clove to grow for protection and health. 

MOONFLOWER You can grow a lunar garden. Moonflower opens at night. It has a beautiful scent so plant it near a window to enjoy the fragrance. Moonflowers are perfect for a lunar garden. The large white flowers add the perfect mystical energy for an esbat. Train them to grow on a trellis. Lambs ear and dusty miller are lovely grey plants that also add to a lunar garden theme. 

MANDRAKE This notorious herb is known for being TOXIC. Handle it with the utmost respect. There are different kinds of mandrake. The plant grows berries and flowers. Wear gloves when tending it. Never consume any part of the plant. Use as an incense or for root work. 

Rue A true Witch’s herb, this mystical herb can be grown from seed or a seedling. I can say from experience, plant it in full sun. I planted one in shade and it never grew the next spring. I will pot it up in the fall and trim it back. Dry the leaves to use as an incense, tisane, infusion, or even in an ointment. The grey green leaves tell of an older time. Use caution when consuming rue. 

PUMPKINS I can’t think of anything that evokes more awe and magic than pumpkins. They need 20 -30 feet to grow. They need full sun and plenty of organic matter. Cover the plants with a row cover to help them grow, to keep out pests. Harvest in the fall and allow to cure in the sun for a few days. How fun can it be to carve your own pumpkin? Roast the seeds and turn the fleshy fruits into pies, soups or bread. Mmmmmm Pumpkins are magical and beneficial to your health. Let the vines compost in your backyard garden. I have a tomato vine from two years ago that is still composting! I also put my fall pumpkins over the spring garlic and tulip bulbs for nutrients. I saw no sign of the composted pumpkins but as they composted and gave their nutrients to my bulbs, but they can work wonders for your soil! Good soil is necessary for growing herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Use copper wires to keep out slugs. 

SAGE Ah yes, sage. Depending on which type of sage you wish to grow, you can’t go wrong with this herb. The sage for cooking is garden sage but for smudging and purifying a room prior to a devotion to Hekate, use white sage or clary sage. Use mugwort, lavender and cedar for purifying and cleansing sacred space. My guinea pig familiar Magic runs when I burn sage but Penny, my familiar cat, doesn’t mind. Sage can be grown from seed or a seedling. White sage is hard to acquire depending on where you live. I bought organic seeds and I had very little germinatio. I finally had two seeds germinate out of a 100 seeds. Empower the herb with the intent you wish for it. Use garden sage on your roasted chicken! Mmm 

WITCH HAZEL l I finally have my witch hazel, I have waited a year for this plant. You can use the leaves in an astringent or tea. Store the seeds or you will have ten witch hazels in your garden. Use the boughs for dowsing rods. In the fall to winter season, when everything in your garden has died back, the dreary days of winter are brightened by spidery, fiery coloured flowers. Make your own astringent and divine with the boughs. Its a permanent plant and you will need room. Give the roots plenty of room in the soil. 

You can order seeds from a nursery or acquire from a friend or from a nearby nursery. Research seed suppliers. Store your seeds in paper envelopes and they should remain in good quality. Use good quality seed starting soil. Save your seed starter pots. Wash the pots in warm soapy water with bleach. This kills any insect eggs. They should last a long time with care. 

Plant small seeds if you are starting from seed, which I am starting to find more satisfying, near the surface of the soil. Plant bigger seeds a little deeper in soil. Start in the early spring and late winter season. This lets you grow your seeds to seedling size and be ready in time for when the soil reaches the proper growing temperature and past the risk of frost. 

Think of your intent with your plants. Never use or grow anything to harm anyone. Grow your plants with love. Protect them from pests or weather. Provide trellises or supports if they need them and weed the garden!. Fertilize them regularly. Use your seeds, flowers, buds and leaves or what have you in moderation. They might be witchy herbs but you should only ever consume something in moderation. 

That said, enjoy your harvest! It is so satisfying to reap what you sow, literally, because it came from your garden and your own efforts! Once you have grown some of these lovely plants, there are so many ways to use them. You can make ointments for an astral travel, meditation, health, healing, foods, incense or teas. You are limited by your own imagination, Invest in some nice magic herb books like those by Raven Grimassi, or Scott Cunningham. They tell of many ways to use herbs and other plants. Save some seeds to plant next spring for another fall harvest. 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

 

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A time to Remember

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There is a debate in the Wiccan Pagan witchy community about whether people should honor the dead only on Samhain or all through the year. I say if you are serious enough in your intent, and truly want to honor your ancestors, you should be doing just that all year. 

They are around us all year, not just on October 31st. To think  they are only here on October 31st is actually ridiculous. When I dined at the Five Fishermen restaurant, the waiter asked me if the spirits are around only on October 3st. First of all, he worked there. The staff at that restaurant work there all year. They are making money off of the restaurant’s reputation for being haunted. They have seen paranormal activity all year. I told him that no, they are always around. They are dead. They have eternity. Honoring the dead can and should be performed all year. 

I keep a photo of my late grandfather and my raccoon skull Bandit on  my altar every day of the year. I might change the rest of my altar to honor the changes in the Wheel of the Year but that never changes. The photo and skull are always on the altar. I have wanted to start a separate altar just for that purpose but right now, I am limited by space. My familiar cat likes to nap on or beneath my altar. She likes the energy and the space. 

I am attending Christopher Penczak’s workshop The Mighty Dead in September. I look forward to the event. I plan to post here all about it. It is a weekend intensive workshop. I hope to attend the book signing too. 

I know the veil is thin at Samhain but there are books that has helpful information on how to honor your ancestors. Christen Day’s book The Witches Book of the Dead and Penczak’s book The Mighty Dead illustrate how to do this all year. 

You will deepen your relationship with your chosen deities/ ancestors/ god or goddess. This can benefit you because they can help you with love, work, protection. Be respectful always. I heard of someone who called a spirit a bitch after summoning the spirit from an Ouija board. Never do this. If you disrespect the spirit, you will be bombasted with negative things. If you honor them respectfully, you will get good energy. Always remember: Retribution is a pretty word for karma. You get what you send out. 

I also don’t suggest using Ouija boards until you know what you are doing. But don’t approach one with fear either. Be strong and confident and sure you are ready for this. Never be alone if you want to use an Ouija board, be sure to have a trusted friend with you in case things get out of hand. 

Believe they are real, believe they are there for you- the good ones, all year round, that you can honor them all year, and that they may even aid you in life, and you will enrich your spiritual practice and deepen your relationship with them. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Dark Poetry

cropped-eerie-moon1.jpg

Merry meet all,

On the weekend, I attended the East Coast Literary Awards. I volunteered and had a great time. In other news, James Wong won the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association for Superior Achievement in a Screenplay for – American Horror Story: Coven: “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks” (FX Network). Way to go, !! Any fans out there?

Hard work has rewards! The June issue of the Horror Writers Association newsletter is up! For those who are keen. 

Today is rainy and overcast. My kind of day, because it puts me in that mood. I like dark stuff, so these rainy days are perfect. It helps me work on dark writing. I find it hard to work on a scary story with glaring sunlight pouring in my window. It is… unavoidable. Then my beautiful garden, which looks pretty in the rain too, beckons to me to go out and enjoy it and that siren call is tempting. But another siren calls lures me to the keyboard today. 

I am so excited it’s summer. We are six months into the year. Where has the time gone? But it means warmer weather. It means storing my black wool cloak till fall although I still dress witchy/ and a pathetic attempt at goth. (I need new clothes.) 

So instead of my usual posts, I thought I would share a poem with you that I wrote myself. !!

SOLITUDE

On a dark November evening,

as I hurry home,

a sea of somber tombstones

bewitch me.

 

Misty clouds paint the sky.

Flowers crown the tombs.

Bare black trees

rock in the strong wind.

 

Death pounces on my psyche.

Lucid spirits drift across frozen ground.

Shrill screams echo across this

barren land of the dead.

 

Crisp leaves twirl

in a crescendo

round the cold graveyard,

 

Gold and crimson leaves

bleed into the rich soil-

promise of a resurrection.

 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Links:

http://www.examiner.com/article/why-the-sudden-surge-paranormal-activity  

http://nerdist.com/exclusive-archaia-announces-jim-hensons-the-dark-crystal-creation-myths-vol-3/
 
http://www.foreverconscious.com/16-signs-a-ghost-or-spirit-is-paying-you-a-visit

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Home Protection of another kind

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Merry meet all,

If you are having problems and think that you have negative energy or bad spirits in your home, it could be a good time to perform a banishing. You have a right to cleanse your home of bad energy and not have to live with it. But how do you identify the bad stuff? I’ll tell you. 

You should still use common sense when you want to deal with this matter. Logic rules over paranoia. Just because a shadow flickers on your floor from your big lamp that doesn’t mean your home is haunted. 

Signs your home is haunted: 

  • If you are seeing for sure dark shadow beings in your home that appear for a second then disappear through a wall.
  • The hairs on your neck stand on end when you are alone in the bathroom at night.
  • You experience sleep paralysis as you sleep.
  • You grab a doorknob only to feel something resist on the other side of the door.
  • Objects are moved or fall down without you or anyone else having handled them.
  • You hear something crash to the floor yet nothing has been moved. I can’t count how many times I have heard a mop or something fall and look and nothing happened. Explain that. 

I have experienced all of these things. It’s how I know. But there are actions you can take to stop it from happening. I used to believe that smudging your home with sage was enough. I have heard that the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram is supposed to be helpful. 

One night not too long ago, someone was over to help banish bad energies but a shadow person appeared in my apartment anyway. We did the reiki cleansing but I still saw the spirit. This makes me wonder how effective the person’s ritual was and if smudging a home with sage actually works. I shall try stronger methods of home cleasning. I plan to visit a farmers market for sage to steep and sprinkle from a teapot or garden jug all around the outside of the apartment. Then I plan to sage the house and perform a home threshold clearing ritual from the Hedge Witch book. I may also try the lesser banishing ritual. But I won’t be asking that person to help with another cleansing since it was ineffective. 

I know my home, You know your home. You know instinctively what would work or not. You know how each room ‘feels’ and you know the history of your home. This is why I think that performing your own rituals yourself is such a good idea. Regularly smudge your home with sage every Full Moon. Sprinkle salt on doorways and windowsills. Leave an empty bowl or two in a room to ‘collect’ energy. Relax and focus on filling your home with love and positive energy. I have a pet cat, my fur-miliar, and I have felt a lot safer since adopting Lady Cattarina Cutey-paws the 1st. Penny, for short. It should be no wonder why. Burn a lemon-scemted candle. Try the above suggestions. 

Always remember, you are in control. You have the upper hand. You can control what happens to you. And never become paranoid. Remain balanced and calm. 

I hope this all helps you to have a good loving home. Blessings

Lady Spiderwitch 

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Spooky News

Skull image

Merry meet all,

It’s 149 days till Samhain. I find it unbelievable. I have not even hardly gotten my garden started yet. We are six months into the year. Time flies when you are having fun.

I have fully paid for the much anticipated upcoming workshop, The Mighty Dead, hosted by Christopher Penczak. I can’t believe he is coming to Halifax to teach a workshop. Naturally I am going. It is all about ancestor worship. The workshop is in September.

I have some black cotton material and black lining material for a new altar cloth for the workshop. This weekend, I plan to sew the lining to the material. I also have black skeleton material, that has white skeletons on black flannel. I think the altar cloth will look cool. I also downloaded a skeleton clip art picture because I want to put a skull image on the altar cloth and maybe a tombstone too. I can’t wait until September for the workshop. The workshop will allow me to deepen my spiritual practice, learn how to properly commune with the dead rather than just reading or hearing about it and have an amazing experience. The sacrifice I made to pay for the workshop will be worth it.

I have read Christopher Penczak’s book The Mighty Dead. I need to reread the book. It is a very esoteric book. I am not familiar with his stuff so I have to reread it. But I plan to do that before September.

I planted a witch hazel in my garden. Here is a link that tells about the darker folklore of witch hazel trees. If you click on this link to the Paranormal and Witchy Fiction Facebook page, it will take you to the link:“>https://www.facebook.com/ghosts.spiritsandapparitions”>  

I won a copy of Richard Laymon’s Special Definitive hard cover novel The Night Show from Dark Regions Press: (http://www.darkregions.com/) The book will be fully illustrated,includes new materials from authors Edward Lee and Steve Gerlac, will have five original interior illustrations, and finally,previously unpublished story notes by author Richard Laymon and signatures from authors Edward Lee and Steve Gerlach, artist Malcolm McClinton and editors James R. Beach and Kelly Laymon. The book will have a wraparound colour dust jacket. Like fancy, huh? I won this!! Wicked cool. I will receive the book late fall.

I can’t wait for the Crimson Peak movie. I mean, like I can’t wait. To tease you all even more, here is the delicious trailer:

Link: http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/films/frightening-new-trailer-for-guillermo-del-toros-crimson-peak

I’m still toiling away at my novel. I hope to have a major edit done soon. Yes I too used to write in a haunted attic. That was back when I lived with my family in a haunted Victorian home, only Del Toro’s idea of a haunted house is a bit more dramatic than mine. 

Last night was the Full Moon. The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Litha!!

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Darker Terrors full contents list

Spectral Press

'Into the Fire' by Les Edwards ©2014 ‘Into the Fire’ by Les Edwards ©2014

‘Very creepy stuff!’

—John Landis, director of American Werewolf in London

and Michael Jackson’s Thriller

This is the moment you have been waiting for – the full contents list for the Darker Terrors: A Best of Dark Terrors volume coming this October from Spectral Press. Quiver in delicious anticipation at this TOC:

Foreword – Stephen Jones

More Tomorrow –Michael Marshall Smith
I’ve Come to Talk with You Again  – Karl Edward Wagner
A Really Game Boy – Brian Lumley
To This Water – Caitlin R Kiernan
The Museum on Cyclops Avenue – Harlan Ellison
Free Dirt – Ray Bradbury
Self Made Man – Poppy Z. Brite
The Wedding Present – Neil Gaiman
Family History – Stephen Baxter
Inside the Cackle Factory – Dennis Etchison
My Pathology – Lisa Tuttle
At Home in the Pubs of Old London – Christopher Fowler
Barking Sands…

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