26 January 2014

Appreciation, A Magical Tool To Sharpen

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!





During the cold winter months, the Cherokee take time to appreciate the things that they have. This could include their families, their homes, their food, their health, their friends, etc.... it makes sense that Native Americans would have stopped to focus on the good things they have during those cold, winter months. Focusing on good things and appreciating what they do have would help to keep your thoughts away from the hunger that you face during the harsh winters. This practice has continued today, because they know the magic in appreciation.

Lately, I have been working on my inner strengths and cultivating myself. I wrote a small blog about it a couple of weeks ago. I've picked my journaling, yoga, and meditation back up. I can't believe how much good it does in such a short time. I've been working on appreciation in accordance with my daily rituals.

Appreciation for what you have is often a hard idea to grasp, and sometimes when you hit a particularly rough patch, the "why mes" start and you forget to look at what you have already. But appreciation for what you do have during those difficult moments can be a powerful magic tool that you find within. You don't have to do a spell for appreciation. You don't have to have a magic wand. You only have to use your mind. Your mind thoughts are powerful. They make your magic happen.

If you take the time to refine this tool, sharpening it every day, you will be making yourself into one powerful magical being. Everything and everyone is prettier when you look at them through appreciative eyes.



If you journal every day, the first thing you should do is write something that you are appreciative of. If you don't journal, then think of your thing you appreciate. Then in the night as you are drifting off to slumber, think of one more thing. Make this a daily practice and watch how you are transformed.

Oh, and while you are appreciating the things and people around you.....don't forget to appreciate yourself. You are here for a reason. You have a life plan. Take time in your day and thank yourself. Find one thing about yourself that you appreciate. Your wit, your cute pinky toe, or your eyebrows. Find something about you and tell it you appreciate it.






23 January 2014

Blackthorn, Friend and Foe.......and wax poppet making.

"Better the bramble than the black-thorn, better the black-thorn than the devil. He who would go in the bramble for me, I would go in the thorn for him" - Proverb; Alexander Carmichael: Carmina Gadelica Vol. II 1900


Prince Phillip fighting his way through the thorns
Disney's Sleeping Beauty  1959

As you know I love fairy tales. I look for the magical elements in them and expand upon them. Some of the elements are obvious, some are not. I like to research. I like to read. I like to connect the dots. I love to create.

I'm going to be listing quite a bit of information about the Blackthorn, to keep here as my reference as well as information for everyone. I am going to focus only on the magical and the folklore.

I've been thinking about Sleeping Beauty for quite a while. I think since I saw the previews for Malificent.  And yes, I AM super excited for that movie! 

We all know about the thorns that surround the castle of Sleeping Beauty. The handsome prince has to cut his way through the hateful black thorns to get inside to wake the lovely princess from the curse, and in the process, he proves himself worthy because he was able to get through the thorny hedge. Blackthorn has a prominent place in fairy tales throughout Europe. It has always been featured as a tree of bad omens.

Those vicious thorns are Blackthorn. Blackthorn is a sister to the Hawthorn. If both the Hawthorn and the Blackthorn grow in a place together it is considered a more magical place. Blackthorn is regarded as the more sinister of the two.

A winter that is particularly long and hard is called a Blackthorn Winter. This term is used because of late frost which happens at the time of the blossoming of the Blackthorn, in March-April......and will remain that way for a fortnight.

It is also a harbinger of Spring coming, since it is one of the first to flower, usually around Imbolc.

In Scotland, the blackthorn in blossom tells when it is time to sow the barley.

‘When the slae tree is white as a sheet
Sow your barley, wither it be drey or wet.’
Which, roughly translated into Gloucestershire, meant:
‘When the blackthorn blossom’s white
Sow your barley day and night.’

The co-author of the Green Man Tree Oracle, John Matthews, tells us that Blackthorn's message is that "Magic is Everywhere".

It is also called a "a major tree of magical power" by Nigel Pennick.

Three of the trees growing together is ill-advised, because of the power that would be created.

All the information that I found on the internet seems to be crossing the Lunantishee with the Leanan Sidhe. However, in An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katherine Briggs these are two completely different fairies. According to Ms. Briggs the Leanan Sidhe have nothing to do with the blackthorn. They are just a type of succubus fairy that lead men to their deaths.  Also, of the Lunantishee she states: "The Lunantishee are a tribe that guards the blackthorn bushes, and will not allow a stick to be cut on 11 (originally Samhain) November or on 11 May (originally May Day). If you cut blackthorn on those days, some misfortune will befall you. Blackthorn is one of the fairy trees."

The following is the information that was found on the internet regarding the fae that guard the blackthorn. As you can see there is a confusion regarding which one guards blackthorn:

Before the coming of Christianity the tree was thought to be a respected and revered, associated with the Sidhe, but afterwards it became feared even more so. It isn't surprising that the Leanan Sidhe can be seen as a succubus figure. Aine, the goddess, often referred to as the Fairy Queen, is also often seen as the solitary version of the of Leanan Sidhe.

During the full moon, to pay homage to the moon goddess, the fairies will leave the tree.

When the more dastardly fairies stole babies, and replaced them with changelings, they would place the stolen babies in Blackthorn brambles. Also, it is said that the fairies can be forced to return the stolen babies by burning a small fire made of the branches on top of a fairy mound.

It is associated with winter, the Crone, the Irish Morrigan, the Scottish Cailleach, warfare, death, the waning moon, and the dark moon. It is known as "the increaser and keeper of dark secrets". When the Cailleach strikes the ground in Scotland with her Her Blackthorn staff, then winter begins.

The Cailleach with staff, Merlin BBC series


If you happen to prick yourself on one the hard thorns, then you had better make sure to clean it well, because it can become septic and cause quite a bit of bleeding.

Blackthorn has long been associated with witches. Often being used for binding and cursing, the thorns being used to stick in poppets. This practice is called "the pins of slumber". The devil supposedly pricked the fingers of his followers with the thorns, according to beliefs in Medieval times.

Blackthorn pyres were used to burn witches and heretics in medieval times.

The thorns of it were thrown into wells, if your lover was insincere, then the thorns sank. This was a type of divination used by lovers in Wales.

Also, lucky is the woman that is told by her beau that he loves her, if they are standing by the Blackthorn. A happy marriage is then guaranteed.

In celebrations of May Day fertility magic, Blackthorn is used along with Hawthorn. The chambers of brides were decorated with the flowers of both of the trees, for an ancient fertility rite, as they were said to stimulate desires with their musky scents. This is unusual since to bring the flowers in the home was considered a very ill omen.

It is also known to grant wishes if they are made beside it.

A clootie is a strip of cloth. The Blackthorn can be made into a clootie tree, by putting the clootie (with wishes) on a thorn, to make the wish come true. This is why it is also known as the Faerie Wishing Tree.

To banish negative forces and to ward off evil spirits and bad luck, hang it over your doorways. It will also stamp 'return to sender' on any dark magic sent your way.

Because of it's white flowers on dark wood, the Blackthorn has a perfect balance of light and darkness.

According to folklore in South Devon, England, Blackthorn walking sticks were carried by witches, to cause mischief. The sticks are carried by the Irish as protection against the fae. Divining rods have also been made from this most magical wood. Wands and staffs are excellent for general protections, protections from fire, and aid for exorcisms. To cause harm, one just needs a wand that still has the thorns attached. A staff is also excellent for making wishes and carrying on protects a person from evil. It is also used as the traditional wood for Irish shillelaghs. Rumors originating from Devonshire say that miscarriage can be caused by a rod of Blackthorn.

A story from Niall Mac Coitir tells of a shadow that visited a woman nightly. It frightened her so badly that she sought the help of a local wise woman. The wise woman told her that she get a stick made of Blackthorn and put it next to her bed and sprinkle holy water around her home. The shadow never made another appearance.

In Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1670, Major Thomas Weir had a magical Blackthorn staff. His staff was carved with a Satyrs head, and it was rumored to have extraordinary powers. The powers were so marvelous,  it was even said to be able to fly through the air. It was rumored that he received it from the devil. Major Weir was a Covenanter, and he gave sermons that people traveled far and wide to hear. During one sermon in 1670, he suddenly confessed to years of corruption and sin with his sister, Jean. He did this in front of the congregation. Up until this confession, he was called the Saint of West Bow. Unfortunately both brother and sister were tried and condemned to death. Major Weir ended up being burned as a witch with his fantastic staff. Edinburgh West Bow is still haunted by Major Weir and his Blackthorn staff.

Folklore from Germany states that witches can be repelled by a bundle of Blackthorn sticks on May Eve.

It can also be a protection aid. Iceland thought that it provided protection against wandering spirits.

Used in a hodgepodge of protections spells, there are tales from Ireland in which the Blackthorn tree aided heroes. The heroes were able to make an impassable tangle of thorns, which would stop a giant in it's tracks.

An excellent protection aid that has been used for years is to carve the Thurisaz rune from the Elder Futhark on a branch or stave of Blackthorn.

On the Ogham Tract, is it designated as one of the Eight Chieftain Trees.


For powerful purification and banishing, use Blackthorn at Imbolc (February 1st) and at Samhain (October 31st)

Blackthorn is excellent for purification of negative thoughts and impulses in our psyches at the deepest levels. Issues are dealt with on a Karmic level. It will aid in fighting fear, anger, and depression. Meditation on blackthorn can get rid of built up negativity and help in release of emotional toxins. Using hawthorn with blackthorn will aid in a speedier healing.

Rites for the goddesses, Morrigan, Cailleach, and the Dark Mother, will work well if you add dried leaves, to aid in contacting ancestors.

During Samhain and Beltain rituals, using Hawthorn staffs and Blackthorn wands or staffs in conjunction with each other in initiations will represent death and rebirth.

Also, Caeilleach Bheur, the Scottish Old Blue Hag of Winter, can be called during rituals of Samhain or Yule.

Song of the Cailleach Bheur
What’s all this merriment and cheer?
Is it not winter that you fear?

I am the old veiled one of the wood,
And my appearance shall do you no good.

My realm is cold, dead, and dark.
The ground is barren and the trees are stark.

My fierce white hounds, with eyes of red
Howl through the night, a paean to the dead.

I strike my blackthorn upon the ground!
Now nothing green or living shall be found.

I am the Cailleach Bheur, and now is my reign.
I shall not leave you until next Beltaine.

The darker aspects of deities can make their presence in your life known by the appearance of Blackthorn.

If you would like to contact an Underworld deity, then go outside on Samhain and meditate beneath a Blackthorn tree.

Blackthorn tree in flower. I didn't add any medicinal 
information, but this site has a good blog about it.


The magical aspects:

Planet: Saturn, Scorpio, Mars, and Pluto

Element: Earth and Fire

Polarity: Feminine

Zodiac: Aries and Scorpio

Symbolism: Death, protection, revenge, negativity, strife, balance in light and dark

Stones: Black Opal, Agate, and Bloodstone

Birds: Thrush

Colors: white, black, and red

Deities: Morrighan, Cailleach, Ceridwen, Goddess of Winter, the Dark Mother, Morgan le Fay, Gwynn ap Nudd, the Celtic fire god Bel,  and the Dagda

Sabbat: Samhain

Folk names: Sloe, Faery Tree, Wishing Thorn, Pear Hawthorn, Snag, Spiny Plum, Um Tree, Sloe Plum, Crataegus Tomentosa Mother of the Wood, and Dark Crone of the Wood

Ogham Name: Straif (strife)

Letters: Z, Ss, St, Z

Animals: Wolf,  Dog, Toad, and Black Cat

Virtue: Unity

Associations: Bad luck, Strife, Unexpected changes, resentment, confusion, and refusal to see the truth

Challenge: Turn negative to positive


For this "craft" I am making wax poppet. I am also going to go with the cursing poppet.

I made these with a mixture of melted white candles and parrafin. The parrafin makes it easy to work without getting as stiff. And that allowed me to work my herbs in and spread them throughout the poppet's body. I covered my hands with jojoba oil to work without the wax sticking and I made the poppets on a piece of parchment paper. It worked great.




I selected several cursing herbs to mix them through. I included:

Vetivert- to add power to all the other herbs and it also stops them speaking ill of you
Sloe berries- these are the berries from the blackthorn tree; these will add discord and strife
Slippery Elm- if someone is running their mouth about you with lies and gossip, include this.
Misteltoe- commanding and compelling 
Poppy Seeds- To cause the subject to get into arguments
High John the Conqueror- Commanding
Mandrake- Cursing

I love the way the little guys turned out. I was going for the "Witches of Eastwick" look and I think I got it. 




I included a "compartment" in the bottom to hold a picture, or hair, or whatever would be used for association.


With the blackthorns sticking the poppet




I will be adding these little guys to be sold with 3 blackthorn thorns each in my shop tomorrow.


I found a couple of great links for you to read about poppets and activating them for further info.

























19 January 2014

The Magic of Winter

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!




While we are all dreaming of spring and gardening and interacting with nature, we need to remember that we are still officially in winter, and will be until the middle of March. It seems that people are always trying to rush the seasons instead of enjoying them for what they are. Each season holds it's own magic.

Winter is a quality and restful 'downtime' for nature and it can also be a quality and restful downtime for you. Downtime is healing on all levels and it is needed. It is a great time for introspection, for delving into your inter-most you and finding your past year's moments and examining them, whether they are beautiful, or sad, or happy, or just downright scary. This is the time to examine your life's direction in detail and determine what turns you need to take to make you keep to your life's path and re-connect with yourself.

Winter is also an excellent time to connect with the magic of nature. The glittery snow, the glittery star filled sky, the silence, the darkness. What magic! What I wouldn't give to see the aurora borealis and connect with that magic hanging above. Well, one day. One day.

Take the time to tune into yourself and tune into nature. Capture the magic around you, fill yourself with it!

I love playing in the snow and being outside in the cold. But sadly, I haven't had any snow to play in this year. Lots of people stay in, but you should go out and enjoy nature in this time as much as you do in the spring/summer/fall. There is so much to discover and enjoy. So, for this blog, I thought that I would do a link roundup of fun winter activities to do by yourself, with your child, or a grandchild, to help you to re-connect with yourself and with nature. Most of these are nature based, and they are all lovely crafts to make.

These could also be considered for your outdoor and indoor altars.

These are all great blogs, so maybe you will also find some new things to follow. I've also found a great 10 minute meditation for you to try.

Okay, so let's dig deep within, find and refresh our souls, and get ready to burst forward with the coming spring.

Winter Meditation

Treasure Hunt and Ice Suncatcher Craft 1




Treasure Hunt and Suncatcher Craft 2


Natural Lighting



Icy Mobiles



Molded Bird Feeder
http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2012/01/all-natural-valentines-day-treats.html


Winter Scavenger Hunt



You don't have to homeschool to do these. These would be great weekend together activities. Think of it as leading a child to journaling or maybe beginning their own book of shadows. And bonus. In the process, you and your child become closer to nature and each other.

Nature Journals




Pinecone Firestarters




Orange Feeder



Ice Bucket Lights









Northern Hemisphere Winter Constellations














13 January 2014

I Am My Own Worst Enemy

This past week I have been really thinking hard about my direction for the next year. I know there are things that I want to accomplish. I have been talking to some really great friends about this. Okay now, this is going to come as a shock to you.

I have had horrible self esteem. I would beat myself constantly. I have almost made myself a hermit.

Almost.

I have had a really bad past few years, mainly in the relationship area.  A lot of it stems from failed communications. I have a hard time expressing myself. This stems from being shut down while I was growing up, with no matter what I said. I was raised by my mother, and while she bought whatever she thought would make me happy, she never communicated or gave me a relationship. She responded in anger with everything. And though I thought I had worked through a lot of this issue........I've come to realize over the past year, that I still have issues with it. I'm still angry with things that happened over the past few years, and I have become my own worst enemy and put blocks up so that I can't get to the things that would make me happy.

So, I determined that I need to do several things to work on myself. I've been erratic with my workouts for the past few months. I am happy with my size now. I have went from a size 12/14 to a 6. I lost from 180 to 136. My knees are happier. My body is happier.

A few years back I contracted Lyme disease. After that, it seems that I had health problem after health problem. Digestive issues, allergies, female problems......on and on and on. It never got better, only worse. The doctors didn't help. Their answer was a hysterectomy, even though I didn't have cancer. Why couldn't they just fix what was obviously hormonal issues? I was walking around with a blood pressure that was 85/58 and I was blacking for a few seconds every time I stood up. I was having heart flutters. What does the doctor tell me? This: "oh, that's a runner's blood pressure, that's what you want"...........Um, okay. But I'm not a runner, so I'm pretty sure that it's wrong.

Turns out, my potassium was low. I figured that out myself. It got rid of both the heart flutters and the low blood pressure. How did I figure that out? I read on the internet. I started taking potassium and within a week I was feeling better. I had a host of other  issues.  I eventually figured out my thyroid was screwed up, my iron was low, and my estrogen was high. I have been tweaking these things for the past two/ three years and I finally feel like a living person again. This year is the best I have felt health wise. I also went on the Paleo diet. That helped my allergy/digestion issues. It enabled me to be able to stop taking the potassium and iron supplements. That is also how I lost the weight, which was mostly bloat.

So, in evaluating myself I discovered I still have blockages. I still have unwanted anger. I have low self-esteem, but I have to say, I have been working on this. I have wonderful friends that have helped me to see my own self-worth, and I am coming out of that.  This year, I will be working on these issues to help further myself. I will do this by:

1. Journaling at least 3 pages every day.
2. Meditation every day. I had gotten erratic with this. So this year, it is going to be an every day thing.
3. Rotate yoga/workout every day. I had also gotten erratic with this.
4. Organization/Schedule

I started reading Spirit Babies by Walter Makichen. I read that it is really good with chakra issues, so I got a used copy on Amazon. This morning I read the first chapter and something that really struck me was this passage:

"Say that because of previous experiences, your second, or navel, chakra has been conditioned to take in large amounts of antagonism from others. As a result, emotions like anger, jealousy, hatred or competition easily enter this chakra. Given this scenario, you might feel a constant sense of persecution- that everyone is against you- causing you to become overly defensive or, in contrast, overly anxious to please............................However, the negative energy flowing into the second chakra damages the intestines, which are interpenetrated by this chakra. Feeling a constant influx of antagonism from others can cause as much irritation in the intestines as drinking a half gallon of black coffee a day for weeks; thus the irritated colon."

Thank you Mr. Makichen.

I'll continue to read his book every day, along with the other things I am doing.

I can only make myself better. I will become my own best friend.

12 January 2014

The Wolf Moon and Home Protection Spell

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!




January's full moon has many names. One of them is the "Wolf Moon". This year the Wolf moon will be on January 15th. The Farmer's Almanac says that the wolves used to howl in hunger, in the cold and snow, outside the Indian villages by the light of the January full moon, and that's how the moon got the name.

I ran across a beautiful tale about the wolf howling at the moon, I prefer to believe this as the reason for the name. I'm going to shorten it a bit for you, because my racing mind came up with another spell. It stems from a discussion with my two witch sisters, The Three Little Pigs, and the name of the moon in January. It's a home protection spell.

Anyway, the story:

Long ago, on a clear and cold night, the very first wolf came forth from the forest while chasing a rabbit.  As he emerged, he caught sight of the moon for the first time. He was entranced by the beauty of the moon. In those early days the moon was full each and every night. She hung so closely and bathed him in silvery light, he was quickly brought to tears.

In his love for the moon, he ran to the highest mountain and called out to her. He wanted nothing more than for the moon to notice him. He sang and sang his love for her. He continued his singing into the night with his love bursting forth in longing.



At last, though he was one creature, his howls of complete and pure love caught the attention of the moon. She also fell for him.

Her luminous voice called out to her wolf love, "Come to me, come close to me" The wolf was enamored even more so. He longed to be closer. He raced looking for a higher mountain, but he could not find one.

In his longing, he called out to the wind to carry him to the moon. But the wind, in it's rush, did not hear him.

With intense cries to the Earth, he begged her to make a bridge for him. But with all of her children calling to her, and her rumblings and storms, Mother Earth did not hear him.

The moon, in sadness, stared down at the wolf. She saw there would be no way for him to reach her. She tried to comfort him.

The wolf cried out with madness and the thought of never getting to the moon overcame him. He howled and he vaulted madly from his highest point.

But, in his madness, he forgot that he could not jump to the moon and he was broken into a million shards when he hit among the rocks.

The moon was so sad. The grief overcame her and she faded. She went into darkness and her silvery fullness slipped away. Every creature mourned the moon's disappearance. The silvery light of the moon no longer lit the Earth.

The wolf, even though he was dashed into so many pieces, took a full three days to die. On the third night of wolf's death, Mother Earth became worried. Mother Earth, in her wisdom, sent crows to eat the shards of the broken wolf, before he was completely gone. After the crows had eaten the pieces, they then flew to their nests. Each crow laid an egg, and from each of the eggs a wolf was hatched. They were the ancestors of all the wolves that are here today.

All the children of that first wolf, still feel the love for the moon that the first wolf felt. They still feel that longing deep inside their souls, and even though they don't know why, they lift their heads and they sing to the moon.

Every month, the moon goes into darkness for 3 days, because of that first lost love. She remembers and knows, even though the wolf children do not know, of the longing and love between the wolf and the moon.

The End.


I love that story.

As I said, I have thought of another spell. It is based on a conversation I had with Kallan and Rita, the Three Little Pigs, and this month's Wolf Moon. I know, I know, the three pigs were accosted by the big, bad wolf. BUT the wolf can protect your home, and I am including red brick dust (the third pigs home was made from bricks). I hope you like it.

This spell will use a wolf's shed hair. However, if you aren't able to find that, replace it with your own dog's shed hair. Why? because your dog loves you and would do anything to protect you.

WOLF HOME SECURITY SPELL

With this spell, I'm trying to cover as much as I can with the combo of herbs/stones/runes. It will be similar to the New Year's spell that I made, in that you will make a charm bag to hang.........because I'm witchcrafty like that, and it will be a long term protector to hang up and keep.

Again, I will be using felt for this project. I love felt because first, it is so cheap. Second, it comes in a variety of colors. Third, it is excellent for holding in herbs, they can't work their way through. Fourth, you can hot glue it, and it holds wonderfully. I am too busy to take the time to sew. I have a sewing machine, but there isn't room to keep one out all the time, so I would have to drag it out, and I don't want to. It's much easier to grab the glue gun and plug it up.

First you are going to cut out two circles from white felt. And a shadow wolf from black felt. The reasons for these colors is  not just because they would look that way, but also because the WHITE moon is for protection against all negativity and the BLACK shadow wolf is to banish and repel negativity and for protection.

This circle is 3 inches.


The wolf is 2 inches from the base to the tip of his nose and he is around 3/4" wide at the ear.


Glue your two moon piece edges together, to make a pocket, leaving the top open in which to put your herbs and stones. On the outside of the moon you'll glue the shadow of the wolf. You don't have to leave anything open, just glue it on your front like this:



And then decorate it with glitter or glitter glue. You don't want it to be boring:


Now, flip your project over to the back of the moon. You are going to draw the bindrune with red (another protective color) glitter gel. 

This one shows all the different runes that I used.





Also, if you would prefer to use wolf hair instead of dog, you can:
a. go to the woods and hope to find some b. go to the zoo and ask the zookeepers if you may have some or purchase some or c. ask a friend that has a wolf/dog hybrid (keep in mind, though, your friend may not give out the hair of their protector so lightly, because this animal will be connected to them) d. purchase some online from HEX Salem  Hex Wolf Hair. The hair that is sold is from live shedding and the animal is not harmed in any way. The wolf hair is obtained from http://wolfsanctumwildstones.com and with each purchase of hair $1 is donated back to the sanctuary.

In it you are going to put your wolf/dog hair and:

The herbs I've chosen are:

Mistletoe- all-purpose protection and protection against lightning and fire
Rosemary- evils spirits and witchcraft, home protection
Mugwort- General protection
Sage- General all-around protection
High John the Conquerer Root- Protection and overcome enemies
Frankincense- protection
Myrrh- protection and hex breaking

and Red Brick Dust

If you crush your own red brick, as you crush to powder, chant while crushing the brick "To protect from enemies known and unknown".
You'll only need a couple of pinches of each herb along with a tablespoon of red brick to make a good mixture.
As you grind your herbs together with the brick powder keep chanting "to protect against enemies known and unknown"  When you are finished put them in the moon and add in the wolf/dog hair and then add in your stones.



Before adding in your stones, hold them in your hands and charge them with what purpose they have. Concentrate for a few moments and then put them in your bag.


The stones/crystals are:

Moonstone -Inside protection, reunite quarreled lovers, helps with inner growth and strength
Smoky Quartz- physical and psychic protection, protection from negative energy, and transform negative to positive
Amethyst- Protection against witchcraft
Selenite- Helps to keep the others charged for their "job" and excellent for keeping outside influences out.

After you have added all your ingredients to the inside, you will now hot glue the rest of the moon together.


(Hecate likes to join in)


Now, get a red candle and hold it in your hand and charge it with protection, light it, and you will pass your wolf bag through the flame and say ""With the flame of this candle the power and the magic within these herbs, stones, and runes are activated and will work together to bring protection and defense in all areas to my home. This will be done immediately with no harm to my family, property, possessions, or pets."

Put the candle in a safe place and let it burn out.

Add a loop if you'd like and hang it up or set it on your altar.


I hope you like this spell and thanks for reading!

Saga





05 January 2014

Celebrate with Befana


This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!


Buona Befana by Loren Morris


Each year, on the night of Jan. 5, the Eve of Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas, Befana comes to visit children, in Italy.

Who is Befana?

Befana is an Italian strega. A strega is an Italian witch. Befana has a large nose and chin with warts, carefully mended clothes, and tattered shoes.

She will enter the home through keyholes or down the chimneys and decide who has been good and who has been naughty. She fills the stockings of good children with all sorts of goodies. The bad children get coal, onions, and garlic. Instead of milk and cookies, wine and fruit are left for Befana. She doesn't have the sleigh with reindeer, she flies on her broom. She also uses her broom to sweep the floor of each home that she visits before leaving.

January 6 is Epiphany, aka Old Christmas, aka Little Christmas. Epiphany, which is an national holiday in Italy, is the day that the 3 wise men arrived in Bethlehem to give their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

In the town of Urbania, Le Marche, Italy, a celebration takes place every year. It is a four day festival that lasts from January 2- January 6. Children get to meet Befana and talk to her. There are witches everywhere in this town during the festival. You can also go to Befana's home.

Here's a pretty neat video, it's in Italian, but it is fun to watch.



A song that is sung about Befana is (translated to English):

The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long life to the Befana!

She brings ashes and coal 
To bad nasty children
To the nice good child
She brings candies and many gifts!


There is also a poem that was written by Giovanni Placido Agostino Pascoli (translated to English)

Here comes, here comes the Befana
She comes from the mountains in the deep of the night
Look how tired she is! All wrapped up
In snow and frost and the north wind! 
Here comes, here comes the Befana!


There are two or three variations of the back story of Befana, but the common theme is this:

This kindly witch was invited by the 3 Wise Men to travel to meet Baby Jesus, but she declined saying that she had housework to do. Befana had the nicest and cleanest home in her town. She later felt guilty for not joining them, so now she hands out treats and presents to the good children.

Of course, if none of you celebrate Epiphany, then leave that part out. Having a witch deliver presents and treats is pretty darn neat. And of course, it is linked to neolithic beliefs and practices, before Christianity touched it, with historians suggesting that Befana is a descendant of Strenia. Strenia is a goddess that presided over new year's gifts.

I've put together some links with Befana crafts, recipes, music, and books. A couple of these pages are in Italian.

















Another coloring page:


And also a print and make storybook:








This one is just another neat blog: