what a wonderful snowy day

Not really! LOL We here, in good ole Wisconsin, we're only suppose to get a mere 2 inches, which turned into an accumulation of about 6 or seven! UKA!

Yes, "ucka" is actually a word I use to describe our lovely white stuff. Anywho, I spent most of my day indoors puttering away on various things to pass the time. Here is another addition to the recent video archive.

The wheel so far................

Category: 0 comments

Video update on Wheel Project

I decided that instead of taking a miriad of pictures, I would just tape my progress as it goes. So here is the first clip of me working on the wheel itself. I will be posting more as it progresses. I hope you enjoy it so far!


Category: 0 comments

What a blah day.

Today was an absolute Blah, Blah, Blah day. Ugh...I hate it when I feel like this. It must be the weather. So hum drum, don't know what to do with myself kinda day. Yes I have been working on my projects, but when the break is needed I take it, after all the paint has to dry! LOL

I stand with my cup of coffee, my mind wandering, wondering when the weather will change. Gosh, how I hate being stuck indoors during winter. The colder months are just a downer for me. It's almost like taking an animal from the wild.....ok, so bad comparison, but you get my drift. By the way, it is going to be getting mighty cold up here in the great white covered North. They are talking temperatures as low as 40 below with wind chill.......yucko! Yet another reason for me to hate this blasted winter. We always say up here, that when you walk outside and you hear the snow squeak when you walk...it is very cold, that and when you can't feel your lips move when you talk. hahahaha

Any who...enough of my complaining......I have gotten my wheel somewhat put together, and a design started on it. It didn't take me to long to figure out what I wanted, and it looks cool. Although I can tell it has been awhile since I painted. My neck is literally killing me. BUT, it is all worth it, nothing like a sense of accomplishment. So enough of my ramblings for tonight. Ta ta all.

Category: 0 comments

Wheel of the year project update

Well I thought i'd share a few more pictures and give you an update on my latest project.
I think it's coming along quite nicely. Here is the base, veneered and my dear hubby trimming the edges smooth.

And here it is with a clear coat of Shellac, the wheel still needs to be clear coated , but needed to be put together again to make sure all the pieces fit right.

The last step, (for my hubby anyways) is to weld the metal laves together, and attach them to their spot on the base board. Then, it's up to me to finish it with my artwork. Soooo looking forward to this! I'll have more pics as the project progresses.

Category: 0 comments

Wheel of the Year Project

As I mentioned in my "Celebrating Imbolc?" post, I wanted to start yet another project. So, I got to thinking and mulling an ides over in my mind of what I would like my Wheel of the Year to look like. Much to my husbands dismay, as I am always getting him to start new and exciting projects with me, (actually, he was all to willing to help me with it, he's very suppotive in everything I do, and since the ol'e eye roll was just for show, he thought it was a pretty neat idea) I started puttering around our basement, digging around to find things that might be of use to my new project. Then I got the "what are you looking for now" from hubby.

Well, glad you asked dear husband! LOL Then that's when I put him to work. It's so fun having a handy man around the house! So here is the project so far. These are the pieces that will be going on the top and bottom of the frame. I cut the pattern out ahead of time. and put these pieces together to get them the way I wanted them to look.

Here they are with my pattern. The wheel will be in the middle of course, and the wheel itself will turn independently. Allowing me to change it with the changing seasons.
At least that's the plan...hehe

A close up view of the top and bottom.

And here is my dear hubby cutting out the base frame for my wheel. Bless his lil heart.

And here is the frame, cut out and ready to receive a good sanding and getting it ready for the veneer. Which will be put on and clamped down to dry. I will post more pictures as the project progresses.

I really can't wait till this project is finished, I am very excited about it. The whole thing will be stained, then hand painted. I am not sure on the design yet, but I am sure it will come to me sooner or later. Most times I like to just wing it. My best work is done this way...LOL

I hope you've enjoyed it so far.

Category: 0 comments

Homemade Cream Of Mushroom Soup w/Cheesy Garlic Croutons

Homemade Cream Of Mushroom Soup w/Cheesy Garlic Croutons

This recipe is to die for. Every time I serve this I am asked again and again for the recipe, so I thought I'd share.

6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 C. chopped yellow onions
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
6 ounces shitake mushrooms (clean, trimmed, sliced)
6 ounces oyster mushrooms  (clean, trimmed, sliced)
8 ounces button mushrooms (clean, trimmed, sliced)
2 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/3 C. brandy
6 C. chicken stock
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1 (8-inch long) thin baguette french bread, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. finely grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions,celery, and cayenne, and cook, until soft, @ 4 minutes or so. Add garlic and cook for @ 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook,stirring until liquid is gone & browned. (mushrooms will give off lots of liquid, be patient). Next ad the brandy and bring to a boil and cook until glazed. Add the stock and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, so as not to burn for @ 15 minutes or so.

Remove from heat. Puree with a hand held mixer. You can puree until smooth, or do like I do and leave the bigger mushroom chunks behind. Add the cream and return to a simmer, and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and adjust salt to taste.

On to the cheesy croutons!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Rub both sides of your french bread slices with the crushed garlic and place on a baking sheet With a pastry brush, brush 1 side with the olive oil. Top with your fine grated Parmesan cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly, usually @ 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and serve over the top of your yummy delish mushroom soup!

Category: 1 comments

Celebrating Imbolc?

February 2nd

Imbolc is coming up fast. I for one have my hubby working on a shelf to use as my new alter. This year I decided to move it to my "bare" wall. I have always had ideas for this wall but never made them come to fruition. This year, I am bound and determined to make it happen.

On this wall, along with my besom broom, will be my Sabbat scrolls that I have been working on, a wooden shelf to use as my alter,and if I have time...LOL which I always spread myself very thin here.....I would like to have the wheel of the year. Granted I haven't started it yet, but the thought is there. I might have to throw one together quick, just to pull the whole thing together. I will also be changing out my front door wreath to something a lil more appropriate. I have yet to take down my Yule decorations.....(yipes)

I am also going to do a few things with my daughter this year, since she is old enough to understand and participate. I got an idea from  on about.com. She gave a really neat idea on how to make a "How To Make a Priapic Wand" which i would love to try with my daughter.  Then we'll light every candle in the house, and light one outside in our tree lantern for good measure.  Then I'll be teaching her how to make a Brigid's Cross just to do something crafty. Should be great fun.

For the meal I am going to make a small ham, since lamb is pretty scarce around here. Some yummy garlic and cheese mashed potatoes with a side of chive sour cream, carrots, and fresh baked bread. Possibly with some garlic butter. Nummy.

(sigh) So much to do and only a short amount of time...BUT I am woman, here me roar. hahaha

Category: 0 comments

Keeping the kitchen clean-Naturally

As hard as we try, in one form or another there is always something to clean in that kitchen! Back when I knew very little about the harsh reality of commercial cleaners, I was using a slew of toxic concoctions bought from the store. Blissfully unaware of just how must nasty stuff was in my "cleaning" agents.

Oh yes, they got stuff clean alright, but the after effects.....(sigh) nasty. It all started one day when I was about 23 years old. I got a new rental house of my own, & new found freedom. My landlord was gracious enough to allow me to have my pets, which at that time consisted of 2 cats, and 2 dogs. Well as anyone knows, moving into a new house requires some spiffing up, so off I went to get some cleaning supplies to beautify my new home.

The kitties litter boxes needed to be disinfected, so bleach was in order. The floors needed to be scrubbed, so lemon scented ammonia was in order (grandma swore by it, since it left a clean smell after it was used) dishes needed to be washed, windows, etc, etc.

By the time I left I had spent over 50.00 dollars in cleaning supplies at that time, and that was many years ago already, (I'm sure the price went up). Anyways, I come home and start to clean, whirling around the house in my faded blues and do-rag covered head, swinging my then libmann wondermop around my linoleum covered kitchen floor.

Spraying the windows with Windex and washing them to a sparkling shine. The house smelled of what could be described as a chemical plant. Noxious and almost an insult to the nose. However if it smelt of bleach, and ammonia and Windex, you knew it was clean.......yea right.

Then came "the incident". I filled the tub up with warm soapy water, added a cup of bleach and added a dash of ammonia for good measure. then threw in the cat litter boxes and started to scrub away. Leaned over the tub, with scrubby sponge in hand, then suddenly, I began to feel just awful, sick, and nauseated. Next thing  know, I was touching the floor with my nose. Yea, what the hell was I thinking? Apparently when you mix bleach and ammonia, it makes Chlorine Gas. OOOOHHHHHH how lovely.

Even worse....if I would of added one more than the other, it would have made either Nitrogen Trichloride (very toxic) or Hydrazine (explosive rocket fuel). Yipes!!!!!!!

Now tell me, what woman, who cleans, is aware of these things...well common sense would tell you that yea, your not really suppose to mix stuff, but at that age, who thinks of this stuff in such great depth. Well anyways...lessen learned, after practically gassing myself to death!

My mission since then, was to find out all I could, about the constituents of everything I used. Literally. Call me anal, but hey, can you blame me?

Cleaning naturally is the way to go in my book. Yes some things are just darn near impossible to get to work that way. What do you mean you say? Well let me give you an example. Say for instance. You have an automatic dishwasher. Not only is it not frugal to make your own dishwashing liquid/powder, but darn near impossible to get it to clean properly, if at all. Get my drift? So the next best thing is to search for an alternative. Something that is less toxic to you and your envirement. I use WAVE High performance dishwashing liquid, it's earth friendly, as is all there products, and its made with natural ingredients.

However, like with all natural products, sometimes it takes some getting used to. Let's face it, if your switching over from your regular grocery store brand, to an all natural cleaning product, yes you will see some differences, but for the most part the differences can be tolerated. At least for me they can, the way I See it, if I have to tweak it a lil bit to make it clean for me, it is still better than using the toxic stuff.

When I use my liquid in the dishwasher, it doesn't like to rinse well, it does leave white film on some of the dishes, but hey, problem solved, I just add some vinegar in the beginning of the wash, and problem solved. Sparkling clean!

Ok, so I'm getting long winded here, so onto a few recipes for some homemade cleaning products I use in my home on almost a daily basis. But first, the 3 most important cleaning supplies I ALWAYS have on hand.

1. 1 gallon of white vinegar
2. 1 HUGE box of baking soda
3. 1 gallon of liquid castile soap

I use alot of these ingredients, from cleaning my toilets, and using it in my laundry.

So here is a recipe for a disinfectant I use in my kitchen and in my bathrooms. I use it to clean my counter tops, toilets, sinks, anywhere I think is "germy".

Herbal disinfectant
you will need:

 a spray bottle ( enough to hold @ a quart of water - more or less)
castile soap
essential oils of tea tree, peppermint & eucalyptus

add to the spray bottle @ a 1/4cup liquid castile soap
20 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops peppermint e.o.
5 drops eucalyptus e.o

add the warm water to your spray bottleand other ingredients, put the cap on, shake, and spray wherever you think needs disinfecting. Let sit for a few seconds, then wipe off with a clean wet dishrag. Depending on what your countertops are made from, essential oils will strip wood. So be careful. I found this out while cleaning my toilet seat....LOL

It smells wonderful, and tea tree is a great disinfectant, and among other things, antiviral, fungal, you name it. So is peppermint and eucalyptus great for killing the germies.

Plopp Plopp Fizz Fizz Toilet bowl cleaner

Ok, so not the most greatest name for a toilet bowl cleaner...LOL But it cleans beautifully.

add to your bowl 1/4 cup vinegar
10 drops of Tea tree e.o
and 1/2 cup baking soda

then stand back and watch it foam! hehehehe, swipe with your brush, swish, swish, and flush. Done. Smelling like a daisy and clean.

Want more recipes for cleaning naturally? Visit Kitchen Witchen to get more

Category: 0 comments

On this day in January

Birthday of Dennis Carpenter, Circle Sanctuary.

Circle Sanctuary is a non-profit Wiccan church and 200-acre nature preserve dedicated to networking, community celebrations, spiritual healing and education. Located in Southwestern Wisconsin.

I have yet to attend their many classes and gatherings. BUT! I will be very soon, I just have to make my way down there. I am Soooooo looking forward to it!!!!

They also have a quarterly journal of rituals, articles, news and more, of interest to anyone following a nature based path. A great site.

Category: 0 comments

A few Spells with Yarrow

Aphrodite Love Charm

Assemble materials and cast a circle on the appropriate hour and day. Light a red candle and burn Venus incense. Cut a circle out of red or rose-pink cloth (orange, green or white could also be appropriate). Fill it with a mixture of any of the following herbs and oils:  rose petals or buds, jasmine flowers, lavender, cloves, Yarrow, and a few drops of patchouli oil. Add a red felt heart and a copper coin. Write in tiny letters on a small piece of paper:

Aphrodite of the sea,
Send my true love to me

Place it in the charm. Charge it with the four elements. Imbue it with your desires and visualizations. Ground the energy and relax. Bind the charm by tying it with a blue thread in seven knots. Open the circle.

Easy Peezy Yarrow Charm
It is said to bring love into your life.... Gather a few sprigs of yarrow flowers with the stems attached, hang them upside down, with the flower heads pointed downwards over your bed.

And last but not least a Link for "Spell A Day" from Llewellyn:

Llewellyn "Spell a Day"

Witch Tax Hits Romania

Now here's and interesting bit of news. Personally I think it's downright silly . I am sure I am not alone with my thoughts.

More on Yarrow for the month of January

Yarrow in Magik & Superstition

Where the Yarrow grows, there's one who knows....

Yarrow is bound to Water and Venus. Any herb under the influence of Venus makes for a potent love herb for spells and rituals, and Yarrow is no exception.

When drunk as a tea, Yarrow is said to increase psychic powers and powers of perception. When flowers or leaves are burned, if the smoke goes up, it's a good omen, but if it goes down, it's a bad omen.

Use Yarrow flowers in love sachets and charms. Place Yarrow flowers under your pillow before sleep and your lover will appear in your dreams. Hang flowers over your bridal bed to insure love that lasts at least 7 years. Use Yarrow in spells and rituals to draw the attention of long lost friends or lovers.

Yarrow is a well-known protection and purification herb. Carried in the hand it is believed to ward off fear. Try carrying in a silk or velvet bag when going to a job interview or making a speech to reduce anxiety. Carried in a pocket or purse, Yarrow reverses negativity and protects from hexes. Add to the bath to protect from evil or harm. Throw Yarrow flowers across the threshold to protect the house from evil. Tie to an infant's cradle for protection from harmful forces.

 Yarrow carries the name Achillea because the Greek God Achilles in mythology is storied to have given the plant to his troops to stop bleeding in battle. Unfortunately, it didn't stop the bleeding when he hurt his own heel, and he died from his wounds. The modern terms "Achilles tendon" and "Achilles heel" originate from this myth.

Yarrow sticks (dried Yarrow stems) were used by the ancients for I Ching divination for centuries. Yarrow was considered a spiritual plant that was highly suitable for for this purpose. Sadly in modern times, coins have largely replaced Yarrow Sticks for this type of divination..

Stay tuned for spells including Yarrow.....

Bright Blessings

Category: 0 comments

The Boogie Man

Meet Bluto - a.k.a. The Boogie Man

He spends his days snoozing and chasing chipmunks. He spends his nights under my daughter's bed.
(Doesn't he look dapper in his top hat?)

May the Goddess help whom ever shall venture into my daughter's room unannounced. For when the Boogie Man peers out from under her bed at any unsuspecting visitor, it's "turn tail and run".

Just the sight of him is frightful. His head is gigantic, with peircing eyes, and strong physique.
But not to worry........He's a true posy...a regular pushover, with a fondness for pepperjack cheese, sneeking a nap on my husband's side of the bed, and oh yes, did I mention he is a drooler?

He's the gentlest, corniest, jughead of a canine I have ever had the pleasure of sharing our home with.

Category: 0 comments

Book In Review - Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal

Occasionally I will take a book from my library and review it. Each and every book I have purchased in the past is a useful tool in m everyday magical workings. I have flipped through many a page over the years. I have used most of them to further educate myself. Some for just plain good reading with a cup of chamomile tea, to pass the time.

Here is a book from my library and link to purchase it at Amazon.com - Titled :

Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality

A little about Rosemary Gladstar:

Since 1972, She has been sharing her knowledge, experience, and love of herbs as an educator, activist, and entrepreneur. She is the founder and president of the United Plant Savers, co- founder and director of Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center and Native Plant Preserve, director of the International Herb Symposium, co- director of the New England Women's Herbal Conference, founder and former director of the California School of Herbal Studies, and author f the best selling Herbal Healing for Women. Gladstar has also created her own line of herbal blends for Frontier Herbs.

When I first set out to find this book, I was on the search for a used one, that I purchased off of amazon.com. You can find gently used books on amazon, for half even 3/4 the price of new. They range (new) anywhere from 50.00 to 129.99. Since I bought mine used with slight wear I paid only 24.00 at that time. It had a few highlight marks from the previous owner but other than that, it was a great find.

I absolutely LOVE this book! It's very informative, educational, and thorough. I think it's safe to say that even for a beginner, it is well written and easy to follow. She outlines everything and gives detailed definitions.
For the beginner some herbal jive can be confusing, but not with this book, if you aren't sure what the word means, it is clearly defined, and why.

 There is a section for just about every stage of life from young children to teen,adult, and elderly. Also it focuses on some common ailments. Such as colds, flu, headaches, etc. and what herbs to treat.

More than once I have flipped through this book in an emergency, in search of her many herbal remedies when the cold and flu season hit around here. She even gives preventative tips. How to prevent ailments from happening or to lessen the chances. All in all, a great must have book to have around the house. This book sits either on my bedside table or in my kitchen where I can always have it on hand.

Cabin Fever?

Up here in the "WAY NORTH" it gets pretty, well, dull. We call it cabin Fever. It's when you can't wait for warm weather and need to get outside! As much as I just love the changing of the seasons and seeing the Wheel turn round, I AM NOT a  big fan of snow. Yes it looks magical. Newly fallen snow laying on the pine bows, everything blanketed in white sparkling fluff. Everything is in it's winter slumber.
As I walk out to do my nightly feeding and check on our chickens at about 3.45 PM I snap this picture.
I continue on my merry way carrying my water bucket with fresh water for the chicks, when i slip and fall in all that lovely white stuff, and I HATE it all over again!!!!! hahahahahahaha!

Oh how I despise cold snow stuck onto every part of my body that wasn't covered. It's cold, and it stings! Despite my mood change from happy go lucky to grumpy in a matter of 2.5 seconds, I brushed the snow off, mumbled a few choice words and trucked forward. I managed to keep the bucket of water from spilling however and saved myself a trip back to the water spicket, so that was a good thing.

As I make my way into the garden, I notice that there is nobody in sight. Nobody meaning the chickens. I thought what a bunch of ninnies! LOL Well, they aren't the smartest bunch of chickens, but smart enough to stay indoors. Whenever there is a snow fall they too despise getting the fluffy stuff stuck to there feet.

The only one out and about when I called was Waylon, our 8 month old Orpington Roo. The others just peaked out from under him as if to say, "oh it's only you, but sorry we aren't setting foot outside today". It didn't take to long however when the food hit the feeders for them to be persuaded to come out and grab a bite to eat and fill there gizzards, and grab a sip of water.

 Even Winston and his ladies made there way out of their coop to grab a bite to eat, much to the disdain of the hens who, with much effort, leaped from the ramp onto the feeders without even touching the snow covered ground. I had to chuckle. Because after my experience rolling around in the snow myself, I could relate.

As I was getting ready to shut them in for the night, after waiting about 10 minutes for them to finish there meal, a loud squawk came from all the roosters, almost all at once and with heads cocked to one side, and one eye on the sky, they sounded the alarm. At first I couldn't find anything of threat flying around, but then I seen him. A red tailed hawk, swooping in, no doubt eyeing up what would have been a free meal. He perched high up into our pines and sat waiting.

With all the racket going on in the coop runs, he flew away. I don't blame him, I could barely hear a thing with the sounding of the alarm going on all at once. I ushered them back into there coops and locked them up for the night. Snug as a bug in a rug inside. They all were perched quietly beneath there heat lamps and were already dozing off for the night.

As I headed back to the warmth of our own house it got me thinking. It must be a bummer for them not being able to get out and pick around like they do in the spring, summer, and fall. During the winter even though I have tried to let them out, they will not venture out of their coop door, and out onto the snow covered lawn. Again, I can relate. Why would they? There is nothing for them to do. There is nothing for me to do really outside either. As many things as I have to putter around with inside. I still long for spring to get here.

I get all excited when I start to get seed catalogs in the mail. The pages get wore out from flipping thru them on a daily basis. I know not to jump the gun and start my seedling now, I did that one year and by the time it was ready for planting they were so leggy that I had a heck of a time getting them out of the pots. LOL Right around March is when I start planting my seedlings, to get a head start in come May. Up here in Wisconsin, the usual planting date is after Labor day. A rule of thumb so to speak, but it usually never ends up being that way. I have planted after Labor day and still we have had bouts of heavy frost. Good thing I am a watchful Gardener, otherwise my seedlings would have met their demise, if I hadn't covered them.

But, that is 2 months away yet, before i can start my seeds....(sigh) so hard to wait. It is almost as if the mind goes stir crazy, being cooped up in the house for such a long period, while the snow covers the ground. Every year I wait to walk outside and take a deep breath and smell that Ole familiar smell. Spring is in the air. Once that smell is there, you know it won't be to long before the snow reseeds and the first flowers of spring will soon be here. Until then....my patience is wearing thin. ;)

Category: 0 comments

Herb of the Month - January/YARROW

Each Month I will pick an herb I have used, grows in my area, or that I find just plain interesting. If you wish to see a particular herb featured for a certain month, feel free to leave a comment. If I get enough comments for one particular herb or plant, (also can be a tree) I will then feature it for the month.

Achillea millefolium (syn Achillea lanulosa)

Family: Compositae

Names:  milfoil, thousandleaf, sneezewort, sanguinary, nosebleed, soldier’s woundwort, stop bleeding herb, sanguinary, thousand leaf, thousand-leaved clover, bloodwort, wound herb; Seven year’s love, old man’s mustard, military herb, old man’s pepper, thousand seal, hundred-leaved grass, arrow root, eerie, ladies’ mantle, knyghten, stanch weed, field hops, gearwe, yarroway, devil’s plaything, snake’s grass, death flower, stanch griss; Carpenter’s Herb, carpenter’s grass, gordoloba, green arrow, dog daisy, Plumajillo; herbe des charpentiers, millefeuille (French); Schafgarbe (German); achillea, millefoglie (Italian); Krwawnik Pospolity (Polish); Chiliofila (Greek)

Description: low-growing leaves, with straight flower stalks. A height up to 3 feet and a width to 1 foot. The flowers are tight groups of tiny, ¼-inch white flowers, clustered in 3- to 3-inch umbels on stiff, upright stems. Leaves are very finely divided and feathery on stems to 8 inches long, becoming smaller toward the top of the plant. It blooms from June to August.

Cultivation: A perennial to Zone 2. It germinates in 10-14 days. Needs light to germinate. Prefers well drained, fairly dry soil. Will tolerate poor soil and is very drought resistant. In the west it only needs to be irrigated every 2-3 weeks; drip irrigation is best. If the soil is really poor then fertilize with manure first. The ideal germination temperature is 78-80F. pH is 4.2-7. Requires full sun and will become straggly in shade. Seeds germinate in 10-20 days are ready for transplanting in 8-12 weeks. Divisions are done in early spring or late fall. Divisions are easy to do but somewhat time consuming to plant. Seedlings are planted out in late spring or early summer. Divisions are planted when they are done in fall or early spring. Spacing is 12-18 inches in the row and the rows are 24-30 inches apart. Blooms start the second year. The flowers are harvested as they start to bloom in summer. The flowers will continue to bloom for several weeks. As flowering begins the top growth up to 8 inches long is cut off and dried in a thin layer. The center of the bed dies back after about 5 years and will need replanting with fresh root division. Yarrow flowers dry readily in 3-5 days. They are 65-70% water.

History: Achilles reputedly used yarrow to heal wounds of the Greek troops during the Trojan War, hence its botanical name. It has been used for this purpose for centuries and in Scotland a traditional wound ointment was made from yarrow. The Anglo-Saxons named yarrow gaeruwe, from gearwian,meaning to Prepare” or “to treat”, referring most likely to its curative properties. Other names, which generally describe yarrow’s ability to stop bleeding, include soldier’s woundwort, knight’s milfoil and herba militaris. In Medieval times, yarrow leaves were tolled and put up the nose to stop bleeding. Its finely divided leaves were the reason for another name, milfoil meaning “many leaves.” Druids used yarrow stalks to divine seasonal weather, while the Chinese cast the I Ching oracle with them to determine the future.

In the Middle ages the name was Supercilium Veneris or the “eyebrow of Venus”. Historically plants named after goddesses have been healing remedies for women. Yarrow was among the sacred herbs accompanying the dead on their journey in the middle east. In the Orkney Islands yarrow is widely used for dispelling melancholy. It is an important herb when healing someone burdened by troubled emotions, helping cleanse them of an unhealthy sorrow or a depression which has lasted too long. Albertus Magnus uses yarrow in combination with nettles to treat fear and self-negation. Yarrow was reportedly the first herb placed in the baby Jesus’ hand, perhaps to signal both his healing powers and vulnerability. Yarrow is one of a handful of plants call allheal in the English herbal tradition. In America it is the “life medicine” and general panacea of the Navajos. People used yarrow as an astringent and made a salve of it to heal sores. Native Americans poured an infusion of the plant tops into the ears of those with earaches, and pioneers drank it for everything from urinary problems to head colds.

Constituents: volatile oil with variable content (azulene—up to 51%, borneol, cineole, terpineol, eugenol, trace of thujone, linalool, camphor, sabinene, chamzulene); sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, saponins, sterols, glycoalkaloid (achilleine), alkaloids (acilleine); polyacetylenes; triterpenes; salicylic acid; coumarins; tannins, sugars

Properties: anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cicatrisant, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, hemostatic, hypotensive, stomachic, tonic.

Energetics: bitter, spicy, neutral

Meridians/Organs affected: lungs, liver

Medicinal Uses: Due to the flavonoids they contain, yarrow flowers encourage circulation, lower blood pressure and help stop bleeding anywhere in the body. A couple of cups of hot yarrow, peppermint and elder flower tea is an old remedy for reducing fevers and treating colds, measles, and eruptive diseases. It also helps relieve urinary tract infections and stones. The tea benefits the kidneys. Cramps and rheumatism are treated with the tea, as are intestinal gas, diarrhea, anorexia and hyperacidity. In China, yarrow is used in poultices and to ease stomach ulcers. It is said to stop excessive blood flower especially well in the pelvic region, so is used to decrease excessive menstruation, postpartum bleeding, and hemorrhoids. Chewing the fresh leaves relieves toothache. Yarrow contains a chemical also present in chamomile and chamazulene, that helps relax the smooth muscle tissue of the digestive tract, making it an antispasmodic.

Yarrow can be taken in the form of herbal tea, tincture, fresh juice or medicinal wine. It can be used in a bath or on compresses. Sensitive people should perform a patch test before using the fresh juice on their skin. The tea is most effective when ingested in small sips throughout the day. A course of treatment with Yarrow should not last over four weeks, during which time the patient should avoid wine and coffee if possible. The fresh juice has a stronger effect than the tea. Two animal studies show yarrow protects the liver from toxic chemical damage. And a scientifically conducted trial in India showed yarrow helps treat hepatitis.

Aromatherapy Uses:
EXTRACTION: essential oil by steam distillation from the dried herb
CHARACTERISTICS: a dark blue or greenish olive liquid with a fresh, green, sweetherbaceous, slightly camphoraceous odor. It blends well with cedarwood, pine, chamomile, valerian, vetiver and oakmoss.
USES: Skin Care: acne, burns, cuts, eczema, hair rinse (promotes hair growth), inflammations, rashes, scars, tones the skin, varicose veins, wounds Circulation, Muscles and Joints: arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, thrombosis Digestive System: constipation, cramp, flatulence, hemorrhoids, indigestion Genito-urinary system: amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, cystitis and other infections Immune System: colds, fever, flu, etc. Nervous System: hypertension, insomnia, stress-related conditions.

Toxicity: Reports that large doses cause headaches, dizziness, and even light sensitivity in some people, although this is not well documented. Yarrow has a tendency to cause allergic skin reactions or sneezing in people sensitive to the aster family. High doses of yarrow may turn urine dark brown. Do not become alarmed.

Cosmetic Uses: Yarrow preparations, because of their germicidal and anti- inflammatory properties, make them a good dressing for inflamed, irritated, oily, and blemished complexions. It strengthens, firms, and cleanses the skin. Patch test for those with sensitive skin.

Ritual Uses: Herb of Venus; gender: cold; Element: water; Part Used: flowers; Basic powers: love, clairvoyance, exorcism. A common herb in love spells, yarrow is included in wedding decorations and hung over the bridal bed to keep a couple together happily for 7 years. Worn as an amulet, it wards off negativity. The tea drunk prior to divination will enhance one’s powers of perception. Held
in the hand it stops all fear. It is sometimes added to exorcism incenses. The flowers are a welcome addition to any magical altar, as the yarrow is one of the Witch’s favorite herbs. Large patches of yarrow growing in a field indicate a very grounded energy spot. Sit there to center and relax. Modern lore recommends waiting for the first yarrow bloom and using it to make a wish which should manifest prior to the harvest. The flowers are often included in rituals of union and are considered sacred to the Horned God.

“Yarrow, sweet yarrow, the first I have found. In the name of the Lord, I pluck thee from the ground As the Lord loves the Lady, so warm and dear, So in my dream may my lover appear.”  (Traditional love charm)


Face mask: mash some fresh leaves and place them on the face for 10-15 minutes.

Astringent: allow 1 tsp of the dried crushed herb to infuse for about 30 minutes in ¼ pt boiling water and apply it while still fresh. Add the remainder to the bath to help you relax.

Welcome to Witches Brew Blog

I am so glad you stopped by. Hopefully you'll bare with me as My blog is fairly new yet. I started this blog with the intent to share my thoughts, talents, and my love for nature. I appreciate like minded people and great conversation.

As you can guess I follow somewhat of an eclectic path. Yes I am a witch, and darn proud of it. No I don't zoom around on my broomstick, and place curses on people who have scorned me in some way. I don't toil over my cauldron, whipping up spells to jinx people, or cause harm. That's not the way it works.

If you think that is what a witch does, then you are sadly, misinformed. I can tell you what I am though. I am a lover of all things green. From Vegetable gardening, herbal gardening, just everything nature. I am a "normal" gal. As normal as you can get. I am a mother, a wife, an aunt, a sister, a daughter. Pretty normal I'd say.

Just because I follow a different path than mainstream society doesn't make me "weird". Albeit, sadly, we are judged all to often for taking the crooked path instead of the straight one. BUT, I'll have to save that for another time. So stick around and sit a spell (pun intended). I hope to make new friends and share many experiences with any who wish to join me.