Monday, 20 June 2016

Summer Solstice Magic

I love the turning of the seasons, watching nature change with the waxing and waning of the year.
     I love that Witches and other Pagans mark the turning wheel of the year with special festivals. And I especially love the magic which twinkles through the year, and really pokes you in the eye around the festival times.
     This year (2016) we have a Full Moon on the night of the Summer Solstice. Full Moon and a Fairy festival together, how magical is that ?!
     So tonight would be ideal for a magical plant hunt. A night to gather fern seed, to turn you invisible, to wander unseen wherever you will. Or a night to drag a Mandrake Root screaming from the earth, and to create a homunculous, a magical servant who can travel through thick and thin and bring blessings, love, healing, or maybe the darker magics, as you desire.
     This is a night for being outside, with a bonfire, drinking wine with friends and toasting, 'The Old Ones!'. For wandering the wild places, haunting the Fairy Mounds and exploring the places where the Old Gods linger - will you run from Jenny Greenteeth, or stay and have a cup of tea with her?
     'But what if it's raining?' I hear you cry. Wandering the dark places, squelching through mud and cold is not so much fun, (not for us, anyway, but it gives the Old Gods a laugh).
     Then remember that tonight is sacred to Angus Og, Angus the Young, god of magical dreams. Through dreams we are carried to strange and magical places every night. We meet extraordinary character and have weird adventures in unknowable realms. With the help of Dream Angus we can pick a destination and travel to meet those who are not of this world. We can meet again those who have passed to the Summerland. We can explore the realms of the dead, or the lands of Faery. We can speak with spirits, angels, ghosts, ghouls and Gods.
     As we fall asleep we are at a magical crossroads which can lead us anywhere. it is the place where the Fairy Folk ride, their horses decorated with bright silver and tinkling bells, where the Witches cast spells, where Hecate waits, where the dead process, where Legba directs the traffic with his walking stick, where the black dog, Black Shuck or Anubis waits to guide you.
    The Web of Wyrd with all its threads and pathways is here, the Labyrinth with its Gods and monsters, it is the first branch on the Tree of Life climbing into the infinite beyond.
     Adventure awaits.
     If you are brave enough.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Plant Hunting

Once in the month and better it be when the Moon is full... Well actually it is the first Sunday in the month, when there is currently a Farmer's and Craft Market held in the Humber Bridge Car Park.
     I say 'currently' as we have been told that after December this year there will be no more Farmer's Markets here, as the car park is being 'developed' into a 'hotel and leisure complex'. This will be a huge blow to the thousands of customers and many stall holders who set up there each month. At times the car park is so busy with potential customers trying to find somewhere to park that you see cars slowly circulating the parking bays, waiting to pounce when anyone leaves.
     This is one of my treats, an outing we can do in relative ease with the wheelchair as all the surface is tarmacked. I rarely get to boot sales these days as most of them are held in fields, which the hard, narrow wheels of my chair just sink straight into.
     So anyway, in addition to our regular shopping of fruit and veg, and visit to the stall of proper Lincolnshire butcher's for some haslett (pronounced ays-let, not haz-let) and maybe some sausage rolls, we were on the look out for some plants to stick in our side garden.
     Now, our side garden is the coldest and shadiest part of the garden. All of the ground is beneath the canopy of our Wishing hawthorn - grown from a seed Graham picked from a bush over-hanging an ancient sacred spring. The canopy forms a huge umbrella over the side garden, and has been smothered in blossom for the last month or so. This means that only shade loving ie woodland plants have a chance of growing here.
     We have tried putting in mixed wild flower seeds, but they only seem to throw up jack-by-the-hedge, meadow cranesbill, nettles and sow thistles.
     Happily we have found a few plants which like the conditions, a lovely wild fern (I love watching its frondy leaves unfurl - and at mid-summer there is always the chance to collect some magical fern seed), ransoms (wild garlic with white pom-pom heads of flowers), blue bells and snowdrops. But I would like to put in a few more plants to add more interest to the area - and keep down the weeds. So I had a look on the internet and came up with a list from the RHS website.
     Of course all of these were given by their Latin names, which is lovely, and accurate, but doesn't mean a lot to me, so I had to then look up the Latin names to find out what I know them as.
     And found that most of them were lovely magical plants I know already, such as foxgloves (digitalis), lady's mantle (alchemilla mollis), lungwort (pulmonaria), sweet woodruff (gallium odoratum) and Solomon's seal (polygonatum multiflorum).
    So as there are always a few plant stalls we had a look there and managed to find some hollyhocks to replace the ones Graham had mown flat in the front garden, and some apple mint, which we always used at home to make mint sauce and popped in to flavour new potatoes as they boiled.
     We also managed to confuse one lady by asking for some foxgloves then picking up the plants labelled 'digitalis'. She had the same problem as me and hadn't realised they were foxgloves, 'My husband does the labelling.' she explained.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

A Visit to the Hospital

     Those of you who are on the Raven Mailing List and therefore get our Newsletter will know that earlier this year I made Graham go to the doctor's when he found a mass in his groin.
     Thank goodness it turned out to be nothing more serious than a hernia. However that has meant that he will be having an operation later this month to repair the hernia, and this in turn has meant that he has had to visit the hospital several times to speak to the consultant, Mr. Sedman, and to be assessed physically and mentally.
     Last week he had to attend an assessment to check his overall fitness, make sure he was who he said he was, and tell him yet more information about the operation.
     One of the last forms we had to fill in and send back asked about his interests (?), not sure why, but anyway as Graham is keen (obsessive) about keeping fit and exercising, we put that down as an interest.
     I waited outside the hospital, in the car - doing Sodoku and nearly falling asleep - while Graham went to fill in another two forms and be assessed. This included taking blood and an E.C.G. with many electrodes, and having swabs taken from various places while he was asked questions such as his date of birth (three times) and his full name (twice). He was also asked his height and weight, 'Five foot nine, when I was last measured and 84.2kg last Monday.' he said.
     'That is rather precise.' the nurse remarked
     'Well, I am interested in statistics.' said Graham
     'I see that you are also interested in exercise.' the nurse went on, reading from her clipboard
     'Oh yes,' said Graham, 'I am looking forward to getting back to my full routine.'
     'I am going to ask you, as a favour to me, not to do any exercise for six weeks after the operation,' said the nurse, 'Because if you cause the hernia to burst through again, of course Mr Sedman will repair it again, but then he will be working on scar tissue, which is more difficult and which will take longer to heal.'
     He was told that he could walk and he could use an exercise bike, but that was all. No weights and nothing which could affect the affected area.
     After confidently expecting to be back to normal in a week (or at the outside two weeks) after the operation, Graham was like a bear with a sore head for two days after the visit.
   A friend remarked, 'I thought you were going to say they had told him it was to be six weeks without sex!'
    I said I thought he would have been happier with that.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

To Blog or Not to Blog

     I don't 'follow' blogs from other people (apart from my son's Blog of Thog - - and that is only so I have some idea what is going on in his life, or what currently interests him) So, anyway, as I don't follow other blogs I don't know what other people blog about and I sometimes wonder (well worry really) that I am not doing it 'right'
     I know when I first decided to have a go, Mike (my son) asked me what the blog was going to be about, and also warned me that I would have to update it regularly.
     Well that is me stuffed then on both accounts.
     My blog doesn't really have a theme except to be the Blog of a Working Witch ie me. The posts are about things that interest me, things that have happened to me or my family, or are responses to a magical enquiry I have recently had - my last post entitled 'Help' was one of those. And I can't guarantee that something interesting will happen or that inspiration will regularly strike me.
     Sometimes the blog entries come thick and fast, just because that is the way things happen in my life (and, I suspect everyone else's lives too) - three blog entries on last year's Autumn Equinox was just the way things happened around that festival.
     At other times life jogs along in a quite unremarkable way, which, to be honest, I am in general quite content with
    So here I am with a disorganised blog with magical, non-magical, real life and theoretical subjects - and apparently stalking my son.



Friday, 3 June 2016


     In this post I want to look at how we can ask for magical help when we need it.

    We all need help from time to time, but who to ask and how to ask can leave you simply doing nothing but worrying or maybe panicking (depending on how urgent your need is).
     First things first, you need help and you need it urgently so what do you do? 
     Just ask.
     That is the very simple, and very direct way of contacting spirits or powers who can help you. Very often the spirits/gods/saints/angels are watching us and waiting for us to make the first move which is: to ask for help. Until we actually ask, very often the powers cannot intervene. They are constrained by cosmic laws which means that in general they cannot interfere in our lives unless they are invited to do so - incidentally this is why you have to be careful just which doors you open (ie be careful 'playing' with ouija boards and the like, saying 'Is anybody there?' means anybody can take that as an invitation) and also be careful just what you ask for.
      As a child, when anything went wrong the first people you would turn to would be your parents, your mum and dad, so spiritually the first and most easy spirits to contact are our spiritual Mother and Father. The Lords prayer starts: 'Our Father, who art in Heaven...', so take that as your starting point and simply say something like: 
     Mother Goddess, Father God, help me!

     You can then go into as much detail as you want or feel necessary. You can also say just what form you would like this help to take, e.g.:
     Help me to make some money quickly, 
     Help me to get out of this mess..

     If you are desperate, just repeat over and over:
     Mother Goddess, help me!
     Father God, help me!

    In magical terms, the best spells will be filled with our emotions and our need. So these spells very often can have dramatic results, even though they are extremely simple.
    You can, of course, embellish your magical working. Light a candle to your deity - inscribe your need on the candle, light it and let it burn down - be very careful that your candle is safe, you don't want to add having to call the fire brigade to your troubles.
    You can create a charm pouch to help you. Select three gemstones which have energies in tune with your needs and put them in a pouch, put the pouch near your candle - not touching it. Then carry the pouch with you and hold it tight when your need is greatest.

    There are, of course, saints, angels and deities who can help you with specific troubles, and so they can be invoked as part of your spell. But DO NOT put off doing a spell until you find the 'right' words or the 'right' saint or god to invoke. If your need is great and urgent ASK NOW.
    There is always someone who will answer you.