Thursday, July 29, 2010


I have been banished to the living room.  You see, my guestroom is my little sanctuary.  I keep all my books in there, my herbs and crystals and my big computer (I am currently using my netbook).  I normally do all my blogging in there, especially the stone and herb of the week posts because I refer to a number of books for them. 

However, the cat has thwarted my comfort.  A couple of nights ago he brought a live mouse into the house and chased it into my guest room.  I despise rodents.  Every time I see one I get the shivers and an overwhelming urge to jump on furniture.  So, the first night, we locked the cat in the room, hoping that he would kill the mouse.  Next morning - no body that we can find.  The next night, sticky traps went down with a blob of peanut butter in the middle.  This morning - no mouse.  I am thoroughly freaked out and refusing to go in the room.  Is is possible that the cat ate the whole mouse and left no remnants behind?  Should I leave the traps out for another few days or should I start clearing out the guestroom and its over-stuffed closet just to be sure...

P.S yes, that is a picture of a cat eating a computer mouse.  It is not my cat, but I couldn't even bear to put up a picture of a cat with a real mouse - that's how freaked out I am!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

PEI Pagan Gathering

 AHHHH home safe and sound.  I had a wonderful weekend at the PEI Pagan Gathering and would like to encourage anyone who lives in the maritimes to make plans to attend next year. We had beautiful weather right up until the last morning and were just minutes from the beach.  The hosting group led a ritual for each element including a moonlit beach water ritual (including a moonlight swim!) and a fantastically exciting fire ritual that kept us asking "how did they do that?".  The weekend also included a number of workshops on topics like tarot, journeying, and creating rituals as well as a message circle.  Our campfire was blessed with the sound of drums and the taste of smores (and grilled pineapple, YUM!).  I want to thank the organizers and all those who attended for a wonderful atmosphere and a fantastic weekend.  Can't wait till next year!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Time to Escape

I will be away for the next few days.  My friends and I are off to the PEI Pagan Gathering.  It is held at a campground that is just minutes away from the beach.  Time for some relaxation and rejuvenation.  See you next week!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

ABC Book of Shadows

On a recent trip to my favorite pagan store Little Mysteries.  I came across the cutest little board book and decided to buy it for my friend's daughter.  It is called ABC Book of Shadows and is by Katie Lydon Olivares.  Here are some pics:

I love the God and Goddess pages and Samhain is one of my favorites.  I think I'm going to have to start buying this book in bulk for all my little witchlets!

P.S Don't forget to enter the giveaway for the book Out of the Broom Closet! 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Giveaway: Out of the Broom Closet

Out of the Broom Closet: 50 True Stories of Witches Who Found and Embraced the Craft is a wonderful book that describes, through narratives, the fear, excitement and nervousness that abounds when one steps out of the proverbial Broom Closet.  The stories are funny, inspiring and sometimes a little sad.  They deal with parents, friends, children, co-workers and show how those who stand by you can sometimes be surprising.  This is a great book for anyone who has ever stepped out of the Broom Closet or even for those still buried deep inside.

I will keep the giveaway up for a week or two and then draw a winner.  Remember, the more times you enter, the more chances you get! 

How to Enter

1 entry will be given for each of the following:
-Following my Blog (or already being a follower)
-Adding me on Facebook
-Adding me on Twitter
-Tweeting about the Giveaway
-Blogging about the Giveaway

2 entries will be given for each Friend you refer.  They should comment here or email and mention your username.

Make sure you comment on this post and tell me which of the above you have done.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Calming Anger with Blue Lace Agate

Blue Lace Agate is an excellent stone for those who struggle with anger issues or, who simply need help in specific situations.  Anger can have many detrimental effects.  It can cause us to say things we don't mean to loved ones, it can cause poor relations with co-workers and it can even affect our driving and cause us to make poor decisions.  It is wise to examine our own anger triggers and to utilize the calming influence of Blue Lace Agate in those situations.  For example:

- If you find driving to be a stressful time and you feel that your anger with other drivers affects the safety of yourself and your loved ones, why not place a Blue Lace Agate stone in the car.  On you dashboard, in your glove compartment or hanging from your rear view mirror - the calming stone will ensure that you get home safely.

- Try holding a piece of Blue Lace Agate when starting a difficult conversation.  Whether you are speaking with a significant other, a child or a co-worker, the stone will help you keep your cool and speak calmly and rationally.

- Keep a piece of Blue Lace Agate in your desk or office for those particularly stressful days.

- Keep a piece by the phone to help stay calm in the face of angry voices on the other end. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Phoenix's Simplified Bruschetta

I love serving Bruschetta to guests but I find starting from scratch means I am in the kitchen all night instead of enjoying the party.  So, I started taking some shortcuts including pre-diced tomatoes and pre-shredded cheese.

1 Can Aylmer Accents Diced Tomatoes: Garlic and Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Basil
Kraft Italiano Shredded Cheese

Cut baguette.  In the past I have simply cut "rounds" by slicing all the way down the baguette.  But, when in a hurry, I will cut the baguette in half (or thirds) and then slice each piece lengthwise to expose the white part.  This cuts down on how much time you spend turning, seasoning and topping

Brush Baguette pieces with olive oil and place in hot oven on Broil.  Turn once or twice until just toasted.

Meanwhile, remove any stems and chop basil.  Drain tomatoes in a colander and add the basil. 

When bread is toasted, add a spoonful or two of the tomato mixture to each piece.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with cheese and put back into the oven until cheese has melted. 

Herb Garden Update

I thought I would update on how my herbs have been growing so far.

You can see my Cascading Rosemary and Sage are slowly creeping along:

My Lavender has started to bloom and the Chives have gotten a haircut:

I picked up a couple of hanging baskets.  Not quite sure what kind of flowers they are.  I may have to take a better picture if we ever get a sunny day again:

My Apple Mint, Rue and Anise are all doing well, and my Tequila Sunrise Columbine flowers have started to peek through, not sure if they will bloom this summer at all:

Chocolate Mint is still growing quite well:

And my Wooly Thyme, Lemon Balm and Catnip are doing well.  Again, Columbine are growing but I am not sure if they will bloom this year:

It seems I forgot to take a picture of my Basil and new Rosemary plant.  Those will have to come later as it is pouring down rain right now.

Herb of the Week - Basil

I both love and despise Basil all at the same time.  I love it because it is wonderfully fragrant and delicious in almost any dishes.  I despise it because I have yet to find a way to grow Basil without killing it.  The first year, I planted too early for my region and it died.  The second year I waited an additional month and I think I overwatered (I thought wilting meant needed more water - oops).  This year,I planted Genovese and Purple Bail and I have been babying them to no end.  I waited until July to put them outdoors, I am very careful about how much I am watering them, I move them indoors in heavy rain or wind or if I feel that it is just too hot in the afternoon (I have noticed them wilting if they get too hot).  In short, I am dead and determined to have healthy Basil plants this year!

Basil is a wonderful herb that can be found in most herb gardens or growing on kitchen windowsills.  Basil likes full sun but should be fairly sheltered from high winds.  Be sure to wait until well after the last frost before sowing your basil as cold temperatures are its worst enemy.  Basil does not like to soak in water and should receive proper drainage. 
Basil comes in a number of varieties.  My favorite are genovese basil and purple basil.  Others include cinnamon basil, lemon basil and Thai basil.  Basil is delicious in soups, salads, dips and sauces.  I add basil to nearly all of my Italian dishes.  It also makes a beautiful garnish.
Magickally, Basil is associated with protection, courage, wealth, love, divination and creativity.  For a financial boost, plant Basil near the front door.  Cook with fresh basil to enhance feelings of passion and love.  Carry in your pocket or place in your wallet or purse to bring continued wealth.  If you are a business owner - Place Basil leaves in a cash register or above the doorsill to attract customers.  Bathe with basil to increase attractiveness. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stone of the Week - Blue Lace Agate

Blue Lace Agate is a beautiful pale blue stone.  Its bands often reminds one of the gentle waves of the ocean or ripples in a bond.  It is a wonderful calming stone and promotes a serene environment.  It has a cooling energy that can work to lower a temperature or calm a hot temper.  Blue Lace Agate brings peace of mind and increases spiritual inspiration.  It is associated with the throat chakra and clears the way for expression of thoughts and feelings.  It is an excellent stone for those dealing with issues of judgment, particularly when they feel they are being judged by others.  Therefore, it is wise to carry a piece if entering a situation where you feel you are going to be judged (ie, parent-child interactions, neighbors, that cliquey woman's group!).  
Physically, Blue Lace Agate's cooling properties can be utilized to calm an infection, inflammation or fever.  It can aid with any throat problems but is also useful for the neck and shoulders.  It works to help heal bone issues such as arthritis, bone deformity or fractures.  Blue Lace Agate can also aid with blockages in the nervous system, capillaries or pancreas.  

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Herb of the Week - Recipes

To finish off the first Herb of the Week, I thought I would post a few incense recipes.  These are from Scott Cunningham's The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews

Rosemary Healing Incense:
1 Part Dried Rosemary
1 Part Dried Juniper Berries

Crush herbs and burn on charcoal disc

Study Incense:
2 parts Gum Mastic
1 part Rosemary

Crush herbs and burn on charcoal disc

Crystal Purification Incense
2 Parts Frankincense
2 parts Copal
1 part Sandalwood
1 part Rosemary
1 pinch finely powdered salt
1 small, purified Quartz Crystal Point

Crush herbs and place in a jar.  Add the quartz crystal. Pour herbs onto charcoal disc (be sure to LEAVE the crystal in the jar).  Pass crystals to be purified through the smoke. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

On Listening to Good Advice

I'm stubborn.  A few months ago, I bought Scott Cunningham's The Complete Book if Incense, Oils and Brews.  I have a rather large herb collection and decided to make an incense for Imbolc.  I didn't follow one of his recipes - NOOOOOO that would be too easy.  I made up my own.  I picked some herbs appropriate for Imbolc (gleaned from my notes on the Sabbat) ground them, mixed them together, bottled them and then put them aside for a few weeks.  I didn't even think about the incense until Imbolc when I lit a charcoal disc, opened the bottle and FELL IN LOVE! OMG I didn't remember it smelling that good when I made it!  Slowly, a horrific realization took hold of me - I hadn't written down the recipe.  Cunningham stressed the importance of writing recipes, in fact, I'm pretty sure he mentioned it at least 5 times.  But I knew better! I would never want to re-create this particular recipe, I would simply explore a new avenue and try something else, right? WRONG! My lesson in all of this - when someone who has been working with herbs and writing about herbs for as long as Cunningham has - LISTEN TO HIS ADVICE!

After an hour or so of sniffing what little I had left and experimenting with the herbs I had on hand (luckily I could narrow it down by looking at the original Sabbat notes), I did manage to re-create it.  So here is the recipe:

Purple Basil (I grow and dry my own - I have never seen it available in a store but I am sure regular basil would be fairly close)
Frankincense Resin

I didn't really follow any set measurements but I have added to my notes to go light on the Chamomile and heavier on the Basil.  Also, try not to over-work the Frankincense - it got started to get gummy on me.

*I will probably re-post this recipe next Imbolc.

How NOT to clean your crystals

There are several methods for cleansing stones.  However, some of those methods are not recommended for certain crystals.  I have been compiling a list.  Here is what I have so far:


-Rose Quartz

Burying in Salt
-Fresh Water Pearls

Do you have any to add?

*Note: There are a number of methods for cleansing stones that not mentioned such as under moonlight, by placing on a crystal cluster or burying in soil.  But, as these are usually non-damaging methods (to my knowledge) I have not included them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Step Back Into The Broom Closet

My parents came to visit this week and I did something I haven't done in a couple of years - I hid in the broom closet.  I put away my books, dismantled my altar and hid my tools.  You see, my father is not exactly open-minded.  This was the first time that he has visited since I moved into this apartment a few years ago.  I normally keep the guest room as my own personal sanctuary.  I have two bookshelves full of Pagan books.  I have a dresser that serves as an altar and which has drawers that organize all my tools (one for herbs, one for candles, one for stones - yes yes, I am THAT neurotic) and a large chest that holds everything that doesn't fit in those categories.  In the last year or two, I have started leaving everything intact when company comes, even when that company includes friends of Fiance.  I have even started leaving books around in the living room where they are much more visible and likely to attract attention.  But my father is a different story.  Don't get me wrong, I love him, I mean REALLY love him and I am very much like him.  But the minute I see him, it is like I am a teenager again who is constantly looking for his approval.  And so, even now, at 28, I hide the things that I think he will disapprove of and I feel incredibly sad while doing so.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Stone of the Week - Clear Quartz

While helping a friend with the last of her moving, I found a piece of quartz that she had tucked away in a corner and it dawned on me that, when starting this blog feature, I hadn't written about, perhaps, the most commonly owned of all crystals.

Clear quartz can be found in most New Age shops and can be purchased fairly cheaply.  Nearly every pagan that I know owns at least one piece of it (many own tons of it!).  It can be found in a myriad of sizes and shapes as both stand alone stones and incorporated into jewelery, statues and various tools. 

Clear Quartz is one of the best all purpose stones as its clear coloring, and the fact that it holds all the colors of the rainbow, lends itself to all types of magick.  It also amplifies our intentions and the vibrations of other stones.   Quartz is an excellent stone for purification.  It brings harmony and balance.  Quartz can be used for gazing and conjures up images of the ancient witch staring into a crystal ball. 

Clear quartz is known as master healer and can aid with any affliction.  It brings harmony within the body and works with all of the chakras.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Herb of the Week - Rosemary

I thought I would start my Herb of the Week postings with Rosemary as it is very common within most Witches' gardens and can easily be found within nearly everyone's kitchen. 

Rosemary is a beautifully fragrant herb that can be easily incorporated into both magick and cooking.  Young plants are usually readily available at most nurseries.  I have also seen Rosemary more and more often in ready-made herb pots (containing multiple herbs) at most grocery stores (Superstore and Sobeys here in Canada). 

As a cooking herb, Rosemary is piney with a hint of lemon.  It works very well with basil or thyme.  It can be used with nearly all meats and is particularly good when paired with lamb or poultry.  It is also a great partner with eggplant, potatoes and in many sauces and marinades.  Rosemary is one herb that many people keep close to the barbecue in order to add flavor and fragrance to dishes. 

As a magickal herb, Rosemary holds powers of Protection, Love, Lust, Mental Powers, Exorcism, Purification, Healing, Sleep and Youth.  It can be burned to purify a space or prepare for a ritual and works well in incenses.  Rosemary may be burned in the bedroom or kept under the pillow to protect the sleeper and drive away nightmares.  It may be hung throughout the house, particularly in doorways or on porches, to protect the inhabitants and drive away thieves.  Rosemary can be used in baths or bathing products to ensure youthfulness (I have a rosemary mint shampoo and conditioner that smells DIVINE).  It works well in nearly all magickal applications including dream pillows, poppets and tinctures. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

A New Witch for my Collection!

A few days ago I received my custom doll from The Zombie Farm.  She is a Zombie Witch!

Clearly, Eeyore loves her already:

She came with a Toe Tag and special Charm Bag

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Study Groups Now Available at The Witches' Path

 The Witches' Path forum is now offering informal study groups.  The forum can be found here: The Witches' Path and a description of the study groups has been posted by the forum administrator:
As per requested, we now have Study Groups for people to learn together. There are no teachers, no set curriculum, just a place for people to learn and study together 

Available Study Groups for July 2010:

  • Herbalism
  • Crystals
  • Tarot
  • Runes
  • Deities
  • Holiday Lore

Each Study Group is available for 6 months, except for Tarot which will be open for one year. You will be able to join a group a week before its opening date, requests to join on or after the opening date for the group will be rejected. Once a group has closed, all topics and posts will be archived, access to the archive will not be given so it is important that you make a copy of all information you wish to keep.

You can be a part of as many Study Groups as you like and for example if you are part of the July 2010 Herbalism Study Group, there's nothing to stop you from joining another Herbalism Study Group once the July one has finished, its completely up to you

AHHHHH! Finished

Well, as of yesterday I am finished teaching and off for the summer.  Now don't get me wrong, I love my job, but this was a particularly painful year and I am incredibly happy to be finished.  I am looking forward to a long summer filled with relaxation.  For the blog this summer, I intend to read and review a couple of books, and start chronicling a little more spell work (since I will actually have TIME to do more spellwork).  I am also off to the PEI Pagan Gathering later this month.  This year promises to be bigger than ever!  To all the teacher's out there, I wish you health and happiness on the road to relaxation!