Hello There

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

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Party!

It's my Halloween party tonight, and wouldn't you know, I have a bad cold. Be that as it may, I have to go ahead and do it; not only am I looking forward to it, but I've spend a lot of time and money getting ready. I'm only expecting 10 people or so, but still should be fun. I'll be serving apple cake, pigs in blankets, chips and dip, cookies, punch, and maybe a few other things (beer!) I've got most of the cleaning done, but I still have to vacuum, mop the kitchen, cook the apple cake, buy some dry ice for my Witch's Brew, and carve some Jack O'Lanterns.

Here's a few pics of some of my Halloween decorating. I really went all-out this year.

A shot of my Samhain Altar. Not all of my tools are out yet. I also have an Ancestor Shrine set up...

And here's my dining room table. Those lights are now set up over the window, and everything's all laid out nicely.

Here's my glitter skeleton and my flying witch. Some Wiccans and Witches are offended by Halloween images of flying, cackling witches, but not me. To me, they're fun, remind me of the decorations we had when I was a kid, and even empowering because really, the Witch is an essential part of the holiday, and is one of the most loved Halloween characters (unlike the rest of the year, sadly.)

Oh no! A scary Jack O' Lantern!

I'll have lots more pics to share over the next few days, as I throw my party, go to the Halloween Parade, and celebrate the actual holiday.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flying Ointment

Since the other day was the Full Moon, I couldn't resist conjuring up some flying ointment to be used on Samhain. Now, let me be clear here: I only use a NON TOXIC recipe. You won't find any Aconite or Henbane in mine, thanks. I probably wouldn't ever use such herbs, but definitely not now; I don't think my herbal skills are anywhere near where they need to be, and I don't feel safe working with the more dangerous plants.

Anyway, I used to recipe that I've found both in a book AND on the internet. The main ingredients are lard (I use the real thing, and not vegetable shortening) Mugwort, Cinquefoil, Vervain, Benzoin, Thistle, and ashes from the fireplace. It also called for Clove oil, but I didn't have any handy so I used a quarter teaspoon or so of the buds. I used my little glass pot and my neato gas stove; I stick to the concept that one shouldn't use metal utensils in working with herbs. Why not? That's what I've always been told, though I am not sure it's really something to worry about. Now, I definitely wouldn't use iron, though, which of course is said to be the enemy of magic.

How did it turn out? Honestly, I don't think I did a very good job. It's not very heavily scented, and I think the recipe I used calls for way too much lard. I suppose it will do, but next time I am going to use a different recipe, and take care to grind the herbs up as fine as possible. Here are some pics of the process.

Here is my "rough and dirty" Recipe Book (I don't use the term "book of shadows) and my lovely Willow wand, made for me by Karl Feret at Rare Earth Designs.

And here is my stove top, with everything ready to go.

The lard is melted, and the herbs are simmering.

The finished product, while still hot. When it cooled it lost almost all of its green colour.

And here's a shot of my altar, done up with my orange Samhain candles. Looking pretty bare right now; haven't set up my working tools yet for the holiday.

And there we go! Hopefully next time it'll work out better. I am going to be experimenting with different ointment bases, as well. Perhaps beeswax would have worked better.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Blog Name?

I'm trying to think of a good new name for my blog. "Diary of a Southern Witch" sounds too much like another blog I came across, and anyway, I think it sounds too goofy and almost "romance novel"-ish. Can't quite think of anything better, though. I'll come up with a few ideas and see if I can get a vote or something on which to go with.

In other news, going to try out a new recipe this weekend, courtesy of Jaz from October Farm. It's Pumpkin Pie Cake, and it sounds amazing! Going to try it out, and if it goes well make it for my Halloween party.

Oh, and I got my Halloween costume! It's actually a ritual robe I had custom made from Garb The World, but since I am going as a Witch it will work just fine. It's a black, hooded robe....very high quality and warm. I'm pairing it with a purple and black sparkly witch hat, and my wonderful witch broom that I've had for a while. It's going to be amazing! I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Fest

I went to Pumpkin Fest at the Dallas Arboretum yesterday, and what a treat! THOUSANDS upon thousands of pumpkins, and a whole fairy tale village made of them! So much to see. And, the weather's been just amazing here, much cooler but not cold. I am really loving it. Halloween draws closer, and it's actually starting to feel like fall.

Anyway, here's a few pics. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Halloween Time Cometh

YAY! My favourite time of year is here, and we finally have some Fall weather. That's right, the temperature dropped down to 64 today in Dallas, and it felt heavenly. Now, I know that's not very cool, but in Texas it's not at all uncommon to have 80-90 degree weather well into October and even in to November, so anything below 70 is a treat.

I've got some of my Halloween stuff up, and have a big old pumpkin on my porch. I'm posting a pic here of my dining room table with its Halloween cloth and my new crackle glass pumpkin candle holder. Notice too my cute little owl salt and pepper shakers. I'm doing a Halloween party in a few weeks, so I've got lots more decorating to do before then.