Category Archives: gardening

My Favorite Color is October

Merry meet all,

I went shopping this weekend. I conjured cool Halloween items. The first on the list of cool Halloween items is a very large black (of course) rubber spider web doormat. I love the huge rubber rug. My cat likes it too. The next on the list is a set of 4 skull black and white dinner plates. The plates have a trim and a large skull in the center. I bought a cool black thing you rest your cooking utensil on. I bought some black and orange candles, an orange pillar candle that smells of lovely pumpkin spice, a black wand that makes mystical sounds, a beautiful black wire elven crown, fairy wings that I shall cover with black fabric later and lastly, a black spiderweb placemat and black spider web doilies. 

Yes I am ready for Samhain. I am planning and preparing for a Samhain Séance party. I bought a large jug of cider for my legendary cider mix. I am offering pomegranate seeds, barmbrack bread and pumpkin bread, and of course roasted seeds. Carved pumpkins will glow eerily among the candles and incense shall fragrance the room. I hope it all bewitches my guests. 

One note about the barmbrack bread: I may not leave the traditional items in the bread, to avoid anyone choking. I am trained in CPR but it would be nice to avoid disasters. I haven’t begun decorating yet. I will do that later. 

I bought a cool Halloween magazine, which is packed with a million suggestions. I am inspired by the issue. Are you all excited about Samhain? I am. Well that’s obvious. The movie It is in theaters if you can’t get enough of the October spirit and horror movies. I may catch Maleficent next week. I enjoy watching Ghost Adventures too. I wonder if they have a special Halloween show. 

My story is published in Paranormal Chronicles about how the Five Fishermen Restaurant came to be haunted! Be sure to read the issue! My other story is published in The Handbook for the Dead and released on Amazon! Add these to your reading list! I am excited about it and I hope you are too. 

I can’t wait to sit and read the October newsletter from the Horror Writers Association! The issue is huge. It is not October without the Horror Writers Association. 

I implore you to enjoy the month of October as much as you can. It’s only once a year but I live like it’s every day of my life. If you all saw the inside of my home, you’d agree. Watch horror movies, make your pet wear a crown, pile leaves and collapse on them, roast seeds, and hang ghosts from the ceiling. Let me know in the comments what you did to celebrate the most magical of months. 

Blessings, Spiderwitch

 

 

 

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Fall in the Air

Merry meet all,

Tonight I made applesauce. I wish I added a tad more sweetener. The applesauce tasted tart and could have used a smidgen more sugar. That is how I learn. It is beginning to look and feel like fall. 

My garden is dying down. John Barleycorn has died. The metaphorical and literal scythe has fallen. My plants once verdant and green now wither and yellow. It breaks my heart and relieves me at the same time. I know my garden worked hard all summer. My garden has earned its rest over the cold season till spring’s return. 

Pumpkins adorn front porches. The thrift and craft stores are now all well stocked with Halloween products. I went to Value Village last night. I tried on a couple costumes- one of a raven dress and the other was a Witch dress. Neither held my interest. But what did catch my attention were the wings, striped socks- and buckled shoes?, lacy gloves, wands and tutu tulle skirts. I have a costume. This year I want to be a dark faerie instead of the usual Witch. Well one year I was an undead bride. I usually go as myself and this year I want to be different when I attend the annual Samhain Ritual. I happily lost track of time as I explored all the Halloween products. I mean each and every costume, boots, socks, skirts and cloaks. I checked it all out- then went home and enjoyed a hot meal. Yup it was fun. I wished I had some money but that is coming soon. 

This morning, I brought my lemongrass and ginger indoors. Lemongrass won’t survive a winter here in Atlantic Canada. I love the lemony aroma anyway. The ginger had some sprouts so I hope that grows well indoors. I plan to bring in more plants once I obtain terracotta plants. They are better than plastic. I hope the two dill seedlings I brought in fare well too. Time will tell. 

I want to save seeds from my garden too. My tomato plants are ripening on a windowsill. I saved some pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin I pureed and the seeds I roasted!! They are for next year. 

Once New moon arrives, I want to finish my Fire Cider project. The New moon begins in 3 more days. I made Fire Cider, put it all in a jar, and have stored in the fridge. I shook the bottle daily for a complete month almost. I kept an eye on it. I hope the ingredients have blended well. Now I shall strain the mixture and decant the cider into a new clean sterile jar. I will test it and then add sweetener. I plan to have Fire Cider around to combat colds and flu. 

Have any of you begun any fall projects? I would love to learn more. Please comment below. Enjoy Mabon!!

Blessings, Spiderwitch

 

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Cemetery sentiments

Merry meet all,

Recently I visited an arts store because they carried Halloween stuff. I strolled through the aisles, and made mental notes on what to buy once I finally had some money. Seeing the Halloween stuff ( statues, skeletal arms, witch dolls, upside down bats, brooms) cheered me a little. Samhain is my favorite time of year.

The air is cooler today. It is still August but the leaves were falling already in the cemetery. I was also recently in a cemetery trying to write poetry. I did get one poem done though it is far from word perfect. I like the cemetery I visited. I saw a moth flitting over the ground, birds pecking for seeds, crows screeching from the treetops.

The engravings on the tombstones were too faint to read. I sat on the stone step, my notebook and a pen in hand, and just sat for a while soaking in the atmosphere. Inspiration seized me. I now want to write a small chapbook of poetry. It will be effort but everything is effort. There were tombstones of varying sizes and shapes. Everyone probably considered me weird seated and doing what I was doing, but I don’t care.

There is no safer place to be. The quiet of a cemetery lets me think. They are not such dangerous places but people should still use common sense. I just like dark verse.

One problem or side effect of being clairsentient and writing poetry in cemeteries is taking spirits home with you. Parasitic astral larvae live in cemeteries and often want to come home with me. While they get my empathy, I am just not sure I want to suddenly see dishes fly off shelves or my bed rattle late at night. I leave the energies there when I exit a cemetery. I do feel for them- I am sure being dead is no fun, but I have to establish and maintain boundaries.

Ah fall.. time for cardigans, cider, root vegetable meals, and pumpkins. Onions, parsnips, turnips, potatoes are all excellent healthy veggies. The skins are often the most nutrient rich part of the root vegetable. So go ahead, as you peruse some dark gothic poetry, enjoy soups and stews. If you grew the veggies yourself and cook them yourself, you enjoy twice the amount of nutrients because you know where they came from. I advocate for organic food. I know I will be. I grew my own garlic, dill, basil, mint, lavender, chives, and even shallots this year. I can’t wait to harvest more. I did harvest my garlic and dill and froze the dill, The garlic is braided and hanging up in my kitchen. I am waiting till the perfect harvest time to gather in the rest. The health and quality of growing your own veggies and herbs is unsurpassed- and not tainted by those horrid chemicals from the supermarket.

Enjoy fall!

Blessings Spiderwitch

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Pumpkins Vine Time

Merry meet all,

The Halloween stuff is in the stores!! Oh my I’ll grab my broomstick and fly over and won’t be back till I’m broke!!! October is three months away. I’m still waiting for my veggies to grow though. I am anticipating a big harvest though. This is the time of year when I get excited. I live for Samhain. It’s time to dust off our brooms and our cauldrons, don our striped socks and head over to the stores selling the Halloween stuff.

My pumpkin vine has flowers!! My zucchini plant has a new flower too. I can’t wait for them to get big already. My cucumber plant has lots of flowers but tiny cucumbers. Oh my goddess it’s not like they have all year to grow. Can you tell I’m frustrated?

A real gardener is patient. I still can’t find that gardener. Since we are in harvest season, I hope you enjoy reading this post and learn how to grow your own!

Here are some tips on how to grow our favorite Halloween fruit-pumpkins. Pumpkins need up to 120 days to mature. Pumpkins can be grown from seed. However this year I had luck with the transplants I bought from the local plant store. Wait until all chances of frost have passed. They will grow in warm weather. They can take over a garden too and need up to 30 feet of room to grow.

Before planting your transplants, add plenty of compost material to the soil. You can grow the plants in hills. You mound up the soil and then (If you want to start from seed), put one seed per hill and plant up to four seeds in each hill Make sure there is plenty of room between the vines.

Pumpkins need tons of water. Be sure to only water the plants enough and to avoid root rot. If they look wilted, then the plant has died. Feed the plants a healthy mix of phosphorus and nitrogen, and add more phosphorus than nitrogen, which helps them grow their very best.

If you want to prune the vines, then be sure the vines have pumpkins on them first. When you carefully prune the plants, then you force the plant to stop concentrating on the vine growth and it focuses on maturing the fruit vine. This produces better fruit growth in the long run. Also, consider sprinkling diatomaceous earth under your plants. I did all summer and I have a healthy big zucchini plant in my garden that is pest bug free!

If insects are a problem on your vines, then plant nasturtiums. You have to attract pollinators to pollinate your plants. Aphids, cucumber beetles and stink bugs are a pest to your plants. By planting flowers such as nasturtiums, you will attract pollinators and the insects that might like some aphids for a tasty meal. Plant lots of flowers to increase your chances of healthy plants overall.

Harvesting pumpkins is fun and saves you money!! When the stem looks dry and the fruit is an orange color, it is time to harvest them! Knock hard on the rind of the pumpkin. It should sound hollow. Scrape your fingernail on the rind. It should not scratch easily. Harvest before the frost!

Use your favorite witch tool or boline to cut the pumpkin from the vine. Leave a few inches of stem to avoid disease. Let the pumpkins to cure for a couple of weeks first and store them properly. When they are fully cured, you will know. Allow for air ventilation and don’t dry them out near other fruit. Fruit give off ethylene gas. You can coat a pumpkin in oil which seals it for storage.

Enjoy your glowing orange pumpkins after all this hard work. !!

Blessings Spiderwitch

 

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The Good Faeries of the Garden

Merry meet all,

I know it’s a few months till Samhain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be looking for the spooky happening around you now. In case you don’t believe me, I had a freaky incident recently. I found my copper skull spoon in my garden. I have no idea how it got there. I retrieved it, washed it all the while wondering how’d that happen? So it might be more common than you think. I blame the faeries and brownies.

The movie Mary Shelley opens in theaters soon. I am counting the days and hours till then. I am eager to get to work on my garden. If you are seriously into spirits and faeries, well, working in your garden is a great way to interact with them. Trust me, they are around. And not to mention the spirits in the plants themselves. So that is a lot of spirit work.

I recommend waiting till May Full Moon to do any garden work and planting. There is still a risk of frost. The May Full moon could be a powerful time for inviting the faeries and other helpful nature spirits to your garden. Leave a libation of honey and milk or mead and bury crystals in the soil. Clean the garden, use no pesticides and actually care for your garden. Decorate your garden with artificial lights, wooden pentacles or hang crystals from trees. Add some fairy statues and they will not be able to resist. Faeries care for the earth more than us mortals ever will. So showing you care is a great way to get their help. Then be consistent. If you find certain plants growing unusually well and your garden seeming like it’s more protected than others, it is a good sign the Good Folk are there. I have left my apartment door unlocked (unknowingly to me and unintentionally) and I have never been robbed. I don’t know how I did that. I usually do lock my door. But I am sure something is guarding my place.

One good idea if you like the darker side, is growing dark colored plants. You could grow black hollyhock or black roses. Use your imagination.

If you see pretty bright lights and the birds and insects flock to your plants or bird feeders, they are there. You will know by the auspicious signs you see. But you have to actually be outside to witness the signs. So every time you have some extra organic scraps, offer it to your garden. Keep the feeders full and remember to leave crystals in the soil. They will charge the soil and plants. Leaving offerings to your garden keeps a balance between you and the spirits. Be good to the earth. Try composting and recycling. Honor the spirits. Keep your garden clean and free of debris.

When it is harvest season, you can again leave a libation and thank the spirits for their aid. Decorate your garden with pumpkins, gourds and flowers of the season. The Full Harvest Moon has been allowing farmers to harvest their crops for centuries. There are lots of spirits and perhaps ancestral spirits everywhere. I love the harvest time. I can sense energies so easily. I see them in my house too.

I hope this helps you and keeps you busy during the growing season.

Blessings, Spiderwitch

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Spring Equinox

Merry meet all,

Blessed Ostara!! Today marks the spring equinox. The weather today was beautiful, cool and sunny. I couldn’t have asked for more. I visited the local witch shop. I am always there. I took my broom with me to show it off. I baked cookies and watched the faery fabulous movie Maleficent. My windows are open to let in the spring energy. I am eager to plant more seeds.

Wse depart from the dark half of the year to the lighter half. Now the Goddess stirs and awakens. The Crone gives way to the Maiden and the God rises too, to plant seeds of new growth. I am excited to get to work on my garden once again. I have seedlings begun already.

I took photos of the graveyard recently. I shall soon share the pictures with the Horror Writers Association for their slideshow. I attended a wonderful memorial service for an acquaintance. I enjoyed the whole evening of the service, feast and the after party. The crows were agitated in my neighborhood prior to the service. I can’t help but wonder if it was another message. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up for me to visit the cemetery more often. I guess  bringing coffee in a thermos will suffice. I shall try again tomorrow to write more horror poetry.

I wish you all a wonderful Ostara. Blessings to all

Spiderwitch

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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

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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Update

Merry Meet All,

It’s Canada Day today. Happy birthday, Canada!!

The moon enters Taurus today. The corresponding colour is silver. Taurus is the sign of beauty, loyalty, and hard work. Think of the elements of Taurus as you go about your day and how you can bring that into your day.

The Celtic tree month of Holly begins on July 8th. The Blessing Moon lands on July 22nd. Lughnasadh begins on August 1st. It’s hard for me to believe we are almost in the harvest season. We are now seven months into the year.

In the witchy news, Doreen Valiente was awarded a blue plaque. Here is the link to the story to read more: http://www.sundayexpress.co.uk/news/weird/411280/Blue-plaque-unveiled-for-mother-of-modern-witchcraft-Doreen-Valiente. This is good news for Witches, Wiccans and Pagans everywhere. It proves witchcraft is becoming more accepted.

I hope you’re all working hard on your gardens. I still have a tray of seedlings that I am hoping to put in the garden soon. The calendula is growing fast, and the lovage, and even rhubarb I began from seed. Soon it will bet time for the harvest. But enjoy summer now while you can.

Blessings,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Musings about my garden

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!
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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