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

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Building Buttons!

Merry Meet everyone...


Today I am working on upcoming posts, but I just wanted to pop something quick on here. I am
the most un-technical person on the planet, but have spent ALL day trying to make a "button"
for the blog.


Eventually, I've succeeded! WOOP! and if you all look to the right, there it is in all of it's glory!
:)
Please feel free to place it on your site, and let me know and of course, I would be more than
happy to show yours :)


Which brings me to the next point, all of the blogs that I advertise, I honestly feel are worth
sharing, so please take a moment to take a look at them. I have visited a few blogs over the last few days and have been very impressed with all of them... If I do not have your button just send me a quick email (bjon3091@hotmail.co.uk) and i'll be happy to pop it up for you!

Until Tomorrow, Blessed Be x

Monday, 4 October 2010

Finishing Amulets and Priest Crown Tincture

Merry Meet Everyone!

OK well I thought that firstly I'd say a big hello to all of the new followers - It is great to have your support and I look forward to getting to know you all!

So lets get to it... Yesterday I finished making the Acorn Luck and Protection Amulets (See the last post!). You will remember that I left string in the dye that I made from Rosehips. Firstly, I thought that I would explain the reason behind using the hips (there are 3!)
  1. Rosehip dye is a shade of Red. Initially, this is important because one of Red's properties is that it is a protective colour!
  2. Rosehips are currently in season. This is perfect because it ties in with the Wheel of the Year - it seems very fitting that we use the gifts of the Earth.
  3. Roses have their own magical properties - 2 of which are both Luck and Protection.
When you make these for yourself, bear in mind that the longer you leave the string in the dye, the stronger the colour will be - on that note, I left mine overnight. Next, just leave your sting to dry and then you can use something sharp to pierce your acorns and thread it through....

You can then wear your new amulets as bracelets, necklaces, on a keychain or simply hang it indoors to bring luck and protection - SIMPLE :)

ALSO...

As many of you will know, I am a big believer in using the magic around you. On that note, I visited my garden yesterday to see which naturally growing herbs I could utilize. One of my favourite garden herbs is the Dandelion which is in HUGE abundance, and so I decided to make Priest's Crown Tincture.

YOU WILL NEED:
  • Priest's Crown (Dandelion Leaves)
  • Jar
  • Water
  • Vodka
  • Book of Shadows
I'm a big fan of easy crafts, and this is one of the most simple! Firstly just go out and harvest your Priest's Crown (Dandelion Leaves). They are easy to find at this time of year because they have gotten quite big by now - They're practically smothering my lawn! However, don't rely on looking for the flowers because they generally have finished flowering by now.

Fill a jar with as many of the leaves as you can. Rip them and bash them up a bit, because it will help in extracting the herbs properties! Next, pour water into the jar. I use a Jam Jar, so just for your reference, I fill it half way :)
Also, for those who made Moon Water, this is the perfect opportunity to use it!! Once the jar is half full of water, top up the rest with Vodka - THAT'S IT!

I told you it was simple, just stick it in a dark, cool place for about a month for the mix to macerate - shaking it at least once a week. When this has happened, strain the leaves out of the liquid, and hey presto, Priest's Crown Tincture.

Dandelion is naturally a very good body de-toxifier, so you can take a teaspoon of this a day (mix it in water), and it wil clean you out - in particular your liver, so be prepared for clearer skin!! Also, you can use this tincture to mix into a base cream (Aqueous Cream) or salve mix and it is a perfect skin treatment! In it's magical sense, Dandelion is mainly used in Divination and working with the spirits, so you can also use the mix to annoint in your magical workings.

PHEW! Loads of stuff today!!! Anyway, have fun with this, and until next time, Blessed Be x

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Just a quickie...

Merry meet everyone!

Ok so this is just a quick message to ask a favour! If you look to the right, you will see there is a poll for you to answer. This isn't compulsory but if you take a few seconds to click the answer to the questions (it will be updated weekly) you can help to sculpt the direction in which the blog is going.... And I'd be eternally grateful of course!

Anyway I'm going back to completing the amulets that we started yesterday - be sure to check back tomorrow for the update and also ill be starting to post the beginning of the Samhain celebrations.

Until then, blessed be x

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Acorn Protection and Luck Amulets and Leaf Collecting

Merry Meet everyone.

First things first! There have been a few (minor) changes to the blog, just to make navigating it a bit easier! Hopefully, it won't confuse anyone!!! Also, over the next week or so, please take a look in the navigation panel (to the right) as there will be weekly polls for you to answer - just for some feedback :)


OK, lets get to it - It's Autumn (or Fall) so the most noticeable change to us (aside from temperature) are the leaves that are falling all around us. This is the perfect time to brush up on our knowledge of the trees and plants around us, and the best way that we can utilise them. Why don't you take a walk in your neighbourhood and collect some?



There are several things that we can do with the leaves that we find. Initially, you can add to your witchy stores - as long as you know which leaves you have collected of course. But another idea, is to collect the leaves that have fallen and press and dry them. I often collect leaves from my garden which i dry and press before they eventually get stuck into my Book of Shadows... Beautiful!

The other thing that this time of year gives us is the last of the harvests, and these include Acorns. Acorns are the fruit of the Oak tree and amongst other things are very powerful Luck and protection charms - so I thought that I would show you how I make Acorn Amulets...

YOU WILL NEED:
  • Acorns (or Hazel nuts?!)
  • Superglue
  • String
  • Rosehips
  • Muslin
  • Cauldron or Saucepan
  • Something sharp to pierce the nuts
  • Book of Shadows
As always, this is simple, as long as you have the ingredients, you can't go wrong!

Firstly,  Collect your acorns, and select the ones that you are going to use in your amulets - make sure you also collect the cup that goes with the acorn. Next, Stick the Acorn to it's cup with Superglue. This is important because as the nut gets older it will shrink!!

Then, I take a length of string (I wear my amulets as bracelets, so the length needs to correspond to your wrist!) and I soak it in Rosehip Dye. Rosehips are the fruit of Roses and are also readily available at this time of year - and they are perfect for colouring your string as magically, they represent Luck and Protection (the same as the Oak!).

To make the Rosehip dye, collect your hips and boil them in your cauldron in twice as much water as hips. Once they have reached the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer them for an hour before straining them off and then putting the dye and a good helping of salt to a jar. Next add your string and leave it overnight.

Eventually you will have something that resembles this:

I did mine today, so tomorrow it's just a case of putting a hole in the acorns and threading through the newly coloured string. Then just wear it for luck and protection!! EASY!

Until Next Time, Blessed Be x

Friday, 1 October 2010

Widdershins go when the Moon doth Wane...

Merry Meet everyone!

OK, so we are now in the last quarter of the Moon phase cycle, which means that we are currently under the power of the Waning Moon. As I have done with the other phases, as part of todays post I thought that I'd go over the power that we can harness here :)



This is the time of The Crone aspect of the triple goddess and many of the powers here are in direct relation to her. The Crone celebrates endings, and to mirror that, the Waning Moon:

  • Decrease
  • Justice
  • Wisdom
  • Banishment
  • Endings
  • Release
  • Intuition
  • Prophecy
  • Death
  • Divination
  • Secrets
  • Ressurection
  • Old Age
  • Reversal of Fortune.
Also, when working the Waning Moon into our magical lives, Days 18 to 21 are particularly effective for
  • Healing
  • Protection
  • Banishing Fear
  • Ending Relationships
  • Relieveing Pain
  • Fighting Viruses
  • Banishing Regrets
On top of all of the above, at this time you can look to improve your own lives with simple excersizes. For example, At this point in the moon cycle, look to 'banish' something about your life (magical or otherwise) that you no longer wish to have. This way, come the coming Waxing Moon, we can replace that thing with something we DO want. This keeps our lives fresh :)

Blessed Be, Look out for upcoming posts on Skin Tinctures, Leaf Pressing and Acorn Luck and Protection Amulets.
Until Next Time!! - Moonshine Witch X