Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Holly King and The Oak King

Merry Meet Everyone!

...And a very happy Yule to everyone too!! So today I thought that I would retell the tale of the Holly King and the Oak King!

For those of you who aren't aware, The Holly King and the Oak King is a pagan legend that tells the story of the two ruling kings (and enemies) that battle throughout the wheel of the year. At the winter solstice (Yule) the Oak King battles with his counterpart, the Holly King. He kills him on this day and takes the throne. He he remains until the summer solstice (Litha).

Upon arrival of the summer solstice, the Holly King returns and reclaims the throne. Hence the wheel of the year and the cycle of life can continue....

... I wonder if like me, the take makes you look at these two trees differently? Also, I tend to find that they both seem to grow close to each other... In fact, I have both growing in my garden!

Let me know how many of you incorporated the two kings in your yule or litha celebrations? Until next time, Blessed Be x x

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Moonshine Witch Returns....

Merry Meet Everyone!!

How is everyone? Goodness, I haven't been online for some time now! Anyway, I am now back on my feet - I have had a series of problems recently including my health, a break up and a move of house!!!

That said, I am now settled in to my new place and am ready to start pouring my energy back into the Blog. My magical life has had to take a bit of a back seat with everything that has been going on because I didn't want to give you sub-standard posts. However I am now in a position that I can deliver again!!

OK, so todays post was just to fill you all in and to let you know that I am now back in the game! =) SO - who remembers making Lavender oil (at the end of October?!). Well, if you haven't already, then you should strain the lavender flowers and leaves from your oil, and store in an air-tight container in a DARK place. It is important that it is dark because otherwise the oil will perish! This will prepare you for posts to come when I will be showing you how to use your freshly made oils.

So look out for that, and also there will be upcoming posts on Yule (YEY), and garden magic (yes, if you are in the northen hemisphere- like me - I am aware that it is winter!) Until then, Blessed Be xx

Sunday, 21 November 2010

You aren't forgotten!

Merry Meet Everyone!

I just wanted to post a quick message to let you know that I haven't gone away! Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting as much as I would usually, recently.

The reason for this, is I am going through a really rough patch at home at the moment, including a break-up and I'm moving home! =(

Anyway, I don't want to go into it too much; but I just wanted you to know that I am still thinking of you all, and you can expect some new posts over the next few days! Yey!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

From Nettle Sting, to Nettle String....

Merry Meet Everyone!

Yesterday I was in the garden, tidying up and was just looking at the plants and herbs that are growing there. In the UK we are now solidly in Autumn (or fall) and before long, the perennial plants will be returning back to the Earth to sleep before next Spring.

On of these herbs that grow in my garden - or pretty much anywhere else for that matter - is The Stinging Nettle, and today I thought I would should you how you can utilise this plant :)

THE STINGING NETTLE:

The Stinging Nettle's proper name is Urtica Dioica, but I like to call it by it's folk name, Beggar's Lice. Generally, we can use the fresh NEW leaves that grow on the plant for medicinal purposes - these taste the best!! BUT at this time of year, we can utilise what remains of the plant before it dissappears under the ground for winter!

MEDICINALLY:
  • Nettle is rich in Vitamin A and C, and is HIGHLY nutritious.
  • Will protect the gut from infection and irritation
  • Will relieve Diarrhoea and Flatulence
  • Works as an antihystmanie
  • Relieves Fluid Retention and Cystitis
  • Is an anti-inflammatory
  • Can also be used externally for stings and bites (INCLUDING Nettle stings!!!)
MAGICALLY:
  • Beggar's Lice relates to Fire
  • Used in Protection, Healing, Lust, Spell Breaking and Confidence spells.
  • Also used to send spells back to their source!
As I said before, Medicinally, Beggar's Lice is best used in the spring and summer months because generally we use the new leaves, however, at the moment, we can still use the plant! At some point in my craft I will make Protection amulets, and so today I thought I would show you how to make string, yes STRING, from Nettles :)

MAKING NETTLE STRING:

OK, So first, you need to wear gloves for this craft!! As the name implies, The nettle will sting you and it's uncomfortable and itchy!!
Pluck some good sized nettle stalks from the ground. If you use short sharp upward motions, the root will snap in the ground, which means that the nettle will come back next year! YEY!

The absolute first thing that you should do is remove the 'sting' in the nettle. This can be done 3 different ways... firstly, you can cook it.. next you could dry it... or finally you can soak it in water. And that Is what I did. Just remove all of the leaves and youngest shoots (so you only have the thickest stems!) and then leave them to soak in water overnight!

In regards to the leaves, save them... although they arent really food grade because they are old, you can still dry them and use them externally..... i'll make a post soon :)

OK, overnight, the nettles SHOULD have lost most of their sting.. although as this picture shows (its not a great picture!) some stinging hairs do manage to survive! However, if you have any Lavender oil knocking about, and you do get stung, just rub a bit in, and hey presto! sting's gone!



Firstly, you need to lightly crush the stems with something hard, this loosens the fibers from the Woody 'pith' of the stem.

Next, split the stem in half, so effectively, one stem becomes two!

 
Now, keep snapping the woody part of the stem, and then peel the 'skin' away from the wood. The skin is the bit that you want because it contains the fibers which will make your string. I'm a big believer in giving back what you don't use, so make sure that you bury the woody part back in the garden, to return it to the Earth.

When you have your skin, twist it clockwise from both ends, keep twisting and eventually, you will end up with a piece of twine that looks like this!! When you have done this to all of your pieces, all you need to do now, is tie them all together and hang them up to dry!

Once again, I hope that I have made this as simple as possible for you! Tomorrow I will be looking at making new videos for ways in which you can use the Nettle Leaves so you dont waste any part!!

Until Next time though, Blessed Be x

Monday, 8 November 2010

Taking the Oil from the Leaf of an Elf....

Merry Meet everyone!

Remember last time, when I showed you some of the things that you can do with the Dandelion that we had harvested? Well, I also promised that over the next few posts I would show you how to make an excellent Skin Cream, using Dandelion and also Lavender Oil.
Well, it is only fair that I show you how to MAKE your own Lavender Oil, which has a variety of different uses, aside from the skin cream recipe!!

YOU WILL NEED:
  • LOTS of Lavender (Flowers, stalks, leaves....)
  • A Carrier Oil (Olive, Almond etc)
  • Jar
  • A Sunny Place
  • Book of Shadows
  • Patience!
I was going to make a video to show you how  to do this, but I decided that I really didn't need to. Those of you that know me, also know that the easier a recipe is, the better!!!

So anyway, LITERALLY all that you need to do is fill a jar (size is up to you!) with as many pieces of Lavender as you possibly can! Now this can be with Flowers, stalks, leaves or whatever parts you have to hand. Obviously, if you can get hold of fresh ingredients, use these but dried herb works equally as well!


Next just pour your chosen oil into the jar as well. You want to pour in JUST ENOUGH to cover the Lavender - any more than that and you will dilute the infusion. When you have poured it in, with a stick (or spoon, or finger or whatever) stir the mix around to remove as many air bubbles as you possibly can!

Finally, stick it in a windowsill that gets some sunlight, and the key part of this potion is just to leave it for as long as you can (around a month is usual!). When you think that it is done, have a sniff of the oil. If it smells like Lavender - it's done!!! Simply drain the oil from the Lavender, and store for use :)

THE USES OF LAVENDER:

Right Lavender, or Elf's Leaf - see the title!, for those that don't know is a highly aromatic herb that is highly valued both medicinally and magically.

Medicinally - it can be used to make a skin toner, acne treatment, to treat anxiety, treat headaches, flatulence, nausea, Dizziness, Halitosis. It is also antiseptic and a mild sedative and painkiller!

Magically - It is used to attract love (particularly attracting Men), Psychic awareness, Happiness, Creativity, Money, Business, Peace and Healing. It is said that Lavender should be smelt often to prolong life. Also, at Litha you can burn Lavender as an offering to the God and Goddess!

OK, well that's about it! VERY soon, I will be showing you some of the uses of Lavender Oil (including how to mix it with Dandelion to make that skin cream!!! Until Then, Blessed Be x

Friday, 5 November 2010

Using your dried Dandelion....

Merry Meet Everyone!!!

OK... who remembers when we collected Dandelion?  Well, we have already made a coffee substitute from the powdered root, and also a tincture using fresh leaves... Some of you have also been drying out the leaves and today's post is to show you some of the things that we can do with them now that they have dried :)


I won't go into the magical benefits of Dandelion, but for those of you that are interested, use the labels (in the column on the right!) however, Medicinally Dandelion has HUGE benefits! It's most common, is that it is a toxin remover.... meaning that it will cleanse you! Perfect....

DANDELION TINCTURE

Easy peasy! To make a Dandelion Tincture, you have 2 options.... Use dry leaves, or fresh ones! It really doesn't matter too much! You will have to forgive my pictures because they use Fresh leaves, but just remember that you can substitute them for your dried leaves!!!


All you need to do is take a jar (Jam Jar, Mason Jar....) and put as many Dandelion Leaves into it as you possibly can. Next, you need to pour in your alcohol. I ALWAYS use Vodka because it doesn't smell as much as other spirits, but you can also use Whisky. You need to fill the Jar to about half way! Then just top up the rest of the mixture with Water. Told you it was simple, didn't I?! Now, stick a lid on it in a DARK place for about 4 weeks... shaking the jar  every few days.



When this is complete, drain the leaves out of the mix (which will have gone a brown-ish colour!) and make sure that you store in a DARK place so that the mixture stays fresh :)
Now, as Dandelion cleans toxins from your body, if you take this mixture once a day (about 1 teaspoon in another drink!) then your liver will be detoxed and your skin, clearer!!!! Also, keep hold of this, because in a few days, I will show you how to make a Skin cream with Lavender that is EXCELLENT for healthier skin!!!

DANDELION INFUSION

Another great thing that you can do with your dried Dandelion leaves (which is a LOT quicker than making Tincture) is to make an infusion - and if possible, it is even more simple!!! All you do is steep about a tablespoon of dried leaf to about 1 cup of boiling water. Let it steep for about 10 minutes, then remove the spent leaves and DONE - although this is best to be used immediately, try not to store it!

As I said above, In the next week I will be making a Lavender and Dandelion Skin cream, for perfectly healthy skin! Between now and then, you just need to make either your Tincture or Infusion... make sure that you save some dried leaf for the cream too! The other vital ingredient is obviously Lavender, so check back in the next few days to see how I make Lavender Oil too - including all of its Magical and Medicinal purposes!

Until Then Though, Blessed Be xxx

Thursday, 4 November 2010

A Clucking Great Blog !!!!!!

 Merry Meet everyone!

OK, well firstly, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Samhain? Feel free to comment and let everyone know what you were up to! Next, I just want to draw your attention to the "visitors" counter that is at the bottom of the page... Now, to some of you a measly thousand isn't a huge amount, but I was SO happy when I saw that The Diary of a Witch had passed 1000 views :) Thanks to everyone!!!

Next, The Diary of a Witch has received its first award! YEY!


Loopy at  Wandering along Loopy's life path has awarded us the "Clucking Great Blog Award" (Great name by the way!). The only condition to accepting this award is to link it back to Loopy and also award it to the 10 blogs that I read the most. Now, there are LOTS of blogs that I read so please don't be offended if yours doesn't appear in this list! If you have been selected; to claim your award, all you need to do is pass it to your ten favourite blogs and let them know that you have done it!!

Finally!!! For all of those of you that remember the post of making a Dandelion Tincture........ Keep checking back (very soon!) for a follow-up post because these should be ready! Until then.... Keep Blogging and Blessed Be x

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Making Herbal Eye Cream

Merry Meet everyone!

Firstly, Happy Samhain!

Now, aside from Samhain activities (Post to come tomorrow!!!) today I have been making eye cream to remove dark circles - vain? Yes. Useful. Yes!

This is so AMAZINGLY EASY that it almost takes as long to write this post as it did to actually make the stuff! Once you have made your cream, stick it in a jar, and use as necessary to remove dark circles from under your eyes!

YOU WILL NEED:
  • 1 Tsp of Black Tea
  • 1 Tsp of Parsley (plus a little extra!)
  • Jar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Aqueous Cream
  • Book of Shadows

OK... just pop your tea and parsely into a coffee maker, and steep it in about 20mls of HOT water for about 20 mins (the water will be VERY dark when this is complete!)
 
Meanwhile, put a plastic bowl over boiling water, and add your Aqueous cream, so that it melts.



When it has melted, stir in the Parsely and Tea infusion and extra parsley, and then pour the mix into a jar (do this QUICKLY because it sets very quickly!!!)
 
Record in your Book of Shadows.... and Hey Presto! Eye Cream!!! EASY!

As I mentioned earlier, watch out tomorrow for Samhain posts!!! Until next time, Blessed Be x

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Divination Tea for Samhain

Merry Meet everyone!


Some of you will already be aware, but I have been busy over the last couple of days making my first video for the Diary of a Witch.

The primary idea was to show you how easy working with herbs in your magical work is! As I promised in the video, I am also working on producing factfiles for all of the herbs that I used for the infusion! This is an alternative drink that you can consume (maybe for Samhain?) as opposed to the Dandelion root that I posted about last week!

As a side note, this infusion is perfectly safe and legal, however, do not operate machinery for a couple of hours after drinking!

video



YOU WILL NEED:
  • Coffee Maker (or a mug and muslin!)
  • Hot Water
  • 1 Tsp Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Yarrow
  • 1 Tsp Mugwort
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • about 4 Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Book of Shadows
OK, as the video shows, this couldn't be simpler - stick all of the herbs in your coffee maker, pour in hot water and steep for a minimum of 5 minutes!

When you have done this, just strain it, and drink before divination!! This drink can be a bit bitter, so you can add a touch of honey to sweeten if you would like :)

This is the first video that I have made for The Diary of a Witch, so let me know what you think and until next time, Blessed Be x

P.S - I'm having a bit of a dilemma on where to store the jars and jars of herbs I have obtained - where do you all keep yours? Comments welcome!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Samhain Herbs.... Mugwort, Devil's Nettle and Thistle!

Merry Meet Everyone!

As promised, this is an entire post that relates to other herbs that can be used for our Samhain celebrations and rituals. The herbs that I have spoken about are EASY to get hold of, and can even be found living wild, locally :) 

You will remember from the Dandelion post, that it can be used as a form of communing with the spirit realm by observing the steam simmering from a cauldron of water and Dandelion Root or Leaf? Well, the same can be said for the first of the herbs in todays' post.... the Thistle. 
 
The Thistle, quite frankly, can be found EVERYWHERE and it's flowers hold magical powers that you can harness for your workings. In Relation to Samhain, as mentioned before, it can be used to commune with the spirit world. Simply take the flower (or leaf) and drop it into water that has boiled and is simmering. You may then ask your questions to the spirits and watch the shapes that are created in the steam, thereby giving you answers :)

On a more detailed note, Thistle is a masculine herb that relates to the Planet Mars and also the element of Fire - He has many properties, but mainly can be carried or worn as an amulet for Protection, Joy, Energy and Vitality!

Next up is one of my favourite herbs, Mugwort.

Mugwort has HUGE ties to Samhain because of it's divinatory attributes, and can be used in a number different ways to that effect. 

Firstly, make an infusion out of it (for those that don't know, an infusion is steeping the herb in hot water!) This infusion can be drank as a tea, and will increase your psychic abilities - so drink it before divination! 
You can also use this infusion to cleanse your divinatory tools (such as scrying mirrors, crystal balls etc) 



Further to this, you can place Mugwort next to your bed to assist in Astral projection and also for prophetic dreams :) - I will also be creating a post on making Mugwort Incense soon which you can also use for divination. Mugwort is a feminine herb, and she relates to the Planet Venus, and the element of Earth.

Finally (for today) is the third herb on my list, Yarrow. Yarrow, or Devil's Nettle, is another feminine herb that relates to both Venus and the element of water, and the reason that I have chosen to associate it with this time of year is (again) it's ties to divination. Similarly to Mugwort, Yarrow can be made into an infusion that should be drank before divination to assist in your workings.

It is said, that if you hold Yarrow in your hands, you will deminish fear, and increase your courage, however when Devil's Nettle is worn, it acts as a protection Amulet. Devils' Nettle is also a herb that is used for attraction - Make Yarrow Charms to attract Friends, Loved Ones or a new Lover?!

Lastly, Yarrow is perfect for exorcising negativity, and you can use it to remove negativity and evil from a person, place or thing!

So that concludes todays post, and hopefully it has given a little bit more of an insight to herbs that can be harnessed for their magical properties at Samhain, and the time around it! If anyone has anything further top these that they would like to add, then please feel free to comment!

On another note, thank you for those who took part in last weeks' poll, you are helping to shape the future of The Diary Of A Witch, and please be on the lookout for further questions that will be posted in the column on the right!

Tomorrow, I will be making a video (yes, VIDEO!!!) on Divination Tea :) so be prepared for that!!! OOOH, dont forget -if you made Healing water at the last Full Moon, That it if you haven't used it all, it must be returned to the Earth before the next Full Moon!!! - and until next time, Blessed Be x

Sunday, 17 October 2010

calling out to witches...

Merry meet everyone.

The original purpose of this blog was to connect and share knowledge with a wider witchy community so in keeping with that I thought I would post some details in how you can connect with me and in turn make some new witchy friends :)

Please don't feel as though you have to post your own personal details if you don't want to :)

Email: bjon3091@hotmail.co.uk
Msn: themoonshinewitch@hotmail.co.uk
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/themoonshinewitch
Blackberry messenger: pin:3104A89D
Twitter: www.twitter.com/moonshinewitch

Until tomorrow, blessed be x

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Finished root and Spirit Talisman :)

Merry Meet Everyone!

 Firstly, this is the Waxing Moon as seen from my garden this evening.... How stunning is that?!


OK, so this is a picture of what your Dandelion Root should look like, now that you have cooked and ground it.


Now, as promised, there are several things that you can do with your root. Firstly, Dandelion makes a great caffeine free coffee substitute, so it can just be enjoyed as you would coffee, however, the reason that we went through all of the trouble of harvesting it was so that we can harness its magical properties.

As I have mentioned many times, Dandelion is perfect for Divination. So drink some of this down as part of your Samhain ritual? Also, another of Dandelion's properties, is that it will call and speak to the spirit world. As I have said before, this is perfect at Samhain, when the veil between our worlds is at its thinnest.
All that you need to do is boil and simmer some water in your cauldron or saucepan. Then, take a pinch of the Dandelion (can be Root or Leaf!) and drop it into the water. Now, ask the spirits questions, and observe the shapes in the steam! Dandelion can also be substituted for Thistle in this ritual too - Be sure to check back for a Thistle post!

Over the last few days I have also been making Samhain Spirit Talisman's and I'll show you how!!

YOU WILL NEED:
  • 4 pieces of wood - I used Bamboo skewers!
  • String (colour of your choice)
  • Glue
  • 2 Holly Leaves
  • Book of Shadows
OK, firstly, Holly leaves (or Bat's Wings) are great at deterring Evil spirits, so I make this talisman to display at Samhain :) Holly is more traditionally associated with Yule, so closer to December I will have a more detailed post on it!

Take your sticks and lay them in the shape of a star, like this:

Next, bind them all together so that they are sturdy, and then begin to weave your string in between the pieces of wood so that they resemble a spider web, all the time visulaising the purpose of your talisman.

Keep going until you have reached the edges of the wood, and then tie it off. In the centre (on both sides) glue a Holly Leaf (this will also cover the knot!) Now you consecrate it can hang the talisman in your home to ward off spirits.
If you would like, you can dye the string with protective colours to strengthen the amulet. Also, this can be as big or as small as you would like :) This is what it should look like when you have finished!!

OK, well that's todays post! Tomorrow, I will be looking at other herbs that you can use for Samhain, including Mugwort, Thistle and Pumpkin! Until then, Blessed Be x 

It's not just the birds that Tweet!

 Merry Meet everyone!

OK, so some of you will be aware that I am completely computer illiterate (I can type, obviously!). So it should come as a surprise to learn that I have now joined Twitter!

The reason for this is, that I can "Tweet" from my phone, which means I can stay in touch with the magical community all day long!! :) SO.. for those of you that are also on Twitter, come and find me:
www.twitter.com/moonshinewitch
@moonshinewitch

Blessed Be! X

Friday, 15 October 2010

Lion's Tooth Preparation

Merry Meet everyone!

Today, I am SUPER busy continuing the prep for my Samhain herbs... Now, remember the Dandelion Root that we collected? Well, by now (Mine's been roughly a week) the root should have shrunk a little bit and turned a rubbery texture - so we can now move on to the next step :)

Pre-heat an oven to 130C/266F, and then pop your roots into the oven... roughly for 10-20 minutes. When they come out, they will be a light brown colour and kinda smell like coffee (Which is a hint on tomorrows post!) Then leave them out to cool. Once they have grind them all up in a mortar and pestle and store them until tomorrow when I will go through Samhain uses!!!!

At this point, continue to dry the Dandelion leaves - they won't be dry just yet - but as soon as they are, I will create a post on preparing and using them! SO MUCH FUN!!

Other things that I am doing today include making Amulets to ward off negative spirits at Samhain (just for fun!) - more on that in the next couple of days! Tomorrow, look out for the Dandelion Post :)

Until then, Blessed Be x

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Buckeye and Coll

Merry Meet everyone!

At this time of year, most witches have become obssessed with Samhain, however, whilst I was out the other day, I was looking for naturally found herbs that are ripe at the moment, to remind us that although Samhain does dominate the next few weeks, we shouldn't forget that it is the third of our harvest festivals.

I managed (easily) to find these two great little nuts which are in season, and can be used in our magical crafts - decorative or otherwise.

Coll (Hazel):
  • Coll is a masculine herb that relates to the Sun and the element of Air.
  • Hazelnuts are a luck charm, particularly when presented to someone, so over the next few days I will be showing you how to make lucky gifts that you can give to your loved ones... possibly for Samhain?
  • As we all know, Samhain is perfect for divination - and Hazelnuts are traditionally eaten to promote wisdom and aid in Divination - see how the Earth is giving us the things we need for this time of year?
  • Coll-Wood gives us protection, so draw a circle around something with a piece of Hazel to protect it!
  • Finally, Coll is magically sound for 'all-purpose' so why not make a wand or staff out of some :)
Buckeye (Horse Chestnut):
  • Buckeye is another masculine herb that relates to Jupiter and the element of Fire.
  • If you keep Buckeye (the conker) with money, then you attract more :)
  • These are particularly good for healing, so carry Buckeye to avoid being sick - also, it is said that if you carry Buckeye then you will have success in all things - so this is another nut which would be perfect for crafting Amulets :)
Well, this was just a quick summary of what I found - you should go out and have a look at what you can find! Tomorrow, I will be working to make my first video, which will be posted as soon as I can :) Until then, Blessed Be x

Monday, 11 October 2010

Thinking of you all :)

 Merry Meet Everyone!

Sorry that there haven't been any posts over the past few days... I've been so busy! Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I have been thinking of you all, and have so AMAZING ideas that will be put up tomorrow... even if I do say so myself :)

The other thing that I wanted to mention, is that the results of the poll are in (Thanks to everyone that voted), and the genereal idea is that YouTube instructional videos MIGHT be worth producing. Therefore, over the next week or so, I will be making videos to see if these go down well... If they do, Great! If not, we can scrap that idea!!!

Finally, there is another poll, so please feel free to vote on that :)

Until tomorrow,  Blessed Be x

Friday, 8 October 2010

Using Samhain Herbs... Day 1

Merry Meet Everyone!

Unless you live down a dark hole, you will have gathered by now the fact that Samhain (or Halloween) is only a few short weeks away and as the biggest event in the Wiccan or Pagan year, most of us have begun to prepare for it.

Today I have begun to gather and prepare the herbs that traditionally form part of Samahin Decoration. However, the reason that I have posted this reasonably far in advance is because I also use herbs in other ways to celebrate the Sabbat. Many of you are aware that I love to use herbs that are naturally to hand - I feel more connected to them, and I feel that if they are growing locally then they are also tied into the wheel of the year! For example, around Beltane I use a lot of nettle because they are seasonably ripe :)

Once again, if you happen to live down a dark hole, then this may come as a surprise to you but it is officially Autumn. That means herbs are in particular abundance before they retire for the winter months. There have been (and will be more) posts on the obvious herbs here (Acorns, nuts etc) but if we look a little deeper into the spiritual meaning for Samhain, you will notice there are a variety of less-obvious herbs to use.

So on Day 1 of my Samhain Herb collection.... Step up, Dandelion.

It will come as no surprise to many of you that ole Lion's Tooth has made my shortlist.. and here I will explain the reasons why! At Samhain the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, meaning that we are able to commune with both the spirit world and the Divinity easier. This means that the days around Samhain are among the best to jump in with some divination for the upcoming year. 

Well, one of the properties of Dandelion, is that it is perfect for Divination. There are a number of ways that we can use Dandelion do this, but today, I wanted to show you how to harvest and prepare your herb, and by doing this now; when Samhain arrives you will be prepared to use it :) - So follow this with me, and in a few weeks, when the post is made on utilising it, you will have your resources!!

YOU WILL NEED:
  • Dandelion
  • Trowel
  • Knife
  • Chopping Board
  • Water
  • String
  • Book of Shadows 
OK, With a trowel, go out and dig up (for personal use) maybe 5 or 6 good sized Dandelions.

***NOTE*** there are some copy-cat Dandelion herbs, that AREN'T the real thing! Try to make sure that you are digging up a Dandelion, but for advice - Dandelion leaves have points (like teeth) down them, they bleed white Sap and also are hairless. Whilst the copycats arent toxic, you really need the magic properties of the real deal!

This time of year is awesome, because the roots have gotten nice and big over the summer. They are reasonably easy to get out of the ground, just make sure that you have a good amount of root on your plant!

Next, bring them indoors and cut the roots off the plant, and seperate the two. Wash the roots under cold water and then chop them up into little pieces. This is so that the root can dry out in a cool dark place over the next few weeks (see why I did this in advance?!)

With the Leaves of the plant, clean them off under cold water, and then bind them in groups to hang up and dry. Once again this will take a few weeks, so patience is a virtue!

When these have dried, I will make another post on the ways the we can use them for our Samhain celebrations and activities, so be sure to check back when I make Divination drinks, and Incense with them. Until Next time though, Blessed Be x

Thursday, 7 October 2010

When the Lady's Moon is New...

Merry Meet everyone!!

OK well given that I have been through the other stages of the Lunar Cycle, I thought it was only right that we give another post to this stage! Tonight is the New Moon - which in it's simplest form means that The Moon cycle is starting again. Today is the first Day of the new moon, which runs until Day 4 of the cycle, when we head into the Waxing Moon.

In regards to the magical power that we can harness, the New Moon is more or less the same as the Waxing Moon; in that she symbolizes:
  • Birth
  • Virginity
  • Initiation
  • Beginnings
Use this time to reflect on the past Lunar cycle and prepare for this one!

On another note, the last day of the Lunar cycle is the Dark Moon. Now, it is said that the when the moon is dark, we shouldn't use magic (but the choice is yours!) - however, this is the perfect time to meditate or do Personal Work :) If you do want something spiritual to do at this time, then plant an Acorn - If you plant an Acorn by the dark of the moon, money is on it's way!

Today I have been out harvesting the seasons gifts (I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!) So make sure that you check back for factfiles and crafts using Horse Chestnut and Hazel :)

Blessed Be x