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'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!

  • 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!!!)
  • 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 :)


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!!

  • 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 :)


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....


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!!!


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