Monday, January 31, 2011

Imbolc - New Beginnings

This Imbolc lands on a New Moon, making it the perfect time for a New Beginnings spell.

Here's a rather complicated spell from my B.O.S.  Don't freak out, but this spell has 4 separate parts, New Moon creation, Full Moon release, Making & Wearing a talisman, & finally, a celebration.  The focus & intent you put into each of these parts makes this a very powerful working.  It uses Ice Magick, which is especially powerful in the Spring.

Use this spell when you are looking to start something drastically different (like a career change or new phase of your life, building new health habits, etc.)

New Life Beginnings
Part 1 - Creation
Get your purpose & intent clear (mine last time was Intuition & Clarity to know my life's work)

Correspondences & Ingredients:

Red (Fire) for courage & power - I used a few drops of red food coloring for this one, but you could also use red paper, I just didn't have any at the time.
Water for Wisdom - I used storm water that I had collected & charged, but any charged water will work. (about 1/2 cup)
Air for Insight & Change - for this spell,the elements of water & air are combined into Ice Magick
Stone to represent Earth - I used a raw garnet, Persephone's stone, to rid of the stale & no longer needed aspects & allow for renewal & regenerative creativity. Also, to re-unite with positive ancestral forces.  
New Moon - moving forward in life
Oil to match purpose/intent - I used Jasmine oil for my intent, as it is great in spells about love, money & heightened intuition
Herb to match purpose/intent - I used Poppy seeds to represent & call creative fertility
Paper to write your intent upon (small, like 2-3 inches square)
Container that can be placed in the freezer
Candles & incense to support your working (optional)


Get your intent clear in your head & reduce it to a few words.  Collect the necessary items that support your intent.  Create your sacred space in whichever way feels best for you.  Cleanse all tools & ingredients.  Raise energy in whatever way feels best for you - I usually meditate upon the intent & drop into my Inner Temple.  

Once you feel ready, write the few words that clearly state your intent onto the paper.  Focus all your hopes & dreams about this new beginning onto the paper.  Really, really see yourself accomplishing this dream.  

Place the paper into the container.  Add the herbs & other ingredients to the container, then slowly pour the water in.  Use your power hand to stir the water around, infusing your intent into the mixture.  

As you're doing so, here are the words this little control-freak-witch used to bless the concoction (use anything that works for you, but I find the repetition of this chant through so many voices has some serious power to it):

Gods & Goddesses
Grant me the serenity to
Accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change
The things I can, and
The wisdom to know the difference.

Now, state your intent: 
I intend & desire ________________ for the highest good of all.

Now comes the hard part:

Put your little container into the freezer & forget it!  Leave it totally alone until the Full Moon.  Let the magick of Ice work.  Ice magick is very powerful for transformation. Mark on your calender or set some kind of reminder for yourself to re-visit this spell at the next Full Moon (if you miss it, that's ok, just do it as close to the Full Moon as you can).
Part 2 - Release the Magick:
Upon the Full Moon, remove your container from the freezer & place it in the moonlight to be charged by our Lady with this chant:

Wake the change in me dear Lady
Melt rigid ice with your soft light
that change be gentle but swiftly won,
For highest good and only right
This witch's spell is almost done
It grows in power this blessed night.

If you can, stay with the ice, meditating on your change, until it melts.
Keep the container out until the water evaporates (leaving it's essence in the paper, herbs, etc.).  This took about a week for me.

Part 3 - Absorb the Magick through your Talisman:
Once the water has evaporated, it's time to create a talisman.  Collect your container & these ingredients, create your sacred space & let's work!

Small cloth (2 inch x 2 inch is a nice size)
Red String
Vervain (general, all purpose witch's power herb)
Oil of your choice (I used a Moon Oil I've created for all New & Full Moon workings, it's jasmine, lemon & sandalwood in an almond oil base).
Red Candle
Small bowl of salted water

Cleanse everything except your container with the dried paper, stones, herbs... 

Use the cloth to wrap up everything in the container, add the vervain & tie the packet up with the red string.

Raise energy.  Seriously, here, people...this is the time to RAISE ENERGY!  Do so in whatever way you do it BEST.

Sprinkle the bag with a bit of the salted water, chanting

Powers of Earth & Water
Assist me in my work
Now pass the bag into the incense
Power of Air
Assist me in my work 
 & over the candle
Power of Fire
Assist me in my work
Bring in your favorite gods and/or goddesses too!
Finally, anoint your hands with the oil & hold the bag between your palms.  Infuse all your desires & intents regarding this working through your hands & into the bag.

Wear or carry this talisman at all times (well, not in the shower) until the next New Moon.  Feel free to add more oil as needed, the scent is important to bring the memory of your intent.

Part 4 - Celebration!:
This is best done outside.  

With talisman in hand, gather:

inspirational items that represent your change 
items that represent the Elements
matches and/or a charcoal brickette (the incense kind, not the bbq kind!)
A bit of the herbs you initially used
Cauldron or other fire-proof container

I also used a small Zen garden & a finger labyrinth to represent respectively perpetual new beginnings & varied paths.  These items spoke to me in my celebration.  

Basically, you want to create a happy & sacred celebration of your new endeavor.  You are celebrating as if it has already happened, because...As Above, So Below.  In reality, once you fully intend a change, it HAS happened in the spiritual world.

Create your sacred space, light your candles, meditate on the joy that has come from your change.  You are totally focused & intent on the fact that this change IS HAPPENING IN THE PRESENT, not the future.  Know this.  Feel it.

When you feel the excitement, place the brickette & herbs into the cauldron & light.  Now, open your talisman bag.  Remove any non-flamable items to offer to the spirits & burn the rest, releasing the last bit of magick into the Universe.

Once everything has burned, throw the ashes to the wind (even if you have to blow them or use a fan).  Watch as your intentions sail off, knowing this change has occurred on a Universal level.

Be sure to give offerings to the deities who helped you or the fae in thanks for their assistance.
Spend as much time as you like basking in the glow of your success, it has happened.  

Oh, don't forget to do the mundane work too, remember...goddess helps those who help themselves.
Finally, journal about your intentions & your magick.  You will amaze yourself as you revisit your journal entries years later...magick works!

Wild & Bright Blessings & Happy Imbolc!!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Blue Sheese & Greens Pasta...Yum!!

The greens in the garden survived our chilly winter weather & I was craving them, so tonight I made

Greens, Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions
in a Blue Sheese Sauce over Pasta
Oh my gods & goddesses, it was divine!

Here's the scoop:

1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, chopped coarsely
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
Huge Pile of Greens, chopped: Dinosaur Kale, Broccoli (greens only), Swiss Chard, Chinese Spinach
3/4 package Blue Sheese
1 cup Organic, Unsweetened Silk
Pasta of your choice
1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts or pecans

Cook onions over medium heat in a skillet with olive oil & salt until they are almost brown & caramelized (don't cook too high, you want the soft, sweet flavor of caramelized onions); about 20 minutes.  

Prepare water for pasta & bring to a boil before you add kale to skillet. Start pasta when you add the kale to the skillet.

Add mushrooms & stalks of kale (not leaves) & cook for about 10 more minutes.   Add chopped greens & saute until softened.  Grate 1/2 of the Blue Sheese into the skillet with the veggies & stir in the 1/2 cup of milk.

Remove pasta from the water when it is almost done & add it to the skillet - it will absorb some of the extra liquid.  Toss all around & let cook over medium heat until pasta is done.

Serve in a bowl with additional, crumbled Blue Sheese & nuts.


Wild & Bright Blessings,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mighty Oak

Today was a beautiful in Central Florida, so I headed to one of my favorite spots, Gemini Springs.
The Sun was shining & I quickly settled in to spend some time with my new friends, the oak trees:

 My favorite tree:

When we 1st met, I went to sit in the center of this oak.  Because of my arrogance, I was thinking about what I could gain from being close & inside this magnificent being.  I immediately felt like I was intruding.  Upon looking around, I saw hundreds of footsteps & even some carving in the bark.  Now, I visit the tree & offer it healing energy & honor while picking up trash that others leave.  We are becoming fast friends & I always feel welcomed by this beautiful tree.  I make sure to be completely calm & centered before I approach this very sensitive & abused being. 

Here are some quick impressions from visiting these Mighty Oaks:

Prolific Reproducer
Heavy & Hearty Bark
Water Loving
Hefty,Not Showy

The oak is home to resurrection fern, Spanish moss & bromiliad plants.  He offers food to animals in the form of nuts. 

I like to meet & get to know a plant prior to looking it up, so when I got home I pulled out Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, here is a bit of what is listed:

Oak is masculine, associated with the Sun & Fire.  He is associated with the deities Dagda, Dianus, Jupiter, Thor, Zeus, Heme, Janus, Rhea, Cybele, Hecate, Pan & Erato.

Oak's Powers are Protection, Health, Money, Healing, Potency, Fertility & Luck.

Some say the words oak & Druid are related.  Religious idols were fashioned from oak & witches often danced beneath the branches.

A few magical uses for Oak:

Oak is used magically for protection.  One form is to make an equal-armed cross with 2 oak twigs & red thread, hang it in your home.

Place acorns in windows to guard against lightening.  

A piece of oak carried is said to protect a person from all harm.  

Catch a falling oak leaf & you're protected from colds all winter.  Or carry an acorn for good health, youthfulness, fertility & strengthening sexual potency.

Carry any piece of oak to draw good luck.

Speaking of good luck, here is the path I found on my way home:

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Simple Prosperity Spell

Lately, I've been thinking about prosperity.  Honestly, we have enough money to live nicely, & are better off than many, so I tend to feel guilty about prosperity spells.

But, there is no reason to limit ourselves with social guilt.  We should all feel free to Do as we will, harming none. So, here goes:

A Simple Prosperity Spell

Salt - a pinch will do
Water - small amount
Patchouli Essential Oil
the money in your wallet

Do your sacred space thing - cast a circle or whatever you normally do.  If you are able to work where you can light a candle, a green one would do nicely.  Add a pinch of salt to your water.

Take out the bills in your wallet.  Lay them in front of you, face up & looking your direction.  Focusing your intent on cleansing the bills of any harmful energy, sprinkle them lightly with the salted water.  Or, you can wave them through a cleansing incense.  Basically, these bills have been through multiple hands - you want them cleansed of all that energy.

Now that you have fresh, cleansed money, it's time to bless it for your prosperity.

Dip your finger into the patchouli oil & draw an invoking pentagram onto each bill with your anointed finger.  As you draw the pentagram, visualize financial prosperity coming to you.  You may say a little charm like this one:

I am blessed with the means
To live my life
To the fullest
And highest
For myself, for my family, for my world.
Bringing harm to none,
Prosperity is mine.
By my will and intent,
This spell is done.

Now, the hard part - pick the largest denomination bill in your collection & put it on your altar for the next 30 days.  Each time you spend a blessed piece of money, visualize it multiplying for both you & the person receiving it.

To give your spell some additional power, consider cleansing & blessing all the paper money in your wallet on a daily basis.  I know a witch/businesswoman who blesses each bill that enters her store this way.  Of course, you won't be performing the entire spell for every bill.  I'm planning on sprinkling the inside of my wallet with salted water along with the above ritual & carrying a cotton pad doused in patchouli inside, next to the bills. 

Of course, it would be best to do this spell during a waxing moon, but I'm doing it tonight, which works too, because both patchouli & Saturday are ruled by Saturn...a witch has to be flexible, huh?

**Oh, & don't forget: Patchouli is wonderful as a love potion!  Dab some on your pulse points & go snuggle up to your favorite person**

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Full Moon on the Beach

What a beautiful Full Moon we had the other night!  A few fellow witches & I watched her rise over the ocean - she took our breath away.

It was a perfect evening.  We chatted, meditated, threw herbs into the fire & worked together to assist in sending one's father to Summerland.

Then, we did some scrying in the coals of the fire
I asked for an animal totem to come to me.  I've been working with Medicine Cards (animal totem cards) & have a wonderful spread that I go to regularly, but have never received an animal from the spiritual world as my true totem.

I had to giggle when the image of a mouse appeared in the coals.  I was still there. 
So, giggle with me as I make friends with my  new totem...the mouse.

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Divine, Yummy & Healthy

Dates have a long history.  There is evidence that humans ate dates as early as 6,000 BCE.  Often, these wonderful delicacies were reserved for royalty.  Now, we're lucky enough to be able to find high-quality dates in most health food stores. 

Today, I was seeking lunch & came across Raw Snowballs.  These were little, round confections rolled in raw coconut.  They were heavenly, so I just had to figure out how to make them.

Raw Snowballs - Rhi's version

1 1/2 cups nuts - I used equal portions of walnuts & Brazil nuts, but many recipes call for almonds & walnuts.
13 large medjool dates (remove the pits) - use this kind, they're sweet & creamy
3 Tbsp cocoa - I actually ran out of my cocoa, but had some Giradelli Chocolate Mocha mix & discovered it's really not much more than chocolate & coffee powder, so I used that
1/2 cup raw, dried coconut - don't use the sweetened stuff in the grocery store...yuck!

Put the nuts into a food processor & whir until they're cut fine, but not creating nut-butter.  Add dates & continue to whir in the food processor until the mixture is well incorporated & looks almost like really thick & nutty brownie batter.  Form into 1 inch balls & roll in the coconut.  Refrigerate or eat. 

This made about 36 little "snowballs".  I'm not sure how many it really makes, because I kept eating them!

Wild & Bright Blessings!


**Oh, & I know my recipes are sometimes vague & have a lot of extra little notes in them.  Remember, I'm not a cookbook author I'm just a little kitchen witch. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Witchy meme

I found this questionaire at Walking The Hedge & thought...why not?  If you blog, please answer it & send me a link in the comments so we can learn about each other!

Please describe briefly your Path:
My brother would say "Tree hugging dirt worshiper" & he's not too off base.  I'm a really, really eclectic witch! Greenwitch. Kitchenwitch. Herbwife. Spirit-talker. Open-minded, Christopharian (working on Christopher Penczak's series).  Student of Eastern Mysticism & Hermetics.  I'm sure there's more, but that's good for the moment.

Please describe briefly how you practice it:
I use formal & informal magic.  Sometimes there are elaborate rituals planned with perfect tools & supplies collected & blessed, chanting, dancing, drumming... Other times, I just wing it & stir my intentions into the evening's dinners. 
When did you first commit to your Path?
Commit...interesting. I was afraid of my path until in my 40's, so I'm a relative newbie, but I know I was called as early as 9 years old & then re-called at least every 2 years since then.  (hard headed, huh?)
How is your practice different now than it was then?
Ah, at 1st I practiced from desperation.  Now, from a place of peace.  I'm still parting the veil bit by bit, so occasionally I'm startled by what I find.  At 1st, I was afraid, then exhilarated, now I'm simply flowing with what the universe brings me.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then?
I thought I would always be secretive & solitary, but I'm finding so much more growth & strength in a community of witches with mentors! While I still do most of my serious work on my own, I adore the energy in our group & love learning from those who have walked the path years longer than I.
Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started?
My path is ever-changing, but my core beliefs remain still & solid.  I came into witchcraft upon the recognition that we are all connected - plant, animal, human, spirit, god.  This I believe more strongly each day.
What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path?
Interesting!  I have a strong Scottish heritage, but most of my draw is towards the Egyptian & Sumerian pantheons. Having said that, the symbolism that speaks to my is almost exclusively Celtic in nature & I was drawn to the triskelion long before I seriously explored witchcraft.
What are your main influences for your Path?
My intuition.  The best & 1st lesson I learned as a witch was to listen for, hear & trust myself.
Which do you do more: practice or research?
Neither. Both. 
Do you feel that one is more important than the other?
Neither. Both. I think it's important to have a basis - someone's experience - but at some point you have to get out there & get your own witchy hands dirty & find out what works for you!
What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice?
I want (and am supposed to say) "Harm none".  But, seriously people...even healing magick harms the bacteria causing the disease!  So, sometimes you've got to cause a little harm to heal.  So, my favorite thought in the values & ethics department is to do all works to The Highest Possible Good of All Effected. This keeps open the door to the possibility that harm may come to me or others due to my actions, but that harm may lead to a bigger, better good.
What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through?
Study. Study.  Work. Work.  Share.  Share.  Study.  Study.  Work.  Work......
What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come?
The overwhelming desire to impress people.  I am SUCH a people pleaser!  Sometimes I'll do something just to irritate everyone so I know I'm still independent of the opinions of others.
How do you see yourself practicing in ten years?
As a crone.  As a mentor.  As an empowerer of women.
How do you incorporate your practice into your life?
Ever hear the line Every little thing she does is magic...?  Well, that's what I try.  I'll walk down the street holding hands with my husband, spinning a circle of loving light around us.  Maybe, I'll stir some herbs into dinner with a chant.  Cleaning the house is always magickal.  Work is where I stumble.  I know I'll have a much more peaceful life when I can easily incorporate magick into being a nurse in the critical care unit.
Has walking your Path changed you as a person?
No doubt! I would NOT be me without my path, I would be that saccharine, plastic version of me that has been wandering the earth for most of my life.
Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so?
I am the priestess of my little world.  I am queen of my home.  I am the light to a few souls, who I feel very responsible for.  But, in general, I'm not High Priestess material yet.  I have a mentor for that...she ROCKS!  She's mother, protector, educator, disciplinarian, friend, comedian...basically Star has her shit together as a Priestess in my book.
A witch? How so?
A witch...Yes.  Very, very much so.  Have been for a long time.  Now, I'm accountable for what I bring about.
A shaman? How so?
Hmmm...Do I commune with spirits? Yes.  Do I receive messages? Yes.  Can I heal? Yes.  Do I give my body over to the use of the spirits?  No, I'm a total control-freak & haven't gotten past the fear of totally letting go yet.
Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define?
Words are powerful to me, but squabbling over the right ones makes me want to scream & barf. Just do it & quit fighting over what brand of witch, who did a ceremony right...
One of the most profound things anyone ever said to you was:
I love you.
A defining moment on your Path was:
Making the move from solitary practice into a group of terrific witches, which led to having a mentor.
Have you ever taken a “leap of faith”?
My very 1st spell.  The 1st time I tried to travel.  The 1st time I attended a witchs' meeting.  But most importantly, the moment I told my husband I was a witch.
Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice:
Before I really got connected & committed as a witch. I bought a poppet & used it against a woman who had been really messing with my life.  I invited others to stick the poppet with pins (because lots of people hated her).  The more we used the poppet, the more trouble we had with her.  When I finally figured out the pattern, I pulled every pin out & released the hate & harm.  She's not been a bother since (to any of us).  Back then, I knew NOTHING about magick or was kind of a joke.  YIKES!
What is the most frustrating thing about your Path?
Not having the time to do major works.  I so very much love to spend a few hours communing in ritual, and rarely have the time & privacy to do so.
Have you ever been frightened?
Yikes! YES!!!  Terrified the 1st time a lovely spirit played with me.  I had NO IDEA what was going on & almost lost my mind.  I even made my husband change the locks because I was convinced someone was messing around in my home.
Can you perform ritual without a script?
Absolutely! I think I've only used a script once or twice.  I'm a spontaneous kind of girl.
Have you ever preformed spontaneous magick/spellcraft?
Hehehe!  See above.  99% spontaneous.
What are you still exploring or experimenting with?
Everything! I am a seeker & will always be exploring & experimenting.

What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path?
I am drawn to the water.  Am moved by the sun.  There are deities that call to me at different times. Mostly, I am committed to becoming Me, the true me. 
Ritual tools are …
Tools, not necessary, helpful; can be a trap into egotism.
Magickal tools are …
A different story...a way to communicate with your soul.
The one thing you can’t do without is:
Quiet time.
Seeking personal power is …
a path towards healing of the soul.
Politics and you Path are …
unfortunately intertwined.  As a "tree hugging dirt worshiper" I have a political responsibility, but would much rather just go off into the woods & let everyone else tear each other to pieces without me.
One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is:

that it's not a competition.  I can get pulled into competition easily because I'm a people pleaser. Once I find myself there, I know I'm off my path & onto theirs.  Just please let me practice in peace.
Do you teach?
My calling in life is to teach. It is what I do with almost everything.  I haven't taught witchcraft yet, but have a herbal class coming up in a few weeks.  (excited...nervous...!)
What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism?
Supporting the community. Being role models.  Counseling.  Sacred rites for transition, etc.
When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you?
Woozy. Tingly. Enveloping.
What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, fae etc)
Universal Energy.  Fae - spirits of the land, the plants.  Sumerian & Egyptian gods.  The Moon.  The Sun.  Water.
What is your relationship with the Land?
I try so hard to be conscious of my impact & often feel impotent.  Then, I take off my shoes & sink into the soil, feel the water wash over my feet, the sun on my back, the air blowing my face & I know we are one.
The most important aspect of ritual is:
Being there 100%, not drifting off onto whatever chore is hanging over my head.
The main purpose of ritual is:
What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever for of augury you use)?
Connection.What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both)
Can't say.  If I hate a book, I put it down & get another.  Mostly, I adore them!
What book do you recommend the most to others?
Getting In Touch With Your Inner Bitch
What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)?
Don't really listen to podcasts.  My favorite blog is the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.  I know I was supposed to list a witchy blog, but there are so many I love.  And, my other joy is cooking.
If you could impart only one last piece of wisdom or knowledge, or share one experience with the world at large, what would it be?
Let go of all the conditioning about who/what you SHOULD be & spend some time BEING the real you.  If you don't know who that is, then cut yourself off from the world for a while & find out.
Is there an additional question you would like to see here? What is it? (please also answer)
Who was your 1st witch role model?  Mine was Ellen Dugan.  I found her book in a woman's sex boutique & it was a very gentle introduction into a craft that had been pulling me for decades.  She's an easy read & very down-to-earth.
Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort:
Kitty Porn...hehehe!

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Herbal Skin Toner

Yesterday, I posted about the creation of some natural skin remedies.  In response, Suzanne reminded me of witch hazel's wonderful astringent properties. 

So, I thought I'd share my Herbal Skin Toner recipe for sensitive skin:

Witch's Herbal Skin Toner *Sensitive Skin*
Most homemade facial care products have a refrigerated shelf-life of 1-2 weeks.  Take advantage of the Moon's cycles to create this on at the New Moon & Full Moon, then take it outside under the moonbeams to charge it with healing intent. 

2 cups water
1 tsp Chamomile
1 tsp Lavender
1 tsp Jasmine
1 tsp Green Tea

1/2 cup Witch Hazel Tincture (commercially purchased)

Bring water to a boil.  Pour over herbs in a glass container like Pyrex measuring cup.  Cover & allow to steep for 30 minutes.  Strain & discard herbs - don't forget to squeeze all the liquid from them!
Mix herbal tissane (tea) with the witch hazel & pour into a glass bottle with a cap.  Use as a toner to tighten pores & soothe irritated skin.  After 2 weeks, use the remaining portion as a faery offering outside.

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Homemade Acne Treatments

As a teen, I had perfect skin.  Now that I'm in my 40's I struggle with breakouts.  Grrrr!  I've had luck with prescription medications for a while, but hate the cost & working on getting all synthetic medications out of my routines & coming back to the earth ways of health.

The recipes below are part of an acne treatment & prevention regimen I adapted from The Acne Cure, a book I highly recommend for anyone who experiences breakouts.  I really liked the program & concepts, but wanted a natural version, rather than synthetic chemicals on my face. I remember one beauty expert saying, "I don't put anything on my skin that I wouldn't put in my mouth."  That stuck with me.  The treatments below aren't all edible, but they do follow my values.

Oatmeal Soap - Beta Hydroxy Acid Treatment
Willow extract is a natural source of salicylic acid, the active ingredient in BHA treatments.  Be careful when you order it.  Make sure you know the strength & solubility of the extract.

2 cups grated glycerin soap base
1 cup oatmeal powder (just grind quick oats in a blender)
1 tsp honey
5 tsp Willow Extract

Cook soap glycerin & honey until melted.  Mix in the ground oatmeal & willow extract.  Pour into molds & refrigerate for 24 hours.  Remove soap from molds & wrap.  You can keep the unused bars in the refrigerator to extend the life of the ingredients.  Wash with this soap twice daily, allowing it to stay on your face for about 2 minutes (while you're brushing your teeth or something), then rinse.

Fresh Glycolic Acid Mask - Alpha Hydroxy Acid Treatment
Glycolic acid is the naturally occurring acid in cane sugar and many fruits.  It is extracted or synthesized commercially to create the AHA treatments.

1/4 cup or less of Pineapple or Strawberries (or mixture of both) mashed well. 

Apply in the morning & leave on for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water.  Use daily for 6-7 weeks. (I usually just mash up a frozen strawberry with a fork & slather it on).

Tea Tree Gel - Natural Alternative to Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyle Peroxide is oxidative & antibacterial.  It has been banned from cosmetics in Europe due to side effects & concerns about safety.  There really is no natural substitute that I can find, but Tea Tree Oil has wonderful antibacterial properties & has long been used safely in natural acne treatments.  Aloe is a good base & is also moisturizing.  Use this on blemished areas of skin.

1 tsp Tea Tree Oil
10 tsp Aloe Gel
10 tsp Distilled Water

Store in refrigerator.  Use each evening after washing your face.  Prior to use, rub an ice cube over the area requiring treatment until the area is wet & cold to the touch - do not freeze your skin!.  Apply gel & place a cold pack on the area & relax for 10 minutes.  Do this each evening.

Anti-Oxidant Moisturizer
Even if your skin is oily & blemish-prone, moisturizing is important.  I've avoided this for years, but after reading The Acne Cure, feel like it's worth doing the entire program & breaking out the moisturizer.  This version meets all the requirements of their daily moisturizer except that it has some coconut oil.  I added the coconut oil for 2 reasons: it is wonderful for skin & is a natural source of tocotrienols, a specific form of vitamin E that isn't in the regular Vit E oil (which is added as a preservative here).

3 Tbsp Aloe Gel
1/2 Tbsp Glycerin
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
1 tsp Coconut Oil (natural tocotrienol)
1/2 tsp L-Acsorbic Acid (vitamin C)

Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  Apply a very small amount twice daily after cleansing routine.

If the above is too oily for your skin, try this one:

Moisturizer for Oily Skin

2 tsp Oatmeal
1 tsp Sandalwood Powder
2 tsp Vinegar
2 cups Water

Store in refrigerator & apply after cleansing.  I haven't tried this one yet, but will as soon as I get some sandalwood powder!  It sounds wonderful!

Of course, I had to try all these treatments on myself.  I was very, very pleased! 

The only thing missing from this routine is sunscreen, which we are supposed to use daily.  Unfortunately, I haven't found a natural sunscreen that works with my skin yet.  The next one I'll try is Sun Putty, but I'm afraid it will be too greasy.

In addition to this regime, I have added to my diet 1 tsp of Burdock Tincture & 1 tsp of Dandelion Tincture as liver support for detoxification purposes.

Ok, now it's time to vacuum the house!

Wild & Bright Blessings!!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Risotto Soup

Tonight, I needed a quick dinner after a tiring day.  Luckily, I have a habit of making too much risotto & last night's version was sitting in the refrigerator. 

I trusted my kitchen witch's intuition & turned it into soup.  Oh my gods & godesses! It was delicious!

Here's the formula:

4-6 cups broth (I used Bryanna's vegan chicken-style broth powder)
2 cups leftover risotto (tonight's was mushroom, leek, butternut with white beans)
Chicken-style TVP

Toss all into a pot & heat until TVP is soft.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley and/or green onions.  Serve with crusty bread.

The funny thing is that both of these meals - last night's risotto & tonight's soup - were a result of the "I've got nothing left in the refrigerator to eat & no time to go to the store!" syndrome.  For some reason, I had some unused leeks and a few mushrooms in the crisper.  And, the last time I steamed butternut squash, I didn't need it all so tossed the rest in the freezer.  Tossing in the beans was simply a whim. 

Really, risotto is perfect for using those odds & ends left after a week's worth of cooking. 

Happy eating!

oh, & Wild & Bright Blessings!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Alongside the Fire

Below is the beginning of the rite I used as my self-initiation.  I just stumbled upon it as I was cleaning up some computer files & thought I'd share:

Solitary Initiation Rite

I sit along side the fire tonight, waiting for the moon.  She is dark, absent, calling me to join her.

What do I look like as a witch?  This is a time for pondering, for creation.  What is conceived tonight will grow with Her power as She grows in the sky.

Descriptors come to mind:

Safe for wild creatures; not so safe for domesticated humans.

Shimmering, glowing with Light, bold.

On the edge of out-of-control, but always within command.

Power surging within & through.









Is this the witch I am to be? 

The music plays.  The flames dance.  My mind wanders. 

Soon it will be time.  Time for intentions.  Time for drawing power.  Time for testing of limits.  Moon oil awaits.  Light dims.  Night falls.  Anticipation builds.

It is the Dark of the Moon. 
Goddess as you rest, soon to awaken.
Awaken the Witch in Me beautiful Lady.
Show me our power that I may serve.
With Fire's bright magic
Fed by Air's winds of change
Tempered with Water's deep wisdom
And Earth's constant strength
Awaken me to your Wisdom & grace.
Awaken the Witch in Me
That I may serve
As I will it, so will it be!

What followed was chanting of the last 3 lines as I drew power from the moon.  It was an amazing ritual (oh, and the 1st time I ever lit my own bonfire!)

 Wild & Bright Blessings,


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An Instrument of Peace

While this is a Christian prayer, it can certainly be applicable in any religion. Besides, it's just beautiful.



Monday, January 3, 2011


Yesterday was celebrated as the birthday of Inanna, one of the great Sumerian goddesses.  Amazingly enough, she came to me today.

On the beach, doing a releasement & re-integration, I called to the Goddess.  Many came to my mind, but eventually, Demeter led to Inanna.
Having only heard of Inanna/Ishtar once, I was hesitant to call upon her.  But She called upon me.  So, in my ritual, Inanna became the powerful one.  Rather than retype what I found when I came home to research her, I'll just give you the links at the end of this rant.

My intention for the ritual was to release anger, guilt, shame & regret for past actions done by me & to me, making way to re-integrate pieces of my soul/spirit that had wandered into other realms for shelter from pain.  Then, I needed to bring these parts of me back to the present & incorporate them into my current self.

In retrospect, as I type this, I probably should have had a cohesive plan for this ritual.  But, as usual, I was winging it.

Here's how it went:
  1. Ground & Center
  2. Relax & Focus
  3. Write feelings, behaviors,etc. on light-weight paper (I used organic rolling paper)
  4. Place papers into my hands at the seashore
  5. Visualize all the actions, behaviors, feel all the feelings until that harmful energy is built up to a crushing force
  6. Send all that energy into my hands where the papers are
  7. Release the papers with this chant
Into the Wind!
Into the Sea!
Be gone forever!
Away from me! 
Then, I went & began to meditate on how to invite parts of my split-apart spirit/soul back from their places of refuge.   

As I meditated, goddesses with whom I am familiar came to mind.  Persephone was especially present, because she represents my habitual return to dark habits of self-destruction.  All at once, I recognized the need for her mother, Demeter, who had worked tirelessly to rescue Persephone from Hades.

Briefly, I called to Demeter...She deferred to Inanna, Queen of Heaven & Earth.  Immediately, I knew that the parts of me from this life & past, were within Inanna's reach.  Upon calling to her, I asked her to guide these parts back to my present self.

Soon, I was in tears.  Tears of reconciliation, tears of forgiveness for self & others.  I continued calling, openly to Inanna...I continued to be filled with love & a sense of wholeness.

It is difficult to explain how powerful this connection to an ancient goddess became.  How she & I communicated.  How I felt her warm embrace when the temperature on the beach was 60 degrees and the wind was whipping wildly.

Inanna came.  She comforted.  She blessed.

Now, I search for an offering.  She needs it not.  She is ancient & without need.  I need to offer in thanks.

Some will wonder, as do I, at times, how praying to a host of gods & goddesses is different than praying to the Christian God.  Aren't we giving over our power to an imagined force that cannot be proven?  I question myself when I pray to Ra or Isis, Brigid or Inanna.  I question, "am I deluding myself?"  And then, I experience days like today.

The power was not of this world.  The love & protection I felt from an ancient Sumerian goddess was the fierce love of a mother/sister - a love I have not experienced in any human form.

Maybe this love is me.  Maybe goddess is an archetypal form inherited generation to generation; a part of the human brain that needs to believe.

Or maybe...just maybe...Inanna came to me today, held me close & brought with her pieces of me she had been holding for safekeeping all along.

Wild & Bright Blessings,



Journey to the Dark Center

I am the daughter of the Ancient Mother,
I am the child
of the Mother of the World.
I am your daughter
O Ancient Mother,
I am your child
O Mother of the World.
O Inanna! O Inanna!
O Inanna!
It is you who teaches us
to die, be reborn and rise again.
Die, be reborn, and rise!
Queen of Heaven and Earth

by Mary Scarlett Moon and Callista Deep River

Entrance to the shrine of Inannna
Library of Halexandria
Pagan Pages

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Introducing Luna

To usher in a new season, we have adopted a wonderful little kitten, Luna.

The only time I can capture a pic of her is when she's sleeping, because she is a crazy little girl. She runs & plays & kills string balls & purrs like a buzz saw.  But, when she's cuddly, she is very, very cuddly!

So far, she has learned her name, uses the litter & has made friends with Stormy, our 11-year-old pound puppy who recently lost his best friend, Snow to old age.

Luna is so named, because she's my Solstice present from my darling husband.  I've wanted my own kitty for ages, & haven't been able to have one since I was a child because my 1st husband hated cats (should've been a clue to me) & my darling came as a matched set with his long-time companion kitty who was totally intolerant of any other feline creatures & only tolerated my presence as the interloper in her dad's life.

So, by the light of the almost full moon, my darling man took me over to a house with a Free Kittens sign.  Luna's home was a mess!  About 20 cats & kittens occupied a totally disgusting house filled with bugs & people unable to care for themselves, let alone pets.  Luna & I hit it off almost immediately. 

The night of the Solstice eclipse she & I did some energy work by the light of the orange moon.  She loves having her aura caressed almost as much as she loves chasing her tail!

So, 2011 starts a new chapter.  We are bonding with our new baby.  May her life be blessed!

Wild & Bright Blessings,