Hello There

My thoughts about Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca, cooking, gardening, and anything else that catches my fancy.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Witchcraft Weekend, and a Hazelnut Harvest!

I spent the past weekend in a suburb of Portland, Oregon at a Gardnerian event. The coven I'm working with hosted many interesting out-of-town guests and Craft luminaries, and I got to meet some amazing people. I was honored to be asked to give a presentation on "Magical Woods and Trees" and reworked my "From the Hazel to the Blackthorn" speech towards a more Gardnerian-specific angle. If I may be so bold, I think it went pretty well. We spend the weekend eating and chatting between wonderful classes and workshops. I especially liked the class on Gerald Gardner and early Gardnerian records and artifacts, and I learned many things I never knew. We closed Saturday night with a ritual.

In other news, today I harvested the first hazelnuts of the year. They are now ripening in a box in the garage. I have buckets and buckets more to gather, so I'm hoping the weather holds all week.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Back And Better Than Ever! Tons of News!

Well well well, it's been ages since I last posted, and I feel bad about that. SO much has happened so quickly, I just haven't had the time. So, let me sum things up. In the past 10 months since I've posted, I've:

1. Moved twice
2. Gotten into a very serious long term relationship
3. Had major surgery
4. Gone back to Texas to visit
5. Joined up with a local Gardnerian coven

So, yes, I'm still as much of a Witch as ever. I'm lucky that I now have room to have a huge, beautiful garden with my very own Elder trees and witchy herbs, thanks to my wonderful boyfriend. I promise to update the blog far more often from now on.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lone Fir Cemetery, And Autumn Cometh

Yesterday I paid my first visit to Lone Fir cemetery in Portland, Oregon. It's an old "pioneer cemetery" that still has active burials, as far as I can tell. The cemetery covers acres and acres of land and has some amazing old monuments, some sadly in disrepair. The cemetery hosts regular events for visitors, from costumed historical reenactments to Hallowe'en tours.

The old Willow tree

Autumn leaves

The rose garden


Family vault, in need of repair

Interesting monument

Someone left this little angel a chestnut

Looking towards the city

A fellow visitor

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rowan Crosses

New to my shop, I've got some Rowan crosses made with the traditional red thread and strung with seven magical red Rowan berries. I harvested the berries and wood last year and have let them dry all this time. Rowan wood is traditionally said to be highly protective against evil and the wicked spells of bad witches. These crosses can be hung above doorways or by the bed to protect those who pass beneath or dwell within.

Available at Besom, Book, and Wand: The Shop!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Picking Summer Berries in Oregon

Last week some friends and I drove to Sauvie Island, Oregon (technically part of Portland) to pick berries. There are many, many farms there and most of them offer a "u-pick" option where you can pick you own produce and pay a low rate per pound. The place I planned on going actually turned out to be closed (on a Sunday, which is very unusual here) but there were plenty of other farms to choose from, so we headed back down the road to the other nice one we saw.

I am simply mad about raspberries, though they tend to be expensive if you buy them at the store. They (and all the fruits) were only two dollars a pound at the u-pick place, so I really stocked up. We started with boysenberries before moving on to blueberries and finally raspberries. We planned on picking blackberries, too, but after several hours in the sun we were getting tired and more than a little sunburned, so we decided to call it quits and visit again for those.

From a Witchcraft perspective, the Pacific Northwest is a literal buffet of goodness. The kinds of herbs, trees, and magic plants that most of the rest of the US can only read about grow here in abundance. The magical Hazel tree, for example, who's wood is almost impossible to find in middle American here grows like a weed; I can think of a dozen such trees in a few blocks around my house.

We had a great time picking berries, but I came home with a pretty bad sunburn (yes, we have sun here in the Pacific Northwest) and learned not to rely on cloud cover and "Oh, we'll only be out here for an house" thinking instead of sunscreen! Many of the berries I ate raw, but the rest I carefully cleaned and put in the freezer. Some of the blueberries, too, we cooked into delicious blueberry muffins which, I'm (almost) ashamed to say, didn't last long!

I do love summer, but I am ready for autumn already........

The bridge to Sauvie Island


Magical Rowan Tree

Rowan berries

My berries

Thursday, June 26, 2014

New Wands in the Shop!

Hello all. I've been hard at work wand crafting. Since my move to the Pacific Northwest, I've been harvesting all of the traditional magical woods: Hazel, Hawthorn, Rowan, and Elder. I'm glad to say that now most of it is dry, and I've been hard at work creating magical wands to sell in my online shop.

Many people sell wands, but only very few sell them made in the traditional manner and using traditional woods. You cannot just go buy a dowel from the hardware store; what makes the wand "magic" is the tree spirit dwelling within, and this is often asleep or missing entirely in milled lumber. Also, wood you cut yourself you can be certain was gathered under the proper Moon phases and astrological signs. I always, always gather my Hazel wands on a Wednesday (the Day of Mercury) under a Waxing Moon. Rowan and Hawthorn I gather under a Waxing Moon as well, with the Hawthorn cut as close to Beltane as possible. I also cut some wands on the Full Moon closest to Hallowe'en, since I feel wood gathered at this time has a special power and is exceptionally good at spirit and familiar work.

When it comes to crafting wands, I like to strike a balance between something that is natural, and something that is nice to look at, feels good in the hand, and will last. The very act of crafting, turning a stick into "something else," in and of itself adds power to a magical tool. Also, I inscribe various magical sigils and signs into the wands I create to mark them as instruments of the Arte. I treat my wands with an oil finish, to strengthen the wood, and then top them off with several coats of all-natural shellac, which adds a beautiful sheen and protects the wood from oils from the skin and from water. Shellac is easily repaired if damaged and is non-toxic and a renewable resource.

If you are interested in my wands, you can find my shop at Besom, Book, And Wand: A Witchcraft Shoppe. I can also do a limited amount of custom work. Now, I leave you with a few pictures of some wands I've recently finished.

Hazel Wand

Solomonic Hazel

Solomonic Hazel

Pocket Hawthorn

Ogham Hazel

Hazel Wand

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Besom, Book, and Wand: The Shop!

Well, after MANY long delays, my shop is finally open! Here you can find the magical wands I craft as well as sundry other roots, curious, and the like. I will soon be adding magical oils, powders, and incenses to the list. Check back often as I will be adding a lot over the coming weeks!

Besom, Book, and Wand: The Shop!