23 November 2011

This Thanksgiving....

After a much needed respite from blogging I wanted to stop and take a moment to give thanks for all of the blessings in my life.  After finishing my daily entries and honoring the ancestors at Samhuinn I turned to a rest and preparing for Yule.  Knitting has been my favorite activity in the past few weeks.  I have started a Fair Isle knit scarf a la Hermione's scarf in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, it is time consuming, a bit challenging but infinitely easier for me than my tearful tackling in making socks. A photo of the scarf thus far is needed, and I really want to share it as it is a beautiful sight!

My big thankfulness this year, is another year of Pixie's healing.  My beautiful girl is doing well in her leukemia treatment and is strong, happy and healthy.  All of her numbers continue to be fantastic and where they want them to be and every day we are closer to her end of treatment in August.  I am thankful for my beloved daughter's healing! We are also so thankful for our friends who have done so much to help up emotionally, mentally and financially when we had no other resources.  We are blessed!

The amazingly wonderful, spectacular news is that my niece Olivia was born on Monday!  She is healthy, whole and perfect and a wonderful combination of my brother and his wife.  She is most definitely another old soul for our family and is instantly loved.  A gift!

I got to see her shortly after she was born and the most amazing sight for me, that I really cannot talk to my family about as some really don't get my seeing spirits lately, was how all of my brother's and my four deceased grandparents were encircled all around her.  I'm sure my sister in law's family were there too but I was not seeing them because two of my grandparents really stood out to me and took my breath away. Firstly our maternal grandmother, for whom one of Olivia's middle in names is from, was just enveloping her.  Her energy just embracing this wee new baby.  Secondly our paternal grandfather was standing over all of them, his energy so large and encompassing and so proud and loving.  I have just recently reconnected with him after mourning his passing for the last 30 years, he finally got through to me on the 31st.   Our paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather were there too but their energy was not as pronounced.  Combine with my brother's sheer joy and love for his firstborn child this was a VERY emotional afternoon.  Such a joy and a gift.

I have so much crafting to do between now and Yule, not sure how much blogging will happen however I really want to share favorite Yule recipes here.  In the meantime, blessings to anyone reading here, hoping your end of November is warm and love-filled.

09 November 2011

Day 44-44 Days of Witchery-Witch’s choice!

This witch's choice is a few words on what a pagan/witch path is from someone long on a pagan path. Please bear with me, I'm working on a serious sleep deficit as this past month of Samhuinn was especially disruptive as my psychic gifts really took off in a major way, and I was not prepared for the onslaught that came at me.

I began questioning religion and slowly uncovering spirituality at a young age.  I was a teenager when I consciously sought out this path for myself, as it was so familiar and so like how my grandparents and ancestors lived.  This was the perfect path for ME.

Dear ones new to this path, yes this is an exciting time for you, you are learning and growing at a exponential rate.  You have so much ahead of you!  Please remember, that it is not for you to educate or *correct* others.  If you study your path you are reading another person's perspective.  Not the collective, but one person's perspective.  This is not the be all, end all. This is one view.  Your journey is to discover what your perspective is.  Our paths are unique to each of us.  Following the herd inhibits our own growth, take the time to learn for yourself, trust in yourself. Use what you study as a guide, if it resonates with you, fantastic.  However, it is not your place to pontificate the teachings of a fallible human.  It is not your place to push your ideals and perceptions on others.  It is not their path, theirs is unique to them.  We do not need to be lectured, or *corrected* by a new to the path upstart who still has much to learn.  Even if you believe your are an old soul, it is not your place to push.  We gain wisdom with hard work and introspection as we learn from our experiences and from other's experiences as well.

This has been a long time coming, this disjointed note.  I've been connected to the pagan community on the world wide web for nearly 20 years.  I have seen many newbies feel they know everything and stomp in with a huge chip on their shoulder. Insisting their way is the correct way and all others are misguided and misinformed.  Not all of us follow Wicca, Wicca is a modern day revamp of a plethora of old ways.  I do not follow it because it smacks too much of my Catholic upbringing for me.  I recall the years of warring where *eclectics* were not true pagans.  The flame wars over who was right and who was wrong threatened such a serious split to a group that was already battling for acceptance in a Christian-dominant world.  Perhaps it is where my path has taken me, or perhaps it is a maturing of the pagan community, but I no longer see these flame wars like they once were.  We are more accepting of each other's paths and embrace these differences that make us unique.  My 27 years actively on my pagan path has brought such amazing wonders, so much growth, change, I am always evolving and growing and I wish the same for everyone just starting out. Slow down and take time to marinate in all that you are learning.  Embrace all the lessons that the earth, universe and your fellow pagans on the path have to offer. All of it will contribute to your path.

This post is part of the 44 Days of Witchery
If you followed this journey with me, thanks for reading.

08 November 2011

Day 43-44 Days of Witchery-A magical recipe-Smell Of Yule

As my 44 days of Witchery, as well as Samhuinn, wind down our attention will soon slip to Yule.  This is my favorite magical Yule simmering recipe.  I use my simmering crockpot and dump these spices along with some orange peel, perhaps a star anise and a few gratings of whole nutmeg and let the scent infuse my home with magical Yuletide cheer.

Smell Of Yule

1/3 cup crushed cinnamon sticks (2 - 1 oz. cans) -(energy, good luck, love, money, passion, peace, prosperity, protection)
1/3 cup whole cloves (2 - 1.12 oz. cans) -(love, memory, money, passion, peace of mind, protection, purification)
2/3 cup whole allspice berries (2 - 1.25 oz. cans) (Communication, compassion, determination, energy, healing, money & luck)
cheesecloth, cut in 4" squares

Place cinnamon sticks in an old towel and crush with a mallet. Place
in bowl and add remaining ingredients; mix well.

To make bags, place 1 tablespoon of mix on a double thickness of
cheesecloth squares. Tie corners together with string. Place in

TO USE: Simmer 1 bag in small saucepan of water to spread smell
throughout house. Also, simmer 1 bag in 1 quart cider, apple juice,
or red wine for a delicious spiced drink. Makes 7 half-pints. Attach
instructions to jars.

Source: unknown

This post is part of the 44 Days of Witchery

07 November 2011

Day 42-44 Days of Witchery-A favourite nature spirit.

This is the forest primeval. 
The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, 
Bearded with moss, 
and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight...
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 
I cannot think of one favorite nature spirit. Having once lived in an area with all elements represented I found exposure to all sorts of devas/elementals/nature spirits.  This forest captured in a Winter Solstice sunrise was filled with everything imaginable.  We lived at the edge of hundreds upon hundreds of untouched forest acreage.  The above snippet of Longfellow's Evangeline truly captured the wood around my home.  Everything bearded in moss, hemlocks whispering, it truly was magical.  Despite the 30 acres atop the ridge which had been clear cut (horridly devastating) our magical 5 acres were a safe haven for all creatures and spirits. Each spirit brings such a unique energy and role to this environment that I simply cannot find a favorite. They are all favorites.

This post is part of the 44 Days of Witchery

06 November 2011

Day 41-44 Days of Witchery-A spell you’ve done.

Freezer binding spell is the most recent spell done.  As a protective measure from the negative actions of someone no longer in my life.  What I like about this spell is that it prevents the effects of another's actions from affecting you. 

Another *spell* of sorts that I highly recommend to everyone is making a witch jar.  I have found tremendous success with them and people who have directed negativity toward me have quickly found that it comes right back at them, multiplied.  I've made believers out of non-Pagans over this highly protective resource.  Recipe for the jar can be found on my site.

This post is part of the 44 Days of Witchery

05 November 2011

Stitch Witchery

I've been knitting like crazy since about July and have little to show for it.  I have a new niece coming very soon, so I am knitting lots of love into goodies for her.  I am a great starter, I start up a storm!  It's the finishing that trips me up, so I have a lot of unfinished starts for my niece- booties, a blanket (which was actually unravelled and started over).  What I have finished, and am quite chuffed over finishing, are two hats...a pumpkin, and some sort or purple berry hat.  Currently I am wrestling with an olive version for Miss Olivia, as requested by my brother (her daddy).  Hope to have it done today...Then on to tackling my first attempt at socks for Pixie...however I have a healing quilt that needs to be completed, fat lot of good it's doing her right now!....

and so many Yule pressies to create!

Day 40-44 Days of Witchery-Your altar, if you have one!

Sadly, I don't have one at present, due to sharing a room with Pixie while she's in treatment (she was set up in a makeshift bedroom with bath attached on first floor away from the other bedrooms all on second floor last year when her treatment started). I suppose we could've shown some initiative and created one somewhere but space is lacking and I live with Catholic parents so...images of altars past...

old kitchen altar, with my first salt dough goddess


Spring altar

Spring Equinox 2004

Ancestral Altar

Samhuinn altar

This post is part of the 44 Days of Witchery

04 November 2011

Day 39-44 Days of Witchery-Something that inspires you.

Nature and all the glorious treasures it contains is my main inspiration

all photos by Stephanie Lowell-Libby

This post is part of the 44 Days of Witchery

03 November 2011

Day 38-44 Days of Witchery- Witchy tools: cauldron.

My favorite witchy item, if I had the space I'd probably have a mad collection of them.  Instead it's mortar and pestles, which look rather like a cauldron cousin.

The cauldron is source of life, nourishment and mysteries. Symbol of the feminine, of water....When I was new to the path I tried to come up with a witchy name, a la Raymond Buckland's method of finding a magically correct name via numerology.  It never stuck but the name that came to me at that time was Cerridwen. I'm not sure if that is about the time I became so enamoured by cauldrons or if it came later. The early days of the path are rather hazy. ;)

This post is part of the 44 Days of Witchery

02 November 2011

Day 37-44 Days of Witchery-A famous pagan/witch!

Zsuzsanna Budapest

My studies have always danced around the teachings, etc. of Z. Budapest, never really digging in to focus, however she has always held a fascination for me. I read bits and pieces in snippets, I love the energy I get from what I have read from her.  I just do not connect with a Dianic or Wiccan focus.  I think the draw is the old world energy she brings, what she learned from her mother and how she shares it.  It is old ways that are untainted, unlike the old ways of my ancestors, which was tainted by early christian and then Puritanical closemindedness.

This post is part of the 44 Days of Witchery

01 November 2011

Day 36-44 Days of Witchery-Flower of your choice, and its magical properties.


Flowers, petals, leaves

GENDER: Feminine
ELEMENTS: Fire and Water
PLANETS: Mars and Venus

Love Divination
Psychic Powers
Ultimate Love


Magical Uses
The ultimate in love wishes,
this will aid in bringing a true lasting
love and help to mend any spats
between you in an already committed relationship.

The petals can be bathed with
while thinking a new love to you,
the dried flowers are burned in love wishes.

Sleeping with the flowers will
protect your dreams.

Carry a sachet or amulet for protection against
bodily injury or when working healing wishes.

Roses have long been used in love mixtures,
owing to the flowers' association with the emotions.

A chaplet of roses worn when performing love spells
(remove the thorns), or a single rose in a vase
on the alter, are powerful love magic aids.

Rose water distilled from the petals
is added to love baths.

Rose Hips (the fruit of the rose) are
strung and worn as love-attracting beads.

A tea of rosebuds drunk before sleep
induces prophetic dreams.

To discover their romantic future,
women used to take three green rose leaves
and name each for one of their lovers.
The one that stayed green the longest answered
the question of "Which One?"

Rose petals and hips are used in healing spells
and mixtures, and rosewater saturated cloth
laid to the temples will relieve headache pain.

Roses are added to fast-luck mixtures and, when
carried, act as personal protectants.

Rose petals sprinkled around the house
calm personal stress and household upheavals.

Roses planted in the garden attract fairies, and
are said to grow best when stolen.

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
by Scott Cunningham

Witchcraft and Magic

This post is part of the 44 Days of Witchery