The Witch’s Diary: Home Alone (video)

We keep reassuring the neighbors ~ I’m harmless…Really!

 

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Video: Potions~ Black Cat Oil

Here’s my very own recipe from my very own Book of Shadows for Black Cat Oil!…I give you my ingredients, and we make a jar of BCO together.  For more information on Cats, Cat Magick (including Black Cat Oil), Cat Correspondences, and Cat Superstitions, visit my blog (Magickal Connections) and this post:  “Magickal Katz”… https://wytchymystique.com/2011/09/10/magickal-kat

Our Katz

[Originally published in The Witch’s Corner newsletter, June 2011…Pixie passed away since this post was first published]

Katz

(Salem & Pixie, sitting in *their* spot at the livingroom windows, watching birds & squirrels at the feeders.)

We have six cats, or Katz, in our house, and each one is a unique creature that stands out from all the others with a staunch individualism that only cats can carry off successfully.  There’s Salem, the sleek black prince of the house, who enjoys a great deal of affection, and can’t seem to wait until 5:30am, the time my husband normally rises for work, to come greet us in bed with morning nips to the fingers, purring, chirping, and carrying on. Unfortunately, Salem seems to think that *every* morning must begin this early and in this way…whether the alarm goes off or not.

At the other extreme is our brown tabby cat, Basil.  Basil was born with the soul of an irrascible old man.  He doesn’t want to be touched, he doesn’t really like it when you talk to him, and he puts a lot of effort into pretending not to listen.  He doesn’t even like you to get too close, and goddess forbid, don’t make eye contact.  And just like some crabby old man, he spends a lot of time growling, hissing, and complaining.

(Basil, napping on the back porch.)

Bast is the ‘Mama’ of the group, both figuratively and literally– she’s Basil’s mother.  She also runs our cat community with an iron fist, and if anyone gets out of line– either cat or human– she puts them back into place by giving them a good swift slap to the face.  Apparently this system works very well for her.  So far no one has questioned her authority or tried to usurp her position in the pecking order.

(Mama Bast)

Pixie, also known as “Mistress Pixie Paws”, is just plain weird.  She’s known around the house as ‘Spook’, for the unnerving habit of calmly watching us out of glassy gold-green eyes when we least expect it, and then blinking complacently when we’re startled.  She is a sprite, a magickal creature, one of the elves or nymphs come to spy on us humans.  Her actions are usually slow and deliberate, occasionally totally off the wall and unexpected, and always entertaining.

This cat also has the ability to fall asleep anywhere in almost any position– occasionally even when she’s sitting up, human style.

(Pixie, sleeping on the arm of the couch, where she had fallen asleep sitting bolt upright in a human position, and then gradually slid to the right.)

Pyewacket defies explanation.  He’s a beautiful black angora that is very affectionate, likes to do a little ‘head-bumping’ greeting he has, and absolutely refuses to use a litter box– no way, no how.  Wintering with him in the house is hell.  He is banished to the laundry room, with the entire floor laid in newspapers.  I defy you to pick up one square of newspaper, because if you do, out of this entire room– and it’s big– he will choose that one bare spot of floor to do his business.

We’ve decided that, lovable and affectionate as he is, Pyewacket basically has the heart of an outdoor cat.

(Pyewacket, snoozing in his food bowl on the back porch.)

Baby, aka Duchess, is my ham.  Where the camera is, you’ll find Baby.  She winds up in more of my photos, and photos that I’ll use for particular purposes, more often than any of the other cats.  She also has two names, as you can see.

She is quiet, sort of out in a zone all on her own.  This cat also obviously interacts with beings or entities that only she can see.  We sat and watched her one day in the middle of the livingroom floor, as she circled an unseen being, her hair standing straight on end.  It must have been about the same size as herself, and as she circled it, all puffed up, she would reach inside this space, trying to sniff whatever it was.  Suddenly, it must have startled her, for she leaped backwards, all four paws off the floor.  And then it was gone.  I’m grateful that I had wittnesses to this extraordinary display.

 Cats are lazy, plain and simple.  That’s the truth.  They spend their time eating or sleeping, with a little bit of play and shenanigans inbetween.

But mostly, they sleep…

Sometimes they like to share their space…

And sometimes, they don’t.

KATZ

It’s said of cats that they can move magickally through time and space, visiting the Land of Fairy, where no human can safely travel.  It’s also said that cats can cross the boundaries of a magickal circle, a witch’s sacred space, without breaking the circle or disturbing the energy.  Cats are also very sensitive to spirits and other paranormal entities, so watch your cat carefully, it will tell you when something is lurking about.  We personally experienced this one day as my girls and I sat watching our calico cat mysteriously circle an invisible something in the middle of the living room floor.  She tightly circled around it, hair standing on end, cautiously reaching inward to sniff whatever it was, and jerking her head back, as though to stay out of its reach.  It suddenly startled her.  She jumped straight in the air, all four feet off the ground, and took off racing out of the living-room.  Had I not seen this with my own eyes, it would have been hard to believe.  I’m glad I had witnesses to this truly remarkable incident.

It is especially unlucky to harm a black cat, as this is a favorite form for spirits to take, and not every black cat you see is actually a cat– but a spirit in disguise.  Black cats have, over the centuries, suffered greatly because of their association with Witches and their reputation as Witches’ familiars.  In Italy, even today, thousands of black cats are slaughtered every year in the name of superstition.  It’s recommended to black cat owners here in the U.S. that they keep their felines indoors over Samhain (Halloween) night, as black cats are often targeted for abuse because of their connection to witches and this holiday.

Cats are independent, intelligent, not likely to suffer fools.  They may be loyal, but the recipient of that loyalty must be deserving of it.  Cats are agile, silent, cunning, excellent and vicious hunters, aloof, and sometimes lazy.

CatnipValerianRue

Catnip is commonly used in sleeping potions, and the herb is well-known for the intoxicating effect it has on cats.  Catnip is also sacred to all Pagan Gods/Goddesses who manifest in the form of a cat or other feline creature– this would include the Egyptian goddess, Bast; as well as the Norse goddess, Freya.

Correspondences:

Element:  Water; Planet:  Venus; Energy:  Feminine (receptive)
Used in animal magick and for healing pets, increases the psychic bond with animals. Use as a tea for happiness and relaxation. Can also be used during meditation, increases psychic abilities. Useful in love magick- try burning dried leaves for love wishes.

Valerian is used in sleeping potions and dream pillows.  It’s said that the scent of valerian is irresistible to cats and if they find it in your garden, they will dig it up.

Correspondences:

Element:  Water; Planet:  Venus; Energy:  Feminine (receptive)
Valerian is a muscle relaxant and tranquilizer. Use for dream magick and sleep protection baths. Keep in the home or grow in the garden to aid in keeping harmony. May be used to purify a ritual space. Useful in consecrating incense burners. Drink tea daily, in moderate doses, during times of purification.

Rue is used to keep cats away, whether from digging in your garden, or hunting the birds gathering around your feeders.  This would probably also work to keep them off your bed and the kitchen table.  Since I find my cats’ presence at both of these places enjoyable, I’ll forego the Rue at these spots.  Cats dislike the scent of Rue, which is purported to have been used in the middle-ages as a talisman of protection against witches and their familiars.

Correspondences:

Element:  Fire; Planet:  Mars; Energy:  Masculine (projective)
Use Rue in purification baths to break hexes or curses; use in exorcism incense; use the magick of Rue to return-to-sender any negative energy or negative magick sent your way.  *Odd Note:  it’s said that Rue works best when stolen and replanted in your garden, where it will– ironically– protect your home and grounds from thieves.

Cats are considered to be the animal that is the ally of gamblers and games of chance; they are believed to bring good luck and success in these endeavors.  Following are spells of luck, gambling, and goddess invocation, through cat magick:

Lucky Cat Spell

Candles in the shape of cats are the figure candles most associated with gambling magic.  Red, black or green candles may all be used.  Let your intuition guide you:

1.  Inscribe the candle with your name, identifying information, and any lucky numbers.

2.  Dress it with Black Cat Oil, or another gamblers lucky oil.

3.  Burn the candle.

Lucky Cat Candle Spell

Lucky cat candles help fulfill your wishes.  Color coordinate to suit the nature of the wish:  use green for money, red for love, and black to resolve problems.

1.  Carve and dress the candle as you will.

2.  Write your wish succinctly and explicitly on a piece of paper.

3.  Burn the paper; use this paper to light the candle, rather than a match.

4.  Murmur wishes, incantations, and sacred verses, at least until the paper has completely burned to ash.

Spirit Petition:  Freya Cat Spell

There is an old Norse tradition of paying tribute to the goddess Freya by feeding milk to cats.

1.  Put out milk for stray cats.  If you don’t live in an area with stray cats, bring contributions to a shelter or adopt a gray stray cat.

2.  Feeding isn’t done mundanely, by rote, but as a conscious offering; speak with Freya simultaneously, explain your needs, desires, or broken heart, and request assistance.

3.  Pay attention– the response may come through the cats

 

 

Cat Magick: Herbs & Spells

Catnip is commonly used in sleeping potions. The easiest and most pleasant way I can think of to use catnip for this purpose is to make a delicious pot of tea. Catnip is one of the herbs that I grow in my own gardens, so all I have to do when I want to brew a pot of catnip tea is to step outside and snatch a handful of the fresh herb. I usually use both the flowers and the leaves. How much you use is going to depend upon how strong you like your tea and the size of your pot. You can sweeten it with honey or sugar. Since catnip is a member of the mint family, I’m guessing that if you like mint in your tea, you’ll like catnip, though to me it is more pungent.

Catnip has an absolutely intoxicating effect on cats, and it was actually hard getting the catnip started in my garden because my cats wouldn’t leave it alone. I’d plant a nice lush bunch of catnip and the next morning I’d go out to find nothing but bare stems and a garden full of chewed leaves. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve looked out the kitchen windows to watch one of our cats, or a stray cat, rolling around our garden in drunken bliss.

I harvest our catnip not only for use as a tea, but as a treat for my cats and for magickal uses. To make a magickal talisman for your cat, one that he will absolutely love, you can sew two small pieces of flannel together, and just before you sew it shut add a nice bunch of fresh catnip leaves. Consecrate this talisman for your kitty to pass on the magick of good health mojo and protection.

Catnip is sacred to all pagan gods/goddesses who manifest as a cat or feline creature, including: Sekhmet, Bast, Mau, Tefnut, Mafdet, and Freya.

Correspondences for Catnip:

Energy: Feminine (Receptive)
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Magick: cat magick, love, beauty, well-being

It’s believed that a gift of catnip from you to your cat will create a magickal and psychic bond between the two of you. Since I’ve experienced this myself, I have to say that it truly works in beautiful ways. If you make a catnip talisman for your kitty, keep this in mind. Remember that concentrating on your intentions when crafting magickal items imbues that piece with the magick. Catnip is also used in love spells, often as an ingredient in mojo bags or candle magick. Just as the cat finds this herb intoxicating and irresistible, so will the one you target in love magick, using catnip to draw them to you. Hang a bunch of dried catnip over the threshold of your home to draw good spirits and good luck, as well as to draw the blessings of cat goddesses. Catnip is also used in beauty spells, either as a tincture you can use to bathe your face, or with candle magic. It’s believed that this herb will mesmerize those targeted in such spells to see you as youthful and beautiful. This type of enchantment is considered a glamour.

Valerian is also used in sleeping potions and dream pillows, just as catnip is used. It’s said that the scent of valerian is irresistible to cats and if they find it in your garden, they will dig it up. What’s not often said is that valerian stinks. It has an extremely strong aroma that I personally don’t find especially pleasant, and although you can use this herb in relaxation and sleepy-time teas, I don’t know how on earth you could mask the taste. Commercial teas, prepared with valerian, seem to do a pretty good job of this; and I have used them many times, usually in the evenings, to unwind and relax.

Correspondences for Valerian:

Energy: Feminine (Receptive)
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Magick: love, purification, protection

It is the root of valerian that is used in a powdered form and added to protective mojo bags or dream pillows– though I don’t think I could fall asleep with the scent of this herb right under my nose. The calming effect of valerian is not limited to sleepy-time teas but also includes the energies surrounding a space. If there has been quarreling in your home, hanging this herb around your house is said to calm the atmosphere, to settle things down. Valerian is one of the herbs that can be used as a substitute for Graveyard Dirt.

In the Middle Ages rue was used as a talisman against witches and their familiars (usually cats). Perhaps the association was made in the minds of people because cats are drawn to rue much the way they are drawn to catnip, and because they are drawn to it, they dig it up and wreak havoc with the plant. I would imagine it’s the pungent aroma of rue that has something to do with this behavior, just like catnip and valerian. Because cats did this, perhaps people got the mistaken impression that cats hated rue, so they thought they could keep them at bay with the herb. Supposedly rue is used to keep cats out of your garden, away from the birdfeeders, or wherever else you don’t want them, though I suspect the opposite effect. Rue is an evergreen pernnial shrub.

Correspondences for Rue:

Energy: Masculine (Projective)
Planet: Mars
Element: Fire
Magick: health/healing, exorcism, love

Rue leaves are placed on the forehead to relieve headaches, or worn to facilitate healing. Rue is used in mojo bags poppets, and candle magick for healing, for matters of love, and to improve mental abilities. Rue is used to break hexes and curses by using it in a cleansing bath; hanging it around your home; placing it in sachets, poppets, or mojo bags; and using it in floor washes. It’s worn to protect one against poison, monsters, and the evil eye. A sprig of fresh rue is often used to dip into salt water and asperge a space.

Cats are considered to be the animal that is the ally of gamblers and games of chance, they are believed to bring good luck and success in these endeavors. Following is a cat spell that may do just that:

Lucky Cat Spell

Candles in the shape of cats are often burned for good luck, especially luck that has to do with games of chance. This magick is especially geared towards gamblers.

1. Inscribe a cat candle with your name, lucky numbers, numbers needed for a successful outcome, or a specific amount of money.

2. Dress it with Black Cat Oil, or another gambler’s lucky oil.

3. Burn the candle.

Lucky Cat Candle Spell

Burning Lucky Cat Candles makes your wishes come true. Color coordinate the candles to suit the nature of the wish: use green for money, health, and healing; red for love, romance, and marriage; and black to resolve problems, or to break hexes and curses.

1. Carve and dress the candle, maybe using herbs and an oil that correspond with your intentions.

2. Write your wishes on a piece of paper, being very careful to be explicit in exactly what you want.

3. Ignite the corner of this paper, and use this flame to light the candle.

4. Murmur wishes, incantations, and intentions until the paper has burned to ash.

Spirit Petition: Freya Cat Spell

There is an old Norse tradition of paying tribute to the goddess Freya by feeding milk to cats.

1. Consecrate a crystal bowl to the goddess Freya; fill it with whole milk or sweet cream, and sit it out on your front steps or back porch for stray cats.

2. Magickal intentions are important. Consecrating and preparing the bowl and setting it out for the cats is a ritual. As you perform this ritual, consciously invoke the goddess Freya and speak your petitions to her.

3. Watch the cats, pay attention to stray cats. Pay attention to cats who may appear as an image, statuary, art, or through some other medium. This may be Freya’s way of giving you an answer to your wishes or request.

A Brief: things I love & things I hate

*Note: I may be re-posting a re-post. Quite honestly, I’ve written so much that I don’t remember what I’ve posted where anymore. However, I may have a few things to add to this– yes, I believe I do. I re-read this while having coffee this morning, and there was just something about it that scratched the itch in my soul.

 
witchgirlbrm---Copy1.jpg picture by witch_of_endore
Things I like and why…maybe.
 
I love moonlight— I remember laying on Grandma’s couch in the bay windows of her large kitchen one summer night and raising up in the dark to hold my arms out in the moonlight that was spilling through the glass. My arms looked all puny, and white, and ghostly, and the moonlight felt good on my skin…the same way some people claim that the sun feels good on theirs.
 
Chocolate…this is a mandatory like for all females. It contributes to our feelings of well-being, our energy level, and our rear ends, but in a good way. 😉 It’s used to alleviate guilt, stress, anger, and jealousy. It soothes the soul and adds to the ambiance of our lives– sort of like a gentle ‘Ommmm’, or one of Deuters CDs.
 
I love autumn. I love the beautiful and vibrant colors- golden hues, maize, browns, tans; the warm colors- shades of orange and red. The smell of dry autumn leaves in damp earth is one of my favorite scents. I love deep blue autumn skies as a backdrop for the trees. I love the sound of geese overhead, flying south; the influx of wild birds and squirrels at our feeders; the crisp mornings that are a balm from a hot summer; the bounty that comes with a garden harvest, pumpkins and gourds. I love the occasional foggy, chilly, mist-in-the-air, gray day. I love the primeval urge to bake spicy breads and pies; the smell of hot coffee; and the warm golden puddles of light from my candles, which were lit early to soften the growing darkness.
 
 
 
 
blackcat.jpg picture by witch_of_endoreCats…they wreak of mysticism, they know what they know, and they keep secrets. Cats don’t pressure you for emotions you don’t feel like showing. They know when to crawl into your lap and seek your attention and affection, and they know when to retreat into the shadows and leave your space open and clear. Cats walk with spirits and commune with fairies; they don’t encompass magick, they are magick.
 
I love rain…I love the smell of it, the sight of it, the sound of it. I love the dark steel gray days that go with rain. I love the cozy solitude found indoors on rainy days- someone hunkered over a book in a pool of lamp light; a pretty teapot, full of jasmine tea, nestled on a trivet; cats curled into furry balls on the couch and kitchen chairs. I love the way drops of rain slide down the window-panes. I love the rumble of thunder in the distance and loud claps of thunder overhead. I love the way tree trunks look darker and more well-defined and sidewalks smell of damp forest pathways.
 
 
 
 
Things I hate— and yes, it’s perfectly okay to ‘Hate’ something. It’s an honest human emotion, like love and lust, only no one wants to acknowledge it because we were raised in a mostly Christian society that attempts to pigeon hole human emotions and appetites as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Yep, you go right ahead and hate anything you feel a hankering to hate. Once in a while we hit on something to hate and we hate it so much it gives us enough gumption to change it.
 
I hate the dead of winter…it wreaks of hopelessness and the fact that there’s no way out, because none can be seen at this point. It’s not early enough winter to look pretty, and it’s not near enough spring to look hopeful– it’s just plain dirty and cold, gray and dark.
 
I hate a liar…My grandmother told me that this is one of the most dangerous creatures walking the planet. The very nature of what they are makes them impossible to fight.
 
I hate the idea of legal marriage. It is absurd to think that you need to receive a sanction of approval from a judicial system to be seen by the world as a legitimate couple. Not only do you have to pay a fee to obtain a ‘license’ so that someone deemed ‘legally qualified’ can marry you. Should the marriage not work out, you have to pay a great deal of money to this same judicial system so that you can extricate yourself from what I consider a personal relationship. As far as I’m concerned, Wiccans finally got it right with ‘Handfasting’…after all, if you know that the other party can end the contract with no fuss every year and a day, seems like everyone might work harder to keep the magic going. This sure beats the hell out of the Christian alternative– you stay with someone forever, until you die, whether you’re happy or not.
 
I hate “Mean Girl Mentality”. This phenomena is usually sistered up with “Group Mentality”, and when you put both of these disease ridden syndromes together, it becomes lethal…lethal to common sense, good manners, and courtesy.
 
 
 
 

 

Quote for the day:

People spend a lifetime searching for happiness, looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.
 
 
~ Romana L. Anderson
 
 

Magickal Katz

Bast, the Matriarch

In the first place, they usually come to you, you don’t acquire them; and if you happen to, they may disappear quickly, quietly, and mysteriously; leaving hardly a trace that allows you to remember they were ever there.

They return like actions for like actions, like emotions for like emotions…if you are cruel, they will return this action in kind, with the grasp of a jaw, or the swiping rake of a claw. If you are gentle, so shall they be, calmly and matter-of-factly washing your hand or your cheek as they would one of their own kind, showing in their own way their acceptance of you– in spite of your human condition. O’ joy, you are considered worthy!

Human outbursts are generally met with two reactions, either a quick departure which wreaks of not only fear but severe disapproval, or an intent stare of disdain, which wreaks of superiority and quiet wisdom. They refuse to remain in the company of one who would wish them ill. They refuse to remain in the company of one who offends their senses. They are what they are, and they do as they do, and in the process they cross paths with the human race and our wearisome state of being. They know, they figured us out long ago.

Baby, The Huntress

 Correspondences for Cat Magick

Day: Monday

Planet: Moon

Element: Water

Color: blue, silver, purple

Herbs: calamus, gardenia, sandalwood, willow, chickweed, bladder wrack, columbine, Dittany of Crete, catnip, belladonna, apple,
African Violet

Stones: chalcedony, moonstone, sapphire, pearl, aquamarine, selenite

Magick: visions, seeing spirits, protection, astral travel, fairies

Bast, at sundown

 Black Cat Oil

Ingredient: sage, bay leaves, myrrh, iron,
black cat hair

Base: almond oil– for romance, to draw a lover to you; castor oil– to draw spirits for spirit contact, for protection, to break bad spells and hexes

The black cat is not viewed as evil by the magickal practitioner. On the contrary, this animal is believed to be imbued with magickal connections to the spirit world. It’s often a favored familiar for a witch because of it’s otherworld qualities; its intelligence and sense of intuition, its beauty, its mystery, its loyalty, and its magick.

Black cats are also believed to be the favored form for shape-shifting spirits. This is why it’s considered bad luck to harm a black cat– this cat may not be a cat at all, but an entity from the spirit world who’s scrutinizing you as closely as you are watching it. Treat the black cat with respect and kindness, and you will receive this same treatment in return…harm this creature, and you may regret it.

Pyewacket

Cat Superstitions

Dreaming of white cat means good luck.

To see a white cat on the road is lucky.

It is bad luck to see a white cat at night.

If a cat washes behind its ears, it will rain.

A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity.

A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it.

A cat sleeping with all four paws tucked under means cold weather ahead.

When moving to a new home, always put the cat through the window instead of the door, so that it will not leave.

When you see a one-eyed cat, spit on your thumb, stamp it in the palm of your hand, and make a wish. The wish will come true.

In the Netherlands, cats were not allowed in rooms where private family discussions were going on. The Dutch believed that cats would definitely spread gossip around the town.

To reverse the bad luck curse of a black cat crossing your path, first walk in a circle, then go backward across the spot where it happened and count to 13.

Bast, on the eve of Samhain

A cat is not a panting, jumping, blindly adoring dog. Strike a cat and you may forever lose their trust and confidence in you. When our cats were kittens, and even once in a while yet, when they need to be reprimanded for climbing on shelves where they don’t belong, hanging from the living room curtains, or some other distinctly mischievous catly behavior, we use a small spray bottle of water in order to tell them that we don’t approve of what they are doing. After you’ve used this method a few times, all you have to do is reach for the bottle and they quickly scamper off the forbidden perch, scattering hither and yon to their secret hiding places within the house.

(The Late) Mistress Pixie Paws

Credits:

The information for “Correspondences for Cat Magick” and “Black Cat Oil” are excerpts from my book: “Natural Magick the Gray Witch Way” © Amythyst Raine 2011; “Cat Superstitions” is courtesy of: http://www.catquotes.com/catsuperstitions.htm

From Hedgewytch Hollow: Storm Clouds, Spells, n’ More

On one evening, my husband called me out of the house and pointed to the sky. He said, “Look up.” And this is what I saw– a huge long cloud bank moving in. It looked ominous– the whole thing, which you don’t see here– like some big monster sneaking in the backdoor. It was really awesome.

I took ths photo while standing in the backyard, looking south. This would have been right in the direction of town where my daughter’s apartment is located. And it wasn’t too much later that a funnel cloud was spotted right over the hospital, only blocks from where she lives. We were on the phone together by that time, comparing notes and watching the sky ‘together’, so to speak.

I took this photo after the storm. What was left when the thunder and lightening and wind had passed were tremendous cloud formations. I know that there is a technical name for these clouds, but my grandmother always called them ‘booby clouds’ (for obvious reasons), and she said that they go with ‘bad weather’, so beware when you see them. But aren’t they gorgeous!

It’s been a strange year, with strange weather everywhere. It started for us in May, when the temperature stayed, more often than not, in the thirties– with a couple days that went the other way and broke heat records, reaching 100 degrees and over. I consider myself lucky if we pull through a storm and I don’t have any water in the basement, and we didn’t this time, so I won’t complain– I’ll just enjoy the show.

I have some new spells up at ‘Enchanted Jewelry’. Although these pieces have been enchanted and are ready to spread their magick just as is, I think it enhances the magick if the person who is going to wear this jewelry adds their own energies to the spell; so I often post things that they can do when they wear the piece for the first time. However, the candle magicks and mojo bags that I’ve suggested to be used with the jewelry can also be used on they’re own. And I’m posting them here.

Eventually I’ll get all the little spells and ‘suggestions’ that I send off with my jewelry typed up this way and posted; but I have so much going on, I won’t be doing it all in one sitting.

 

To Aide in Spiritual Journeys

Happy Hearth Spell

To Ward Off Troublemakers

Book Updates: I’ve completed “The Gray Witch’s Grimoire” (working title) and recently sent it off to the publisher for consideration. I was working on another book, “The Book of Magick” (also working title), simultaneously, and I finished this book just a couple weeks after sending the first one off. Then I sat down with both manuscripts to re-read and tinker, and it suddenly dawned on me…I think these books could be merged into one nice hefty volume. I contacted the editor with the outline for the second book and my suggestion, and she agreed, so I shipped this manuscript off too. In the meantime, I was going to give myself a break from any ‘big’ writing projects. It gets pretty intense sometimes. I’ll find myself writing from very early morning till noon and suddenly realize that I haven’t eaten anything, so I thought, ‘it’s time for a break’. But things don’t always work out the way we planned, and when I sat down to my typewriter, ideas started rolling and so did my fingers to the keys…I’ve started a fourth book that just came to me out of the blue and seems to be writing itself. I’m going to keep the topic and the title for this one a secret until it’s finished. Everyone loves a surprise! 🙂

This is ‘Baby’. She says,“I don’t want you to talk to me right now.” You know when she wants to be left alone by her ears– she lays them back and gets a snotty look on her face.

I had started a little website ages ago and then kind of forgot about it: The Goddess Grove

This website is for women, though men can certainly sneak in and take a peek, but it’s basically a woman’s site. If anyone thinks this is sexist, well, yep– it is, and that’s the way the old ball rolls. You won’t be hearing any apologies here. Women like to get together, plain and simple. We have lots of things to talk about– spirituality, periods, pregnancy, husbands, relationships, babies, parents, breast cancer, pap smears, boyfriends, education, magick, the goddess, and lots and lots of other issues to examine. We also have about two thousand years of religious sexism and persecution to work through– so we have hen parties, we huddle together…laugh, cry, cuss, and shoot the breeze.

It’s fun to be a woman. 🙂

I was working this morning on the links page– and this is the page you’ll be taken to if you click on the link above. I want to add links to this site that will help women deal with everyday mundane issues: both social issues and health issues. I feel that The Goddess Grove could be built to be a very inspirational and useful site for women. This site is a shoot-off from a similar page that I had on Myspace, with over 900 women on the friends list. When Myspace evolved, I deleted the page. It takes a lot of work to build something like this back up, but I’m just going to have to make the time to do it.

Random Thoughts on a Hot Day

I’m working on one of those in-depth 36 card tarot spreads. I’m not sure anyone really knows how much work they are. It virtually amounts to a written interpretation for each card, plus a general overview, and a summation for any specific questions that the client might have. Like I said, it’s a lot of work, but it’s also a fascinating process. As I draw cards and squint at the varied images, colors, shapes, and archetypes, a stranger’s life begins to unfold before me. Weird. At times it makes me feel like a voyeur, often hesitant to reveal too much, less the client feel that their personal space is being invaded. Wouldn’t want that.

For anyone who doesn’t know already– we have a pet chicken. A white hen named Miss Cletus. She was actually just plain Cletus when she was a chick and we thought she was a rooster. We kept watching her scaly little legs for the development of spurs, which never arrived, but one day her first egg did. That’s when she became “Miss”. She generally lays her egg in a large carrier box that is her home in the house, or in the doghouse that’s in the kennel she inhabits when she’s outdoors. But one day I found a present left for me in a kitchen chair. It was bound to happen…

My pot of violas dried up– drat. It’s my fault, I didn’t get out yesterday to water them, and with the tearing hot wind we’ve had, everything that’s in a pot has to be watered everyday. Of course, I felt bad and so I over compensated by watering the whithered plants until the water ran out the bottom drain hole in a steady stream. When I checked on them just a little while ago, I was delightfully surprised to see that they have actually perked up and look almost hopeful. I feel guilty, like I’ve neglected something helpless, so I’m going to go out later this evening and water them again.

We have three cats in our barn who were raised there over the winter by their mother. They are very wild, and we’ve never gotten a chance to get up close and personal with any of them, though we’ve had a lot of fun watching them and their antics from the kitchen window. Two of them are on the adventurous side and have gone off on their own, to return now and then in order to rest up and fill up on large bowls of cat food we put out for them. The third one is not so adventurous. In fact, it looks as though he may become a permanent fixture to Hedgewytch Hollow– our resident ‘Wild Cat’.

One night my daughter went out to check his food and water and make sure his box and bedding were dry, when she discovered his hiding place– the rafters overhead. She could hear him up there, and even see a pinch of his black fur peeking through a knothole. We decided to take my camera out to the barn, leave the flash on, and see what we got.

This is the result:

This cat is a beautiful black angora with a gray tinge to his long fur, and he looks suspiciously like my black angora, Pyewacket. I’ve sat Pyewacket down and had a long talk with him, but he seems to be following the old rule: admit nothing and deny, deny, deny.

Pyewacket:

Uncanny, isn’t it.

I packed up tubs of magickal merchandise Friday evening so that all I’d have to do Saturday morning was load them in my vehicle and take off for our yardsale. I had a helper– my boy, Salem. He is the Prince of Cats at our house. He is the most personable in-your-face intimate cat that I’ve ever had. Actually, he acts more like a dog, which includes coming when you call and snap your fingers. He’s either sitting on us, laying near us, watching us, or sleeping between us. He follows us everywhere, and he was extraordinarily curious and interested in my tubs and my stuff. He crawls into every box and container that is open, and this has included my jewelry box and the kitchen cupboard. I had to keep lifting him out of a tub and shooing him away from the herbal spell bags. Salem woke my husband out of a sound sleep the other night when he almost fell out of bed and instinctively caught himself by grabbing my husband’s bare foot with extended white claws. It was a rude awakening.

I love hearing from all the interesting people out there. We have a surprisingly diverse Pagan community in the country, and it’s fun to compare notes on all sorts of things, not only magickal practices and spiritual paths, but the more mundane issues which center around being Pagan in a largely Christian society. However, I don’t do spells for people— the personal energy you have invested in whatever it is you’re whipped up enough to work magick on is going to be ever so much more powerful and successful than anything anyone else could do. Believe me. I also do not take business calls on the weekends– especially holiday weekends, before 9am, or after 6pm. Otherwise, I love ya’. 🙂

In honor of “Wicked”, which was playing at the Orpheum Theatre in Omaha, I went “green”. My daughter went to see the play and *Loved* it, she also loved the live theatre experience.

Till next time…

*cackle*

 

Wytchy Chit-Chat: It’s Been a Long Week

I feel like I’m waking from a fog.  This past week I’ve been sick with the flu, in bed most of the time, filled up on Ibuprofen and cold medicine, sleeping off and on, and waiting for the moment I would feel normal again.  Well, that moment has finally come– ta,da!– and none too soon; because I’m scheduled to be at Next Millennium tomorrow to do another book signing and tarot readings.  (That’s Saturday, May 7, noon-4pm, at http://www.next-mill.com )
I really didn’t know, as the week progressed, whether I’d make it or not, so I’m thrilled to be back up and at ’em!  I hope to see you there. 🙂

When I snapped out of my fog and re-joined the world of the living, it was quite a sight to behold.  Our apple trees had seemed to snap into bloom over night.  The air is fragrant with apple blossoms, and so is the house, as we fling open all the windows and let the fresh air run throughout.  This is my favorite part of spring, and I wish that these trees could stay magickally blooming for about three times longer than normal.  I snatched up my camera– and the following photos were taken today, by me, in our backyard:

I’m not the only one who enjoys our apple trees.  As I worked at the table on the back porch today, this was my secret companion.  He made a couple attempts to join me on the porch rails, but the sight of all the cats curled up asleep around me seemed to put him off (wise bird). 

I discovered that the small lilac bushes I’d planted in the herb garden right next to the porch were finally going to bloom– I’d planted them a couple years ago and they seemed to take forever to settle in and get comfortable.  But it was worth the wait…

My carpet of creeping charley (ground ivy), which I just started last year,  has taken hold and is growing like gang busters, providing a lush carpet in my secret garden…

So many of the other plants, from my hostas to the clematis, are very busy and in the process of creating leaves, they’re not ready to bloom any time soon.  But I don’t mind– patterns of leaves in a variety of colors are just as beautiful to me as a hoard of blossoms…

I’m never alone…if I don’t have a child following me around the yard, I have a cat.  Pyewacket, my eccentric black angora, was enjoying this day outdoors just as much as I was, and every time I turned around, there he was…

It was a good day today.  I finished up a good-sized magazine article and got it sent off way ahead of deadline.  I caught up on laundry that I intended to catch up on before I got sick.  I had the opportunity of spending some quality time with my kids and my katz on this gorgeous spring day; and my girls and I even managed a quick shopping run.

Today reminded me of a plaque that belonged to my Uncle, a beautiful plate that my Aunt use to have hanging in her kitchen when I was a child.  It said:

“Good Lord, just give me good health, and I’ll take care of the rest.”

Tea-Time with the Witch: Spring Arrives at Hedgewytch Hollow

It seems like Spring has had to labor especially hard to make its presence felt this year, but I found hard evidence that it’s finally arrived when I checked one of my flowerbeds this week.  The last time I’d looked, these daffodils were timid little sprouts shivering beneath last year’s dried oak leaves.

We had new visitors at our bird feeding station this past week, a bird that we’ve never seen before.  It took a bird-book from a friend to put a name to these lovely creatures:  orange-headed blackbirds.   The regular blackbird is my favorite bird, and when these guys were all together and everyone was busy eating with their heads down, rear-ends in the air, they looked like one big flock of blackbirds.  You can imagine my surprise when their heads popped up.

Since I’ve had two witchlets move out of the house and into apartments of their own, the remaining girls have been able to spread out and claim their own rooms– finally– meaning that they’ve outgrown their bunkbeds.  I was going to give these metal framed beds away, but a friend gave me a better idea…Much to my husband’s delight (*cough*).  I’m using the frame and the top platform to create new wildlife feeding stations in the yard, the bottom platform is going to become a trellis in the flowerbeds.  And since I have two bunkbeds, I’ll have enough for the front and the backyard. 

I’m going to get a couple more hanging flowerpots for this station, along with a second hummingbird feeder; and I’ve planted morning glories in the pots sitting by the ladders at either end.  Also, as the birds knock all that seed around, I’ll have sunflowers and other cool plants sprouting spontaneously beneath it.  I’ll take more pictures as the season moves forward.

We love being able to have Sunday morning coffee on the back porch, and we’ve been able to do that in early April this year, which is not always the case.  This was our first Sunday morning outside earlier this month.  Although it sounds like the weather is going to turn nasty this weekend, and I think I’m going to be dragging all these plants and pots indoors.  That’s what I get for being in a hurry!

“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.”

Ellis Peterson

Teatime With the Witch: “The Motherpeace Round Tarot Deck”

 
 

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Tarot Card of the Day:
Shaman of Swords 

I’m using a deck today that I’ve only used for myself so far,
“The Motherpeace round Tarot Deck” by Karen Vogel & Vicki Noble

I find this deck fascinating for several reasons.  First, the round shape, this just goes against any deck of cards I’ve ever owned.  It’s somewhat odd to handle at first, and it does alleviate the conundrum of ‘upright or reversed’.  I find the artwork fascinating, and even though the card I chose today compares to the King of Swords in more conventional decks, there is still something decidedly feminine about it.  

For today, the Shaman of Swords is telling me…Don’t stick your foot in your mouth, rise above the fray, get to the root of the problem; because the circumstances which have arisen are actually rooted in much older and deeper issues. 
Yesterday  I was having quite a time with a headache.  It’s not an issue that I have to deal with very often, and I muddled through the day until the afternoon, when I finally decided to do something about it.  I have to admit, I took an Ibuprofen, but along with this I got out my book of herbal remedies and scoured it for something that would alleviate headaches.  I chose mint, mostly because I like the flavor in my cup of tea– this is how I was going to take it, and I have an over-abundance of this herb, all harvested from my own herb garden.
  
Below you’ll find a list of herbs that will help with headaches:
 

Herb for headache #1: Feverfew

Feverfew is a very popular migraine herbal remedy, and because so many people are interested in it, we’ve given it a page of it’s own! Check out our article on feverfew here.

Herb for headache #2: Peppermint (mentha piperita)

For hundreds of years peppermint has been used as a headache remedy. From tea to extract, there are lots of ways to enjoy peppermint. Be warned that peppermint is not the thing to take if you have heartburn or similar stomach acid problems.

Peppermint is just as useful for it’s aroma and cooling properties as an essential oil. Read more about this herb for headache on our home remedies page.

Herb for headache #3: Passionflower (Passiflora alata)

Passionflower is a calming herb. Taken as a tea before bed, it can help you sleep. At least one clinic trial has found it to lower anxiety. It is also believed to have anti-inflammitory and pain killing properties. Great for migraine!

Herb for headache #4: Ginko (ginko biloba)

The leaf of the ginko tree is an extremely popular herb for headache, but the medical evidence is still hotly disputed. Ginko is said to improve the flow of blood and get more oxygen to the brain, hence not only relieving headache but improving memory and alertness as well. There are some nice teas sold with ginko and peppermint, so why not give it a try?

Note that Ginko is one of those herbs that can cause side effects when taken with headache medications, including aspirin and lithium.

Herb for headache #5: Cayenne (capsaicin)

Yes, that’s right – the pepper. Many peppers have an ingredient called capsaicin, which among other things seems to raise the pain threshold. It’s gained attention in the medical world in recent years especially for its treatment of cluster headaches, and it’s often given in the form of a nasal spray.

Cayenne pepper is an excellent spice to have on hand (well, don’t put too much ON your hand or you may burn it!), and may lessen your migraine.

Herb for headache #6: Willow (salix . . .)

White willow bark is an especially popular herb for headache because it works much like an aspirin, relieving your headache pain and causing the inflammation to go down. Like any painkiller, it should not be taken long term. Once again, be very careful about taking willow with other painkillers and medications – check with your doctor!

Other herbs for headache:

Meadowsweet, valerian (excellent if you can’t sleep), skullcap, chamomile (also common for relaxation).

Recent studies point to butterbur extract (petasites hybridus root) as a migraine treatment. Butterbur has been recommended for migraine before, but now the scientific evidence is starting to catch up. The dosages in recent studies for both children and adults range between 50mg and 150mg. It is recommended that you use a reliable standardized and safe form of butterbur. In a recent German study, Petadolex was used, which is a butterbur extract.

Below you can pay a little visit to our house.  Included is a video of Mistress Pixie Paws and her very odd eating habits– she doesn’t like to get her face dirty and very rarely lowers her face into a bowl; you’ll find Miss Cletus on her favorite perch; the kitchen makes the perfect place to dry my herbs; and my pretty boy, Salem, is caught keeping watch over my Big Black Book.

Click to play this Smilebox collage

 

 

 

A Little Magick

Today was the perfect day, literally speaking, to tweak a little magick and give it a special nudge.  Although today is Tuesday and influenced by the energy of Mars, I used the hour of Saturn…the energy I needed for my little task.  The herbs were wormwood & cloves, salt, and an old hoodoo oil (which I’ll not name here).  The candle was black.  

I love the feeling inside a cast circle.  It was exhilarating and the energy moved easily and well.  The spell candle is quietly burning itself out as we speak.

Magick was made…

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Tarot Card for the day is…The Sun.

Warmth and light, bright tidings, brilliance– both mundane and magickal, physically and spiritually.  Although someone seems to have their ‘head in the clouds’– don’t get too cocksure.  If you’re always looking up, you might trip on something below.  Also, the phoenix rising from the ashes…pick yourself up and learn from your mistakes– looks like you get a second chance.

I was going through some photos from last fall and came upon this one.  I took this picture standing in my livingroom, watching my husband burn autumn leaves in the driveway.  As I came from the kitchen, I wondered what the orange glow was.  No wonder the neighbors wonder.  When we have bonfires, hubby is in charge of the firepit– I imagine he was in a past life too.

I snapped a pic of this tombstone on one of our outings to Ridge Cemetery.  It wasn’t that the tombstone was so unusual, it was the fact that this lady was buried all by herself, in a huge wide expanse of ground between the Catholic & Protestant areas.  In fact, there’s nothing else in this area except Nell and two willow trees, one of which she was buried under.  Why was she so segregated?  Perhaps she wasn’t ‘baptized’ according to Christian code?  I guess we’ll probably never know.  My girls took an immediate liking to Nell– good vibes, from the grave, though the tree.  We stayed and kept her company for sometime.  I have a feeling we would’ve loved her smile.

My boy, Salem, has claimed several unusual spots around the house for himself.  This one is literally in ‘The Witch’s Corner’– though he didn’t get to keep this cozy nest, because eventually I needed the shelf space.  He also has a penchent for sharing the bathroom and hates closed doors– he’ll beg to come in with you, even rattling the sliding door if you don’t let him have his way.  The first couple times he did this, I thought it was hubby– and I was chewing him out…I open the door– and it’s Salem.  Spoiled boy.

Tea Time with the Witch: A Little of This, A Little of That

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So much going on, where to begin?…First, there are issues with the webhost of my website, The Witch’s Corner.  Some people have uninterrupted access to my site and others do not, including me.  First they said it had something to do with the ISP, then it was the DNS, and since I have no access to Webs at all, I can’t get into the support forums to figure it all out.  It wasn’t that long ago that we experienced similar problems, which knocked my site out for a week.  This has spooked me sufficiently enough that I’ve been moving the contents of my site (from a cached page) over to Yola– mostly to use as a backup url, just in case this should happen again.  But if this occurs too often, I may have to make Yola my permanent home.

If your access to The Witch’s Corner is uninterrupted– good for you!…The url is:  http://ladyamythyst.webs.com

If you are one of the unfortunate few, like me, who can’t bring this site up using the url above, here’s the links to the Yola sites I’m in the process of creating– remember, this is a project that’s under construction.  Because of the massive amount of material I’m transferring, I’m actually setting up two websites at Yola that are interconnected.  One contains my tarot reading page, along with wytchy merchandise from Wytchy Wares; the other site contains information on witchcraft, cyrstals & stones, metaphyscial laws, rituals, spells, all the “other stuff”:

http://cauldronmagick.yolasite.com

http://thewitchscorner.yolasite.com   (This site is not published yet, but hopefully it will be very soon, hang onto this url)

My Newsletters:

Because of other writing obligations, my newsletter will be going out quarterly in 2011.   That means I’ll be putting a newsletter out for March, June, September, & December.

Thank you so much for your support & your enthusiasm. Below are links to last year’s newsletters and my newsletter archives: 

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

October 2010

December 2010

March 2011

Newsletter Archives:

Newsletter Archives 1

Newsletter Archives 2
 

This Thursday I’ll be having Ladies over to the house for a little Wytchy Mischief.  That’s about all I can say on the topic, other than it rightfully deserves to be capitalized.  The girls and I will probably be tidying up the house on Wednesday, the day before– when company comes I like candles lit, incense going, and soft ambient music in the backgroud…Let the fun begin.  🙂

As some of you might know, the oldsest cat we have in the house passed away last Friday– Tatters.  Dr. Kent estimated that he must have been around 13 years old, and he was positive for feline AIDS.  That cat spent most of his life roaming this neighborhood as a feral cat, until one very cold winter night, he decided to gird up his loins and come in to sit for a spell.  He stayed.  We saw him through his last month of life, most of which he was actually enjoying, lolling around on my daughter’s bed pretending to be a house cat.  His health decline and death was very fast and unexpected.  I believe he found us for a reason…when we were needed.


 

Tuesday– what a day!…Mars; red or orange candles; in your face aggressive energy; herbs:  basil, pepper, onion, cayenne pepper, allspice, cloves, cinnamon; number 9.  Warrior energy is on the rampage today– I feel it more strongly than usual.  Light a red candle and flex your muscles…both magickal and mundane.

Tarot Card for the day:  The High Priestess (R)

You’re not listening to that little voice in your head– it’s trying to tell you something, but you may be trying to drown it out with common sense and reasonable explanations…and these things don’t always work in certain circumstances.  Shhh…listen, what is it telling you to do?

The High Priestess today has a sense of calmness about her, almost an arrogance– the good kind– in being solid about who she is, what path she wishes to tread, and where she’s headed in the future.  Under certain conditions, she has the knack for being in control without giving the impression that she is– very clever!

Blessings,
Amythyst Raine

Tea Time with the Witch: Cats

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In my humble opinion:

Cats…they wreak of mysticism, they know what they know, and they keep secrets.  Cats don’t pressure you for emotions you don’t feel like showing.  They know when to crawl into your lap and seek your attention and affection; and they know when to retreat into the shadows, leaving your space open and clear.  Cats walk with spirits and commune with fairies.  They don’t encompass magick, they are magick.

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Photos:

©   Amythyst Raine 2010

The Witch’s Corner

The Life & Times of a Witch…photos

 

The following photos and narrative were originally posted at my website,
The Witch’s Corner

The contents of this page at my website are going to
be deleted and new information added.

 

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 This is a set of shelves that I have, embossed with elephants and framed…with bamboo.  Besides my Buddahs, it contains my cyrstal ball– held aloft in the trunks of three elephants, and a statuette that I bought in Old Market, Omaha, of a couple perched in a Kama Sutra position.

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The back deck of our house is full of morning glories.  This is one of the hand rails on the stairs, buried in the brilliant blooms.  We love to sit at the round glass top table out here and have coffee, do schoolwork, write, bring out the ouija board, or whatever else we have a hankering to do.

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 My messy ‘working’ corner, now open for the world to see.  Actually, it’s much neater in this picture than it usually is.  I had just finished up working on some candles and thought– here’s a moment of pure realism, let’s go with it.

photogallerywitchscorner4.jpg picture by Amythyst1

This is a photo of the moon that I took last night (Monday, August 11, 08), while standing on the back stairs to our deck.  I zoomed in as close as I could and then I juggled around, shooting the moon between a small opening where our apple and maple trees meet, framing the moon in leaves.

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This is a cauldron of lavender growing in my garden.  Remember the movie “Practical Magic” and Aunt Franny’s voice in narration:  “Plant lavender by the garden gate for luck”…and I do.  I’ll be harvesting this lavender soon to use in my oils and to dry for use in my own spell crafting.

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 I took this photo in a candy shop in Old Market, Omaha, Nebraska…right before my daughter-in-law bought us some yummy chocolate truffles. 

spider.jpg picture by Amythyst1

This August (’08), I sat on one of the stepping stones in my rock garden and watched a spider building a web as twilight descended.  I glanced down as I put my camera down and saw a small green toad sitting quietly beside me.  Life doesn’t get much better than this.

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 This is one of the many quaint turn-of-the 19th century buildings that can be seen in Old Market, Omaha.

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This is the post at the top of my back porch steps…and they most certainly do!

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 Cletus, doing math.   🙂

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Our youngest witchling doing school on the back deck, illuminated by the sun shining through the skylight.  We practically live on this deck certain times of the year.  The wall you see with the elephant mural does not go all the way to the top and the south and east sides have a wooden porch railing around it– which are covered in morning glories.  Since there is a roof on this deck, it is a wonderful place to sit and sip coffee and enjoy gentle summer rains.

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Another Witchling, doing school at the opposite end of the porch from her sibling, shielded from the bright afternoon sunlight. 

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These are some of my own tarot decks.  I do believe that I’ve added a couple decks since this pic was taken– and I’ll try, someday, to take a clearer picture. 

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This is a shelf on our entertainment center, and the sand and stones you see in that vase were sent to my by my friend, Z, all the way from the shores of Martha’s Vineyard.  I thought this was really cool!

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Herbs hanging to dry from the kitchen ceiling:  lilac, mint, wormwood, lemon balm and lavendar.

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A mushroom growing in Iowa.  I snapped this photo during a recent trip that we made back for a family funeral.  It’s growing in my step-son’s backyard.

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Wytch at Work…I was sitting in my corner in the livingroom, sewing on a red poppet, when my husband snapped this picture.

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This is actually a large framed picture hanging on my daughter-in-law’s dining room wall.  It was created by the artist to promote the arts festival at Cedar Falls.  I love the vibrant colors.

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This is a lovely basket given to me by a new friend.  She carved the owl onto a mushroom picked from a tree; the mushroom then dries naturally.  I’ve seen other beautiful pieces that she’s done.

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Our Home School mascot…Mistress Pixie Paws.

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Moonflowers blossoming in my magickal garden.

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 Impatience growing beneath the treehouse deck.

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These are shamrocks that I bought in March, transplanted in my garden around May, and then I thought they had died off.  Not only didn’t they die off, they spread out to become several new clumps.

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These are astors blossoming in my herb garden.  I’m going to plant lots, lots more of these hardy little plants next spring.  I love this unexpected burst of color in the fall.

 
I took this picture through a black windowscreen while this fat little squirrel went through acrobatics to raid the bird feeder in the front yard.


 My messy dresser top…sitting here are two magickal boxes that I created, swords and a dagger, a deck of tarot cards, a scattered batch of sterling silver jewelry, a buddah and a chi dog, lavendar oil, a glow in the dark ouija board, a black scrying ball, a dish of oriental soap– Jasmine, I believe, a box of bracelets, green mottled candle sticks, and notes to myself.  At the far right is an antique candy dish that my grandmother gave me.  She said that it was brought over from Germany by my great-great grandfather on my father’s side.  It’s clear glass, but I filled it with silk roses and greenery.


This is a wild grape vine that grows around the stump of a cottonwood tree in the flowerbed in our front yard.

Birdz…on the top shelf of my antique desk.  Ravens are my friends, as you can see, and I consider this one very special for magickal reasons known only to me.  That’s the small white skull of a real bird on the left, below the cardinal.  The kerosene lamp belonged to my Great-Grandmother Lu Raine.  The boxes are not empty…the small black one on top of the elephant box holds an enormous dragonfly that I found on our back porch.  The elephant box is full of small brown bottles filled with items of a wytchy nature.

This box is one of the most unique items ever given to my by a very generous friend.  It never ceases to amaze me, and it generally gets a comment out of visitors.

 My elephants lay eggs…even the pink ones:


Actually, when I went through a divorce several years ago, coming out of a very controlling relationship, I was inexplicably drawn to elephants and began collecting them like crazy, from statuary, to jewelry, to artwork.  It was only later that I learned that elephants are representative of Feminine Power.


Katz…Upon our entertainment center I have cat statuary, and among them sits our own gray huntress.

Mistress Pixie Paws…the ultimate Witch’s familiar.

Yes, my dresser top is still messy; and it harbored a visitor from the beginning of last December until the end of February…a small spider made her home between the front legs of the Chi dog.  I was careful not to disturb the dresser top while it housed the pretty lady.  She has since disappeared, either living out her life span or moving on to new and bigger things.

Cats n’ Spells and Other Marvelous Things

The March newsletter from The Witch’s Corner is up and out:

This month the theme is cats, and the content includes cat magicks, cat facts, spells using cat magick, and a slide-show of our own beautiful felines.  You’ll find a tarot special for March on the Twelve Card Spread, and a new item up at Wytchy Wares– Witches’ Bottles…

 Witches’ Bottles are a popular old magick.  They are, in essence, a spell sealed within a glass container.  In order to bring this magick into fruition, you can do several things with the bottles– some may be buried on your property, depending upon what kind of spell is involved; they can be sat in a conspicuous spot inside your house, like by the front door, and given a gentle little ‘shake’ every now and then to keep the energy alive; or they can be hidden in your home, in a secret spot, so only you know that magick is afoot.

There is also a preview of new merchandise coming to Enchanted Jewelry and Creations by Isabella.  The recipe this month involves a fruit connected to the goddess Freya– who is, of course, connected to cats!

You don’t think Witches have a sense of humor?  I found a youtube video that will prove otherwise.  It’s one of our favorites and is a popular video on Witches’ myspace pages and other sites.

To view this newsletter go to the following url…click on "Monthly Newsletters" found in the menu located in the upper right corner.

http://ladyamythyst.webs.com

 

From a Womyn’s Mind

 

 

The following ruminations are my own personal thoughts and original words.

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 Remember when your relationship was young and you would creep out of bed to “fix yourself up a bit” before he woke up?

The nest of robins is still in the maple tree over my garden– even after the storm that passed through last night.  I’m crossing my fingers that it stays intact so that the mother robin can finish raising this brood…because if something disastrous should happen, I know that it would fall on me to finish her job.

Why is that first cup of coffee in the morning the best cup of coffee?

Stages of time pass for women with the stages of their children.

I cross my fingers and savor the time when not one of my brood has a minor or major catastrophe in the works…no fevers, no toothaches/earaches, no squabbles with life and it’s goings on, no appointments, or deadlines, or places they must be–this moment of peaceful nonhappening is rare.

My cat understands me, demands nothing more of me than an occasional saucer of cream, a warm lap to sleep in, a word of praise now and then.

Math is an acquired taste.

The Goddess created chocolate to appease that hunger that nothing else can satisfy.

There’s nothing better than a cold beer on a hot day.

A woman’s life goes through a major change about every 20 years…really.  Think about the cycles:  marriage, children, children grown, widowhood, etc.  You can expect a new phase in your journey about every 20 years, yep.

Women without boobs want boobs; women with big boobs don’t want boobs.  “The grass is always greener”, “Murphy’s Law”, etc.

Watch out for your 40s– you will be more sexual, sensuous, and easily aroused in your forties than you were in your 20s– no kidding!  I’ve been there, trust me.

When 50 hits, your body will settle down and behave itself so that you can think of other things.

Nothing makes me happier in the early morning hours than to watch a flock of beautiful blackbirds vying for the food at our feeding stations.  I think they are my favorite bird– smart, cunning, black & shimmery & beautiful.  And when they look at you with that cold gold glass eye, it’s as if they know what you’re thinking.

The older you get, the more difficult it becomes to concentrate on small details– and if you were never very good at small details to begin with, well…

It’s always the man you really want that you can’t have– until you get really mad about the incongruity of it, you dig in your heels and make the decision that nothing– and I mean nothing– will stand in your way. Then the prize is yours.

Witchcraft might be a means to an end for some…for the natural witch it is part of her being, spiritually and physically.  It is second nature, an instinct that she’s carried since birth.  It is something so natural to her that she doesn’t give it a second thought.

Don’t you hate when people delete you without an explanation?  It’s like being dismissed from the principle’s office with a swat to the head, but the principle never told you what you did wrong.  So you’re left to wonder.

The flip side of that is people who delete you and you don’t realize it till days or weeks later…and you think, “Oh, ya, that’s who it was.”, and then go on about your business.

It’s so wonderful when you finally reach a stage in your development and you realize– 1)  I don’t have to be liked by everyone.  As a matter of fact, some people are not worthy of the effort it would take to make them like me.  2)  You don’t have to follow unwritten fashion rules, you don’t have to follow fashion rules at all…your clothing is an extension of yourself, a way to express your creativity and personality, it is as individual an imprint as your finger prints.  3)  I am the boss of me– no one else can hold that title, if they do, it’s my own fault.

Dogs are needy– sometimes I think I want one and then I hesitate.  A dog would make a better companion for me if I were living all alone…I will bide my time with my cats.

I’m waiting for the cold to be gone, for the warmth of this season to be upon us.  But that means July– I hate the weather in July– the sun is too bright and intense, it’s a bully…it burns me and my children, it leaves my flowers wilting and scorches everything.  It’s in your face and won’t leave you alone, suffocating you with it’s heat.

I think I am a child of the dark.

I love autumn– after the autumnal equinox– when the days have grown so short that I can go cheerfully around the house lighting candles at 5pm and they really show up.

Don’t you hate being jarred from sleep whey you are in the midst of a dream?  The images are suddenly snatched away from you and the harder you try to bring them back, the more elusive and papery thin they become, until they are gone.

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 And that’s ’bout all I have to say for today.