Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sweet & Simple Samhain

Goddess of Darkness
God of Light
Guard me & mine this Hallowed Night.
Protect us from any and all harm
Be it so from this simple charm.

Happy Samhain everyone!!!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Busy Busy...Happy Samhain!

What a busy week!  Wednesday night was a wonderful experience with my local group cutting the veil (don't try this on your own, my witchy need at least 3 experienced witches).  The energy was AMAZING! 

I was so exhausted Thursday that not much got accomplished.

Yesterday it was bake, bake, bake for tonight's get together.  My friends & I do an annual Halloween party that would probably be more appropriate for Beltane...(wink wink!)  I'll be going as a wood to come.

Today, before the party, it's some herbal learning for me from Florida School of Holistic Living.  First a Wild Weed Walk to identify our local, edible, medicinal weeds.  Then, after a vegan, organic lunch at the Dandelion Communitea Cafe another class on Flower Essences.  A quick drive home & change into my costume & it's PARTY TIME!

Tommorow, on All Hallow's Eve, I'll be seeing Hospice patients (one of my day jobs).  Usually I wouldn't work on my favorite day of the year, but I thought this an appropriate service to be performing on such a sacred day. 

Then, as night draws in, it will be quiet time for me in my private circle in the back yard, aka Faeryland.  Over the year, I've collected a number of items to create separate Elemental Altars.  Each grouping will be set up at a corner & charged.  I will honor & thank the Ancestors, give offering to the Fae (who have been much neglected while I was out of town) and relish in the atmosphere of our most high night.

I hope your weekend plans include something special, just for you & your spiritual practice, no matter how busy you will be.

Wild & Bright Samhain Blessings,



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Make a Witch Bottle for Samhain

Samhain is a common time for the making of witch's bottles to protect the home from being entered by malevolent spirits on All Hallow's Eve.  Witch bottles have a long history.  There have been witch bottles found dating to the 1600's in England that are still intact!

Historically, witch bottles contained items such as rusty nails, urine, thorns, hair, menstrual blood, shards of glass, wood and/or bone.  Some bottles even contained fingernail clippings, hair or urine from the person believed to have hexed the person making the bottle.

The purpose of a witch's bottle is not only to protect from magical attack, but to send the negative energy back to the originator.

To make a witch's bottle, you need a ceramic or glass jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid.  If your bottle opens, the magick is said to be gone.

Fill the container with items like:
  • Rusty nails
  • Spanish moss
  • Tacks, broken glass, other sharp materials
  • Pieces of broken mirror
  • Something personal of, nails, saliva, etc.*
  • Protective herbs
  • anything that strikes you as protective

Light a black candle & charge each item according to the intent as you place it into the container. You may also program your bottle to recharge from the energy it absorbs, be it sunlight, moonlight or the negative energy sent its way. My bottle is charged in the name of Hecate as she is goddess of the waning moon & one of the patronesses of Samhain, which will add much to the banishing aspect of the bottle.  Now, use your black candle to drip wax over the sealed lid (this is why I used a bottle, not a jar, this isn't the easiest step!).

Burying or hiding your bottle is an important aspect of the spell.  If you choose to bury, pick a spot that isn't likely to get disturbed by gardening or other digging - a broken witch bottle is a broken spell.  I'll be burying mine under the hedgerow in a few moments.

Here's the incantation I'll be using:

Precious bottle I charge you now,
Negativity & evil do not allow.
Guard this house, me & my dear
Whether or not we are here.
Safe & secure we shall be
As you absorb the energy.
Within the earth you shall remain
Your power grows with any bane.

For highest good I do pronounce
This witch's bottle guards my house!

*Be very careful with vinegar & urine in your bottle...sometimes bottles with these elements can explode!

Happy Samhain!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quick Fall Pudding

I love to get creative with Fall vegetables.  Here are a couple of recipes that highlight Sweet Potatoes & Pumpkin...oh, and they're Dessert!  As a plus, they're also vegan.

Quick Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Pudding
3 cups coconut milk*
1/3 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup corn starch in 1/2 cup cold water
Powdered cinnamon to taste
1 sweet potato (about 1/2 cup cooked)

Microwave sweet potato.  While it's cooking, add the rest of the ingredients except cornstarch mixture to a medium sauce pan & simmer.  Add mashed sweet potato & use immersion blender to make a smooth mixture (or you can put it in a blender, but take the cinnamon sticks out 1st).  Bring to a boil & slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture - only stir in enough to get to desired thickness.  Divide into 3 or 4 ramekins or small bowls & sprinkle with cinnamon.  Can be served warm or cold.

*For home made coconut milk mix 1 part dried, unsweetened coconut with 2 parts very hot water & blend.  Strain & press to extract as much liquid as possible.

Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Muffins

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups fresh cooked or canned pumpkin
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Prepare muffin pan with papers & preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Blend pumpkin, oil, coconut milk in a blender until smooth.  Pour wet mixture into dry & stir gently until combined.  Pour batter into muffin papers.  Bake for 40 minutes (Watch your cooking time, all ovens are different.  Muffins are done when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.)

These actually get better after storage in the freezer, so go ahead & take advantage of the availability of pumpkin now.

Both of these recipes can be made with either Pumpkin or Sweet Potato & are delicious either way.

I hope you enjoy these Samhain desserts.

Wild & Bright Blessings,


Monday, October 25, 2010

Camping Trip: Herbal Bug Away Spray & Hand Wipes!

Vacation was fabulous! We spent 10 days traveling & camping, so preparation was key.

Months ago, I started the appropriate tinctures, oils & salves so we would have natural products for our time in the woods.  Here are 2 of the recipes & some great places you might want to explore:

Herbal Hand Wipes

1 Tablespoon Tea Tree Oil
1 teaspoon Lavender EO 
2 drops Lemongrass EO (or 1 oz Lemongrass Tincture)
16 oz Witch Hazel

Cut a paper-towel roll in 1/2 & remove the cardboard tube.  Place in a seal-able plastic container.  Pour mixture over the toweling & let sit.

To use, pull from the middle of the roll.  I like to use the paper towels that are 1/2 sheet, because often that's all you need.  These are great for the car, camping, boating, etc.  This recipe is from GreenWitchGarden Yahoo group a wonderful group of witches on the green path. 

Herbal Bug Away Spray

4 oz Catnip tincture
4 oz Witch Hazel
80 drops Citronella EO
80 drops Eucalyptus EO
40 drops Lavender EO
20 drops Rosemary EO
10 drops Lemongrass EO (or 4 oz Lemongrass tincture) 
10 drops Lemon EO

Mix together & put in a spray bottle.  Shake before using.  So far, this has worked well for me. It doesn't seem to be as good on my husband...maybe he just tastes better to mosquitoes?

This is a slight modification from the recipe in Mountain Rose Herbs newsletter article Adventures in Herbal Camping.

Our plan was to be as close to nature as possible while maintaining the luxuries I'm so accustomed to.

3 days in South Georgia near one of my favorite places: Callaway Gardens.

1 day & night near Emory University in Atlanta to hear the Dalai Lama as he participated in a Compassion Meditation Conference.
There is some amazing research going into how our bodies & minds respond to compassion meditation!  Soon, I'll be posting a guided compassion meditation for all my witchy friends.

6 days camping at Enota Mountain Retreat in North Georgia, a beautiful & spiritual organic farm & retreat center nestled on Cherokee land alongside an amazing stream.

This was our 1st time camping in about 13 years and was a beautiful, spiritual experience.  Next stop: Florida Pagan Gathering in the Ocala National Forest, Florida.


A day of Witchy Cleansing

With Samhain coming up, it is definitely time to do some cleansing around the house (especially since the dog sitter was in residence for 9 days).

Being a bit of a Green Witch, I like to clean as naturally as possible.  So, I attacked the house with the following Witch's Brews:

Bathroom Cleanser

1 cup Borax
1 cup peppermint Castile Soap (can use any scent or even unscented, I had peppermint on hand & it is wonderfully purifying &  raises the vibrations of the area)

Mix together & use a small amount for the sink, tub, toilet, etc.  Watch out...this is really sudsy! Start with a small amount & add if you need more.

Mold & Mildew Fighter

1 tsp Tea Tree Oil
1 cup water

Spray or dab onto area & allow to sit as long as possible.  Apply often.  Tea Tree oil is a great fungus fighter & it smells nice!  We live in Florida where it is perpetually damp.  No matter how hard I work, we always have a bit of mold/mildew in the shower corners.

Alternately, you can mix 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup borax in warm water to remove mildew.

Glass Cleaner

Vinegar...many people dilute the vinegar 1-2 Tbsp in 4 cups of water, but I have a spray bottle full of Four Thieves Vinegar with rosemary, sage, lavender, and thyme hanging around as protective & cleansing spray, so I just use that.

Carpet Cleanser

2 cups baking soda
2 tsp powdered sea salt
2 tsp powdered basil*
10 drops lemon essential oil*
7 drops rosemary essential oil*
10 drops jasmine essential oil*
5 drops sandalwood essential oil*

Mix all together & sprinkle on carpet, starting in one end of the house & moving in a deosil fashion while focusing on your intent for your home.  Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes (I just do this in the beginning of my cleaning spree & let it sit until I'm done).  Vacuum.  *use whatever essential oils & herbs suit your purpose, this is my concoction.  This whole recipe is based on one found at Witch of Forrest Grove

Tile Floor Wash

1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup borax
1 tbsp castile soap
2 gallons hot water (preferably blessed rain water or spring water)
10 camphor leaves, crushed
4 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
3 tablespoon fresh, chopped lemongrass 
2 tablespoons fresh or dried rosemary
3 tablespoons dried vervain

Steep herbs in water for 30 minutes. add rest of ingredients.  Mix together with your intent to create sacred space.  Mop your floors.

With all these blessed cleansing ingredients & magick, I doubt your home will need a smudging.  But, if so, I'd wait a bit because the burning sage isn't really pleasant in the presence of all the other smells.  I usually do smudging in between these major cleanings.

Wild & Bright Blessings!!!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kitchen Altar & Prayer Bowl

When people know you're a witch, they tend to ask you to send "good energy" or "light" their way.  It's not unlike requests for prayer very common in the Christian community.

We will often light a candle for someone, send positive intentions & a particular color light depending on their needs.  A few months back I decided to make a Prayer Bowl.  I remembered a glass bowl that I had done some decoupage on many years ago & could never figure out it's use, only that I liked it.

So, the Kitchen Altar was born.

On the altar are some of my favorite creatures, a faery, bat, dragon & a tiny goose representing a donation to Heifer Project made in my name one birthday.  There is also a small 1/2 gourd as a bowl for offerings to my home spirit & 2 candles. 

I have a HUGE collection of wine corks, that I keep meaning to craft with, but never do.  These became intention/prayer representations. 
On one side, I write the person's name, the other side is for the intention.  Above are today's. 

This small act helps me focus energy for these prayers, send them out to the Universe, & then release the outcome so I don't worry.

I used to feel overwhelmed by all the requests for "light & energy" & didn't know how to respond when a Christian friend asked me to pray for them.  Now, I have feel like I can accept any request & determine how best to send off the prayer/light/energy & not be drained by the process.

The bowl is a constant reminder of how many wonderful people are in my life & of how each one of us is faced with challenges.

What do  you do to send out positive vibes for your people while maintaining your strength??

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Natural Spell Candles

Welcome to the Waxing Moon!  Are you as energized as I am?  Wow!

As I woke up & visited FaeryLand (the back yard), this is what I saw:
Kitty Visits the Bird Feeder
She is a regular visitor of late...funny, we never saw her until my husband's familiar (who looks exactly like her!) passed away 6 months ago. 

After wandering in the gardens, it was time to get to work!

It was Spell Candle day at the Hidden Witch's home.  I've been wanting to make intention candles out of soy wax, with as few artificial additions as possible.  After pondering this for a while & researching natural dyes for candles (not gonna happen), I decided to try something different.  Today I created spell candles with colored sand, herbs & oils.
Love & Romance
I've been using Jasmine scented oil lately, because I cannot find Jasmine EO within my price range.  The Rose Absolute was incredibly expensive, but has no rival in the scent department, so I use it for a few special projects.

Visions Candle

I made 8 Spell Candles in all today, with a variety of applications.  The 1st I'll use is a prosperity/fertility candle as I kick-off this Waxing Moon cycle.

Prosperity Candle on the Altar
This afternoon, I'll make bread & butter pickles, a feather shapeshifting mask & will begin on a Plant Spirit costume.

Wild & Bright Samhain Blessings!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Tombstone Tourist

I wonder, are many other witches Tombstone Tourists?


...out by the light of the Full Moon

Looking, seeking...
 waiting for just the right spot & time
To honor the dead?
Wild & Bright Blessings!

Tombstone tourist (otherwise known as a "taphophile", "cemetery enthusiast" or "grave hunter" or "graver") describes an individual who travels to visit cemeteries for the enjoyment of looking at old and unusual stones or to find the graves of famous people. Tombstone tourists are usually more interested in the historical aspects of cemeteries or the historical relevance of its denizens. ~ Wikipedia