Coming in October

Be sure to check out my guest blog post on October 12th on Wise Whispers.

 

I share my experiences with the paranormal and ghosts.

 

Also, Samhain is coming and the veil is thinning.  Get ready to honor your ancestors and celebrate the final harvest.

I will be writing about what this month means to me know versus what it meant to me growing up and the differences from being raised Christian to now being Pagan.

On Grove of the Ancients Blog, I will be highlighting new items for the upcoming Sabbats, Samhain and Yule and give suggestions on that perfect gift.

 

My Etsy store, Grove Creations, is open and I should have a couple new cloaks available there soon.  Assuming I have time to complete them.

 

Faith and religion should be a path you walk and the cup you drink from. Not the well you fall and drown in.

The Broom Closet

Getting back to the Pagan Blog Prompts with this topic.

WITCH HAZEL BLACK 2

In or Out?

I would have to say that I am both.  My broom closet has a revolving door.  I stepped out of the broom closet as far as my friends are concerned about 3 years ago; about a year after I started to follow this path.  My family is the other side.  At least to everyone but my mom.  I don’t discuss much of my beliefs with them.

Do I have to hide my ‘pagan-nature’?

Not in public I do not.  I am very open about my beliefs and spirituality in public.  I wear a pentagram and the triple goddess symbol every day.  At work everyone knows my beliefs and they are very interested in things and how I celebrate different times of the year and some have even gone as far as saying things like “Have a great Summer Solstice or Autumn Equinox”.

Besides this I also co-own and operate an online pagan store as well as a brick and mortar store here in Denver.  So in those two areas I am quite out of the closet.

I hope to some day remove the revolving door and forever remain out of the broom closet until then, let it spin.

eBay’s Ban–Get a grip people.

It is quite interesting how much of a shit storm this eBay change has stirred up.  I have been finding reports from the UK and almost every national new agency.  I think most of it comes from some misinformed people crying “discrimination” and “hate” and “anti-Pagan”.

Anti Pagan

Image found here.

I am at a loss on why so many people are so quick to jump on the discrimination bandwagon.  I have even seen some discussions that mention the removal of religious freedoms.

How is this the case?  This change in eBay’s listing policies only means that a person cannot sell an intangible item such as spellcasting services.  It does not mean that all Pagan items are going to be banned.  The part on Divination services will have to be worked out in the future.  I do agree that some of those practitioners deserve to be on eBay.

As I said before, I sell on eBay.  I sell the stuff that is NOT getting the boot.  For that I am happy.  I do not think that this is the prelude to the powers that be removing all things Pagan, Wiccan, or Witch-y from the endless pages of stuff to buy on eBay.  Those that believe so need to take a breath and put away the pitchforks.

torches_and_pitchforks

Image found here.

I also believe some of the problems stems from the media and their headlines.
Examples include:

eBay Bans Sale Of Magic Spells, Potions And Other Witchcraft – The Huffington Post

The last part being the problem, “Other Witchcraft”.  This is what is causing so many to assume that all Pagan items will be removed.

A more accurate headline comes from the Daily Mail out the UK.

“Auction site eBay bans sale of magic potions, spells, curses and advice books in bid to stop charlatans”
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2189757/Auction-site-eBay-bans-sale-magic-potions-spells-curses-advice-books-bid-stop-charlatans.html#ixzz241WJktyE

Examples of what is not going to be allowed come August 30th.

ALMIGHTY BLACK MAGICK PENIS ENLARGEMENT SPELL TANTRIC LOVE VOODO

Of course it is.

EXTREME RARE POWERS 72 SPELLS NECRONOMICON SPELL

Yea I got nothing.

ultimate 12 month cast Weight loss divine gods goddesses beauty spell ritual sex

Have you seen some of the Goddesses?  Size zero they are not.

What will be staying.

Celtic Brass Cauldron Pagan Cerridwen Wiccan Witchcraft Ritual

Centering Ritual Kit Pagan Wiccan Witchcraft

Goddess Athame with Sheath Ritual Tool Pagan Wiccan Witch Witchcraft

 

I ask that if you do happen to get into a conversation about this with those in the community or anywhere else for that matter be sure to give accurate information.

This is not an attack on the Pagan community nor it is an attack on religion or the freedom associated with it.

Without the darkness there is no light

A recent discussion on Facebook inspired me to post a comment.  I thought I should share it with my readers who don’t follow me on Facebook.

I have removed the names of the others in the discussion as a courtesy.

The topic of the discussion is apparent from my comment.

I embrace my darker side because I know that without it I am not a whole person physically and spiritually.
To be honest, all the "Love and Light" stuff make my stomach turn sometimes. Being a Pagan is far from nothing but fluff.
I must politely disagree with XXXXX on his statement that the Light is more powerful then the Darkness. Many times in history has the Darkness been forefront as well as the Light. It is a constant balancing act that must be to maintain. I do agree with XXXXXXXXX. I would add that when an individual denies the darkness that individual is denying a part of his/her self.
Celebrate the darkness and the light! Be part of both and be balanced.

Empathic–I know how we feel.

I am an empath.  That is to say that I can feel the emotions, feelings, and states of being of those around me.

I haven’t always been an empath.  The ability emerged during my early teenage years.  It was quite abrupt.  One minute I was a normal teenager in my church youth group and the next I was overwhelmed by sadness and hurt and it wasn’t coming from me.  I realized that it was coming from another kid in the group who wasn’t even in the same room of the church as I was.

At the time I didn’t know what it was.  I didn’t even think about it after the emotions left my mind.  The ability then laid dormant for a few years until I arrived for basic training in the US Air Force.  I again began to sense things from other people.  This time was different then the first time because it was more subdued.  I wasn’t overwhelmed by any one person but I could sense many at one time.  Being that I was in a place that didn’t really lend itself to learning about what was happening to me I just let it happen and soon I was able to quiet some of the things I was getting but I never completely shut them off.  I found that if I did try to shut it down I found I missed it.  I also found it difficult to communicate with people if I wasn’t able to sense them as well.  Having the ability working all the time helped me get through basic training because I knew what people expected before others.

My ability has never waivered since then.  I have even found that I was able to use it to help a local store cut down on loss by catching shop lifters.  I know it sounds weird and maybe a bit superhero like but let me explain.   I worked as a merchandiser for a magazine distributor and it was my job to stock and clean up the magazine and book displays found in the major grocery stores.  In one particular store the racks were in an isle that was a heavily travelled part of the store; so many customers pasted by me.  Like I said I have never put up shields to block other people I just have a way to filter it.  Every so often I would be working away on my job and someone would walk behind me and I got the distinct feeling that they were going to lift something from the store or going to do something else undesirable while shopping.  As soon as I realized what I was feeling I immediately let security know and they would watch the person.  I was quite surprised that they never asked how I knew it was going to happen, but I was kind of surprised about how right I was. 

Today I still run with shields down.  I enjoy being able to sense so many people while I am out and about.  The malls are the best.   I don’t get headaches or take on the emotions of others unless it is really, really intense and then I have to roll with it or try to block it.  Blocking usually doesn’t work.  I have found it helpful in driving is a big city like Denver too.  I can sense what the other drivers are going to do and I can adjust to it there by avoiding accidents. 

My ability has even evolved to encompass being able to feel spirits while on paranormal investigations.  Of course it is different then the living but it is from the same core ability.

I know that I would miss this ability if for some reason I was without it.  It has become a part of me and me of a part of it.  I am not a slave to it and it doesn’t run my life.  I treat as any other skill I have.  I work with it and keep it active so I don’t lose it. 

I know that some people are on a different level and that they are affected differently by being able to sense others emotions.  For those I suggest learning some good shielding techniques to quiet the barrage.  Don’t try to deny it, shut it off or prevent it form happening.

Blessed Be!

Bloodroot – A plant whose roots ‘bleed’.

Botanical Name:  Sanguinaria Candensis
Family: N.O. Papaveraceae
Folkname: Indian Paint, Tetterwort, Red Pucoon, Red Root, Paucon, Coon Root, Snakebite, & Sweet Slumber.
BLOODROOT
Bloodroot is a perennial plant that grows low to the ground.  Its habitat ranges from Prairie Provinces of Canada, as far south as Florida and west to Arkansas and Nebraska, in the United States.  Bloodroot favors open woods.  The plant produces flowers in spring of white with golden stamens.  After the bloom fades the leaves grow larger and die down in the fall.  The autumn is when the roots of the plant are harvested.  The roots are actually rhizomes and when harvested they need to be stored in a dry place to prevent deterioration.   The seeds are spread by ants who take the seed pods to their colonies, eat the flesh of the pod, and take the seed to the ‘garbage pile’ where the seeds then germinate.
Historical Uses
The rhizome of the Bloodroot plant exudes a bright red sap when the root is cut or broke.  This red sap was used by Native Americans as a dye for clothing and for body paint.  The use of the sap for body paint is dangerous because of the damaged the sap can cause if applied directly.  It is thought that the sap was mixed with some there ingredient to prevent this from happening.
We DO NOT endorse the use of this herb for internal use as it can be very harmful even fatal if too much is ingested.  The following is for historical purposes only and is from Botanical.com.
Emetic cathartic expectorant and emmenagogue, and of great value in atonic dyspepsia, asthma, bronchitis and croup. (The taste is so nauseating, that it may cause expectorant action.) Of value in pulmonary consumption, nervous irritation and helpful in lowering high pulse, and in heart disease and weakness and palpitation of heart of great use. For ringworm apply the fluid extract. Also good for torpid liver, scrofula, dysentery. It is applied to fungoid growths, ulcers fleshy excrescences, cancerous affections and as an escharotic. Sanguinaria root is chiefly used as an expectorant for chronic bronchitis and as a local application in chronic eczema, specially when secondary to varicose ulcers. In toxic doses, it causes burning in the stomach, intense thirst, vomiting, faintness vertigo, intense prostration with dimness of eyesight.”
Magickal Uses and Correspondences
Bloodroot is a popular herb used in VooDoo as a protective ‘hex-breaker’.  Bloodroot is also popular for use in rituals and spell pertaining to relationships and marriage.  There are two kinds of Bloodroot used in these cases, the darker ‘King’ root for the male aspect and the lighter ‘Queen’ root for the female aspect.  The root would be placed in a red sachet and then placed within the bed of the couple to ensure a healthy marriage.
Bloodroot is also excellent as a protective charm for one’s home.  Placing a root within the home, out of reach of pet and children (remember it is poisonous) is said to protect from negative energies and spells.  Burning of the root as a powder is said to have the same effect.  (use caution when burning a known poisonous herb, burn in a well ventilated area or outside)
Bloodroot can be substituted for actual blood in spells that require such an ingredient.  Of course this should only be done if the spell or rituals DOES NOT require the ingestion of whatever the bloodroot was used in.  Again, it is a poisonous herb.
Bloodroots are primarily masculine but as stated before the lighter roots can be used in the feminine aspect.
Bloodroot’s planetary relation is to Mars with the elemental relation being Fire.  Bloodroot has no specific deity association.  Previous experience lends that if you are working with a deity who corresponds to Mars and Fire then the use of Bloodroot in spells and rituals is acceptable.
Of Special Interest
Sanguinarine is a part of the sap from the Bloodroot.   This was widely used in toothpaste to help destroy plaque.  While this use was approved by the FDA, it has been recently shown that the continued use of the toothpastes with this ingredient caused cancers of the mouth.  Sanguinarine is still used by some companies in their formulas.
In the End
Bloodroot is a very interesting plant.  It has been around for thousands of years and has made it mark through the use of its red ‘blood’ as a dye and through the use of one of its chemicals as a dental product.  Bloodroot is very poisonous and should not be used internally or topically.  It should be used for your magick workings as desired. 
As always, do your research!  Never use an herb before doing your due diligence and know what you are doing.
Now for those who don’t listen.
For educational purposes only.   This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The Pagan Blog Project–Ready to go.

I have officially joined up with the other blogs in The Pagan Blog Project for 2012 sponsored by Rowan Pendragon at One Witch’s Way.

pbp2012

I have signed up for the newsletter and joined the Facebook page. 

Now I just need to start writing.  That is going to be the challenge.  But this is a new year and a new direction has been set before me in many areas of my life so I am sure I will have things to write about as the weeks go on.

On a side note…congratulations to Rowan and Devin for their move to the Pagan Radio Network with The Modern Witch.  I will have to check it out.

Blessed Be!

Questions on Yule–from the Deepest Well

This post is in response to questions posed by Aine over on The Deepest Well blog.

The questions pertain to Yule and doing a ritual.  The Yule rituals I have been in have all be done with my coven, the Coven of the Rising Phoenix.

Do you perform ritual at this time of year?

Yes.  Funny thing is that I have always done a ritual at this time of year.  Now the ritual may not have been of the Yule variety but what my family and I did every year since I can remember can be considered a “ritual”.  Every year we would all load up in a car and travel to the Grandparents houses to celebrate Christmas, eat to capacity and open gifts.  It was quite ritualistic. 

I still adhere to the family gatherings as work allows but I now have one more ritual to perform; the ritual to celebrate the returning of the sun, the Yule ritual.

Do I use someone else’s script, my own, or do I combine them?

I choose to combine them.  I find that combining a ritual that was written by someone else with piece of my own design it makes the ritual richer.  I might add a line to the calling of the quarters, or I might completely redo them but keep the rest.  For this year’s ritual I found a great ritual online that expressed exactly what I was looking for in some respects but not in others.  So I took what I needed, augmented where I needed and added what I needed and BAM!…Yule Ritual. 

Well maybe not so much BAM.  As I began to create the ritual, placing the parts and assigning parts to people I found myself with another’s mind.  Having never experienced divine intervention I was quite taken aback.  A part of the ritual, the working, was going to be making a Yule potpourri whilst chanting and charging the herbs.  I was “told” that is not what should be happening and I was given a “nudge” toward what should be done for the working.  I will admit that what I did write out and that we did do was quite magickal if I do say so myself.

Do I perform the same ritual every year or change it up?

The Yule rituals have been different each year with this year’s being the first one I have created for the coven as well as the first one my partner and I have hosted in our home.

What associations do you associate with Yule?

For me personally I will always associate this time of year with gathering with family and friends, whether it be for Christmas or Yule.  I will always remember waking up on Christmas day, getting all dressed up and going to church services with the family and then heading over to one of the grandparents house for dinner and gifts.  The smell of my grandmother’s cooking, my grandfather sitting in his chair in the kitchen, listening to the radio, usually a ball game.  He never did watch them on TV.  The sight of my other grandparent’s huge tree, decorated and stuffed at the base with wrapped gifts.  The anticipation of what was wrapped in the brightly colored and shiny paper under the trees and the joy of ripping said paper apart to get at what was hidden.  The screams of delight at toys and the silence toward clothes.  The warm and loving smiles from my parents and grandparents no matter how we reacted.  Even the hard times, for with out them we are less then we are now.  The shyness felt when confronted with relatives that I hadn’t seen since the last time.   Sitting in front of the TV, watching Rudolf, Frosty, and Charlie Brown all on the same night.  Eating too much candy and still wanting more. 

As my grandparents pass beyond the veil traditions are lost and associations change.  New traditions emerge and families that were at one time split return together to celebrate as one again.  Change in beliefs opens up new associations and new traditions.  Celebrating the returning Sun and the promise that in a few months warmth will again venture across the land if only for a time.  Gathering with new people whom I now consider another family as I celebrate with them.  Turning the Wheel.

 

Remember your past.  Keep hold of the traditions that you have whether they be relevant to your spiritual path or not.  They are a part of you, they make you, without them you are diminished.  Create new traditions and keep them as well.  Celebrate and Honor as you choose to do but remember your families, friends and the Divine in all that is.

 

Blessed Be!

The Pendle Witches–Returning from the past

November 14 2011.  This was the first day that I heard of the Pendle Witches, specifically Alice Nutter.  Alice was charged with witchcraft in 1612 in the Lancaster Witch Trials and was later hanged.  The village of Blacko was the site of where Alice was seen at Malkin Tower, also known as Stansfield Tower and Blacko Tower, with what was deemed a witch’s coven. 

Now a memorial statue to Alice Nutter has been commissioned to mark the 400th anniversary of the trials.  It will be placed in the village of Blacko.

Statue plan to celebrate ‘Pendle Witch’ Alice – Peek Into The Past – Pendle Today

The next day I found more information on the Pendle Witches and the planned statue from the BBC.

Statue of Pendle Witch Alice Nutter to be commissioned

I was very intrigued by this news that after 400 years, what happened to these victims of fear and confusion will now be memorialized.  It shows that people are finally realizing how wrong the trials were.

What happened next is kind of eerie if you think about it. 

December 8th, 2011.  The BBC reports – ‘Witch’s cottage’ unearthed near Pendle Hill, Lancashire

The story even hopped the pond and was reported by Fox News –

Centuries-Old Witches’ Cottage and Mummified Cat Unearthed in Britain
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/08/centuries-old-witches-cottage-and-mummified-cat-unearthed-in-britain/#ixzz1gF2LuBFg

You have to admit that it is quite interesting that only a month after the planned memorial was announce that this ‘cottage’ was unearthed.  Add the fact that within a wall of the building the mummified remains of a cat were found and it is hard to dismiss the claims that it belonged to one of the witches of Pendle.  Admittedly there isn’t any ‘concrete’ evidence that a Pendle Witch resided within the walls of the well preserved building.  This hasn’t stifled the talk and the supposition among the locals and witches from around the globe.

Is there some supernatural link between these two events?  Are the spirits of Alice Nutter and the 10 other villagers, who were executed for witchcraft, now setting out to uncover more history of their lives?  What will be found next?

Next year will be the 400th anniversary of the Lancaster Witch Trials, which were held on the 18th and 19th of August, 1612. 

This is an image of the original title page from The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster

Potts

The trial not only accused the women of Pendle but also other people, men and woman, from around the area of witchcraft.

It is nice to see that this information is now becoming mainstream and not relegated to the tabloids alongside who had the newest alien baby or the new date for the end of the world. 

I am going to keep a watchful eye out for the next installment of the Return of the Pendle Witches.

Blessed Be.

Herb Day ~ MULLEIN ~ Just what the heck it is.

Mullein, I am sure many of you have seen this very interesting plant but never gave it a second thought.  I was in that arena as well until we started to sell it in our online store, Grove of the Ancients Pagan Marketplace.  We were selling pounds of it to people all over the country and even some overseas.  That led me to do some research to find out why it was in such high demand.  I searched many sites and blogs and such to find that most all the information was the same.  I settled on one particular site, Botanical.com and the page on Mullein.  So here is what all the fuss is about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mullein’s Botanical name is Verbascum thapsus. Through history, Mullein has been known by many names.  Here they are – White Mullein. Torches. Mullein Dock. Our Lady’s Flannel. Velvet Dock. Blanket Herb. Velvet Plant. Woollen. Rag Paper. Candlewick Plant. Wild Ice Leaf. Clown’s Lungwort. Bullock’s Lungwort. Aaron’s Rod. Jupiter’s Staff. Jacob’s Staff. Peter’s Staff. Shepherd’s Staff. Shepherd’s Clubs. Beggar’s Stalk. Golden Rod. Adam’s Flannel. Beggar’s Blanket. Clot. Cuddy’s Lungs. Duffle. Feltwort. Fluffweed. Hare’s Beard. Old Man’s Flannel. Hag’s Taper.  It is quite interesting to see how people find names for things.  Many of the name are created because of how the plant looks.  The leaves are soft, felt-like and spongy so that explains some of them.  Other names originated because of the use as a torch. 

So where do you find Mullein? 

That is quite easy.  Pretty much everywhere. 

From the Botanical.com – "the Great Mullein, is a widely distributed plant, being found all over Europe and in temperate Asia as far as the Himalayas, and in North America is exceedingly abundant as a naturalized weed in the eastern States. It is met with throughout Britain (except in the extreme north of Scotland) and also in Ireland and the Channel Islands, on hedge-banks, by roadsides and on waste ground, more especially on gravel, sand or chalk. It flowers during July and August."

Now this bit says that in North American it is a ‘naturalized weed’.  While this is how most agencies view this wonder plant, it is far from a ‘weed’.  Here in Colorado, it is found in pastures, open-space, along roads, along rivers and lakes, and even in some yards.  If you are looking for Mullein in your area just head to local undeveloped field or open-space, it just might be there. 

Pray tell, what does it look like? 

Mullein has two growing seasons so it will look different depending on which season it is in.  Season one it will be close the ground and have only a rosette of leaves between 6-15 inches long.  In the second season the rosette of leaves will have a stem rise from the center.  The stem will have alternating leaves similar to the lower rosette.  As the stock reaches full height of between 4-5 feet tall a flower spike will emerge and this will house the many yellow flowers of the Mullein plant. 

So what can you do with this herb? 

The Botanical.com as a wonderful piece on this.  I am posting it here for your reference.

The Mullein has very markedly demulcent, emollient and astringent properties, which render it useful in pectoral complaints and bleeding of the lungs and bowels. The whole plant seems to possess slightly sedative and narcotic properties. It is considered of much value in phthisis and other wasting diseases, palliating the cough and staying expectoration, consumptives appearing to benefit greatly by its use, being given in the form of an infusion, 1 OZ. of dried, or the corresponding quantity of fresh leaves being boiled for 10 minutes in a pint of milk, and when strained, given warm, thrice daily, with or without sugar. The taste of the decoction is bland, mucilaginous and cordial, and forms a pleasant emollient and nutritious medicine for allaying a cough, or removing the pain and irritation of hemorrhoids. A plain infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water can also be employed, taken in wineglassful doses frequently. The dried leaves are sometimes smoked in an ordinary tobacco pipe to relieve the irritation of the respiratory mucus membranes, and will completely control, it is said, the hacking cough of consumption. They can be employed with equal benefit when made into cigarettes, for asthma and spasmodic coughs in general. Fomentations and poultices of the leaves have been found serviceable in hemorrhoidal complaints. Mullein is said to be of much value in diarrhea, from its combination of demulcent with astringent properties, by this combination strengthening the bowels at the same time. In diarrhea the ordinary infusion is generally given, but when any bleeding of the bowels is present, the decoction prepared with milk is recommended. On the Continent, a sweetened infusion of the flowers strained in order to separate the rough hairs, is considerably used as a domestic remedy in mild catarrhs, colic, etc. A conserve of the flowers has also been employed on the Continent against ringworm, and a distilled water of the flowers was long reputed a cure for burns and erysipelas. An oil produced by macerating Mullein flowers in olive oil in a corked bottle, during prolonged exposure to the sun, or by keeping near the fire for several days, is used as a local application in country districts in Germany for piles and other mucus membrane inflammation, and also for frost bites and bruises. Mullein oil is recommended for earache and discharge from the ear, and for any eczema of the external ear and its canal. Dr. Fernie (Herbal Simples) states that some of the most brilliant results have been obtained in suppurative inflammation of the inner ear by a single application of Mullein oil, and that in acute or chronic cases, two or three drops of this oil should be made to fall in the ear twice or thrice in the day. Mullein oil is a valuable destroyer of disease germs. The fresh flowers, steeped for 21 days in olive oil, are said to make an admirable bactericide. Gerarde tells us that ‘Figs do not putrifie at all that are wrapped in the leaves of Mullein.’ An alcoholic tincture is prepared by homoeopathic chemists, from the fresh herb with spirits of wine, which has proved beneficial for migraine or sick headache of long standing, with oppression of the ear. From 8 to 10 drops of the tincture are given as a dose, with cold water, repeated frequently.

I have found the plant.  Now what do I do?

Well that depends on what you intend to make.  If you are going to make the ear oil, you just need to harvest the flowers from the plants.  This can be quite a challenge given that the flowers have no stems.  It is best to get the flowers that have fully opened and are near the bottom of the spike.  These are easier to remove. If you are interested in the Mullein Tea then you will need the leaves of the plant.  These can either be obtained by removing them individually from the lower part of the plant (not the ones at the very bottom as they are usually damaged and don’t do well).  Remembering to only remove some of the leaves and move to the next plant, this is done to ensure the plant survives to produce the seeds needed to self populate.  Another method is to remove the whole plant by cutting at the base just above the bottom leaves.  I would recommend this only if the area you are harvesting from has a large number of plants.  Once you have the entire plant, it can be hung like other herbs to dry and the entire plant processed as needed.  More detailed information on the uses can be found at The Botanical.com.

If you aren’t inclined to head out and harvest the herbs yourself we have this herb and many others available in our store at Grove of the Ancients Pagan Marketplace.

Next week is Hyssop. (a rush of ohs and ahs fills the room)

Blessed Be!