under construction

Well, I have been super busy these last few weeks, what with the gardening season fast approaching and Easter with the fam. Yes, I decided to have the big Easter celebration here at my home, after all I have been avoiding any holiday celebrations here for the last 5 yrs or so, simply because i feel it is a big hassle. Getting everything ready, cleaning, cooking, etc, etc.

But this year, I didn't sweat it much, since I was only having my family over, I felt I didn't need to have the house absolutely spotless, since my family could give a rip...LOL Not that my house is every really in upheaval, just I don't go the extra mile to make it sparkle when my family comes over, verses, both sides of the family and friends being over. You get my point.

I just didn't have the energy to move every pencil, eraser, and sketch book off the surrounding tables in the living room, nor the many herbal books and gardening books I had left sit, when rummaging thru them...(it is a seasonal thing with me, every garden season, i dig thru my books, in anticipation for the upcoming spring planting...anal I know...LOL)

Now, I have been working on yet another project as of late (which by the way has kept me busy as hell!) hence the pencils, sketchbooks, erasers and other such artistic paraphernalia. I got to thinking, and with much prodding from my husband and mu father over the years, I decided to put up a website, and sell my botanical art, and other botanical related artwork. So you can imagine the upheaval that comes with such a venture. (sigh)

Not only did I have to clear out my closet, yet again, in search of more hidden botanical drawings, that had long been forgotton, but I also had to dig out a much retired scanner to scan my artwork with., wow, talk about a dinosaur! Then it was a trip t the print shop, deciding what paper I wanted to get them printed on, what sizes to offer, then figuring shipping, for the website, and designing the website itself. Good Gawdess!

I feel like my brain is now mush. Seriously. However,......I do have a better understanding on how things work, and think I didn't do a shabby job. This website is not witchy related, and I took alot of my blogging articles and posted related botanical material over there as well, but If you would like to check it out, here's the link : Garden Botanical Art

I would like to start on a pagan based website soon, as I mentioned in a post some weeks back, I would like to sell my book of shadow pages and I hope my own site would do better for me than using etsy. I like etsy, but I find that having your own website, makes it much easier. It's an all in one stop, and I will be listing not only artwork, but other crafts there as well. (Crossing fingers and hope it turns out the way I have it in my mind LOL)

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More on Mugwort for the month of April

Mugwort is used for astral projection, divination,psychic powers,clairvoyance, protection to travelers, sleep , strength and healing.
Mugwort, also commonly called wormwood, is a perennial herb known for its slumber and dream assist properties. It dispels nightmares, calms sleeplessness tendencies, and is sometimes used to enhance shamanic astral travel during sleep. A mugwort bundle (leaves and flower tied together) is placed under a bed pillow before retiring for the night. Dried bundles of mugwort can also be used as smudging tools to cleanse areas that need energetic clearing.


Concecration of divination tools.

Make an infusion of the herb mugwort, while it's still warm, strain it and then
bathe the mirror or stone in the infusion, while softly whispering this chant 9 times.

As you do so, invision the mirror or stone awakening to you and your own psychic abilities:

Lovely oracle of magic worth,
fair creature of psychic light,
the truest answers, you shall bring forth,
you shall be my eyes, my sight.

Third eye spell

A spell to open the third eye.

Fill a small purple bag (or a piece of cloth that you can wrap herbs in and tie up) with as

many of the following herbs as you can:

--mugwort acacia honeysuckle peppermint rosemary thyme yarrow

--cloves dandelion lilac lavender Calendula - (marigold)

Gather the edges of the cloth and tie a string around it if you are using a cloth, or if you
used a small purple bag, tie it shut. (Drawstring bags work best.)

Using a dark violet marker, draw an eye on the front of the bag.
Rub the bag on the third eye Chakra (forehead) whenever performing divination or needing
psychic sight, and sleep with it under your pillow every night.

Protection Oil with Mugwort

Base oil: such as sweet almond oil, jojoba, sesame, etc.
To the oil add any three of the following:

--rue, rosemary, angelica, bay, basil, fennel, sage, mugwort, Vervain.

Use either the whole herb or a pure essential oil.
Allow the herbs to mix and steep in the oil for 1 week.

Handle the bottle frequently, projecting protective energy into the mixture.
Recommendation:  make this oil during a waning moon but you can also make your own timing judgement.

In or out of the broom closet, that is the question....

I often wondered what it would be like to be out the of damn closet already.....Many things wander thru my mind, such as, if I came out to my family and friends, I have this silly notion stuck in my head that they all would be so excepting and embrace it, and me for choosing the path I have. That's just what it is, a silly notion.

From the conversation I have had in the past with my family and friends, and the comments they have made about similarly related issues, it would seem to me that ignorance is bliss. Not that my family and friends are by any means "haters", they aren't, far from it actually, it is just, like most people in today's society, they fear that which they don't understand.. Plainly put.

I was raised in a "Lutheran" household. However we never actually were regular church attendees by any means. My father worked to much and my mom had us to take care of. I knew of the teachings so to speak, meaning I knew the whole, there was a god, and the baby Jesus, Mary, immaculate conception thing and Adam and eve, etc etc. Any more than that forget it...LOL

I remember going to summer bible school sort of thing, kind of like catechism, but only for the summer, and I only went once. So you see, my family was far from being bible thumpers. However my dad tried to instill a good belief system in us anyways.

Many years later, ( at the age of 19) I got married and failed miserably at it, sucked actually, we both did. To young, you know the bit. Which led me on my path of "there has to be something more". Divorced 3 yrs later and wondering what the hell did I just do with my 3 wasted years? I turned to wicca/witchcraft, and delved into it. It kept my mind busy, and out of trouble. I began studying gardening, herbalism and the like.

Now, older and wiser, on my second marriage of  9yrs, and having a child of 5. I couldn't be happier. My husband is catholic, raised in a the traditional "catholic ways", i.e. purgatory, hell, all the scary shit, that scares the hell out of a kid. However, he is the most open minded person I have ever met, and fully supports me in anything i do, and my beliefs. So now your probably wondering, when am i going to get to the point? Ok, here it is, I am out of the broom closet, but to only one person, my husband. He knows it, he's ok with it, etc.

The rest of my family, not so much as I explained before. The reason? Well it isn't because of what you might think really...it's the fear that they will think I will be setting my daughter up for relentless teasing and ridicule at school. Which, in all honesty, the thought has crossed my mind alot. It is one of the concerns of my husband as well. They would worry that because of my beliefs, that she would be an outcast of sorts. Kids can be so fickle, we all know this. I wouldn't want this for her at all. Any mothers out there can sympathize with me on this one regardless of how they feel about their own beliefs.

I really wouldn't care what they thought of me, it is her I worry about. My husband and I both have talked about this subject over and over. He wants her to have a "base" religion. Of course it is catholic. She was baptized catholic and more than likely going to be attending catechism (shudders). I'm hoping this will be put off as long as possible really...LOL I have told him that I really don't want her to be scared shitless with the catholic teachings. You see my husband still doesn't sleep naked, (for fear of the angels laughing at him...yeah....I can thank his grandmother for this), not to mention the "mamoonas", "purgatory" ,"burning off all your sins, before being allowed into heaven" and other such terrifying thoughts. I could go on and on. My husbands family really put a whammy on his head when he was younger and it carried over into his adult life, but as time goes on he has had time to come to his own conclusions of things and isn't that bad anymore. You know the "older and wiser thing".

Anyways, he is ok, with me teaching her my beliefs, as long as I don't refer to it as "magik" or "spells", he prefers the terms "herbalism and prayer"...which is fine by me. I told him when she is old enough, I will teach her magik and spells, and about the gods and goddess', how I believe all things are connected with nature, etc, etc. but for now, yes..herbalism and prayer. Besides she is to young right now anyways.

But this is why I am not out of the broom closet yet. Not for fear of what people might think of me, but for what people might do or say to my daughter. It's sad really that it has to be this way, I struggle with this thought everyday. The thought of following the norm..ya know. If she goes to catechism, believes in the catholic teachings, or other christian teachings, she will be considered, well, normal. Isn't that ridiculous? Anything outside the box is abnormal...I hate that about our society. I asked my husband this question, "what if when she gets older she doesn't want to be catholic, she wants to follow the pagan path? He replied, that's fine. I just want her to be able to defend herself, if the situation arises. Right now she is to young and doesn't know any better."
thru my head a breakneck speed. I thought i had better not push the issue farther than it needed to be at that point in time. I often wonder if any other pagan moms have thought of these many questions in their minds as well? Have they had similar struggles? Have they not come out of the broom closet for the sake of their child?  I wonder..... if I am alone with my thoughts, I so very much wonder.

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Witchy Wisdom Tuesdays - April 12th

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A little survey from my readers

Ok, I am doing a little research here, and need my readers help. I would like to know, what 5 herbs you use most frequently for culinary use, and what 5 herbs you use most frequently for magik and ritual. Any and all answers would be appreciated!

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A sneek peek at a few things I have been working on.

Ok, so my creative juices have been flowing lately, not sure if it's the spring weather or what, but I am going to take my good ol'e dad's advice (and many others) and take my creative mind and put it to good use.

I decided to start making a series of Book of shadow pages. I am taking my existing botanical works, and my newest ones to the print shop. I have never done this before and am really excited about it. I'll be putting my botanical prints up in my etsy shop very soon as well as some of the newest. I have planned on a "Kitchen Witch Series" , Raven series, and many herbal botanical drawings in the works, especially for BOS pages.

Here's a sneek peek at an unfinished work of the Raven Series.

Please excuse the big red lettering watermark......

Witchy Wisdom Tuesdays- April 5th

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Herb of the Month - April/Mugwort

Artemisia vulgaris

Family: Compositae

Names: By Foot, felon herb, St. John’s Plant, Maiden Wort, Mother’s wort, womb’s wort, Mugwurz, powerwort, solstice girdle, thorwort; Echter Beifuss, Mugwurz, Gánsekraut, Belfuss, Beifuβ (German); armoise, armoise commune,
herbe de St. Jean, Ceinture de Saint-Jean (French); artemisia, assenzio, amarelle, erba di San Giovanni, amarelle, campaccio, assenzio selvatico (Italian); zona diri Johannis, Artemisa común, ajenja, artemisia, hierba de San Juan (Spanish); Hao-shu, ai-hao, ch’i-ai, i-ts’ao, k’iai, chih-ts’ao, chiu-ts’ao (Chinese); bijvoet (Dutch); Harilik puju (Estonian); Berendjasef (Farsi); Pujo (Finnish); Liath lus (Gaelic); Fekete üröm, Anyafû, Taplóüröm (Hungarian);
Nat (Laotian); Bylica pospolita (Polish); Gråbo (Swedish); artemisia verdaderia (Portuguese); afsantin-e-hindi (Arabic)

Description: A single-stemmed plant with floppy leaves. The height is up to 6 feet and a width of 1-2 feet. The flowers are tiny, redbrown, wooly, clustered on stem tips. The leaves are elongated oval, but deeply toothed on end into points; green top with fuzzy silver white underneath, to 4 inches long. Blooms from July to August. Native to Europe and Asia and naturalized in the US

Cultivation: This is a perennial to Zone 2-3. It germinates in 10-24 days. Space 1 foot apart in a soil with temperature of 65-70F. Soil preferred is dry or moist and it likes nitrogen and a pH of 5-8.5. Needs full sun. Can be propagated by seed or dividing clumps. In moist garden soil, it will spread rapidly by runners. Harvest stems to be used for moxa sticks from July to September when Mugwort
is flowering. Cut plants a little above the ground and hang them singly upside down to dry in an airy, shaded spot. When dry strip the leaves and flowers from the stems. Mugwort root is best dug up in November.

Constituents: Volatile oil containing linalool, 1,8-cineole, B-thujone, borneol, nerol, neryl acetate, linalyl acetate, myrcene, vulgarole, cadinenol, muurolol, spathulenol and others; Vulgarin, a sesquiterpene lactone; flavonoids: quercitin-3-glucoside, quercitin-3- rhamnoglucoside and 5,3’-dihydroxy-3,7,4’- trimethoxyflavone; coumarin derivatives: 7,8- methylendioxy-9- ethoxycoumarin; triterpenes such as 3B-hydroxurs-12-en-27,28-dionic acid, B-amyrin, B-sitosterol

Actions: bitter digestive tonic, uterine stimulant, stimulating nervine, menstrual
regulator, antirheumatic, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, carminative, choleretic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, orexigenic, stomachic, vermifuge

Character: bitter, pungent, drying, quite cold.

Meridians/Organs affected: liver, spleen, kidneys

History: Once known in Europe as the Mother of Herbs or Mater Herbarum, mugwort appears in ancient lore long before Dioscorides praised it in the 1st century. It was one of the 9 healing herbs of the Anglo-Saxons and is thought to be the girdle worn by St. John the Baptist in the Bible. When black tea prices rose in early-19thcentury Cornwall, England, it became a popular tea. Roman centurians reputedly placed it in their sandals to keep the soles of their feet in
good shape. The origins of its name appear to be as confused as the intoxicated state mugwort produces. Some suggest it originated with mygge, meaning “midge”—any small insect, such a a gant—or with the old English magat,
or “maggot.” However, it is the wool moth that mugwort deters, and a better possibility would be mothe, Anglo-Saxon for “moth.” On the other hand, a few authors claim it comes from the Irish mugan, a mug that holds beer— mugwort beer. Dioscorides recounted that the goddess Artemis (who inspired the plant’s
genus name) was believed to give succur to women in childbirth. A 13th century Welsh herbal The Physicians of Myddfai recommended “If a woman be unable to give birth to her child let the mugwort be bound to her left thigh. Let it be instantly removed when she has been delivered, lest there should be haemorrhage.”

An 18th century Spanish herbalist, Diego de Torres, recommended the application of a mugwort plaster below the navel as an effective method of inducing labor. In Poland, Mugwort collected from nine different fields would increase a woman’s fertility. A baby was bathed in mugwort and thyme in order to give the child strength. It was tucked in the eaves of the house in order to
protect it against “uncleanliness” on St. John’s Eve. Both mugwort and wormwood were placed in the coffin in the belief that it would delay decomposition of the body. A few long branches were sprinkled with sour milk and hung from a beam generally near the ceiling of the house. The flies then clustered on the branch and stopped plaguing the inhabitants. When enough flies had settled on the branch, two people cautiously approached it with an
open sack and captured the insects. The sack would then be taken outside and disposed of.
Villagers wiped their hands in mugwort in order to keep the bees from stinging. .
Throughout the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and into modern times, European practitioners used mugwort almost exclusively as a woman’s remedy. A few who describe the healing properties are Hildegardof Bingen, Paracelsus and Culpepper. It was used to increase fertility, ease birth, stimulate the
afterbirth, alleviate menstrual pains and balance menstrual irregularities. Mugwort is included in the bunch of herbs offered for Mary’s blessing on the Day of the Assumption in the southern Catholic regions of Germany. Some people burn Mugwort as incense in the stables on Assumption Day to protect the animals from disease. The name “by foot” comes from the belief that when bound to the legs it takes away the tiredness of travelers. One other intriguing sentiment about Mugwort is that it can aid in the magick of criminal detection. A
"superstition" exists that in Japan, placing a cone of Moxa in the footprint of a thief would cause the thief to get a "hot foot", that is he would feel a burning sensation as if the cone were on his foot.
During the Middle Ages, Russian physicians used it against epilepsy, while the Mongols massaged it into their calves to prevent cramping and muscle fatigue caused by horseback riding for a long time. During this time in all Northern European countries, on the feast day of St. John, dancers would leap around a fire wearing a crown made from mugwort to protect them from disease during the coming year. The French name armoise is taken from the Greek goddess Artemis who represents the emancipated woman. Language of Flowers: Happiness, tranquility, travel, “be not weary”

Medicinal Uses: A digestive and tonic herb, mugwort has a wide variety of traditional uses. Milder in action than most other Artemisia species, it can be taken over the long term at a low dose to improve appetite, digestive function, promotes liver detoxification and absorption of nutrients. In addition to encouraging the elimination of worms, mugwort increases bile flow. Mugwort has
long been used in the West to promote menstruation (yet is found in Chinese formulas to prevent miscarriage). Use a standard infusion of two teaspoons per cup of water steeped for 20 minutes, take ¼ cup flour times a day. A tea or compress was used to speed labor and help expel the afterbirth. Mugwort decreases external inflammation and, in both China and Europe, a poultice is traditionally placed on rheumatic and arthritic pains.
In Russia, it is extracted in vodka for swellings, wounds, and various skin problems. It is also a fairly effective poison oak treatment. Mugwort is also an antiseptic and has been used in the treatment of malaria. Mugwort is known to serve as substitute for tobacco, bearing the folk name, "Sailor's Tobacco". Likewise, it has been considered as a substitute for cannabis, in the sense that it has very mild relaxing, rather than inebriating properties, and the ability to offset symptoms of withdrawals from various substances of abuse. It is often cited as a herbal treatment for opium addiction. Additionally, it tends to have aromatic properties when burned that are reminiscent of cannabis when burned, therefore
adding to its potential as a cannabis substitute. It makes a good foot bath for tired feet and legs. Cleansing to the liver, it promotes digestion. Mugwort is an emmenagogue, especially when combined with pennyroyal, blue cohosh, or angelica root. It is helpful in epilepsy, palsy, and hysteria and is useful for

Toxicity: Avoid large amounts or continued consumption which can adversely affect the nervous system. Don’t use while pregnant

Ritual Uses: Mugwort is prominent among many women’s covens to express adoration of the goddess Diana. It is said to protect travelers from fatigue, sunstroke, wild animals, and evil spirits. When cleaning a child’s room,
mugwort water might be aspurged to protect one’s children. When your home is battered by a storm or when your life feels threatened by impending danger, it is believed that dried mugwort should be tossed into the hearth fire to
keep you safe. A crown of it is worn at Midsummer. It is also used as a bathing herb prior to the shortest night offering many blessings. Bunches of dried mugwort from the previous year’s harvest may be tossed into the Midsummer fire.
A tea or a pillow of it brings vivid prophetic dreams and helps one to contact
the astral realm. Use the tea and incense to help in scrying. Mugwort is used in magick to activate instruments of divination- crystal balls and magic mirror- although it is sometimes phrased that the role of Mugwort is to "cleanse" the instrument. Mugwort’s most striking claim to fame being magnetic in character, however, is that it is often known as "compass plant", owing to the fact that it’s leaves tend to arrange themselves with the North-South lines of the earth’s magnetic field. Worn as an amulet, the herb’s root bestowed strength and health.

*Material contained herein, is not intended to treat or diagnose, always use caution and educate yourself before using anything medicinally.

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Book in Review/April - Utterly Wicked

Utterly Wicked: Curses, Hexes & Other Unsavory Notions

I have been meaning to get this book for quite some time now, it arrived this past Monday, and I read it from front to back in about 4 hours. Yea, it was that damn good!

For those of you who, at one time or another, have been screwed over, pushed around, stepped on and belittled in life, and found that being a "Good Witch" just wasn't cutting it, then this book will open your eyes a bit. When I was reading Dorothy's intro, I knew I had the right book, because what she says, is how I have always felt. Always.

She covers much.....You know, those topics we don't ever want to talk about for fear of the related bad karma coming your way if we even udder a bad word? LOL Dorothy is a kick-ass woman who tells it like it is, and isn't afraid to write about it. Every self respecting, powerful, take matters into your own hands, hell hath no fury, witch, should and definatly NEEDS to have this in their arsenal. Out of every book I could ever recommend, this is the one, without a doubt.

When reading it, don't get squeemish...She covers alot of taboo topics. BUT it is very humorous as well. Dorothy even goes on to tell you why she began exploring different avenues to get a problem solved using magic. I dont want to spoil it, so that's all I'm gonna say!

Happy reading!!!!!!!